First and foremost, French is regarded by the United States' Foreign Service Institute as one of the easiest languages to learn. If you already speak English, the group states that the language typically takes around 575-600 hours of study in order to proficiently speak and read.
This is because of the many borrowed English terms that are present in the French language, and the fact that many English words are either based on French or Latin equivalents.
French also uses a very similar alphabet, recognizable grammar rules, and even comparable idioms and colloquialisms compared to English, making it a comfortable experience to learn compared to, say, Mandarin Chinese.
There are few languages that can claim to span multiple continents, but French is one of this select group.
Thanks in part to France's historic colonial efforts, French is spoken on all five continents, and according to the French government, there are around 220 million French speakers worldwide, a total that's forecast to rise to some 700 million by 2050. What's more, France's high birth rate also means that French could potentially be the most-spoken language in Europe by 2025.
French is a true travelers’ tongue. Whether you're visiting Morocco, Monaco, Canada or Vietnam, with a knowledge of French you'll be able to get by without having to learn tricky local languages.
This is an obvious positive if you enjoy travelling to far-flung locations, but it's also an immense opportunity from a business point of view. Many of the 29 countries that comprise la Francophonie (the officially French-speaking world) are in sub-Saharan Africa, a region primed for booming economic growth in the near future.
French is popular not just as a means to order at restaurants or initiate business deals, but as a means to assist in all sorts of international connections.
The language is both a working and official tongue of the United Nations, European Union, NATO, UNESCO, the International Olympic Committee and a number of international courts. Learning French could assist people who want to work in the diplomatic service, but also helping out those who encounter trouble while abroad.
Being able to speak French also opens up a variety of educational options across the world. French universities are some of the best around, and a fluency in the language can afford access to scholarships and programs that would otherwise be off-limits.
Beyond France, the educational possibilities are endless, and the ability to study abroad is made far easier with a good knowledge of the host country's language, allowing speakers to truly immerse themselves in the culture and nation they choose to visit.
Given that it has a Latin underpinning, French is known as a romance language, and this presents a particularly compelling reason to learn it.
This is because romance languages – such as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan – share common linguistic traits such as word order, grammatical gender (masculine or feminine words), and the use of two articles (definite and indefinite).
This means that, for the French speaker, a world of other languages are open to further study. If you've ever wanted to be a polyglot – a person who can speak multiple languages – then there's no better place to start than French. Given enough time, you could be linguistically equipped to travel the world and explore hundreds of countries and cultures with ease.
You can probably understand and use English pretty well if you're reading this page, but have you ever thought about why the words you use are spoken in that particular order, or why certain words or phrases hold the meaning they do?
If you love French culture and want to discover more about its origins and deeper meaning, then there's no better crash course than learning the country's language itself.
By learning another language, your understanding of the underpinnings of language will be radically improved. Learning a language involves deconstructing and reconstructing words and structures, right down to the individual sound and intonation of the tongue, and this can be an incredibly interesting and enlightening process.
Last, but certainly not least – learning French is a fun and exciting experience. The joy you'll experience while studying is unparalleled as you begin to learn a tongue that was completely perplexing just a few weeks before. After you've succeeded in learning even the basics, you'll be amazed with just how easy it is to take your learning further.
If you think that French could be the language for you, don't hesitate to take advantage of a free Rosetta Stone demo, and make sure to download our app here to see just how Rosetta Stone could help you learn a skill for life.
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