Yesterday, Princess Marie attended the Day of the French Language at the Dansk Industri in Copenhagen. The Day of the French Language (Journée de la Francophonie) is celebrated every 20th of March across the world. The date was chosen to commemorate the creation of the International Organisation of La Francophonie on 20 March 1970.
The Dansk Industri and the Institut Français in Copenhagen decided to organise a conference about the use of the French language in the business world and how to teach French to young Danes in order to help them in their careers. French is the fifth most spoken language and the second most learned foreign language after English, and its place in the business world is evolving rapidly, especially in African countries.
Princess Marie made the opening speech of the conference in French saying: “Thank you to Dansk Industri, the Institut Français and the group of Ambassadors from French-speaking countries for hosting this great event about the French language and to the audience for being so many to attend. You know how much I love the French language which is spoken on the five continents by approximatively 230 million people today and by many more tomorrow. You also know about my engagement for the education of young people in Denmark and abroad. In today’s globalised world, multilingualism is a very important asset to understand and to succeed. Denmark is a very international-friendly country, so it is important that young Danes know foreign languages as much as possible. The French language is not only a language with culture and values.”
While the first part of the conference was business oriented, the second part focused on education where leaders working in higher education gave their assessment of how companies and students get the most out of the new initiatives in the Danish government national language strategy for the French language. They also talked about the role culture plays in the learning of a foreign language.
Princess Marie was born in Paris, France and was French until her wedding to Prince Joachim. She is very committed to promoting the French language in Denmark and abroad just like her late father-in-law, Prince Henrik. In 2013, the pair said that they were always speaking French at home, and in a documentary in 2017, Princess Marie was heard talking to her children in French. She also taught a French lesson in a high school in Copenhagen the same year. Her attendance at this conference is thus in line with her interests, and we could see her getting more involved in the promotion of the French language following Prince Joachim and Princess Marie’s move to Paris in the summer.