French language

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

GET FRENCH TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS. CALL 080-3753-1249, 081-1445-6164
e-mail: hello@novatiatranslations.com.ng

French is one of the world’s major languages. It is a main or official language not just in France, but in parts of Belgium and Switzerland, in Monaco, in parts of Canada – notably but not only in Quebec – as well as being widely spoken in north and west Africa, Lebanon, and parts of south-east Asia, particularly in former French colonies. It is an official or a main second language in 55 countries worldwide, and is reputed to be the foreign language which is most widely used in international communications, after English. Almost 300 million people speak French as their native language or as a second language.

Until the early twentieth century, French was the language of diplomacy, and one of the two main languages of international negotiation; today it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and one of the two official languages, with English, of the International Postal Union, of the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross, and other organisations. It is also an official language in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

History of French through the centuries
A “Romance” language, modern French is derived from Latin (as are Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and some other Mediterranean languages). Mediaeval French was one of the main historic roots of modern English, notably in terms of vocabulary.

Like all languages, French has evolved considerably in the course of time; the oldest known document written in a form of French, rather than late Latin, is the “Serments de Strasbourg”, written in the year 842. In Mediaeval times, different forms of French flourished as the language of literature in both France and England: famous works from the time include the “Chansons de geste” (Songs of chivalry), notably the epic “Chanson de Roland”, the Roman de la Rose (the Romance of the Rose), and the Arthurian legends (many written in French in England). By the time of the Renaissance, French had evolved to a point where writers such as Rabelais and Ronsard were writing in a language that is still quite comprehensible to a modern day educated reader; as for the great writers of seventeenth century France, Molière, Corneille and Racine, they remain quite understandable to this day.

Yet in recent centuries, change has been slower than with English, on account of the French Academy, the Académie Française, one of whose remits is to act as guardian of the French language. The Academy has frequently resisted changes to the French language, insisting that existing and traditional forms of the language were, by virtue of their existence, “correct French”.

GET FRENCH TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS. CALL 080-3753-1249, 081-1445-6164
e-mail: hello@novatiatranslations.com.ng