Each year, the broad diversity of French language speakers is celebrated during the month of March, le mois de la francophonie. French is spoken by nearly 300 million people on 5 different continents, from Africa to Asia to Oceania and the Americas; on these continents, French is the official language of 29 different countries. The importance of le mois de la francophonie is to showcase and celebrate the vastness of the French language and to demonstrate how French is spoken all over the globe by a wide array of regions and nationalities. March 20th is the official journée de la francophonie, during which French speakers from all different backgrounds can come together under a common unifier: language.

To celebrate la francophonie in Boston, stop by the French Library to chat about French literature with our librarian, Benoit, or to simply experience the slice of Francophone culture that exists in the middle of the city. In fact, a large majority of French speakers in the U.S.A. are living in New England. What better place to enjoy le mois de la francophonie than behind our doors at the French Library!

To learn more about the diversity contained within la francophonie, our friends at the French Consulate of Boston have created videos for the month of March with different phrases and idioms from Québec, Acadia, and France. These videos may help you to learn about and experience the variety of cultures encompassed under the French language umbrella. A word might mean one thing in France and another in Acadia. Do you know the meaning of “amarrer” when used in Acadia? You might be surprised!

To further celebrate la francophonie, come to the French Library on Tuesday, March 28th to hear a lecture from Maya Hachem and Joelle Tomb who will discuss the role of women in the art and hospitality sector in Lebanon, complete with a special tasting of delicious Lebanese food and wine.

We look forward to welcoming you at the French Library to celebrate le mois de la francophonie and so much more!

Maxine Arnheiter

Administrative Assistant

Maxine discovered her affinity for French language and culture while living with a host family and studying French literature in Rennes, Brittany during her junior year of high school with School Year Abroad. During her time at SYA, her parents took beginner’s classes at the French Library—it was then that Maxine first learned of the library’s existence. Maxine continued with her French studies at Tufts University, majoring in English and French literature with a concentration in visual studies. Along with her time in Rennes, Maxine lived in Paris for a summer where she worked at a small art gallery in the Marais.

Six years after her high school experience in France and a year post college graduation, Maxine is thrilled to be the Administrative Assistant to the French Library, where she hopes to continue learning about and celebrating French culture and literature. In her free time, Maxine enjoys reading, seeing the newest art films at Kendall Square Cinema, and going for runs around the Esplanade.

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