Why learn French?

Ten reasons to become fluent in French

You're wondering if it's worth it to continue your studies of French? The answer is "oui"! French is not only a beautiful language that allows you access to a rich heritage of culture, literature, and philosophy, it is also a valuable asset in todays global marketplace. Here are ten reasons to keep studying French until you become truly fluent in the language.

* Proficiency in French increases your job prospects! A U.S. State Department study of the international job market at the turn of the millennium indicated that over 50% of international jobs require or prefer candidates to speak French.

* French is a native language in the United States! French was, in 2000, the most popular second language in households in Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; overall, it is the third most common language used in the United States, after English and Spanish.

* Canada, whose official languages are French and English, is the primary trading partner of the United States! And, with NAFTA, more and more products will be marketed in Canada and companies will require French speaking employees.

* France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world! The number of people visiting France per year is greater than its entire population. Oh la la !

* In over 20 African countries, French is used for government and business! There is a strong French influence in North Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa.

* French is an official language of many international organizations! It is an official language of the European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, Interpol, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, UNESCO, and the International Olympic Committee!

* French is spoken on dozens of islands all over the globe! Including islands in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean.

* France is one of the top exporters in the world! Think of the fashion, wine, technology, and pharmaceutical industries. Plus, over 1,200 French companies have investments in the U.S., and these French companies employ over 400,000 Americans annually.

* All three branches of the European Union are headquartered in Frenchspeaking countries! EU headquarters are located in Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), and Luxembourg City (Luxembourg).

(Source: The American Association ofTeachers of french http://www.frenchteachers.org)