You may need to learn French for business or perhaps for another reason that may not necessarily be long-term. It can require a huge effort if the only value you’ll get out of it is short-lived. Therefore, it’s a valid question to ask as to whether French is useful for any other reason than you originally intended!
You’ll be pleased to discover that French is such a useful language to learn there will be many uses for it long after its initial purpose has been served.
Discover why learning French can be nothing short of life-changing for those prepared to commit to the language, both personally and professionally.
How many people speak French in the world?
It is estimated that about 280 million people (but may be as high as 300 million) currently speak French, that’s 77 million native people and the rest are from other countries and territories. French is not an uncommon language. In fact, it’s the 5th most popular language on the planet!
What does this mean? It means that the new language you’ve spent months (or years) perfecting is of significant use in other parts of the world and there will be a large number of people in your country that speak it. It certainly won’t go to waste as you’ll find many other people will speak it also.
What countries can I visit that will speak French?
There are 29 countries that speak French as their native language, in alphabetical order, these are:
Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo and Vanuatu.
However, that doesn’t show us the complete picture of course. In many European countries, you will find a large percentage of people speak French as a second language. Many other people have a good understanding of it.
So, when you are on holiday or perhaps considering working overseas, there is a good chance that you will encounter many others who have a solid understanding of French.
Will learning French help me get a new job?
Apart from the social side, learning French can open up new doors in your career. Firstly, just being able to say on your résumé that you can speak another language makes your profile more appealing. It demonstrates a level of intelligence and a curiosity for other cultures.
There are also many jobs that require French as a second language. For instance, many technical systems are developed in France. Therefore, there are IT positions required where contact is required with these developers, who obviously speak French. There are many similar opportunities available for French-speaking people located overseas.
This may be an area that you haven’t thought of but there are many fantastic French shows and films that are (obviously) in French. Yes, it’s possible these days to watch them with English subtitles but it doesn’t beat just watching them and understanding what’s going on as they were originally intended.
Whether it’s the Last Flight Home, or something older (much older) such as Les Enfants du Paradis – this is going to open up a whole new level of entertainment for you. I won’t bore you will a pointless list of all the films and shows that were produced in France – you can do that easily online, but do check it out – you’ll be surprised!
Alternatively, don’t forget that you have now the ability to read French literature and magazines!
This shouldn’t be an area you disregard. Learning French can be useful for more reasons than you initially thought. For instance, there are always people wanting to start learning French. And here you are, having just done this.
So, why not help those people that are learning by using the knowledge that you’ve now acquired? You can do this using lots of different ways but here are some examples of how you can make some extra money by helping others:
- Become a teacher – initially, this may be for those just starting out but you’re in an ideal position to teach others how to achieve what you’ve already completed.
- Start a YouTube channel – many are doing this and doing quite well out of it. You can give lessons online or you can just share your French language-learning journey with the public.
- Create a course – again, many people succeed in doing this. Create a course that simplifies what you’re learned and helps people avoid the mistakes that you made. Combine this with a website and use this (or the YouTube channel) to publicise your course!
Learning French will change your life, for the better. There are literally no downsides (if you don’t count the amount of time it will take you to initially learn it). It is one of the most popular languages on the planet and has many uses, so learning it will not be a regret.
Think about it this way – when you’re older, do you think that you’ll ever say, ‘boy, I wish I hadn’t learned French.’ – no, it will be something that can not only increase your professional status in the workplace but can increase your social skills and make you new friends.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything to learn but you can earn from it once you’ve achieved it. It will never fail to give a return.