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, 28countries 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 workinglanguage of
• the United Nations
• Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
• the International Labor Bureau
• the International Olympic Committee
• the 31-member Council of Europe
• the European Community
• the Universal Postal Union
• the International Red Cross
• Union of International Associations (UIA)
French is the dominant working languageat
• the European Court of Justice
• the European Tribunal of First Instance
• 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 (7/3/07) distributed by the US State Department: 125 required or preferred French, 31 Spanish, 25 a UN language (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, andSpanish), 10, Portuguese, 7 Arabic, 4 Russian, and 2 German.
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.
The Economics of French and France
• French is the foreign language spoken by our largest trading partner (Canada).
• The province of Quebec alone is the fifth largest trading partner of the United States with over $104 billion in trade in 2000.
• In 2000, the United States exported more to countries having French as a national language than to countries having any other foreign language.Exports to Canada alone in that year were greater than the combined exports to all countries south of the United States.
• From 2003 to 2006 trade between France and the United States increased by 75% with one billion dollars of transactions taking place every day.
• The U.S. and France share many trade similarities, particularly their global standing as the world's top 2 exporters in 3 veryimportant sectors: defense products, agricultural goods, and services. Franco-American trade is also remarkable for its symmetry, as 6 of the top 10 exports are the same each way.
• France has the sixth largest economy in the world after the U.S., Japan, Germany, China and England. In 2005, the economies of China, England and France were similar in size.
• France is the second largest exporterof agricultural products in the world after the U.S.
• In recent years, the U.S. has been the largest direct investor in France. France is nearly tied with Japan, Germany and the Netherlands as the second largest foreign investor in the U.S.
• The world invests in France: in 2003, France was the second largest destination of foreign investment in the world.
• French companies employapproximately 500,000 Americans, and US companies employ nearly 600,000 people in France. Among foreign countries doing business in the US, France employs the third largest number of Americans.
• French is one of the languages spoken in the US: 1.9 million Americans speak French in the home. (2000 US Census)
• Overall, the French export more per capita than the Japanese and more than twice as much as...