Bonjour, tout le monde~~~
I would like introduce you the biography of , one of my favorite foreign language from the following three aspects:geographical distribution, origin and history, as well as standard language and dialects.
French is a Romance language spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada (principally Quebec), northern New England, the state of Louisiana and in many other countries and regions formerly or currently governed by France. It is an official language of more than 25 countries.
In addition, French is spoken as mother language by 72,000,000 people and as second language by some other 52,000,000. It is one of the five official languages of the United Nations.
The history of French is divided into 5 main periods:
Gallo-Romance (5th-8th centuries) The Vulgar Latin in Gaul developed specific features that made it distinct from the Latin spoken in the other regions of the Roman empire.
Old French (9th-13th centuries) The dialects of Northern Gaul developed into separate language with a grammar of its own. French in this period was already taught in the neighboring countries (especially in Germany). In 11th-13th centuries it was the dominant language of the English administration.
Middle French (14th-15th centuries) This period was marked by changes both in the pronunciation and in the grammar; and French was replacing Latin in the texts of the public administration in France.
Classical Modern French (16th-18th century) In this period were fixed the main grammar convention of the modern French. By then it was used as an international language throughout Europe and even in the administrative correspondence of countries as Germany.
Contemporary Modern French (since 19th century) The contemporary pronunciation of the standard language was fixed in that period, namely between 1789 and 1918. French was established as an official language in the French and Belgian colonial possessions in Africa.
Now let’s take a look at the standard French and its dialects.
The standard of French is based on the dialect of Île de France and has largely replaced other regional dialects of French spoken in northern and central France.
French dialects are classified in 5 groups: Central, Northern, Eastern, Western and Southwestern.
Regional dialects of French survive for the most part only in uneducated rural speech,although the Picard-Walloon dialect and the Norman dialect of northern France gave strong competition to “the dialect of Île de France” in medieval times, and Walloon is still spoken in Belgium.
Hope you now have a BETTER understanding of this language—French!!!
Here are my references in case that you are interested in this topic.