French (français, fʁɑ̃sɛ) is spoken around the world by between 72 and 130 million people as a native language, and by between 190 and 600 million people as a second language, with significant populations of speakers in 54 countries. Most native speakers of the language live in France, where the language originated. The rest live in Canada, Belgium, or one of the other 54 countries in which it is spoken.
French is a descendant of the Latin language of the Roman Empire, as are languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Catalan and Romanian. 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 31 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.