If you’re looking to expand your horizons, then a great way of doing so can be to learn a foreign language. But which language should you choose? For many, French can seem like the obvious choice. The thought of being able to spend time in romantic Paris, or in the exclusive resorts of the Mediterranean and being able to speak the language can certainly seem appealing. But there are many other great reasons for choosing to speak French.
France has long played a leading role on the world stage, resulting in the fact that the French language is now spoken on a global basis. Indeed, it’s estimated that more than 200 million people speak the language, which means that you’ll have plenty of new people to talk to!
If you’re going to pick any language, then it clearly makes sense to opt for one that is used on a grand scale.
The fact that French is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland and throughout much of Africa means that it’s a good choice for those looking to make contacts overseas. This can be particularly useful for business networking, given that it is the first language in many of the emerging nations which are expected to be economic powerhouses of the future.
The positioning of the language as one that is central to the business community can also be seen in the fact that it is one of the 3 languages used to conduct all internal European Commission business.
The locations where the language is spoken aren’t simply great places to do business, although that’s certainly important. They are also popular destinations for tourists. By learning to speak French, you’ll find that you are able to make more of your travel experiences. There is nothing quite like visiting a traditional boulangerie in the morning and being able to have a conversation with the locals, while you wait to collect your lovely, warm croissants. These are the experiences that can really transform any trip.
Although it’s certainly true that many French speakers do also speak English, the reality is that nothing can compare to making the effort to speak French. You’ll impress the locals and also earn a degree of respect. This is certainly true in France, where speaking the language immediately places you in favour.
Those who speak French often find that it’s easier to learn other languages too. This shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, given that there is so much in common with other Romance languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese. It’s even estimated that 30% of English words are of French origin.
What all of this means is that learning to speak French can boost your broader language skills. It can also give you an insight into the way in which English words have come to be used.
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