HOW FRENCH IS RANKED

Those of us who are English speakers, and have learned, or are learning the French language are too often called to defend it's relative value. Relative value can have many variants, because it is calculated from different statistical resources or at different times. Since the value of all languages as core to learning is being challenged, I  feel compelled to offer a list showing how French is ranked for a variety of functions, a variety of places. In all but six I have named a source, with the knowledge that sources I have not seen may show a different rank. The collection establishes, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that French is a useful language, worthy of being studied to the point of mastery.  The ranking statements are in no particular order:


More English words were derived from French (Anglo-Norman, etc.) than from any other language.

French is always in the top 5 for target language in translation (multiple sources)

Official in 29 independent countries and spoken on 5 continents, it is geographically the most widely used language other than English.

French is the language of the 3rd largest international television station in the world (TV-5)   55 million viewers.

French is a category 1 language in difficulty to learn for Anglophones: easiest kind generally considered 3rd easiest language to learn

With 16 lauriates, France ranks number one for Nobel Prizes in Literature.

Africa

Kinshasa (DRC) is the world's largest French-speaking city, Africa's 2nd largest city, population over 10,200,000.

Here is a good overall article about the status of French:

The status of French in the world (France Diplomatie)
https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony-and-the-french-language/the-status-of-french-in-the-world/

French is now the fifth most spoken world language and growing—thanks to Africans (QUARTZ 10/18/18)
https://qz.com/africa/1428637/french-is-worlds-fifth-spoken-language-thanks-to-africans/?fbclid=IwAR3aM6ReHteDXgtbMHSUq78YilfPY38UwIqwQmvK707TqtzBGsGfOxkPrIk

same (World Economic Forum, 2018)
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/french-is-now-the-fifth-most-spoken-world-language-and-growing-thanks-to-africans

By 2050, there will be 700 million French speakers, ranking it 2nd or 1st in the world
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/the-status-of-french-in-the-world/

The Easiest Languages for English Speakers to Learn - French is 3rd (GO Overseas, 10/11/17)
https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/easiest-languages-learn

One of the most frequent official languages for international organizations

List of international organizations which have French as an official language (Wikipedia) - extensive, but not exhaustive (89)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_international_organisations_which_have_French_as_an_official_language

Category:International organizations based in France (list Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:International_organizations_based_in_France

French is an official language of 23 African countries (widely spoken in 31)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_French

How many people truly speak French in Africa?  Quora (130 million, making it 3rd most spoken)
https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-truly-speak-French-in-Africa

French ranks 2nd as a native language in the European Union
https://www.francophonie.org/Le-francais-2e-langue-maternelle.html

French is the 2nd foreign language in the EU after English (status of English is erroding)
https://www.francophonie.org/Le-francais-2e-langue-etrangere-au.html

World Economic Forum ranks French 3rd among "Power Languages"
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/12/these-are-the-most-powerful-languages-in-the-world/

French ranked 4th of top ten languages for International Affairs Students
https://www.internationalrelationsedu.org/2018/05/top-ten-languages-to-learn-as-an-international-affairs-student/

2nd among the "10 Most Requested Languages for Translation Services"
https://www.altalang.com/beyond-words/2008/12/09/10-most-requested-languages-for-translation-services/

What Are the Most Requested Languages for Translation? (tied for 2nd)
http://dculs.dcu.ie/dcu-language-services-news/what-are-the-most-requested-languages-for-translation/

For Books, French is the most translated language in the US, before German and Spanish
http://frenchculture.org/books/news/why-do-french-books-sell-abroad

For Books, French is the second most translated language in the world, after English.
http://frenchculture.org/books/news/why-do-french-books-sell-abroad

3rd for  number of articles in Wikipedia
https://www.wikipedia.org/

6th in content languages for web sites.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_used_on_the_Internet

The number of French-language accounts on Twitter ranks third
https://books.google.com/books?id=VcQ0CwAAQBAJ&pg=PT479&lpg=PT479&dq=%22french+ranks+third%22&source=bl&ots=2Xj9LlKQs4&sig=BDvW8RkRT_vDqLpcwEhsFiNuj4s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj17_7Ri4TRAhUE1oMKHT6UDygQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=%22french%20ranks%20third%22&f=false

Facebook languages after US English: Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, UK English, French
http://www.oneskyapp.com/blog/top-10-languages-with-most-users-on-facebook/

French ranked 6th for content language of web sites
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_used_on_the_Internet

French is the 3rd used language on blogs
https://frenchcrazy.com/2014/11/worldwide-importance-of-french-language.html/

French is 2nd among The App Store's Top 5 Languages
https://applingua.com/top-5-most-translated-app-languages/

8th according  to INTERNET WORLD USERS BY LANGUAGE
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm

France is the second largest producer of video games in the world
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/paris/articles/how-france-became-a-world-leader-in-video-games/

6th internet language for number of sites visited by month (2014 OIF report)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIgy8APXFyI

3rd language on Amazon.com (2014 OIF report)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIgy8APXFyI

Google Trends - French, the most searched for language in Mexico, and it shares 1st with Spanish in the UK
http://blog.bab.la/sprache/what-is-the-most-popular-language-in-your-country/

French is the 2nd most studied second language in the world
http://www.mosalingua.com/en/most-studied-languages-in-the-world/

French is the 2nd most popular second language
http://mymodernmet.com/second-languages-of-the-world-infographic/

New study puts French in 3rd place in the world for business
https://www.location-francophone.com/blog/culture-francaise/

    same study - number of French spekers grew by 7% and those studyibg French by 6% between 2010 and 2014
    https://www.location-francophone.com/blog/culture-francaise/

In US 3rd foreign language for jobs in the US (after Spanish and Mandarin)
https://www.indeed.com/

[French is the third most spoken second language in the US]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_language_in_the_United_States

France has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal figures
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_France

France was the 8th biggest of U.S. trade partners in 2017 (U.S. Census Bureau)
http://fortune.com/2018/03/07/biggest-us-trade-partners/

3 of the 15 biggest US trade partners in 2017 were countries where French is an important official language (U.s. Censuse Bureau)
http://fortune.com/2018/03/07/biggest-us-trade-partners/

US News & World Report names France 9th overall in a ranking based on " Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power, Quality of Life"
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/france

World's Top Nationalities Revealed: France Is No. 1, U.S. Ranks 27 (Forbes, 4/26/18)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennysouthan/2018/04/26/worlds-top-nationalities-revealed-france-is-number-one-us-ranks-27/#7a43cd5e7d46

These countries are the most attractive for foreign workers .World Economic Forum ranks France no. 3 (2018)
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/worlds-most-attractive-countries-for-foreign-workers/

In 13 of the 50 fastest-growing economies of the world, French is an official language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_real_GDP_growth_rate

French is the 2nd business language of the European zone after English
https://frenchcrazy.com/2014/11/worldwide-importance-of-french-language.html/

French is one of three filing languages at the European Patent Office
http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2009/01/english-language-of-choice-at-epo.html

French ranked several years ago the sixth most widely spoken language in the world
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/the-status-of-french-in-the-world/

Le français serait la troisième langue du monde, selon une nouvelle étude
http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1006677/le-francais-serait-la-troisieme-langue-du-monde-selon-une-nouvelle-etude

French ranks second among the world's official second languages
https://books.google.com/books?id=xG9_cN9Ndy8C&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=%22french+ranks+second%22&source=bl&ots=KKFqQhtHxo&sig=tFDOsRZjcMo9DB_xwvWitueH0w0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjoipb1iYTRAhWHxYMKHSEkDzsQ6AEINjAF#v=onepage&q=%22french%20ranks%20second%22&f=false

French is the most commonly spoken language other than English or Spanish in 11 states of the US
http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2014/05/most_common_languages_by.php

Today French ranks second as the world's diplomatic language, a testimony to the French government's past efforts.
https://www.buffalolib.org/vufind/Record/1712736/Reviews

French is third for the non-English language most spoken at home
http://images.classwell.com/pdf/olpresources/FN1YD10AD.pdf

French is the third most important language for business, after English and Chinese? language magazine (6/12/16)
http://languagemagazine.com/?p=125752
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/b/27e9aa92-47f4-4827-abf0-676d3cd31552

5e langue mondiale (2014 OIF report) 6th by other sources
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIgy8APXFyI

4th internet language for number of users (2014 OIF report)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIgy8APXFyI

It is the second official language of international organizations (International Journal of Development and Management Review)
http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijdmr/article/view/137840

English and French are the 2 permanent official languages of the Olympics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Games

French is one of 4 official languages of FIFA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA

France has won the FIFA World cup twice (one of six teams to have wone more than once)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_at_the_FIFA_World_Cup

French is foundational to and number one in use in ballet
http://dance.about.com/od/typesofdance/f/Ballet_French.htm

French is one of three procedural languages of the European Union
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/the-status-of-french-in-the-world/

One of the working languages of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/the-status-of-french-in-the-world/

French ranks 2nd as the language of Nobel Laureats in Literature
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_in_Literature

The British Council said French was number 3 among languages needed for the UK
https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/languages-for-the-future-report.pdf

French is ranked the 2nd most influential language in the world (many references)
http://www.losmonitos.com/language-instruction/learn-french/
http://theamericaninstitute.in/french/

French is #3 - Power Language Index (2016, multi-criteria study), by Kai L. Chan, PhD
http://www.kailchan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/KC_Power-Language-Index_May-2016.pdf

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture.
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/francophony/promoting-french-around-the-world-7721/article/10-good-reasons-for-learning

In US public library collections, French is the most common language other than English and Spanish in public library collections in 32 of the 50 states.
https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/what-languages-do-public-library-collections-speak.html

French is one of 5 official languages of the FIFA World Cup
http://www.globallanguages.com/es/global-communicator/articles/the-most-popular-sports-in-the-world

France is the number one tourist destination in the world (multiple sources)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_France

According to Baby Name Wizard founder Laura Wattenberg, French names are deemed the sexiest for women
http://thestir.cafemom.com/love_sex/181954/sexiest_names_attractive_men_women

A CNN poll makes French the 2nd sexiest accent in the world
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/travel/sexy-accents/

BRITONS believe French is the world's sexiest language, a new study reveals.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/663183/French-sexiest-language-world-Italian-Irish-Spanish-Johnny-Depp

French is the sexiest, according to a New York Daily News poll
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/french-sexiest-language-poll-article-1.1498834

La France, 4ème pays d’accueil des étudiants étrangers
https://www.souscritoo.com/blog/non-classe/france-4eme-pays-daccueil-etudiants-etrangers/

"French – The Most Global Language?"
https://lingualinx.com/blog/french-the-most-global-language

Jason Gower, "Infographic: The Economic Power of the World’s Most Spoken Languages" (French is 2nd)
https://www.expandlifebusinessenglish.com/blogsummary/the-economic-power-of-the-world-s-most-spoken-languages-infographic

Language skills for an international career: Top 6 of the most important languages (2016)
https://berufebilder.de/en/language-skills-International-career-6-most-talked/

FRANCE is the world's best nationality according to new data (Express, 4/20/18)
https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/949069/worlds-best-nationalists-revealed-france-winner

[French is ranked fourth in number of literary translation]
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/6379/2/080012.pdf

[Grenoble, France named world's 5th most innovative city]
https://www.forbes.com/pictures/efee45jeje/1-eindhoven-netherlands/#1b29d9e87130

[On Twitter accounts for national leaders, French is third, with 25 accounts]
https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/tweet-this-study-finds-limits-to-new-twiplomacy/article_e233d432-1130-5a0e-9572-0b2c75b222be.html

[France ranks 2nd in Europe 28 for the percentage of students in general upper secondary education who learn 2 or more froeign languages]
https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Foreign_language_learning_statistics

France ranked world's top cultural trendsetter (The Local, 1/20/16).

    They cite a 2016 a study released at the World Economic Forum.

These are the most powerful languages in the world (World Economic Forum 12/2/16).

    French ranked third.

Foreign Service Institute Language Difficulty Rankings

    Ranks French in category 1: easiest languages to learn (575-600 hours for their proficiency goals)

What is the most popular language in your country?

Outside of English, French is number one for foreign language learning in Mexico, number two in Spain, number three in Argentina, number two in Brazil, number two in Italy, number two in Germany, number two in the US, number two in the UK. in Ireland, French is number two behind Irish



Robert D. Peckham, PhD
Director, Globe-Gate Intercultural Web Project
University of Tennessee at Martin
Made in Tennessee to bring you the world
bobp@utm.edu

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