With almost 200 million French-speakers all over the world, French is an official language in 29 countries. It is also one of the working languages of the United Nations, alongside Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish. French is the preferred language used for the deliberations of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Almost half of French native speakers live in Europe, with the other half distributed over Africa and the Arab world, even reaching as far as Asia (i.e., in Vietnam there are about 400,000 French speakers). French is also one of the two official languages of Canada and it is the main language used in the province of Québec.
French is an Indo-European language and part of the Romance family, along with Spanish and Italian. English and French share many grammatical features and contain many cognates. Phonetically distinctive French sounds are the nasal vowels and the uvular r. Written French uses the Roman alphabet. French spelling is closer to the pronunciation than is English spelling.
The French Language Program at CLIC offers a two-year academic program of studies focused on the development of interactional competence and intercultural knowledge. The courses offered through CLIC guide students to understand the French speaking culture and society through our focus on language awareness and critical language analysis.
300 and 400 level classes in French are offered in the Department of Classical and European Studies.
French is one of the options that fulfills the language requirements for the Linguistics major offered by the Rice Linguistics Department.