5 French Language Certifications (With Helpful Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Speaking, writing and understanding French is essential for many workplaces, especially as businesses expand globally. There are numerous jobs available where you can use your language skills to help people communicate and accomplish organisational goals. Learning more about the available certifications in the French language and adding them to your resume may assist you in your job search and increase your chance of getting jobs in various French-speaking roles.

In this article, we discuss what French language certifications are, list jobs you may seek using your certification, provide details on five French language certification options and give some tips for earning your certification.

What Are French Language Certifications?

French language certifications are formal, internationally recognised documents that attest to your language knowledge and communicative competence. A French language certificate provides candidates with a valuable credential for their proficiency in French and knowledge of French-speaking cultures. These courses may emphasise comprehension, written and spoken expression, vocabulary and correct French grammar while incorporating exciting aspects of French culture.

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What Can You Do With A French Language Certification?

Fluency in the French language can be valuable when seeking opportunities in these career pathways:

Teachers

Several private schools in the country have incorporated French into their curriculum, and teachers offer instruction on it as a second or third language or as an elective subject. A French language certificate may help you teach French in these schools in India or any other foreign language institution around the world. It may also be a good option for those planning to make a career in the teaching field. It also provides the opportunity to run a private teaching institute or teach the language to students online or offline.

Translators

A translator's job includes explaining meaning from one language to another. The translator's job usually involves translating business documents, technical handbooks, creative writing and other forms of communication. For example, French translators ensure that all of an organisation's files, documents and communications are available in French to customers.

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Interpreter

Interpreters work as translators in verbal communications. Expert interpreters usually translate critical statements in a diplomatic discussion. French interpreters translate documents, audio files and conversations using their advanced knowledge of French and other languages. They can work for individuals to assist them in communicating while travelling abroad or for organisations looking to provide translation services to their French-speaking clients.

Travel agents

A French language certificate can be beneficial if you want to work as a tour guide or travel agent in France or any other country that offers trips to France. Travel agents with a French background can assist French-speaking clients in booking flight tickets or scheduling accommodations in French-speaking destinations. It can also help clients who speak French coordinate their travel plans seamlessly.

Multilingual proofreader

If you have a solid understanding of French spelling and grammar, you may work as a proofreader in the publishing sector. Magazines and publishing houses can be potential employers for certificate holders. They require individuals who can edit and proofread materials before publication. You can also edit and proofread French-language websites for translation mistakes and spelling errors.

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Flight attendants

Flight attendants that can communicate in different languages, like French, are essential, particularly on long-haul global flights. If you want to become a flight attendant for international airlines, you can become more eligible for these positions with proper certifications. You may have an enormous advantage by being bilingual, as when a customer is fluent in another language, airlines can provide support when they have someone on staff who can speak their language.

Voice-over artists

French certifications often emphasise articulation and French pronunciation can be a great advantage in working as a voice-over artist. There is often a requirement for many shows in English or other languages to be dubbed into French. Your expertise in French can make you a good voice-over artist if you are excellent at making impressions in the French language.

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Job opportunities in French companies

There are several international French brands and many of them view fluency in French as an asset when hiring employees. French speakers have numerous career opportunities in multinational corporations. For instance, many French companies are establishing regional offices around the world and require employees.

5 French Language Certifications

If you are looking for a French language certificate to demonstrate your skills, these certifications may be beneficial:

1. Diplôme de Français Professionnel (DFP)

The DFP, a certification specific to business settings, is available from the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This diploma may give you the opportunity to prove your ability to communicate professionally in both verbal and written French, and your readiness to handle the administrative, commercial and interpersonal aspects of company affairs. This diploma is suitable for company or government employees who may communicate orally or in writing with French-speaking contacts.

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2. Diplôme Initial de Langue Française (DILF)

The DILF, or initial diploma in the French language, assesses the fundamental concepts of French. It evaluates four language abilities which are listening, reading, speaking and writing. The foundation of the DILF is the knowledge, skills, interpersonal abilities and learning abilities that make up the capacity for language use in communication at the linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic levels.

3. Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française (DELF)

The DELF represents a basic-to-intermediate level of proficiency in the French language, the second level of certification provided by the Centre International D'études Pédagogiques (CIEP). The A1, A2, B1 and B2 diplomas make up the first four levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). There is no time limit on the validity of DELF certificates. Candidates can get diplomas at various levels after evaluating their speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities.

4. Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF)

The Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF), also known as the Diploma in Advanced French Language, is a French language proficiency test offered by CIEP for non-native speakers. The top two levels, C1 and C2, have two separate diplomas. According to this framework, Level C2, which denotes mastery and proficiency in the French language, is the highest level attainable. This certification evaluates precision, appropriateness and expression fluency.

5. Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF)

The Test d'Evaluation de Français (TEF) is an international standard test that evaluates your French proficiency. For non-native French speakers over 16, the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers this certification. The test evaluates candidates' oral and written comprehension. It consists of three multiple-choice sections and two open-ended written and oral presentation modules.

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Tips For Earning A French Language Certification

If you believe that obtaining a French language certificate may benefit your career, consider the following:

  • Follow a schedule. A fundamental strategy for passing any exam is to develop the dedication that the preparation requires. Set realistic goals that you can meet daily or weekly and make sure you have enough time to study and revise each subject.

  • Speak often. Try to speak the language at every opportunity. Ask your friends who speak French to correct any errors you make or look for online discussion forums with native speakers.

  • Read and watch in the French language. To increase your comprehension, read books and watch movies in your chosen language. Reading improves word choice and aids in understanding sentence structures.

  • Revise regularly. Revision is an essential part of passing any exam. Make short notes on how to speak and understand French, listen to French learning audiobooks and revise them regularly to improve retention and recall.

  • Conduct a self-evaluation. Many French language certificate exams do not provide scaled results, which means you cannot simply take the test and then determine your level based on the results. Accurate self-evaluation is essential to ensure that you select the highest level certification you are likely to pass.

  • Attempt mock examinations. Many French certification exams have robust online communities and resources to assist you in your preparation. By taking practice exams and using study guides designed for the examination, you can test your progress and tailor your development to match the areas most likely to provide you with a passing result.

Related: How To List Certifications on a Resume (With Examples)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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