This is what Benjamin Franklin wrote on the French and English languages more than 200 years ago :
Letter by Benjamin Franklin to Noah Webster: on The English Language - Universality of the French language, 26 December 1789. (in The Works of Benjamin Franklin)
French seems in point of universality to have supplied its [Latin’s] place.(…/…).This gives a considerable advantage to that nation. It enables its authors to inculcate and spread throughout nations such opinions and sentiments , as are more conducive to its interests or may contribute to its reputation by promoting the common interest of mankind.(…/…)Our English [language] bids fair to obtain the second place.(…/…)And if we were to endeavour the facilitation its progress, the study of our tongue might become much more general.