French is a Romance language originally spoken in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, and today by about 300 million people around the world as either a native or a second language, with significant populations in 54 countries.
French is a descendant of the Latin of the Roman Empire, as are languages such as Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Romanian, and Portuguese. 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 organisations.