The French language in figures

  • 5ᵗʰ most-spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish and Arabic
  • 300 million French speakers worldwide (up 9.6% since the last census in 2014)
    Source: latest report by the Observatoire de la Langue Française, published in 2018

French is an international language

  • 2nd most-used language in diplomacy, particularly European and multilateral diplomacy, after English;
  • Official UN language;
  • Working language of the European Union and the African Union;
  • Official language of the Olympic Games together with English.

French is a modern language

  • 4th most used language on the Internet, which now brings together over 4 billion users;
  • 3rd most used language in business (the Francophone area now accounts for over 15% of global wealth);
  • 2nd language of international information in the media.

French is a living language:

  • 2nd language in terms of learners in the world;
  • 125 million people study French around the world;
  • half a million of French teachers outside France.

It is one of the rare languages to be taught in the education systems of every country.

Updated: February 2019

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