Jobs Where French is Useful (And Maybe More So Than Spanish!)

As I am planning on pursuing a career in teaching French, I can rest assured that my foreign language skills will be put to use at work. But many wonder why they need to put so much effort into an endeavor that may wax useless in the long run (especially those of us living in the United States, land of English!). Another challenge thrown in the path of French promoters such as myself is the big question "Isn't Spanish more useful?" As the number of Spanish speakers living in the United States grows, more and more people choose Spanish as a second language. However, there are a number of jobs where French is just as useful if not more so than Spanish (I apologize in advance for all the comparisons!).

The United Nations & Other Global Environments
Someone interested in a global job will need to know at least one other language. The official languages of the United Nations are English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian, but the two working languages are English and French. French is the official language of 29 countries, while Spanish is only an official language of 21. While that sounds like a petty difference, perhaps what is more important is that French is more widespread throughout the world, spoken in far more countries than those which have granted it an official status. An ability to communicate with these millions of people gives you a strong competitive edge in the world job market.

The Fashion Industry
French designers dominate the fashion industry. Anyone hoping to pursue a career in fashion will find it to their benefit to be able to speak and communicate with representatives for Dior, Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint-Laurent, and the endless other couturiers. Some non-francophones can't even pronounce these names, so having a grasp on the native tongue will be very impressive, say nothing of how essential it will be if you choose to work directly for one of these companies!

Ballet & Opera
Anyone interested in the world of dance and theater will need to know French! Most opera singers are required to speak French fluently since so many operas (The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen) have is as their original language. In addition, ballet dancers' every move is a French word from the arabesque to the pirouette, and knowing what the words mean in English can help a dancer better understand what he or she is doing.

The Culinary World
If you plan on serving up Coq au vin with a glass of pinot noir and a lovely crême brûlée for desert worthy of the Cordon Bleu, you better be able to speak some French! The culinary world has a vocabulary rich with French words for professions, cooking instructions, and dishes, and many of the world's best chefs come from the land of fromage. Fluency in French will only enhance your foray into cooking!

Tennis, Cycling, Soccer, Rugby
All of these sports are immensely popular in France. A sports commentator will want to accurately be able to pronounce French athletes' names, interview them, speak with coaches, or even have the option of commentating for a French TV station. All of these options open up for you if you have a grasp of the French language.

1 comment:

  1. very timely post a mon avis. i've just left teaching french to seek something else!


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