A study carried out by French investment bank Natixis estimates that there will be 750 million French speakers and suggests that French will be the world’s most spoken language by the year 2050.
Most believe however that English will retain its hold as the the world’s ‘lingua franca’ and most used international language, and that Mandarin, which has also been put forward as an international  language of the future, is simply too hard for most Westerners to learn.

Of course, for many centuries, France was the official language of culture,  diplomacy and arts amongst  the nobility of Europe until English replaced it in the mid-20th century.

In fact, it is likely that the origin of the phrase ‘pardon my French’, used to excuse inappropriate swearing, arose initially from aristocracy apologising for using French words which others did not understand in everyday conversation.


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