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List of French Speaking Countries

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Many French speaking countries exist across five continents, including major African and European nations. They range from small Caribbean islands to some of the largest countries in western Africa. Here is a list of French speaking countries, divided into nations where people speak it as the main language or as a major language among several:

French as Main Language

Almost all of the people in countries on this list speak French; they have no other major languages. Most of these countries remain overseas territories of France.

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS

  • Guadeloupe,
  • Martinique

EUROPE

  • France 


NORTH AMERICA

  • Saint Pierre & Miquelon 


SOUTH AMERICA

  • French Guiana

French as Major Language

Some of the people in countries on this second list speak French, often as a 2nd language. All of these nations have other major languages, usually European or indigenous.

AFRICA

  • Algeria
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad, Comoros
  • Congo, Ivory Coast
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Morocco
  • Niger
  • Reunion Island
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Togo
  • Tunisia 

ASIA

  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Vietnam

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS

  • Haiti
  • Trinidad and Tobago 

EUROPE

  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Vatican City
  • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Switzerland 

NORTH AMERICA

  • Canada 

PACIFIC ISLANDS

  • French Polynesia
  • New Caledonia
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna 

SOUTH AMERICA

  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Additionally, French patois is spoken in parts of a few other countries. According to the Random House College Dictionary, a patois is “a rural or provincial form of speech, esp. of French.” Thus it is a similar language, but different in some ways. Here is a brief list of the Caribbean islands where this variation is spoken by at least some segment of the population…

  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Creole is another language derived from French that is spoken in a number of countries. They include the Latin American nations of the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, and the Virgin Islands. It is one of the two main languages in Haiti. People also speak Creole in Mauritius, Reunion, and Seychelles, which are all islands off the east coast of Africa.

In summary, French is the main language in France and most of its territories, but people typically use it as a secondary or regional language in other countries. In some nations more people speak it in major cities or government and business transactions. Countries known to have over 15 percent French speakers include Belgium (about forty percent), Canada, and Switzerland.

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