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The importance of French language and why should it be adopted as a universal language?

French People

French People

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.

22 Comments so far

  1. Ali   August 16, 2011 8:43 pm

    hey guys im working in an IT sector and im a commerce graduate. The thing is when i was having a general conversation with my friend he suggested me to learn french, so that i could explore the opportunities for myself globally. So can anyone suggest me would it help me to grow professionally n also get the chance to see different countries all the time.

  2. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:15 am

    The English language is half French. You all don’t even realise it. As for me, I do. So, what is the true global language ?

  3. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:19 am

    Just like that ‘Hundred Year’wars’. The English people stills think it was a war between English and French as, actually, they were all French (or Franks).
    In fact, for nearly 400 years or so.
    Even the war of roses was a one between two Frank (French) branches.

  4. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:24 am

    My English isn’t perfect, that’s for sure and I admit it. But, honestly, I don’t even have to learn your language. I understand it easily.
    ‘Dieu est mon right’ droite..right..?
    It sounds like a weird French to me and I’m definitively French. Except from weekend, corner or few other words, French isn’t saturated with English.
    So, just remember you all speak French.
    1066 !!

  5. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:29 am

    Germany and France were, in the year 800 or so, one and the same country. This is the proof : We can’t call their country Germany as it means cosin or brother land for us in a way and that’s why we call them ‘Allemagne’ which refer to this region including Switzerland. As the Germans, they call France Frankreich, reich of Franks or kingdom of Franks.

  6. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:32 am

    The English language (mixed with French) is considered as global for a little more than a century especially thanks to the hegemony of the United States. French was for centuries and centuries and it still is. Spoken on the five continents etc etc

  7. philippe   March 31, 2012 3:38 am

    As you all often boast about your past empire, I just wanted to say. France never claimed all Russia including Siberia when the army of Napoleon stood and first defeated the russians as you all claimed those no man lands in Canada. We don’t rule penguins, as for us. All Europe was part of the French empire as well.

  8. 21century   May 7, 2012 1:39 am

    I don’t see why we have to learn French. English is the most spoken language, why bother learning French ? (unless one has interest in it) and I might not be American, I don’t think they are ignorant people. You can enforce a language on people, that isn’t quite a fair thing to do. However, it ‘would’ be nice to learn French, but it shouldn’t be forced.

  9. Guy Le Fawkes   June 2, 2012 8:34 am

    French language is straight forward. It is very accurate when used as a language to sign treaties because the nature of the French Language which is one word will only have one meaning. English is also very good but because words and vocabs in English sometime has multiple meaning. Very good for bussiness people where they can cheat and swindle easily. LOL!

  10. Daniel   July 15, 2012 12:39 pm

    @lalla In Canada we must learn french we don’t choose it.

  11. Denise   July 18, 2012 9:23 am

    I would LOVE to learn French, but I have no one to practice with. My ancestry is in France and Canada, so it would be very helpful in my genealogical research. When I was in school students were not required to learn a foreign language, but French and Spanish classes were available. I wish I had taken an interest then. Anyway, I know this post is quite dated, but I wanted to point out that in the first sentence the word “commiserate” should be “commensurate.” One day I want to be that fluent in French!

  12. Texas Ranger   October 13, 2012 2:53 am

    i dont need to learn English because i speak american and im never going to no england. so yal french frogs can go to hell and the horse you road in on!

  13. Miles   January 10, 2013 8:04 pm

    lol, Texas: perpetuating stereotypes about America since 1945. :>
    I’m from Florida, btw ~ the state that’s too southern to be southern. Especially in south Florida, most everyone is rather New York like, and from either Cuba/Colombia/etc, the east coast, or the midwest.
    # Skip to the bottom if personal stories about stuff don’t interest you (though it is interesting, I promise!)

    Off-topic, but interestingly to me, I can’t tell the difference at first glance between a “hispanic” person and a “caucasian” person. In fact, it always surprises me when somebody makes the distinction. I didn’t see many “black” people growing up, though, so until I moved to Tallahassee (FSU, ftw), I couldn’t tell one “black” person from another. I’m one of the only ueber-blonde people in SW Florida, and I’ve been told by Asians who live here that all blonde people look the same to them. I just find this interesting.
    Anyhoo, I am a linguistics student. Like, I seriously am, like, in love with this field. And having studied 5 languages in American schools in all sorts of different scenarios, I can state with some authority that at least in the SW Florida schools I attended, the language programs sucked. English class made me worse at English. I still lol at how my scores on writing assignments, time and time again, would decrease as the school year went on only to increase when I got out of school for break and rid my mind of the garbage the English “teachers” had tried to fill it with. Spanish classes were dreadful. My middle school Spanish classes were taught by this random native speaker who would scream at the autistic kid in our class. My first highschool Spanish teacher couldn’t control the class (it’s difficult to control a class when half of it has been permanently kicked out of ISS (“In-School-Suspension”, which is essentially detention at a time other than lunch) and there are daily drug deals in the back of the class), so that class ended up being a year of worksheets and not being allowed to talk. My second Spanish teacher didn’t speak Spanish; they made her teach it because she already taught French, since her already teaching a foreign language obviously makes here fluent in everything that isn’t English. My first third-year Spanish teacher was very uptight and not a very good teacher (also, unrelenting on my dysgraphia (a handwriting disability (kind of funny that I’d have it because I love writing-systems :D))). I switched out. I gave Spanish 3 a second try the year after, but the teacher was verbally abusive, hit on the girls in the class (“hit on” is [American only?] English for, ehm, well, not sure how else to describe it but “hit on”, but rest assured it doesn’t mean he was physically hitting them, but more that he wanted to get in their pants), racist, and disliked “white” people who could speak Spanish better than he (que es comico, por que no hablo la idioma muy bien, jeje). Most of my Spanish classes had me hating the language within a couple weeks of the class starting, which is sad because I honestly really like Spanish (well, most languages, but Spanish is sort of special because mom taught me a little when I was in preschool and throughtout elementary school). My first year of French was actually decent, and my teacher was quite nice (the same teacher as my second highschool Spanish teacher). Slow-paced, though. I took Latin online, and that was one of my favourite pre-university language classes simply because they gave me the grammar up-front instead of only teaching us the present tense for a year like they did in Spanish. I was disappointed by the de-emphasis on actually speaking it, though. My latest language class, German, is by far my favourite. Not necessarily because I love the language (though I do like it quite a bit! (I originally would have preferred to learn Norwegian, though), but just because the class is actually decent and not slow-paced (and the teacher is quite pleasant!). I do wish that they would just give us the grammar right off the bat, but it’s all online for me, so whatev’. I do think having teachers know more about historical linguistics would be a nice thing, though. Compare “Woher” meaning “Where-from” to “Woher” meaning “Whence”, or “du” & “ihr” meaning “you(s)” & “you(pl)” to meaning “thou” & “ye”. Yeah. So far, all of my language classes (except German) have had little to no focus on pronunciation. I have a real soft spot for phonetics, phonology, etc., so I always had great pronunciation (I read/write English, Runes (I’ve actually been able to read/write runes for nearly half my life, starting with Anglo-Saxon, moving to Elder, and ending up at my own custom pseudo-Elder mixture), Cyrillic, Greek (extremely easy if you know Latin and Cyrillic), IPA, and little bits of other scripts; and I can read a crapload of different orthographies, including Old English). This often confuses people into thinking I’m native when I speak, say, French, Latin, Russian, Icelandic, Norweigian, Arabic, or any of the other languages I’ve learned a word or two in. :D

    So at least in Naples, Florida (where there is a heavy Spanish speaking population), there is minimal pressure for anyone (even natives) to learn Spanish and the classes for it generally suck (stating this not just from my own experience, but from how others describe their Spanish classes). Other languages are practically unpresent here, and most classes are generally boring, watered down, unenlightening, and pointless. It destroys intellectual curiosity and cripples those wishing to learn a language (or really anything). Thank $DEITY for the internet, else we’d be far more uneducated! As a side-note, even after taking Human Geography (at university) and American History (in high school), I was never taught American political geography, or really much of any proper geography. I do know European geography fairly well, though… for the year ~1300AD (thank $DEITY for Medieval II: Total War). :D Though, my concept of Europe is fairly modernized now. My concept of the American West is a bit fuzzy, though.
    …On a more general scale, the average American is not ignorant for not knowing any languages other than English because there is minimal incentive to learn one, and there are few opportunities to do so offline (a lot of people don’t realize how educational the internet is).
    Lastly, as a conlanger, I support a well-designed IAL for the prestigious title of “Ultimate World Lingua Franca”. Esperanto is not as optimized as I would have liked for it to be, but it is still a decent IAL for us Westerners, and I would definitely prefer it to a complicated natlang.

    tl;dr: Texas = lol ; people=!ignorant if $HaveL2 = 0 ; conlanging = awesome

    *stops rambling*

  14. Miles   January 10, 2013 8:18 pm

    Erm, in my last comment, there’s a typo in the first line. I seem to have missed the “8” key and not realized it. Here it is again, fixed:

    lol, Texas: perpetuating stereotypes about America since 1845. :>

    There were some places where rewording could have helped understanding. I don’t feel like re-reading the above to find them again. Sorry (or as the dragons in Skyrim say, “Krosis” (silly Bethesda, relexiconizing English like that (Anyone else bothered that dragons and Argonians can articulate labials? Or that dragons can articulate proper dental fricatives with their carnivorous teeth? (for those who did not understand what I just wrote, dragons can’t actually say “Fus Ro Dah”, so what they would likely instead say is “*Hi’s *Re’ Dah” (with and being back vowels))))
    There were other errors in the post, but none that I thought would significantly impede comprehension.

  15. Miles   January 10, 2013 8:21 pm

    Ah. Odd. It omitted part of the end of that by thinking I’d meant to format it with those. I guess does italics. Silly linguistics, using conventions confusable with html. :P

  16. bettina ndiwago   January 23, 2013 2:11 am

    french is very romantic especially its pronounciation so USA make an effort to learn and love it

  17. Georgi   January 31, 2013 9:23 am

    I’m sorry but French nowadays is completely useless. French is spoken only in a few countries around the world and is hard to learn. THE Universal language today is English and the reason is because many people around the world speak it and is easy to learn. The point of having a universal language is that it’s only one, and everybody around the world speaks it, otherwise the word will be “biversal”.

  18. Jean-Luc   July 15, 2013 2:18 am

    I’m a French and Italian citizen. I was educated in the French system. I speak 5 languages fluently. I want to say this : yes, English is the international language for international trade exhanges. There is no way French can compete with it. However, all languages have a different grammatical ausical structure : French is a di

  19. Jean-Luc   July 15, 2013 2:23 am

    I am a French and Italian citizen. I was educated in the French system in France. I speak 5 languages fluently. I want to say this : yes, English is the international language for business. There is no way French or any other langue (including Mandarin) can and should compete with it. However, as any other language, French has a different grammatical and musical structure which shape the way of thinking. If one learns French, which is mainly a latin languauge spoken in the five continents, it will understand the way latin people think and will be better equipped to access and understand Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian culture but also to better negotiate and do business with any person speaking one these languages as their native language.

  20. Charlotte Beaulieu   August 21, 2013 5:05 pm

    Pour votre peine , les gens vous me faites rire , ce n’est pas parce qu’une langue est difficile qu’elle n’est pas pour autant belle , utile , parlée aux quatre coins du monde , et là je parle de toutes les langues , si vous ne choississez que la facilité vous n’arriverez à rien , vous allez être obligés de toucher à quelquechose d’un tantinet plus compliqué et n’est-ce pas ce qui fait la beauté du français , je vous le demande ?
    Vous pouvez cracher dans la soupe car soit vous ne connaissez pas l’Histoire ou vous n’avez pas de leçon de français disponible ou bien vous avez eu des cours de français mais vous n’avez pas un bon niveau ou vous ne pratiquez pas assez ou plus du tout mais tout ceci n’enlève pas le fait que dans un paquet de langues , retirer le scotch et vous trouvez des mots français même si vous les utilisez moins comme en anglais mais étudiez la litérature anglaise et là surprise le français est à gauche à droite en haut en bas .
    I will not translate :p but anyway , all this to ‘say’ the French People do not care what other people think of us so we do not mind if other europeans love to belittle the french language or do not see why would they learn it or such things as ‘they dream’ we do not dream of our fate and we are the only who do not understand why people forget their languages , you yes you who pushes for the only alone english ‘i just know english and my native language’ , maybe think twice , french language is not going to be the first language to disappear you should think to your language , i am glad to see people who are not french understand like this language and are honest , in fact , as i have written french people care for others languages , and maybe it is us who will help your national language to remain alive i mean we will keep COMPLAIN why do they not speak in their language you can count on us =) complain complain
    And never forget french is spoken in all continents and i speak from a France pointview because like it or not i am french ; do not forget it is the language of million people and you can criticaze this language because you see France but we do not even hear them and you touch others so learn the language or at least History maps , where are from words in your language , for example Norman people went to England and so on , just watch the norman language it is simply a french one from an area it gave a lot to the english one , BON VENT

  21. Louis   August 30, 2013 6:01 pm

    I am a French Canadian, born and raised in Montreal, I also speak Hungarian, my father and grand parents came to Canada in the 60s… I live in a province that tries to protect the French language, politically, we have a separatist government (on the provincial level). I agree that we should protect our laguage, our heritage but I totally disagree whit the separatist movement, all they want is cut out Quebec from Canada, I think that having French as a first language is clear advantage for someone who also speaks English, that being said, I am who I am and I got where I am because I speak English, not French…. I am currently learning Spanish, I plan on learning Portuguese and I already speak a bit of Japanees, but that’s another story…
    That beeing said: French as a universal language?… You can’t be serious!

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