Why I won’t let my children learn French

It’s ‘the language of human rights’, says François Hollande. Not in Africa it isn’t

29 March 2014

9:00 AM

29 March 2014

9:00 AM

My children won’t learn French. If their school tries to force the issue, I’ll fight tooth and nail. There’ll be the mother of all Agincourts before I let it happen.

It’s not that I have any problem with the language, even though it has too many vowels and you have to say 99 as ‘four-twenty-ten-nine’, making it impossible (I imagine) to sing that song about red balloons.

It’s just that I want my children to be successful, and learning French makes no business sense. There’s a moral issue too, but first the business: no English person moves to France to hatch a business plan these days. They might go there for the lifestyle, or the wine, or to live out their years. But nobody goes there to succeed. My nephew, who recently left school in Brittany, had modest ambitions to be a shop assistant, but found he needed a three-year accreditation in retail. He signed up to be a tour guide, but was required to take a two-year course in pointing at battlements. You cannot lead even the most unambitious life in France without sitting an exam for it. There’s not much incentive to do anything for yourself, either: even if you remain insufficiently prosperous to stay clear of the 75 per cent tax rate, every self-starter who sells their business after ten years owes the state 60 per cent capital gains tax on any profit. Quebec has launched a programme to lure 50,000 French entrepreneurs to its shores, which is a bit like deciding to save 50,000 black rhinos. Too late, I reckon.

None of this makes France unworthy of visiting, of course. France is lovely, and best enjoyed if you can hire a caravan and sit in cafés and buy baguettes. But for these I recommend a phrasebook, rather than six years of verb conjugation.

Of course, it’s not all about France. People point out to me that much of the world — 15 per cent of its land area, no less — is Francophone. Yes, I say, and just look at the state of most of it. Look at Ivory Coast and Chad and Mali and the two Congos and — right now — the Central African Republic. Much of Africa is looking up these days, but these particular countries are irretrievably buggered. And the reason they’re buggered is intimately connected to the fact that they speak French.

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie is an association of countries that ‘speak French, or that sign up to French values’. They speak French because 100 years ago they had no choice, and they sign up to French values because there’s business to be done by doing so. The most recent addition is Qatar, a country where only 1 per cent of the population speaks any French, following the Gulf state’s agreement to put €300 million into French enterprise. At the Francophone summit in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, last year, President Hollande said, ‘Speaking French means speaking the language of human rights. The Rights of Man were written in French.’ Beyond the chance of filling the coffers, it is a belief central to La Francophonie that the language and the culture are indissoluble: if you speak French, you will think French. Your sympathies will bend perforce towards France.

Today if you scratch a poor Francophone country you’ll find France. Unlike Britain, France never really left Africa. An African advisory unit, the Cellule Africaine, has remained in the Élysée Palace since France’s African empire was officially dissolved, capable of shoring up or knocking over rulers as required. Strong bonds of cooperation with Houphouët-Boigny of Ivory Coast, the Bongo regime in Gabon and Mobutu in the former Belgian Congo have kept those countries reliant on French aid and assistance. France has intervened militarily in Africa 30 times since granting its colonies independence; many more times it has backed rebel groups or used intrigue and leverage to install or remove regimes. French special forces helped bring down the Gbagbo regime in Ivory Coast in 2010. Last year the French were in Mali; now they’re in the Central African Republic, where 38 years ago France helped install the ‘African Napoleon’, Bokassa I, removing him three years later when his penchant for cutting people’s ears off and killing schoolchildren became an embarrassment. France maintains a permanent and active presence of 5,000 troops across the most fractured, underdeveloped and politically fragile part of the continent.

Over there, you get a lot of bang for 5,000 men. Africa, according to former President Giscard d’Estaing, remains ‘the sole continent where France could still, with 500 men, change the course of history’. And so it has. But then, Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil. I’ve no doubt that France will save some lives in CAR. But in 30 full-scale military adventures France has not yet installed one worthwhile government nor made the slightest improvement to the average African’s quality of life.

In return for its muscle, France’s nuclear power stations draw half of their uranium from Niger, and France exports oil from Gabon, where it has just given its blessing to a dynastic succession of power. After the US, France is the second largest investor in Equatorial Guinea, a Francophonie member despite its state language being Spanish. It’s a nation consistently ranked among the ‘worst of the worst’ in an annual survey of political and civil rights abuses carried out by the monitor group Freedom House. Every country does business with horrible regimes, of course. What’s amusing is that the President, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, received an ‘Order of Francophonie and Dialogue of Cultures Award’ from La Francophonie a year after police in Paris raided his son’s house, confiscating 11 of his luxury cars. They also found plans to build a yacht costing the same as Equatorial Guinea’s entire health and education budget.

Of course it’s wrong to disdain the French language — and yes, it is a beautiful language — just because so many people use it to say things like ‘I’m hungry’ and ‘I wish we could have an election’ and ‘I’m taking my money to Belgium’. Plenty of dark plans have been hatched in English, after all: the idea of seizing control of Equatorial Guinea by Mark Thatcher’s friends sticks in the mind. My problem with French is that it’s still at war with us.

In editorials that defend Hollande’s faltering economic model, Libération continually attacks the alternative: clunking, brutal Anglo-Saxon laissez-faire. ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is still a shorthand in French government for anything antithetical to accepted French practice. The historian Martin Meredith attributes this to ‘Fashoda Syndrome’, Kitchener’s rebuff to French colonial expansion that so infuriated Charles de Gaulle that he set up the Cellule Africaine.

In 1990 the CA was headed by Jean–Christophe Mitterrand, son of President François. Meredith recounts how, when a Tutsi rebel army equipped by Uganda approached Rwanda in October 1990, ‘it fitted directly into the French notion of an Anglo-Saxon plot… With little hesitation, President Mitterrand, a personal friend of [the Hutu president] Habyarimana, authorised the despatch of French troops to Rwanda.’

Over the next year, French forces oversaw the expansion of the Hutu armed forces from 9,000 to 28,000 men and set up arms deals that helped the regime buy $100 million worth of arms from Egypt and South Africa, despite mounting evidence that they were preparing for genocide. Central to this was the French mercenary Paul Barril, who, even once the genocide had begun in earnest, signed a contract of assistance with the interim Rwandan government  that was carrying out the butchery. French involvement in Rwanda is recounted in the memoirs of UN commander Roméo Dallaire, who helplessly watched French aircraft delivering arms to the genocidaires. French soldiers, believing they had been sent to prevent an invasion by the Tutsi rebel army, were horrified to find themselves protecting mass-murderers and required by their government to set up a safety zone which gave the fleeing genocidaires safe passage into Zaire.

Linda Melvern, whose account of the genocide, Conspiracy To Murder, is one of the most comprehensive, drily concludes, ‘The French policy seemed to be based on the fact that Rwanda was at a crossroads between Anglophone and Francophone Africa.’

Of course, I can’t do anything about all this beastliness and intrigue far away. None of us can. These days we’re even told that aid is futile. But for the sake of doing something futile yet decisive, I will insist that my children don’t learn French. Call it solidarity with Rwanda, where the new government has embarked on a massive campaign to make English the language of government and commerce. They even joined the Commonwealth in 2009. I’m sad, of course, that my children will miss a field trip to Saint-Malo and the ability to watch Yves Montand films without subtitles. It’s just that, in the great marketplace of language, French looks such an unattractive investment. German is going places. Mandarin will be indispensable. Spanish has few irregular verbs and is spoken in a multitude of fascinating countries with positive economic outlooks.

Despite all this I do maintain a liking for French people, French cynicism and French satire. It was an article in Charlie Hebdo (France’s version of Private Eye) in 2009 that led to charges against Barril being filed at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris. Pending the outcome of the investigation, Barril continues to work as advisor to the government of Qatar, the latest member of an organisation which promotes the French language along with (according to Mr Hollande) ‘democracy, human rights, pluralism, respect for freedom of expression, and the assertion that everyone should be able to choose their leaders’.

Actually, forget what I said about the French and irony.

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  • grammarschoolman

    What an idiotic piece of political correctness. No language is good or evil, any more than any colour is. This man’s stance is as stupid as that of people who decided they weren’t going to learn German because it was HItler’s language. It was also the language of all the opponents of Hitler, and of all the German Jews he persecuted.

    If there are bad people who speak French, there are also good people who speak French, colonists and anti-colonists, murderers and saints. By all means, disagree with one side or the other, but don’t tar the entire language with your views.

    The reason for learning any language is its literature. French is the language of Verlaine and Baudelaire, Flaubert and Balzac, ‘Carmen’ and ‘Pelleas et Melisande’, ‘Jules et Jim’ and ‘La Regle du Jeu’. If you want to deprive your children of these, then fine – but don’t expect them to thank you and don’t con yourself that you’re doing a good thing.

    • 013090

      He never said French was ‘evil’. His point is, to quote the author, ‘It’s just that, in the great marketplace of language, French looks such an unattractive investment.’

      • Tom M

        Agreed but took such a long time to say it.

        • Felipe Ordoñez de Rivera

          But said it very well, though.

          • George Henry-Thomas

            If I say : “fuck you moron people”. Is it well said and brief enough ?

          • Perseus Slade

            Désolé que ta réponse ci-dessous était censurée.
            Puisque tu demandes :
            c’est bien parce que je suis con.
            Alors content maintenant ?

          • bob

            Oui Oui, chic Alors

      • Ecalup

        That’s not exactly true either. France is one of the three top economies in Europe. Further, you can find many jobs around the world (Africa, North America and Europe) where French speaking skills are required. For instance, only in New York more than 1100 of all open job vacancies demand French speaking skills (just look it up).

        • jemblue

          Also, if you plan on working for the EU itself in some capacity, most jobs require you to know at least two of the three working languages (English, French and German) if not all three.

      • Shaylynn H.

        I dare you to look for a job in Eastern Canada without at least 6 years of fluent French background.

        • 013090

          Quite the dare

        • tio_makina

          Well, French is somehow required in Québec, New Brunswick and Ottawa. Though in Ontario province English is the dominant. Its inhabitants have a huge multicultural background. Many sons of immigrants speak Italian, Tamil, Chinese, Portuguese or French. Being myself French, I love the fact that some Canadians can speak French fluently 😀

        • NTA

          It’s funny really how in Canada most Canadians don’t speak a lick of French.

    • Totally agree with this, you can’t judge french language because of the history of France or because you think you can’t make money with it. I learn guitar but i know i will never be a super star and I will never make money with it, but I do it cause I like it and it teaches me patience, desire, perseverance,… If your children learn french they will not only learn a new language, they will access to a different culture and mentality and it will help them to think out of the box.

      • Perseus Slade

        Actually, inside another box.

        • Frank

          At least Charly’s box isn’t dark slimy and on the extreme right friend.

      • Ipsmick

        It will also help them with their English, which is a pretty French kind of language.

      • Jocelyne Breton

        … And only for the access to “new market”, if you see only with the big side of the economics telescope, it is suitable! Microsoft and big companies have understand that long time ago. Nevertheless, French is the love and poetry language, and it’s also a creative way of living… there is something else than “economy” to appreciate life, and the way to think in french can be very usefull to learn that. We can also say that for many else language in the world… We need just to keep your mind open. Voilà le message qu’une québécoise francophone vous laisse à vous tous, qui parlez une langue étrangère pour moi, mais dont j’aime bien la sonorité, les accents et l’émotion qu’elle transmet, lorsque vous parlez d’autre chose que des affaires!

        Have fun to traduce the last one!

    • Nick Chiasson

      Before you make hasty judgements, look into what the (perhaps ironically in this case) philosopher and linguist Michel Foucault says about the power of language. Language has a great deal more control over us than we like to believe. While I certainly wouldn’t suggest that a language can be inherently good or evil, learning a language can have important implications in an individual’s perspective.

      Disclaimer: This comes from somebody who is fluent in French, and has a deep appreciation for the beauty of the language.

      • Perseus Slade

        J’ai rien compris là.
        Typical bullshit.

  • Teacher

    It makes no sense to deride French as a language associated with cruelty and the abnegation of human rights and then to promote Mandarin!

    The truth is that whatever the practicalities of the situation it is still a middle class necessity to number French, German and Latin amongst the languages one’s children have an opportunity to learn. Good schools teach them even if they might also add a few others like Mandarin and Japanese so that their pupils can pretend to be ‘international’ in the jobs market.

  • Colonel Mustard

    You should be more worried about your tyranny to your children than anything France has done. Children develop interests and talents of their own choosing or inclination. You shouldn’t be seeking to suppress those in deference to your own bigotry.

    • Patrice Boivin

      bien dit!

      • Tom Tom

        Chinese is more useful in Vancouver

        • Terry Song

          You mean Cantonese?

        • Frank

          Says Tom

        • jemblue

          Actually, anywhere you live in Canada, you have to know French (or have someone on staff who does) to run a business, because everything must be explained/labeled in both languages. American companies that do business there also need francophones for that reason.

      • Marie-Andrée J. L’Italien

        Mais oui c’est offert Boivin!
        L’Université de Sherbrooke ont un programme en langues. Il y a une majeure offerte en Japonais.

        • Frank

          Vous êtes canadienne?

          • Marie-Andrée J. L’Italien

            Si on s’entend pour dire que je suis Canadienne dans le sens du terme que mes descendants sont venus des cellules qui se sont ensuite divisés, pour enfin créer MOI, non. Mais si on parle de mes ancêtres qui sont venus coloniser l’Amérique et tout le tralala, oui! J’ai même vécue 10 ans en Alberta, et 10 ans au Québec! Et le cet article c’est de la foutaise! Merci pour demander, et toi Frank?

          • Frank

            Ah J’aime ta vision scientifique de tes origines! Moi j’ai été conçu aux USA puis né en France, y avoir passé 20 ans puis back to the States où j’ai passé 15 ans et boum me revoilà en France.. pour combien de temps? Secret… So suis-je français.. un peu, américain sûrement plus 😛 Merci de m’avoir répondu!

          • Guest

            Bizarre je pensais vous avoir répondu hier… enfin je vous disais merci pour votre réponse et trouvais intéressante votre approche scientifique de vos origines. J’ai été conçu en France et suis né à Paris où je n’ai vécu que de l’age de 10 ans à l’âge de 20 ans. Je suis Américain, mais aussi Français, ayant vécu 20 ans aux USA et depuis peu revenu en France! Un peu compliqué… J’adore le Canada en tout cas ! et oui cet article c’est de la… foutaise est un mot bien faible.

  • christianguthier

    He’s change his tune if he’d have to sell to the French. Without the lingo he’d be screwed.

    • bob

      ahhhhh, bubububu pas de chance!

  • Mike Paterson

    Untwist knickers, you people! All commenters have concentrated solely on the brief opening para about children’s French lessons, which I suspect was the author’s tongue-in-cheek opening gambit then to give France a good shoeing in the remainder of the article, which I throroughly enjoyed.

    • Gary

      So, it didn’t come across as pompous arrogant claptrap from the desk of a, Gosh I’m so damed witty, daily mail reader with a deep seated need to be heard by the masses because, gosh, their just so clever, special and unbelievably witty to boot.

      See, I must have missed the bit where they DIDN’T come off as some readily disregardable idiot.

      Since just about every nation has an equivalent share of dirty laundry … the net effect was to spend several pages of perfectly good article space and yet manage to say precisely nothing.

      The rather weak premise that this was all just some misguided emperial reasoning some bigot was using to keep their children away from all things french was the only thing that ties this diatribe to the real world.

      I read it in the voice and character of Basil Fawlty … If you didn’t then I heartily recommend giving it another read. It’s great stuff.

  • matimal

    You’re only going to force them to learn it secretly online!

    • bob

      Oui Oui time for me me

  • Bibi 007

    You’re lucky your children have the choice. Here, my daughter had to learn English. Like it or not.

    Anyway, get over it. It’s only a language. I’ll stop there, talking to racists is always a waste of time.

  • richardvine

    I learnt French when I was 19. It opened horizons that until then could only be seen on celluloid. The women were far sexier and the food infinitely better than at home. A nous les petites francaises!

    • gelert

      “The women were far sexier.”

      Self-regarding stick insects who stay thin by smoking. The end result of which is that they age badly and then dress up like Pigalle tarts when in their 50s and 60s in the belief it still makes them desirable.

      They also don’t shave their armpits and are far less attractive than Italian and Spanish women.

      It’s not just the official line that uses Anglo-Saxon as a derogatory term; most French people do so, too.

      • davidshort10

        You have a big problem.

        • gelert

          Yes. I live amongst them and see examples of what I post daily.

          • Hugo Leque

            I’m French and girls shave their armpits as well as their legs. Don’t be silly.
            I’ve a bit travelled and you find pretty girls everywhere. It’s true though that Italian girls are very attractive 🙂

  • Kian-Harald Karimi

    For sure France’s policy in Africa is questionable, but it is so because France is a Western country just like Britain’s “Rule Britannia” and the United States with Vietnam and all the coup d’etat they made hundreds of times. It belongs to the character of Western powers and white race to discriminate Non Europeans. It’s our tradition, it’s the rugby of racism.

    Would you call English a language of human rights? Really? Oh then I missed the whole history of genocides, interventions, Apartheid etc. etc. Rhodesia, South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, what else shall I enumerate.

    You English are a wonderful people, but why don’t you stop French bashing or German bashing? Do you really believe that you can find your identity by discriminating other people.

    French is an important idiom and will even become more important. Please pay attention to http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

    And Rwanda is a different chapter, indeed. There is an English-speaking elite which dominates the country by replacing French as a language of instruction in school with English. These decisions were made in 2008. But now the stakeholders begin to unterstand that both French and English are useful in a bilingual environment. French has been reintroduced in primary schools. If you are interested in these new developments, please take a look at these links:




    • Truthsayer

      You’ve got the most accurate comment in the whole page. The white race is the single most barbaric, greedy, thieving, uncivilized, and murderous race in the history of mankind. Justice was late by 300 years, but it is finally here. You barbarians are going down, and there ain’t a way back up.

  • Zapedowski

    I feel sorry for your kids. What else are you going to “not let them” learn?

    • Gwangi

      Maybe they could learn to not listen to their ignorant father?

    • dalai guevara

      derivative trading, one is incline to assume.

  • Terence C Doucet

    Canada’s values are quite simple, Neutrality, Human Rights and Bilingual (French and English) I read once that, what has created the soul of Canadians, is a perfect balance of it’s 3 fathers: First Nations, French and English. The 1st Nations passed along their love and respect of nature, the French, their warmth, passion and arts, the British, their politeness, diplomacy and mathematics. As a native Canadian, that you speak an Aboriginal tongue, French or English as your 1st language or, if you weren’t born in Canada, makes no difference, we’re all influenced by the founding cultures and values and/or decided to move here or stay because of them. It’s a tad general but paints a clearer idea. If you have a child and are in a system where a language is available to learn, by all means! Japanese, Spanish or Alien, who cares? A person exposed to different languages will expand its brains learning capacity and it has been proven that, it even reduces and pushes further down the line the development of Alzheimer and Dementia. To define the importance of learning another language on politics, culture, views and economy is besides the point. We must encourage our children and ourselves to be exposed to different cultures and languages, especially with the medias, internet, and social pressure pushing us to become more and more only 2 dimentional and carbon copies of each other. Ignorance is not racist or sexist and doesn’t care what language one speaks, you’ll find it in all of them. And, a little fact: 28% of Canadians who speak both of the official languages make over 100k.

    Terence Doucet, Past President of the Vancouver Francophone Chamber of Commerce.

    • gelert

      I would bet that most of the 28% who are bilingual are from Québec, or New Brunswick, and are employed in overpaid federal government positions that mandate bilingualism.

      • Conway

        Les Québecois, plus français que les français!

    • Gwangi

      Yes, Canadians do being nice to each other awfully well.
      But then, most Canadians inside feel that the Francophone Quebecois to be a great big pain in the derriere, even in Ottawa, which I know well. I have heard of massively anti-English speaking bias – actually just racism – from many French-speaking Canadians, and even know of one who told a friend that after he retired he would never again speak to anyone in English.
      Now there is yet again pressure for another referendum. Yawn…

      • Terence C Doucet

        Again, you will find ignorance in every languages, sorry to hear it. To discriminate is never right. I can only speak from my experience. I was born in Québec and only spoke French till I moved to beautiful British Colombia, 15 years ago and now run my own business. Something happens when you learn another language, they come with different ways to express by reference and it is absolutely awesome. There are expressions in English that we just can’t find in French, it’s surely the same for every new languages one would acquire. The quality of French at schools for English Canadians is good, I was quite impressed to find many people being able to chat in French, right here in Vancouver. This said, speak to Europeans, Africans and Asians out of Canada. They are convinced that all Canadians are bilingual. A lot of immigrants, especially from Asia, have learned some French on top of English before moving to Canada. They actually raise the numbers of Canadians who can speak both of official languages on top of their own. The perception of the world is that Canada has also a French twist and it influences strongly economy via imports and tourism. Within Canada, we must understand history, respect and defend each other. Period. 🙂

        • Gwangi

          I have 2 HK Chinese born friends in Ottawa. They and most Asians really hate the way they have to learn French in order to get access to government jobs etc! They want English only.
          Really, Quebec separatists should learn that no-one wants separation, and surely all of Canada should have a say in that too? (As all the British should here too about breaking up the Union, though if the English had a vote, Scotland would probably become independent, which it won’t will a solely Scottish vote). But at least our Scottish Independence vote in September is a ONCE only vote – there will be no more. Maybe Canada needs something similar to end the silly issue?
          I was surprised in Canada that some of the native French speakers spoke such bad English – I thought they would be fluently bilingual, but not the native English speakers. (Why? Well, because English is the international language and most of your trade is with the USA). Not so.
          I was also surprised at the lack of real Frenchness, even in ‘Hull’ (Gatineau, which everyone calls Hull in Ottawa…) I expected great French food and wonderful French cheeses – not so, and the choice and lower price of cheese in the UK is way superior to anywhere in north America. I regularly buy wonderful British cheeses – Y Feni, Stilton, a good cheddar, as well as imported Camembert (not expensive here – half or a third of the Canadian price). Why can’t Canadians make their own versions of French cheese as the Brits make their own versions of Brie? Lack of cows maybe?

          • Kian-Harald Karimi

            If people decide to work ian a bilingual country they have to learn the languages necessary which are standard in this country. Otherwise they should take another chice, If I worked in Hongkong it would not be suffice to command the English language. I soundly understand that Quebec don’t want to be undercut by Allophone immigrants who hate learning French.

            The Canadians have two options: defending the federation by promoting French and English in all parts of their country in order to comply with the demands of a bilingual nation. Otherwise they have to accept the separation of Quebec which would allow them to be pretty English.

            But I guess that Canada’s identity has its best stronghold in the fact that it has a Francophone population which is not willing to give up its language. A strictly Anglophone Canada would join the US at long terms because there are lesser reasons to keep apart.

          • Truthsayer

            Francophone is not the only factor that keeps Canada apart from the US. There’s much to Canadian culture that deeply despises any notion of a merger.

          • jemblue

            For now, certainly. But if Quebec were to leave, Canada would become a much more geographically unwieldy federation, with the Maritimes being isolated from Ontario and the rest. At that point, holding the other nine provinces together could become problematic. Some of the richer ones might decide it isn’t worth it. I’ve read speculation that in the event of Quebec secession, Ontario might consider leaving itself.

          • jemblue

            Quebec is French-speaking, but it’s not *French*, any moreso than the United States is British. It’s still part of North America. Expecting it to be exactly like Europe is not realistic.

            As for your friends, hey, that’s how it works in Canada. They could have immigrated elsewhere.

      • davidshort10

        English and French speaking Canadians are equally invaders of a foreign land, nessy pa?

    • davidshort10

      Since when did Canadians ‘found’ Canada? Were there people there before you arrived? Where are they now?

  • Natnasci

    I’ve got news for you. Not all children are going to be what you want them to be and not all children are to be bred for business purposes.
    The definition of success that you want to force on your children is a narrow one, and likely to fail.

  • LeCanardHasBeen

    After dogshaming.com, isn’t it time for frenchbashershaming.com? Just say “no” to French bashing.

    • Frank

      Pourquoi? Hollande (et Sarko) est tellement con.

      • Hajnal

        Hollande n’est pas la France, et Sarkozy non plus. Encore heureux.

  • manonthebus

    Very few people in the world speak French. Chinese and Spanish are the two languages to learn.

    • Susan S.

      Yesss… it’s become very trendy to learn Chinese lately, I’ve noticed. Soccer mums everywhere taking their kids to dancing, swimming lessons and then off to Mandarin while they sit by and drink mocha lattes. But each to their own. who cares what languages people learn? Just be happy they’re educating themselves in some form or another!

      • Gwangi

        It used to be Japanese that was flavour of the months; language lessons and academies sprang up in the 80s. A few kids learnt a few words in Japanese. That as it!
        The same will happen now with Chinese – saying hello and ordering something off a menu is as far as the vast majority of those learning Chinese will get, despite their pushy paranoid mummies ramming their faces in Chinese culture for years.
        But really, Chinese sounds so UGLY. It’s the Northern Irish accent of world languages, surely? How beautiful is Italian or French when compared?
        Though of course Hollande is utterly absurd to call French the language of human rights – I doubt he was remembering Vichy when French-speaking police rounded up Jews and sent them to the gas chambers…

        • Tom M

          Quite so. Liberté, égalité, fraternité mais pas pour tous eh?

        • Tom Tom

          Robespierre wasn’t much better

        • Adamas

          Chinese sounds so ugly only to those ugly ears that are deafened by narrow nationalism. Those who have little knowledge of Chinese have little right to present a judgement.

        • davidshort10

          People used to think German sounded ugly because they had only heard it shouted by Hitler. But it is sounds wonderful most of the time. Arabic can sound nice too but I did have to tell a taxi driver to turn down the radio today because of a ranting, high-voiced woman talking but that happens in other languages, too. Romanian, for one.

          • Brett

            It’s funny that no one is allowed to have an opinion about the sound of a language without being told they only think that because they’re narrowminded, intolerant, racist, and have little knowledge. I’m allowed to think classical music sounds beautiful compared to the ugly sound of nails screeching on chalkboard; why can’t I form the opinion that Chinese sounds harsh compared to French? People will find any reason to hate.

          • Gary

            Leave chalkboards alone you philistine !!!

        • Truthsayer

          Chinese isn’t a mono-faceted language like Spanish or French. China’s land area is the same as the US ONLY if you include Alaska (which means it’s 25% bigger than continental US and we all know how those shameless Americans think they’re so big), and China’s population is 4 times of the US’s. And this excludes the Chinese diaspora all over the world. The accents of spoken mandarin all over China, greater China (Taiwan, Hong Kong) and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore) sound vastly different from one another, and the sheer diversity in question isn’t a magnitude your ignorant mind is capable of comprehending.

          China’s vastness makes any black and white statement about China generally stupid, much more than the usual black and white statements made about others, which mostly are stupid. The rule of thumb is, the larger the entity your blanket statement is about, the dumber you generally look.

          The only reason you get any support is because this world is mostly populated by ignorant hillbillies. Education is required for class, and worldly wisdom is grounded on exposure and travel, which are the purview of the financially privileged.

    • Gwangi

      Why the obsession with learning the languages with the 2nd and 3rd largest number of speakers? ENGLISH is the only international language. Mandarin Chinese is spoken mostly in China; Spanish is more useful internationally.
      But really, I would recommend learning French, German, Spanish, Italian – as they open one’s eyes to culture and history, AND they are really useful when travelling to Europe.

      • dingowild

        as long as the u.s. is still in majority engl.speaking, it will be the international language, up to about 2 generations from now. french was in the same position as the language spoken by elites for three centuries. when spanish becomes u.s. majority lingo, that was that for the post-ww2 moment of (u.s.)engl.speaking internationality. but just as you said, it’s not about the momentary prominence of any language, but what individual sense it makes to acquire it.

        • davidshort10

          keep trying.

        • Truthsayer

          The difference between France and the USA is that France enjoyed a short “superiority” period of about 300 years. The US had hers for about 60 years and it has ended. 🙂

      • Lindz G

        ‘ENGLISH is the only international language.’ Your next sentence includes ‘Spanish is more useful internationally’… Somewhat contradictory?

    • Tom Tom

      Why learn Chinese ? Even Chinese want to speak German

      • Truthsayer

        That is because the Chinese are super competitive. That’s the only reason they’re learning English. It is not to make your life easier. Eventually they will be able to speak a few languages, but their own market is so huge, that at some point, they would pick and choose to who they want to let into their inner circle and who they will trade with, who they will hire, and who they will accord special privileges.

        • bob

          ahhh oui oui monsieur

    • jemblue

      Very few people speak French? It’s an official language in 28 countries, second only to English, and that doesn’t include the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) where it is de facto co-official.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    French is full of interesting nuggets, i think. Like eg “quel dommage” – meaning what a pity.

  • David Lindsay

    learning French makes no business sense

    Stop reading there. You have no grasp of what education is.

    • donas43

      Neither does Matthew Lynn but that never stopped the Spectator.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    This is such a crap argument, Liam. Convoluted and illogical. Language is a communication tool. In the quest for empire in Central Asia, Brit spies mastered the local languages and literally got into character. Start with Kipling`s novel “Kim” and then move on to the books by Peter Hopkirk if you really want to get a handle on the role of language.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    France still has Holocaust denial laws, so slammer time beckons were you to say it was the Soviets that murdered those Polish officers in Katyn in 1940, rather than the Nazis. The authorised version is that it was the Nazis, and to say otherwise is Holocaust denial. In French jurisprudence, the truth is no defence.
    That said, this is not sufficient reason to shun French as a language of communication.

  • transponder

    There goes Western civ. It’s worth learning French just to read Rousseau in his own words. But the shopkeepers don’t give a damn about that, evidently.

    • Little Black Censored

      “It’s worth learning French just to read Rousseau in his own words.”

      • transponder

        And Greek to read Plato.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Jeeze, the fellow will have us learning Chinese!

  • Fergus Pickering

    Catherine Deneuve is French. I rest my case.

  • Gwangi

    learning a foreign language is something that anyone should be forced to do before even being allowed to enter a university.
    I know French (rusty) and can understand around 10 languages to basic degree; I wish I were fluent in them. I wish I had learnt 2 or 3 at school.
    learning French is good. far better than the silly IT lessons kids get or the endless circle time. Chinese bears no relation to English and is thus much more tricky – and most lessons in it are pidgin anyway. plus the Chinese do not expect Europeans to speak it. The Chinese here from Hong Kong don’t anyway – they speak Cantonese!

    • dgjshebvx

      The problem with not learning a language as a child is that only a tiny percentage of adults ever speak a language at c1 or c2 level– like you not ever reaching a native level in even one foreign tongue.

  • Laurent Elisio B.

    how funny..! if one shouldn’t learn a language because of imperialism, what should we do about english? lack of economic prospects, who cares and how materialistic… I’d love to learn russian, just enough to be able to read it a bit Lermontov or Maïakovski… but wait! Staline, Poutine, Ukraine… never my kids will go near it! I really feel sorry for yours actually. so much for their education. ‘All you need to know about France is that they messed up, but the baguette and the snails still worth it.. now review your Chinese!’ 7 years of conjugaison, who does that? It takes about 6 month within a regular course to be perfectly independent in French. maybe you’re a bit slow though.

  • serialluncher

    I learned to speak both French and Spanish fluently. Maybe there are fewer irregular verbs in French but I still find Spanish verbs harder – significantly more conjugation and there are two types of the verb to be (ser and estar). Spanish has an extra past tense (two perfect pasts) and they conjugate subjunctives in every tense unlike just a couple in modern French. Apart from the ser and estar issue, I do agree that Spanish is easier at a basic level. Easier to pronouce, spell and get your point across.

    • Janet Lingel Aldrich

      I agree that I had less trouble with basic Spanish than I have learning French — but then, basic Russian isn’t that bad, once you get used to the alphabet — but as you move farther along, you run into all those cases … oy!

      • Serg RRRR

        Take a chat with russian/ It will make u fluent

  • Frank

    Re the conflict with Britain (and France’s antipathy to America which you didn’t really mention but should have), it is grounded in the unburied ghosts from world war two. Until France faces up to its past in the Second World War, it cannot move on. The fact that Anglo-Saxon attitudes have won (over Soviet Russia, over Maoist China, etc) counts for nothing as France tells itself that it is the centre of culture (even if it behaves shockingly to third world immigrants). It is a sustained delusion, but France must grow up at some stage (and I say this with profound affection for France).

    • “The fact that Anglo-Saxon attitudes have won…”

      Oh dear… maybe you need to move on.

    • Pascalcs

      I think that your comments reflect an education shaped by the Anglo-saxon media, which are very likely the only one you can either read or understand. Your simplistic view of things is a perfect illustration of the consequences resulting from too often embarrassingly stupid and ill conceived views of the World imposed upon us by people trying to improve their readership with Monty pythonesque essays on world culture and history.

    • jemblue

      There have actually been quite a few books/films released in France over the past couple of decades regarding World War II. There really isn’t much mythologizing going on anymore.

  • oughut

    Speaking as an African all I can say is – poor bewildered soul.

  • Terence Hale

    Why I won’t let my children learn French. Speaking German most of my life I can understand this, I should perhaps qualify, Swiss German which is a secret encrypted
    version of High German.

  • Shorne

    I seldom made use of the French I learned at school until I worked in a London prison where it was very useful because of the many Francophone prisoners, drug smugglers from the Maghreb for example (incidentally, as an aside, in my experience the reason many foreign national prisoners remain undeported is simply because their home countries won’t have them back). The use of French among the Vietnamese cannabis growers petered out as they got younger though. I much preferred being greeted by ‘Bonjour Chef’ (meaning ‘Boss’, I wasn’t a cook) rather than ‘ ‘Ullo Guv.’

  • NilsBoray

    What’s the french for ‘wanker’ ?

    • Doggie Roussel


      • louisquatorze

        Je dois reconnaître qu’il y a beaucoup de branleurs en France .
        Mais pourquoi se soucier du français dès lors que la nouvelle génération <=30 ans ne savent plus écrire leur langue maternelle. C'est une véritable catastrophe .

  • Dodgy Geezer

    Perhaps I should have told my Latin beak that I was cutting his lessons because of what they did to the Carthaginians….

    • Right-Minded

      Yeah because that was the same sort of time as the Rwandan genocide…

  • David

    I learnt French at school, and indeed I went on extensive French exchanges, living with French families in Paris. I loved it – French, and Paris! By the time I was virtually fluent.

    I went to Lyon last month on business. I could barely remember a thing. It was the first time I’d spoken French since about 1988. I now speak Japanese and am learning Chinese, both of with have been far more useful in my subsequent working life…

  • Little Black Censored

    What a lot of worthy, literal-minded and boring comments. The article is amusing, and worth reading for that reason.

  • Tom M

    Sounds like another reason not do do something, là ou le bat blesse!!

  • dalai guevara

    Honi soit qui bien y pense.

    • Horatia

      An Ungallant King?

  • Tom Tom

    You need to be ultra cautious lest your children become obsessed with French letters

  • Horatia

    Meh. Latin is a more interesting language anyway.

  • random_observer_2011

    So, let’s see. French, a leading European language for centuries and the bearer of much of our civilization and culture, including much underlying British culture, that happens to have also been and to a degree remains a language of oppression in Africa. Of course it is also a language of many of the victims and resisters.
    English is also all of those things, and remains so today, even in the absence of British troops propping up the oppression, a practice ended within the lifetime of many here. Way to climb on the high horse.
    And then to recommend Spanish, itself a language affiliated with both positive culture and colonialist oppressors.
    Or Mandarin, the language of a thousand years of systematic despotism and today of the most oppressive major society on earth.

  • Brian_Barker

    President Barack Obama wants everyone to learn a foreign language, but which one should it be? The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish.

    Yet this leaves Mandarin Chinese and Hindi out of the equation. I think we should move forward and teach a common, neutral and easily learnt language, in all nations worldwide. This indeed would be a courageous step.
    The case for Esperanto should be more frequently aired 🙂

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu0NUEiEv_g

    • davidshort10

      Esperanto. No one speaks it.

      • Brian_Barker

        Many ill-informed people describe Esperanto as artificial – other ignorant people say that if human beings were meant to fly God would have given them wings.

        Esperanto is neither artificial nor a failure. It is the 29th most used language in Wikipedia, ahead of Danish and Arabic. It is a language choice of Google, Skype, Firefox, Ubuntu and Facebook.Google translate recently added it to its prestigous list of 64 languages.

        Native Esperanto speakers, (people who have used the language from birth), include World Chess Champion Susan Polger, Ulrich Brandenberg the new German Ambassador to and Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet. Financier George Soros learnt Esperanto as a child.

        Esperanto is a living language – see http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670 Also, Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per day. That can’t be bad 🙂

        • davidshort10

          I travel a lot, and have done for 30 years, and I have yet to meet anyone who speaks Esperanto. I think you protest too much. 400,000 hits a day? So what?

          • Brian_Barker

            Although more people speak Esperanto, the
            International Language, than ever before there seems to be a misconception that
            “no-one speaks Esperanto”.

            Even George Soros speaks it. If you meet him please ask http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNGmKw-VxF4

          • davidshort10

            Well, we are certainly not communicating very well in English.

          • Brett

            Until more people speak Esperanto, it’s pretty useless. Compared to other languages, no one speaks it (Not literally, as a figure of speech) and the whole Passporto thing is useless as well. The only way that it could actually ascend to greatness is if something groundbreaking happened like Esperanto becoming the official language of the European Union. True, it’s more successful than any other artificial language, but it also failed in it’s ultimate goal: Become what English is today. English succeeded, English has become the desired language. Esperanto is going to have a way harder time taking it’s place.

        • davidshort10

          Look up the word ‘artificial’. It describes what you deny. ‘Made up’.

  • Right-Minded

    I had a similar choice to make at school, either French, German or Spanish – from which I chose German for the same reasons highlighted in the article. But in the long term, there’s not much point – English has won the battle of the languages, globally.

  • ss

    This is the most stupid article that I have ever read in my life. UK is such a sour grape that they have to take it on their French counterparts instead of facing reality…

  • ss

    Can’t I get a mature and serious article from a website that has .co.uk in it??

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Whenever BBC use a Japanese word, be it place name or personal name, invariably Auntie news readers mangle the word to the point of where it often becomes unrecognisable. The main problem announcers have is switching from a stress based language to a syllabic language. So you have to assume that BBC mispronounce just about all “foreign” words.
    I mention this as a heads up for UK based foreign language students.

  • Jean-noël Lafargue

    You convinced me : my children will not be allowed to learn french, english, spanish, chinese, or any language because there isn’t any language in the world that hasn’t been used by some mean people.
    Sorry for my bad english : I was forced to learn this language at school, even though I don’t like mad religious preachers, imperialistic militaries and boring rock bands that are what I know best about the united states of America.

    • dingowild


    • D. Rose Gregory

      L’anglaise n’est pas seule la langue des Etats-Unis. Si vous parlez français et pas l’allemande, remerciez les Americains. Si vous utilisez un ordinateur ou le logiciel, un cell phone or regardez les films, remerciez les Americains. Si vous avez un carte de credit, les jeux videos, appreciez codes à barres, ou si un jour vous avez besoin d’un coeur artificial, remercier les Américains. Peut-être vous ne appreciez pas assez des Etats-Unis. Si mon français, n’est pas parfait, pardon. J’apprends qu’elle.

      English is not only the language of The United States. If you speak French and not German, thank the Americans (the imperialistic military). If you use a computer or software, a cell phone or watch movies, thank the Americans. If you have a credit card, video games, appreciate barcodes or if one day you need an artificial heart, thank the Americans. Perhaps you do not appreciate enough The United States. If my French is not perfect, pardon me. I am learning it.

      • Jean-noël Lafargue

        I’m not sure the German wanted to force the French to speak their language, but ok, thank you (and the canadians, and britts). But the computer is not an american invention (it doesn’t have one and only creator but I would give the biggest credits to mid XIXth english scientists Charles Babbage, Ada Byron, and George Boole, then (one century after that) to another british man, Alan Turing, and to the german Konrad Zuse, and the hungarian (then american) John Von Neumann and the American Norbert Wiener. I don’t use a cellphone, but I know the inventor (an american,yes) found the idea in “Star Trek” : in a human future with no nations 😉
        Cinema is not an american invention, as Edison’s kinetoscope was not what we call cinema : the prototype of this industry is Lumière’s Cinématographe. Of course, America is important in the history of movies, but even though american theatres don’t play them a lot, there are movies made in countries all over the world. The main movie industry is not Hollywood, but India !
        Video games are obviously an american invention, even though major games brands as Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and many more are not american. Barcodes and cedit cards are american.
        In order to avoid the use of an artificial heart, I eat french or italian food.

        • D. Rose Gregory

          Américains ont joué un rôle majeur dans tout ce que je dit , mais bien sûr ce n’est pas vraiment le point . J’apprends le français sont beaucoup, beaucoup de personnes à travers notre pays . La plupart des visiteurs de la Tour Eiffle sont français , mais le deuxième plus grand nombre sont des Américains . Nous avons rien de nuisible à la France fait . Nous apportons continuellement nos vacances de dollars il , payer beaucoup d’argent pour la nourriture française , le vin , le parfum et la mode , et généralement aimer et admirer le français . J’ose dire que si quelqu’un a attaqué la France d’aujourd’hui , l’Amérique serait là pour la protéger . Pourtant , en poste après poste , les Américains sont nappés de haine et de violence . Oui , beaucoup de gens sont en désaccord avec les choix de notre gouvernement en ce qui concerne la guerre en Irak et d’autres , mais nos forces armées et d’autres organismes gouvernementaux et non gouvernementaux ont également fait beaucoup de travail humanitaire dans le monde . Et la France et d’autres pays ne sont pas sans leurs abus dans des endroits comme l’Afrique , par exemple . Chaque fois qu’il ya une catastrophe dans le monde Américains envoient des liasses de billets et de l’aide en nature . Nous nous félicitons de tous les peuples sur nos côtes pour obtenir une éducation , travailler ici ou rester s’ils veulent (que beaucoup le font) . Nous ne pouvons tout simplement pas être entièrement mauvais post après post semblent indiquer . Maintenant, nous sommes attaqués simplement pour parler anglais ! Excusez- moi, mais nos ancêtres étaient surtout l’anglais ! L’ article ci-dessus était l’opinion d’une personne sur le français. Cela n’avait rien à voir avec les États-Unis .Personnellement, j’adore le français et pense que c’est la plus belle langue du monde . Mais je ne suis qu’un ignorant américain , afin que sais-je ?
          Americans played a major part in everything I mentioned but of course that is not really the point. I am learning French as are many, many people across our land. Most of the visitors to the Eiffel Tower are French, but the second greatest number are Americans. We have done nothing harmful to France. We continually bring our vacation dollars there, pay big money for French food, wine, perfume and fashions, and generally love and admire the French. I daresay if anyone attacked France today, America would be there to protect her. Yet, in post after post, Americans are slathered with hatred and abuse. Yes, many people disagree with our government’s choices regarding the war in Iraq and others, but our military and other government and non-governmental agencies have also done much humanitarian work in the world. And France and other countries are not without their abuses in places like Africa, for example. Every time there is a disaster in the world Americans send bundles of money and in-kind aid. We welcome all peoples to our shores to get an education, work here or stay if they want (which many do). We simply cannot be all bad as post after post claims. Now we are attacked simply for speaking English! Excuse me but our ancestors spoke mostly English! The above article was one person’s opinion about French. It had nothing to do with The United States. Personally, I love French and think it is the most beautiful language in the world. But I am just an ignorant American, so what do I know?

        • louisquatorze

          French english americans and gna gna gna and gna gna gna !!!!

      • Euro_Hero

        You chose really poor examples, which actually give credit to the French:

        Cinema was invented by the Lumière Brothers (French) (as was photography by Daguerre and Niepce in the 1830s btw)
        Chip credit cards were invented by Dr Moreno (French)
        The first ever heart transplant was carried out in France. The first ever completely autonomous, artificial heart transplant was also carried out in France

        And FYI it’s mostly thanks to Russia that we don’t speak german instead of French.

        As for the English language itself, due to the 1066 invasion, an estimated 60% of its vocabulary comes directly from French.

        Many major inventions that the US has claimed for itself originated in other, non English-speaking countries. E.g. the automobile (daimler). The rocket, and jet engine, which you stole from Germany. The first computer in the modern sense of the term was the Z3 invented in Germany.

        The first ever sound recorder (cylinder-type) was built in France 20 years before Edison, by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville.

        The first ever motorised flight was carried out by Clément Ader, NOT the wright brothers

        The first working applications of nuclear fission were discovered in France and Germany

        Maybe we don’t appreciate the US enough as you claim, but you people really are far too full of yourselves.

        • D. Rose Gregory

          Another point, my response was to Jean-noel Lafargue, who criticized the United States in his response to an article written (I think) by an British writer, Liam Mallone. There isn’t even a reference to the U.S. in the original article, yet Monsieur Lafargue uses the occasion of his response to Mr. Mallone to rake the U.S. over the coals for t.v. preachers, rock music and maintaining a strong military. Mr. Mallone compared France to Britain, but not to the U.S.. Monsieur Lafargue’s comments about the U.S. were completely off target. Un autre point, ma réponse était de Jean-noel Lafargue, qui a critiqué les Etats-Unis dans sa réponse à un article écrit (je crois) par un écrivain britannique, Liam Mallone. Il n’est même pas une référence aux États-Unis dans l’article original, mais M. Lafargue profite de l’occasion de sa réponse à M. Mallone pour ratisser les États-Unis sur les charbons pour la télévision prédicateurs, la musique rock et le maintien d’un fort militaire. M. Mallone comparé la France à la Grande-Bretagne, mais pas aux États-Unis. Commentaires de M. Lafargue sur les États-Unis étaient complètement hors cible.

          • Oihana Bidart

            J’ai l’impression que le commentaire de M Lafargue était plutôt sarcastique.. Pas de quoi monter au créneau, somme toute.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            M. Lafargue obviously has a lot of biases against the U.S.. The U.S. is sooo diverse across regions and peoples that it is impossible to generalize about it. M. Lafargue a évidemment beaucoup de préjugés contre les Etats-Unis. Les États-Unis est tellement diverse selon les régions et les peuples qu’il est impossible de généraliser sur le pays.

      • Frank

        The US is indeed an imperialist country.

        • D. Rose Gregory

          This forum is about France and the importance of learning French. Ce forum est de la France et l’importance d’apprentissage du français.

          • RM_9000

            clearly you did not learn it well enough to comment here in French…”Ce forum est de la France….”

          • D. Rose Gregory

            Je suis une étudiante. Paris n’a pas été construit dans un jour! I am a student. Paris wasn’t built in a day!

      • Mc

        … In 1945 Churchill destroy French Navy ( Battle of mer El Kebir ) French thank Russia , because Churchill is just an idiot and traitor ( french word : traitre ) USA dont care about French in 1940 , just afraid of Churchill because he has destely the French Navy . USA help French for help the word , 3/4 heart nazy in 1940 ( europe , africa , asia ) just amerique and russia , uk safe . Battle UK vs USA french help a lot USA with monney , Napoleon leff the soil FR in USA . Iphone created by a French in Paris and stolen by Steve Jobs , America is ´ better ´ of the France in imaginary because a lot lf monney in wapon , In French we have heal free because a lot of monney in health , French are nor Paris , Parisien , Parisian dont care to visited Effiel tower , , French are save the world too , look google : Pasteur , Frere Lumieres , or rather ´ google : Liste invention Française ´ No Country is better , good and bad , all coutey like that , but stop spitt in my country we dont care about your war for more black gold or dollars , we love peace , and sex sex sex , somtimes we get a shower but we dislike that , we love shmell so we use the flagrance …. ( joke ) seriously , if you want more infos about the France , look google FR , not lie like this post , look ´ Liste invention Francaise ´ yes we love sex , but we a not insane , we dislike wars , but we have the most humman army ( Légion Etrangere , Foreigner Legion ) french citizen dont care about wars , because wars : poor , destroy , kill . So , stop spitt in US , If you love payed for Goldman Sachs mistane not you , make love , sex , not war , drink wine and eatine ´ Quenelle ´ ( from Lyon of course ) only ! 🙂 sorry for my engliqh i recently started learn it , If you want learn mor quickly : mosalingua French and ´ FrancaisFacile ‘ on Google Fr , cya

        Edit : Japan have a better video game of USA ( resident evil , mario ) and French have a Free Hospital not 8 K dollars by day lol ! and for medicine French are good because operation he Free and we have a first health in the wooooorld , all people com from the world for received french heal ( recently i’ve see an young america too fat going in my country for received heal 🙂 ) Peace

        • D. Rose Gregory

          Mc, I like the French very much. There are millions of Americans and sure, there are some who are French bashers, but the majority of Americans admire the French and are delighted to meet French people when they come here. You must come here one day and visit us and you will see that that is true. You will be treated very special. Americans admire French contributions too, especially is art, fashion, food, and philosophy. We are less aware of the French contributions to science. I do acknowledge them but I think it’s fair to say that American and French scientists and inventors collaborated on projects rather than that they were stolen. Yes, we do have a big military and we are called on often to settle conflicts in the world like now with Ebola and Isis. France has good medicine but we also have some of the finest doctors in the world. Our medicine is free for the poor. Others must carry insurance. Bravo on trying to learn English. Mc, J’aime le Français très bien. J’aime le français très bien. Il ya des millions d’Américains et bien sûr, il ya certains qui sont détracteurs français, mais la majorité des Américains admirent le français et sont heureux de rencontrer des français quand ils viennent ici. Vous devez venir ici et de nous rendre visite un jour et vous verrez que c’est vrai. Vous serez traité très spécial. Américains admirent contributions françaises aussi, surtout l’art, la mode, la nourriture, et de la philosophie. Nous sommes moins conscients des contributions françaises à la science, mais je ne les reconnaître. Je pense qu’il est juste de dire que les scientifiques et inventeurs américains et français ont collaboré sur des projets plutôt que qu’ils ont été volés. Oui, nous avons un grand militaire et nous sommes souvent attendions à régler les conflits dans le monde comme maintenant ett Ebola et Isis. La France a une bonne médecine, mais l’Amérique a aussi certains des meilleurs médecins dans le monde. Notre médecine est gratuite pour les pauvres. D’autres doivent souscrire une assurance. Bravo à essayer d’apprendre l’anglais.

    • Ahmad22

      You’re forgetting South African apartheid, British treatment of Catholics in Northern Ireland and Australian treatment of the Aboriginals. Actually, as languages in general are so evil we should just stop talking to each other.

  • LOUIS Florent

    Haha you’re a fucking sophist. There is a gap between belief and knowledge and likelyhood you don’t know enough French to judge of their relation to English or England. And otherwise yes, trade agreements may be useful to treat friendly with former colonies when we don’t have devoted servants of the commonwealth but which arises an equal with his interlocutor. Finally you talk about the past, while the study talks about the future. Clap Clap Clap.

  • Sam Oiocha

    Your trusty beacon in the ever-shifting mirage of illusions conjured up by today’s progressives: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • rob232

    I learned French at school and as a teenager spent many holidays in France and manged to get to a B1 level. Forty years ago it was useful because other Europeans spoke it as a second language and I found it invaluable travelling in Spain and Italy. This isn’t the case now. Everybody has English as a second language. I always remember that the French were very snooty about the way their language was pronounced although they themselves were horrible linguists pronouncing everything as if it were French.
    I’ve lived in Spain for nearly forty years and my French proved a useful base for learning Spanish but in the process I forgot all my French.
    Spanish is a much more useful language. It is spoken all over the world having more native speakers than English and the people are much more tolerant of a less than perfect accent.
    My nephews and nieces in th UK inexplicably insist on learning French. in spite of having half their family in Spain.
    Although learning a language can be pleasurable I do think nowadays it’s the most useless of European languages. Try and speak it to a Frenchman and they will invariably answer you in laboured English and frankly it’s better just to let them get on with it.

  • Laurie Chilvers

    I can’t believe how stupid this is. You imagine your lonely little protest is going to make any difference to anything in the grand scheme of things, better or worse?

    Go on then, which language should your kids learn. Which one has a “clean conscience”? What a load of bullshit. You can protest about any language with your logic, why should anyone learn German because of that whole Nazi deal, aren’t the Russians all out to get us with their nukes, won’t teaching Arabic mean we’re all going to be living in Sharia law by next Tuesday. Your convictions must be pathetically weak if you think learning a foreign language will water them down.

    • Serg RRRR

      What a bullshit about russians/ We have it becuase of you/ You are most
      danger psycho who goes around with cowardy army and bomb innocent
      peoples/ It is only way stay out from you

      • Laurie Chilvers

        If you didn’t notice, my entire post was being sarcastic, stop being butthurt.

  • Zhaomafan

    Here’s a reason which i don’t think other commentators have mentioned. French is the easiest foreign language for English speakers to learn. As a result, for a reasonably containable amount of effort, you get the excitement, buzz and satisfaction of being able to speak another language. Which will definitely encourage you to learn other languages.

    I know what i am talking about — i speak English (mother tongue), and am fluent in French and Mandarin, and i have a reading knowledge of Spanish and swedish.

    • rob232

      I don’t think it is the easiest language for an English speaker to learn. The grammar and spelling is complicated and the accent is nearly impossible to imitate.The people themselves have traditionally treated attempts by foreigners to speak their language as hilariously funny.
      On the other hand Spanish has a relatively uncomplicated grammar, is easy to spell and not difficult to pronounce.
      There are sound reasons for teaching French to English speakers. One being the French influence in our own language following the Norman conquest.
      French was also for generations a lingua franca as it was everyone’s chosen second language. It has now been replaced by English.
      This is of course resented by many Frenchmen but I believe they only have themeselves to blame. If they had taken a different attitude people would still be learning French.

      • Zhaomafan

        as a fluent speaker of French who over the past year has been learning spanish, i can only say that I find spanish more difficult. Why?
        1. more use of subjunctive and the way it works in spanish more readily lends itself to confusion about subject of the very which is used subjunctively (and i say this as someone who loves to use subjunctive in French — thus i am no subjunctophobe.
        2. related to this is the fact that personal pronouns (he, she etc) are often omitted in spanish — making it that much harder to figure out who is the subject of the subjunctivised verb
        3. it’s spoken faster than French. I think this has been established empirically.
        4. although a small point, when a word in french is borrowed into english, it often takes exactly or nearly the same spelling between the two languages — unlike spanish. Eg difference/diferencia or vogue/boga.

        But at the end of the say it is, of course, a subjective thing – i cannot negate your experience!

    • Nay Aung

      How do you work out that “French is the easiest foreign language for English speakers to learn”? It’s a purely subjective opinion, and does not withstand close scrutiny.
      I have dabbled in several languages – either through fascination or necessity – starting with French, then Latin, then Spanish. I added a bit of German, a bit of Italian, some Swedish, a little Arabic, then Thai – as well as Burmese. They all present their own idiosyncrasies which make them either tantalising or frustrating.
      Having said that, I have also – for many years – been an Esperantist, even though in all my travels I have only bumped into another one twice. So many bigoted respondents on this page display their woeful ignorance by dismissing Esperanto without even bothering to check up on the facts.

  • StephanieJCW

    My children will learn French because I want them too. It is an absolutely beautiful language.

    I don’t get the mentality that learning a language should just be about business reasons.

    • Terry Field

      You sound heavy handed – ‘they will do what I want’

    • Gary


      Just make sure they learn English first, eh?

  • Terry Field

    On a practical level, it is better to learn german, Chinese and Spanish.
    But French offers precision of thought and expression, is beautiful, and offers a world of literature.
    Holland is cretinous, but he is transient.
    Thank God.

  • kimbo

    Guess grammarschoolman never read Swift?

  • Perseus Slade

    The rift in Rwanda was really between the French and English speakers, with the French egging-on the former.

    Other Famous French Victories include the dumping of the dégeulasse Greenwich Mean Time in favour of génial Coordinated Universal Time, and the construction of a line of trees from the North coast of France to the South coast marking the meridian of Paris as to make it visible from space (la méridienne verte).

    Such little things matter a lot to the French
    and they should be made give more to get their way.

  • DavEd CamerBand

    You, “Madam” are a philistine. Your children should not be forced to do anything and it is ultimately your decision. However, your views on the French (those who speak it mostly) is repugnant.

    You cloak this bigotry in wanting “successful” children, you sound like an uncultured vulgarian so I will assume it’s financial success you’re hoping to impart. Rather than intelligence or cultural experience.

    Your state of mind reminds me of a film; “one flew over the cookoos nest” but more significantly “A good year”.

  • davidshort10

    We had no choice but to learn French at my school. Throughout my life, speaking and reading and writing French has given me pleasure and employment. France is the nearest foreign country to England until Scotland says bye and has a better climate much of the time and cheaper and better restaurants. It sort of helps to speak the language.

    • bob

      zut alorrrrr

  • davidshort10

    And P.S. The sort of article commissioned in The Spectator since a vulgarian was appointed. Can we send him back to Scotland soon, never to return?

  • davidshort10

    Only a magazine headed by an Eighties has-been would publish an article such as this.

  • Dan

    Um, but look at it this way: If your son learns French it will help him get women. They love it.

  • rf

    you article is absolutely disgusting, why are you so hate-filled
    all you describe about the problems related to africa is false.
    certainly english is “perfect”. whitout french soldiers in malin and CAR there will now be islamic mass murderers.And who helped america in it’s independance: FRANCE
    so calm down and swalow your anger

  • Hajnal

    Wow. A Brit bashing France. How edgy. How groundbreaking.
    PS: it’s Azincourt, not Agincourt.

  • Mirage IV

    you have a serious problem with france.. i’m disappointed when i read this kind article.. but, seriously it’s funny when we are french. For me its a really joke

  • Mirage IV

    pour le dire en français, cet article est un condensé de merde. plus rien ne m’étonne quand je vois l’acharnement de britanniques sur la france, à force ça devient rigolo
    résumer une langue à sa présence sur les économies reflète bien l’obsession que créer l’argent sur les sociétés anglo-saxones.
    c’est affligeant.

    if u want, dear britons, you can traduce that, but, probably you can’t understand

  • clemclem

    Little englanders don’t hate the French, they just love to despise them. It’s one of their favorite pastime. So be it. Let them rot in their complacent ignorance.

    • bob

      ahhh, bu-bu-bu oui oui

    • Gary

      As a ‘Little Englander’ who speaks Spanish, French, German, Arabic and a little Thai and Japonese …. Sit down and behave yourself. Generalising like that makes you look almost as stupid and arrogant as the original author.

      Making sweeping generalisations about an entire people is just about as ignorant as it is possible to get.

      • Masetto81

        That’s very good Gary, with all those languages you will also probably know how to use a dictionary. Last time I checked, “little englanders” referred to a very specific sub-category of Britons. Have a good day.

  • Hugo Leque

    Hello Liam Mullone,

    I am French and I think that what you’re saying is … insulting. It is true that our country is not perfect and we have some difficulties to reform it right now. However, the French language is not the cause of our difficulties, nor it is the cause of the difficulties that French-speaking African countries have. This is way too simple to think like this. Within each speakers of a language, you have different ways of thoughts. It is the same in France, or in Quebec, in Mali, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire or République Centrafricaine. It is also the same for English speakers. The latter are not responsible for the horrors Great Britain did. As a French, and as a young man being 22 years old, I do not feel responsible for what my country did in the past, even if I condemn many things, like what happened in Rwanda 20 years ago. Or what happened in Algeria, and other African countries during the time of the colonies. Or Napoleonic wars. But is French language the cause of all that ? I don’t think that we can find a causation between all these facts.
    The truth is : Within each culture, within each people, good and bad things happen. When you choose to learn a language for the culture, you decide to learn it for the good sides of it. I think that learning English, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Greek, or whatever language has good sides. If you are happy to learn one foreign language, this will always be something positive. And you should not tell other people, especially your children, what they should learn or not, and let them decide what they want to learn.

    You should also worry about yourself. Being a columnist requires to be responsible. What you are doing is just some kind of propaganda.

    • Frank

      Look at what is happening in France with the FN, isn’t that a little scarier than this loser’s opinion?

  • jingo

    You seem to imply that English speaking countries are more “civilized” or decent than French speaking ones. There is no denying that Uganda and Sierra Leone have such a fascinating record. Zimbabwe and Sudan are great places to do business, aren’t they? And who would not dream of spending their honeymoon in Lagos ? Of course Cameroon is a bit dangerous but it must be because part of the population speaks French.
    I really don’t mean to offend but you should be aware that if English is the international language it is not because Great Britain is the most powerful country on earth.

  • Thomas Aquinas

    Patriots: It’s one if by land, two if by sea. Shine brighter: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878


    Oops !


    Of course this study was done by a French investment bank but it also pointed out that the French language is the official language in 32 countries after the English spoken in 45 countries. And both French and English are the only two languages spoken on 5 continents.

    English will remain the most used language by 2050. After that, more than French, Spanish or Mandarin could be the top most spoken language.

  • noticeofyou

    Worst article ever ! Shame on you !

  • Bee

    I personally learned french, english, japanese, spanish, Kannada (regional indian language) and finnish… Also, I think it is true to say speaking a language influence the way you think and interact with others. We can not hold languages responsible for bad policy and governance, greed and corruption (which are for me the reasons why France and many african speaking countries are now in such a bad state). But no worries we (multilingual folks) will reach out for you, cause you clearly needs a head up on what is really happening in the world today ! 😛

  • ncommiss

    I didn’t take te time to read all this bullshit (seriously, how can you name this “journalism”?)

    French is not better or worse than another languages for the business, even English. The more shocking is not how you said this. The more shocking is how you can private your kids (and the kids from others, because I’m sure that some lectors will believe you have right) from a whole culture, just because you think French isn’t adapted for business. Some businesses, like Withings, Orange, Free, etc… are the proof that you can succeed when you speak french.

    Oh, and I’m French. So, what said Laurence Haïm a few weeks ago in “Le Grand Journal” over the US and UK journalists was right… But it’s in french, you won’t understand anything. And your kids too, if you persist in this crap.

    • Gary

      Clearly you read it wrong!

      Being used to such diatribes I immediately chose to read it in the unique voice and manner of Basil Fawlty … and it was pure gold! It had me giggling all the way through.

      One really must learn to read ‘in voice’ … it makes all the difference ; )


    French language, from the English point of view, is the other language.

    Take a look at this (in French) :

    La langue française à un avenir en tant que langue de l’altérité.

    Je crois même que cette position de langue alternative a été une des causes de son maintien sur la scène internationale après le Traité de Paris, 1763.

    Les Anglais ont été, sur le long terme, et sur le plan linguistique, des vainqueurs, ou tout au moins des leaders. Or pour qu’il y ait un vainqueur, il faut qu’il y ait un vaincu. Si la victoire est totale, comme dans le cas des Romains par rapport aux Étrusques, des Anglo-Américains par rapport aux Indiens, des Espagnols par rapport aux Incas, des Romains par rapport aux Gaulois, il n’y a plus vraiment de vainqueurs. Il n’y a plus qu’un vaincu qui disparaît.

    Ainsi les anglophones ont-ils besoin d’autres langues pour faire croire subrepticement qu’ils ne se sont pas hégémoniques en matière linguistique et pour paradoxalement mieux asseoir leur domination en la matière. Aucune autre langue, à part la langue française, ne peut remplir ce rôle, à la fois d’éternel second, et globalement, de vaincu. Pour un Anglais, le seul adversaire à sa mesure, sur le continent européen aussi bien que sur les autres continents, a été la France. Il n’y en a jamais eu d’autre. Pour paraphraser Hegel, l’Angleterre et ses successeurs ont eu besoin, pour persévérer dans leur être, de cultiver la différence. Ce jeu de l’identité et de la différence a donc joué en faveur de la France et du français.

    Tout est parti de 1763. Le roi de France a préféré de débarrasser de l’Inde et du Canada, non pas par aveuglement géopolitique, mais parce qu’il voulait troquer le Québec contre Haïti, l”Ile à sucre”. Autrement dit troquer le commerce des fourrures contre celui du sucre qui était, à l’époque, une denrée de luxe.

    Le négoce des fourrures, en effet, n’était que relativement peu utile dans un pays à climat tempéré, contrairement à la Russie qui en a toujours fait une grande consommation.

    L’introduction du sucre de canne en Europe a permis, en particulier, l’essor et le raffinement de la gastronomie pâtissière. Mais il faut dire que les Français de l’époque ont cédé à la facilité, puisque 70 ans plus tard, les contraintes du Blocus Continental ont stimulé la créativité des agronomes qui ont remplacé le sucre de canne par le sucre de betterave.

    Tout le reste a suivi, selon la phrase célèbre de Louis XV : « Après moi, le déluge ». Avec ce résultat tangible : un déluge de productions de luxe et une déroute géopolitique d’importance mondiale qui dure et perdure depuis plus de deux siècles.

    Même si l’industrie du luxe doit affronter beaucoup de concurrents, elle reste une puissance considérable dans ce secteur, sur le plan mondial.

    Aujourd’hui encore, même dans certains produits technologiques la « patte » française peut faire la différence : c’est la fameuse French Touch, que l’on retrouve aussi bien dans la conception de certains jeux vidéos, que dans les manoeuvres spéculatives et sophistiquées des courtiers, issus en majorité de Polytechnique, et embauchés à Londres.

  • Ben

    Without viable argue French-bashing is just boring… As a French I came to read these article to see if something was interesting, if some elements was applicable to improve our country/language. But no… The level of this article is the same than a deep analysis of the life of Kim Kardashian…Desperation…
    You should aims on the decline of UK, which seeming clearly faster than the French one, (of course you keep some illusion via the US influence)

  • Guillaume

    ‘Look at Ivory Coast and Chad and Mali and the two Congos and — right now
    — the Central African Republic. Much of Africa is looking up these
    days, but these particular countries are irretrievably buggered. And the
    reason they’re buggered is intimately connected to the fact that they
    speak French.’
    Are you kidding me? What about Somalia, Liberia or Malawi? Are those countries in a better situations because they speak English? I have never read such an amount of idiocy, even among the countless anti French articles from English speaking countries I read. I’m French and I have spent a year as an exchange student in a business school in the UK and I have never heard any of those idiotic things from my teachers there. Indeed, French economy is not the best, and we do have a lot of faults, but you should take a look at yours first. And you should tell your kids to learn Chinese if you want them to suceed – if you won’t let them decide what they want to do.

  • George Henry-Thomas

    It would be preferable that you do not stroll in the streets of Paris this summer or so… be careful I don’t cross your way. Keep your 200 words language for dummys in your stupid empty country !

  • Clorindo Beccaletto

    Why Liam Mullone speak like Georges VIII…
    French speaking will becomes in 2050 the first language in the world, even if Liam Mullone will stay a european racist, like Adolf Hitler. He should respect the various civilizations instead of rising the ones against the others.
    Quentin, a french student who will never forget his mother’s speaking.

  • Colin

    I suspect that the GDP of Quebec likely equals all or most of the rest of the Francophone world (excluding France). Learning another language is useful, deciding which language you are going to teach your kids is both a economic and social decision with consequences, which is the thrust of the article. If you occasionally speak it, then language is not really about the culture, but if you intend to use that 2nd language all the time, then culture plays a big part. I see this even in the technical language used by different professions, despite them using the same same base language.
    In BC there is little economic advantage in learning French unless you want to work for the Federal government or be part of a Air Canada Cabin crew. Out here Mandarin is currently the way to go, surpassing Cantonese about a decade ago.
    Vancouver is cornucopia of languages, if the Quebec elitists have their way, only French will be the language on the streets of Quebec and Montreal. After which a minor civil war will break out to determine which version of the 13 or so dialects is the “Most Correct”.

  • Jessica Lanvin

    The “journalist” who wrote this article is wrong about the Francophone African countries supposedly having lower economic growth than other African countries (read, countries colonized by benevolent and economically superior Britain of course). The latest IMF figures published in April 2014 show that the Francophone African countries have a growth rate almost equal to China, superior to Anglophone African countries, and far higher than this “multitude of fascinating countries with positive economic outlooks”, i.e. Spanish-speaking Latin America, that the “journalist” is raving about in the article. See this map for the figures: http://oi58.tinypic.com/16c0489.jpg

  • Gary Harryman

    I have never heard a better argument against learning English. That was the point, wasn’t it?

  • procrastinator

    The very beginning of the article is so stupid that I couldn’t force myself to read on.
    Learning French makes no business sense? Ha, I found this page after a desperate google search of ‘why didn’t I learn languages at school’ – now most of the career or further studies opportunities in my field require one or two of them at least, and many would require as many as five or six. And yes, French is at the top of that list, just after German.

    Just because someone has the narrowest defenition of ‘business’ doesn’t mean the whole world does.

    Supporting all the comments about no ‘evil languages’, of course.

  • Martin

    What about Mathematics and history ? What a joke …. “French looks such an unattractive investment” … i’m feeling really sad for your children

  • you should have a look at http://www.frenchspanishonline.com ir is free and a good reply to these people!

  • Ravel Marion

    Why would you prevent your children from learning French when it’s so hard for you English-speaker to be interested in learning another language than yours? Come on, open your mind.

  • you should learn for FREE, French is also the language of the Queen, it is part of our history: http://www.frenchspanishonline.com

  • Euro_Hero

    You don’t really need to learn it since, besides the fact that your royal motto, “Dieu et mon droit, honni soit qui mal y pense”, printed on the front side of every british passport is obviously in French, but also that thanks to the 1066 invasion and Norman/Platagenet rule 60-70% of English vocabulary comes directly from French

    • bob

      and thanks to the Harrowing of the North that the French became the most murderous fiends in British history.
      Yes they truly left their mark.

  • Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan

    ಕನ್ನಡ tiripitaka ಮೂರು ಸೆಟ್


    ವಲಯಗಳು pannirantaka

    ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಮೊದಲು ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ ಇತಿಹಾಸ




    ಪ್ರದೇಶ ಬೌದ್ಧ ನೈತಿಕತೆಯ Pannirantaka

    ಬೌದ್ಧ ನೈತಿಕತೆಯ ಒಂಬತ್ತು ವಲಯಗಳ

    Tiripitaka ಮತ್ತು ಬುದ್ಧ ಸೆಟ್ ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತದ ಹೆಚ್ಚು 45 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಕಲಿಸಿದ pannirantaka ವಲಯಗಳು. ಇದು ಸುತ್ತ (ಬೋಧನೆ ಸಮಾವೇಶ), ವಿನಯ (ಶಿಸ್ತು ನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟ ನಿಯಮ ಸೆಟ್) ಮತ್ತು apitamma (ವ್ಯಾಖ್ಯಾನಗಳು) ಸೇರಿವೆ. Tiripitaka

    ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಸರೆ ನಿಯಂತ್ರಿಸುತ್ತ,

    ಬುದ್ಧ ಶಕ್ಯಮುನಿ ಶಿಷ್ಯರು ನೇರ ಸಂಪರ್ಕ. ಬುದ್ಧ ಡೆಡ್

    ಗಾನ್, ಆದರೆ mattumaluppinri ಮಾನವಕುಲದ ಉದಾತ್ತ ದಮ್ಮಾಮ್ (ಧರ್ಮ) ತನ್ನ ಪ್ರಾಚೀನ ಶುದ್ಧತೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಆನುವಂಶಿಕವಾಗಿ. ಗೌತಮ ಬುದ್ಧ

    ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ಗಳನ್ನು ರಜೆ ಮೂಲಕ ಬರೆಯಲಾಗಿದೆ

    Cellapotilum, ಮತ್ತು ಹಿಸ್ ಮೆಜೆಸ್ಟಿಸ್ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಅನುಯಾಯಿಗಳು

    ಮೆಮೊರಿ ವಿಲೇವಾರಿ ವೇಳೆ, ನಿರ್ವಹಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಮಾತಿನ ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು தலைமுறையாககைமாற்றி ಪೀಳಿಗೆಯ. ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಮೊದಲು ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ ಇತಿಹಾಸ

    ಬುದ್ಧನ ಅಂತಿಮ

    ಮತ್ತು catankirkappuram, 500 ಮೆಜೆಸ್ಟಿಸ್ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ arahatarkal

    (அருகதையுள்ளவர்கள்) ಬೌದ್ಧ ಧರ್ಮಗಳು, ಮೊದಲ ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುವ

    ಅವರು ಬುದ್ಧ ಬೋಧನೆಗಳು marupatimurrilum ಪದವನ್ನು ಬೋಧಿಸಿದ ಕೇಳಿದರು.

    ಮತ್ತು ಅನನ್ಯ ಅವಕಾಶ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಸವಲತ್ತು போதனையுரைகளையும் kettunarum
    ರೆವರೆಂಡ್ ಆನಂದ, ಸುಟ್ಟಾ (ಬೋಧನೆ ಸಭೆ) netturuppanni oppuvivittar ಬುದ್ಧ
    ಬುದ್ಧನ Titappar ರೆವೆರೆಂಡ್ ಉಪಾಲಿ, ವಿನಯ (ಶಿಸ್ತು ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ

    Netturuppanni sankatti ನಡವಳಿಕೆ ಆಧರಿಸಿ ನಿಯಮ ಸೆಟ್) ಕೋಡ್

    ಮೊದಲ ಬೌದ್ಧ ಧರ್ಮಗಳ Oppuvivittar. Nurrantukkup

    ನಂತರ, ಶಿಷ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಕೆಲವು ನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟ ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ನಿಯಮಗಳನ್ನು ಬದಲಾವಣೆ ಅಗತ್ಯವಿದೆ ಎಂದು

    ಅರಿವಾಯಿತು. ಹಳೆಯ naluvata ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿಗಳು ಯಾವುದೇ ಬದಲಾವಣೆ

    ನಿಯಮಗಳನ್ನು ಕೆಲವು ಇತರರು ಹೇಳಿದರು ಅವರು ಆದೇಶ ಇಲ್ಲ

    (ವಿನಯ) (ಆರ್ಡರ್

    ಆಧಾರಿತ ನಿಯಮ ಸೆಟ್)) ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ರಾಗ ಒತ್ತಾಯಿಸಿತು. ಮುಕ್ತಾಯ

    ಅವರು ತನ್ನ nanakkutankal ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕಿಸಲು ಒಂಬತ್ತು ವಿವಿಧ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು ನಂತರ

    ರಚಿಸುವುದು ಬೆಳೆಯಲು ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿತು. ಎರಡನೆಯದು (ವಿನಯ) ನ (ಆದೇಶ

    ಆಧಾರಿತ ನಿಯಮ ಸೆಟ್)) ಚರ್ಚೆ uriyatayirunta ಕೇವಲ ಮ್ಯಾಟರ್

    ಧಮ್ಮ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಯನ್ನು ಸೇರಿದ್ದ ಮತ್ತು ವೇರಿಯಬಲ್ ಘೋಷಿಸಲು ಇಲ್ಲ.

    ಶತಮಾನದ BC ಚಕ್ರವರ್ತಿ ಅಶೋಕನು, ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳ ವಿವಿಧ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳನ್ನು ಮೂರನೇ ಸಂಕ
    ಸಮುದಾಯ ಚರ್ಚೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯ ನಿಯಮಗಳನ್ನು ಸೇರಿದ್ದ. ಈ)
    ವಿವಿಧ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು (ವಿನಯ) ರಲ್ಲಿ (ನಿಯಮ ಸೆಟ್ ಆರ್ಡರ್) ಭಿನ್ನವಾಗಿರುತ್ತವೆ
    uriyatayirunta varaiyarukkappapat ಕೇವಲ ಮ್ಯಾಟರ್ ಆದರೆ ಧಮ್ಮ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ. ಈ apitammapitaka ಅವರು ಸೇರಿದ್ದ ಮತ್ತು ಚರ್ಚೆ ಸೇರಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. 80 ರಂದು ಶ್ರೀಲಂಕಾ (ಶ್ರೀಲಂಕಾ)

    ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ ಎಂದು ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುವ ಸೆಂಚುರಿ,

    ಚಾನ್ಸಲರ್ camayappaniyarvam vattakamini apaiya ಅಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಂಬಲಿತವಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದು

    ಈ itupatutalanatu ಆಧ್ಯಾತ್ಮದ puttacamayattavaratu ಪಾಲಿ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದ ಶ್ರೀಲಂಕಾ tiripitaka ಮೊದಲ ಬಾರಿಗೆ.

    Suttapitaka, ಬುದ್ಧನ

    ಅವರು ವಿವಿಧ ಒಂದು ಬೃಹತ್ ಮೊತ್ತ

    ಅಸ್ತಿತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಬೋಧನೆಗಳು ಒದಗಿಸಿದ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳಲ್ಲಿ. ಕೆಲವು

    ಅವನ ಮೆಜೆಸ್ಟಿಸ್ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಬೋಧನೆ citarkalalla

    ನೀಡಿದ (எடுத்துக்காட்டு.ஸாரிபுத்தா,ஆனந்தா,மொக்கல்லனா)

    ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿರುವ. ವಿವರಗಳು ವಿವಿಧ ಹೈಲೈಟ್

    ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತು ವಿವಿಧ ಜನರು

    ಜ manappokirku ಅನುಗುಣವಾಗಿ ವಿವರ ಹೈಲೈಟ್ ಸಾಮ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಉದಾಹರಿಸಿದರು

    ಮುಖಪುಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಔಷಧ ಉಲ್ಲೇಖ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ರೀತಿ.

    ಅವರು ವಿವಾದಾತ್ಮಕ, ಆದರೆ ಆ ರೀತಿಯ ಹೇಳಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು

    ರಿಂದ ಬುದ್ಧ ಹಕ್ಕು ತಕ್ಕ ಅಪಾರ್ಥ

    ಉಚಿತ. ನಿಕಾಯ ಅಥವಾ pitaka pirippattullatu ಸಂಗ್ರಹಣೆಗಳನ್ನು ಭಾಗಗಳು. ಅಂದರೆ: –

    ಬಿಡಿ (ದೀರ್ಘ) ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)

    ಬುದ್ಧ potanaiyuraikal கொய்சகமாக்கப்பட்டது 34 ಉದ್ದ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.

    ಅಸ್ಸಲಯನಾ (ಮಧ್ಯಮ) (ಮಧ್ಯಮ) ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)

    ಗೌತಮ ಬುದ್ಧ

    ವಿವಿಧ ರೀತಿಯ (ಮಧ್ಯಮ ಮತ್ತು ಹಿಗ್ಗಿಸುವ) 152 ಮಧ್ಯಮ

    ಥಿಂಗ್ಸ್ ಸಕ್ರಿಯ ಪಾಲ್ಗೊಳ್ಳುವಿಕೆ ಜೊತೆ கொய்சகமாக்கப்பட்டது potanaiyuraikal.

    ಸಂಯುತ್ತ (ರಾಶಿ) ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)


    ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುವ ನೈತಿಕತೆಯ ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು) ನಿರ್ದೇಶಿಸುತ್ತವೆ ತಮ್ಮ

    ಐಟಂ 56 pankuvari கொய்சகமாக்கப்பட்டது ಸ್ಟಾಕ್ ಪ್ರಕಾರ. ಇದು ಮೂರು ಸಾವಿರ

    ಸಂಪತ್ತಿನ ಕ್ರಿಯಾತ್ಮಕ ಪ್ರಕೃತಿ ಉದ್ದವು, ಆದರೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಒಪ್ಪಿಗೆ

    ಯಾವುದೇ ನೈತಿಕತೆ ಪೂರ್ಣ ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ ನಿರ್ದೇಶಿಸುತ್ತವೆ.

    Ankuttara (ಹೆಚ್ಚುವರಿ ಘಟಕವನ್ನು) (ಘಟಕ) ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)


    ಫ್ಯಾಕ್ಟರ್, ಆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಥವಾ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಎದ್ದುಕಾಣುವ ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತದೆ

    Pankuvari ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಹನ್ನೊಂದು ಅಸಿಸ್ಟ್ ಎಂಬ

    ಒಂದು ಅಕೌಂಟಿಂಗ್ ನೈತಿಕತೆಯ ವಿಚಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾಡಿ கொய்சகமாக்கப்பட்டது

    ಹಿಂದಿನ ಮಾದರಿ ಕೆಳಗೆ, ಹೆಚ್ಚುವರಿ ಘಟಕವನ್ನು

    ಫ್ಯಾಕ್ಟರ್. ನೈತಿಕತೆಯ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಇದನ್ನು ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ ಎಂದು ನಿರ್ದೇಶಿಸುತ್ತವೆ

    ಪೂರ್ಣ. Tannakam ಕೀಪ್

    Kuttaka (ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ, ಸಣ್ಣ) ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)


    ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಮಾತುಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಸಲಹೆ ನಿಲುಗಡೆ ನಂತಹ ಸಣ್ಣ ನಿಕಾಯ (ಸಂಗ್ರಹಗಳು)

    ಎರಡು ಮಹಡಿಗಳನ್ನು: tammapata (ಸರಣಿ ಕೊನೆಗೊಳ್ಳುವ ಒಂದು ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ನುಡಿಗಟ್ಟು,

    ಗ್ರಂಥವನ್ನು ಮೂರು ಬುಟ್ಟಿಗಳು ಒಂದು, ಕಾಂಡದ ಧಮ್ಮ ಅಥವಾ ಹೆಸರು

    ಭಾಗ), ಉಡಾನ (ಪದಗಳನ್ನು,

    ಅಪ್ ಭಾವೋದ್ರೇಕ, ಹಂಬಲ ಅಥವಾ

    ಹ್ಯಾಪಿ ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ, ನುಡಿಗಟ್ಟು, ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕ urutalunarcci, ಸಂತೋಷ

    ಅಥವಾ ಒಟ್ಟು ಮಾನಸಿಕ ಶಾಂತಿ irantanul ಒಂದು), ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ kuttakanikaya ಇದು itivuttaka (

    ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಹೆಸರು), ಸುಟ್ಟಾ (ಸ್ಟ್ರಿಂಗ್, ಥ್ರೆಡ್,: puttacamayam, cavukatanul ಒಂದು

    ಭಾಗ; Terikata (- ಒಂದು ನಿಯಮ, ಭೂಮಿ ಗುರಿ ಅಂಶ), terakata ಎಂದು

    ಫಾರ್ terakkal) ಮಾಲೀಕತ್ವದ ಮತ್ತು ಮೂಲದ ಜನ್ಮ (ಹುಟ್ಟು, ಸ್ಥಳದ ಸ್ಟ್ರಿಂಗ್,

    ಜನ್ಮ ಅಥವಾ: ವಿವೇಕದ ದೇಶ, ಒಂದು ಜನನ, ಅಥವಾ puttacamayam

    ಬುದ್ಧನ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಜನಿಸಿದವರು ಒಂದು Katail.)

    ಐದನೇ ಹದಿನೈದು ನ್ಯೂಡ್ ವಿಂಗಡಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ: –

    ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತ ಏರ್ಪೋರ್ಟ್ (ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಉಪನ್ಯಾಸ)

    Tammapata (ನಿಜವಾದ ಮಾರ್ಗವನ್ನು)

    Utana (oracai ದೀರ್ಘ nalacaiccirkalana ಗಂಭೀರ ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ ಅಥವಾ ಸಂತೋಷ)

    ನೆವರ್ uttaka (ಹೀಗೆ ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಿದರು ಅಥವಾ ಬೋಧನೆಗಳು)

    ಸುಟ್ಟಾ ನಿಪಾಟಾ (ಬೋಧನೆಗಳು ಸೇರಿಸಲು)

    ವಿಮಾನ vattu (ಕುಟುಂಬಗಳು ಖಗೋಳಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪೀಯ ಕಥೆಗಳು ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕವಾಗಿ tankutarkerpa ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕಿಸಿ)

    ಪೆಟಾ vattu (ಸತ್ತ, ಡೆಡ್ ಕಥೆಗಳು)

    Terakata (ಸಹೋದರರು ಹಾಡುಗಳನ್ನು ಪೂಜೆ)

    Terikata (ಸಹೋದರಿಯರು ಹಾಡುಗಳನ್ನು ಪೂಜೆ)

    ಜಾತಕದ (ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ಕಥೆಗಳು)

    Nitteca (விளக்கிக்காட்டுதல்)

    Paticampita (ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಕ ಜ್ಞಾನ ಪರಿಶೀಲಿಸುತ್ತದೆ)

    Apatana (ಸಂತರು ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ)

    Puttavamsa (ಬುದ್ಧನ ಇತಿಹಾಸ)

    Cariya pitaka (ವರ್ತನೆಯ ಮಾದರಿಗಳನ್ನು)


    >> Suttapitaka – ನಿಕಾಯ ಸುತ್ತದಲ್ಲಿ Piṭaka >> ದಿಘಾ ನಿಕಯಾ ಬಿಟ್ಟು

    ಡಿ 9 –

    Pottapata ಸುತ್ತದಲ್ಲಿ

    Poṭṭhapāda ಸುತ್ತದಲ್ಲಿ


    Pottapata ಆಫ್ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳು

    – Poṭṭhapāda ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು –


    புலனுணர்வு,விழிப்புணர்வுநிலை,மனத்தின் ಜಾಣ, ನಿರ್ಣಾಯಕ ಚಿಂತನೆಯ,

    ನೈಸರ್ಗಿಕ ಶಕ್ತಿ ವಿವಿಧ ರೀತಿಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳು


    Poṭṭhapāda Saññā ಸ್ವರೂಪ reagrding ಹಲವಾರು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳುತ್ತಾನೆ.



    ಮೊದಲ, ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ ಬರುವ pulanunarva ಇದು Pantte,? ಅಥವಾ

    ಮೊದಲ ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ಗ್ರಹಿಕೆ ಮುಂದಿನ? ಅದೇ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ, ಅಥವಾ

    Elumpukirata ಜ್ಞಾನ ಮತ್ತು ಸಂವೇದನೆ?

    Pottapata, ಮೊದಲ

    ಈ ಸಂವೇದನೆ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ ಹುಟ್ಟುಹಾಕುತ್ತದೆ. ಮತ್ತು ಜ್ಞಾನಗ್ರಹಣದ

    Elumpukirapotu ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ ಹೊರಹೊಮ್ಮುತ್ತವೆ. ಒಂದು ವಿಭಾಗವನ್ನು ಮಟ್ಟದ ಅವಲಂಬಿತ

    ಈ ನನ್ನ ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆ ಬೆಳೆದ. Ivvaliyana ಶ್ರೇಣಿಯ, ಸಾಂದರ್ಭಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆಯ ಒಂದು

    ಮತ್ತು ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ ಅರ್ಥ ಮೊದಲ ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯ ಹೇಗೆ ಅರಿವಿನ

    ಮತ್ತು ಹೇಗೆ ಅರಿವಿನ elumpiyat, ಬುದ್ಧಿವಂತಿಕೆಯ elumpimayatu


  • Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan

    FREE ONLINE E-Nālanda Research and Practice UNIVERSITY


    Brief historical background
    Sutta Pitaka
    Vinaya Pitaka
    Abhidhamma Pitaka
    Twelve Divisions of Buddhist Canons
    Nine Divisions of Buddhist Canons

    TIPITAKA AND TWELVE DIVISIONS is the collection of the teachings

    of the Buddha over 45 years. It consists of Sutta (the conventional

    teaching), Vinaya (Disciplinary code) and Abhidhamma (commentaries).

The Tipitaka was compiled and arranged in its present form by the

    disciples who had immediate contact with Shakyamuni Buddha. 
The Buddha

    had passed away, but the sublime Dhamma which he unreservedly bequeathed

    to humanity still exists in its pristine purity. 
Although the Buddha

    had left no written records of his teachings, his distinguished

    disciples preserved them by committing to memory and transmitting them

    orally from generation to generation. 

    Brief historical background 

    Immediately after the final passing away of the Buddha, 500

    distinguished Arahats held a convention known as the First Buddhist

    Council to rehearse the Doctrine taught by the Buddha. Venerable Ananda,

    who was a faithful attendant of the Buddha and had the special

    privilege of hearing all the discourses the Buddha ever uttered, recited

    the Sutta, whilst the Venerable Upali recited the Vinaya, the rules of

    conduct for the Sangha. 
One hundred years after the First Buddhist

    Council, some disciples saw the need to change certain minor rules. The

    orthodox Bhikkus said that nothing should be changed while the others

    insisted on modifying some disciplinary rules (Vinaya). Finally, the

    formation of different schools of Buddhism germinated after his council.

    And in the Second Council, only matters pertaining to the Vinaya were

    discussed and no controversy about the Dhamma was reported. 
In the 3rd

    Century B.C. during the time of Emperor Asoka, the Third Council was

    held to discuss the differences of opinion held by the Sangha community.

    At this Council the differences were not confined to the Vinaya but

    were also connected with the Dhamma. The Abhidhamma Pitaka was discussed

    and included at this Council. The Council which was held in Sri Lanka

    in 80 B.C. is known as the 4th Council under the patronage of the pious

    King Vattagamini Abbaya. It was at this time in Sri Lanka that the

    Tipitaka was first committed to writing in Pali language. 


    Sutta Pitaka consists mainly of discourses delivered by the Buddha

    himself on various occasions. There were also a few discourses delivered

    by some of his distinguished disciples (e.g. Sariputta, Ananda,

    Moggallana) included in it. It is like a book of prescriptions, as the

    sermons embodied therein were expounded to suit the different occasions

    and the temperaments of various persons. There may be seemingly

    contradictory statements, but they should not be misconstrued as they

    were opportunely uttered by the Buddha to suit a particular purpose.

This Pitaka is divided into five Nikayas or collections, viz.:-

Dīgha Nikāya

    long] The Dīgha Nikāya gathers 34 of the longest discourses given by

    the Buddha. There are various hints that many of them are late additions

    to the original corpus and of questionable authenticity.

    Majjhima Nikāya

    medium] The Majjhima Nikāya gathers 152 discourses of the Buddha of

    intermediate length, dealing with diverse matters.

    Saṃyutta Nikāya

    group] The Saṃyutta Nikāya gathers the suttas according to their

    subject in 56 sub-groups called saṃyuttas. It contains more than three

    thousand discourses of variable length, but generally relatively short.

    Aṅguttara Nikāya

    factor | uttara: additionnal] The Aṅguttara Nikāya is subdivized in

    eleven sub-groups called nipātas, each of them gathering discourses

    consisting of enumerations of one additional factor versus those of the

    precedent nipāta. It contains thousands of suttas which are generally


    Khuddaka Nikāya
    [khuddha: short,

    small] The Khuddhaka Nikāya short texts and is considered as been

    composed of two stratas: Dhammapada, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipāta,

    Theragāthā-Therīgāthā and Jātaka form the ancient strata, while other

    books are late additions and their authenticity is more questionable.

    The fifth is subdivided into fifteen books:- 

    Khuddaka Patha (Shorter Texts)

    Dhammapada (The Way of Truth)

    Udana (Heartfelt sayings or Paeons of Joy)

    Iti Vuttaka (’Thus said’ Discourses)

    Sutta Nipata (Collected Discourses)

    Vimana Vatthu (Stories of Celestial Mansions)

    Peta Vatthu (Stories of Petas)

    Theragatha (Psalms of the Brethren)

    Therigatha (Psalms of the Sisters)

    Jataka (Birth Stories)

    Niddesa (Expositions)

    Patisambhida (Analytical Knowledge)

    Apadana (Lives of Saints)

    Buddhavamsa (The History of Buddha)

    Cariya Pitaka (Modes of Conduct)

    Dīgha Nikāya

    long] The Dīgha Nikāya gathers 34 of the longest discourses given by

    the Buddha. There are various hints that many of them are late additions

    to the original corpus and of questionable authenticity.
    Sutta Piṭaka

    — The basket of discourses —
    [ sutta: discourse ]
    Dīgha Nikāya
    DN 9 – Poṭṭhapāda Sutta{excerpt}

    — The questions of Poṭṭhapāda —

    Sutta Piṭaka

    — The basket of discourses —
    [ sutta: discourse ]

    The Sutta Piṭaka contains the essence of the Buddha’s teaching

    regarding the Dhamma. It contains more than ten thousand suttas. It is

    divided in five collections called Nikāyas.

    Dīgha Nikāya [dīgha: long] The Dīgha Nikāya gathers 34 of the longest

    discourses given by the Buddha. There are various hints that many of

    them are late additions to the original corpus and of questionable


    Sutta Piṭaka >> Digha Nikāya

    DN 9 –

    Poṭṭhapāda Sutta


    — The questions of Poṭṭhapāda —

    Now, lord, does perception arise first, and knowledge after; or does

    knowledge arise first, and perception after; or do perception &

    knowledge arise simultaneously?


    perception arises first, and knowledge after. And the

    arising of knowledge comes from the arising of perception. One discerns,

    ‘It’s in dependence on this that my knowledge has arisen.’ Through this

    line of reasoning one can realize how perception arises first, and

    knowledge after, and how the arising of knowledge comes from the arising



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  • Brett

    Wow, I wonder what this person would do if he/she hated England too… “MY CHILDREN WON’T SPEAK ENGLISH OR FRENCH, DAMN IT!” Spanish it is. Or Chinese. Whatever one is less “offensive” I guess.

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  • Harrison Hinks

    What a monolingual pleb.

  • African

    C’est vraiment choquant votre article, Do not say it’s only France that is the curse of Africa but it’s also Britain, read History books you will seee what Celil Rhodes did to Africans. Ton article est vraiment inutile.

  • Frank

    Quelle ouverture d’esprit! Vous devriez voyager dans le passé, au Moyen Age plus précisément , et y rester!! Vous pourriez emmener avec vous les talibans, extrémistes de tous poils et la vie serait soudainement beaucoup plus sympa sur notre belle Planète. Pour vous ce serait le paradis non?!
    Allez, Adieu. (Notez que je suis Américain)

    • louisquatorze

      Très beau français. (I am french nobody is perfect 😉

  • Janet Lingel Aldrich

    I only read this because I was searching for the right way to say something in French and I saw the headline. I couldn’t believe it. First — you do realize that you can speak more than one language besides English? It could even be French — along with something else; Chinese or Arabic or some other language that it would enrich or please one to learn.

    Second, your tone is such that you sound as though you’re still carrying 800+ years of British antipathy towards the French. Quelle arrogance et quelle stupidité! (And a fair amount of patronizing attitude, to boot!)

    You’re everything that’s wrong with this planet today. If you can’t make money from something, don’t do it! There are lots of reasons to learn to speak a language — because you wish to live, do business or visit where it’s spoken, because you want to learn about the culture/history, because it gives you pleasure. The financial angle is the least and least worthy reason to do so. Frankly, I feel sorry for you — and even sorrier for your kids.

  • Dani

    You cannot judge a language by its people, if your children could learn French there would be great cognitive benefits and delay the Alzheimer´s disease (scientifically demostrated) I love the French, I´ve been in France but I kinda of thought that French people were somewhat rude for me: What did I do? Nothing. It´s their culture. Learning any languages opens windows inviting you to see the world differently and in rich perspectives. It is really ridiculous that you are depriving your children from that wonderful opportunity. There will be bad French people but also there are good ones.

  • Marcia Araujo

    Your child has the ability to learn several languages. With that been said, the effort to fight tooth and nails so your kid won’t learn French is a result of your own expectations, judgements and imbecility. Life is not all about business and money making driven decisions. You sound SO ignorant!

  • Marc Da Costa

    À l’auteur de cet absurde article qui fait preuve de la bêtise humaine la plus crasse et insensé, c’est dans la langue de Molière, qui n’a point à rougir de l’éloquence du parler à Shakespeare que je vous dis avec la plus grande politesse : you are an uncultured moron.

  • Chelsea

    No offence but only having learned English will screw over every single opportunity your child will ever have. English is a language that’s been butchered by human kind. At least with other languages like German, French, Spanish or Cantonese, they have some sort of similarities where man kind can relate them and will have an easier time learning one thanks to the knowledge of another. And that can’t happen if you don’t start at a young age. Science and psychology has already proved this.

  • matimal

    I don’t think I could be pretentious enough to speak French fluently.

  • Diana Roxana

    To be honest this doesn’t surprises me at all.I think that expecting people to speak English is more important and makes more sense rather than trying not to be mediocre as nowadays society teaches you!!!Speaking a foreign language other than English it’s important,well at least for me, but who am I to judge…I guess I can’t really expect something else when most of your teenagers don’t even finish high school,but people with your mentality encourages this generation to remain brainwashed and again MEDIOCRE.in the old days speaking foreign languages was a pride, nowadays it’s too much too complicated and let’s face it people are lazy,it’s more important to put make up on ….

  • Matthieu Garde

    American history has a past steeped in hatred and violence.
    Omg stop learning english because pioneers slaughtered native american and isolated the survivors in reserve lands!

    Economically speaking, the choice not to learn french is acceptable.
    It’s better to learn mandarin.

    Oh wait… Chinese governement is the censorship world champion.

    Difficult choice… Yep, we’d better stay with good ol’ american.

    Not speaking about the choice of not letting your children discover something.

    Parenting, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Anirban Biswas

    The English hate the French language because the English language is much, much inferior than French? Les anglais n’aimeint pas français parce que la langue anglaise est tant inferiure ?

    I’m from a country which had to see all the idiocy of the English people and suffer due to it! What can I do now? Laugh at this article? The Brits surely have the worst human records history in the whole planet and they are now finding fault with others. BTW, this is perfect Englishness (excusez mon anglais !) .

  • Raúl G.

    Pieces like this are why I hate the anglosphere. You just can’t believe someone would narrow the significance of life to “bussiness”…. (Insert SHOCK emoji here)

    ..”It’s just that I want my children to be successful, and learning French makes no business sense.”…

    Dear God.. how can someone write that on a magazine for adults that goes through editing and get away with that. That reasoning seems more pertaining to a white trash mentality. I think this man speaks french very poorly and or can’t pronounce to save his life that’s why he’s bitter. French is very difficult and most people who can’t pronounce or speak it resort to hating it.

    ..”Of course it’s wrong to disdain the French language — and yes, it is a beautiful language”..

    No you have no idea. French is not beautiful. Italian is beautiful. French subverts common conception of beauty. It redefines parameters of what “reffiné” stands for. As a language, when you speak french you finally become a culturally sophisticated person. Everything speaking english takes away from you, you recover back when speaking french. The remnants of “pop culture” clichés dissapear and all the noise and clatter from MTV and trashy reality shows can’t hurt you anymore.

    Speaking french is a romantic experience in itself. Delving into “les chansons françaises” of jacques brel, edith piaf, charles aznavour, alain barriere.. Reading the vast literature of Montaigne, Proust, Dumas, Camus and so many more. Talking to a girl “en français” and not being able to believe yourself how incredibly attractive you feel you become.. you could make her melt inside because you’re on the verge of melting yourself.. little wonder french is regarded as the language of love. Regardant ses yeux et dire je suis tombé amoureux de toi…

    And you think you’ll be doing your children a service..some people are so poor they only have money to show.. no wonder so many wretched marriages, unhappy lifestyles and bad parenting around.

  • Raúl G.

    Pieces like this are why I hate the anglosphere. You just can’t believe someone would narrow the significance of life to “bussiness”…. (Insert SHOCK emoji here)

    ..”It’s just that I want my children to be successful, and learning French makes no business sense.”…

    Dear God.. how can someone write that on a magazine for adults that goes through editing and get away with that. That reasoning seems more pertaining to a white trash mentality. I think this man speaks french very poorly and or can’t pronounce to save his life that’s why he’s bitter. French is very difficult and most people who can’t pronounce or speak it resort to hating it. This is typical of english speakers who feel inferior because their language is so vastly inferior to french.

    ..”Of course it’s wrong to disdain the French language — and yes, it is a beautiful language”..

    No you have no idea. French is not beautiful. Italian is beautiful. French subverts common conception of beauty. It redefines parameters of what “reffiné” stands for. As a language, when you speak french you finally become a culturally sophisticated person. Everything speaking english takes away from you, you recover back when speaking french. The remnants of “pop culture” clichés dissapear and all the screeching noise and clatter from MTV and trashy reality shows can’t hurt you anymore.

    Speaking french is a romantic experience in itself. Delving into “les chansons françaises” of jacques brel, edith piaf, charles aznavour, alain barriere.. Reading the vast literature of Montaigne, Proust, Dumas, Camus and so many more. Talking to a girl “en français” and not being able to believe yourself how incredibly attractive you feel you become.. you could make her melt inside because you’re on the verge of melting yourself.. little wonder french is regarded as the language of love. Regardant ses yeux et dire je suis tombé amoureux de toi…

    And you think you’ll be doing your children a service..some people are so poor they only have money to show.. no wonder so many wretched marriages, unhappy lifestyles and bad parenting around.

  • Jessie

    I am a Canadian and I am currently paying to learn French as a second language because my parents never pushed for me to learn it when I was young. Are you aware that people who speak a second language can earn more than their monolingual counterparts? In my area you get a premium for just speaking some French! Not to mention how impressive it is on a resume to list that you can communicate in French, many international companies look for this.

    I am not only learning French to boost my resume and my job prospects but it is also an excellent asset for travellers. How many places do you think your children will go where everyone will speak English? Knowing French would at least increase their language skills when travelling and can bridge the language gap in event they need help.

    Imagine the horror your kids will face when they meet these evil French speakers in the street, I hope none would live on your block because the terrors you will face are just unimaginable to us normal folk.

  • Jennifer Hagan

    This has to be the dumbest justification to not learn a language. Learning a language is beneficial no matter what language that is. I learned French, Spanish and Portuguese. I use them all and let me tell you, I had a business and plan to have a business and you need it. The reason people speak French in these countries because of colonialization. We can all agree on that. However, lots of companies have industry in these Francophone countries and some are developing industry and sustainability.

  • Jennifer Hagan

    I had to stop reading this article because it is more first world bullshit. Look, you are so upset about it. You really want to help, let your children learn French, learn about the Francophone cultures and get a real idea of what is going on. Then, your children can contribute and help. Places don’t have clean drinking water and his bitch is worried about not learning a language. Please shoot me now.

  • Plot Pandemic

    I just tripped over this article online and would like to say this is one of the most ignorant peices I’ve ever read.

  • reeeeee

    a stupid article. although i hate france and i hate the language and i was forced to live there, i disagree. it’s none of your business if your kid needs to learn french, it’s a language just like arabic and english. it can’t be evil or anything! they are words for god sake! you can’t force your child to not learn a language, it’s actually one of the most important languages in the world so it means you’re keeping them away from learning something important.


    what a stupid text. Don’t criticize a language, which more 60 % of are part of your own language. as to 99 quatre vingt dix neuf, if this is too difficult for you, just say Nonante neuf, you’ll be understood.

  • Marie-Andrée J. L’Italien

    So, you see your kids as investments. Ok.
    There’s a language offered at school, refuse it. If you can’t, change schools. If you can’t, homeschool them. If you can’t, well your kids will learn a new language. And a useful one. It’s always funny to see some Ontarian’s claiming that they speak ” Parisian ” French. When I start talking with them, they get so shy they can’t even look at me in the eye. Then there’s the other types, who actually try to learn and are stoked about it. They learn quicker, and get fluent.
    I’m generalizing, but you are too.
    Je suis Québecoise, j’ai grandi en Alberta, et avoir la richesse de pouvoir parler deux langues est quelque-chose que personne va pouvoir m’enlever. Toi vois tellement le monde d’une manière qu’elle tourne pour TOI. Retourne-chez toi et laisse-nous tranquille avec ta propagande

    • Guest

      * I talked specifically about Ontarians to generalize, as much as he did. I speak also for everybody ELSE in the world

  • Killick Chef

    Liam Mallone. Consistent and compelling proof that empty vessels make the most noise. Waffle.

  • Map

    Dear Mr. Mullone, all you are saying is that you are an anal retentive control freak. With your perspective, your kids will grow up to be just as narrow minded as you are; or even worse, they rebel and become sociopaths. That would not benefit the world in any sense; so please, don’t have children. But of course, you are free to state your opinion since we have the freedom and knowledge we have today… thanks to the influences of a few french philosophers and scientists.

  • Gabriel

    The french is a language spoken almost all over the world and it’s necessary to have some idea on this. Thanks to the net, it’s possible to learn and improve his french for free. There are also site that offers french for beginners

  • Guest

    It is all very well to learn a language for it’s literature but it goes without saying that language is corruptible and has been used for millenia to foist foreign ideology upon people. For instance, a language like English is created from a cache of innumerable loan words, has appropriated ideas from other cultures and sought to re construct them for export to the same nations. Languages colonize nations, eradicate feelings of community and nationhood and reduce the experiences of people to their mere productivity in a given economic situation. If language is the finer expression of the human self, of cultural experiences and shared feelings, then I would add that some of the world’s languages have done a great disservice to the rest. Shark like in their endeavours to undermine, attenuate, dismiss as irrelevant and effectively destroy many of the world’s fine languages that are not backed by material wealth.

  • PundalikShastri

    It is all very well to learn a language for it’s literature but it goes without saying that language is corruptible and has been used for millenia to foist foreign ideology upon people. For instance, a language like English is created from a cache of innumerable loan words, has appropriated ideas from other cultures and sought to re construct them for export to the same nations. Languages colonize nations, eradicate feelings of community and nationhood and reduce the experiences of people to their mere productivity in a given economic situation. If language is the finer expression of the human self, of cultural experiences and shared feelings, then I would add that some of the world’s languages have done a great disservice to the rest. Shark like in their endeavours to undermine, attenuate, dismiss as irrelevant and effectively destroy many of the world’s fine languages that are not backed by material wealth.

  • George

    I prefer Spanish myself!
    (Floating Penguin is plenty of resources selected by a native speaker. Follow the link to language insights for more info. Shhhh don’t tell the French)
    Great article, thank you Liam!

  • clara

    OMG Let your children do what they CHOOSE !! BUSINESSS IS NOT EVERYTHING, fortunately… And please, don’t talk about something you don’t know : “baguette, wine….” ok, that’s all that you can say about french culture ? LET ME LAUGH. You should let your children learn this language, they may be more intelligent than you then. By the way, french is one of the most important languages in the European union. But that means nothing, huh ? I wouldn’t have a mum as you, definitely.

  • Leonela

    I liked the article. I found the overall tone to be tongue-in-cheek which is refreshing because it’s such a debatable topic, as demonstrated by the other comments. Not having the kids learn French is a little extreme and I say that mainly because I am a proponent of learning languages and as the author himself admits, his kids will miss out on “the field trip to Saint-Malo” and “the ability to watch Yves Montand films without subtitles.” Those may seem like minor things but any time you can experience a culture without the aid of an interpreter you gain cultural appreciation and awareness and that is valuable. However, I do commend the author for taking a stance and putting his opinion out there for the rest of the world to, apparently, critique. Perhaps the idea behind this is that if everyone takes suit and stops learning/teaching their children French, the French world will take notice which will eventually lead to changes in the French’s involvement in Africa. Is anyone else who is commenting on here willing to do something ( could be anything) so drastic to help create change?

  • Virginie Srienz Roigt

    This is one of the most arrogant articles I have ever read! I never write comments on articles but I can’t live this without any correction! You’re talking about – nobody wants to go and live in France – but you seem to forget that if you want to do international business it is best to speak the language of the country you want to do business with – of course English is the international language but speaking the local language is a big bonus for professionals. Why do you think any professional business man – I mean professional and competent not amateur – tries his best to approach a new international lead with some words in the potential client language?Speaking a foreign language is a way to conduct diplomacy and politics – with no discrimination on any language in particular. The more languages you speak the more open you are to communicate with others and the more you gain not only new business but also human acceptance – Why do you think Kennedy said in Berlin ” Ich bin ein Berliner”?
    Ja ich spreche auch Deutsch!

    But you don’t seem to be:

    1) a professional person

    2) an open minded person interested in other cultures and languages which is quite bad and sad in these days of globalisation – whatever you like it or not – we live in a globalised world.

    3) a responsible parent who raises his children in a respectful way towards people of different cultures without educating them to discriminate some cultures and languages.

    4) an international human being

    Being a trilingual French/Australian citizen (English/French/German) with an Austrian husband, holder of a Masters’ Degree of Applied Languages (English/German), having lived and done business in all continents except America with learning a bit of the local language each time I was in a new country, having 2 trilingual children (French/English/German) learning Mandarin and willing to learn Spanish since – unlike you – it was our top priority for my husband and me to give our children the opportunity to become at least bilingual naturally by talking to them in French and German only from day 1 and a few years later having them trilingual, having made the choice to send them to an international school to be surrounded by all kind of nationalities, cultures and religions to learn acceptance and tolerance I am very proud to be an international family speaking 3 languages, having lived in many countries and having children being able at 12 and 15 to communicate with a lot of people around the world and being extremely sociable and tolerant as everybody constantly tells us and also – and probably the most important – being curious and eager to discover and understand new cultures instead of judging the unknown. Thanks to all the languages they speak, the international exposure they’ve had since their birth and the way we are raising them in acceptance of other cultures my children will become open minded, responsible, caring and non-judgmental adults who will be able to make a difference in this world. Unlike your children who will be narrow-minded like their father.

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  • TheRiceWizard

    As a student in Canada where French is mandatory learning I really have to say I’m against it. It’s a great language and the places that speak French are mostly great but it doesn’t make much sense to teach. Compared to most other languages the places that speak French are very limited. They shouldn’t be taking away time better used on other subjects and topics for a language that gets relatively little use. I’m under the opinion that language classes should be optional ,mostly due to English being pretty popular, but if I had to learn another language Spanish ,Chinese ,Hindi or even Arabic would be much much better simply out of the fact that I’d more use out of them.

  • Emma Lunares

    This article is idiotic and I am amazed you wasted your time on it. I feel sorry for your children.

  • evan

    I stopped reading this article after the first paragraph. I went to a very good robotics school in Pittsburgh, Pa (CMU). Here I am working for a French company in Paris with a company that has truly disruptive technology. Had I learned French in school the learning curve would have been much smaller. French is a beautiful Latin based language and learning it makes learning other languages such as Spanish a sinch… I moved to France to succeed and thats exactly what I am doing. Learning French makes business sense dependent on your area of business. How this garbage got published article is beyond me. Don’t quite your day job, unless you get paid for this filth…
    People like you make me ashamed to call myself an American.

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  • Ahmad22

    If French is the language of poverty, arrogance, hypocrisy etc, as this fool claims it is, does that mean English is the language of apartheid, warmongering and colonialism? What Mr Mullone has failed to mention is that, while Mali and Chad and such speak French because they had to 100 years ago, so did South Africa and Zambia and Jamaica and so forth back during the British Empire. Even now, countries such as Pakistan and India still have English as their official language. It’s the same with most Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations now – forced upon by those particular empires. Yet he hasn’t accused Spaniards of being the language of drug trafficking or dictatorships or Portuguese either.
    I joke about the French a lot and I hated doing it at school. But I regret forgetting it because it is an important language and even if it wasn’t just knowing another language opens your mind to new ways of thinking. This idiot is only showing how close minded and stupid by accusing an entire language and all of its speakers of being effectively the essence of evil. Someone should drop him in the middle of Niger, where no one speaks English and see whether he thinks it’s a useful language or not then.

  • Lexi

    I wish your children luck if they ever want to work at the UN. Learning a language has nothing to do with the politics or history of the country of origin. Learning a language is about the cognative benefits of speaking more than one language. If you were bilingual, maybe you wouldn’t be such an ignorant dumbass.

  • sinekonata

    The stupidest and laziest argumentation I’ve read in a while…
    Also, the next time you’ll be tackling the task of spouting crap about cultures you don’t share, like or know, forget the “I have nothing against XXXX but…” part, because the attempt at sounding reasonable or unbiased is so ill-conceived it’s rendered your whole “article” pathetic.
    I’m not French btw I just hate “Anglo-saxon” nationalism as much as I hate French’s if not more due to its business first disgusting mentality so clearly visible in this piece of poop.
    I do enjoy criticism of a nation, its culture or mentality. But not as the critic stands on his imaginary cultural pedestal.

  • Blue Tails

    This is legitimately one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read. That’s saying something considering this is the internet we’re talking about here. I feel sorry for your kids…hopefully they’ll be a little smarter than you are.

  • Leon Foonman

    Ewe shooda tooken bear Englis classes, two rite such a bad ardicle

  • Drew Barrymore

    What a racist article. So some countries are poor because they have French as official language ? Tell me more about Liberia and Sierra Leone then ?
    French language is not the propriety of France. It’s an international language with its accents and creoles, speaking French will not make you a slave of the devil France.

  • M.K.

    I stopped reading the moment you wrote and I quote, ” learning French makes no business sense.” Your either not involved in business or you’re doing poorly in busines. Business requires you to talk to many future and beneficial investors. However, how can you win over these investors, if you can’t even speak their language? Majority of American business is done with French speaking countries-Canada for example- since they are one of America’s many business associates.

  • Olga Makridina-Bhalla

    If your child has a chance to learn another language, there is NO reason good enough to stop him or her. Language opens so many doors. It is incredibly narrow-minded view that you hold.

  • Andrew Thomas Geiger

    What if your kids *want* to learn the language? Will you go out of your way to actively prevent it? Good luck with that…

  • Cleuet

    This piece of crap made me think of a song by classic french singer Georges Brassens : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCYIWB8DLT0

    It would translate as :

    Philistines, grocerymen
    All the while you were caressing
    Your wives

    Dreaming of little ones
    That your lecherous appetites

    You used to think: “They will be
    Clean shaven, round of belly

    But to soundly punish you
    One fine day you see arrive
    On earth

    Children not as wished for
    Who turn out to be long-haired

    You used to think: “They will be
    Clean shaven, round of belly

    But to soundly punish you
    One fine day you see arrive
    On earth

    Children not as wished for
    Who turn out to be long-haired

  • FrenchMajor/English Minor

    Wow. This is incredibly close-minded and one-sided.
    Hey, let’s look at the American rap sheet of injustices and political incorrectness. Or Britain’s. Oooo, sorry, I don’t have all night.

    No language or culture is all good or all bad, and it’s sheer ignorance to condemn an entire country and culture for imperfection. No person place or thing is perfect, including you, my dear.
    And what if your kid really wants to learn French? Will you tyrannically crush their dream?

  • 依早弥

    “My problem with French is that it’s still at war with us.” woao hold there what’s going on with you

    I agree that the language is not practical ‘cept if you’re working with francophones or studying something academic that requires lots of reading in french (after all, tons of book on medicine, law, culture, language, psychology… are written in french). Learning it will be especially hard if you can’t agree to the french logic, because it’s true the language is closely attached to the french culture, tradition and way of thinking. But it has absolutely nothing to do with history, politics, society, military, diplomacy or whatsoever of France that can possibly starts a war with you.

    And you must never prohibit a child from learning things as long as it’s legal. It’s their right to learn and develop themselves.

  • Cm

    Maybe you should take them off school and cut them off of the world!
    Maybe you are not aware that knowing other languages develop your intelligence, maybe your kids won’t use it in “Business”, but it surely helps them to be more open-minded and able to develop other skills.
    And with such narrow-minded ideas at home, they will need that!

  • Tomos Burton

    It would depend on if you were going to replace it with another language. If the kid learnt no foreign languages at all then that would be sad.

  • Ryan

    All of the rationalization in this article could easily have been replaced by one sentence that summarizes the author’s views. France told America that George W Bush was a dangerous moron before most Americans were willing to accept it. That’s why people are mad at France. Because they tried to stop us from engaging in the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. Kind of like a CEO who just surrounds himself with executives who will blow smoke up their *** and dismisses the ones who try to give honest advice.

  • Jonathan Hi

    most jobs would choose the person who spoke English and French over the person who spoke just English, even if it has nothing to do with the job.

  • NewWorldPress

    “Despite all this I do maintain a liking for French people,”

    Oh please, I’m sure it wouldn’t be mutual after they read your dumb rant.

  • Ipsmick

    Quel dumb schmuck! But what can one expect from someone who appears unaware that French literature and philosophy are worth reading.

  • clara

    You actually have more of a chance of getting hired for a job if you know another language.

  • Young Precariat

    What facile tosh! I should think you are also one of those asinine people who come out with comments like “I won’t learn Latin, Latin is a dead language” and also, “We should all learn Mandarin, because China is a big up and coming business country”. Language is about culture, not bloody business prospects!

    Pretty much every professor in the humanities at my university knows French and German, because these are the languages of modern European civilisation; of the great modern philosophers and writers. These are the languages I expect to be part of every British secondary education.

  • Young Precariat

    Someone once said something similar about German, to which I replied “German is the language of Luther, Mozart, Beethoven, Goethe, Nietsche, Marx, Freud and Einstein” and they soon shut up. You see? French and German are the languages of modern Western civilisation. That is why our schools still teach them. This penchant for Mandarin and Spanish is doomed to fail. Number of speakers is irrelevant. Languages are for the enrichment of the whole person, not merely to gain practical skills to advance business prospects.

  • Alexandre Grela

    Dear Sir,
    I think you are completely biased and you are ignorant of the beauty of the french language.

    First of all 99 can be spelt quatre-vingt-dix-neuf but also nonante (it depends from the country).

    Second, French is the official language of not less than 29 countries and widely spoken in 7 additional ones most of which are the fastest growing economies in West Africa.

    Third, according to the ODSEF by 2060 there will be over 1 billion native french speakers.

    Fourth, I think your connection between language and buggery demonstrates a terrible disdain for a culture that is not English, may I remember you about countries such as Nigeria, Zimbabwe. Lesotho or even Sudan (taken as a whole) – I don’t think they do much better.

    Finally, Frenchmen are not at war neither feel at war with British people, we feel at war with the fact that I would call “lack of will to speak any language other than English and perpetual disdain of any other culture”.

    Would you accept if I came to Britain and tried to force anyone to discuss with me in French? Think about it…

  • Akaash Mukherjee

    newsflash: Britain isnt exactly the land of opportunity either, it is in decay and becoming increasingly irrelevant…

  • El Gato Felix

    This view about French language is flat out Ignorant and stupid. So if their kids want to learn another language he’s going to stop them from it?
    I feel for his kids. They won’t have a broad view of the world. Another language helps you understand someone else’s culture. What a closed minded parent.

  • This person

    Why in the world would you keep your children from speaking a major language based on its speakers’ actions? I see your point of view, but it is absurd. Assessing the morality of a language doesn’t make sense. Speaking a language is a privilege, a way of increasing the amount of people you can communicate with, broadening your horizons and experiencing culture while learning new ways of life. Preventing your children from speaking French, or any other language for that matter, does nothing but exhibit your narrowmindedness. La vie est belle, monsieur – ouvrez vos yeux.

    • You could also see the learning as an investment of time, and a language as a tool to communicate with those who speak the language. Since you can’t teach every language why not starting with the most precious one? (The one that caries humanistic values, and basic qualities such as honesty, integrity etc.)

  • Rush_is_Right

    The reason for not learning French is that it is a Loser Language, spoken by the French and nobody else of any importance. German, Italian, and even Spanish are all far more useful.

    • Dáibhí wotshissurname

      That’s almost as bad as saying “I don’t need to learn a new language because everyone knows English”. French is the third mosr spoken language, second to English and Mandarin.

    • Binary Riot

      Can you please enlighten me how Italian could be more useful than french? 🙂

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    People should be able to learn whatever language they want if they want to communicate with particular people or live in a certain country. Whether it’s for financial stability or to absorb a new culture should be the decision of the individual, as that is their decision for their adulthood. I appreciate your concern for their job prospects, but surely simply having A language will boost the number of potential jobs? I did do French and Spanish. I liked Spanish because it was easier, but I mainly chose French because at the time it was the most handy of languages and I wanted to absorb the culture. Whether it’s for culture or money, it should be the individual’s choice.

  • Neil Lucas

    Probably the worst piece of writing I’ve read in many a year.

  • Audrey

    Sucks to be your kids.

  • Sam O’Sullivan

    Mullone says don’t learn French because France has done morally questionable things in Africa… but learn German because it’s “going places”, even though Germany has done much worse things in it’s past. I feel sorry for his kids.

    It is true that French is not as important as it was a hundred years ago, but it is still an important world language and is probably the most useful language British people can learn. It is still one of only two working languages of the UN after all! Mandarin will not, will never be “indispensable” no matter how big China gets. It may have almost a billion speakers but they’re all in one country – a country which already does business with the world in English. Similarly Spanish is not that useful here in Britain because we do very little trade with South America.

    • Royal Conquest

      If you live in Canada especially French can be all kinds of useful. Even as a resume padder it’s useful. There’s french communities all over the place.

  • Nick Russel

    Personally I use an app to teach my three young daughters some French and Spanish. It’s free, fun with animated animals and keep them focused. Amazingly, they already know many words in French and Spanish in addition to English: “Edu Animals Animated Multilingual”
    Young kids can definitely learn multiple languages at the same time. Try it…

  • MarkWords

    Fortran, now there is a language for computers that has a similar nostalgia to French for people. Joking aside, French should stop being pushed by those with agendas and let it flourish on its own merits.

  • Maria Pavlou

    honestly…if u have a moral issue with them learning french then they should never utter another english word because the uk’s damage through colonizing and then some is astronomical.. and learning a second language is scientifically proven to make your kids smarter, like their brain will actually become better at learning math science and all that you deem “successful”. but what if your kid wants to travel to oh i dont know africa or haiti or watever and help people and they happen to speak french. its just a matter of practicality. and then if they wanna travel to france knowing french would help too. i guess its fine, they dont have to learn it, but please dont derpive them of learning another language – want them to be doctors? teach them greek, every medical term is greek. there. success.
    i just know that learning another language would be beneficial. dont isolate your kids from a world that is so rich.

    • William Hebert

      So true, my great-grandmother was a home child sent to Canada into what was little more than indentured servitude in rural Ontario. No other nation on earth has done such horrific things to their own children.

  • Jumbo Jango

    It’s a language, not a government. Chill

  • William Hebert

    Surely this article was published a few days too early. Appropriate for April Fool’s Day!

    I live in Canada and I came to view the French language with disdain when independence and separatism (actually sovereignty-association*) reached it’s high water mark in Quebec in the 1980’s. Somehow I managed to turn myself off of one of the beautiful languages mankind has ever spoken over politics and nationalism. Kind of like dumping all the single malt whiskey down the drain when Salmond appeared on the telly during the Scottish referendum back in 2014! In the province of Ontario where I live almost a million children are enrolled in french immersion and demand is increasing. Canada is bilingual and many public and private sector jobs require both french and english and their salaries are generally $10-$15K higher. Even without economic benefit, and despite it’s decline, the french language is among the world’s greatest linguistic wonders.

    Currently I am an adult learner of french. I am making up for a great deal of lost time.

    Do yourself a favour and let your children decide for themselves if french is for them …

    *the same thing Scotland is after with the UK but has not realized it yet!

  • And that only the external policies, the shame is even greater inside.
    Some would see beauty in materialist values, such a beautiful car, a nice music or good looking language, others would find beauty in right behavior, integrity honesty, respect and progressive value such as freedom of speech, and human rights.

    A language is nothing more than a way to communicate, don’t waste your time learning French if you are attached to these values, learn some Scandinavian language, that’s where you will find them (and human rights). France might be the richest third-world nation.

    • Lucien Zepp

      A language is just a way to communicate ?
      To learn language is to learn a whole new culture , to acquire a new language is to acquire a new view on everything hence why it is impossible to fully understand one’s culture without speaking the language.

      Si l auteure ne desire pas que ses enfants apprennent le francais , dans ce cas la je lui conseille de ne jamais plus parler anglais ou espagnole ,l influence colonial de ces pays ayant ete tout aussi devastatrice a l image du monde que celle de la france

      Pour finir abordons le comportement ? trouver un autre pays ou on vous dis merci quand vous tenez une porte , bonne chance ah et les pays scandinave sont bien moins parfait qu il n en ont l air , taux de suicide eleve et alcoolisme rampant ( au point que l etat suedois a du nationaliser la vente d alcool , oui ils picolaient pire que des russe il y a peine 20 ans ) alors que ces pays sont suposes etre les plus heureux de monde ceci prouve qu il a y un probleme avec l utopie scandinave 🙂

  • Fabio

    Based on your way of thinking, everybody needs to stop learning english as soon as possible.
    I can list more moral issues for that than you could list in this article.

  • Abhi Kodumagulla

    Probably one of the laziest jump to conclusion and call to arms I’ve seen in forever. I encourage this piece to be forgotten immediately. If you, like me, wandered down to the comments section before reading the article, do the world a favor and do not read this article. To read this article is to provide encouragement and legitimacy to this linguistic villain of an author. If you do decide to read this article, just remember the spurious hypotheses under which it rests. Shutting yourself off from a language and a discourse is a really stupid idea. Granted, as a polyglot, I may be biased, but still. Don’t listen to this dude. This kind of rhetoric is super dangerous. Today it’s about French, but tomorrow it’ll be the bigots saying the same things about Arabic or Urdu.

  • Binary Riot

    Such a small minded person.. wow