French Language Day 2024: Facts, Activities, History

Every year on the 20th of March, French language day is held to honor the country’s rich culture, language, and history. Many parts of French culture may be learned even if you don’t speak French. Multilingualism and cultural variety are two of the goals of the event. Most people associate French with France, but in reality, the continent of Africa is home to the greatest number of people who speak the language. This language is spoken natively by 120 million Africans spread over 29 nations.

History of French Language Day

From the Roman Empire’s Vulgar Latin, French is descended. In the first and second century BC, the Romans invaded France, which was known as Gaul at the time. Gaulish, a Celtic language, was the native tongue until it was superseded by Latin by the Romans. The Germanic tribes entered Gaul in the fifth century and were also Romanized. Modern French has its roots in Celtic, Germanic, and Latin, as a result of these external influences.

Old French was a distinct language that was spoken from the ninth century to the thirteenth century. As the first known text in Old French, the Oaths of Strasbourg employed a variety of dialects, notably Francien, a form of the language spoken close to Paris. Latin, Greek, and Italian idioms were incorporated into Middle French between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Pléiade, a group of French poets, influenced the development of the French language and literature.

During the seventeenth century, the French language entered its modern era, which began in 1635 with the establishment of the French Academy by Cardinal Richelieu. To preserve the sacredness of the language and literature, this was done. The language has changed with time, but in general, it has remained loyal to the romantic and realistic eras.

When is French Language Day 2024?

As part of the UN’s Department of Public Information’s celebration of multilingualism and cultural diversity, French Language Day was established in 2010. On this day, the UN also promotes the equitable use of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish as official languages. Additionally, March 20 has been designated as International Day of La Francophonie (IDLF) to commemorate ACCT’s 40th anniversary on March 20, 1970.

Event nameDayDate
French Language DayWednesday20th March 2024

Facts About French Language Day

  • No one can refute the fact that French is a widely spoken language. It may not be as common a language to speak, but French is still a widely spoken one across the world. An estimated 274 million individuals speak French fluently or at least as a second language, according to experts.
  • One-fifth of the world’s population speaks French as a second language, with 212 million people using it on a daily basis. Although you may be startled to discover this, it is possible.
  • Around 120 million French speakers reside on the continent of Africa. A total of 29 African countries, including Niger, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burundi, and Mali, recognize French as their official language. With the exception of several African countries, French is widely spoken across Africa.
  • The English language borrows much from other tongues. In addition, French is one of the languages that English has borrowed the most. According to some estimates, the French language is responsible for as much as 45% of English terms.

Check: Special Days March List

Activities to do on a French language day 2024

  • Known as one of the world’s most romantic languages, French has a long and rich history. It’s up to you to find out! Many free online French lessons are available. This is a fun game to undertake in a group with a buddy to assess how well you both do when conversing.
  • The cuisine of France is renowned the world over. Try your hand at some of the dishes they are most famous for cooking and speaking. Soupe à l’oignon, cassoulet, chocolate soufflé, and more may be found on the menu at this restaurant. Sharing images of your meal at a French restaurant on social media is a great way to spread the word if cooking isn’t your thing.
  • As part of the UN75 program, the United Nations is hosting conversations throughout the world to hear from various groups about their aspirations, worries, and experiences. You may participate in the conversation by expressing your own thoughts, or you can simply listen to others to gain a greater understanding of the world around you.


Who founded the French Language Day?

“To celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity while also promoting equal usage of all six official languages within the Organization,” read the mission statement of the UN’s Department of Public Information.

How many years old is the French language?

The first record that appears to be written in French goes back to around the year 842, according to scholars. Two of Charlemagne’s grandchildren swore the Strasbourg Vows, a Romance translation of oaths taken by Charlemagne.

What is French Week?

The AATF organizes National French Week, a nationwide celebration of all things French (American Association of Teachers of French). This is the 17th year in a row that this tradition has been commemorated in schools, communities, and AATF chapters around the United States.

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