French is a "Romantic Language" globally spoken by about 77 million people as a first language, by 50 million as a second language, and by about another 200 million people as a foreign language. The language originated in France.
French is a descendant of the Latin language. Its development was also influenced by the native Celtic languages of Roman Gaul and by the Germanic language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders.
It is an official language in 29 countries, most of which form what is called, in French, La Francophonie, the community of French-speaking nations. It is an official language of all United Nations agencies and a large number of international organizations. According to the European Union, 129 million (26% of the 497,198,740) people in 27 member states speak French, of which 65 million (12%) are native speakers and 69 million (14%) claim to speak it either as a second language or as a foreign language, which makes it the third most spoken second language in the Union, after English (2nd rank) and German (1st rank). In addition, prior to the mid 20th century, French served as the preeminent language of diplomacy among European and colonial powers as well as a lingua franca among the educated classes of Europe. In addition, many creole languages have been created based on the French language. For example, Mauritian creole is a creole of French spoken on the island of Mauritius.