Talk:List of territorial entities where French is an official language

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Francophone[edit]

This term is no longer confused with the early French-language-only cellular telephone network MaxiTel. Although some people still use it to try to call up old Spanish dictators... --Mucho G. Usto


The new link to Allophone (Canadian usage) can be removed without consulting the linker by anyone who prefers the original link.


Hence many people would only consider France as the only truly francophone country as other contries have French spoken by a minority of the population. as a native speaker of French and no other language. But I doubt that most of the people who interpret 'francophone' in that way would claim that Canada, Belgium, or Cameroon are not francophone nations. For that, all you would need would be a significant francophone minority. (At the least, they're all members of La Francophonie.) --Saforrest 23:04, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Assumption and WikiPolitics[edit]

The following passage was added by Mikkalai after he was upset with my attempts to redirect this and similar articles to French language:

In a narrower sense the notion of "Francophone" reaches beyond the dictionary definition of "French language speaker". The term specifically refers to people whose cultural background is primarily associated with French language, regardless ethnic and geographical differences. The Francophone culture beyond Europe is the legacy of the French colonial empire.

Similar passages have been inserted at Anglophone and Hispanophone as well, all with wording along the lines of "...reaches beyond the dictionary definition of..." I can only interpret this as an attempt to defend the articles by inserting subjective definitions rather than to accurately describe the term. I can find no hint that this interpretation exists outside of Wikipedia. No other encyclopedias seem to keep any kind of separate articles on both languages and the speakers of a language sas a group, and I have no reason to believe that this is done merely because of lack of article space.

Peter Isotalo 09:17, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

We are "no other encyclopedia" and have quite a few articles absent in traditional encyclopedias, see Wikipedia:Unusual articles.
This article lacks any pertinent content beyond that provided by the Wikitionary article. Futhermore, every paper-published dictionary I consult is certain that a Francophone is a speaker of the language, not a descendant thereof, with the exception of certain usage of the term in the French-langauge for persons claiming to be descendants of immigrants from France before the 19th century -- since this usage is not English, it ought not be considered as such. I am redirecting the article to French language. Ciao. --Chèvredan∫ante talk · contrib 22:56, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Who says about "descendants thereof"? the article has a reasonable content beyound dictionary definition. Restoring the article. `'mikka (t) 19:38, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Your generic misunderstanding is that an encyclopedia article indeed goes "beyond the dictionary definition", and it is not a "subjective definition". In fact, it is not a definition, it is a description. Definition is only part of it. In addition, the encyclopedia article writes about people who are francophones: where they live, how they became francophonic, how heighbors treat them, how many of them, how they treat each other, whether they have their organization or community, how they educate their children, and so on and so forth. And there is no reason to put all this into the French language article. Yes, I inserted "similar passages" into several articles. And some of them, e.g., Russophone already have content going beyond "Russian language". `'mikka (t) 19:38, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Mikkalai, some of your proposals are good examples of things like language acquisition and language history. Some of them, like "how they treat each other" and "how they educate their children", seem to be more about sociology than linguistics, but extremely generalzed. You're pushing groupings of people that aren't recognized among academic disciplines and that are too general to properly define. You could elaborate forever about the kind of candy French speakers eat, what films they like, which religion they prefer, etc, etc, etc. That's not encyclopedic.
You're also the one insisting that very relevant linguistic information can't be contained in the main language articles, or that appropriate titles be given to articles that would cover some of the more reasonable topics. For example, French language acquisition or attitudes towards French. The issue of how French-speaking people started speaking French is something that should be covered by history of French. You're also the one putting limits on the main language articles by fiercely resisting all attempts to redirect them and saying that certain that are about languages actually belong in articles about the speakers of the languages.
And what's more, none of the -phone-articles seem to be attract anything but highly generalized and completely unverifiable information. You're certainly not helping in that department by weasel statements like: In a narrower sense the notion of "XXX-phone" reaches beyond the dictionary definition of "XXX speaker. Why would any article need to try to excuse its own existence?
Peter Isotalo 19:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization[edit]

Is "Francophone" properly capitalized or not? Badagnani 10:13, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

As of now, the article reads: the noun Francophone (also spelled with a small character 'f') , which is pure contradiction. Which one is correct? Sources would be welcome as well. Zouavman Le Zouave 23:30, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not contradiction to say something is done both ways. —Tamfang (talk) 17:32, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

French : cultural language in Canada?[edit]

It's an official language and is frequently used alongside English in government affairs. Canada shoould be colored fair blue, "administrative language", not light blue, "cultural language". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 70.80.19.149 (talk) 01:21, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

I agree that the image reversion made by the user aaker on October 23, 2008 is incorrect. There seems to be some confusion because the terms are not defined. The illustration appears to come from the French Wikipedia so I checked the definitions there:
  • Langue maternelle means "mother tongue", which is the first language learned by a child.
  • Langue administrative is not defined on Wikipedia but if it means langue officielle ("official language"), then this is certainly the case for Canada.
  • Langue de culture is defined as one that is priviledged but is not an official language, which is certainly not the case for Canada.

Thus, the current image is incongruous since it is contradicting Wikipedia itself. I believe that it should be reverted back to the image of September 18, 2008, which is the correct version.67.71.190.146 (talk) 20:49, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm surprised to see Ontario, Manitoba and Yukon listed under Canada and Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire listed under the US. These areas have very limited numbers of french speakers, and do not use french as an official language on a province/state level nor much of a history indicating french prominence. Can someone cite the reason for inclusion? Legacypac (talk) 08:25, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Map of the francophone[edit]

How do you make a map of a speaker?! – This strange use of Francophone to translate La Francophonie has also recently infected Sprachraum. —Tamfang (talk) 17:33, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Expanding required[edit]

It should be more, try to expand article according to Wikipedia policies with proper citations, if you allow my self I would be happy to help you so and I can certainly help you in expanding it. :) --Faizanalivarya (talk) 01:12, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Bulgaria?[edit]

I've noticed that Bulgaria is listed as a European Francophone nation. This hardly seems right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.205.167.17 (talk) 10:06, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Aspects of Francophony[edit]

@Wintereu: Thank you for bringing an attention to a yet another aspect of "-phone". In vast majority of cases it refers to native language of the bearer. At least this was the original intention of all these "-phone" articles. In the case of Romania, French is not a language of a recognized minority; it is rather a cultural, "Francophile" association (as said in the reference given). I agree this is an important aspect. Now it occurs to me a similar situation existed in late Russian empire, where French was basically "first", "bon ton" language of the nobility, and Russian was "mauvais ton".

I don't know a proper linguistic term for such situation. The term "francophile" is IMO rather an individual aspect, kind of "hobby", while the terms "-phone" applicable for population groups, as in "francophone population". Would you like to do some research and write a section of Francophone in this respect for Romania? I can do the same for Russian Empire. (P.S. It turns out that "Francophile" article says it all rather nicely. -No.Altenmann >t 15:54, 12 July 2014 (UTC))

It might also be useful to tag each country in the list with description what aspect of francophony applies : titular nation, ethnic minority, colonial past, etc. -No.Altenmann >t 15:47, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

That's an interesting ideea, Altenmann. Since it's a very general subject, the section's length is the only issue. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to put both of them (Russian Empire and Romania) under an article called "Francophony in Europe". I haven't found such an article (or equivalent) on en.wikipedia.
As for the details regarding the different aspects of francophony, they are more than necessary and should be mentioned. --Wintereu (talk) 17:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Title[edit]

Shouldn't the title of this page be "List of countries where French is an official language"? JackofOz 10:35, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

french guiana should be shaded in blue

Done. Bamse 00:15, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
And so should New Caledonia, Kerguelen, and Réunion. Aaker (talk) 18:40, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Canada/Québec[edit]

I understand that Québec is not an independent country, and it is right that Canada should appear on this list. But then the population figure in the table should also be that of Canada, not that of Québec as is the case right now. I know this may be confusing but there is a very clear disclaimer on top of the table. I am changing that value. Philippe Magnabosco (talk) 12:39, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I think the population figures should indicate only the number of French speakers. This is especially true for Canada, Belgium & Switzerland where French is co-official with other languages. The problem that the sum will be taken as the number of French speakers in the World and that's completely false. If there is no objections I am going to change the figures to reflect numbers of French speakers out of the total population. Bestofmed (talk) 21:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
For most of the countries on the list you probably won't be able to get that data - it's probably better to list "pop" and "num speakers" seperately, since for most of the African countries, you'll never get the number of speakers. WilyD 21:51, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Québec is now included under the Dependent Entities section. Shaun Vancouver (talk) 14:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Canada is an officially bilingual countries in which French is one of the official languages. I am not sure why Canada is missing from the list altogether. I am adding Canada in as one of the countries along with the statistics. Shaun Vancouver (talk) 02:36, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Quebec should not be on the dependent entities list - that's a list for places where the larger country does not have French as an official language, but some smaller part of them does. French is an official language of the federal government in Canada, so Quebec does not belong on the dependent entities list. I have removed it. AshleyMorton (talk) 00:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

My interpretation of the dependent entities list is where any sub-national administrative region of a country proper (besides overseas territories) has French as one of its official languages (such as Pondicherry and Aosta Valley). Québec should be on the dependent entities list given that its status is similar to Pondicherry and Aosta Valley; French is the sole official language of Québec. To be consistent, if Québec is not on the list, then neither should Pondicherry or Aoasta Valley which are sub-national units that are not overseas territories. Shaun Vancouver (talk) 02:31, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

No, see, India does not consider French an official language at the national level. Therefore, if we didn't have Pondicherry, then there wouldn't be any mention of it at all. Quebec is already included because Canada is there. If you're going to include Quebec, then you need to include every city in Quebec, as well, also the province of New Brunswick, as well as the cities of Sudbury, Timmins, Ottawa, Cornwall, Saint-Boniface, almost every city in New Brunswick, and probably a couple of hundred more. With the Aosta Valley, French is NOT a language of Italy, so it's not included. On the other hand, we do not list all the departments of France, all of the cantons of Switzerland, all the cities and towns of Mali... etc. You see? We don't list subnational entities for things that are already on the list as full countries. Until you add every department of France, you shouldn't have Quebec there. AshleyMorton (talk) 03:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
In fact, the odd ones are the French overseas territories. The argument is that the "France" above is only Metropolitan France, and that the others are separate enough that they're not covered, but it seems a bit silly to me. I mean, the flag used as a symbol looks mighty similar to me! AshleyMorton (talk) 03:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

That clarifies matters better, though the title of the section should be more clear. The title should be "Dependent Entities with French as an Official Language" and the column that says "country" in the Dependent Entities section should be changed to Entity" 69.196.186.105 (talk) 03:45, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Number of countries where French is official[edit]

I noticed that the first paragraph says that there are 31 countries where French is official, but there are only 29 countries in the first list. Are there 2 countries missing? Also, is the 2nd section supposed to be dependant entities where French is official? The reason that I ask this is that French is not official in Louisiana, as it doesn't have an official language. Kman543210 (talk) 12:43, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

29 is the correct figure. French is de jure official in 29 countries but de facto official / commonly used in 7 more countries. In total: 36. Aaker (talk) 14:44, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Note that in Nigeria, French was co-official and de-jure with English (and other regional languages: Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Edo?), this was removed recently (I don't know when), even though there's still use for it in this country where it is also taught in many places. The main reason may be a simplification and reduction of administration costs (no more need to translate all legal acts or to require knowledge of French in addition of English, when there's already difficulties to support the various regional languages that are much more widely known and used than even English, which is still far from being a lingua franca there).
Education is the problem. Even teaching English is not so much a success, and the regional languages still have very strong resistance, notably between Hausa and Yoruba (they prefer English) and Igbo (they still prefer French). I don't know what is the situation with Edo speakers. verdy_p (talk) 23:01, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Guernsey & Jersey[edit]

Hang on a minute, I have never heard anyone from Guernsey speak French and I should now I have lived there for my whole life and the same for Jersey I've been there loads and only heard French very occasionally spoken.86.141.76.248 (talk) 18:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

For Guernsey, French is official there. But for Jersey, the more dominant variant, named "Jersiais", is a local variant of Normand, that ISO 639 still considers as being part of French (Norman is still not encoded in ISO 639 and there's doubt it will be encoded soon even if it is much nearer to Jersiais than to French, but this may change since Jersiais has now an official education program, and an officially supported dictionnary).
On the opposite, the Picard language (called Ch'timi in the French department of Nord) is encoded as a separate language, despite it is nearer from French, and easier to understand by French-only speakers, when compared to Norman/Jersiais). But almost all Picard speakers are bilingual and speak standard French fluently enough to be understood in all regions and even abroad in other French speaking countries (this is not the case with Jersiais speakers in Jersey that are almost all bilingual with English, but not always French, despite France is much nearer than Britain)
Note that there are very frequent loads of tourists coming from France to Jersey, more than those coming from Britain, and many French natives working there (with Britain natives) throughout the year and not just for summer months, much more than in the Islands of Guernsey; however all these French workers in Jersey are at least bilingual in English, but don't know Jersiais at all. But French is known in Jersais and demanded to workers, notably those working for tourists and retail commerce or restaurants. If you speak English, of course they will speak to you in English (so you may not have noticed when they could speak French). Note that even the British Queen speaks French very fluently, without even any English accent (along with German, because of the origin of her family), and so does the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who passed all his holidays in France where he has a residence (just like many British citizens). It's not difficult at all to find people speaking French in UK, especially in England (it's more dificult in Scotland, Wales or Ireland). verdy_p (talk) 23:16, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries which could affect the inclusion criteria and title of this and other lists of countries. Editors are invited to participate. Pfainuk talk 11:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:05, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

List of countries where French is an official languageList of French-speaking countries – Article also lists countries where French is spoken but is not an official language. Facts707 (talk) 07:17, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Oppose. French speaking countries is now a redirect. The suggestion doesn't work since any country can have a small number of French speakers. Just like the US has French speakers, Spanish, Chinese, Farsi speakers, etc. That doesn't mean the US should be listed in every language, should it? Mistakefinder (talk) 08:27, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose there are countries with substantial French speaking populations which does not have French as an official language, and is not commonly used outside of some francophone region or the francophone population, so the definition of French speaking country is fluid. 65.94.77.11 (talk) 11:20, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment it should probably be split in two, one with official recognition, one that has other countries. 65.94.77.11 (talk) 07:19, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Questionable Data Source for French Speakers[edit]

If you take a look at the source document for the number of speakers in countries where French is not official, it's sketchy. Enormous numbers in Bulgaria, Romania...omitted for no apparent reason, ditto the United States. I don't have a better source to propose here, but I used the Wikipedia page as a starter for a research project I'm involved with, and that OIF document is pretty much a non-starter for me, even given the difficulties inherent in language/demographics research. Ethnologue, dated though their numbers are, strikes me as better grounded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.232.13.155 (talk) 17:52, 1 June 2012 (UTC) Okay: update by original poster...US excluded b/c not dues-paying members of La Franophonie. Data still extremely questionable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.232.13.155 (talk) 18:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Consistency within Wikipedia[edit]

French language has 75 million speakers as of 2007.
However, this "list" has over 120 million speakers in the official section, and over 32 million in the other section. That results about 153 million speakers total, over twice the number in the language article. Oh yes, this is from 2005, maybe 78 million stopped using French as a first language? 82.141.67.203 (talk) 20:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Change in the chart[edit]

Hi, I changed the chart to add that France is located in North America, South America, and Africa, taking into account the departements d'outre mer. Hihellowhatsup (talk) 08:26, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Math doesn't add up[edit]

Hi folks. There are a number of listings where the total number of French speakers listed (right-hand column) is less than the number listed in the "French-speakers" column or the one listed in the "partial-French-speakers" column. (Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Guinea, Chad, Haiti, Comoros, etc.) Alternately, there are places where the total number seems wildly inflated compared to the other two (Benin, Switzerland, Seychelles). I don't think I'm getting too picky (I'm not demanding perfect mathematical accord, and I'm more-or-less assuming "N/A" could be anything), but it seems like the numbers should come a bit closer to matching up. Haiti and the Ivory Coast struck me as particularly out of whack. Can anyone help? AshleyMorton (talk) 14:02, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to remove not official section[edit]

I think what Fdbgfdgbfdgbfdfdbgfdbdfb is trying to say is that it does not make sense to have the section Countries where French is commonly used but not official on this page. I agree. The title of this page is only for where it is an official language. This section is extraneous and not germane to the page. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:02, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Moving forward per WP:SILENCE. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:00, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that you're being a bit too literal and finicky. Think about why anyone would want to view this page - they are probably interested in wanting to know in which parts of the world the French language is an important language. You could retitle the article to say LOC where French is an Important or Significant Language, but this doesn't have a very good ring to it. Alternatively, you could have two articles, one for official languages and another for where French is non-official but still important, but this wouldn't really make much sense. If you leave out the section on Where French is Commonly Used, you've compromised the article somewhat, because it is useful for the reader to know that French plays an important role in business and government in the various countries mentioned in this section, the title of the article notwithstanding. --Mrodowicz (talk) 15:02, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Quite old, but okay. My main concern is WP:COATRACK and what cutoff do we use for % of people using the language to be included? EvergreenFir (talk) 18:12, 30 April 2014 (UTC)