More French speakers worldwide

13th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 13, 2007 (AFP) - The number of French speakers worldwide has increased to 200 million due to a rise in the number of language students and a population boom in francophone Africa, a report said Tuesday.

PARIS, March 13, 2007 (AFP) - The number of French speakers worldwide has increased to 200 million due to a rise in the number of language students and a population boom in francophone Africa, a report said Tuesday.

Of the 200 million, 128 million are fluent in French and use it regularly, according to the report by the Paris-based International Organisation for the Francophonie, which groups 68 French-speaking countries.

The number of students learning French or studying in the language has increased to 118 million, up from 90 million in 2002.

A previous report issued in 2005 put the number of French speakers at 175 million but the figure has been reviewed to take into account population increases in Africa, notably in Chad and Togo.

The report was issued ahead of International Francophonie Day on March 20.

Copyright AFP

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