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Lesson Transcript

Michael: Where is French spoken?
Aurore: And how many varieties of French are there?
Michael: At FrenchPod101.com, we hear these questions often. The following situation is typical. Emma Auge is meeting another college student, Justine Jerome, for the first time. On hearing her speak French, this college student asks,
"Where did you learn French?"
Justine Jérôme: Où est-ce que tu as appris le français ?
Justine Jérôme: Où est-ce que tu as appris le français ?
Emma Augé: Au Québec.
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Justine Jérôme: Où est-ce que tu as appris le français ?
Michael: "Where did you learn French?"
Emma Augé: Au Québec.
Michael: "In Quebec."

Lesson focus

Michael: In this conversation, we hear Justine Jerome say,
Aurore: Où est-ce que tu as appris le français ?
Michael: which means, "Where did you learn French?" In response, we hear Emma Auge say,
Aurore: Au Québec.
Michael: which means, "In Quebec."
Michael: In this lesson, we'll talk more about where French is spoken in the world. To begin, there are approximately 76 million native French speakers in the world, and about 274 million people who speak French as a first or second language combined.
Michael: As you most likely know already, French, or
Aurore: la langue française,
Michael: is the national language of France. It's also the official language of 28 other countries. This is the case for two main reasons. First of all, in some cases, especially throughout Europe, the French language has spread as a result of proximity and past wars or political disputes. Other European languages where French is spoken include Belgium,
Aurore: la Belgique
Michael: Luxembourg
Aurore: le Luxembourg,
Michael: Switzerland
Aurore: la Suisse
Michael: and Monaco
Aurore: Monaco.
Michael: The second reason there are so many French-speaking countries is because of France's history of colonization. This includes countries such as Canada and Haiti as well as the African nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, and Niger.
In the dialogue, for example, we learn that
Aurore: Emma Augé
Michael: has learned French
Aurore: Au Québec.
Michael: "In Quebec." French, along with English, both have official federal status throughout Canada.
Aurore: le Canada
Michael: Some cities in Canada, including Quebec, have large concentrations of French-speaking populations.
As you dive deeper into your French studies, you will learn more about the diverse cultures and heritages of French-speaking countries. At the same time, you will also learn about important distinctions in the grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of French spoken around the world.
Michael: As mentioned earlier, both French and English are official languages in Canada, and this mix has had a serious impact on the French spoken in Québec, which sounds… a bit English! Take
Aurore: bargainer
Michael: for example. This verb, which is only used in the French-speaking part of Canada means "to bargain," while European French has its own verb for this:
Aurore: marchander
Michael: Of course, Canadian French also has its own unique words and expressions, like
Aurore: un char,
Michael: which is the equivalent of what most of you must know as
Aurore: une voiture,
Michael : meaning "a car." We'll touch on this in another lesson, but, just so you know, Canadian French also has a very unique pronunciation, so much so that some
Aurore: Québecois
Michael: when travelling to France, can sometimes have trouble chatting with French people, and vice versa!


Michael: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Aurore: À bientôt!
Michael: See you soon!