The Eiffel Tower on a clear blue day in Paris

12 Top Reasons Why You Should Learn French Now

Why learn French, you ask?

Well, did you know that the majority of French speakers today are not living in France, and some key French-speaking areas are poised to gain importance on the world stage, offering economic and job opportunities?

Or that English owes nearly half its vocabulary to French so you’ll be able to recognize many words without realizing it?

The benefits of learning French are innumerable—but here, I’ll cover 12 of the best and most exciting reasons why you should learn this beautiful and useful language.


1. French Is a Top-tier International Language

A tropical sea and a mountain in French speaking Tahiti

First, the basics. The French language is spoken on five continents. It has official-language status in 29 countries, including Belgium, Haiti, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Canada and more. It’s one of six official languages of the UN.

If the French language were a credit card, it’d be MasterCard: inherently valuable and almost universally accepted. No matter what happens in the future, no matter what was ever going to happen, a language with that much influence and that much spread is in no danger of disappearing within the foreseeable future.

2. Knowing French Can Increase Work Opportunities

A row of international flags in front of the United Nations building

Spanish has been more frequently taught than French in the United States for quite some time now and looks like it will soon overtake French in British schools as well. As this is happening, keep this in mind:

Taking the less popular option will make your skills more valuable.

It’s likely that while jobs in your area looking for Spanish speakers may come in a more steady stream, the ones looking for French speakers may find fewer qualified candidates. So you may have to keep a sharper watch for employment that would take your French skills into account, but once you do find something, chances are that your knowledge will weigh at least a little heavier than if you were applying for a job requiring equivalent Spanish skills.

3. French Can Provide Opportunities for Traveling or Living Abroad

The island of Mont-Saint-Michel off the coast of western France

One of the most popular reasons to learn French is for travel or relocation.

However, France is not the only country where French is spoken. French is an official language in 29 countries. Some of the most well-known are in Europe: France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the principality of Monaco and Belgium.

You could also visit Canada, where French is one of the two official languages alongside English. The French immigrants who came to North America first arrived in the 17th century, and the dialects of French spoken in North America developed independently from standard French. As a result, accents as well as vocabulary and even some elements of grammar differ from the French you’ll hear in Europe.

French is also spoken in quite a few of France and Belgium’s former African colonies, including Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Benin.

4. French Gives You a Broader Understanding of the World

A wooden puzzle of Europe with France featured

Due to French history and the amount of influence it has had on other cultures, you can use French to better connect to the world as a whole.

Here are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Witness current events through the French lens. Learning French gives you access to many major news media sources, from French newspapers like Le Monde to global television networks like TV5MONDE.
  • Let France bring the arts to you. According to the statistics, there is around nine times more foreign literature available in France than in English-speaking countries! France is also home to the Cannes Film Festival, the international film festival that brings attention to new films from all around the world every year.

5. French Is on the Rise

An ancient French-speaking city in Africa

Francophone Africa is a popular place to do business. With the recent increased investment in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s worth considering that French just might explode in the same way Mandarin has.

Francophone populations are growing rapidly. Along with the changing state of modern Africa, French-speaking African populations are some of the fastest-growing in the world. In addition, France’s birth rate suggests that by 2025 French will surpass German to become the most-spoken language in Europe!

A study by the investment bank Natixis projected that, due in part to the factors stated above, French will overtake other top languages worldwide in the coming decades, including English.

6. French is a Favorite Among Language Learners

Two women pose in berets in French national colors

After English, French is the most-learned language worldwide. This means that there are a huge number of resources and French-speaking communities available to French language learners.

You’ll be able to easily find French classes, language books and even native French media and use these resources to practice the language.

It also means that by learning French you’re opening the door to communicate not just with native French speakers, but other people like yourself who have studied French. This can especially come in handy when traveling.

One of the greatest benefits of learning French is that it remains a real international lingua franca.

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7. Learning French Will Make You a Better English Speaker

A group of people talk and clink glasses

Some studies have shown that learning a second language makes speakers more linguistically aware and therefore more intuitive of the grammar rules of languages.

But there’s an even more important reason why speaking French might make you a better English speaker: there are strong links between the two languages

In 1066, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, conquered England. As a result, French—or rather, an Anglo-Norman language similar to the Oïl dialect spoken in Normandy at the time—was spoken in England through the 15th century.

Examples of the linguistic influence and overlap are still evident in the language today. Words pertaining to the law like “legislation” (legislation), “judge” (juge) and “court” (cour) are very similar. The same is true of words pertaining to class: “aristocracy” (aristocratie) and “bureaucracy” (bureaucratie) and cooking: “cuisine” (cuisine) and “sauce” (sauce).

By learning French, you’ll get hints for spelling English words as well as a better understanding of the roots of many terms and phrases used in English.

8. Learning French Can Improve Brain Health and Power

A woman holds a light bulb and points to her brain

Learning French is like learning any foreign language—it brings you distinct benefits in regard to memory and cognitive skills.

Some scientific studies have proven that learning a foreign language and using it when attempting difficult problem solving can create more rational logic. Logic in a foreign language theoretically allows for less emotional bias and therefore a clearer, more logical and analytical response to a problem.

Some studies show that learning a foreign language allows for increased creative thinking.

Others show that brain health is improved when a foreign language is learned, particularly concerning diseases that come with aging like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The better your French gets, the more likely you’ll be able to multitask, according to some studies. Bilinguals have a more finely tuned ear and can pay better attention to what’s being said, even in a noisy environment.

9. Learning French Makes It Easier to Learn Other Romance Languages

A couple walks by a beautiful arch in Paris

Due to the shared origins of the Romance languages (languages derived from Latin), learning French will give you a head start when learning other Romance languages. You’ll also find that you’ll be able to understand a significant amount of vocabulary without having ever studied the language.

For example, take the French verb vivre (to live). Vivre in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese is:

Spanish: Vivir
Italian: Vivere
Portuguese: Viver

If you want to learn both French and Spanish, for example, you might want to consider starting French first. While French will likely be more intimidating to speak initially, its shared vocabulary with English will help lessen its difficulty. Then, the lexical and grammatical similarities between French and Spanish make it easier to move from one to the other.

10. French Helps You Meet People

A busy Parisian cafe at night

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the most important benefits of learning French—the ability to meet and converse with native French speakers and other French learners.

Perhaps your best friend will be a native French speaker, or you’ll want to impress your crush with your French skills. If you’re working in a French-speaking country, speaking French will help you communicate and give a good impression to your colleagues and those around you.

Whatever the relationship, knowing French not only provides you with the ability to converse but also the necessary cultural knowledge to form deeper relationships with others.

11. French Is the Language of Art and Romance

The pyramid entrance in front of the Louvre museum in Paris

Learning French opens the door to a world of art–and not to mention romance! With its rich literary history, French offers access to some of the most celebrated works of literature, poetry and cinema.

From the passionate verses of Baudelaire to the enchanting melodies of French chansons, the language itself embodies a certain elegance and allure that seamlessly intertwines with the realms of art and romance. Whether exploring the galleries of the Louvre or strolling along the Seine at dusk with a French-speaking romance, speaking French will enhance the experience, allowing you to be immersed in French culture.

Take a French date along with you and your time will surely be more fun and more romantic.

12. French is the Language of Food and Cuisine

People dining in front of a French restaurant

Embarking on a journey through French cuisine is like taking a flavorful adventure that ignites your senses and warms your heart. Yet, diving into this world with the French language by your side enriches the experience even more.

Picture the delicate nuances of haute cuisine alongside the comforting simplicity of provincial dishes like cassoulet. French gastronomy is a celebration of centuries of culinary expertise and creativity.

Whether you’re delighting in the buttery goodness of a croissant at a trendy Parisian café or treating yourself to a hearty bouillabaisse in Marseille, speaking French brings an extra dimension to the culinary journey. It’s not just about mastering recipes; it’s about connecting with the cultural roots and passion woven into every dish. Honestly, writing about this has me craving a French feast right now!


Whatever your goals, if you want to get started learning French, nothing should stop you now. If anyone suggests you’re a dreamer with a head full of cheese and baguettes, you can reel off thoughtful, well-constructed arguments until they’re forced to back down under the sheer flood of your impressive knowledge.

Or if you’re not in the mood to argue, you can just doff your beret and respond, N’importe quoi ! (Whatever!).

For a closer look at the different types of French you can learn, check out this post next:

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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