French is an African language - François Hollande

Friday, October 19, 2012

From here in French. His message that French is an African language is of course meant to imply that it belongs to the people of Africa and not that it has its origins there, but would it also be possible to call French an African language in that sense as well? The French language itself is not particularly old, but the history of Latin in Africa is quite a bit older, and African Romance was also a language that existed for a time. On the other hand, Rome's creation of Africa province happened through quite a violent war and in general the more violence one commits when entering an area the longer the impression of being foreign to the area lasts. Unless of course the violence committed is not recorded, in which case nobody is around to remember within a few generations.

Perhaps French is as much an African language as Arabic would have been an European language if it had remained a lingua franca in southwestern Europe. If not African, then a very-much-intertwined-with-the-historical-and-present-Africa...type language. In any case, depending on how things work out the French language may end up owing as much to Africa for its future prominence as Portuguese does to Brazil at the moment. We will find out in about two or three decades.

To the article:
"The future of the francophonie is here, in Africa...French does not belong to France, it belongs to you, it is yours." Saying this François Hollande launched the Sommet de la Francophonie in Kinshasa. It is true that in 2050, according to forecasts, 80% of the 700 million that speak French will be in Africa.

For François Hollande, this language is "inseparable from the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen", written in that language by the revolutionaries of 1789, as well as the values of democracy and the freedoms attached to it.

In Kinshasa, the French president met with a number of NGOs and representatives of the opposition, beginning with Etienne Tshisekedi. He unveiled a plaque in honour of the Congolese human rights activist Floribest Chebeya..he also deplored "unacceptable realities" concerning the governance of the DR Congo in his speech...


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