French and English are the only languages that are spoken in several countries on all the continents. All in all, approximately 115 million people speak French either as a mother tongue or an official language. In Europe, people speak French as a mother tongue in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland. In Africa, French is an official language in 20 countries. It is at the same time the second language and the teaching language in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia). On the North American continent, French is mainly spoken in the West Indies and Quebec, Canada.
In Asia and Oceania, around 2 million French speakers live in Vietnam, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Comoros. According to the International Organization of La Francophonie, about 90 million people study French in the world. In most of the European countries, and even in the world, French is the second foreign language to be taught after English.
A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature, as well as films and songs, in their original French version. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Albert Camus, Romain Gary, Audrey Tautou, etc.
French even used to be the international language of diplomacy and international relations until the middle of the 20th century. Today, French is still the/one of the international language(s) of many international organisations, such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the World Trade Organisation, the Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee or FIFA.
A little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climate of the Côte
d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture,
mentality and way of life.
French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Belgium, Canada, Monaco, Switzerland, the Seychelles and other places.
A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world. It also opens doors in non French-speaking countries: as the world’s fifth biggest economy and number-three destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner of many countries.
You already know many French words : parfum, sport, musique, parlement, théâtre, information, collection, université, littérature, restaurant, danse, couleur, liberté, etc.
Languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Romanian will be easier to learn, as these languages are all derived from Latin.
It is often said that French is the language of Romance and Love, and Paris isn’t called “Paris la Romantique” for nothing!
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