Being the second most taught language internationally after English, and having a readership and following which are commiserate with the number of its students, French is definitely the language to know these days. With English, French is the only other “international” language, being spoken in 5 continents. The international body supervising the following of French as a language is known as the International Organization of Francophonie, which has 51 countries as its member states and out of these 51 states, 28 countries have French as their official language.
The widespread use of French as a language can also be inferred from the fact that French, with English is the official language of many towering organizations of the world, such as the UN, NATO, UNESCO, the International Red Cross Association and IOC (The International Olympic Committee), to name a few. From a recent survey, it has been noted that almost 70% of jobs in the US require or prefer the aspirants who know French, other than English, which is a testimony to the importance of French.
The importance of French has demographic and economic consequences for major economies in the world, even the US. For example, French is the official global language of Canada, which caries out major trade deals with the US. The knowledge of French for traders to such countries becomes all the more important when you realize that Canada, for example, has provinces like Quebec, which trades more than 70 billion Dollars annually with the US, and the major international language being followed there is French.
Apart from the economic influence of French and France, there is a high degree of intellectual importance associated with French as a language and the French thought for modernism and secularism. French doctors and scientists have been the fore-runners of technology in the modern era. France has the largest R&D center on nuclear physics in the world and also boasts as being the site of the world’s first nuclear fusion reactor. The French doctors were the first to isolate the HIV virus from the body of an infected human being- a ground breaking attempt to find a cure for AIDS. In order to decipher all their findings and discoveries, to understand their intellect and to admire it, it has become inevitable for the intelligentsia and researchers of today to adopt French as a global language.