|Est. L1 speakers:||76,000,000|
|Est. L2 speakers:||153,486,000|
|Est. total speakers:||229,486,000|
Though it has lost much ground to English over the past century or so, French continues to be one of the international languages par excellence, used as an official or co-official language in countless international and supra-national organizations – most importantly the United Nations and the European Union. Therefore, in diplomatic circles, knowledge of French is still very much de rigueur. To a somewhat lesser degree, the same also goes for "high society" circles on every continent. In addition to these points of pure prestige, speaking French will enable you to study, work, live, or do business in well over a dozen countries, most importantly in France (the world's seventh economy as of 2017), Belgium, and Québec (Canada). Professionally, the French language is extremely important in the fashion industry, as well as in hospitality, viticulture, interior design, and the humanities (particularly philosophy and social sciences). Finally, with French, you will have access to an astounding array of cultural riches, from literature to philosophy to music and film, in the native tongue of the creators.