In Defense of French: Ten Reasons to Learn theLanguage Part OneThis article was originally published on the Acclaro blog.C...
3. As a business professional,        speaking French will help you navigate        the sometimes snobby waters of        ...
About Acclaro: Acclarois an international translation and localization company thathelps the world’s leading brands succee...
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In Defense-of-french part i

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Transcript of "In Defense-of-french part i"

  1. 1. In Defense of French: Ten Reasons to Learn theLanguage Part OneThis article was originally published on the Acclaro blog.Category: "Spot" on Language, CultureWhen the going gets tough, the humanities get going, or so it seems. One of the first degreeprograms to be axed by state universities during budget cuts is, sadly, French, the language oflove. The State University of New York at Albany is a recent example. The board justdiscontinued degree programs in French, Italian, the classics, Russian and theater, according toa recent New York Times discussion. It would appear that the language of the poets andphilosophers, of Proust and Flaubert, Balzac and Baudelaire, has become less appealing to ageneration more enamored with languages such as C#, HTML and Java.Given the shifting value system in American culture, is French even relevant anymore? In anage when more parents are placing their pre-schoolers in bilingual programs to learn Mandarin,does French still hold any value? Without hesitating, our response would be oui. Here are thefirst five of our top ten reasons: 1. It is spoken on virtually every continent. According to VistaWide, 67 million people learn French as their native language and another 63 million speak it fluently as a second language (in countries where French is the official language, for example) for a total of 130 million speakers. French is the official or national language of 40 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, including New Caledonia, Canada and the island of Jersey. 2. Roughly 30% of the English language is derived from French (via Wikipedia), which amounts to 80,000 words we inherited from the language of love. This means that learning French will actually increase your mastery of your native tongue. The SAT may be behind you, but you still have years of public speaking, presentations and various other forms of oral and written communication ahead. Boost your vocabulary and you will sound smart. The smarter you sound, the more credible your business and products will appear. This is not to say you should overwhelm your potential clients with strings of seven- syllable words from antiquated French; business communication must be clear and pertinent, not too flashy or pretentious. But when used appropriately, your rich vocabulary will come in handy as you sculpt clever, tasteful marketing messages.Page 1: In Defense of French: Ten Reasons to Learn the Language Part One Copyright © Acclaro 2012
  2. 2. 3. As a business professional, speaking French will help you navigate the sometimes snobby waters of gastronomy and wine. You won’t sound like you swallowed a wasp when you try to order coq au vin at your business lunch. You will experience less panic when the sommelier (can you say that?) brings you the wine list. You may even feel some degree of confidence as you peruse the names of different regions you can actually pronounce. And you will gloat inwardly as you nonchalantly roll off, “A Pouilly-Fumé please”, while your client marvels at how very cultured you are for a software engineer. Think Julia Childs (though not French, très Francophile). Cordon Bleu. Champagne. Macarons. Crème Brulée. Camembert. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to name off the 10 different stages for turning sugar into carmel…in French? French food and wine culture offers limitless possibilities and subject matter for successful client schmoozing and business mingling in general. 4. Quality of life index: France was ranked #1 in the world for quality of life for the fifth year in a row, in the International Living Annual Index. To create the index, nine categories are considered: cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate. According to this index, France has “an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world’s best health care.” France is therefore a great place to retire. “Internationalizing” your business to extend to the French market may enable you to take advantage of the country’s amazing quality of life on a regular basis. Who knows – if you open a subsidiary or branch of your company in “The Hexagon”, as the French call their motherland, you may even be able to retire there! 5. Thanks to an amazing quality of life for residents and vacationers alike, France is among the world’s favorite vacation destinations each year. In the 2003, for example, France counted 76 million tourists (via Bonjour La France), despite suffering from the decade’s worst heat wave. No matter where you are marketing your products, the country in question is likely to have a good base of Francophiles; familiarizing yourself with French geography and culture will enable you to connect with them.Page 2: In Defense of French: Ten Reasons to Learn the Language Part One Copyright © Acclaro 2012
  3. 3. About Acclaro: Acclarois an international translation and localization company thathelps the world’s leading brands succeed across cultures. We specialize inwebsitetranslation, marketing campaigns, documents and software localization to give clientsan authentic voice in key language markets. North America: 1-866-468-5106 Worldwide: +1-914-468-0222 www.acclaro.comsales@acclaro.comPage 3: In Defense of French: Ten Reasons to Learn the Language Part One Copyright © Acclaro 2012

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