French Language Day

French Language Day Quick Facts - IN

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2024 Date20 March 2024
2025 Date20 March 2025

French Language Day

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French Language Day History

French Language Day aims to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity, highlighting the significance of the French language as a tool for communication and understanding. With more than 220 million speakers worldwide, French is recognized as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

The United Nations established French Language Day in 2010, following the model of the “Francophonie” celebrations marked in numerous countries worldwide. French, known as the language of enlightenment, is particularly significant in India, where its influence traces back to the colonial epoch. For example, in regions like Puducherry, a former French colony, the language has left an indelible imprint on the culture and literature. Furthermore, due to the increasing collaboration between India and Francophone countries in areas like trade, technology, and education, learning French is becoming a preferred choice among Indians, especially students.

In India, French Language Day is celebrated by connoisseurs and students alike, who mark the day with an array of cultural and linguistic activities. These include theatrical performances, poetry readings, singing French songs, and organizing debates and workshops in French. Language institutes like Alliance Francaise, that have presence in many Indian cities, also organise various French-centric events to commemorate this day. Schools and colleges offering French studies may conduct special sessions to pay tribute to the influence and beauty of the French language. French Language Day is typically celebrated around the world, including in India, on March 20.

Facts about French Language Day

  • According to the U.N, French is the 5th most spoken language in the world. It has over 300 million speakers.
  • Decentered, multiplied, creolized as rejoiced Édouard Glissant, the French language is today spoken by nearly 300 million speakers. On this International Day of Francophonie, it is this diversity of destinies, gathered in the language that we share, that we are invited to celebrate - Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, French Language Day 2018
  • Cities like Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe, and Yanam were French colonies for about 300 years. The French influence is still evident in the architecture, culture, and sometimes in the local language.
  • French Language Day also promotes the cultural exchange between France and India. Many Indian students go to France for higher studies while there are also French students who study Indian languages and culture.

Top things to do in India for French Language Day

  • Learn how you can support the International Organization of La Francophonie. La Francophonie is an organization that promotes French and aims to implement political, educational, economic, and cultural cooperation within its 88 states and governments.
  • Visit one of the Alliance Française Centers: Alliance Française is an international organization that aims to promote French language and culture around the world. In India, there are several branches in major cities. They often organize events for French Language Day, including language workshops, screenings of French films, and exhibitions about French culture.
  • Read a book to learn more about the French language:
    The French in India: 1763-1816 - by Percy Arthur Perrett
    The French in India: From Diamond Traders to Sanskrit Scholars - by Rosie Llewellyn-Jones

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