- French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as did languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan and others.
- French has evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d’oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted.
- A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as “Francophone” in both English and French.
- French is an official language in 32 countries, most of which are members of la francophonie, the community of French-speaking countries. It is spoken as a first language in France, the Canadian province of Quebec, the region of Wallonia in Belgium, western Switzerland, Monaco, certain parts of Canada and the United States, and by various communities elsewhere.
- French is the fourth most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union.
- French is a Romance language that evolved out of the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in northern France.
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