The French language is in dramatic decline around the world, including in its traditional foreign heartlands, according to international language teachers recently gathered in Paris ...for the Expolangues trade fair...
A teacher from Portugal, Teresa Santos, said in her country 70 percent of Portuguese students preferred to take English courses, compared to just 10 percent for French.
"English is magnifique!" a teacher of Ancient Greek at the Aristotle University in Thessalonika, Thalia Stephanidou, said. "Even in poorer neighbourhoods, that language - which replaced French right after the second world war - is taught, even to old people," she said.
Even in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, English has crowded French out of the classroom, despite French being one of the country's official languages.
In Russia, where speaking French was once a prized talent among the tsars, French is trailing "far behind English" in Moscow and Saint Petersburg schools, Mascha Sveshnikova, of the Russian Cultural Centre, said.
Hat tip: Damian
From Pave France, February 23, 2005, previously published on http://www.expatica.com/: