If you ask me “Why French?” the best answer is because I enjoy it. I have always wanted to learn a foreign language. So when I saw the ad in the paper offering French lessons I decided “now’s the time.” I have been taking lessons with the Alliance for more than ten years and I really enjoy myself. I also enjoy self-study over the internet. There are numerous internet options for studying French, many free.
At first, my interaction with Alliance Française was restricted to French lessons. I started going to activities and meals and found friendship with a group of wonderful people. Personal satisfaction. Good friends. Who could want more?
For those with a practical bent, French is useful for travelers. English is the international language. We Americans are lucky that we expect foreigners to speak our native tongue. French is widely popular worldwide too. This is partly a legacy of French colonialism and partly a reflection of the fact that the French are world travelers. On several occasions I have been addressed in French while traveling in Spain. French must be a popular second language among the Spanish. I wish I had known some French when I visited Morocco and Tunisia. Since then I have bargained in French in Uzbekistan and Cambodia. The merchants there speak French because the spots are popular with French tourists. At a hotel in Myanmar, I asked someone “What’s for breakfast?” He replied that he only spoke French. I think he was surprise when I managed “Qu’est-ce que vous mangez pour le petit déjeuner?”