• Italy vista on study abroad course.


The French Department does a great job at reinforcing language skills through a variety of different activities. During my four years at Luther, I had the chance to participate in the musical, Carmen, watch and discuss French films and literature, role-play the French Revolution during J-term and converse about current and relevant global issues.

Anna Dieter '15

French is one of five majors offered by the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Luther. Students develop their command of the language with small classes and a language laboratory with digital foreign language learning materials.

Our goal is to equip Luther students with the language skills necessary to understand and appreciate the culture and literature of the French people. Each French major is also prepared to use the language in a variety of professions or in graduate school.

French in the World

French is the native language of 120 million people, making it the third largest of the Romance languages. Approximately 150 million people speak French as a second language. French is the official language in 29 countries and serves as an administrative language in several international organizations, such as the EU, the International Olympic Committee, the European Space Agency, and the Universal Postal Union. French is one of the only six official languages of the United Nations!

French is spoken in France and its territories; it is one of the four official languages of Switzerland, and one of the official languages of Belgium and Luxembourg. Many former French colonies in Africa used French as an official language, e.g. Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the Americas, French is spoken as official language in parts of Canada and in Haiti; it is the administrative language of Dominica and recognized as such in the State of Louisiana.

Many people don’t realize that French has been ranked as the world’s second most “influential” language.  Read more about the importance of French.

Map highlighting countries around the world where French is spoken.

Map: Wikimedia Commons, by Eddo, modified by Ste