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Interesting facts about the French language

French, a Romance language, is an official language in 29 countries. It is the fourth most widely spoken mother language in the European Union. It is spoken by 220 million people on all five continents.  It is an official language of many international organisations, such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the World Trade Organisation, and the International Olympic Committee.

French is an international language of diplomacy, literature, scientific standards, and commerce.  Bloomberg Businessweek (2011) ranks it as the third most useful language for business, after English and Chinese.  It is the top language in the culinary scene.  It is also the language of ballet and features importantly in the wine market, fashion and perfumery.

France’s achievements in science and technology are significant, in the fields of medicine, chemistry, mathematics, nuclear power and space science.  France was the third nation, after the USSR and the United States, to launch its own space satellite. Nowadays, France prefers to contribute to the European Space Agency.  Research and development efforts form an integral part of the country’s economy.  The cost of studying in French Universities and other institutions is kept low, with the French government subsidizing research, especially for EU nationals.  

France is the most visited country in the world, with 75 million tourists every year.  As regards culture, French film production, with 500 films per year, is number two in the world.  The latest edition of the popular comic book Astérix was printed in 7 million copies in French alone, and translated into 23 languages.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince is one of the best-selling books ever published, with sales totalling over 140 million copies worldwide.  It was voted the best book of the 20th century in France.  France has an important artistic heritage. France annually hosts important festivals, such as film festivals (Cannes, La Rochelle) and theatre festivals (Avignon).


Association des professeurs de français de Malte​

 Alliance Francaise De Malte Méditerranée
Office 1 & 2
Triq il-Moll tal-Hatab
Marsa MRS 1443

2122 0701 / 7722 0701



 Directorate for Lifelong Learning & Early School Leavers
Ministry for Education and Employment
Great Siege Road

2598 2444