French is a language of Romance group, this one analytical that belongs to the Indo-European languages family. The French developed on the territory of modern France based on a group of Romance Oil dialects, which emerged from popular Latin in the II-I centuries BC. Until that time, the Gaulish language was spoken on the territory of France.

The French is the official language of France, one of the three official languages in Belgium and Luxembourg, and one of the four official languages of Switzerland. French is the mother language for 20% of Canadians, and also the official language of the American state of Louisiana.

Apart  that, French is the only official language of Guinea, Benin, Haiti, Gabon, Guyana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Togo and one of the two official languages of Andorra, Burundi, Lebanon, Rwanda, Chad , Central African Republic,

And more over, in the everyday life, it is spoken in former French and Belgian colonies – such as Algeria, Congo, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and others.

Today, more than 300 million people around the globe speak French. It is the national or one of the national languages in 30 countries worldwide.

The Ancient French language was formed around the tenth century. Its oldest written monument is the “Strasbourg Oaths” document, dated 842. The “Strasbourg Oaths” is a treaty of alliance between the West Frankish king Charles II the Bald and his brother, the East Francia king Louis II the German.

In 881, there appeared the first literary work in the Romance language, it was the “Sequence about St. Eulalia”. This was the point the French literature history began with.

In 1539, the king of France Francis signed the so-called Edict of Ville-Cotre, which established the French language supremacy and exclusivity in legal and administrative documents. Thus French became the royal administration language. 

According to the current Constitution of France, French became an official language in 1992.

Interesting  facts about the French:

  • just the French was the official language of England for more than six hundred years,
  • the Great Britain coat of arms bears the motto in French “Dieu et mon droit” – translated as “God and my right”,
  • the longest sentence in modern French literature was written by Victor Hugo in “Les Miserables”, using 823 words to formulate it,
  • according to various estimates, in Africa there are more French-speaking people than in France,
  • the French language is a tongue-in-cheek language, it has many homophones i.e. words with the same pronunciation, but different meanings and spellings,
  • the longest French word “anticonstitutionnellement” consists of 25 letters.