French speakers from around the world will be celebrating our language in all its diversity during the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie on March 20 and the 22nd edition of the Semaine de la Langue Française et de la Francophonie (Week of French language and cultures) from March 18 to 26.
This year’s edition, sponsored by Bernard Pivot, will showcase French in the digital universe.
Some 1,500 events will be held worldwide, with the participation of 70 countries, more than 100 cities, 200 bookstores and 12 partner publishers. Our cooperation and cultural action network will be involved as well as Alliances Françaises, French schools abroad, and French cultural and educational institutions.
The French-speaking world will also be showcased throughout 2017 with the festival “Grand tour 2017: Voyage en Francophonie,” under the high patronage of President Hollande. It was launched on February 15 by Jean-Marie Le Guen, minister of state for development and Francophonie, and Michaëlle Jean, secretary-general of the Francophonie organization.
With 274 million speakers worldwide, French is the fifth most widely spoken language worldwide, and – along with English – the only one to be spoken on five continents. A working language of international organizations, French is the second most taught language in the world, with nearly 125 million students and half a million French teachers abroad. It is the fourth most widely used language on the Internet, the third in the business world, and the second in the international news media.
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