The French language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world—it's the official language of over 29 countries, including France, Haiti, Canada, Ivory Coast, and Madagascar. Approximately 220 million people speak it natively worldwide. It's also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Known as a Romance language because it descended from the Latin language spoken during the Roman Empire, French specifically emerged from the region known as Gaul during those times. Today, Gaul would be the part of Western Europe made up of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and parts of Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. The French language had a major impact on modern-day English. It's estimated that around 45% of English words originated from French.
By learning French, you'll have the skills to communicate with hundreds of millions of new people around the world. This not only looks good on your resume when you apply for a job that is looking for a bilingual speaker, but it can make traveling more exciting as you can communicate with people native to French-speaking countries. Learning French also exposes you to new cultures and helps you have a better understanding of other people around the world. Learning a new language can open your life up to new opportunities, both personally and professionally.
When you learn the French language, you can work directly with the language as a translator, interpreter, voiceover artist, editor, or proofreader. If you're interested in the tourism industry, learning French can lead to opportunities as a tour guide, hotel or resort manager, or flight attendant. Jobs in government or international relations often require you to be bilingual. You can even go on to teach French to students who speak other languages or become an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to students who speak French and have moved to an English-speaking community. Other potential career opportunities include working as an immigration lawyer, an executive for an international company, or a customs inspector.