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65 million

Other names

Official language

Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Vanuatu

Also spoken

Algeria, Cambodia, Andorra, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Italy, Laos, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, Samoa, St. Vincent, Vietnam

Interesting Fact

French wasn't made the official language of France until 1992.


French is one of the world’s most spoken, most influential, and generally most important languages.  It is spoken as a first language in many European, African and American countries and is globally important as a second language.  It is estimated that 80% of French native speakers will be in Africa by 2050.

Language Length
Tends to be 15-20% longer than English.

Regional Differences
Many words are different in the various regional forms of French (for example, the word bicycle is “vélo” in France but “bicyclette” in Canadian French, while in Canada, a peanut would be “pinotte/arachide” instead of cacahuète.  Regional differences also occur in punctuation.

Notable Grammar and Spelling Differences
There are several main punctuation differences between French used in France and English.  The following is true in France but not necessarily correct in other French-speaking countries.

Spaces: French uses spaces around punctuation on many occasions where English doesn’t.  The normal is to have a space before a question mark, colon, semi-colon, exclamation mark, percentage and quotation marks.  However, this isn’t always the case.  Canadian French, for example, has different rules.

Quotation marks:  Usually chevron style <<>>

Numbers:  The comma is used where English would use the decimal point and vice versa, e.g. 5.5 (English) = 5,5 (French).  However  5,000 (English) is 5 000 (French).


For more information contact us here: French Translation Services.

Services offered for this language

Translation services / Transcreation / Subtitling / Localization / Adaptation / Copywriting / Authoring / Proofreading / Revision / Editing / Translation quality assurance / Terminology / Linguistic validation / Glossary creation / Dubbing / Voice-overs / Transcription / Typesetting / Simultaneous interpreting / Consecutive interpreting / Conference interpreting / Telephone interpreting / Public service interpreting / Interpreting equipment hire / Foreign language consulting

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