Aside from France, French is the official language of 22 other countries and it is also the co-official language in countries including Haiti, Madagascar, Switzerland and Luxembourg. In addition to that, it is also the un-official second language of countries such as Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. It is also spoken in some parts of France’s former African colonies like Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Niger and Bénin. Over 75 million people use this language all over the world.
The standards for the French language including its correct pronunciation and language usage all over the world are set by its capital city, Paris. The French people are actually very protective about their language and they formed laws banning the use of non-French words even from official publications and websites.
The standard for French is based on the dialect known as Francien. It has been the official standard language since the mid-16th century. It has greatly replaced other regional dialects of French spoken in northern and central France. French dialects are further subdivided into 5 classifications namely, Central, Northern, Eastern, Western, Southwestern.
Like other languages, the French language also has its own characteristics. A lot of its letters are silent. As a result, pronunciation of the words can differ significantly from its spelling. Many people who try to learn French find that pronunciation is the hardest part to learn due to its new sounds, silent letters and liaisons. When all these factors come together as one, speaking French can be very tricky. Speaking French is more than just familiarization of the vocabulary and grammar rules because the letters need to also be pronounced correctly. Speakers who try to learn this language are not likely to sound like a native unless they learned the language as a child. However, learning how to speak French correctly is not impossible with enough practice and patience and using a good language course like Pimsleur. Some of the other important components of the language are inflection, declination and using grammatical gender. Also, in French, the forms of some words do vary as to how they are used in a sentence. It is quite different than English.
You really can use a second language when looking for jobs, business and travel purposes. French is one of the most useful languages and can be used throughout the world. When choosing a language to study, consider that French is one of the languages that will give you more in what ever you are planning to do.