Other than being useful during cocktails and to correctly pronounce the name of your favourite French designer label there are plenty of reasons to learn French.
Ask Mahadzir Lokman, Deanna Yusuf, MTV VJ Denise Keller, Indonesian singer Anggun or even Sarawakian schoolboy Reilly Belambang. In 2003, Reilly, a 15 year old student from SM Sains Miri in Sarawak was one of 5 lucky teenagers in the world to win a one week trip to France after taking part in French poetry writing competition called “I have two loves, Paris and my town” organised by the Paris Mayor’s Office.
French speaking countries represent 11% of world trade with France being the world’ fourth economic power, second largest exporter of agricultural products and the fourth largest destination of foreign investment. There are also about 200 French companies in Malaysia. Malaysia has increasing economic ties with certain countries in Africa and the Middle East, most of whom are French speaking.
France is a major world research center in the field of high energy physics, medical research, aerospace technology, bio tech, engineering. The TGV, Arianespace staellites and Airbus planes were all created and manufactured in France. It also has one of the most advanced systems of telecommunications in the world.
There are also many interesting high quality web sites and scientific journals written in French. Knowledge of the language will give you access to information not necessarily available in English.
Some of the world’s best literary works are written in French by African and Middle Eastern writers and which are seldom translated into English. Learning French gives you access to an even wider range of litterature.
If you enjoyed “Amelie” or even “Taxi” you can fully enjoy it without having to depend on subtitles.
French is the official working language of international organisations : United Nations, UNESCO, the ILO, International Olympic Committee, European Union, the International Red Cross and the WHO. It is also the working language of international non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and Doctors without borders.
Not forgetting possibilities for work in the tourism and hospitality industries, in the field of international law, finance and banking, and in the diplomatic service.