Less French In Europe, Says New OIF Study

News Brief: Nov. 2010

The French language in Europe is increasingly being replaced by English and Spanish, according a report published on Oct. 12 by the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). According to the study, only 12% of the Europeans will be able to speak French in 2050.

“There is a tendency to learn English as the only foreign language,” Alexandre Wolff of the Language Study Institute (Sprachbeobachtungsinstitut) that conducted the study told the German weekly Stern.

If a second foreign language is studied, Austrians, along with Germans and Portuguese, tend to choose Spanish rather than French. It is only in Africa that rising birth rates lead to an increasing number of French speakers. In 2050, 85% of the 715 million French speakers worldwide will live on the African continent, the OIF predicts.

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