French is a language spoken by around 300 million people around the world. While it is the official language of France, it is also widely spoken in many other countries, including Canada, Belgium, and Senegal. In fact, French is the official language of 29 countries.
However, the French language has evolved differently in various regions, resulting in different types of French spoken around the world. Similarly to our post about the varieties of Spanish, in this blog post we will explore some of the different types of French spoken today.
Metropolitan French is the standard form spoken in France. It is the official language of the country and is taught in schools throughout France. Metropolitan French is also widely spoken in other countries, such as Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada, and tends to be the language used for most official documents. For example, if you are looking for a French translation, the default language will be Metropolitan French.
Quebec French is a type of French spoken in the province of the same name, Canada. It is heavily influenced by the English language and has many unique words and expressions that are not found in Metropolitan French. Quebec French is also known for its distinctive accent and pronunciation.
Swiss French is spoken in Switzerland and is similar to Metropolitan French. However, it has some unique features, including differences in vocabulary and pronunciation. For example, Swiss French speakers use different words for numbers.
Belgian French is spoken in Belgium and is similar to Metropolitan French. But it has some unique vocabulary and expressions that are not found in other types of French. A lot of influence in Belgian French comes from Flemish, the other official language of the country, which is a lot closer to Dutch.
African French is a term used to describe the various types of French spoken in Africa. French is the official language of many African countries including Mali, Niger and Congo, and it is also widely spoken as a second language. As a result of this there are many variations within African French, including:
Standard African French, which is similar to Metropolitan French;
West African French, which has many unique words and expressions; and
North African French, which is spoken in countries such as Morocco and Tunisia.
Francophone African French, which is spoken in those countries where French is the official language such as Chad and Benin.
Anglophone African French, which is spoken by those who speak English as their first language (such as Cameroon).
Caribbean French is a variety of French spoken in the Caribbean. This type of French has its own unique vocabulary and pronunciation, but it is still mutually intelligible with Metropolitan French.
There are two main types of Caribbean French: Antillean and Haitian. Antillean French is spoken in the French West Indies, Guadeloupe, and Martinique. It is similar to Metropolitan French but has some unique features, such as local words that have been incorporated into the language. Haitian Creole is spoken in Haiti by many people as their first language but also as a second language.
In conclusion, French is spoken around the world by around 300 million people. It has evolved differently in various regions, resulting in different types of French spoken today. Whether you are learning French, in search of French translations or translators, it is important to understand the differences between these types of French and how they are used in different contexts to better communicate with French speakers from different areas.