Most people ask themselves ‘Why learn French’?
After all, most people already know English which is much more widely spoken. Also, most of the cultural products of France like fashion, literature, and art is already accessible to people who do not speak or understand the French language. This article explains 6 reasons in which learning French can enrich your life on so many levels.
1. It helps in learning about world history
France is a leading European and world power. During the colonial era, large parts of the world have been ruled by France because of which even today there is an influence of French culture and language in these countries. The French language in itself is an old language dating to the Middle Ages and with roots in ancient Latin.
Thus, instead of asking ‘why learn French’ you should start learning French to open up the doors to learning about the rich history of Europe and even the entire world. Be it the Mediterranean region, Atlantic coast of the Americas or islands in the Indian Ocean, the influence of French and its deep connection with history is impossible to miss.
2. It is the language of art and literature
Along with English, the French language has contributed immensely to the world of art, literature and culture. Be it the flowering of French culture under the Roman Empire or the romantic traditions that became a hallmark of French literature, to the modern novels that have been remade several times into film and television productions, French art and literature are food for the soul.
Music is one area in which French contributions have not been acknowledged to the same extent as their European neighbours. However, the French language contains some of the most moving and richest songs that have been voiced by legends like Georges and generations after him.
3. The language or philosophy and rationalism
French was one of the dominant languages at the time of the Renaissance, which is why many of the most important ideas of humanism and rationalism are embodied in French. The study of formal logic, science and modernism is incomplete without a study of the leading French philosophers and their texts.
If taken broadly, then the remarkable achievements in other aspects of art such as such as sculpture, painting and architecture speaks volumes about the humanist values of the European Renaissance. The French legal code brought forth by Napoleon is another example of how the French language has contributed to the modern civilization.
4. It is the language of tradition and culture
Culture is probably the single most visible aspect of the French language. As with every other language, French embodies the traditions and culture of the French people down the ages, and makes it available to any common reader of the French language.
Whether it is the norm of chivalry or the courtly traditions of King Louis XIV, or the nationalistic spirit since the French Revolution, the traditional of every age and era of the French people is reflected in the language. The fact that values such as freedom and liberty are the bedrock of democratic societies around the world, it is even more important to understand these concepts in the language they were coined in.
5. It is a language of education
French is a modern language and is widely spoken in many parts of the world. It is one of the five international languages recognized by the United Nations and is the official language in countries as far apart as Canada and Mali in Africa.
If you want to travel to these countries, live there or seek an education, then learning French is absolutely essential for your survival. Communicating with people in your everyday life will be much easier if you have basic fluency in French and some awareness about French cultural norms.
6. It is an extremely easy language to learn
Learning French is really very easy, especially if you are fluent in any other European language like French or Italian. For most people, learning French hardly takes a few months before they are able to hold full conversations with native speakers.
With a little investment, you can add an impressive qualification or skill on your resume that will open up doors for employment to you. It will become very easy for you to communicate in multicultural countries like Canada where both English and French are spoken side by side.
Today there are so many resources available that make it easy for anyone to learn French. You can acquire books, watch online videos, use language apps and a host of other tools to learn French at your own pace.
The time that you invest in this activity will lead to excellent rewards for you, personally as you become culturally and intellectually enriched, as well as professionally as your career and migration prospects improve.
Amelie is the CEO of French Lessons in Australia. Her passion for languages never quitted her: Amelie undertook multiple language exchanges in Spain, America or Ireland, and also decided to make it part of her academic life as she completed a Bachelor of Applied Linguistic at the University of Paris and a Languages program at the not less renowned the University of Cambridge.