… where French is one official language, even the only one?
If you thought that French was the language of France exclusively, you will have to reconsider. There is also:
- the tiny but immensely rich Monaco and Luxembourg
- Bénin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Centrafrique, Chad, Comores, Congo, DRC, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo
- Haiti in the West Indies
- and even Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean.
Because provincial governments (the French-speaking Wallon Community in Belgium, Quebec and New-Brunswick in Canada) are also full-fledged members of OIF, the total number is correct.
But French is also considered as a ‘shared language’ in another 23 countries of the world, which brings the general total of OIF’s members to 55.
These include countries like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in South-East Asia, Marocco and Tunisia in Northern Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, etc.
The source is the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF in short). Its present, very active, Secretary General is Mr. Abdou Diouf. Students interested in exercising their skills in translation and/or interpreting can find his beautifully-written speeches here. The map is also taken from their website and can be downloaded as a pdf.
As I was navigating the site, I found that OIF has a fund that can offer grants to NGOs mainly, to cover some of the costs of translation/interpretation in the field of francophony.