There are lots of good reasons to learn a second language and there are some special reasons to learn French. It’s a shame, therefore, that in the recent Rio Olympics French Officials tried hard to enforce the speaking of French just because it was written into the rules a hundred years ago (a legacy of the Frenchman, Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the modern games). Making people use a language because it’s in the rules? That’s never going to work! We have to persuade people it’s worthwhile. And it is.
Here I have collected 10 top reasons to learn French.
- French is a true global language. In Europe French is spoken in 6 countries: France, Switzerland (west), Belgium (south), Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg (west). Worldwide French is spoken on 5 continents. There are 29 countries where French is an official language. In North America French is an official language of Canada.
- For English monolinguals, French is one of the easiest languages to learn because of its Latin base which English shares. French was also, for a few centuries following William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066, the official language of the English royal courts (court is a French word!). Most studies have French in the top 5 of easiest languages to learn. It’s even easier to learn using this award winning French language games that help learners learn fast.
- English shares many words with French. Indeed French is considered to be the biggest influence on English with up to 30% of English words stemming from French origin.
- France is a drop dead gorgeous country…and the biggest tourist destination in the world. 84 million tourists arrive there every year…that’s more than the USA that lies in second place.
- The French people appreciate you speaking French – more so than other countries. (I have learned Italian and the Italians don’t give 2 figs whether you speak Italian or not). The French, on the other hand, are protective of their language (perhaps overly so) – so when you make an effort you are rewarded – usually with a smile and a willingness to help. Don’t just learn “Parlez-vous Anglais?” for your French trip – make an effort.
- It sounds cool – really cool. Without doubt one of the most beautiful languages to listen to…we all fall in love with a French accent, do we not? And listen to this cool pop song Ca plane our moi .
- It’s good for your career. Fluency in French looks good on your cv…France itself is one of the world’s top economies. Many studies have shown that a second language will boost your earnings.
- France and French history, culture, romance, and literature help us understand our place in the world. If we see the world through French eyes, we understand it better.
- There is fantastic support for learning French worldwide. See Alliance Française to find how to get started. The materials for learning French are superb too. If you are a beginner check out French games such as KLOO’s Race to Paris. You’ll learn hundreds of words and be able to make millions of sentences very quickly (yes millions).
- To cap it off – it’s good for your mental health. OK, it’s not strictly a “learning French” thing – just a general benefit of language learning. But the idea of staving off dementia in later life while accruing all these other benefits, has to make it worthwhile.