French is Dead. If it’s the only language you speak, you’d have access to a limited amount of humanity’s knowledge and ideas. Take this for example, in United States more than 300,000 new book titles and editions are published every year. In United Kingdom this number is 206,000. In France only 63,000 new book titles and editions are published every year. This is 5 times less than the Unites States and 3 times less than United Kingdom. This means a person who is literate in French would have 8 times less access to information and knowledge than a person who is is literate in English.
In terms of academic and scientific articles, Unites States produced about 3 millions scientific articles over the last ten years, United Kingdom 700.000 articles. France produces 500.000 articles. It means that a person who is literate in French would have 7 times less access to scientific publications than a person who is is literate in English. In fact, this number is much higher because all other countries mainly publish their scientific articles in English as all major scientific reviews, journals and publications are in English.
Slowly, we will start classifying French as an indigenous language spoken by only 60 millions people in a small country in Europe, and few other micro-countries or Regions like Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland. What’s an Irony!
Some formerly French colonized countries in Africa still speak that language, but recently there is a huge movement to move away from that colonial heritage to embrace English. Rwanda was the first African country to replace the French language by English. The reason is simple, Rwanda doesn’t export perfume, cosmetics and fashion clothes, therefore the country doesn’t need such a sophisticated and rich language. Gabon has also made it clear to steer the country to English language, as the President Ali Bongo is amazed by what Rwanda has accomplished in so little time. France itself, just has took notice of the huge shift, and will introduce English into all its schools and universities.
When it comes to Science and Technology, Business and Commerce, French is a dead language. English is the language that could open faster the developing countries to the world and help them access up-to-date information, and become more competitive.
On the other hand, there is a need to protect and preserve African languages. This is because traditions and customs are passed down through generations using language. Language is much more than a means of communication, it is the embodiment of a culture. More on this subject will be published in later days.
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