50 Little Reasons Why French is a Beautiful Language

   
 

French has been called the “language of love” for decades – maybe longer – and there are many reasons, as students or speakers of French well know, why this is true.

While popular opinions of the language have fluctuated over time from obsession to mild derision, if anything can be said about French it’s that it does sound nice to many of us English speakers and is obviously famous for doing so.

Some languages have a reputation for being harsher than others – especially languages like German or Polish. This may have a lot more to do with public perception of the people than it does the actual language itself though, and I’ve never heard a language that I’d actually call ugly.

 

Never the less, French remains one of the most popular languages to learn in the United States and around the world and some estimates have suggested that as many as 270 million people world wide can speak conversationally in French.

It is spoken in 29 countries as an official language and could even see an explosion of popularity and commonality in the next several decades. As emerging economies in French speaking countries come to prominence and experience population booms, so too may the French language.

But what are the most beautiful French words?

Naturally that’s a matter of opinion. Hell, maybe you don’t even think French is a beautiful language at all.

Regardless, for those of you who do consider yourselves to be Francophiles, here’s a brief infographic so graciously provided by takelessons.com that showcases some of what I would certainly agree are beautiful words.

Image published with permission from www.takelessons.com

So what do you think? Are you learning French? Perhaps you’re already a speaker?

What are some of your favorite French words – or words in any language for that matter?

Leave a comment below and join in the discussion.

 

**This graphic was originally published on takelessons.com and has been used with permission.**

 

 
 

Brian is the creator, owner and Apex Editor of Languages Around the Globe. When he’s not hanging around with linguistics nerds and learning languages, Brian works full time at Kolibri Online, a Hamburg based international content marketing and translation agency as a copywriter, human dictionary and general doer of great things.

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Brian Powers

Brian is the creator, owner and Apex Editor of Languages Around the Globe. When he's not hanging around with linguistics nerds and learning languages, Brian works full time at Kolibri Online, a Hamburg based international content marketing and translation agency as a copywriter, human dictionary and general doer of great things.

  • Jessica Kosfitska

    I speak French, it’s my native language and I love it! I love French litterature and translating texts from English to French! It’s amazing how 10 pages in English will become 15 pages in French. It’s a rigid language and a poetic one at the same time. Many words in French sound beautiful, but the only word that pops up is “moustache”. XD
    My husband-to-be (next saturday) is Greek and I’ve been learning the language for at least 6 months now. I love the words “louloudi” (flower), “petalouda” (butterfly), “pappous” (grandpa)… and many more that doesn’t come to my mind right now. 🙂 I’m glad I can now understand scientifical words in English or in French just because I understand their Greek roots.

  • Nare Iskikian

    My favorites are retrouvaille and depaysement because they describe state of mind or being that require several words to define in other language. I also like tournesol which is similar to its Italian cousin girasoli meaning turning of the sun!!!

  • Laurel Archer

    I love pamplemousse and parapluie – I have been teaching French for 6 years and I love the way it sounds, when I can pronounce the words well 😛 I also love lune de miel (moon of honey – honeymoon 🙂 and saucisson (sausage – fun!). I know French is hard to spell, but a lot of fun to say! 🙂

  • W8post

    I went through all 50 words; read them; pronounced them; listened to them. Could not find any love nor ‘plaisir’ in ‘chatoyer’, ‘croquis’ -quite harsh-, ‘écarlate’, ‘noix de coco -what the F is that word doing here?-, grelotter and ‘sortable’. My préférence goes to ‘ChouChou’ and I don’t LIKE Brussels sprouts!

  • Elizabeth Hanchett

    I studied French for six years in high school and college, mostly because it was the only language other than Spanish, which I already spoke, and German, which I started and quit because I didn’t like how the teacher taught the language. I still struggle with the vowels and how nasal it is; and to be honest, I’m just not a fan. It’s just personal preference. Ever since I discovered Catalan I fell in love; my French got put to excellent use and I fell in love with a Romance language again. 🙂 Seriously though, it’s got the complexities and smoothness of the French “sound” without the crazy pronunciation or reputation for being “uppity”. Hint hint. 😉

    • I wonder why French has that reputation.

      I’m glad that you discovered Catalan. It’s definitely an underrepresented language in need of more learners.

  • iguska wa

    I wouldn’t say that Polish is harsh…But as you wrote, that’s a matter of perception. I know a lot of girls, who would prefer to have a boyfriend, who speaks German than French. People are so different and it’s so beautiful! In other way everyone would learn French and language lovers wouldn’t have anything to do in their lives! My favourite french words are “malheureusement ” and “robe de chambre”. Au revoir!

    • I agree completely. Polish is fine, and when you live in Germany you start to hear the language as it is actually spoken, not as it is perceived in some places.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Thanks a lot for reading and for commenting! : D