For most students, learning a language in middle and high school is required–in college, that’s not always the case. Of course, this depends on your university and your intended major, but languages seem to have been put on the back burner. My advisor didn’t even mention the options for languages, so I had to do a little digging as to what my school offers. I was immediately overwhelmed by the plethora of choices of language and coinciding culture courses to choose from. Did I want to learn Mandarin, and communicate with the international students in my dorm? Did I want to learn German, so I could study a logical language and take trips to Munich? Or did I want to take Spanish, the language which, according to my parents, would come in handy in America? As it turns out, I didn’t want to take any of those: I wanted to learn French, the pleasant language birthed in a country filled with rich history and culture.
1. For a native English speaker, French is easier to learn than Spanish.
This is because English is an amalgam of predominantly French and German words. French is also a good stepping stool for learning other Romance languages like Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. French is a practical language to learn as it does not take long to reach a point where you can communicate with ease in French.
2. The French is a transcontinental language.
After English, it is the most taught foreign language across 5 continents. Speaking French is particularly advantageous in Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and Regions of Africa. It is the official language Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and Brussels- three cities in which the EU is headquartered. It is also a language associated with NATO, the International Red Cross, and the United Nations.
3. The French culture is rich.
France is home to some of the most beautiful country sides, landmarks, museums, and trip destination. French is the international language of cuisine, fashion, the visual arts, dance and architecture. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, renowned for its landmarks, museums and architecture all deeply rooted in the country’s history.
4. French history is fascinating.
France’s revolution was inspired by the American Revolution, but France’s revolution inspired the 1917 Russian Revolution, which in turn inspired the Chinese communist revolution. So France is pretty important to studying regimes in history. Its history is also complex and fascinating- the Versailles Palace and the pompous Sun King are world known cultural references.
French is not a challenging language to learn, and studying French opens doors to the world around us.