On the jukebox: Princess Superstar, "Do It Like A Robot"
It's interesting to learn the obvious, namely that French has a doubtful future in the EU
I spent years learning French (because why not?), but no-one ever suggested that it would be useful to me diplomatically (altho possibly because I was in LA, where one meeting a French person is literally about as uncommon as meeting a Mongolian). French is extremely useful for academic purposes in historical linguistics, and in various disciplines where one has to read lots of documents or writings from before 1950 or so (art-history, political history, literature, etc); and of course it's a great introduction to the other Romance languages. I'm generally glad that I learned French.
But I always felt that somehow the French government's efforts to promote the French language abroad, somehow came off as very wan and unpleasant, and even embarassing.
It ended up seeming a sort of Daoist parable to me: because as far as I know, the Italian government (in contrast) has no notion that anyone outside Italy should bother to learn Italian; and yet so many people do it for fun (even though Italian is not really any "easier" than French, for English-speakers at least).
損之又損, 以至于無 為.
及其有事, 不足以取 天下.