18 Mar Five Interesting Facts about the French Language
French is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful languages in the world. The popularity and reach of the French language are indisputable. It is a language of romance, poetry, food connoisseurs, business, politics and is embraced by teachers and students all over the world. Here are 5 interesting facts about the French language:
- French is the sixth most spoken language in the world:
French is the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. With nearly 80 million native speakers and over 274 million speakers worldwide, French is the official language of 29 countries and is the sixth most spoken language in the world. It is also a working language of the UN and the EU as well as numerous other international organizations. Approximately 40% of French speakers reside in Europe and significant populations in Africa, Canada, and many other countries.
- 29% of English vocabulary comes from French
Owing to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D, roughly 50,000 English words come from French. A few examples of English loanwords from French are “déjà vu,” “naive,” and “cul-de-sac”.
- French doesn’t have any words with “W”
The only French words with “w” in them are borrowed words from a foreign language.
- Learning French gives you a head start for learning the other romance languages
The romance languages, derived from Latin origins, all share similarities, so if you are fluent in French, you may find yourself picking up the other languages – Portuguese, Romanian, Italian or Spanish much faster!
- Counting in French gets harder after you hit the number 70!
Counting in French is pretty straightforward i.e. until you hit the number 70, which translates to soixante-dix (sixty-ten). Then you keep counting up and it gets slightly harder. For eg, 74 is soixante-quatorze (sixty-fourteen). Eighty-five translates to Quatre-vingt-cinq (four-twenty-five).
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