French language day
French language day is observed next on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024 (27 days from today).
French language Day is on March 20th every year to commemorate some of the culture, language and history in France. Even if you don't speak the language, there are many aspects of French culture to learn. The event aims to respect multilingualism and cultural diversity. When most people think of French, they think of France, but really, it's Africa that has the most French-speaking people. About 120 million Africans from 29 countries use this language as their mother tongue.
History of French language day
The French language derives from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. France was called Gaul during that time and they were conquered by the Romans in the first and second centuries BC. At the time, they spoke Gaulish, a Celtic language, but was replaced by Latin by the Romans. In the fifth century, Germanic tribes invaded Gaul and they were also romanized. As a result of these outside influences, modern French is of Celtic, Germanic, but above all Latin origin.
Old French was spoken from the ninth to thirteenth centuries, and it differs from Latin. The Oath of Strasbourg is the oldest document using Old French and it includes a lot of different dialects including Francine, a dialect spoken near Paris. During the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, Chinese French was used with expressions of Latin, Greek, and Italian. The Pléiade or a group of French poets, inspired the French to strengthen in protecting their language and literature.
The seventeenth century was considered as the modern era of the French language. Until 1635, Cardinal Richelieu established the French Academy in order to maintain the sanctity of its language and literature. The language evolved over time with artistic movements such as romanticism and realism, but overall, it remained true to the period.
In 2010, the United Nations Department of Public Information officially recognized Francophonie Day to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity. The day is also used to promote equal use of all six official languages across the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. March 20th every year is also recognized as La Francophonie's International Day in honor of the date the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT) since 1970.
Why French language day are favorite?
- It celebrates culture
There's no denying that French is a beautiful language. A long list of talented poets, writers and artists are French and their works have stood the test of time. By honoring Francophone Day, you also show respect for the hard-working artists who have brought so much beauty to the world.
- Multilingualism is important
Francophone Day is a day to show support for multilingualism and acceptance of diversity. This day reminds us to respect other communities and cultures and act in partnership. Language can be considered as a great bridge all over the world.
- Know your French history
Often, there are incorrect beliefs about a country, but you can never know the full story unless you investigate. France has an important history of having influenced and been influenced by many other countries. We learn by ourselves to understand more about these truths so that we have a broader and more cultured mindset.
What do you do in French language day?
- Learning French
French is well- known as one of the most romantic languages in the world. Find out by trying it for yourself! There are plenty of online French tutorials to practice with. You can turn this into a group activity and challenge a friend to try it too and see how well you do when talking to each other.
- There's French food
France is also known for its exquisite cuisine. Try cooking (and speaking) some of the meals they are best known for. There's soupe à l'oignon, cassoulet, chocolate soufflé, and more. If cooking is not your thing, you can go to an authentic French restaurant and share your experience with photos on social networks to spread the word.
- Join the discussion
The United Nations organizes dialogues around the world as part of their UN75 initiative to hear from different groups about their hopes, fears and experiences. Join the discussion by giving your own opinion or listen to other voices to better understand the global perspective.
ObservedFrench language day has been observed annually on March 20th.
Sunday, March 20th, 2022
Monday, March 20th, 2023
Wednesday, March 20th, 2024
Thursday, March 20th, 2025
Friday, March 20th, 2026