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Why French? The Top 11 Reasons to Learn French

Maria Claudia Alvarado Published on July 1, 2024

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Learning French will unlock a world of opportunities for you. This language takes you way beyond being able to order a croissant on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In this guide, you’ll learn 11 reasons why you should learn French. From opening doors to your dream career to immersing yourself in the rich world of French arts, we’ll discover why learning this fascinating language is right for you. I’ll also give you some tips to make learning French très facile.

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1. French is a Global Language

French is the fifth most spoken language in the world. By learning this international language, you can connect with 274.1 million people and communicate in 29 countries where French is an official language. French is so widespread that you can easily find French speakers on most continents, as well as online. If you want to learn a foreign language that will allow you to communicate with people wherever you go, French is one of the best choices.

2. Important Language for Business

In 2023, Bloomberg ranked French as the third most important language for business. France is home to important luxury brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton, as well as famous automotive brands like Citröen and Renault. Even if you don’t live in France, knowing French usually plays a big role in finding a job in these companies. French is necessary to communicate with coworkers and potential clients around the world. To give you a better idea of why this is a useful language, here’s a table of large French companies present around the world:

Speaking this language might also come in handy even if you aren’t looking for a job in a French multinational company. If you’re starting a business or looking for investors, speaking French gives you access to a wider range of opportunities. It will also make finding business partners easier since many people speak French even if it’s not their first language.

3. It’s an Easy Language to Learn

According to the U.S. Department of State, French is an easy language for English speakers to learn. It takes around 750 hours for English speakers to reach a proficient level in French. This is much less than other languages like Arabic or Japanese. Plus, French and English have similar vocabulary and even use similar sentence structures.  

However, how hard it will be for you to learn French as a second language depends on various factors. In case you’re wondering how long it will take you to reach your French goals, here’s a language calculator that can give you an estimate:

How Long Will It Take You To Learn French?​
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4. It Can Make Travel Easier

The French language was introduced to many territories overseas as a result of France’s history of colonization. You can find French speakers in African countries like Benin, Cameroon, Seychelles, and many others. On the American continent, French is also quite a popular language since it’s one of the official languages of Canada and the fifth most spoken in the United States

Knowing French can even be useful in unexpected places. For example, even though French isn’t an official language in Germany, Italy, and Portugal, it’s spoken by a large percentage of people living in these countries. Whether you’re planning a trip to Europe, traveling to North America, or visiting Africa, speaking French can help you communicate, even if you’re not in a French-speaking country.

5. French is an Important Language for International Relations

French is an official language in several international organizations such as the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations. In these organizations, French is used as a language bridge between nations that makes agreeing to important international affairs possible. For example, French is one of the 3 working languages used in the European Union. If being part of these organizations is something that interests you, knowing French can put you one step closer to your goal.

6. It’s the Language of Culture

Learning French can help you experience art on a deeper level. France has always played an important role when it comes to art and many famous artists (like Claude Monet and Edgar Degas) come from this country. Stepping into the Louvre with at least a basic level of language can allow you to learn more about the vibrant French history and culture. 

If you’re ready to start exploring the role of the French language in the arts, you can start by watching movies like Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain or Les Choristes. You can also watch documentaries about the lives of French luxury brand designers like Christian Dior or Yves Saint Laurent and learn why France is a fashion giant.

And, of course, reading the works of renowned writers like Albert Camus (L’Étranger), Victor Hugo (Les Misérables), and Flaubert (Madame Bovary) in their original language will help you appreciate French literature at its finest. These are three renowned writers who had a great impact on French literature and the world by asking questions about society, morality, and the human condition.

7. It’s a Powerful Language

According to the Power Language Index, French is the third most powerful language in the world, after English and Mandarin. The Power Language Index includes languages that allow people to communicate with one another, travel, participate in the economy, engage in international relations, and consume knowledge and media. 

Not only is French a widespread language, but it’s also important for international diplomacy. It’s one of the official languages of the United Nations, it’s spoken on five different continents, and it’s the language most people learn as a second tongue after English and Arabic.

8. Good for Sports Enthusiasts  

Did you know that learning French can also be useful if you’re a big sports fan? Many important sports events take place in France during the year: Tour de France (biking), Le Mans (auto racing), Longchamp (horse racing), French Open (tennis), and many more. 

Knowing French will come in handy to read related articles and watch news coverage. But, it’s also useful if you want to learn more about the cultural importance behind these events. If you’re interested in the community aspect of French sports, speaking the language will help you talk with native French speakers about your favorite matches or players.

9. Knowing French Can Help Your English

Many people don’t talk about it, but learning French is a great refresher for your English skills. What’s great about these two languages is that they share many of the same elements. English and French have similar forms of speech, like nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions. If you’ve ever struggled with English grammar, this is the perfect opportunity to observe rules and patterns. Doing this will help you to understand the English language better.

And, this is also a great chance to increase your English vocabulary! Around 40 to 50% of English vocabulary comes from French. However, some of these words aren’t too common in everyday English vocabulary. For example, you might have heard of “boutique” (store), but have you heard of  “Avant-garde” (forefront) or “Savoir-faire” (know-how)? This means that learning French can give your English vocabulary the flair it needs to sound très sophistiqué. For example, here’s a table with French cognates that spell exactly like English words:

French CognateEnglish Word
AdmirableAdmirable
BrilliantBrilliant
RadioRadio
SecretSecret
FruitFruit

10. It’s Popular with Language Learners

French is the second most studied language after English and is taught in a lot of countries around the world. You can easily find French language resources, language exchange groups, and French classes to kickstart your studies regardless of where you live. Thanks to the Internet, you can even find French courses to learn the language online.

11. Learning French Will Make You Smarter

It is scientifically proven that learning a language will make you smarter. Studying French will develop your cognitive skills quickly and improve your memory. Constantly looking for solutions to understand French grammar can also teach you problem-solving skills that will make learning other languages much easier. And, knowing French will make learning other Romance languages easier. If you’re also interested in studying Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian, French is a good middle ground to start your linguistic adventure.

What’s the Most Important Reason to Learn French?

Your personal motivation for learning French will always be the most important reason to start studying the language. Whether you want to travel, communicate with loved ones, or improve your chances of getting the job of your dreams, all reasons to learn French are valid. Having a goal in mind can keep you studying, regardless of the challenges you might encounter. But, remember it’s important to have an actionable plan to make sure you stay on track.

Here’s How to Get Started Learning French

If you’ve decided that learning French is right for you, you’re ready to start outlining your study routine. Setting and following a study routine is the best way to ensure you keep moving closer to your goals. Here are some steps you can keep in mind to make learning French easier:

Set Attainable Goals – Having a clear picture of what you want to achieve will motivate you and keep you on track. Defining a goal helps you see the skills you should focus on first and the resources you need. Once you’ve figured out what level of French you want to achieve, you can set daily or weekly study goals to motivate you to follow your routine.

Find The Best Resources for Your Learning Style – Everyone has a different learning style. Choosing study resources that make learning French easier can keep you engaged and motivate you to continue studying. For example, if you like brief lessons and games, French apps have interactive lessons that can quickly improve your skills. French podcasts have audio lessons you can complete whenever and wherever you are.

Create a Comprehensive Study Routine – If you want to develop all the skills necessary to become fluent in French, you need to use more than one resource to study. Even if you have a favorite French app or course, combining different resources will ensure you practice all areas of language. For example, you can combine French books with podcasts to study grammar and develop your listening comprehension. This way, you’ll always be ready to speak, read, write, and listen in French.

Practice Speaking French – While it might seem intimidating, speaking French is a necessary skill to practice. When you participate in conversations with French speakers, you put your knowledge to the test. This makes remembering vocabulary and grammar easier and helps improve your pronunciation. If you don’t know any French speakers, you can always find a French tutor on a platform like italki or Preply and practice with them. 

Reach Your French Goals with Langoly!

There are many reasons why you should learn French. However, the most important one will always be the one that motivates you to continue practicing. Knowing how to communicate in French can open many doors globally, and connect you with millions of people. Keep your goals in mind, be constant, and don’t be afraid to speak in French at any chance you have. You’ll be speaking French before you know it!

For more information, check out Langoly’s French Hub to help you learn everything you need to know!

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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