French is an official language in 29 countries across multiple continents, and there are large French-speaking communities all over the globe. French is the fifth most spoken language in the world, around 77 million people speak it as their first language, and around 203 million – as a foreign language, which results in a total number of French speakers of around 280 million people. This also basically means that wherever you go in the world, whether for work, study or fun, you are quite likely to meet someone who speaks French.
The ability to speak French and English is an advantage in the international job market. Knowledge of French opens the doors to French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world. As one of the world’s largest economies and a leading destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner for many important countries in the world.
Over the centuries, France has given the world so many great writers, poets, artists, musicians, filmmakers, etc. Knowledge of the French language will allow you to experience French culture first-hand. It may seem like some cultural aspects do not require French language skills – you can enjoy French cuisine whether you can speak French or not. However, knowledge of French would make it an even richer and more authentic experience.
France is one of the world’s top tourist destinations and attracts more than 87 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France and offers insights into France’s culture and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to other French-speaking parts of the world. And as you know from point one, such parts are quite numerous.
Speaking French creates opportunities to study at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world.
If you aspire to be a polyglot or learn several Indo-European languages, learning French will help. Other Romance languages (like Italian or Spanish) share quite a lot of similarities with French. And even languages from other groups (like English, which is a Germanic language) have experienced the influence of French through the course of history and have a significant amount of vocabulary derived from French.
French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. Proficiency in French is essential for anyone considering a career in any international organization.
A huge number of different media and communication services use French, a great number of newspapers, books, and other information sources are created in French or are translated into it. Mastering French will give you access to a lot of knowledge and different points of view.
Learning any foreign language is actually a great way to keep your brain healthy and to exercise your memory. And with all the other great advantages that learning French offers, this is just a cherry on top of the cake.
As you can see, French is a language that will open up the world for you: work, travel, education, culture, and entertainment. Do not deny yourself these chances – learn French!