Why Study French?
- The French language is widely spoken on all continents
including Antarctica, and under water (Cousteau Foundation &
Comex), in space (Ariane Espace &
Airbus), and in cyber space
(French is the second most used language on the Internet).
- French is the only foreign language that can be useful
throughout the world as well as in the United States. (Check out
French: The Most Practical Foreign Language.)
- French is the foreign language spoken by our largest trading partner (Canada). The province of Quebec alone is the sixth largest trading partner of the United States with approximately $72 billion in trade in 2009.
- The US government recognizes the limited pool of critical
experts available to deal with terrorism and promoting strong
international relations. Consequently, both the
aggressively recruit instructors, agents, analysts, translators,
and interpreters in a list of specific languages that includes
French. In fact, the CIA offers a hiring bonus as high as
$35,000 for language capabilities. For the National Security
Agency, French remains important because of the many African
nations that speak the language.
- Paris, France is the number one tourist destination worldwide.
- French double majors are very attractive candidates for law
school, medical school, and other graduate programs.
French teachers are in such demand that the State of Missouri
offers student loan forgiveness to teachers of French in the
OK that sounds good, I do love French, but I know that I
will never live in a French-speaking country, and I do not want to
teach or work for the government.
- French (as any other foreign language) will benefit you even
if you never use it (very unlikely though), because going
through the process of learning French gives you skills and
qualities that are useful and marketable no matter what you do:
memorization, analytical reading and writing skills, as well as
adaptability, tolerance for difference, and problem-solving
- How many people do you know around you who speak French? Not
those who took an occasional class, but people who have mastered
the French language. "Not too many" is probably the answer. Do
you know why? Because learning and mastering French is difficult
and not everybody has the motivation to do what it takes. Also,
not too many people speak French as their first language in the
United States. This means that any student who masters the
French language in this country can demonstrate that they are able to accomplish something very
demanding, and that they can succeed in a foreign and challenging
environment. Finally, when
these graduates apply for companies seeking a specialist in
French or Francophone culture/language in the US, they will
rarely be in competition with native speakers, thus increasing their
chances to be hired.
Why should we bother learning French since everybody speaks
English around the world?
- It is precisely because the entire world speaks English that
knowing another language such as French gets you ahead. Imagine two American executives
going to France to negotiate with
two French executives. First Case Scenario: all of them speak
English but only the two French executives speak French. Second
Case Scenario: all of them speak both French and English. In the
first scenario, the French executives will have the advantage,
knowing that whenever they break into French (for instance using
their cell phone), the other two will not understand what they
are saying. In the second scenario, the American executives can decide if they will let their French counterparts
know they speak French. Even if the entire meeting is conducted
in English, every one is on a level playing field.
A DEGREE IN FRENCH:
YOUR KEY TO THE WORLD!