Bonjour! Welcome to the month of March, or should I say the month of La Francophonie…
La Francophonie is the name of the group of French speaking nations in the world. So, in March, the language of French is celebrated around the world in every French speaking nation, and the people of these nations are brought together by this beautiful language that they share in common.
The French language is well-worth celebrating, not only because of its reputation as a beautiful sounding language, but also because of the history, diverse cultures, and significance of the language.
The French Language Day
The month of Francophonie includes a week and a day of Francophonie as well, which is a relatively recent addition to the calendar. It was in 2010 that the United Nations decided to create 6 Language Days to represent the 6 official languages of the U.N.
The 6 days are:
– French Language Day
– English Language Day
– Chinese Language Day
– Spanish Language Day
– Arabic Language Day
– Russian Language Day
The French Language Day is on March 20th. This date was chosen because it marks the anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie. So, this day is the pinnacle of the whole month, and it is when the celebrations and festivities really happen!
History of the Language
It is important to celebrate the history of French because it has been spoken for so long! It started being spoken around 1400 years ago, from the 8th century, where it eventually developed from Latin like how English did. The language has changed much since then… Today we have many different dialects and ways of speaking the language all around the world. However, it is notable to recognize where the language came from, and how long we’ve been speaking it, in order to truly celebrate it.
The Culture and the Flag
Did you know French is the only language other than English to be officially spoken on every continent?
This is why the Francophonie flag represents the colors of the 5 continents. (Red for North/South America, Blue for Europe, Black for Africa, Yellow for Asia, Green for Oceania)
There are over 275 million French speakers in the world, and there are so many unique cultures associated with the language. The diversity and uniqueness of each French speaking nation is part of what makes the language so beautiful, and why it deserves to be celebrated around the world in March!
When people think of French speaking nations their first thoughts are often France or Quebec in Canada, but the continent with the most French speakers is actually Africa! There are also pockets of French speakers in Asia in countries like Lebanon, Vietnam and Cambodia. In South America we have French Guiana, and in Oceania we have French Polynesia.
So, what makes this month so special is that all these people and different cultures across the world have the French language in common. Although they may speak it with different dialects and accents, they can celebrate this month together in honor of the language and its significance in their culture.
Celebrate the Month!
Join the celebration by learning French and becoming a part of the Francophone community! What better time to start learning than this month?
You can check out our classes and camps to sign yourself or your kids up to one of our programs. Feel free to contact us for more details!