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French Around the Globe: Madagascar French Language


Image credit: Peregrine Adventures


This week in our French Around the Globe series, we’re going to be heading back to the continent of Africa to take a look at the Madagascar French language. This country in the southwestern Indian Ocean is the fourth largest island country in the world and has two official languages: Malagasy and French.


Unlike Belgium and Senegal, the Madagascar French language is more a de jure official language. This makes the country a fascinating case study for our blog as it’s quite different from countries in which French is still used in daily, popular contexts. Let’s find out a little more.


The Basics of Madagascar

As of 2020 Madagascar had a population of around 27,691,019. The capital is Antananarivo and its currency is the Malagasy Ariary. Their national animals are the zebu and the ringed lemur, and their national flora is the baobab.


As mentioned, Madagascar is found just off the coast of the African continental mainland in the Indian Ocean. While it’s closer to the African coast - just 400km away, separated by the Mozambique Channel - the main cultural and ethnic connections ar