French holds an important position among the world’s languages. More than 200 million people around the world -— in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and Indochina — speak French. French remains, with English, one of the two languages into which all documents must be translated in the United Nations. Thus, students considering careers in business, diplomacy, the church, or teaching wisely choose to complete a major in French, sometimes along with another major.
While studying French and other Francophone culture, civilization, and literature, students develop oral and written languages skills, analytical thinking, and familiarity with diverse philosophies and perspectives — all of which are central to liberal arts education with a global perspective.
The French section of the Department of Romance languages offers a variety of courses — on campus and abroad — in French language, culture/civilization, and literature for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, both majors and non-majors.
St. Olaf provides an honor house, La Maison Française, that frequently hosts cultural and social activities, promoting discussion of French and Francophone lectures, films, musical groups, and celebrations.