French ranks among the main global languages and is the only language along with English, which is spoken on all continents. The usage of French is increasing mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. In certain countries where French is not the first language, it is becoming the language of teaching in certain fields. These countries include Senegal, Gabon, Congo, Benin & Burundi, among others. French is the second most taught foreign language after English. Of great significance is the fact that French is the third most important business language following English and Chinese. How many more reasons does one need to realise what an advantage it would be to learn French. There are more than 50 francophone countries (countries where French is spoken), so that if one visited any of these, how much more would one be welcomed, by merely opening a basic conversation, surprisingly, in French.
For the purpose of this blog, just two of the over 25 African francophone countries are to be referred to specifically. Before this, just a few words about African French (le français africain), which refers to the varieties of French spoken by over 100 million people in francophone Africa. In each of these countries, French is spoken with local particularities of vocabulary and pronunciation. In Africa, French is often spoken alongside indigenous languages. Again this signifies the necessity in many cases, to learn French, should one need to communicate with people where French would provide the only thread of mutual understanding.
Here are more Francophone Countries giving you reason to learn French:
The West African country, Cameroon (Le Cameroun) officially known as the Republic of Cameroon (République du Cameroun), has both French and English as official languages. French however takes considerable prominence in being the most understood language in the country. It is interesting to note that Cameroon has one of the highest rates of school attendance in Africa. In the previously British-administered areas, the lingua franca is Cameroonian Pidgin English. In urban areas, a mixture of French, English and Pidgin, known as FrancAnglais, has grown in popularity over the past few decades. This provides yet another reason to learn French, should you meet a Cameroonian or two (un Camerounais/une Camerounaise).
Ivory Coast or Côte d’Ivoire or La Côte d’Ivoire is the second West African country featured here. It is also known as République de Côte d’Ivoire. Again, this is a multilingual country where French is the official language. French is taught in schools and is the country’s lingua franca. It is interesting to note that American Sign Language is used for the education of the deaf. In addition, local indigenous languages are widely used in Côte d’Ivoire.
It is fascinating to be aware of the multitude of languages spoken in the world, in addition to the prominence French enjoys alongside other globally significant languages. While this blog merely scratches the uppermost surface of francophone countries, one absolutely must realise how beneficial it would be to learn French, in order to sometimes enjoy a more positive communication experience, in your countries of choice where French is spoken.
Just do it..