Why Learn French in France?

Paris and the French Language - France in Europe

 


Reasons to study French


  • French is the eleventh most widely-spoken language in the world.
  • French is the official language of 33 countries worldwide.
  • French is spoken in two of the G7 countries.
  • French is the mother tongue of 75 million people.
  • 200 million people worldwide understand, speak, read or write French.
  • French is one of the official languages of the International Red Cross.
  • Francophone Africa is a larger area than the USA.
  • French is the most-widely taught second language after English.
  • Over 20,000 English words originate from the French language.
  • French is the second largest language (after English) in terms of the number of words.
  • Many of the most important documents in Humanities and Social Science come from France. Students and researchers with knowledge of French have access to these works for several years before they are translated into English. Many significant works are never translated and remain accessible only to those who know French.
  • France is a major tourist destination with around 60 million visitors per year.
  • France is Europe's foremost investor abroad
  • France, Belgium, Holland and Germany have the lowest rates of inflation in the European Union. This is an indicator of the economic health of the countries.
  • France is fourth in terms of world power and it does not have the debt problems facing other major industrialized nations (a positive sign for joint projects, business and scientific co-operation.)
  • France is the fourth largest automobile producer in the world and the third largest exporter.
  • France is the world's second largest agricultural exporter after the USA.
  • France is the fourth largest exporting nation in the world.
  • France exports more per capita than Japan and over twice as much as the USA.

Who speaks French?

map

Member countries of the Francophone agency

Countries where French is an official language


Countries where French is mother tongue

Countries where French is the language used at school



For those with the appropriate skills there are also possibilities for work in the following fields:


  • International business.
  • French research institutes.
  • International agencies.
  • As a teacher.
  • The tourism and hospitality industries.
  • As a translator or interpreter.
  • The diplomatic service.

French at work Along with English, French is the official working language of the following institutions:

 

  • The United Nations
  • The 31-member Council of Europe.
  • UNESCO.
  • The European Community.
  • NATO.
  • The Universal Postal Union.
  • The International Olympic Committee.
  • The International Red Cross.
  • The International Labor Bureau.
  • Union of International Associations (UIA)
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

French is also the dominant working language of the following institutions:


  • The European Court of Justice
  • The European Tribunal of First Instance
  • The European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg.
  • The Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium

 


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