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French, the universal language of 2050?

When Molière catches up on Shakespeare


French, most spoken language in 2050? This is the result of a study by the bank Natixis. Even though this statement must be tempered, the number of French speakers should keep increasing significantly in the next decades.


French, most spok3_-_photo_-_francophonie_400en language in 2050?

Today, French is the fourth international language, with 220 million French speakers throughout the world, according to the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), and the language should keep expanding. This is what a study by the investment bank Natixis forecasts. French is spoken in regions of the world where demography is very active, like in sub-Saharan Africa. In a few decades, it should be spoken by 750 million people. As a result, French could be the most spoken language in 2050. The Chinese population is also very large, but speaks various languages depending on the regions.  


A forecast to be tempered: official language versus spoken language

However, the results of this study should be tempered. As the Forbes magazine stresses, the report considers as French speakers all inhabitants of countries where French is the official language, which does not quite reflects reality: in Senegal, for instance, Wolof is more widespread than French.

Through Alexander Wolff, the Observatory of French Language reminds us of the French status in countries where multiple languages are spoken: as a language in the media, the administration and economic dealings, it is a uniting factor for all inhabitants.


French is actually ranked second or third

According to Alexandre Wolff, in 2050, English will probably still be the most used language in the world. However, African countries are experimenting a growing school enrolment rate. If those countries keep teaching French in the coming years, there would be 715 million French speakers, an 8% of the global population in 2050. An 85% of them are located in Africa.

French would then become the second or third most spoken language in the world.