Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Here's the text of an interview with the Secretary General of l’Organisation internationale de la francophonie, an interview conducted a week before the next sommet de la francophonie which is taking place in Kinshasa (last time it was Quebec). Here's part of it:
Q: Le sommet de la francophonie will take place from the 12th to the 14th of October in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). What is the future of the French language in a world that seems dominated by English?
Let's keep in mind that in 2050 the French language will have about 715 million users in the world, of which 85% will be in Africa, a continent with a rapid demographic growth. We count a user of the language as one that speaks, reads and writes French. And in Africa, the centre of the francophonie will be the DRC, which will have a greater population than France.
Q: So Africa represents the future of French?
A: In former colonial countries in Africa, there are several national languages. But you need one to communicate, administer the country and operate the country's institutions. This language, shared by all, was decided to be French, in order to not favour a single national language. In any case, the honest man of the 21st century must have a mother tongue and at least two major languages of international communication - English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, maybe Chinese, Hindi or Russian tomorrow...