French language

From Encyc

The French language is a Romance language that developed in France. It is spoken around the world, in France, Canada (mainly in the Quebec Province), Louisiana (among Cajuns), Africa, and on various islands.


French is descended from vulgar Latin, which was widely spoken when France was part of the Roman Empire. It has been influenced by the Gauls, who lived in the area previously, and by the Franks, a Germanic tribe who invaded later. A number of dialects evolved, but modern French is from northern France around Paris.

In the Age of Enlightenment, French became astoundingly popular to the point where many educated people around the world could read it and use it for international communication. It became known as the lingua franca. Most modern languages have been influenced by it to one degree or another.

English, in particular, borrowed many French words. It also uses some words from Norman French, that it acquired following the Norman Invasion.


French attempts to link words with alternating consonant and vowel sounds. A number of consonants are unpronounced or pronounced only under special circumstances.