Published February 20, 2018
This video was recorded by Maxime Rioux in Ljubljana, Slovenia. French is spoken by as many as 274 million people, primarily in the Western European nations of France, Switzerland, and Belgium, the North American territories of Québec, New Brunswick, and Louisiana, and French Guiana in South America. It is also an important lingua franca throughout West Africa and parts of the Caribbean. Maxime’s native variety of Québecois French, sometimes known simply as Québecois, is spoken by about seven million people, primarily in the Canadian province of Québec. Like other varieties of North American French, such as Acadian and Louisiana French, Québecois has diverged considerably from European varieties, retaining 18th-century pronunciations and incorporating loanwords from English. Politically and in education, Canadian French varieties have enjoyed considerable protection since 1969, when the Canadian government recognized French alongside English at the country’s federal level.