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As the phrase lingua franca implies, French was the dominant language of international relations, commerce, and culture. It retains this status as one of the official languages of both the United Nations and the European Union. France is a major influence in the telecom and aerospace industries and is one of the core economic states of the European Union. The cultural life of France fuses the numerous international offerings in art, music, and literature and offers an amalgamation that serves as the international standard of refinement. A major in French offers the student a key to the cultural heritage of the modern Western world.