Bienvenue This year, the Francophonie Summit of French-speaking nations is being held in the Swiss city of Montreux on Lake Geneva. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) Keystone In the Montmartre quarter of Paris, early in the day when the bread is still fresh. (Michael Kneffel) Algerian letterbox, from the time of French colonial rule. (Katharina Eglau/Joker) A street in Cameroon. (Peter Arnold) In France, former President Jacques Chirac wanted to ban the wearing of Islamic headscarves at school in 2004. In Beirut, not everyone agreed with that idea. (EPA/Nabil Mounzer) Keystone In Senegal, people use wolof, peul, malinké and around 30 other local languages in their daily lives - but also French. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Crossing the border from France into Switzerland, where French is spoken in a plethora of ways, with special phrases, vocabulary and pronunciation. (Keystone/Martin Ruetschi) Keystone Is the US marine deployed in Haiti thinking of his beautiful lady friend? (AP Photo/Pablo Aneli) Keystone Hanoi Hilton, a prison built by the French and which housed American prisoners of war shot down over North Vietnam, is now a museum. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) Keystone French is also spoken in Madagascar. (Bildagentur-online) A clinic in the Central African Republic. (Panos Pictures/Visum) Quebec was very influential 400 years ago. This was celebrated at the last Francophonie meeting in 2008, which was held in the city. (Keystone/Arno Balzarini) Keystone A global rendez-vous in Montreux. This content was published on September 13, 2010 - 15:38 September 13, 2010 - 15:38 swissinfo.ch Share Facebook Twitter E-mail Print Copy link Some 200 million people speak French around the world. From Vietnam to Algeria via Haiti and Switzerland, French is the official language of 32 countries. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us! If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at email@example.com. Sort by Newest first Oldest first Load more More More Swiss federal elections 2023 It's time to decide who sits in the Swiss parliament by casting your vote in the federal elections on October 22. Here's our election guide.