Research topic: French

French is a Romance language within the Indo-European language family.

French can be distinguished from most other Romance languages by virtue of its rich system of vowels, particularly the nasal vowels. The vocabulary for the most part derives from Latin.

Over 120 million people speak French. Approximately 56 million Europeans have French as their mother tongue, with France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg making up the most important French-speaking areas.

Outside Europe, native speakers of French are mainly found in Canada. The language is also spoken in many former or currently French or Belgian areas in North and Central Africa and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

By the Middle Ages French already played an important role as an international language ranked second only to Latin. It later gained the status of the language of international diplomacy, retaining this position until after World War I.

Although English has now taken over much of the status French enjoyed as a world language, French still has a prominent position in international organisations. French language and culture have influenced all parts of the world. French literature is one of the richest national literatures we know.

Research and research-based teaching give a high level of linguistic competence in French and an in-depth knowledge of culture and society in French-speaking countries in Europe and Africa.

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Published Feb. 8, 2013 1:11 PM - Last modified Apr. 1, 2016 10:56 AM