Learning French has come to be associated as a luxury pursuit, best left for snooty connoisseurs of European culture.
Meanwhile, other languages have taken over the public consciousness as more 'useful' languages, but let us tell you there couldn't be a bigger misconception.
French is still relevant around the world and is the official language for many reputed organizations. With that said, even if you want to learn it to read Molière in a Parisian café, it's certainly worth it!
If you're unsure whether you should pick up that French-language guide or enroll in French lessons at your local community center, read on as we discuss reasons for you to take the plunge!
But first, let's talk about some of the common misconceptions of learning French:
Myths About The Practicality Of Learning French
Learning Spanish is often considered more valuable and relevant than French in the United States.
While that may be true due to the large Latin American diaspora, this misconception can dissuade many young learners from taking up French in high school or as a hobby.
Also, French is thought of as too complex and impossible to master. We admit that the nasal accents can catch you off-guard, but it's nothing to write home about.
While the pronunciations might not be phonetic, the significant overlap between English and French vocabulary will undoubtedly make up for this drawback.
French language history is intertwined with English language history leading back to the Norman conquest of England, which has affected how the language has evolved.
Lastly, there's a looming misunderstanding in the western world about French slowly losing its relevance. You might even hear that there are no jobs for French speakers and that the French are all flocking to learn English.
These notions are promptly shot down by the fact that there are countries that house significant French-speaking populations, slowly becoming more and more important to the international arena.
While French language history happens to be extremely rich, its future seems to be just as bright. Let's analyze some reasons why discounting French would not be a wise move for any potential learner.
5 Reasons Why Learning French Should Be A Priority
If you're still contemplating signing up for the French classes at your school or community center, here are five significant reasons why you should learn French:
1. French Is An International Language
Despite all that you might have heard about French falling out of vogue, it's still spoken across five continents and holds an official language status in 29 countries around the world.
Furthermore, it's globally recognized, and this is apparent by the fact that it's one of the official languages of the United Nations.
Whether future developments may occur, the French language will always hold its place as one of the most influential languages.
2. Learning French Gives You Global Access
At its peak, the French empire was considerably expansive; therefore, the language has significantly impacted other cultures and languages.
In essence, French can serve as an excellent bridge between you and other Francophone cultures in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands.
Furthermore, learning French will give you access to several global media networks and news sources, such as TV5MONDE,
You will also get to subscribe to French publications, like Le Monde, helping you diversify your worldview and keep you better informed.
And it goes without saying, with French, you also connect on a much closer level with all things artistic because France is the undisputed flag-bearer of modern arts, fashion, and creative fields.
Learn the language and take advantage of a vast collection of foreign literature, music, and cinema, including renowned film collectives like the Cannes Film Festival.
And lastly, French opens up many travel destinations. Your travels may take you to a Francophone country someday, and you want to be prepared to make the most of it!
You will get to communicate in France, Belgium, Switzerland, alongside much of West Africa, Quebec, and French Polynesia.
Spend a relaxed summer afternoon in Tahiti or tour the French Quarter of New Orleans; it's always better when you know the language and have the luxury of engaging with locals freely.
3. French Is On The Rise
Whoever told you French was losing relevance needs an update on international affairs. Francophone Africa is increasingly becoming a popular choice for entrepreneurs, with a large part centered in West Africa.
Africa is predicted to go through a huge population boom, with an educated young workforce entering its markets in the following decades. This will give investors and organizations opportunities to expand into new markets.
There's a common adage about the next century being Africa's, and that's proving to be correct every day with affluent countries starting to pay special attention to the African individual, worker, and consumer. And a large chunk of these individuals will be French speakers!
It wouldn't be unwise to say the French language might experience a sudden boom the way Mandarin did when China rose to the forefront as a global power.
As Francophone Africa rises in the international sphere, people will realize the many benefits of learning French and move past the misconception of French losing importance.
And that's just in Africa. According to some predictions, French might even overtake German to become the most spoken language within the European Union!
4. French Is A Favorite Among Language Learners
Despite all the pessimism surrounding the future of French, it remains the second-most learned language around the world after English.
Not only does this speak for its popularity, but it also means there are countless French language lessons, resources, tools, and forums for learners to tap into.
Additionally, After English, it is the most-learned language worldwide. By learning this language, you're not only opening the door for communication with French speakers but also French learners.
If you like making new friends, you can tap into numerous communities and forums dedicated to French learners and bond over your love for the language. Learning French can also come in handy while traveling.
Moreover, you can still break the ice and make an impression with locals in countries with French influence.
Consider it something to add to your CV, and you'd surprised just how many people know and speak the language even in non-Francophone countries. French still is an essential global language after all!
5. French Can Help You Diversify
Spanish seems to be the second language of choice for Americans, and that trend seems to be catching on in other parts of the Anglosphere as well.
With that said, diversification is never a bad idea, and French language lessons can offer you more benefits than other popular languages. Taking the less popular option can help you cash in on niche opportunities
While we've discussed the French language's importance in detail, we haven't yet delved into how it has a relatively non-mainstream status in the USA.
And this "hipster" status can prove beneficial. How so, you ask?
Well, if Spanish happens to be the most popular choice for language learners when opportunities for French speakers come up, you'd face close to no competition for the spot!
Therefore, you can either follow the maddening crowd, or you can blaze your own path and make it worthwhile!
On the other hand, if you want to carry on learning other languages, learning French can help lay the foundations, especially if you choose a Romance language like Italian or Spanish.
These languages share several lexical and grammatical similarities, and gaining a basic understanding of them will come naturally to you once you've mastered French.
Additionally, French is also a great confidence builder. Keep in mind that you're expected to stumble with the pronunciations in your French language lessons.
However, the complex phonetics and grammar rules can get your brain circuits firing, helping you develop your cognitive and linguistic abilities.
On top of that, with the increasing number of students signing up for AP French in the United States, we should brace for an influx of speakers in the future!
Learning French The Right Way With Superprof
Regardless of your goals, learning French is not a decision you will regret. Even if it doesn't do much for employment or cultural refinement, it can still be an excellent way for you to connect with new people!
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