French: France's Tool for Global Power Projection

Mar 29, 2018 | 11:21 GMT

French President Emmanuel Macron is proposing to promote French around the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron is proposing to promote French around the world.



  • The population of the Francophone world will swell to more than 1 billion by 2065, creating a large demographic over which Paris will work to extend its influence.
  • President Macron will take steps to boost the teaching of French in former colonies following decades of declining instruction.
  • Paris will also seek to extend the reach of French in prominent Anglophone states such as Nigeria.

For native English speakers, it can be difficult to comprehend the world from the vantage point of the speaker of another language. The primary tongue of business, science, technology, aviation, and entertainment, English is a truly dynamic and global force, with over 1.5 billion speakers and untold numbers more learning it. Succinctly put: There exists a powerful and highly decentralized English-speaking world, and no Anglophone city – whether London, New York, Toronto or Sydney – is capable of claiming to be the capital of the Anglosphere. For French, the story is rather different. Without question, the capital of the French-speaking world, often called the francophonie, is Paris. The City of Light is the undisputed economic, military, publishing and entertainment hub for the language. Other Francophone countries including Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg may be wealthy, and some including the Democratic Republic of Congo may be more populous, but France remains the peerless...

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