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French language

Francophonie is an international organization of polities and governments with French as the mother or customary language, where a significant proportion of people are francophones (French speakers), or where there is a notable affiliation with the French language or culture.

Formally known as the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF) or the International Organization of the Francophonie,[2] the organization comprises 56 member states and governments, 3 associate members, and 16 observers. Francophonie may also refer, particularly in French, to the global community of French-speaking peoples,[3] comprising a network of private and public organizations promoting special ties among all Francophones.[4] In a majority of member states, French is not the predominant native language. The prerequisite for admission to the Francophonie is not the degree of French usage in the member countries, but a prevalent presence of French culture and language in the member country's identity, usually stemming from France's colonial ambitions with other nations in its history.

French geographer Onésime Reclus, brother of Élisée Reclus, coined the word Francophonie in 1880 to refer to the community of people and countries using the French language. Francophonie was then coined a second time by Léopold Sédar Senghor, founder of the Négritude movement, in the review Esprit in 1962, who assimilated it into Humanism.[5][6]

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