The Many Benefits of Learning French

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I am writing this article in English from the point of view of someone who has had to learn a second language as French is my native tongue. I remember some of the struggles, misunderstandings and sometimes just being bored.

So I understand that in your journey or the journey of your child, there might be a time where the words “I want to quit” will be in the forefront.

A bad report card, struggles at school and sometimes just someone being mean about it (Trust me, I get this. To this day, I still hear a comment about “English as a Second Language” once in a while, even though my English is pretty good) those are just reasons we use to give up.

I encourage you or your child to persevere as the rewards are phenomenal both professionally and on a personal level.

Whatever the reason, one of the best ways to help your child (or yourself) stay on track is to remind them of the positive impact that French will have on their future.

Also, I strongly believe that using a tutor to help you get over the hump is a great tool, sure Google Translate helps, but the key is to have actual conversations.

As I live in Canada, I will use it as my example. The Canadian job market is very competitive and quite often, the person who is fluent in English and French will get the job. This is even more prevalent in the public sector where statistics show that as more and more servants retire, the need to replace them will keep increasing. A bilingual applicant represents an asset to every company, public or private.

Better jobs also equal better pay. Quite often the bilingual employee will earn more money than non-bilingual employees.

Furthermore, speaking French opens doors for students wanting to work overseas, not just in Europe but all over the globe.

Not just job wise but personally as well. Are you aware that aside from English, French is the only other language spoken on five continents of our planet.

With well over 200 million French-speakers around the world, there will always be an opportunity to speak French.

Many studies over the years have shown that those who know a second language demonstrate higher cognitive abilities than those who are unilingual. This, of course, applies to all languages, not just French.

There are several articles claiming that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years. Here are some links to those articles:

http://www.alzheimers.net/12-11-14-bilingualism-delays-alzheimers/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/benefits-of-being-bilingual/faq-20058048

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.24158/full

Personally, I am an avid reader and try to alternate reading books in English & French. Same with television, my PVR has a good mix of English and French shows.

Understanding French will also help in learning other languages, Spanish and Italian are two languages that come to mind.

Just imagine the satisfaction you will get when you order your meal in French at a restaurant in Paris or understanding the tour guide when visiting the many castles of La Loire. Visiting Quebec City will be that much better as well. I could go on and on. 

So go ahead and fall in love with the French language, you will not regret it.

Merci

Pierre

Please leave me a comment below. 

4 Comments

  1. Anthony

    Insightful article, Pierre. Being bi-lingual myself (English/Greek) I fully understand where you are coming from. Learning another language – and I’m talking whatever age – is an opportunity one should grab by the horns and run with. However, I was unaware of the cognitive benefits of speaking two (or more) languages; needless to say, I am an advocate of everybody learning a second language – and those who are bi-lingual should think about becoming multi-lingual.

    Reply
    1. Pierre Trepanier (Post author)

      Thanks Anthony,

      The cognitive aspect was very interesting to read. I enjoyed it very much.

      Thanks and take care.
      Pierre

      Reply
  2. Amanda Drew

    I hadn’t realized that French is spoken on five continents like English. My daughter wants to learn a new language. I don’t think she has an idea of what language, but she wants to speak something else. It’d probably be a good idea to find her a French teacher who will be able to be patient and help her learn.

    Reply
    1. Pierre Trepanier (Post author)

      Hi

      Please let me know if you need anymore information. I can certainly accommodate.
      Thanks
      Pierre

      Reply

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