Comment ça va ?
That short little question – the title of this fanlisting &ndash simply means How are you?. It is, in my experience, one of the first things you learn and one of the first things you'll use. So, this is why I thought it to be a fitting name.
I've also chosen to use a quote on the header of this fanlisting. In English it would be, To have another language is to possess a second soul. It is a quote attributed to Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great.
I love French...
I've always liked how French sounded, the way it just flows. Back in school they didn't have French teachers, so I didn't have the chance to learn it then. I did take a short after-school course though but it was little more than the basics. But finally about a year ago I decided to take a distance learning course. And I loved every minute of it, even the exams. There was an oral part as well and it always made me so happy when they said they liked how I pronounced the words and that it was really good. I just found it all so easy and wonderful to learn - despite the overload of grammar with more exceptions than rules. Now whenever I hear French on TV or French music I try to understand what they're saying and it's an amazing feeling when I really do know what they're saying. It's so exciting. I can't wait to travel to France again to see how I'll fare there.
French is a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European family that is an official language in 29 countries, most of which form la francophonie (in French), the community of French-speaking countries. It is an official language of all United Nations agencies and of a large number of international organizations, including the European Union, NATO, WTO, and the ICRC. In 2011, French was deemed by Bloomberg Businessweek to be one of the top three most useful languages for business, behind English and Chinese, but ahead of Spanish and other European languages.
French is spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick (Acadia region) in Canada, also in Haiti, the Acadiana region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, the northern parts of the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the New England region, and by various communities elsewhere. Other speakers of French, who often speak it as a second language, are distributed throughout many parts of the world, the largest numbers of whom reside in Francophone Africa. In Africa, French is most commonly spoken in Gabon (where 80% report fluency), Mauritius (78%), Algeria (75%), Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire (70%). French is estimated according to more pessimistic sources as having around 75 million native speakers; whereas others estimate them up to 110 million and 190 million more second language speakers.
French is an Italic language descended from the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as are languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Piedmontese, Lombard, Catalan, Sicilian and Sardinian. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in Belgium, which French has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Roman Gaul and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian.
According to France's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, 77 million in Europe speak French natively. Outside of France, the highest numbers of French speakers are found in Canada (30% of the population, of whom most live in Quebec), Belgium (45% of the population), Switzerland (20% of the population) and Luxembourg. In 2013, the Ministry identified French as the second most spoken language in Europe, after German and before English. Twenty percent of non-Francophone Europeans know how to speak French, totaling roughly 145.6 million people in Europe alone. As a result of extensive colonial ambitions of France and Belgium (at that time governed by a French-speaking elite), between the 17th and 20th centuries, French was introduced to colonies in the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, the Levant, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.
According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l'Agence universitaire de la francophonie, French speakers will number approximately 500 million people in 2025 and 650 million people, or approximately 7% of the world's population by 2050. Estimates in 2013 suggest that French speakers will reach 1 billion by 2060.