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The French Language, Books and Knowledge Department

Public debate
French language


The French Language, Books and Knowledge Department develops a strategy and innovative projects aimed at promoting the teaching and learning of our language, French editorial production and authors, intellectual exchanges and the circulation of ideas throughout the world. To this end, it works closely with the French cultural network abroad and provides programmes and resources for targeted audiences: teachers, learners, researchers, publishers, translators etc. It forms partnerships with French structures with in-depth expertise (research institutions, major literary or intellectual events, civil society organisations) and encourages international co-operation.


It operates in three areas:

French Language Division

At a time when demographic changes, the globalisation of the economy and the digital revolution are profoundly changing the linguistic balance of the planet, the promotion of French and, beyond that, linguistic diversity is more than ever at the heart of our influence-based diplomacy. The French Language Division has an ambitious policy in this area aimed at:

  • Making French attractive to younger generations, by making use of contemporary French creation in all fields (literature, comics, cinema, music etc.) and making it accessible everywhere through the Culturethèque platform, as well as by promoting professional opportunities linked to mastery of our language, for example through the international campaign “And what’s more, I speak French! ”.
  • Developing innovative training and learning schemes by exploiting all the possibilities offered by the development of digital education: the structuring of online communities (IFProfs), the creation of distance training schemes for teachers (IFos, IFclasse), and the development of a catalogue of online French courses.
  • Supporting the action of the cultural network in favour of the French language through programmes such as the French Language Fund, which aims to strengthen the place of French within foreign educational systems, as well as by deploying a quality approach in the language course centres of the Instituts français and Alliances françaises.

Book and Media Centre

The dissemination of French books throughout the world is a cultural, intellectual and economic challenge for our country. The Book and Media Centre pursues the following objectives over the long term, in collaboration with the Book Attachés of the French cultural network abroad:

  • Fostering international professional exchanges, by initiating and supporting thematic meetings between French and foreign publishers (on children’s books, comics, detective novels etc.) and between book and audiovisual professionals to encourage the adaptation of French literary works on screen (Shoot the Book!).
  • Supporting the assignment of rights and translation: Publishing Assistance Programmes provide financial support to foreign publishers who develop a catalogue of titles translated from French; La Fabrique des traducteurs translation programme helps renew generations of French translators around the world.
  • Increasing the visibility of French-language authors by encouraging their international mobility and meeting with their foreign audiences through residency programmes (Stendhal Missions), promotional activities and invitations to high-impact literary events.
  • Supporting the modernisation of French media libraries abroad to make them places of culture and knowledge, as well as of collaborative and innovation practices, at the heart of cultural institutions such as the Instituts français and the Alliances françaises (XXI Media Funds, expertise etc.).

Ideas and Knowledge Centre

In partnership with the major players in French intellectual life, this centre contributes to bringing public debate to life around the world and leading dialogue with foreign civil societies. It involves:

  • Encouraging intellectual exchanges and knowledge sharing: the Alembert Fund each year supports the organisation of around 50 events around the world to debate ideas on topics such as urban change, environmental issues and major geopolitical issues.
  • Promoting the free circulation of ideas around the world: once a year the “Night of ideas” invites places of knowledge and culture in France and on the five continents to a major celebration of international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational thought around a common theme.
  • Communicating the latest developments in social sciences and humanities research through thematic cycles and original operations aimed at increasing the international audience of a new generation of French researchers, both among their peers and the general public.
  • Supporting the personalities of the future: The “Labs” of the Institut français offer skills-building and project incubation sessions to young citizens from all over the world who show talent in the areas of education, women’s and minority rights and environmental protection.