From Namespedia - Names Meaning and Origins
Modern French is a “Romance” language, which descended from the Latin Language, a member of the Italic branch of Indo-European Languages. In old days Rome, the spoken language of the lower classes was different in pronunciation and grammar from the written language. This so-called Vulgar Latin was the language carried to the occupied territory during the Roman Empire expansion.
In the third century Western Europe, including Gaul, was invaded by Germanic tribes from the east, resulting is a loss of military control by Rome. The most important(for the French language history) of these groups are the Franks (northern France), the Alemanni (German/French border), the Burgundians (Rhône valley) and the Visigoths (Aquitaine region and Spain).Their language had a decisive effect on the Latin spoken in those regions, altering both the pronunciation and the syntax.Different languages descended from Latin in these various parts of post-Roman Gaul, including the so-called “Provençal” language, spoken in of the southern half of what is today metropolitan France. The dialect of Paris gradually became the national language, however, because of the political prestige of the capital(even today is accepted as the model for the French language).
Today approximately 98 million people speak French, living principally in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and parts of Africa.French is used as the official language of 22 countries and co-official language of Belgium, Canada, Haiti, Madagascar, Switzerland and more. French continues to be spoken as a second language by many people in countries located along the Mediterranean that were once French colonies or territories (Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and others).
The French spoken in Canada today, principally in the Province of Quebec, differs from standard modern French as a consequence of Quebec’s political isolation from France. The influence of English on the vocabulary and syntax of Québecquois French has been massive. French is used in Haiti as one of its official languages and as the language of higher education. The popular language spoken in Haiti is a so-called “creole”. French has official status in the Indian Union Territory of Pondicherry, where it is also commonly taught as third language. An estimated 115 million African people spread across 31 francophone African countries can speak French mostly as a second language, but in some areas it has become a first language, such as in the region of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and in Libreville, Gabon.
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Articles in category "French"
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