Find out why you should learn French
Why do some languages have such cultural significance? Do they offer us something we can’t find elsewhere? Or are there other factors at play here? If you’re looking into learning a new language but aren’t sure which would be best, consider taking French as it might just be the ideal choice.
While many people think that studying French is difficult or time-consuming, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, with modern technology, getting started on your journey toward becoming fluent could happen more quickly than ever before. This article offers compelling arguments for why you should start learning French right now — and in case you haven’t yet heard, these points apply whether you want to study abroad, travel to another country, or simply wish to communicate better with native speakers.
>>> GET STARTED RIGHT NOW
1. French is the official language in 29 countries
The French language doesn’t only exist within borders, however. It’s also used as the main language in dozens of international organizations and institutions, including the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), International Labor Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO, NATO, African Development Bank (ADB), Arab League, and Asian Development Bank (ADB). These groups often work together to address issues related to human rights, global development, health care, education, finance, trade, agriculture, science, and the environment.
In short, if you speak English fluently, then French is probably already part of your everyday life. But what about those who don’t? By knowing the basics of French, you’ll be able to participate in discussions related to international affairs without feeling completely out of place. And while speaking French won’t make you super intelligent, it will help you understand how the rest of the world works. After all, it takes two to talk, so being bilingual gives you a leg up.
2. French is spoken by over 280 million people worldwide
According to data from the CIA Factbook, French ranks fifth among spoken languages after Spanish. The vast majority of French speakers live in Europe (over half), followed closely by North America (about 30 percent) and Asia (around 15 percent). While the total number of French speakers may not seem like much compared to the 1 billion Chinese speakers or the 870 million Indians, this figure does represent nearly 40 percent of the entire global population.
Furthermore, according to recent estimates by UNESCO, around 80 percent of French speakers live outside of their home countries, demonstrating the importance of French beyond its borders. As a result, knowing French means that you’ll never feel alone or left behind when interacting with others. This should hopefully provide you with a great reason for why you should learn French.
3. French is an important language for business and diplomacy
As mentioned above, French serves numerous roles throughout the world. For example, it’s commonly used for business communication and negotiations between companies located in different regions. There are several ways to use French in daily life, too. When traveling abroad, you might hear someone talking to you in French, for instance.
And even though it’s not typically considered an “international” language, French remains a vital tool for diplomats. Whether you know French because you plan to move overseas or are considering going backpacking through Europe someday, understanding the language will give you access to information unavailable through any other channel.
4. Learning French will improve your vocabulary and grammar skills
Perhaps the biggest reason to learn French is that doing so will expand your knowledge base, increase your proficiency level, and boost your confidence. By learning a foreign language, you’ll gain access to words you otherwise wouldn’t encounter. That said, you shouldn’t expect to become fluent overnight.
It usually takes years of consistent practice to reach a high enough skill level to converse comfortably in a foreign tongue. However, anyone who wants to develop their language abilities can benefit greatly from learning French. Not only will this allow them to express themselves more clearly, but it will also open doors to career opportunities where French plays an integral role.
Additionally, improving your writing skills is another great outcome of learning French. Writing well is crucial for success in almost every field, especially professional ones. Plus, learning French will help you master proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar rules. All of these things add up to a much smoother experience overall.
5. French has a rich culture and history that’s worth exploring
Another reason for why you should learn French, is because learning French is a lot easier than you might think. Yes, it involves memorizing thousands of new words, but once you’ve done that, you can focus on practicing with real conversations instead.
For starters, you’ll notice that the French language itself is fascinating. From the sounds of words to the structure of sentences, French is full of unique characteristics that make it stand apart from most other languages. Furthermore, French culture is diverse and complex, featuring everything from art to music, cuisine, fashion, literature, and politics.
Of course, you don’t need to take French classes to explore these areas. Instead, you can check out books written in French, watch movies made in French, read poetry in French, listen to songs sung in French, and visit museums dedicated to French artists.
You’ll also discover that French influences other cultures. Take, for example, the famous phrase Ça c’est la vie (“That’s Life”). Originally recorded in 1894 by singer Edith Piaf, the song was later adapted into multiple languages, including Italian, German, Russian, and Japanese.
Finally, you’ll enjoy discovering the French language’s connection to the past. Did you know that Parisian women were forbidden from using lipstick until 1968? Or that Napoleon banned the word “département” until 1830? Perhaps you learned that the first French president, François Mitterrand, began his political career working as a journalist?
All of these examples highlight the rich history of the French language, making it easy to see why learning French is worthwhile.
6. France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world
Thanks to its stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes, delicious food, and historical landmarks, France consistently tops lists of the top 10 vacation spots in the world. Consider this – 6 years ago, in 2016 alone, the country welcomed over 50 million tourists, bringing in roughly $43 billion dollars in revenue.
SIDE NOTE: If you're interested in the more romantic side of life, click here to discover how to have a romantic weekend in Paris.
France is also known for being welcoming. With a low crime rate and friendly locals, visitors are free to walk down the street and interact with strangers whenever they please. And since it’s common for French citizens to greet each other with Bonjour, Vous et Desolez-vous, and Au Revoir, you’ll likely run into plenty of fellow travelers along the way.
So, if you’re planning to go somewhere warm during winter months, France might be the perfect destination for you. Alternatively, if you’d rather escape cold weather, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and South Africa are all fantastic options.
Whether you choose to spend your next trip to France or study abroad in Paris, you’ll undoubtedly find that learning French is rewarding both personally and professionally. To recap, here again are the 6 most compelling reasons for why you should learn French:
- It’s the fifth most widely spoken language in the world
- It’s an official language of 29 countries
- It’s used by numerous international organizations
- Writing skills and cultural awareness improve drastically
- French culture is rich and complex, with something to offer everyone
- France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world
So what are you waiting for? Start learning French today!
GET STARTED RIGHT NOW <<<