Why Study French?
While any language will be useful for some jobs or for some regions, French is the only foreign language that can be useful throughout the world as well as in the United States. French as a foreign language is the second most frequently taught language in the world after English. The International Organization of Francophonie has 51 member states and governments. Of these, 28 countries have French as an official language. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. French and English are the only two global languages.
When deciding on a foreign language for work or school, consider that French is the language that will give you the most choices later on in your studies or your career.
French, along with English, is the official working language of the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the International Labor Bureau, the International Olympic Committee, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Universal Postal Union, the International Red Cross, UIA (Union of International Associations)
French is the dominant working language at the European Court of Justice, the European Tribunal of First Instance, the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, the Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
One example of the importance of French can be seen in a recent listing of international jobs (5/13/03) distributed by the US State Department: 185 required or preferred French, 124 a UN language (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), 39 Spanish, 19 Arabic, 10 Russian, 6 Portuguese, 5 German, 5 Chinese.
Of the various types of professional positions for which international organizations recruit, five required French, two Spanish, one Portuguese, and one Arabic, according to the fact sheet released by the UN Employment Information and Assistance Unit Bureau of International Organization Affairs U.S. Department of State, December 1, 2000.
© 2002 Richard Shryock
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