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Pronunciation [fʁɑ̃sɛ]
Native speakers 75 million  (2007)
220 million L1 and L2 speakers (2010)
Language family
  • Italic
    • Romance
      • Western Romance
        • Gallo-Romance
          • Oïl
            • French
Early forms:
Old French
  • Middle French
    • French
Writing system Latin
Official status
Official language in 29 countries
Language codes
ISO 639-1 fr
ISO 639-2 fre (B)
fra (T)
ISO 639-3 fra

French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick (Acadia region) in Canada, the U.S. state of Maine, the Acadiana region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, and by various communities elsewhere. Other speakers of French, who often speak it as a second language, are distributed throughout many parts of the world, the largest numbers of whom reside in Francophone Africa. In Africa, French is most commonly spoken in Gabon (where 80% report fluency), Mauritius (78%), Algeria (75%), Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire (70%). French is estimated as having 110 million native speakers and 190 million more second language speakers.