Friday, April 24, 2015

Map of French Speaking Countries

Where is French spoken? Most people know that French is spoken in France, and some know that it is spoken in Quebec (a province in Canada) but few people realize that is spoken all around the world. In fact there are 29 countries where French is an official language, plus an additional 10 territories that are not completely independent of France.

In Europe this includes France of course, as well as Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Monaco, as well as the British Crown territories of Jersey and Guernsey. In Africa it includes Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Mali, Rwanda, Guinea, Chad, Burundi, Benin, Switzerland, Togo, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, and Seychelles. It is also widely spoken in some former colonies where it is not an official language, like in Morocco and Algeria. In Asia it does not have official status in any country, but it is spoken by older people and the upper classes in former colonies such as Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In Oceania it is spoken in the French Overseas Collectivities of  French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna.

It`s also spoken in the Caribbean territories of Saint-Martin, Saint Barthelemy, and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. It`s also the official language in Guadelupe and Martinique, which are actually overseas departments of France and considered part of France proper, even though they are in the Caribbean. Similar to that are the overseas departments of RĂ©union and Mayotte, located in the ocean east of Africa.

Below are some maps of French speaking countries.

Map of the Francophonie
The map above shows the members of the Francophonie organization, which includes some countries where French is commonly spoken even though it does not have official language status.

Here is another map of the Francophonie, including observer nations. I recently read that the United Arab Emirates has joined as an observer, even though French is not widely spoken amongst Emiratis or residents of UAE. Some observer nations join more for political and economic reasons than linguistic or cultural reasons.

I hope you found a good map of the French speaking countries that you needed. I bet you`re surprised by just how widely French is spoken. In fact it`s spoken by more than 270 million people worldwide.

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