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French (le français [lə fʁɑ̃sɛ] (About this sound listen) or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛz]) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French has evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d’oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica 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 Creole. It is spoken as a first language (in descending order of the highest number) in France, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, the regions of Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, western Switzerland, Monaco, certain other regions of Canada and the United States (Louisiana and the northern parts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont), and by various communities elsewhere. As a result of French and Belgian colonialism from the 16th century onward, the language was introduced to new territories in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular Gabon, Algeria, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast. – Wikipedia

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