For the past decade, the United States has long been threatened by the massiveness of China. It has also reported before that China could take over the U.S. as being the main super power in the world, in terms of economics and finance. With the big shift of investments in China, Mandarin has become one of the top learned languages in the world. It is one of the top 6 languages in the world including English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic and French. Even Mark Zuckerberg is fluent in Mandarin.
But the language everyone thinks would reshape the next decades of the human race is not Mandarin Chinese, according to a study made by Natixis, an investment bank.
The research shows the French language is gaining more speakers rapidly. With the growth of French speakers all over the world, it is expected to be spoken by about 750 million people by 2050, increasing from the 220 million readers nowadays.
According to France Diplomatie, they foresee the growth of French speakers by 2025. Because of France’s birth rate, there will be more people who will have French as their mother tongue, dominating German in Europe.
One other advantage the French language has is its demographic reach. So far, French is the official language of 29 countries. It is also being taught in different nations all over the world. Additionally, there are some linguistic enthusiasts who are eager to learn the language.
French as International Language Reference
France’s cultural network oversees promote the French language. They have the Instituts Français and Alliance Française schools that cover about one million language students. Their school network is spread out to 133 countries globally.
There is also a boom in France’s African states. The recent numbers show that the French speakers throughout these regions will increase from 3 to 8 percent by 2050.
France’s colonies also expand to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and 28 other states. These states are also considered to be the world’s fastest-growing nations, according to OZY.
“In Africa, French is the official schooling language of countries with increasingly high fertility rates like Mali in the north, and Guinea, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo in the sub-Saharan region.”
Moreover, French is playing a critical role in the international sporting life as an official language of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Games. France was inaugurated back in 1989.
In terms of economics and trade, France and French-speaking countries cover 20 percent of the global trade market share. The nation’s media super house also racks in 55 million weekly viewers for their international media channel TV5Monde and about 45.4 million weekly viewers for France 24. Though they have a low share on the world wide web, French language is showing an increase of activity in search engines.
“The number of people who speak French continues to increase, and the projections are indeed impressive, but they do not take into account the coexistence of languages, which is the reality in many countries,” says Alexandre Wolff from the Observatory of the French Language.
Though Mandarin and English are on the top spots in the language arena this decade, there is expected to be a “demographic slowdown” for both languages and there will be an expected decline for English speakers. Because of the population decline in both regions, their native language speakers would also decrease.
Though there is surmountable proof of this shift, some skeptics still think these claims are overstated.
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