French (français)

French is a Romance language spoken by about 265 million people in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the USA, Lebanon, French Guiana, north, west and central Africa, Madagascar, a number of islands in the Indian Ocean, Haiti and other Caribbean islands, Indochina, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and the French Pacific Territories.

The French language is descended from Latin and first appeared in writing in 842 AD when it was used in the Strasbourg Oaths. Before then Latin was the language used for literature throughout Europe. During the 10th and 11th centuries, French appeared in a number of documents and religious writings, but French literature didn't start to take off until the late 12th / early 13th century. The first great work of French literature was the 'Chanson de Roland' (Song of Roland), which was published in about 1200.

The French alphabet (l'alphabet français)
A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m
[ɑ] [be] [se] [de] [ə] [ɛf] [ʒe] [aʃ] [i] [ʒi] [ka] [ɛl] [ɛm]
N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z
[ɛn] [o] [pe] [ky] [ɛʀ] [ɛs] [te] [y] [ve] [dubləve] [iks] [igʀɛk] [zɛd]

A recording of the French alphabet by Pascal Couteau

French pronunciation

French pronunciation

Canadian French

Here are some of the differences in the pronunciation of Canadian French.

Canadian French

Sample text

Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

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Links

Information about the French language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_language
http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/French/French.html

Online French lessons
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/
http://www.frenchassistant.com
http://www.jump-gate.com/languages/french/
http://www.france-pub.com/french/
http://french.speak7.com
http://www.rfi.fr/lffr/statiques/accueil_apprendre.asp
http://lexiquefle.free.fr/learn-french.htm
http://www.polarfle.com/learn_french.html
http://www.onlinelearners.net
http://www.french-flashcards.com
http://freefrench.frenchspanishonline.com
http://www.elearningfrench.com/
http://www.freelanguagetutorials.com/learn-french/
http://www.learnalanguage.com/learn-french/
http://www.yesfrench.com
http://www.frenchlearner.com
http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/resources/french/
https://www.glovico.org/en/french
http://www.internetpolyglot.com/lessons-fr-en
http://www.learnfrenchlab.com
http://www.fluentfrenchnow.com

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French Electronic talking dictionaries
http://www.ectaco.com

French Canadian Translation Services

More French-related links

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo | Genoese, Guernésiais, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Latin, Lombard, Mirandese, Moldovan, Occitan, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Venetian, Walloon

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet


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