Talk:French language

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Continent edit war[edit]

A user has repeatedly removed the fact that French is official on every continent by claiming that French is not official in Australia, and disputing the existence of Oceania as a continent. In a way, it's true. In the strictest definitions, only landmasses are continents. In other word, the British Isles are not European, Long Island (including a substantial part of New York City) is not American, Japan is not Asian and so on. However, this is contrary to virtually all usage of "Continent" on Wikipedia. Have a look at Continents and you'll see that the UK and Ireland are counted as European, Japan is counted as Asian and the islands of Oceania are counted as belonging to the Australian continent. Unless there is a reason we should use a much more restricted definition here than everywhere else, I'd suggest the phrase is restored. Also a bit surprised that the user keeps edit warring over it instead of starting a discussion as per WP:BRD.Jeppiz (talk) 14:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

So is there any argument against restoring the sentence?Jeppiz (talk) 12:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
None from me, but I'd wait another two or three days before doing so. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 6 Adar 5775 13:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure. It's been two days now, a bit weird how some users are very quick to revert but not willing to discuss. Anyhow, giving it yet another day, then reinserting it (given that it's perfectly factual based on the arguments above) unless there's a compelling argument against it.Jeppiz (talk) 15:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Ok, still no counter argument so I'm restoring the version from before the latest disruptive edit warring.Jeppiz (talk) 23:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Jeppiz, where in Asia is French an official language? Savvyjack23 (talk) 23:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Savvyjack23, it's official in the Indian territory of Puducherry.Jeppiz (talk) 23:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Forgive me for arriving late to this discussion. I'm a bit of a newbie to Wikipedia but that does not make me any less knowledgable about the world. I guess my source -- the National Geographic Society -- was disregarded because it was not presented on this page. Funny how some users are so selective about when and where to accept a source. Oceania is not a continent, nor does it belong to any continental land mass. National Geographic does not give a 'restrictive' definition of continent whatsoever. Its definition is simple, succinct, and easy to follow:
"By convention there are seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. Some geographers list only six continents, combining Europe and Asia into Eurasia. In parts of the world, students learn that there are just five continents: Eurasia, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and the Americas."
"Islands located near a continent are generally considered, in a geographical sense, part of that continent. Greenland, for example, is politically part of Europe but belongs geographically to North America, as do the islands of the Caribbean and the western North Atlantic Ocean. There are some islands and island groups, however, that are not considered part of any continent, geographically speaking. New Zealand, Hawaii, and French Polynesia are among them."
"Oceania is the collective name for the lands of the Pacific Ocean, including Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Oceania is a convenient way to name these areas, which, with the exception of Australia, are not part of any continent. But Oceania itself is not a continent."
By this definition, the British Isles are absolutely European, Japan is definitely Asian, and Long Island thoroughly American. Oceania, however, and its islands are not considered part of any continental landmass. Therefore, French cannot be considered official on every continent because Oceania is not a continent and French is not official in Australia. Claiming that French is official on every continent does not adhere to good encyclopaedic standards. I will give this discussion a week to transpire before making any edits to the page. Jeppiz NorthernFactoid (talk) 01:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Reverted again. The claim that the islands of Oceania are part of the continent of Australia shows that the editor hasn't a clue as to what Australia is. And, of course, French is not an official language in Antarctica.

Unless ... French is official in French research stations in Antarctica! Which implies that Japanese is also official in Antarctica, as well as in Japanese embassies, which are sovereign Japanese soil, in every other continent. Thus Dutch, German, Italian, Norse, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, Romanian, Swedish, maybe Spanish and Portuguese, and the 10 additional official languages of South Africa are all official in every continent.

BTW, English is not official in every continent either. It's not official in Australia: Australia has no official language. — kwami (talk) 02:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

@Kwamikagami: Agree with everything you've said with the possible exception of the last statement. English is listed as an official language of Papua New Guinea, which is located on the island of New Guinea, which is considered part of the continent of Australia, as it lies on the continental shelf. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 03:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yup, my bad. There's also the question of whether Zealandia and Madagascar are continents, but that's getting a bit pedantic. — kwami (talk) 03:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Oops, forgot Maori, Quechua, Aymara, Urdu, and New Zealand Sign Language. — kwami (talk) 03:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Kwami, respectfully, no one is ever going to consider Zealandia and Madagascar as continents for normal purposes. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

@Kwamikagami:, is your argument that Japan and Indonesia are not Asian and will you correct the articles that make that claim. If not, would you care to explain the difference?
I guess I should say my piece. The continents thing is problematic because it is a magnet for conflict - there is no correct answer to the question of whether Oceania and Australia are the same continent (when I was learning continents in school in New Zealand the answer was no, perhaps if I'd been educated in Australia I'd've been taught the answer was yes).
But in my view it's more problematic because it doesn't give a proper idea of the way that French is actually widespread. It suggests uniform distribution, when actually French has clear regional patterns (so, presenting it as an Asian and South American language is true, but misleading). Just talking about major regions as in the adjusted version gives a much better idea of how the language is actually distributed.
And against that, what's the advantage of keeping the reference to continents in? Simply that it's a slightly satisfying piece of trivia. Furius (talk) 02:27, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Well the way Australia (continent) and Oceania are presented here on Wikipedia is that Australia (continent) is a continent and Oceania is a region that includes the Australian continent. This is consistent with the majority of English sources, and also happens to be consistent with my understanding before I started editing on WP. There may be no right or wrong answer, but that is the consensus. There is also no correct answer as to what is the definition of a continent. Geological considerations tend to take a back seat to cultural ones, and to what is just traditionally known to be a continent. And of course, what are the continents, and the number of them, vary among sources and points of view around the world.
Agree with your thoughts on the claim giving a misleading idea about the distribution of French across the globe. It is little more than a "fun fact" even if we were to all agree it is true. And we don't. I prefer omitting the statement. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 03:11, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Number of native speakers in the E.U.[edit]

According to this source here under* french is the second most spoken language by natives in the E.U. after german and way before english.

Population inflation[edit]

The French Ministry of Culture says 77M native speakers (2015). Ethnologue has 76M, based on the European Commission (2012). The Nationalencyklopedin, which we've chosen as our best overall RS, has 74M (2007). They're all in good agreement. Promotionalist websites claiming 110M are outliers and not RSs. — kwami (talk) 16:16, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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N Archived sources still need to be checked

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