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Celebrating the French Language Day

March 20th: French Language Day

Celebrating the French Language

Celebrate French Language Day with us this March 20th, 2020. We have a team of professionals ready to do great work on your French translation project, whether it be in the legal industry, tourism, marketing, websites, medicine, or any other field. JR Language Translation Company wants to thank our French translation clients and partners for their business, assistance, and friendship.

French Language Day is part of an effort made by the United Nations to honor the history of the French language and the contributions of French speakers throughout history. French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. “French, as a working language of the UN and one that is spoken on all continents, plays an important role in spreading the message of the United Nations in the world,” said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Public Information (DPI) and Coordinator for Multilingualism at the UN. “The United Nations practices multilingualism as a means of promoting, protecting and preserving the diversity of languages and cultures globally,” Mr. Akasaka added. “I think it’s crucial to remember that we exist in a multilingual world where the languages we speak, or read, or write, affect the way we think and act,” he finished.

Let’s look at the French impact and the history of French Language Day.

History of French Language Day

The six official United Nations languages are English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian. Each has its own holiday in which the language and cultures associated with it are celebrated in different ways.

The Department of Public Information set aside March 20th for French Language Day in 2010, which is no coincidence. This date is the anniversary of the founding of the International Organization of La Francophonie, an organization composed of French speakers who share ideas and discuss humanist schools of thought propagated by French intellectuals. French was one of the first two official languages to be chosen for use by UN officials. The League of Nations also used French, and French is currently the 4th most widely used language in the European Union.

History and Reach of the French Language

The Origins of French

French is a very old language, but the age of a language can be difficult to quantify, as languages change so much throughout history. Languages travel in the form of colonization, takeovers, trade, migrations, and more. Now the Internet and other advanced tools of communication have made it possible for an English speaker in the USA to communicate instantly with a Malay speaker in New Guinea. As an already widely used language, French has reached further across the globe than ever before.
The French language as understood by historians grew out of the common form of Latin in the 5th century A.D., and we see Old French used in high-level political documents as far back as the 800s A.D. For a long time, England’s dominant language was a form of French. The Normans, descendants of Norsemen who settled in Normandy and blended with the residents (called Franks), invaded England in 1066. Norman rule did not last long, but their influence persists. There are volumes written about the history of the French language, and we encourage you to read more beyond this brief introduction.

Today’s French

Today, varieties of French are spoken in dozens of nations throughout the world, and the dialects can be very different. French spoken in Vietnam isn’t going to be just like the French spoken in Quebec or Cameroon. That’s why you need professionals’ translators native for localization work. Localization services not only suit the dialect of the translated work to the intended audience, but it also makes sure that the content is relevant and attractive to that audience, especially when it comes to spelling and usage of words in the different locales. For example, you will need a native French-Canadian translator for French translation for Quebec and Canada, while you will need a different translator, a French native, for French Translations for France.

French Words in English

Would you be surprised if we told you that about 45%, or 10,000, of common English words, have a French root or derivation? Common phrases or terms that don’t have an English equivalent are a great way to introduce one language into another. Terms like deja-vu, hors d’oeuvre, and coup d’etat are all still in French. There are also words that might not sound like French anymore, or you don’t know they’re French, that grew from a French root. Words like abandon, collect, jacket, machine, deliver, encounter, notice, juice, invisible, and doctor would all be nonexistent if not for the French language influence. Some of these go all the way back to the common Latin that French grew from.

How You Can Celebrate with Us

This year, celebrate French Language Day with our translation company by sampling the French language and culture. We have some ideas:

  • Learn a new French word or phrase. Try a pronunciation guide to help you master the French sound.
  • Try a new French food. French food is renowned throughout the world for its unique palate and adherence to freshness and quality.
  • Listen to some French music. Composers like Ravel and Debussy can’t be beaten when it comes to beauty and ambiance.
  • Watch some French TV or a French movie. Note the importance of audio and video translation. Translated subtitles, captions, and dubs allow multilingual audiences to enjoy French cinema.
  • For your next vacation, consider a location with a French-speaking population. What better way to experience a language and culture than immersion?

About 80 million people today speak French as their native language, but about 270 million speak French in total. The vast majority of people prefer to use websites and patronize businesses in a language they feel comfortable with, so using professional language services opens up new markets and opportunities to build sales and connections. Consider the heights to which translation and interpretation services in French can take your company and call us to find out more about the translation process today.

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Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.