The United Nations(UN)’s French Language Day is annually observed across the globe on 20th March to create awareness among the international community about the history, culture and use of the French Language.
- March 20 is recognized by the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) as the International Day of La Francophonie.
OIF celebrates the International Day of La Francophonie 2022 under the theme « La Francophonie de l’avenir »(english: The Francophonie of the Future).
i.On 21st February 2010, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) announced the launch of “UN Language Days”, a new initiative that aims to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity.
ii.The 6 Language Days are dedicated to the six official languages of the UN, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French and Russian.
iii.The dates of these Language Days were chosen by the Department of Public Information on the basis of their symbolic character.
Why March 20?
March 20th marks the creation of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT) on 20th March 1970, which was later renamed as the International Organization of La Francophonie (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie – OIF).
French in UN:
On 1st February 1946, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted resolution 2 (I) & established Chinese, French, English, Russian and Spanish as official languages, and English and French as working languages.
2021 Prix des cinq continents (Five Continents Prize):
Palestinian author Karim Kattan won the 2021 Prix des Cinq Continents for his 2021 novel “Le Palais des deux collines” (The Palace of the Two Hills”) published by Elyzad Editions.
- Miguel Bonnefoy won the special mention for his novel “Héritage”, published by Editions Rivages.
About Prix des cinq continents:
The Prix des cinq continents, created by the OIF in 2001, aims to recognise the literary talents that reflect the expression of cultural and editorial diversity in the French language on the five continents and promotes them on the international literary scene.
i.According to the UN, the number of French speaking people in the world is around 300 million and it is estimated that the number will be 700 million in 2060.
ii.French is an official language in 32 states and governments and in most international organizations.
iii.Around 59% of French speakers are found in Africa.
iv.French is the 4th language of the internet and it is the 5th most spoken language in the world after Chinese, English, Spanish and Arabic.
Other UN Language Days:
- Arabic Language Day – December 8
- English Language Day – April 23
- Russian Language Day – June 6
- Spanish Language Day – October 12
- Chinese Language Day – April 20
About United Nations(UN):
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Founded in 1945
Headquarters– New York, United States of America(USA)