Friday, August 14, 2015

French to Trump English After All!

Vive la langue française ! Just when everyone thought French was going to be overshadowed by English (and possibly Chinese), crunching the numbers reveals that French may the world's most commonly spoken language by 2050, or the as French news site France 24 puts it, "the language of Molière will eclipse the language of Shakespeare."

How is this possible? you ask. Well, thanks to its history as a colonial power, French is still widely spoken in some of the fastest-growing counties in Africa:  Mali in the north, and Guinea, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo in the sub-Saharan region, not counting North African countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria.

The $64 Tomato -- I mean, question, is, does having the numbers mean having the influence? Je crois que non, because, to be quite honest, the language that children are speaking in a village in Chad doesn't much affect what they call "wi-fi" in France (it' "wi-fi," but adoringly pronounced "wee-fee."

So, the French may take some solace in their numbers, but they can only wistfully imagine a French-speaking world - which we'd in fact have had today if the French hadn't lost (yet another) war to the British -- this one in, yes, the New World, back in the 1700s.

Damn you, King George!

More fun and facts about French in my NY Times bestselling book, Flirting with French.

(And admit it, you read this piece because you thought I was writing about Donald Trump again!)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting fact! I would have never known. Pam


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