College Park Elementary School

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Viva La France (TESTING DESIGN LAYOUT)
 
France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third-largest in Europe as a whole. It possesses the secondlargest exclusive economic zone in the world. France has been a major power with strong cultural, economic, military, and political influence in Europe and around the world. France has its main ideals expressed in the 18th-century Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built the second-largest colonial empire of the time, ruling large portions of first North America and India and then Northwest and Central Africa; Madagascar; Indochina and southeast China; and many Caribbean and Pacific Islands.
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                               
France is a developed country, possessing the world's fifth-largest and Europe's second-largest economy by nominal GDP. It is also the world's ninth largest by GDP at purchasing power parity. France is the wealthiest nation in Europe and the fourth wealthiest in the world in aggregate household wealth. French citizens enjoy a high standard of living, high public education level, and one of the world's longest life expectancies. France has been listed as the world's "best overall health care" provider by the World Health Organization. It is the most-visited country in the world, receiving 79.5 million foreign tourists annually.
 

French (le français or la langue française) is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick (Acadia region) in Canada, the U.S. state of Maine, the Acadiana region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, and by various communities elsewhere. Other speakers of French, who often speak it as a second language, are distributed throughout many parts of the world, the largest numbers of whom reside in Francophone Africa. In Africa, French is most commonly spoken in Gabon (where 80% report fluency), Mauritius (78%), Algeria (75%), Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire (70%). French is estimated as having 110 million  native speakers and 190 million more second language speakers.


 

French is a descendant of the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as are languages such as Italian , Portuguese Spanish,Romanian, Lombard, Catalan, Sicilian and Sardinian. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl languages historically spoken in northern France and in Belgium, which French has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Roman Gaul and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian.

French 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 a large number of international organizations. According to France's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, 77 million in Europe speak French natively. Outside of France, the highest numbers of French speakers are found in Canada (25% of the population, of whom the grand majority lives in Quebec), Belgium (45% of the population), Switzerland (20% of the population) and Luxembourg. In 2013, the Ministry identified French as the second most spoken language in Europe, after German and before English. Twenty percent of non-Francophone Europeans know how to speak French,[clarification needed]totaling roughly 145.6 million people in Europe alone. As a result of extensive colonial ambitions of France and Belgium (at that time governed by a French-speaking elite), between the 17th and 20th centuries, French was introduced to colonies in the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, the Levant, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l'Agence universitaire de la francophonie, French speakers will number approximately 500 million people in 2025 and 650 million people, or approximately 7% of the world's population by 2050.