Foreign Languages - French
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Why Study French?
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, 28 countries have French as an official language. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents and is spoken by over 200 million people in 45 countries. French and English are the only two global languages.
French, along with English, is the official working language 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 language at
- the European Court of Justice
- the European Tribunal of First Instance
- the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg.
- the Press Room at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium
French and the International Economy:
- 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.
- France has the fourth largest economy in the world after the U.S., Japan and Germany.
- French companies employ approximately 650,000 Americans. 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)
- France is the world's leader in the production of luxury goods.
- More tourists visit France than any other country in the world.
- France gives more foreign aid per capita to developing nations than does the US .