According to a thorough research by the investment bank Natixis, French could become the most important language in the world , in number of speakers, by 2050.
The language of Molière, nowadays the fourth most spoken in the world, will thus pass in front of Spanish , English and Chinese (Mandarin). How will such a worldwide upheaval be possible in 40 years? Merit of Africa.
The boom in African francophony
The African economic boom will indirectly benefit francophony. This economic acceleration, already evident in West Africa or the Maghreb, will be accompanied by a population increase, judging by the authors of the research. Since the French language predominates in the region, its development will naturally take place as a consequential effect.
Here are some numbers to understand the magnitude of the phenomenon: Africa has 800 million inhabitants per hour, will have 2.5 billion in 2050 and 4.5 billion in 2100.
For a long time most of the French-speaking speakers no longer reside in France . And from now to 2050, 85% will live in Africa, according toOrganization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF – International Organization of Francophonie).
A research to relativize but which highlights a trend
But there is an error in this data. The entire population of a country is considered to speak French only if French is one of the official languages or languages of the country. The question is therefore quite different.
However, there is awareness of the role that Africa plays and will play in the development of the French language. As an article in the American magazine Forbes points out on the subject, French is indeed a language of the future , present on all continents, although English should remain the language of international affairs.
As for Chinese, it will surely remain a language to learn, given China’s economic power and its growing influence. According to Forbes, French is an excellent choice for the future, as it will dominate a continent called to be, in 2050, a booming economic power