La semaine de la Francophonie 2023
Francophonie, What does it mean ?
With more than 300 million speakers worldwide, French is the fifth most spoken language in the world.
The group of people who speak French is thus known as the Francophonien but La Francophonie (with a capital letter) is also the institutional framework that brings together French-speaking countries. Francophonie is a human and cultural space based on the French language.
300 million French speakers, who are they?
Among the 300 million French speakers in the world, there are first of all those whose mother tongue is French. This group includes a large majority of speakers in France, Wallonia (in Belgium), Quebec (in Canada) or French-speaking Switzerland. Also included in this category are a growing number of households in French-speaking Africa, especially in large cities.
Then there are the French speakers whose mother tongue is not French, but who use it on a daily basis, because it is the language of school, administration, the media and the economy. French is one of the official languages of many world organisations such as UNESCO, the UN and Médecins Sans Frontières. In addition, it is one of the five most widely used official languages in the European Union.
In total, 235 million of the 300 million French speakers use French on a daily basis. The rest are people who speak French because they learned it as a foreign language, usually during their studies.
La Francophonie is also made up of institutions
Since a language is not just a way of speaking but a way of looking at the world, the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) was created in 1970. Today it brings together 88 countries on five continents and its main mission is to promote the French language throughout the world. Beyond its linguistic objective, the OIF is committed to promoting human rights and democracy. Among the institutions of the Francophonie there are also other structures, notably in the educational and cultural fields, such as the TV5 Monde television channel available on SBS.
And what about Francophonie week ?
Francophonie Week takes place around the International Francophonie Day, held on March 20 each year, and provides an opportunity for French speakers around the world to celebrate the French language in all its diversity but also for non-French speakers to discover francophone cultures, literature, arts and more from around the world. Every year, more than 1,500 events are organised in 70 countries.
The program across Australia:
La semaine de la langue française et de la Francophonie is the meeting place for lovers of words, in France and abroad. The theme chosen this year, “At all times? / À tous les temps”, invites us to reflect on our perception and our relationship to time, especially by playing with the French words that express them. From writing competitions to slam tournaments, to intergenerational dictations, calligraphy workshops, narrated readings, francophone concerts and theatre performances, all artistic disciplines are valued.
- Monday 20th of March: Francophone Short Film Night at the Australian National UniversityOn Monday 20 March from 6.30pm, come along to attend a free screening of French-speaking short movies (subtitled in English) presented by the High Commission of Canada, the Embassy of Belgium and the Embassy of Lebanon.
The event includes refreshments at the end of the screenings and a trivia-style competition about Francophonie with prizes to be won.
- Friday 24th of March: Francophonie Market at the Allianec Française de Canberra
On Friday 24th of March, from 4 to 6pm head to AF Canberra for a celebration of francophone cultures and countries.
Enjoy free food and drinks from around the world including stalls from Lebanon, Belgium, Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and Morocco.
Grab a Francophonie Passport at the beginning of the market and collect stamps from every stall following an activity to win a special prize.
- Wednesday 22nd of March: Lycée Condorcet French Language Evening
On the 22nd of March, celebrate the 5th most spoken language in the world!
For more information
- Tuesday 21st of March from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Enjoy a special screening of the French cinema classic featuring Vincent Cassel, La Haine.
La Haine is a cult-classic film portaraying the fractured French society of the 90s and the rise of hip hop culture.
Friday 24th from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Library Lovers: Why Don’t WAussies Speak French at Ballajura Library
Join Elton Brown for a light-hearted talk on the French explorations of the WA coast and the failed attempts to colonise.