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There are about 128 million people around the world who speak French. It is not only an official language in France, but also in 24 other countries, for example Switzerland and Canada. It is spoken in the Channel Islands, and there are sizeable French communities in London. It is by far the most commonly taught language in UK secondary schools. In Wales, first language French speakers have been reported in schools in Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Conwy/Denbighshire, Flintshire, Newport, Swansea/Neath Port Talbot, and Wrexham.

Listen to Sylvie Butterbach who was born in the Alsace region of France - a region which has also in its history been part of Germany. She came to Wales as a school French 'assistante' in the 1970s. She stayed and raised a family here. She now lives in Pontardawe and works as an interpreter and storyteller.

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  • PagesDifferent Voices

    5 May 2011
    Different Voices

    Explore the history and sounds of Wales' languages from Early Medieval to the present