This sounds (or rather, reads) like an April Fool but it's apparently completely kosher.
The language of the future is...er...French.
Well, that's one way of interpreting a recent study carried out by the French (what else) investment bank Natixis which indicates that there will be more people in the world speaking French in the year 2050 than any other language.
Ahead of Mandarin or English?
Cue that great French thinker of our time, TV reality "star" Nabilla Benattia (who, you'll doubtless be happy to know, has had her Wikipedia entry reinstated), "Allô ! Non, mais allô quoi!"
Apparently the Nataxis report predicts there'll be 750 million French speakers worldwide because that's the language spoken in countries with some of the fastest-growing populations - particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
A bit of a stretch for Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, writing in the business magazine Forbes, who questions the study's methodology because "it counts as French-speakers all the inhabitants of countries where French is an official language, which probably won’t be the case."
At the same time though, he concedes that "French is still a fast-growing, global language" and "will continue to be present on all continents by 2050."
Time to break out your "Bescherelle" and "Le Petit Robert"?
Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto - [image: Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto] A few somewhat old pics of the Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavili...