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The French language is the 5th most used language in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 450 million people using French in their daily lives.

A Romance language, French is spoken not only in France, but also in many African countries, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Switzerland. But where does this language come from?  When did French first appear? What is its origin? Answers to all your questions through this article!

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Origin of the French language

France has long been occupied by the Gallic tribes who speak the Celtic language, a language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. It is very difficult to determine, with precision, the exact date of the appearance of French.

French is derived from Vulgar Latin or “spoken Latin”, also called “popular Latin”. Latin remained, until the 13th century, the language of religion, administration, politics and education in Europe.

The first texts in Old French appeared in the 800s. The most famous are the “Oath of Strasbourg” (signed in 842).

French continued to evolve and the first grammatical rules were established between the 13th and 14th centuries.

The French Academy was founded in 1635 by Richelieu. It was only after the French Revolution and with the arrival of many romantic writers, that the French language was considerably enriched in terms, words and ideas.

Today, French is the language spoken in many countries. Technological progress has enriched the French language with technical vocabulary.

Modern French

Modern French includes more than 32,000 words. More than half of them are of foreign origin.

Several languages have influenced contemporary French: Latin, English and Arabic. This influence is only the result of the mixing of populations. French has changed enormously over the centuries. The language we speak today is an amalgam resulting from the influences of other cultures / languages!

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