The Globalization of the English Language
English is becoming more popular than French in many countries, according to a South African news release.
English is the dominant global language
- The dominance of English as the world's lingua franca continues to grow, with the number of pupils studying French dwindling every year.
- The predominance of English on the internet, the relative ease of learning basic English and the perception that English is "cooler" —thanks in large part to popular music and films—means French is becoming more and more restricted to older generations and the upper classes of many countries where it used to be the second language of choice in schools.
French is losing ground fast
- French remains a beautiful language much appreciated by the upper class but it is losing ground in curricula, even in areas near the French-German border. French is still holding up compared to Italian and Spanish, but that may change.
- Given the difficulty of French grammar and spelling, many prefer not to learn French. A teacher from the Spanish town of Burgos said most of her colleagues agreed that French was "in free fall".
- A teacher from Portugal said in her country 70% of Portuguese students preferred to take English courses, compared to just 10% for French.
- Even in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, English has crowded French out of the classroom, despite French being one of the country's official languages.
- In Russia, where speaking French was once a prized talent among the tsars, French is trailing "far behind English" in Moscow and Saint Petersburg schools.
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