French (French) is the language of the French (the official language of France), the French-speaking population of Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada (of which it is one of the official languages). French is also spoken by the people of many countries in Africa, the Caribbean (such as Haiti), and French Guiana, including as an official language. In total, French is official in 29 countries. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
French is an analytical language, belongs to the Indo-European family of languages (Romance group).
It developed on the territory of modern France from the group of Romance dialects of the Oils, which, in turn, came from the folk Latin, which was brought by the Romans after the conquest of Gaul in the II-I century BC. Prior to that, the inhabitants of modern France spoke Gallic, one of the varieties of Celtic languages. During Roman rule, it gradually declined, the inhabitants switched to Gallo-Romanesque, which was formed from Latin on the Gallic substratum. Finally, the earliest version of French, Old French, was formed around the X century. The oldest monument of the French (Old French) language is considered to be the "Strasbourg Oaths" (842). The first literary monument - "Sequence of St. Eulalia" (881).
It became the language of royal administration and official use thanks to the Ville Cotre ordinance in 1539.
French is the third largest Romance language after Spanish and Portuguese. In 1999, it was the 11th most widely spoken language in the world, with French spoken by about 70 million to 128 million people as their mother tongue (called Francophones) to 190 million in total. It is official or administrative in various communities and organizations (European Union, UN).
French is the second most popular language in the world as a foreign language. The number of people who can speak French is 200 million (according to the website of the French Academy for the Regulation of French). French is considered one of the easiest languages to learn for those who are fluent in English.
Expanding the sphere of influence of the French language is one of the main tasks of the Alliance Française Society, which has more than a thousand offices in all countries.