Quebec in the heart of the francophone world

The Place of French in the World

150x95 images stories francophonie francophonieFrench is a romance language spoken by more than 220 million speakers throughout the world. According to the Organisation international de la Francophonie (OIF), the number of French speakers in the world is continually increasing. In fact, French is used by fifty-nine government bodies, in twenty-nine countries, on the five continents. After English, French is the only language that has been able to maintain such a presence. Moreover, French, along with English, is the principle language of diplomacy in the world and one of the official languages of important organisations like the United Nations, the International Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee, the European Economic Community, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the International Labour Office.

The Place of Quebec at the Heart of the International Francophonie

« At the heart of our lives, the Francophonie is a political, cultural and economic reality, whose influence is spread through the French language. It spotlights the diversity in the world by fostering dialogue between cultures and mutual respect for the identity of each one. »

Translation of a portion of Jean Charest’s address at the XIIe Sommet de la Francophonie held in Quebec in 2008

The term ‘’francophonie’’ (with a small ‘’f’’), which was coined towards the end of the 19th century, refers to all individuals and countries using French to communicate. Francophonie (with a capital ‘’F’’) refers to governments of countries or to institutions ‘’which have French in common and which engage in exchange to tighten economic, cultural and political bonds. In 2005, French states adopted la Charte de la Francophonie, which articulates the Francophonie mission statement: to create bonds between member states and to promote the French language throughout the world.

The francophonie is at the heart of Quebec and Quebec is at the heart of the francophonie as much with regard to French cultural values as to the building of a Francophonie based on a shared language, shared universal values, peaceful exchange, as well as dialogue for purposes of development.

Moreover, the Charte de la langue française, in effect since 1977, stipulates French to be the official language for work, education, immigration and public signs. It also protects the linguistic and cultural rights of the Québécois people. To sum up, Quebec has proven itself at home and elsewhere when it comes to the francophonie.

Proud of its roots and its French values, Quebec supports the governing bodies of the international Francophonie, namely, the Conférence ministérielle de la Francophonie (CMF), the Conseil permanent de la Francophonie (CPF) and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). By virtue of its support, Quebec is considered one of the most active members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and, as well, an important backer, with contributions amounting to 15 million dollars per year. In political and linguistic spheres, Quebec`s initiatives within the Francophonie are crucial at both national and international levels. The specific goals of Quebec are as follows:

  • To strengthen Quebec`s ability to take action and exert influence
  • To promote the identity and culture of Quebec
  • To contribute to international solidarity efforts

For the reasons outlined, Quebec takes great pride in having the French language at the heart of its culture and its passion. It also takes great pride in participating in the internationale Francophonie.

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    Le quartier le Petit Champlain ( un des plus beaux sites du vieux-Québec) (

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    Le pont de la rivière-aux-sables

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    Photo : Alain Dumas

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    le Collège de Rivière-du-Loup

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    Le carnaval de Québec (sculpture sur neige)

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    La Vallée des Fantômes (Jean Tanguay)

    Photo : Jean Tanguay

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