Have you ever asked yourself, “Why should I learn French?”
Learning to speak a foreign language can change the way you learn, travel and experience life.
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons to learn French.
1. Learning French Helps Your Brain Grow
Studies have proven that there are numerous cognitive benefits to learning a foreign language. People who know more than one language benefit from a bigger brain.
This means that you can enhance your:
- Creativity, and
- Problem-solving skills.
Learning a second language, like French, helps your brain learn to recall specific pieces of information. This inherently improves your memory.
Additionally, speaking another language uses a specific part of your brain. This enhances your creative and problem-solving abilities by encouraging divergent thinking. Your brain will become more apt to originality, flexibility, elaboration, and fluency.
Additionally, The National Institute of Health reports those who reach bilingual status are even able to switch between tasks faster than those who only know one language.
2. French is a World Language
The French language is spoken on five continents. According to a 2021 study in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, French has more than 300 million speakers worldwide.
Around half of these speakers are in Africa, while about 33 million are in the Americas. This means that more people speak French as a first language abroad than in France itself!
Plus, since French, Spanish, and Italian are all based in Latin, you might be able to understand some of the other two languages once you reach a level of fluency with French.
Surprisingly, the French language also shares much of its vocabulary with English, making it somewhat easier to learn than other romance languages.
3. French is the Second Most Learned Language (after English)
Why should I learn French? French is the only language other than English taught in every country in the world, making it a popular choice for international communications.
Schools and universities around the world teach the French language to over 100 million people every day.
If you find yourself longing to travel, French is one of the best languages to learn. Because French is so widely taught, you will likely be able to find someone who can communicate with you in most places that you want to visit.
There are many benefits to being able to communicate in a foreign country, but the most important one is staying safe. Knowing the language can make a big difference when you are in a new place.
4. French Can Boost Your Career
If you’ve ever dreamt about a career abroad, the French language will get you there. France Diplomatie discusses how France is a big world economy, in fact, the fifth biggest.
Many companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world seek out potential employees who speak both English and French.
Even if you aren’t hoping to work abroad, being bilingual will never hurt your resume.
At the very least, you can talk about your dedication to learning the language in your job interview. At its best, the skill could help you interact with customers more easily or earn you a spot on a business trip.
Another way that some learners use French to further their career is translating or interpreting.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in this area are set to increase by 24% by 2030, more than three times faster than the national average.
In addition, translators and interpreters make a median salary of more than $49,000. This is a great way to use your French if you’re looking for a career change that focuses on the language.
5. Exchange Opportunities
French schools often have counterparts in other countries making it easy to connect with French students from around the globe. Speaking French opens the door to numerous exchange programs and higher education opportunities.
If you are interested in enrolling in a French school, you can benefit a lot by learning the language ahead of submitting your application.
Even though many French universities offer programs taught in English, there are some exclusive programs that they offer only in French.
Not to mention knowing the language can give you a leg up for earning scholarships.
6. Travel to France and Around the World
People who ask about learning French often love to travel. After all, nothing is more rewarding than connecting with another culture through language, art, and food.
France is a world tourist destination, and learning the language can help you enjoy your trip.
Based on the 2019 Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, Paris was the 2nd most popular destination in the world. In total, the city received more than 19 million visitors, which is more than eight times the total population of Paris itself.
French is also useful when traveling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, the Seychelles Islands and beyond! Plus, even if you don’t plan to travel, learning French will allow you to speak to visitors in your country who speak the language.
7. French is the Language of International Relations
Interested in international relations? One of the most common reasons to learn French is if you have an interest in a foreign services career.
That’s because the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross, and international courts all use French as both a working and official language!
In fact, there are several career paths to choose from if you want to work on US-French relations. According to the US Department of State, there are five different tracks that Foreign Service Officers may pursue after the hiring process.
This includes economic, consular, political, diplomacy, and management-based positions. One of the benefits of speaking French is that it puts you at an advantage if you decide to pursue one of these FSO careers.
8. French Food and Culture
The language of cooking, fashion, theater, visual arts, dance, and architecture. Choosing to learn French as a second language allows you to better understand and appreciate all the French culture has to offer.
In fact, France has 49 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the 4th most sites of any country in the world. This includes places like the Notre-Dame, the Palace of Versailles, Carcassonne, and more.
However, these aren’t the only reasons to learn French. Many famous pieces of literature and art originate from France.
Being able to read the works of Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, and George Sand in their native tongue provides a cultural context that can’t be replicated in other languages.
As a byproduct of learning a language, you almost always learn about its culture and norms, too. For example, you can’t learn about French food without learning what a typical meal in the country looks like.
Similarly, you will learn about the history of ballet while learning the associated terminology. One of the best advantages of learning French is the accompanying understanding of its unique culture.
9. It’s Easy to Learn French
Once you begin to study French, it won’t be long before you reach a level where you can easily communicate with others in the language. Speaking French is also fun, its soft melodious rhythms easily roll off the tongue.
According to the US Foreign Service Institute, French is a Category I language.
This means that it only takes about 24-30 weeks or 600-750 hours to reach professional working proficiency. That’s about 3.5 hours per day of practicing French in less than six months!
Of course, you aren’t going to perfect the accent and diction immediately. When you decide to learn French, remember to focus on the basics first. Once you understand how the language works, you can begin to put your own twist on it.
If you find yourself experiencing trouble learning French, know that you’re not alone.
Many people find learning a foreign language more challenging than they anticipated. Stick with it, though! It will eventually click, and you can be conversing in no time.
10. French, the Language of Love
French is an original romance language and shares traits such as word order, masculine and feminine gender and the use of definite and indefinite articles with many other languages.
One of the top reasons for learning French is that it provides the basis for language learning. When you learn French it opens up a whole new world of language learning opportunities!
As already mentioned, French, Spanish, and Italian are very similar because they are all based on Latin. Once you learn one of these languages, it is much easier to learn the others.
If you are interested in opening yourself up to the opportunity to be trilingual, that is yet another reason to learn French.
I Want to Learn French, How Can I Do It?
With so many reasons to learn French, take a look at Stratford Career Institute’s easy and affordable online program that helps beginners learn French As A Second Language.
In this program, you will gradually progress to a more advanced level of French at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.
This includes all the concepts you need, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and more. You’ll even learn more about the culture and figures of speech. This will help you navigate everyday speaking confidently and alleviate cultural barriers.
Contact us for more information or enroll today!
Explore Stratford’s online course today to learn French at home.