As we all know, over the last 20-25 years India has become a leading centre for hundreds of foreign companies to start their operations in India directly or via a local partner. Almost all the global Multinational Companies (MNCs) are using the skills of the Indian workforce for their international business activities and are often in search of people skilled in one or more foreign languages, apart from English. Similarly, many Indian students prefer to go abroad to study as well as work in foreign countries. It is also obvious that there are many countries in the world using French as a local language and that is where learning French for career opportunities comes up as an option.
You may be surprised to know that French is official language of 29 countries! Besides France, French is official language of Belgium, Luxemburg, Monaco & Switzerland in Europe. For those who are planning to migrate to Canada, knowing French can be a great advantage as there are many parts of Canada where French is the main language. Apart from these, French language is also spoken in more than 30 African countries like Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Senegal etc. Thus, French is essential to communicate and connect with many countries globally. Keeping in mind all this, let’s look at French language – for Learning and Earning!
Understanding of any language can be checked from 4 types of skills, which are: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking of that language. Most language training programs do training and testing on these 4 skills.
There are many private and official institutes that teach French language. However, the best known among these institutes is Alliance Française de Bombay (website link: https://bombay.afindia.org/). One can start learning French language from ages as small as 5 years but the eligibility to give the proficiency exam is 18 years and above. You can find out options for institutes near your home and other details like course, timing, fees etc. There is usually no minimum eligibility to take admission, but it is important to have a strong language background.
Career options for French language:
Having a career in a foreign language can get you into streams like:
Teaching (at an International school/Private tutor/Freelancer at an Ed.tech platform). Also, Indian and International companies look for French corporate trainers who can train the candidates for various courses or on-site opportunities or deal with French clients.
Translator or Interpreter at an MNC: where you can help French companies established in India, or any company having French clients with invoice drafting, paperwork, written or verbal communication etc. There are many such French MNC’s, for example: BNP Paribas, Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal, Renault, Alcatel, Axa, Airbus, Christian Dior, Alstom, Chanel, Carrefour, Peugeot, Michelin etc. and many of these companies regularly require associates who know French. This option is great for anyone willing to add value to their basic graduate degree like B.Com., B.A., B.F.M., B.A.F. etc.
BPO’s: To start their initial years of career, one can opt for Customer Services via which verbal and communication skills can be polished.
Language plays a vital role in the hospitality industry. Proficiency in French can offer a great career opportunity as there are many foreign travellers (both on business and personal travel) who are more comfortable in French language and so for successful communication in the travel and tourism sector, it is very convenient to have someone who understands French.
For all the companies who are in export-import business, particularly dealing with France, Canada or many African countries there are lot of employment opportunities after learning French in India. There can be permanent jobs or even freelance jobs in translation for meetings, documentations, trainings etc.
Q] Who should go for it?
Ans: For people, who are good at communication and love foreign languages, who wish to have a flexible career (particularly females).
Q] Where can you study or learn?
Ans: Although, learning a foreign language is possible via many language institutes but globally Certified Institutes like:
Alliance Francaise de Bombay for French
Goethe Institute for German
Hispanic Horizons for Spanish etc.
These institutions are relatively more expensive than others because they are the official examination centres for global language certifications; the teachers are also more qualified. One big advantage in learning from official institutes is that they focus on teaching all 4 skills: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking of the language. For learning French in India, some other institutes are: Cambridge Institute, Henry Harvin, Second Tongue Institute of Languages etc. These institutes teach French but do not provide Global Certification. Of course, many schools & colleges also offer French language as a subject today as an optional language.
Training Course & Test Levels:
Like any European language, French has 6 CEFR (Common European Framework Reference for Languages, a standard index) levels as follows:
A1 and A2
DELF A1, DELF A2
B1 and B2
DELF B1, DELF B2
C1 and C2
DALF C1, DALF C2
240 hours each level
Please note that these are only Tuition fees. Examination fees are separate and approx. Rs10,000/- per exam for A1, A2. The examinations are conducted at regular intervals and you can visit and register online https://bombay.afindia.org/delf-dalf/ or via visiting any center of Alliance Française de Bombay at Santacruz, Churchgate, Cuffe Parade, Vashi, Ahmedabad, Nashik etc.
Apart from these, Alliance Française de Bombay also offers other courses like DFP B2 and C1 courses (Professional Business French) and conducts exams for the same.
Note: anyone who has passed the TCF (Test d’évaluation de Français or French Evaluation Test) or TEF (Test de Connaissance du Français or French Knowledge Test) are eligible to get extra points to live permanently in Canada. TCF or TEF tests are equivalent to level B2 and require proficiency in all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
To know in detail about the course you can go to the site https://bombay.afindia.org/ or even reach out to me in case of queries.
I am Medha Raval, daughter of Samir Chandrakant Raval and Dimple Raval. I stay in Mumbai. I have done a DFP B2 and am pursuing my C1 level with Alliance Française. I have experience of 2.5 years as a freelancer, private tutor and an IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) French language facilitator. For any queries or doubts, you can contact me via Mobile (+91 77389 77045) or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.