Top 10 Reasons to Learn French
1. French is spoken by 220 million people
French is spoken in more than 50 countries around the world and on 5 continents. It is the official language of 32 states, and the 3rd most frequently used language on the Internet. French is also the most frequently taught foreign language in the world after English. In the US, French is the second most commonly taught language after Spanish.
2. Improve your English!
Over 50% of English vocabulary is derived from French and you already know about 15,000 French words (abracadabra, destination, jovial) and expressions (zut alors, c’est la vie, voilà, bon appétit, rendez-vous).
3. French opens the door to college
Satisfy university entrance or exit requirements! Most college admissions requirements dictate at least two years of foreign language study. For example, Harvard College requires that “you should leave secondary school knowing at least one foreign language well enough to read it easily and pronounce it acceptably”.
Learning French will improve your SAT and ACT scores! By improving your vocabulary, you will improve your SAT scores (the SAT I Reasoning Test will test your vocabulary) as well as the ACT, GRE, LSAT. Higher test scores are a clear advantage for college admission.
4. French will give you a head start in learning Romance languages
French will give you a head start in learning other Romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian. Plus, learning French goes very well with overall learning (for example, already knowing a Romance language like Spanish will help you feel more comfortable with the syntax, vocabulary and grammar of French).
5. In the global economy, the French market matters
France is the crossroads of Europe, the world’s largest consumer market. France ranks in the top 5 countries in the world in terms of Gross National Product, and has one of the highest labor productivity.
6. France is an important business partner
2,800 French companies in the US earn a combined 1.7 billion US Dollars annually. A few examples of American companies which are well established in France include IBM, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, Motorola, Ford, Coca Cola, Heinz, General electric, Mattel, Toys “R” Us, Disney, Gap.
A few examples of French companies which are well established in the US: DANONE, L’Oreal (Kiehls, Maybelline NY, Body Shop, Softsheen Carson, Sephora, Loewe), Louis Vuitton or even Michelin.
France is highly qualified in many fields:
- Military/security field: France is the world’s third largest military power, the world’s second largest defence industry, and builds military aircrafts and helicopters. French could be useful for CIA, Coast guard, Army, and Air Force careers
- Medicine: France is one of the world leaders in medical research and you would need French to work with French-speaking populations in the U.S or with the international bodies such as the World Health Organization, Red Cross, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
- NGOs: Non-profit organizations (for example: Save the Children, Doctors without Borders, Human Rights Watch)
- The luxury goods and beauty industry: LVMH is the world leader in perfumes, fashion or design. French multinational L’Oréal is equally successful
- Culinary arts and winery
- Tourism: Travel/hospitality industries, tourism industries
- Publishing: Translator/interpreter, Editor/proof-reader, writing or publishing (travel/fashion/trade magazine writing…)
- Art: Creative and performing arts (for example, French is the language of dance technique)
7. The primary consumer of US exports speaks French!
The official Canadian languages are French and English. Six million people speak French in Québec, and there are more than 9.2 million French language speakers in the entire country. Canada is the primary consumer of U.S exports, far ahead of China. Furthermore, through partnerships such as NAFTA, more products are marketed in Canada, and companies will need French-speaking employees.
8. French is an official language of many international organizations
The European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO, the Olympic Committee and many other chose French as their official working language.
9. Be an educated tourist!
France is the #1 tourist destination in the world: discover its patrimoine (Mont Saint Michel, Normandie, Paris…), museums (Louvre, Pompidou, Orsay…) and fashion designers (Dior, Guerlain, Lancôme, JP Gaultier).
French is spoken in many touristic destinations: not only would you be an educated tourist in France but as well in many places in Africa, the Caribbean or even Pacific Islands.
10. French is a language of culture
French is often known as a language of culture, opening the door to art, music (David Guetta, Air, MC Solaar, Justice), fashion (Chanel, Dior, Lancel…), elaborate cuisine, cinema, literary masterpieces (Zola, Hugo, Flaubert…).