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Learning French

Learning a foreign language brings numerous benefits to people in both their personal and business lives. Many people learning a language do so for personal reasons such as for academic research or travelling abroad. However, for those considering learning a language for business or career related reasons, it is important to understand which languages would be most beneficial.

French is possibly one of the more advantageous of languages. It is a truly international language spoken across the world. Indeed, French is the second most taught language in the world after English, which highlights its status and importance.

French speaking nations are members of the The International Organization of Francophonie. It has members from 51 states, 28 of which use French as the official state language. Countries that speak French include Belgium, Switzerland, Vietnam, Morocco, Canada and Haiti. French speaking Africa comprises a larger area than the USA. Other than English, French is therefore the only language to be spoken on five continents.

French is also the language of international politics. The EU, UN and NATO all work in French. It is also a language of trade. With all the French speaking countries in the world, French speakers are needed in businesses and in sectors such as tourism and hospitality. In addition, French is a working language of many international organisations such UNESCO, the International Red Cross and the International Olympic Committee.

Learning French also opens doors to numerous opportunities in the domestic marketplace. France is the UK's third largest export market. UK based companies dealing with customers and clients in any of the tens of French speaking countries abroad all need French speaking staff. Learning French can also open doors to employment in a variety of occupations such as in teaching, translation, interpreting and the travel industry.

It is important to note however that learning French can also have a negative aspect to it. Due to the number of people learning the language, there is more competition for jobs using French, whereas lesser spoken languages attract less competition.

However, for those considering learning a language for career progression, French is an attractive option due to its prominent position within both the UK and international marketplaces.

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