Remarks by Deputy Consul General of France Frédéric Cholé at the National French Contest Awards Breakfast at Lasalle Language Academy

Remarks by Deputy Consul General of France Frédéric Cholé at the National French Contest Awards Breakfast at Lasalle Language Academy

Good morning, bonjour,

I am delighted to be here today at the Lasalle Language Academy, and to be the Guest of Honor at the National French Contest Awards Breakfast. The Lasalle Language Academy and the French Consulate have been long time partners. I am happy to see so many young students here today, who are not only dedicated to learning French, but are excelling at it.

First of all, congratulations.Congratulations to the students, for all of your hard work and perseverance to learning the French language. The awards you will receive today are well earned and well deserved. Congratulations as well to the teachers and parents, friends and family members in the room, who have provided invaluable support to these outstanding students’ journey to speaking French.

Everyone here has made the choice to expand their minds, extend their knowledge, and open themselves to a new language.And you have all chosen very well. Did you know that students who study foreign languages often score better on academic tests than those who only speak one language? It’s true. But you didn’t choose to speak any other foreign language: you chose French. And call me biased, but in my opinion, you made the right choice.

In today’s society that is becoming more and more globalized and interconnected, speaking a foreign language, and French specifically, is a true asset in many ways.
It will add a real richness to your life personally and professionally. I can tell you that it will not be easy, as many of you already know, because the French language can be complex. But I can tell you that it will be a rewarding experience, and you will be all the better for it.

Mastering the French language has very real benefits for students. Over 270 million people speak French across 5 continents and by 2050, this figure is expected to reach 750 million. French is the most widely-learned language after English and the ninth most commonly spoken language in the world. Furthermore, France is a top global economic power, and your French skills will surely qualify you for positions in a variety of domains.Speaking French also gives you intimate access to French culture, rich and vibrant, diverse and incomparable. You will get to know incredible thinkers including Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust and Charles Baudelaire, to name a few. You will be able to sing along to Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour. You’ll come to recognize, and appreciate renowned French art, fashion, gastronomy, and architecture.

France is also the most visited country in the world with more than 85 million visitors per year. Being able to speak French is a real advantage when visiting Paris and the different regions of France. It allows you to more deeply experience the culture, mentality, and the “art de vivre à la française”. I hope you all get the opportunity to explore my beautiful country as well as other French-speaking areas like our friends in Québec, Switzerland, and in some African countries.

You are all very lucky to be able to start learning French at 5 years old. I’m sure you will be fully fluent in no time, if you aren’t already. I have no doubt that you will all succeed in your future studies and that learning French will lead you to a very promising future.

Without further ado, it is my honor to present this year’s National French Contest Awards.

Last modified on 08/06/2017

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