News broke last week that France placed a pitiful 32nd place worldwide for its proficiency in the English language (according to the annual index published by Education First). While Scandinavians looked on in disdain, a debate began to rage in cafés and comments sections across the nation… mostly in French.
With a baguette under one arm and a hefty copy of Larousse under the other, some French speakers lament the world’s obsession with the language of Shakespeare… and Trump.
After all, French is the language of the enlightenment, culture, love-making and post-coital cigarettes! It has inspired over two-thirds of the English language. As many guardians of the language will tell you (repeatedly), French is spoken by over 220 million people worldwide.
Surely Francophones should focus on mastering their own language before succumbing to the tyranny of English?
Meanwhile, Frenchies fresh off their round-the-world tour retorted (with only the slightest hint of an accent):
Like it or not, English is the world’s global language!
Boardrooms across the continent seem to agree.
How can the country attract Europe’s best talent without the latest (meaningless) buzzwords? Plus, it’s a well-known fact that meetings are significantly shorter when conducted in English.
Just think of the girls/boys/social media followers you could impress quoting Bukowski and rocking out to the Rolling Stones.
It’s time for France to suck it up and start taking English seriously.
Whether you’re on team English or l’équipe française, it appears there’s still work to be done on the country’s language skills.
At Gymglish we don’t take sides — or rather, we play both sides.