Eastern Michigan University
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 Section Head: Dr. Genevieve Peden



10 Reasons To Learn French

1. Economy of The Future

In many Europeans countries, a second language is introduced in primary school and a third language, in middle school. International job applicants who are proficient in at least two languages will be at a distinct advantage in the global market. When you know French, you can be a part of communications and transactions occurring daily in French on every continent.

2. Job Opportunities

Knowledge of a second language is essential over 60 occupations. Canada, officially bilingual, is our most important trading partners and requires labeling in English and French on all imported products. More than 1,200 French companies have subsidiaries in the U.S., and France is the largest recipient of U.S. World investments. France is a world leader in the development of a modern telecommunications, a market with explosive growth potential. The European Union, the second largest trading bloc in the world, recognizes French as an official language. Think about the many opportunities with the airlines, import-export companies, and other international businesses. French is also a very useful language if you are thinking of working at the United Nations (where French is the second most widely used language) or for the United States Government in the World service. Here in the United States, when you know French, you could become a French teacher, an interpreter or a translator.

3. Other Cultures

French is the first or second language in more 40 countries and is spoken by 125 million people around the world, on every continent. Because French is a World language of choice for so many people in the world, knowing French will also increase your chances of communicating in a non-English-speaking country. You can use French to develop international friendships, as well as to communicate via Internet.

4. Sports

French is always an official language to announce events, winners, and medals at the Olympic Games, including the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. If you live near the Quebec border, you can also follow hockey and baseball games in French. Automobiles races (Le Mans and Monte Carlo), horse racing (Longchamp), tennis tournaments (French Open), and the Tour de France (long distance bicycle race) engage fans all around the globe. When you know French, the international world of sports is open to you.

5. Improve your English

From 40 to 50% of English vocabulary comes from French. The study of French will also enhance your grammar skills, and your increased proficiency in English will greatly improve your scores on the verbal section of the SAT and the ACT. As you develop greater skills in French, you also sharpen your skills in English.

6. Critical and Creative.

It will also increase your problem-solving skills and improve your memory, self-discipline and self-esteem. Because progress is very easy to measure, you can quickly take pride in your new abilities. Knowing French can help you attain a number of important life skills.

7. Changes to be Graduated

In many scientific fields at the graduate level, most American institutions require a reading knowledge of French or German in order for scholars to be able to conduct research. France continues to be a leader and innovator in science and technology. Civil engineering (the tunnel between England and France and the TGV-the world's faster train), space/aeronautics (the Concorde, a Franco-British enterprise, and the Ariane Rocket, a Franco-European initiative), medical technologies (the isolation of the HIV virus), and telecommunications (the Minitel with more than 20,000 on-line services and micro-chip telephone cards) are just a few areas in which the French are leaders. Knowing French can open the doors to graduate school and to important research.

8. Travel

France is the most visited destination in the world with 76 million tourists in 2001. Paris was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top ten "global cities". When you speak French, you can be an educated tourist, ask for directions, get your own hotel room or tell a French friend about the United States.

9. Opening The Doors to Art, Music, Fashion, Cinema..

As you quickly realize when you look at the World film section of your local video store, France is one of the most prolific producers of international films. The Cannes International Film Festival annually attracts the attention of the world when the best films, directors and actors are named. When you understand French, you don't have to rely on subtitles to enjoy a French film.

10. Literature

People around the world are familiar with "Les Misérables", "The Three Musketeers", "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", "The Little Prince", and "The Stranger". In fact, France has won more Nobel Prizes for literature than any other country. The French are also admired for their great philosophers, such as Descartes and Pascal, Rousseau, Voltaire, Camus, and Sartre. When you read French, you can enjoy these works and authors in the original.

The Department of World Languages is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold