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Christophe Gigaudaut, Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Action to the French Embassy in Romania, Director of the French Institute of Romania: The defense of the French language is part of the defense of multilingualism

In 2018, Romania celebrates 25 years of its Francophonie membership. The perfect opportunity to reaffirm its attachment to the French language, which is not a native language of Romanians, but one traditionally learned and spoken in many Romanian families. Nowadays, I often hear people saying that the French language is in decline. That English has come first. That the number of German speakers is increasing. In my opinion, a language is a window towards a different world, – and the entire activity of the French Institute of Romania proves it. This is why the defense of the French language is implicitly part of the defense of multilingualism. Because a house needs more than one window to get more light, learning French, alongside German, English or any other language, is the best guarantee of a greater openness of mind and heart.

Last March, the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, presented a set of proposals for the promotion of the French language in France and in the world. He placed this mission in a framework of defense of linguistic plurality. In Romania, many companies are seeking for Francophones. The French language is definitely an asset for this country, for its attractiveness, for its influence. I salute the work of the thousands of teachers, of the French-language media (Rfi Romania, RRI French Section), and of the companies that chose the French language for their business development. What better proof of the appeal of French, among the young and very young audience, than # haikunoi2018, the event that the French Institute of Romania has recently organized for the fourth year in a row? Some 7000 children, adults, students, teachers, entrepreneurs, employees, people of all professional backgrounds took part in almost 200 poetic picnics, organized in 64 cities and communes of Romania. This event, which we created in 2015, is an invitation to each and every French-speaking person of this country to proclaim on social networks his or her love for the French language by writing a haiku poem in French, accompanied by the hashtag # haikunoi2018. And the number of participants keeps growing not only in Romania, but also in neighboring countries. Because, once you’ve tasted it, the French language becomes a true passion.

 

 

 

 

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