French is a difficult language to speak well but it definitely pays to learn the local lingo. The locals will appreciate your attempts at speaking their language even if you do butcher it. French is France’s unique official language and has been so since the eighteenth century. All schoolchildren are taught in the language and media are almost uniquely in French. Just like in the UK there are geographical variations in accent; this could make understanding someone from Marseille difficult if your teacher was from Calais.