Why Learn French?

Those, like me, whose first language is French, know that it’s not the easiest language to master. French is a complex language, and the effort needed to speak and write it correctly is considerable. So what motivates allophones to choose French as a second language? Are they all masochists?!

While surfing the Web, I came upon an American student who exposes his motivations for learning French. In his YouTube video, Alex King tells us why he chose to learn French and how he went about learning it.

I found his story to be very appealing because he manages to convey his love for the French language. Moreover, despite his forgivable mistakes, it’s obvious that he put the effort into structuring his sentences and his message in order to be understood.

He says that it’s the exotic nature of the French language in the United States that first caught his attention. Unlike most of his fellow students who choose to learn Spanish, he decided to take on the French language, on the one hand, to be different, and on the other, to stir his interest in France. He should have probably looked north, to his French Canadian neighbours who number the millions.

His testimony is encouraging because it demonstrates that the Francophonie can find its way anywhere, even into the heart of English-speaking America.

Returning the Favor

By following the link shared on his YouTube account, I discovered his blog where he writes in French, the meanings of certain American slang expressions. By sharing in this way, he is returning the favor by using the French language to provide Francophones with a better understanding of American culture.

Dialogue between cultures is always rich. It broadens our horizons. At home, we know that Francophone and Anglophone cohabitation promotes cultural sharing and diversity. It's good to know that these exchanges can also take place on an international level. The story of this American is an inspiring example.

Philippe Daoust