1. It is the mother tongue of 75 million people worldwide, although many more speak it as a second language.
2. It is the second most commonly taught foreign language, after English.
3. French is an official working language of the UN, the International Red Cross, The European Economic Community, NATO, and the International Olympic Committee, amongst others.
4. French is the official language of France, Luxembourg and Haiti and more than 15 African countries.
5. French is one of the official languages of Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.
6. It is spoken commonly as a second language in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
7. In the 17th-19th century French tended to be the main language for international communication, but it has now been overtaken by English in these stakes.
8. The Académie française is France’s official authority on usage, vocabulary and grammar within the French language. It has traditionally been infamous for its somewhat strict regulations on anglicisms entering the language!
9. The letter ‘w’ appears only in foreign words within the French language.
10. French is a Romance language descended from Latin.