Oui, monsieur! This is the day to celebrate the French language!
Categorized as a musical language, French is often considered to be one of the most beautiful languages in the world. As part of the family of romance languages, French is related to other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. But anyone who has tried to read or speak it knows that it has its own special flair about it.
French Language Day offers a perfect opportunity to show appreciation and love for this language that is often as pleasing to the ear as it is to the heart.
History of French Language Day
French Language Day was started in 2010 through an initiative of the United Nations Department of Public Information. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness and respect for the culture, history and achievements of the six major languages of the people of the world. The other five official languages of the United Nations include Arabic, Russian, Chinese, English and Spanish.
French is a fascinating language because not only is it a working language of the UN but it is an official language in Europe, Africa and North America. It is spoken in some capacity on all of the continents of the world, and that is certainly worth celebrating!
It was decided by the UN that French Language Day would be observed on this day as it is the anniversary of the International Organization of La Francophonie. This is the organization that represents French-speaking countries and was founded on March 20, 1970.
How to Celebrate French Language Day
Try Speaking French
One of the best ways to begin celebrating French Language Day is to try speaking some French, of course. Those who have very little experience might want to start with a few common words, and those who may have taken French in school can brush off some vocabulary and try using it again. Or, it might be fun to consider some words in English that have French roots, such as croissant, etiquette, crochet and rendezvous.
Watch a French Film
An excellent way to get on board with French Language Day, even for folks who aren’t fluent in French, is to listen to it being spoken. But unless a person happens to have a French friend, it might be easier to do this by engaging with a French language film. To understand what’s going on, turn on the subtitles in English but listen along in French.
Listen to French Music
Show some love and appreciation for French Language Day by listening to and enjoying some French music throughout the day. Make a little playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, or another platform with favorite artists that sing in the French language, including some of these songs and albums:
- Careless Love by Madeleine Peyroux (2004)
- La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf (1947)
- Joe le taxi by Vanessa Paradis (1987)
- L’amour by Karim Ouellet (2012)