French is the fifth most spoken language globally and the fourth most used language online. Around 290 million people in more than 30 countries speak French. Learning French will surely help grow your business and open new career opportunities. Truly a global language of business, it is spoken in Canada, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, Senegal, Haiti, Belgium, Rwanda, Togo, and, of course, France. French dominates industries and sectors like telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and energy production.
Taking a business French course online means having the full undivided attention of your teacher. In a normal in-person environment, the one-on-one time with your teacher may be limited. You can work on specific vocabulary for your individual needs rather than more general business terms. For example, the terminology you would need to learn for pharmaceuticals or the medical field is very different to what someone in finance needs to learn. If you are looking to improve your speaking ability or pronunciation, having more opportunities to speak with your native tutor is critical.
If you are learning French for business reasons, you most likely already have a full-time job or a busy schedule of university studies. For professionals looking to learn French, the flexibility of online lessons means you don’t need to spend hours commuting to classes. You can make your lesson schedule work around your other responsibilities and study whenever is convenient for you, whether in the early morning, afternoons or at night.
Maybe you have been stuck in the same position for some time and can’t seem to take the time to upskill or make the change you want to get your career moving in the right direction. Online learning means you can take your career advancement into your own hands. Technology and online resources make upskilling and education more accessible to everyone and with little interference to your already busy schedule. Online continuous education is often more affordable than other more traditional courses.
Don’t forget to learn business etiquette. There is more to learning French than just the language, you also need to understand culture and etiquette. In France, it is important to use formal language. As mentioned, a big part of learning to use French effectively for business is understanding culture and etiquette. Here are the top tips for what you need to know about French business etiquette.
In some English-speaking countries, formality in the business place is fast becoming a thing of the past. However, in France, formality is still very highly considered. Be sure to address someone you meet for the first time with “Monsieur” or “Madame”. Depending on the company where you work and its culture, this may also be important when addressing superiors.
Be careful with how you use gestures in France. What means one thing in your country can mean something different in a French-speaking country. For example, in English, the “okay” gesture means “nothing” in French. This could lead to a costly misunderstanding in a business meeting. During your online lessons, take note of how gestures are used and ask your tutor if you are in doubt.
Another possible difference in French communication style to be aware of is interruptions. In your home country, interruptions may be considered incredibly rude, but in French business culture, it is normal and can indicate that the person is interested in the conversation.
Getting started with your online French business course online is simple. You just need a videoconferencing tool (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype or phone). Ideally, you should schedule several hours per week with an expert business tutor. CERAN offer flexible lessons that address your specific professional language needs. Online French programmes include 10, 15, 20 or 40-hour courses that can be tailored to your professional and personal needs. CERAN use a methodology and technique that encourages continuous communication in French, an immersive experience even online. Having the skills to communicate professionally in French is guaranteed to open doors and lead to exciting career options.
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