Although English is not the most widely spoken language in the world – that honour goes to Mandarin, with over 1 billion speakers – English comes in second as it is the official language of many more countries. French comes in at around eighth to tenth depending on which study or survey is accepted. Looking at the European Union the popularity of French has waned with the addition of various waves of new member states over the years since the early days of the Common Market when French was more or less the lingua franca at the negotiating tables in Strasbourg and Brussels.
It is hardly surprising then that English words have crept into the French language probably via a mixture of routes: culturally through books, newspapers, magazines, and TV programmes and movies exported by the United Kingdom and more so by the United States; English is the global language of business and diplomacy; and the large number of British residents with second homes in France or have become expats and moved entirely to France in search of a different way or pace of life.
Vive le franglais!
Stephen York is a freelance proofreader with over 25 years' experience in book and journal publishing offering proofreading services to publishers, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, academics, students, and authors. He regularly proofreads in digital format a wide variety of media in an extensive range of specialist subject areas, including business, finance, economics, education, marketing, and real estate.