The French Lingua-Franca

downloadSure, this discussion has come up before. At one time, everything was done in the French language: politics, art, culture, etc. French was the Lingua-franca.

So what happened?

Suddenly, English threw itself into the pot through monolingual American politics and science. Hollywood has grown in size, and the overall American, as well as English, culture has become enormous rather quickly. French sort of fell to the way side, influenced by the success of the English empire in conquering various countries around Europe and the world, spreading with its native tongue, English.

According to the site Nations Online, English is the primary language in over 60 different countries. It’s no wonder English became so prominent.

Despite this, French may once again rise to the top of it all.

Currently, the race is between English, Mandarin, and French. While Mandarin does boast a staggering number of speakers, many of them are elders or otherwise unable to produce offspring to carry on their language. Due to this, Mandarin will have a huge implosion in the next 15-20 years as a new age of elders replaces the old.

Many French speaking countries are growing so fast that an explosion of population will be expected, rather than a surprise.

English speakers are known to have French as the top second language, next to Spanish. But to some, it isn’t just the amount of second language speakers that matter.

“The number of people who speak French continues to increase, and the projections are indeed impressive, but they do not take into account the coexistence of languages, which is the reality in many countries,” reports Alexandre Wolff, of the Observatory of the French language, in an interview with OZY Media.

In other words, it may take quite a while for anything to replace English. When it does happen, though, what will happen to English speakers who refuse to learn French? Will they be left in the dust, unable to communicate as easily while traveling, or will they be the reason English remains as the Lingua-Franca?


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