French language

French (Français)
spoken in: France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and 30 further countries
speakers: 87 million (native speaker) (place 11)
official status
office language in: See: Office language
language code
ISO 639 -1: fr
ISO 639 -2: fre fra
dark-blue: Native language; blue: Administrative language; light blue: Traffic language; green: Minority language

the French language (French) belongs to the Roman group of the indogermanischen languages. It becomes at present from approx. 87 million humans as Native language spoken. If one adds Zweitsprachler , one comes on approx. 180 million speaker (conditions for both numbers of 1999).

The LANGUAGE code is fr and/or. fra or fre (according to ISO 639); for old French (842 to approx. 1400) are the code fro and for central French (approx. 1400 to 1600) are the code frm.

Table of contents

history of the French language

in Gallien gave it three large peoples with own languages, the Celts, which called the Romans Gallier, the Aquitanier in the southwest and the Belger in the north. The Romanisierungtook place in two steps. Latin arrived starting from the year 122 v.Chr. with the establishment of Aquae Sextiae (today: Aix EN Provence) and Narbonne in the province of the Roman realm “Gallia Narbonensis” (today: Provence) after Southern France. Starting from the year 58 v.Chr. withconquest Nordgalliens by Gaius Iulius Caesar latin reached also the remaining Gallien.

influence of the Celts

within one period of four centuries became generally accepted latin in relation to the native mainland-celtic (= gallischen) dialects. The Romanisierungfirst Galliens happened in cities, schools and administrations, only later in the remote areas. The celtic languages disappeared not without trace, but found roughly clear with over 240 word trunks entrance into the spoken Vulgärlatein. Due to the later penetration of latinin the rural regions Galliens remained above all terms celtic origin from the agriculture in the Vulgärlatein, which is continued to use in the today's French (e.g. la charrue = the plow, le mouton = the sheep etc.). In addition, thoseCounting method of the Celts in the twenties-system (Vigesimalsystem) is in the French language to partly still find (soixante onze,…, quatre vingts etc.). One tends to call such an influence of a going down language on the interspersing language substrate.

influence of the Teutons

those gallorömische population in the north Galliens came with Germanic trunks by trade relations, in addition, by mercenary services of the Teutons in the Roman army, into contact. By it some words of Germanic origin entrance into the French language already found beside the celtic substrate. Onesuch procedure of a peaceful influence by nachbarschaftliche contacts Adstrat is called.

The westGermanic trunk of Franconias exerted a stronger influence . Franconias conquered in 5. Jh. (final victory over a Roman remainder province 486 n.Chr. by Chlodwig I) thatArea Galliens and coined/shaped the French vocabulary crucially also. Around the 700 word trunks by Franconias were taken over (e.g. la = resounds, la salle = resounds the hall etc.). Here the historically remarkable procedure carried out itself that itself thoseFranconias linguistically the Vulgärlatein of the defeated gallo Roman population up to few remaining Frankish influences adapted. The whereabouts of some words from the language of the winners in the interspersing language of the defeated ones one calls super+stepped. This procedure pulled itself of5. Jh. up to 9. Jh. . Still Karl the large one (coronation/culmination 800 n.Chr.) spoke as native language Frankish. Only completely in the north Galliens could be shifted by Frankish conquest the Germanic language border into the today's Belgium inside, which todaythe country in Flanders and Wallonie divides. The unbroken dominance Vulgärlateini explains itself among other things from the still high prestige of latin, as well as from the large assumption of the Roman administration. Also the Frankish Lex Salica, inwhich Roman right thinking with Germanic courses connected itself, this development favoured.

the further development

by the karolingische education reform by Alkuin, arranged by Karl the large one, was learned latin with the goal of a classical discussion, therebythe Missionierung of the Germanic population parts by above all Irish monks, for which latin was a foreign language, not because of meanwhile the substantially deviating discussion of the Vulgärlateins from its way of writing to to obstruct. In addition occurred uncertainties in the discussion should be settled. Thisdeveloping bilingualness led itself to substantial difficulty with the communication of the Latin speaking Klerus with the people. On the council of route 813 n.Chr. one specified a uniform, to the people understandable language of the lectures in churches. Latin remainedreceive as writing language. The council of route is the birth hour of a consciousness that the spoken language was another, as latin.

Different dialects developed , which are summarized as Langues d'oïl. The first documents, those the French languageis assigned, is the Strassburger of oaths, which were written 842 both on old French and on old high German. Thus also the conventional Diglossie was to be written Latin, but Roman to speak, destroys.

Under the Kapetingern Paris crystallized gradually aspolitical center of France out, whereby the there dialect, which matured Franzi, to the high-level language. Due to that increasingly centralistic policy the other dialects were strongly back-pushed. After 1066 mounted William of the conquerers English throne, the normannische French for two becameCenturies the language of the English aristocracy. In this time the English language was affected very strongly by the French. With the Albigenserkreuzzügen in 13. Century reached France its current expansion. The Langues was back-pushed and suppressed d'oc (see below).1539 the French language was specified by the edict of Villers Cotterêts as national language of France.

In the year 1634 cardinal Richelieu created the Académie française, which concerns itself with the “standardization and care of the French language”. Starting from that 17. Century becomesFrench lingua franca the European aristocracy, first in Central Europe, in 18. and 19. Century also in Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia, Romania). In this time France developed to colonial power and put thereby the foundation-stone for the today's spreading to thatFrench language outside of Europe and the French Kreolsprachen. The 1830 independent Belgium become conquered likewise colonies and introduced there the French language.

In 18. Century took over the French as language of the aristocracy the domain of the international relations andthe diplomacy (before:Latin). As Great Britain in 19. Century to dominant colonial power, and the USA in 20. Century the world power became, changes the language situation to favour of the English language.

With the decentralization into the 1980er years becomes that Regional languages as well as the dialects in France more free space granted, whereby these experienced one Renaissance. 1994 were issued in France the Loi Toubon designated after the culture Minister, a law, which was to secure the protection of the French language.


See: Discussion of the French language


office language

French is alone or together with other languages office language in the following states (in parentheses the number of native speakers)

in addition is French one of the office languages of the European ones, the African union, that Organization of American states, the United Nations as well as several other international organizations.

other use

French is beyond that traffic language in following countries and regions:

language variants of the French language

French is belonged a indogermanische language and to the galloromanischen languages, which are divided into two groups: langues d'oïl in the northern France and Belgium and langues d'oc in the south France. Herethe status, which thereby dialect and which independent language is, is disputed. One mostly speaks of two languages and their respective Patois, the French dialects. The French is assigned that langues d'oïl and goes on a dialect out of thatArea Ile de France back. They distinguish themselves from that langues d'oc , which are common south the river Loire and represent their own language. The distinction refers to the use of the word - degrees in the south and Oïl in the north. Besides the Roman character is more strongly pronounced with the Langues d'oc , which are called in summary also Okzitanisch. Besides there is Franko Provenzali, which is classified every now and then as independent in relation to the other two gallo Roman languages. There ithowever no high-level language developed, it also as dialect that langues d'oc is regarded.

Gallo Roman languages:

due to the international spreading givesit also nationaltypical peculiarities of the French language:

Object [work on


is grammar [work on] to verb all important things for

conjugation Objektpronomen [

work on

] of which Objektpronomen


which object under
French conjugation [work on]?
Type of object Pronomen
male womanlike majority
(empty) object “le” “la” “les”
“à” (accusative) animated object “lui” “lui” “leur”
“à” (map reference) dead object “y”
“de” dead object “EN”

this “de” can be also a division article.

which Objektpronomen stands in which order in the sentence?
width unit
y EN verb form



where the Objektpronomen stands in the sentence?
  • Objektpronomen always stand before the conjugated verb.
  • Exception with infinitive constructions: Objektpronomen standthen before the action-basic infinitive
of examples

IL A donné les roses à Marie.

- IL of les A of données à Marie.
- IL lui A donné les roses.
- IL of les lui A of données.

tense and mode

mode Indicatif :

Présent: to a large extent Passé corresponds to the German
present composé: corresponds for instance to the German perfect and/or. the German Präteritum
Passé simple : corresponds for instance to the German Präteritum, if the action is temporally limited. Onlyuses in writing.
Passé antérieur : The described temporally limited action in the past is finished. Imparfait uses only
in writing : corresponds for instance to the German Präteritum, if the action is temporally not limited.
plus que parfait : corresponds to a large extent to the German Plusquamperfekt
Futur simple : for instance to the German Futur or the German present plus into the future pointing adverb Futur
corresponds antérieur : The idea of the future presses in the past.

Mode Subjonctif: This mode does not exist in German. He comespractically only in subordinate clauses forwards. It is mandatory after certain Subjunktionen as well as after verbs of the preference (e.g. more aimer, more préférer), dislike (more détéster) and expression of will (vouloir).

Imparfait : As a function of a superordinate sentence in a past tense. Uses only in writing.
plus que parfait : Mode uses Conditionnel

only in writing : This mode expresses the condition.

Passé (first form)
Passé (second form): Only in writing used

in addition the French language has the mode Impératif.


note: Thosewith * marked words are Subjonctif trip (further see here).

Cause (a cause)


park que puisque, pour la simple et bonne raison que, comme, étant donné que, you fait que, attendu que, considérant que, vu que,soit park que, sous prétexte que, ce n'est pas park que, car, EN effet, tellement, dance, d'autant plus que, d'autant moins que, d'autant mieux que, surtout que, à présent que, maintenant que, dès l'instant où, dès lors que, you momentque


à cause de, grâce à, avec, étant donné, you fait, à la lumière de, attendu que, European Union égard à, vu, à la suite de, par suite de, sous, à, pour, par, de, à force de, faute de,par manque de, à defaut de, sous prétexte que, sous couleur de, sous couvert de

Conséquence (consequence)


SI bien que, de telle manière que, de telle façon que, de telle sort que, EN sort que,tel +Nomen +que, verbe, verbe +tellement +tant, SI +Adj. +que, outer POINT que, dance et SI bien que, dance et dance que, à telle enseigne que, pour que *, IL s'en faut de… que, sans que *, donc, partant,par conséquent, EN conséquence, c'est pourquoi, voilà pourquoi, de ce fait, c'est pour cela que, alors, depuis lors, dès lors, de cette manière, ainsi, aussi, you coup, d'où, de là

But (a goal)


pour, afin de,pour que *, afin que, SI… c'est pour que, de manière à, de façon à, de manière que, de façon que, de sort que, de manière à ce que, de façon à ce que, de telle manière que, de telle façonque, de telle sort que, pour ne pas, afin de ne pas, de peur de, de crainte de, IL faut que, IL suffit de


dans le but de, EN vue de, à to the-be de, histoire de, question de,affair de, dans/avec l'intention de, dans la perspective de, dans le souci de, avec l'idée de, dans/avec l'espoir de, avec l'arrière pensée de, dans le seul but de, à seule fin de, EN vue de, EN perspective de, dans un soucide

condition (condition)


à condition que, à la seule condition que, à une seule condition, c'est que…, sous la condition que, pourvu que, pour peu que, SI dance est que, pour autant que, dans lamesure où


à, à condition de, faute de, à de defaut, à moins de, quitte à, outer risque de, avec, EN cas de, sans, EN l'absence de, drink, sous réserve de

Hypothèse (acceptance)


à more supposer que, EN supposant que, supposé, une supposition, EN admettant que, outer cas où, dans le cas où, pour le cas où, dans l'hypothèse où, fois que, suivant que, selon que, soit que,…, autrement,…, sans cela/quoi,…, faute dequoi, à moins que

opposition (contrast)

automatic data processing inheritance:

outer versus Irish, à l'opposé, inversement, EN revenge, par contre, à la place


contrairement à, outer versus Irish de, contre, à l'encontre de, à/au rebours de, à l'opposé de,à l'inverse de, outer de, face détriment à, EN face de, à côté de, auprès de, outer lieu de, à la place de, loin de


et, alors que, tandis que, alors même que, counterpart que, tandis que, cependantque, là où, autant… autant…, outer lieu que

Concession (restriction)

automatic data processing inheritance:

pourtant, cependant, nonobstant, néanmoins, toutefois, seulement, malheureusement, quand même, tout de même, malgré tout


corn, or, et


malgré, sans, EN dépit de,outer mépris de, nonobstant, avec, pour, sans, outer risque de, quitte à


bien que *, quoique *, sans que *, encore que, même SI, quand même, tout/pour/si/aussi/quelque bien +Adj. +que +Subj., quoi que ce soit, quoi qu'il arrive/advienne,où que, quel que soit

Comparaison (comparison)


comme, comme pour, comme quand, comme lorsque, aussi +Adj. /Adv. +que…, autant +de +Nominalgruppe +que…, rien ne… dance que, ainsi que, outer même titre que, de même que, tel que,tel…, tel…, autant…, autant…, plus… que, rien de plus +Adj… que de +Inf., davantage, meilleur que, mieux que, pire que, pis que, plutôt que, à mesure que, outer for et à mesure que, dance que, plus…, plus…, moins…, moins…, d'autant plus/moins/mieux… que…


comme, de, EN

French idioms in the German linguistic usage

a number of French words became among other things of the German language taken over and “Gallizismus “are therefore called. Many this Gallizismen form the basis of different terminologies, e.g. in that gastronomischen technical language and in the ballet.

  • à - ever, too (ever), for (ever); before quotations of goods.
  • à bas [aˈba] - “down also”.
  • à condition - bedingungsweise (supply).
  • à deux Main - with both hands
  • à discrétion - as desired.
  • à rear (s) perdu (s) - on loss account, not-repayable.
  • à jour - “up to the day”, up to date.
  • à la… - according to kind of…
  • à la bonne hires - [“to the good hour”], very well! , bravo! , excellently!
  • à la carte[- ˈkaʀt] - after (feeding) the map, after choice
  • à la mode - after the mode, fashionably
  • à la suite [- ˈsyit] - as a result
  • à per pos - beside à
  • quatre - tout notices at any price
  • IL comme to four à
  • prix -faut - is right oneself like it
  • déjà vu - already times seen (situation admitted)
  • jour peu
  • à peu - tête à tête piece by piece
  • - rendezvous, DATE fixes
  • vis à vis - in relation to

language adjustment

the French language adjusted through:

  • Académie française
  • Loi Toubon - law for the protection of the French language
  • Office québécois de la langue française (official authority of Quebec)
  • service de la langue française (Belgian institution for the care of the French language)
  • Délégation générale à la langue française et aux languesde France

see also

Web on the left of

Wikipedia on French
Wikibooks: French - learning and teaching materials
Wikiquote: French proverbs - quotations

  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)