Talk:French language

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I have added a "dubious"-tag to the countries in Indochina since there is very little evidence that French would be extensively used there. Should the region be included in the country list? Aaker (talk) 11:04, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

French is still compulsory in secondary education in Laos, although most students also take English alongside nowadays. In higher education and diplomacy, French is still used and most educated persons have a grasp of French. Vietnam and Cambodia are definitely debatable. English is now the second language of choice in those countries but besides business and some education, it isn't as dominant in other sectors that have traditionally and may still French, such as the sciences and diplomacy (although the latter is changing). A number of secondary schools that rid French in favor of English as a foreign language have reinstalled them, and there seems to be a rise in French-language education again, with some schools even having a French-language medium of instruction. (source: While I don't know the situation in Cambodia, French may still play a cultural or administrative factor, but English is most likely the preferred foreign language. Moalli (talk) 23:49, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Diplomcy? French is somewhat used in diplomacy worldwide. But take a look at the countries ministries of foreign affairs' website and you'll see no sign of French [1], [2], [3]. Moreover, it's only a very small part of the population who knows the language. It would probably make more sense to include countries like Germany and the UK, which have much higher amount of French speakers. I suspect that some people want to include Indochina just because it is a former French colony. Aaker (talk) 10:31, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Odd articles[edit]

The lead currently reads:

French (le français [lə fʁɑ̃sɛ] or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛz])...

This is a very minor point, but why all those articles in the French native names? While it is not grammatically incorrect, I feel quite odd as a native speaker to find them here, in what is sort of a quote or a title. It is quite true that French article are used in more contexts than English ones are, but there are still 1) places where they are omitted, e.g. in the phrases en français "in French" and en langue française "in the French language" 2) situations like here where adding them, while possible, would be stylistically unusual (in France, at least). It looks like an English learner's overgeneralization from having been told that articles are used more widely than in their mother tongue : they treat articles as it they were prefixes. BTW, using the same logics, why does the article Spanish language give español as the native name and not el español? Aucassin (talk) 17:56, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Number of speaker, article full of contradictions[edit]

Hi, if we read the sources entirely, it is stated that the number of people having learned French at school is about 120 millions. The number of 70 put in the infobox is for Europe only "French is Europe’s second most widely spoken mother tongue with over 77 million speakers, after Germany (around 100 million) but ahead of English (around 61 million". The differents official sources (OIF or French diplomacy ) states that the number of French speakers worldwide is between 274 to 220 millions. So taking the lower number of 220, minus the amount of native speakers at 80 millions, that makes a total of 140 millions. So the numbers stated in the infobox is underestimating the reality. If we read the WP article we can see that the number of 274 millions speakers is stated. There are many contradictions, and one thing is for sure, the number of 70 millions is not in ad equations with the reality.--Gabriel HM (talk) 21:13, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

First of all, all users involved in the current edit war need to stop. I'm amazed that some experienced users have just kept edit warring with no discussion. As for the actual content, I think we need consistency. While not agreeing with the actions of Gabriel HM, I think the analogy with English is accurate. The infobox for English also lists L1, L2 and "foreign language". If that is acceptable practice there, it as acceptable here as well; if it's not acceptable here, it's not acceptable in other articles. This should probably be settled by a general discussion about language infoboxes. Jeppiz (talk) 22:51, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Somebody please stop user (troll) Kwawikagami from further rampaging this article...Thanks! (talk) 16:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
He does it for years on many language articles. He has been blocked many times for edit-warring, double accounts, etc. He even lost his sysop rights due to his behavior. He is really a pain, and hardly ever convinceable about views different from his POV. I gave up to argue with him a long time agao. It/he's just a waste of precious time. No wonder WP looses more and more editors. -- ZH8000 (talk) 16:33, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
When you fabricate nonsense like this, people aren't going to listen to you even if you have something honest to say. — kwami (talk) 00:06, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Kwami, at least you got some sense of irony it appears... (talk) 11:47, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

I reverted the edit because L2 speakers were being double-counted as "foreign language" speakers. We did settle on an honest account of what the source said, but then someone needed to go and falsify the data in order to exaggerate the number of speakers, yet again. I'm sorry if some people here feel insecure about the French language, but we're supposed to reflect our best sources. I did the same with the English article when people exaggerated the numbers so it would appear to have more native speakers than Spanish. (It doesn't.)

Our source, per consensus, is the current one, OIF. OIF says there are 77M L1 speakers, 71M L2 speakers and 72M partial speakers. If you want to lump L2 and partial together, get consensus, but then we'll need to delete the number of L2 speakers to avoid double counting. — kwami (talk) 00:06, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Did it ever occure to you that "partial" and "foreign language" speakers -- as indicated for English (which, furthermore, ranges in 40 (!) million in its one-source-different-from-other-languages (i.e. Swedish National Encyclopedia) claim for natives) -- could in fact be the same?! "Foreign" language for English includes, and I would presume for the most part, people with (very) limited but not zero knowledge as well. You're totally biased and about your person/motivation everything has been correctly said by ZH8000 already. I pity you. (talk) 11:47, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of what it means, 70 is not the same number as 140. I'm sorry if reality is "biased", but there's not much any of us can do about that. — kwami (talk) 15:56, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

I put the infobox like its English or German article counterparts where there is a distinction between L2 and foreign speakers. As it has been already discussed here, I quote:"If that is acceptable practice there, it as acceptable here as well; if it's not acceptable here, it's not acceptable in other articles. " And about the previous change, it is my fault I thought that we were talking about the number of foreign language speakers, I did not see that someone reverted the info box with both L2 and foreign language speaker. My intend was by no mean to increase artificially the real number of speakers worldwide.--Gabriel HM (talk) 20:06, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Reverted as your numbers are not supported by the ref. You changed 140 to 120, but 70 isn't 120 any more than it's 140. If you don't understand the ref, or can't be bothered to read it, then you shouldn't add figures from it. — kwami (talk) 19:47, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
You give lessons about the refs, but the one that does not read it entirely is you. The article states 70 millions for Europe ONLY. If you care reading the article further, it states that the total number of French as a second language is 120 millions worldwide. Your comment is not only misplaced, but full of irony. But I'm not the only one that seems to complain about your comments and edits.--Gabriel HM (talk) 17:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

French is NOT official in Andorra[edit]

I don't know who and why added it, but it is not. Catalan is the only official language. Please remove it. And read the Constitution of Andorra [1] (Andorran government website) (talk) 18:22, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 December 2015[edit]

In the third paragraph the article states "French is the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union." But in the Geographic distribution section immediately afterwards states "French is the fourth most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union." The same sentence almost, they cannot both be correct. (talk) 21:44, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

This is a bit wonky. Both statements are sourced, and the sources look fairly reliable - the one that places French fourth is the European Commission, and the one that places French second is the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Not entirely sure where to go with this, though I'm leaning toward using the Commission source as there is less chance of bias and they release data with their report. Cannolis (talk) 23:30, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree with your assessment Cannolis; the Commission source is preferable. I've updated the article. Stickee (talk) 02:18, 22 December 2015 (UTC)