French, Brazil

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Summary

French ( or ) is a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European family that is an official language in 29 countries, most of which form la francophonie (in French), the community of French-speaking countries. It is an official language of all United Nations agencies and of a large number of international organizations, including the European Union, NATO, WTO, and the ICRC. In 2011, French was deemed by Bloomberg Businessweek to be one of the top three mos

Details

The Portuguese language is heavily influenced by more than a millennium of perennial contact with several dialects of both Oïl (chiefly French after France became the major European power) and Occitan (chiefly Provençal around the troubadour apex in the Middle Ages, see Galician-Portuguese lyric), in lexicon (up to 15–20% in some estimates, at least 5000 word roots), phonology (chiefly among the European and more Europeanized Brazilian dialects) and orthography. After greater and continual Portuguese immigration, and Tupi influence, the status of French as a language of culture in the Western world for centuries and the presence of Swiss immigrants (sixth largest European group to Brazil) for a considerable span of time is popularly regarded to be the main source of difference between the group of dialects spoken in Florianópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and surrounding regions, and those elsewhere in Brazil (it was also more indirectly influenced by French due to the larger Portuguese influence there and the stronger Francophile feel in the Portuguese culture—Portuguese and French influence are often confused). The learning of French is historically the most important and has always been strong among the Lusophone high societies, and for a great span of time it was also a foreign language strong among the [middle class] general populaces of both Portugal and Brazil, only surpassed in the globalised postmodernity by English, in both, and more recently by Spanish, in the latter.

The French language was also briefly spoken in Brazil during the colonial attempts of France Antarctique and France équinoxiale at the 16th and 17th centuries respectively (the expulsing of early French colonists by the Portuguese culminated on the founding of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Luís respectively). Also, as mentioned above, the language was used by several communities of immigrants and expatriates in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, chiefly Swiss, but also some French and Belgians, and the anti-Portuguese factor of Brazilian nationalism in the 19th century led to an increased use of the French language in detriment of Portuguese, as France was seen at the time as a model of civilization and progress.

Today the Karipuna indigenous community (nearly 30,000 people) of Amapá in Northern Brazil speaks a French creole, the Lanc-Patuá creole, possibly related to the French Guiana Creole.

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External Links

  • WikipediaFondation Alliance françaiseAgence de promotion du FLEFrançais interactifTex's French GrammarFree online French grammarLearn French at AboutFrench lessons at Wikiotics

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