Francophone Countries in French

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Rosenbarker

Rebecca has taught French and English as a Second Language (ESL). She has a master's degree in ESL. Rebecca currently lives in France.

This lesson introduces different French-speaking countries throughout the world. It looks at the pronunciation of the different countries, as well as which ones have French as an official language. A short quiz to test your knowledge follows this lesson.

Francophone Countries in French

How many countries would you guess there are in the world that use French? There's obviously France, so there's one, but how many others? Three? Ten? Fifteen? Believe it or not, there are well over 30 countries that either have French as their official language, one of their official languages, or exhibit widespread use of French. Countries that use French are called pays francophones, or French-speaking countries.

As you continue to learn French, you may be curious to know where in the world you can travel and put your knowledge to use. Let's first take a look at some French-speaking countries located where you might most expect to find them: in Europe, a great place to start your hypothetical vacation.

European French-Speaking Countries

You'll see a chart of the five main countries in Europe where French is spoken. Under the first column is the English name of the country, followed by its French equivalent, and the phonetic pronunciation for the French name. The countries with the asterisk either have French as their official language or one of their official languages.

English Name French Name Pronunciation
France* France frahns
Belgium* Belgique bel'-jeek
Luxembourg* Luxembourg look'-som-bourg
Monaco* Monaco moh'-nah-ko
Switzerland* Suisse sweese

It's worth noting that in Belgium, French is spoken mostly in the southern half of the country. What you may find surprising is that French-speaking countries can be found all over the world, not just in Europe. Let's look at some other countries.

French-Speaking Countries in Africa

Many countries in Africa reveal their history of settlement by French-speaking countries in that French is still spoken in them today. If your travels were to take you to this continent, you could put your French to use in all these different countries. The chart lists all the countries in Africa that have French as one of their official languages, besides the indigenous languages. In the first column are the English names, the second column has the French ones, and the third on has the French pronunciations.

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