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Christina A.





Is French a good language to become fluent in and minor in?

I want to pursue a career in law enforcement after I graduate from college. I know that being fluent in different languages increases your chance of being hired. I am looking forward to becoming fluent in college. However, people keep telling me French is not a good language to minor in because nobody is looking for people who speak French as a second language; they are looking for someone who speaks Spanish or Arabic. Is it true that having French as a second language and a minor won't increase my standing with future employers? #college #criminal-justice #law-enforcement #college-minor #language #french

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5 answers


Foreign language skills are always a plus in that they reflect adventurousness, adaptability, and willingess to communicate outside of your comfort zone. In that sense, French won't likely ever diminish your hirability. That said, looking at the practicality and your chosen career, it may not be the most useful choice. If you're planning on staying in the USA, then Spanish would be more applicable. If you think you might end up overseas, say with an international group like Interpol, French would be good because it is widely spoken throughout the world. Either way, go with your true interests. You could even take both French and Spanish, which isn't too tall of an order given that they're from the same language family. Best of luck - whichever language you take, you won't be disappointed!

Last updated Jul 07 '16 at 02:48 AM

Hello, French is an interesting language and could be fun. It is a major aspect of several other languages, as the French had a wide span of control and influence at one point in history, but...........

If you are planning on working in the U.S. especially in the south or south-west, then Spanish is the language you need to learn. If you are going to be doing something more international, then one of the middle eastern languages (Arabic or Farsi). If you are looking more globally, then probably Chinese.

I would offer that you might want to consider which populations are growing the fastest and correlate that with what you want to do and where you want to do it. I personally speak Spanish and it has come in very handy on several occasions.

Take care JD

Last updated Jul 08 '16 at 06:25 PM

Hi Christina,

I agree with Garth in that working knowledge of a foreign language shows strong character. However, as Garth says, location would dictate which languages would be more useful in the area in which you would like to work. For example, here in northern CA, the main foreign languages in demand are Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese (both dialects) and Tagalog, as those communities make up a majority of the non-English speaking groups (but there are all kinds of languages spoken here). That being said, law enforcement agencies look for candidates that are well-rounded, show a desire to learn, have solid employment or educational histories, are financially prudent and make solid life choices. That doesn't mean that a candidate has to be perfect, it just means that we look for candidates that learn from their mistakes and who don't show a consistent pattern of poor choices.

Good luck to you!

Last updated Jul 07 '16 at 02:55 AM

Christina A., Having a minor in french will be as valuable as any other non-applicable area of study (such as math, or biology). These areas of study will certainly meet minimum requirements for most Law Enforcement career paths, yet will be less valuable than those with specific applicability (such as criminal law, Spanish, ect). having said this, part of your academic career is meant to serve an internal interest. My thought is that studying French will be fine if you have a great interest in this area. However, Spanish is a much better choice for someone with a future of engagement and leadership over individuals that speak it.


Last updated Jul 06 '16 at 04:53 PM

If your interest is in learning to speak French, then by all means do so. But leveraging it in your Law Enforcement career is going to be somewhat unlikely. If your interest in learning a foreign language is to further your law enforcement career then by all means Spanish is the most in demand with several other languages farther down the list. But, if you are skilled in languages you can always learn more than one.

Last updated Jul 07 '16 at 03:04 PM
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