I know it’s a little bit silly to write something in English meant for people who don’t speak English.
Actually, my first idea was to send it to my cousin who is an English teacher. I wanted to suggest to her to print this article to give to her students.
But I would be happy to inspire more Frenchies, our English is just ridiculous compared to people from other western countries.
So please, share my message if you understand.
When I was young, I would have loved to know what I’m going to tell you.
My name is Etienne, I’m 24, I’m French, and I’m traveling around the world for one year.
Two years ago, I did not plan to travel as I do today. I was living in Lyon, I started working and there was just no reason for me to learn English.
I started travelling 7 months ago and one of the first things I realised is that my English was very bad. I can sincerly tell you that I regret the time I spent making trouble during English lessons.
In France, English is not really important at school.
“Why should we learn another language? We are French!”
I would like to explain to you how English has changed my life, and how it can change yours.
1) You can meet a lot more people.
As I sit here looking at my Facebook messages, 50% are in English. I have friends from India, Sweden, Germany, Holand, Norway, England, South Africa, Poland, Kenya, Korea, Taiwan and many other countries.
I guess you know how we communicate? Yes, in English.
Foreigners have different ways of thinking, differents cultures and sometimes different humour.
It is really interesting to exchange with them, they have definitly made my life richer.
25% of the 7 billion humans on Earth speak English. There are almost 2 billion potiential new friends for you!
And if you meet more people from everywhere, you will automatically discover more religions, more beliefs, which will bring you new values.
You will maybe realise that you can’t judge somebody because of their race or religion and understand that money is not the most important thing in life.
2) The “brain of the world” is in English.
I really believe in this metaphor as most of our knowledge is translated into English, the universal language. When you go on the Internet in order to find information, you will see that if you ask what you want to know in English, you will have many more answers.
There is also an amazing community around TED.com. On this website, you can find conferences about anything from the best specialists from all over the world. Obviously, they all speak in English. If you are a doctor, teacher, sportsman, plumber, chef, veterinarian or unemployed, you will find speeches that will enhance your way of thinking and make your life more creative. They inspire me everyday.
After all, most movies or series you are watching are translated. The quality is so much better in its original version and I swear that Barney Stinson’s jokes are a lot funnier in English.
3) Boost your own brain
It has now been proven by many of scientific studies, that learning a new language is good for your brain.
You can improve your memory, become more creative and psychologists say that you can also improve your decision making skills.
They also think that it can protect you from neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease
I sincerly believe in all of these theories.
The conclusion is pretty easy: I have more friends, I feel more creative and I have this amazing ability to communicate with anybody. So today, I would like to apologise to all of my ex-English teachers for my trouble-making in class! We should be proud that we have a lovely language, which lots of people would like to learn…unfortunately for us, the world is not speaking French.
17 mai 2015 at 22 h 18 min
Why do people not comment your english posts? readers in france don’t seem to really like or show interest. this is sad, they would learn pretty much things. That is a good post about learning, about universality.
18 mai 2015 at 10 h 58 min
I posted this article while nobody knew about the blog… But yes, french people are usually bad in English and shy when they have to speak..
I’ll repost it on Facebook later 🙂
I totally agree with you!
12 septembre 2017 at 21 h 09 min
My three reasons to learn the English language.
Hello, my name is Sylvie, I’m 53, I’m French and have been learning English for one year and three months. I met Etienne as a patient in his consulting-room. We talked about travelling and learning English and he sent me a link to his blog.
So here are my 3 reasons to learn English.(Actually there are 4!)
1) For communication
In 2012, my family and I went to Finland and stayed with a Finish family. Speaking very little English, I had difficulties establishing a friendship, especially with the mother. I found it frustrating and felt isolated.
Another time, when I was going hiking in Brittany, I was a bit lost, I asked foreign people to help me, but when I wanted to speak to them in English, all sound left my mouth . I felt very silly.
2) To keep alive my ability to concentrate and memorise.
As I’m doing tiring and repetitive work in my job, which doesn’t need me to use my brain much , I appreciate the challenge of learning and trying to progress. I’m putting myself in a bubble of words, sentences and phrases and I’m getting away from daily life and worries. I’m glad to tell you that at 53 years old, I have the same abilities of concentration and memory as at 20.
3) For game, imaginary, poetry and humour.
These reasons came to light when I started to learn. Sometimes I make mistakes or I don’t find the right words, and I lose. Sometimes I speak well and I win. I take learning as a game.
Sometimes a mix-up between words leads us into the world of imaginary. When I said to the English man I was speaking with that, in the garden there were monkeys instead of donkeys, we both enjoyed the mistake and laughed about it a lot.
4) For bring a new light on words.
Whilst learning a foreign language, I’m more aware of the difficulties and particularities of the french language.. It makes me rediscover at french words and phrases and see them in a different light.
When I learned the world « acquaintance » which means « connaissance » (a person who we know), it reminds me of the French ancient word « accaintance » which I probably read one day somewhere. I like it when I find words of same origin have drifted and have a different use and meaning .
Text corrected by Richard, an English friend
Mes 3 raisons d’apprendre l’anglais
Bonjour, je m’appelle Sylvie, j’ai 53 ans, je suis française et j’apprends l’anglais depuis un an et trois mois. J’ai rencontré Etienne comme patiente dans son cabinet. Nous avons parlé de voyages et d’apprentissage de la langue anglaise et il m’a envoyé un lien vers son blog.
Voici donc mes trois raisons d’apprendre l’anglais (en fait il y en a
1) Pour communiquer
En 2012, ma famille et moi sommes partis en Finlande et étions hébergés dans une famille finlandaise. Parlant très peu l’anglais, seulement quelques mots, j’ai eu des difficultés à établir une relation amicale, en particulier avec la mère. J’ai trouvé ça frustrant et je me suis senti isolée.
Une autre fois en randonnée en Bretagne, je m’étais un peu perdue, j’ai demandé à des gens étrangers de m’aider, mais quand j’ai voulu leur parler en anglais, aucun son n’est sorti de ma bouche ! Je me suis trouvé très bête.
2) Pour entretenir mes capacités à me concentrer et à mémoriser.
Comme je fais un travail fatiguant et répétitif qui ne demande pas de réflexion particulière, j’apprécie de me retrouver dans une situation d’apprentissage et de progrès. Je me mets dans une bulle de mots, de phrases, d’expressions et je m’extraie du quotidien et des soucis. Je suis heureuse de vous dire qu’à 53 ans, j’ai la même capacité de mémorisation et de concentration qu’à 20 ans.
3) Pour le jeu, l’imaginaire, la poésie et l’humour.
Ces raisons là me sont apparues une fois l’apprentissage commencé. Parfois je me trompe ou je ne trouve pas les mots et je perds. Parfois je parle bien et je gagne. Je prends l’apprentissage comme un jeu.
La confusion entre les mots nous mènent parfois dans le monde de
l’imaginaire, de l’humour, de la poésie. Quand j’ai dit à mon correspondant
anglais que dans le jardin, il y avait des monkeys (singes) au lieu des donkeys (ânes), nous avons commencé à délirer et à rire.
4) Pour une nouvelle mise en lumière des mots.
En apprenant une langue étrangère, je prends conscience des difficultés et des pièges de la langue française. De cette façon, les mots perdent de leur banalité et de leur usage strictement utilitaire. Ils sont tour à tour mis en lumière dans mon esprit.
Quand j’ai appris le mot « acquaintance » qui veut dire connaissance (une
personne qu’on connaît), je me suis souvenu de ce vieux mot
français »accaintance » que j’avais dû lire un jour quelque part. J’aime que les
mots de même origine aient dérivé et pris un usage et une signification