Well that’s a good question! As a native French speaker, it took me a while to understand the greatness of the French language.
But seriously, learning French will change your lives. There are so many advantages to speak French!
Not convinced? Alright, let me share with you 7 reasons why you have to learn French.
1) Alongside English, French is the only language spoken on the 5 continents
Did you know that?
Yes, French is one of the only two truly global languages. Although French is the ninth most spoken language in the world, it is the first or second language in more than 40 countries, including Belgium, Canada, Senegal, Switzerland, Congo, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Monaco, Seychelles, Tunisia and more.
It is spoken by more than 200 million persons in the world and it is the most widely learned foreign language after English.
It’s also an official language in many international organizations such as the United Nations, the NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the UNESCO etc… And by the way, the 3 major institutions of the European Union are headquartered in French speaking cities: Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.
Moreover, the French linguistic community has the highest demographic growth rate among the North Westerners languages.
So don’t worry guys, you can be sure that French will not disappear and that it will continue to take more and more importance in the foreseeable future.
2) Because it’s a beautiful language
Ever heard about the language of love?
Of course you did. Everyone knows the most romantic way to say “I love you” : Je t’aime.
No, ok, to each his own, I guess...
But you can’t deny that it sounds cool when people speak French! And there is a good reason for that: there are many pronunciation rules which make the language sound really flowing, really cool, and really beautiful.
And some of these rules are not always compulsory: you’re free to apply them or not! That gives to people many different “ways” to speak French, which makes it a truly living and evolving language.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the pronunciation is easy. For some, it’s actually the hardest part. But to be honest, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that (“But you’re French!” you’ll say).
No really, when you think about it, there are only 15 vowel sounds in French, and the consonant sounds are pretty much the same as in English. Of course you’ll probably have a foreign accent in the beginning, but that’s not a big deal.
Let me tell you a secret: French people find foreign accents really cute.
3) The language of culture
"To learn a language is like moving in another country, because behind any new language, you will find a new culture, and each of them is, in one way or another, fascinating."
French culture is truly awesome.
From the great writers like Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac or Emile Zola, to the remarkable singers and musicians like Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, or more recently David Guetta and the Daft Punk, including many notorious painters such as Claude Monnet or Auguste Renoir…
French culture is inexhaustible, it will never stop to blow your mind ; I could write a whole article about it.
And what could be a greater pleasure than to understand the works of all these phenomenal artists in their original version? Take the movie The Intouchables, which is my favorite French movie.
Maybe some of you have already seen it, but I promise you: if you’re able to understand that movie in French, you will find it 10 times better than it already is.
4) French opens up many careers and business opportunities
France is the 6th largest economy in the world in 2017.
Speaking French and English, will give you the opportunity to find jobs in many French companies and multinationals in various sectors of activity (retail, automotive, luxury, aeronautics ...).
And you could also work in various French-speaking parts of the world. For example, did you know that the headquarter of Nestlé is located in the French part of Switzerland? And that’s one of the most beautiful and pleasant area to live in the world.
Besides, France is the 7th ranking destination for foreign investment. That’s because it is, with Germany, a pillar of the European Union, thanks to its solid intellectual property and its very developed infrastructures and distribution networks.
Moreover, France has close relations with the African continent, whose potential is huge. Some of the African countries have the fastest GDP growth rate in the world, and many of them need reforms and political restructuration to truly fulfil their potential.
Could you be the one starting out these changes?
5) France is the most touristic country in the world
France attracts more than 80 million visitors a year.
Learning French will make your holidays in France so much more enjoyable. Because of course, you want to be able to read properly a menu in a Parisian restaurant in Montmartre and order the food in French by yourself, right?
And what about the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Champs Élysées, the romantic cruise on the “Bateaux Mouches” to enjoy the views from the Seine river, all the museums, the Opera Garnier… ? What a magnificent city Paris is!
And if you think that France is all about Paris, then you’re a 100% wrong. The south of France is the perfect destination for mild climes type of people, with its historic Mediterranean coastal cities such as Marseille, Nice, Cannes, Saint Tropez…
If you are more a mountain type of person, then you can go skiing in the Alpes in the ski resort of Chamonix, situated right at the foot of the Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in France and in Europe.
Or if you like History, then you can visit one of the countless castles and strongholds like Versailles, Chambord, Carcassonne, the Mont Saint-Michel…
And what if I told you that this... :
... is France? That’s right guys, I’m not joking, this is French Polynesia, literraly Paradise on earth. Not to mention the 5 overseas department of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean’s, Mayotte and Réunion in the Indian Ocean and French Guiana in South America.
So, who said that France is not an exotic country?
6) Easy to learn
People say French is difficult: that’s wrong.
In fact, French is one of the languages most similar to English (if not the most similar). Did you know that around a third of English words derive from French? A lot of French and English vocabulary share the same root, they are called “cognates”.
For example, all the words finishing in “-ence” like difference (différence), existence (existence), consequence (conséquence)… ; all the ones finishing in “-tion” like solution (solution), formation (formation)… They might be pronounced slightly differently, but they are often spelled in the same way.
So as an English speaker, the more you’ll be listening to French, the more you’ll be able to recognize this small patterns which will make the memorizing process so much easier for you.
Some people get discouraged when they try to read French, because it seems like they don’t pronounce what is written. I understand that, because the same happened to me with English, and as you can see, it didn’t prevent me from learning English!
The key for me was to listen to dialogues in movies with English subtitles, because I can associate the written word with the spoken word. Also learning the lyrics of English songs by heart is a fun and very effective way to improve your pronunciation, and also your vocabulary.
And once again, the pronunciation in French follows some patterns, and once you learn them, you can pronounce any word, even if you don’t know them, because the pronunciation is actually very regular (much more than in English).
7) “French speaking food”
That’s right, even our food can speak French!
I promise you, when you walk in front of a bakery in France, the soft smell of fresh bread and fresh pastries is like the voice of a beautiful mermaid in the sea, hypnotizing you, singing: “Buy me mon amour, eat me mon amour! <3 ”. I guarantee you will not resist…
And we are not only famous for our bakeries: our chefs are considered the best in the world, and French restaurants are recognized internationally.
Everyone knows the “3 French basics” : Bread, Wine and Cheese, which have their own dedicated moment during the meal (after the main dish, and before the dessert).
Ok, I’m not gonna lie, eating in a good and fancy French restaurant is not something anyone can afford, but that’s because it’s a special experience, it’s a magical moment. It’s designed to be something that you will never forget in your life.
Taking your time during your meal is really part of the French traditional culture, it’s a joyful moment to enjoy with your family.
But what I really meant by “French speaking food” is that you won’t only find good food in France, but in any French speaking country of the world! Have you ever tried Ivorian Attiéké? a Polynesian Poulet Fafa? a Swiss Fondue? Morrocan Couscous? Poutine Quebecoise? …
French speaking cuisine will never stop to amaze you!