French is an official language in 29 countries across multiple continents, such as France, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.
French is also the procedural language for the EU, the only language used for deliberations at the Court of Justice for the EU, and one of the recognized working languages of the United Nations.
There are also relatively large French-speaking communities in countries all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Austria, Greece, Croatia, the UK, Thailand, China, the US and many more.
French is the fifth most spoken language in the world by the total number of speakers. Around 77 million people speak it as their first language, and around 203 million – as a foreign language, which brings the total number of French speakers in the world to around 280 million people.
As for any language, the subjective difficulty of learning French depends on the learner's native language. For instance, it will be easier for a speaker of Spanish (a Romance language, like French) to learn the French language than it will be for a speaker of Russian or Arabic.
However, there are a few things that can make French hard to learn for anyone: a large number of homophones (words spelt differently, but pronounced the same), the category of gender, a large number of inflections in different parts of speech.
Having said that, French grammar tends to be fairly regular, and with due practice and patience, you will be able to master the language.
Yes, French is one of the many Romance languages used in various countries and regions. Romance languages are modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth century. They are a subgroup in the Indo-European language family.
Romance languages include such languages as French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian, as well as several lesser known languages spoken in various territories across Europe, for example, Galician, Catalan, Sicilian and others.
It is hard to give the exact number of Romance languages, as there is actually a continuum of languages shifting one into another across countries and territories. Some estimate that there are as many as 35 current Romance languages.