French is the official language of 29 countries around the world Over one one hundred twenty four million people speak French is their native language French is spoken on five continents in about 50 countries and territories in the world
In Europe French is spoken in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra On the American continent, French is the official language of three islands in the Caribbean: Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. Quebec, Canada’s largest province, is almost entirely French-speaking. In the United States, French is a second language for more than a million people in Louisiana and certain areas of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine
In South America, French is the official language of French Guiana In Africa, French is the official or second language in 21 African countries This countries retain not only the French language but also the influence of French culture, institutions, and traditions. In Asia, in countries of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam French is spoken today by some of its people
Why do so many people in Africa and Asia speak French? During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, France became a colonial power in the world. This means that the French occupied and ruled counties of the world far from France itself. These countries sent many of their products (such as copper and cocoa) back to France for manufacturing into finished products. As the French governed these nations, they also established schools and businesses which used the French language. By 1960, these nations had become independent, but they maintained French as their official and business language because so many people spoke French.