French in Eastern Europe and the Balkans

Na   Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:44 am GMT
Take a look at this map

French is an official language in Romania, Bulgaria, and has high status in neighboring countries. What is the reason for this? I never heard of this before.
Guest   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:04 am GMT
French is not an offical language in both Romania and Bulgaria although it's wwidely spoken there.

In other Eastern European countries execpt probably Poland, French is less widely spoken. English, Rusian, and German are more widely spoken. But things may change in the future now that most of Eastern European countries joined La Francophonie either as full/associate members or with observer stauts.

I think you made a wrong interpretation of the mao Na. Take another closer look of the map and analyze the legend.
Skippy   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:11 am GMT
I've heard that French was fairly common in turn of the century Russia (late 1800s to early 1900s).

Maybe I heard wrong.
Guest   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:21 am GMT
French is popular in Romania, Josh it's because France helped Romania several times. Romanians turn to France for intellectual matters and cultural inspirations.
Na   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:22 am GMT
Skippy, you are quite right. French was in fact, ever since the Westernization of Russia in the 18th century, the language of the upper class. Some nobility even spoke French better than Russian (!), which at the time was considered to be the language of the uneducated peasants. During the time of the Soviet Union, some nobility fled to France, while others forgot the language and did not pass it on to their children. English and German became the most important foreign languages, and remain so till this day.
I guess that in those Eastern European countries, French has also once played a key role like in Russia, but it wasn't rooted out as fiercely. I may be wrong, and ask someone of more knowledge on the subject to correct me.
Vytenis   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:04 pm GMT
In Lithuania, Latvia, estonia and Poland the most popular foreign languages taught at school are English, Russian and German. French is in decline. It was popular in the end of XIX century because it was then as English is today.
Guest   Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:08 pm GMT
<< French is popular in Romania, Josh it's because France helped Romania several times. Romanians turn to France for intellectual matters and cultural inspirations. >>

If so,why the Romanians migrate massively to Spain instead of to France? Romanians learn the language of a country where they are not allowed, and I agree with them.
Guest   Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:38 am GMT
<< If so,why the Romanians migrate massively to Spain instead of to France? Romanians learn the language of a country where they are not allowed, and I agree with them. >>

Do you think the Romanians are willing to take Spanish over French? They know the worth of French.

Nobody in Romania is forbidding them to learn English, Russian, German, Italian, or Spanish. The truth is the Romanians are francophiles not hispanophiles. So stop insisting that Romanians are going gaga over Spanish. You're just getting paranoid just because very few people in Romania are taking Spanish. Just like what you said that the French asked the Brazilians to null the Spanish Language Law.

BTW, I found out there was no truth on what you said that lots of Romanians are migrating to Spain. It was again the product of your hallucination. What I found out is there are large number of Romanians are seeking employment in Italy because it's more like a lnad of opportunity instead of Spain. Aside from Romanians, there are also large number of Filipinos and Albanians are attracted to Italy not Spain. Why do you always altered the facts and what's true?
Vytenis   Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:42 pm GMT
Does anyone know where one can download a free mp3 French course for beginners? Something similar to "Deutsch warum nicht" available from Deutsche Welle website.
Guest   Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:34 pm GMT
<< The truth is the Romanians are francophiles not hispanophiles. >>

If they are francophiles , why do they migrate in waves to Spain instead to France? The reality is that they are not allowed to stay in the country which they supposedly admire and they have to go to Spain. That is the point.
vlachos   Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:50 pm GMT
<< The truth is the Romanians are francophiles not hispanophiles. >>

I'm answering you, Guest, with another question: Why did the Spanish,Italians,Portuguese people (not earlier than 30-40 years ago), emigrate to Germany ,USA, Canada etc?

This time, the Romanians are "on run" and they have chosen Spain, Portugal , Italy or even Greece, in accordance with the specific jobs offers and carrier opportunities...

But they didn't emigrate only in these two countries; there are many of them who went and still go to Germany, France, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland etc...exactly as it did for centuries long, the Italians, Spaniards, Germans, British, Portuguese, Greeks is nothing specific to Romanians, uncommon or unknown to wonder you so much...

With the same good and bad, emigrated the nations mentioned above, in higher number than Romanians today, you have only to ask an older German who witnessed the Italian immigration into their country or about their oun emigration into Romania, Russia etc, thousand years ago or more recently in Latin America, North America in Greece, Caribbean Islands etc...

When you decide to leave your country, IT DOES"T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHO YOU LIKE OR NOT; IT HAS TO DO WITH INDIVIDUAL WISHES, DREAMS, OPPORTUNITIES for a better life condition, etc... that's all!

Languages are playing a secondary role; certainly, for simple Romanians, Spanish, Italian is more handy, easy and faster to learn...

All the best!
K. T.   Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:49 am GMT

The French podclass is available. Type in this address:

(This is fun, even if you already speak French well. There are musical offerings and the host makes fun of French stereotypes with his logo.)

Not Mp3, but an old video favourite can be found here by typing in this address:


Have fun!
Gheorghe   Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:25 am GMT
vlachos! You're disguise as a Romanian is not convincing. It shows that you're hispanic in your messages.

Romanians need not to go to Spain because Spain is the poorest country in Wesern Europe and don't insist that they are migrating tin Spain by hordes of numbers. Instead they would rather go to Italy, Germany, France, Austria to seek JOBS which Spain cannot offer.

Most Romanians are fluent in French and a very very few knows littlke Spanish. Italian is the 2nd most popular Romance language in Romania. Romanians love to speal French because histroy France helped them several times.

France helped other countries too worldwide that's why there are lots of Francophiles outside French speaking world and France is a darling of the world which Spanish speaking world could not accept and envy.
Vlachos   Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:45 pm GMT

You didn't understand my better read twice a text, take a breath and get to the right conclusion. I said that jobs opportunities counts first when the people emigrate (valuable for Romanians as well); then counts the other, like languages, culture and so on.. I tried to answer to one of the Guest forumists who thought that Romanians are not emigrating to France because France don't like them, don't accept them. There is No local population on the world, I would say, enjoying emigrants coming in its country, but the emigrants are penetrating in country in accord with jobs opportunities, no matter if legal or illegal...


I noticed at some Romanians a kind of superficiality in listing to the addressed questions ... They effectively don't follow a question or an idea up to the end and rush in to answer or to have an opinion (which of course, ends up being wrong)...Could you explain what is the matter with you? Why are you so aggressive and often parallel with the real meaning of problems in a discussion?

No, I'm not Hispanic - what if I was? I am German, if you really want to know! I know you guys very well, I'm working with some of you, you are generally friendly, but you get pretty quick very emotional and angry...and you are taking diff. remarks/opinions very personal making a conversation very difficult or uncomfortable... You are very confrontational over NOTHING...and I don't understand why is that? We have so many possibilities for keeping/having a balanced communication, no matter if this is about good, nice or bad, ugly cases...

Alles gute!