Journée de la Francophonie
Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt)
Paris, 19 March 2018
Francophonie – International Francophonie Day (20 March) – French Language and Francophonie Week (17-25 March)
International Francophonie Day on 20 March and the 23rd edition of French Language and Francophonie Week from 17 to 25 March will, as every year, provide an opportunity for French speakers around the world to celebrate the French language in its diversity. More than 1,500 events will take place during the week, involving 70 countries.
The theme of International Francophonie Day this year will be “The French language, connecting for action.”
French Language and Francophonie Week, coordinated by the Ministry of Culture, will highlight the role and use of the spoken word in society. Five hundred bookshops, dozens of voluntary organizations, libraries, schools, universities, museums and theatres, as well as hospitals, will host events. Our Cooperation and Cultural Action Network, in close coordination with the Ministry of National Education, the Instituts français, the Alliances françaises, French-language schools and all French culture and education stakeholders, will host events abroad during French Language and Francophonie Week.
President Macron has made the promotion of French language and culture a priority. The plan to promote the French language and multilingualism will be announced on 20 March; the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs played an active role in drafting this plan, in close coordination with the Institut français and in collaboration with many stakeholders, including the International Organization of La Francophonie and all states and governments in the French-speaking world.
French, the second most studied language in the world, with some 125 million students and 900,000 teachers of French abroad, is the second most important language of international news, the third most important in the business world, and the fourth most important on the Internet. It is a working language of major importance in all international organizations. Shared by 274 million people worldwide, the fifth most spoken language on the planet, French, along with English, is the only language spoken on all five continents.
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