There is definitely something about the French soft accent and charming attitude that drives us crazy. Who would not fall for the language of Molière? For the smooth lifestyle of aristocrats? And for the “savoir-faire” of wine connoisseurs?
But should we just learn French for the sake of beauty? Many people think that speaking "français" is a fashion statement rather than a useful tool. They believe it could slowly fade away. Fact is, they could be completely wrong.
Ever since English became the lingua franca, the French tongue appears to be on the shadow of its motherland, Europe. But let’s not forget that French is spoken in 32 different countries, many of which are currently recognized as the fastest-growing economies of the world. Particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, the increasingly high fertility rates and average spending of former French colonies who have been under the radar (such as Mali, Chad, Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo) could lead to an impressive increase of Francophones from 220 to 750 million in the next 30 years.
Therefrom, Alexandre Wolff (from the Observatory of French Language) explained that “people who study in multilingual environments, such as Switzerland, have considerable economic advantages worldwide. And these advantages were particularly strong when it came to French.” The good news is that the famous Bachelor program of EHL is offered both in English and in French.
It is true that there is a predominance of English in many international organizations where French used to be the working language. Likewise, many Anglicisms are invading French more than ever. But that is not a problem, experts have pointed that the future is multilingual. The more languages the more interesting the discussions can get.
After all, the coexistence of languages and their deformation cannot promise accurate predictions of the future lingua franca. But one thing is sure: French should not be considered a low priority. Even if we are not passionate about baguettes, poetry or French-kissing, it clearly has a lot more to offer.