African French

African French is the generic name of the varieties of French spoken by an estimated 115 million (2007) people in Africa spread across 31 francophone countries. This includes those who speak French as a first or second language in these 31 francophone African countries (dark blue on the map), but it does not include French speakers living in non-francophone African countries. Africa is thus the continent with the most French speakers in the world. French arrived in Africa as a colonial language. These African French speakers are now an important part of the Francophonie.

French is mostly a second language in Africa, but in some areas it has become a first language, such as in the region of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Libreville, Gabon and on the Island of Réunion. In some countries it is a first language among some classes of the population, such as in Tunisia and Morocco where French is a first language among the upper classes (many people in the upper classes are simultaneous bilinguals in Arabic/French), but only a second language among the general population. It was handed down by their ancestors, who spoke African French.

In each of the francophone African countries French is spoken with local specificities in terms of pronunciation and vocabulary.

Read more about African French:  Varieties, Pronunciation, Vocabulary, African Member States of La Francophonie

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