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This day, March 20, let's celebrate the French language !

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On the occasion of the French Language Day on March 20, Fedactio wanted to put in the spotlight our beautiful French language, a communication tool but also an incredible means of enhancing social cohesion.

On the occasion of this French Language Day dedicated to the promotion of the French language in the world, we wanted to share with you our passion for Molière's language. We often hear that English is the universal language, that Mandarin is the language of the future or that Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the world but French is far from being left behind. 5th world language in terms of the number of speakers and 4th world language on the Internet, French is the only language, other than English, to be present on each of the five continents. In addition to this, according to the 2018 report published by the IOF, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, French is an official language within 32 states and governments as well as in most international organisations. It is also taught as a mother tongue to more than 80 million people in 36 countries around the world and as a foreign language to more than 50 million people. Last but not least, French is gaining ground. Indeed, between 2014 and 2018, the number of French-speaking people had increased by 9.6% and French now numbered no less than 300 million speakers worldwide.

The IOF, ambassador of the French language in the world

The word “francophonie”, which first appeared in 1880, refers to all French-speaking people and countries where French is spoken. In 1970, the Francophonie started to be recognized at the institutional level with the creation of what we know today as the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF). Thus, French-speaking populations can rely on an institutional tool whose purpose is to promote the French language and the cooperative relations between the 88 states and governments of the IOF. On the occasion of the Hanoi Summit that took place in 1997, the organisation wrote a charter including its main goals, which are the establishment and development of democracy, the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, the intensification of the cultural dialogue between civilisations, a better living together thanks to mutual knowledge, the strengthening of solidarity through multilateral cooperation actions, and the promotion of education and training. To this end, the IOF focuses its actions on the following four main areas: promotion of the French language and cultural and linguistic diversity, promotion of peace, democracy and Human rights, support for education and development of cooperation in the service of sustainable development.

The French language, a tool to strengthen social cohesion

On the one hand, the strength of French lies in the large number of French-speakers, but on the other hand it also lies in its worldwide diffusion. Indeed, the presence of French in each of the world's continents makes it an incredible means of strengthening social cohesion. At the economic level, for example, the sharing of a common language greatly promotes trade. Thus, in 2016, the French-speaking area, i.e. all the countries in which the French language is an official language or at least is spoken by a significant number of people and is used in economic activities, produced 8.7% of the world's wealth. More generally speaking, the widespread nature of French is a major asset that makes it possible to use this common knowledge in order to promote educational, environmental and sustainable development projects, thus putting the sharing of the French language at the service of many current societal issues. For example, the 17th Summit of La Francophonie, held in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2018, brought together no fewer than 84 heads of state and government who established a 2019-2022 programme aimed at improving access to education for young girls, promoting the voluntary actions of French-speaking youth and forging partnerships with a view to sustainable development in the fight against climate change. So, the French language, which was originally only a means of communication becomes the starting point for innovative and ambitious projects that go beyond the linguistic framework and become a powerful tool for social progress and the strengthening of social relations.

As a Federation of culturally diversified associations and on the occasion of this French Language Day, Fedactio wanted to highlight the French language, but also the major role that languages can play in a more general way. Indeed, languages are not only synonym of multilingualism, but also of multiculturality, a value dear to the heart of Fedactio. We work on a daily basis to promote this multiculturality in the service of social cohesion, especially through our platform "Social Cohesion and Dialogue". We firmly believe that cultural diversity must be seen as a source of enrichment and openness to the world, a process in which the learning of foreign languages constitutes a key step. Today, we celebrate the French language, but we invite you to celebrate sign language on September 23, Arabic language on December 18, Chinese language on April 20, English and Spanish language on April 23, Russian language on June 6 as well as all the other languages spoken in the world. For today, however, Let's keep speaking French: En français... S'il vous plaît ! En français… S’il vous plaît !

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Social Cohesion

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