Reasons For Studying and Continuing With Your Study Of French...

1. Learn to speak with other citizens of the world.

**Over 200 million people speak French as their native tongue. Our other nearest neighbor besides Mexico has a huge French heritage and tradition that has carried over to today. 1/3 of all Canadians are French-Speaking. Céline Dion is one of the more famous of these French-Speakers of today, as is Guy La Liberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil.

**French is the only language other than English that is spoken on every continent. Over 50 countries use French as an official language, rivaling the number of English-speaking countries. Note that the other widely-used European language, Spanish, is the official language in 27 countries.

**"Les Voyages Forment La Jeunesse--Travel Shapes Youth". The most visited travel destination on Earth is France, and most particularly, Paris.

**Although Spanish is studied by more people as a second language in the United States than is French, French is the most studied foreign language in the world after English. That fact alone gives speakers of both English and French a huge advantage when traveling abroad.

**For some interesting statistics on the world's languages, go to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook language page. There, you will find a listing of every country on earth and the listing of each country's languages. You will notice all of the places where French is the national language or is one of the national languages.

**The only two official languages of the United Nations and the Olympics are English and French. Listen to and watch the medal presentations at the next Olymics in Rio (2016), or a debate before the U.N. General Assembly. Or just look at the labeling in both French and English on many packaged foods in your local store. You'll see that the French language plays a big role internationally, and is one of only two, truly-international languages.

2. Fulfill college entrance requirements.

You are expected to study a minimum of two years of a foreign language, but many colleges require advanced study (French Three and French Four/AP) before admission. Ukiah High School offers French One, French Two, French Three, and AP French Language and Culture (formerly French Four). If you do well in your studies and enjoy French, Ukiah offers you the opportunity to take courses in the French language and culture every year while you are in high school.

3. Gain cultural understanding.

Each of the French-speaking nations has a rich cultural heritage of its own that is there for us to explore in our studies. One of the most well established and well-known literary traditions is Francophone. Who has not heard of D'Artagnon, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis--from the Three Musketeers of Dumas, or Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert --from Les Miserables of Victor Hugo, or Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Bluebeard, and Little Red Riding Hood from the fairy tales of Charles Perrault?

Let's not leave out the wonderful world of French art and music--Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Dégas, Auguste Rodin, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Hector Berlioz, etc.

French food is considered the epitome of cuisine (a French word!). The French invented the restaurant and the café. The French-speaking Belgians invented the French fry. France is the largest and most prolific producer of cheese, and the French consume more of it per capita than any other nation. Just start thinking of a word list--sauté, French toast, French vinaigrette, French bread, Dijon mustard, au jus, au gratin, chocolat mousse, crème brulée, sauces hollandaise and bernaise, and keep adding to it......

The French fashion and perfume industries dominate the world in those luxury areas. Walk into any department store (yes, the French invented that type of store) and you will see French products front and center.

French contributions in construction, engineering, science, and mathematics have enhanced the developement and evolution of our world. The co-invention of the automobile with the Germans, the current world record for the fastest train (TGV Est), the world's largest passenger plane built by the biggest airplane manufacturer on the planet (Airbus 380), the tallest bridge in the world (the Millau Viaduct), the discoveries by great scientists like Louis Pasteur (the unseen world of bacteria), Marie Curie (radium, one of only two, two-time winners in history of the Nobel Prize), Louis Ampère (measurement of electricity--"Amp"), Niecephore Niepse (photography), Blaise Pascal and Lous Fermat (mathematics)--all of these French-speaking people and their achievements have made the world better. And the list could go on and on...

4. Gain economic advantage through your skills in French.

Many jobs require a working knowledge of French.

50% of the companies doing business in the United States also do business in France.

Our largest trading partner is French and English-speaking Canada (the fourth is the European Union that includes six French-speaking countries, and the eleventh is France itself.)

It is also interesting and quite revealing to note where U.S. corporations invest their money overseas ( source-- Congressional Research Service): French-speaking countries in Europe alone acount for $650 billion, All of Asia--including the perceived biggies of China, Honk Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore--accounts for $423 billion, and French and English Speaking Canada accounts for $352 billion. Follow the money, and you can find the jobs.


5. Gain greater skill in English

40% of the words used in the English language today are actually French in origin. When the French Norman duke William the Conquerer invaded England in 1066, the official language of England remained French for three-hundred years. That left a legacy of French words that we still use today when we speak English--visit, arrive, beef, poultry, pork, etc. Leaning French grammar and vocabulary will make your skills much stronger in communicating in English. Numerous studies have shown that those who study French for a number of years perform better on standardized tests in English.

6. Have fun learning a new skill.

Speaking, understanding, reading, and writing in French open a whole new world. It is a tremendously rewarding skill to master, and it can be fun along the way. What a joy it is to explore this whole new world of language and culture!