Paris is great, the French Riviera is spectacular, Normandy has interesting memorials. But what if you want to see other parts of the world and still put your French skills to good use? Fortunately there are many places around the world where you can speak French. Whether you want tropical jungles, desert oases, mountain slopes or sandy beaches, there is a French-speaking area of the world where you can go. Below are some of the favorite destinations for speaking French outside of France.
So you want to stay in Europe? There are still some great options for you. Switzerland is a favorite European destination for tourists, and French is a national language there. Switzerland has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. You can also visit Luxembourg, which uses French as a primary language. Luxembourg is famous for historical landmarks and buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. Belgium is also a popular destination for experiencing European history and culture, though only half of the country is primarily francophone.
Africa has many places to choose from if you want to speak French on your vacation. The majority are in the northern part of the continent. While there is a long list of countries that experienced a French influence sometime in the past, there are still a few countries that use French as a primary language. Some examples are Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, the Ivory Coast (commonly known as the Cote d Ivoire), Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo. These countries have climates ranging from the jungle of the Congo to the Saharan deserts of Chad. Several of these countries have some of both. Always remember, though, when visiting Africa that many countries are friendly with tourists and others are over-ridden by tribal violence or harsh dictatorships. Do some research about current political situations in a country before deciding to visit.
There are several exotic island destinations in the Indian Ocean where you can put your French to good use. One of the most obvious is La Reunion, which is actually part of France (much in the same way that Hawaii is part of the United States). Not too far to the east of Reunion is Mauritius, an independent island that uses both French and English as primary languages. The Seychelles are also a popular island destination for French-speaking travelers. All these islands have tropical climates and beautiful beaches, making them a perfect getaway location.
French Guiana is part of France and was settled by the French in the 17th century. While French is a national language there, French Guiana still has much of the native influence and is a great way to experience South America.
Quebec is the most well-known French-speaking region in North America. While it is a part of Canada, Quebec retains its own different culture and French influence. Montreal is the largest city and one where French is the official language: you ll need your French to get around this town. You might notice a different accent. Here, residents speak Quebecois French rather than francais international. With its European culture and history, Quebec has become a favorite of Americans and Europeans alike.
All these countries have interesting cultures, picturesque landscapes and the wonders of the French language. Even though France has a lot to offer, try one of these destinations around the world. Not only will you enjoy speaking French, you will enjoy all the world has to offer.
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