Speak French, Why Bother?


The Benefits of Speaking French

French may be known as a beautiful language, but really, is it worth learning?

In a word….  ABSO—f***ing—LUTELY

So you started learning a little French and can’t master the accent? Has someone possibly told you that there’s no point in speaking French as it’s “really only in Quebec and France”?

Well, this is a tough language to learn, there’s no doubt about it… but don’t give up on it just yet. If you head out travelling you will find many places where it comes in useful.

French speaking nations

Mont St. Michel in France

Mont St. Michel in France

Now, it must be stated that France is a phenomenal country itself, mixing chic modern culture, with interesting medieval history and some relics that date all the way back to the dawn of man. And one little tidbit, you’re not getting by in France by speaking English. Oh you’ll get by in Paris just fine… but after that, you’re going to be shocked how the country with the most tourism in the world (yes, it’s #1 for tourism) doesn’t cater too well to English (or sleeping on bike paths).

There are a few other countries in Europe, and obviously Canada that speak it as well… but stepping away from that let’s look at the true adventure.

Of course, you can't forget about the art

Of course, you can’t forget about the art

The Adventurous French-Speaking Nations

There’s French in Africa?
Well yes, this huge continent of wonder and intrigue that is the motherland of us all is packed with countries that list French as an official language. If you head down the west coast you’re basically going from country to country to country that all speak French, the list is exhausting and includes: both Congos, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Senegal, Mali, etc.

Africa not your style? Maybe you prefer island nations. Well the French have foreseen such a demand and thus have installed little outposts circling the globe. Start in Madagascar, hit Reunion, and then the Comoros before heading to the Seychelles. From there find your way to New Caledonia, hit French Polynesia, up to Haiti… you get the point.

There’s always Corsica to hit in the mediterranean and even a little French outpost in the Antarctic. Oh yes, the French have gotten around, so don’t blindly accept that notion that French is really ‘only in France and Quebec’

French Travellers

French Cuisine can't be overlooked either

French Cuisine can’t be overlooked either

Now here’s something funny that you’ll realize travelling around the world… even where the French don’t claim to be, they are! French (who don’t claim to travel much) seem to somehow or another have a presence in almost every country in the world.
You’ll find that your French will come in handy in odd places such as Portugal or Spain, but after all they’re close to France so what’s the surprise? Well how about places like Thailand, yep, you’ll find it there… and even India, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador will provide you with opportunities to practice it and even provide certain opportunities where it’s of much use.

In your travels you are going to find 5 languages incredibly useful for speaking to other tourists: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian (in that order).

French is tough… I won’t lie, I still struggle quite a bit and my accent is laughable. But keep persevering. One of the most amazing things that you’ll find is that when you speak French, 95% of French stereotypes just fall off the map. (Check out to see how 5 of the most common stereotypes hold up).

Everyone wants a French lover

You know you’ve always wanted a French lover

You will find the French incredibly friendly, hospitable and humble… but you have to be able to communicate with them.

If you’re looking to learn a second language, I would have to suggest Spanish before French for the reasons I listed here and if you’re wondering about how to go about learning a new language, here’s the 5 step process that I use.

But after you pick up some Spanish, come back to French. Learning to speak French will certainly help you in your worldwide travels.

If you’ve already learned to speak both Spanish and French, take a look at how to choose which language to learn next

Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins

My name is Jonny, my friends call me Stef. I'm Canadian born, but don't find my identity based upon some borders that man drew hundreds of years ago. I have begun to make my way through the world, travelling and living in many different countries and cultures. I believe whole heartedly in staying longer and going deeper to get the best understanding possible of many different perspectives of life. In order to do so, you have to speak the language. I am no polyglot, but have started to put more emphasis on learning languages in the last few years. I have learned Spanish, relearned French, and started in on Portuguese, German, Indonesian and Malagasy. When it comes to the third world, I am willing to help where they (and not I) decide they need it... in the first world, I am hoping to inspire and motivate people to live more engaging lives.

5 Replies to “Speak French, Why Bother?”

  1. Glenis Holes says:

    Fabulous and helpful information Stef. Well done and I look forward to reading more. I am following your advice and will begin to learn Spanish as I am getting ready to step OUT and dive in. Love

  2. Alexandre GL says:

    Je suis d’accord.
    En plus, une fois l’espagnole bien maîtrisé, le français est plus facile à apprendre (je crois). Dans mon cas, je ne suis pas un pro en espagnole, mais le fait de parler français m’aide beaucoup!!

    1. Oui… en fait, c’est un des choses que je dis ici:… qu’espagnol est tres util par apprendre les autres langues… Mais, j’etait tellement étonné de toute les endroits ou Francais est util pour un voyageur

  3. girjaa says:

    FABULOUS PICTURES!! How do you happen to have a picture for every part of every story? Do you take the picture first, then write the story around it…or the other way! I think its a real art form…and both are improved 200% with each other.

    Btw, I want to copy your webpage onto my Facebook page, but can’t figure out how to do that;-(( I think many would be interested in your combination of helpful and practical information, fabulous pictures, some home-spun psychology and human understanding, laugh aloud wit, and greattttt story telling from around the world~

    1. Funny that you mention that on this post, as I was really struggling to find applicable pictures for this post. Honestly, I just take a lot of pictures, I haven’t brought much of my photos into the site yet because it’s a daunting task, but finding a photo to fit the story is much easier when you have hundreds to choose from… and yes, I do take some pictures thinking specifically of the blog.

      As for the Facebook question, you can just hit the facebook ‘share’ button at the bottom of the homepage, and then choose where you want to share it. That should work, let me know if it doesn’t. Thanks for all the interest and comments 🙂

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