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Best Foreign Language

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm an eighth grader and right now I'm planning my freshman year. I know about everything I'm gonna take (Geometry, English, History, Choir, Biology, and a Business class) but I'm still not sure what foreign language to take. The High School offers Japanese, French, Spanish, Latin, and German. My mom wants me to take Latin to help improve my English. My dad wants me to take Japanese because I'm going to go into a business/tech relatesd field and he thinks it would help. My question to you is what have you taken or are taking now? Do you like it? And, which do you think would be best for an honor student like myself who plans to go into business? Thanks.
post #2 of 33
You'll get a lot of the benefit of Latin (helping you to understand the roots of many English words and prefixes and suffixes) from any romance language. French or Spanish would probably come in handier in the "real world" than Latin, though you could really wow the chicks in college by spouting off some Latin stuff at a party.... so that's a consideration.
post #3 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by sizzle chest:
though you could really wow the chicks in college by spouting off some Latin stuff at a party.... so that's a consideration.<hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> Je doute.

Spanish would give you access to a world of culture already here in America.

I like French. Certain French phrases pop up all the time in English.*

German actually would help your English, perhaps more than Latin. German grammar is more explicit, and knowing it well really illuminates English grammar.

Japanese...it might be hard to get into this language, since it is so distant from English.

I studied German in school, and then a little French later on. If I were to do it again I'd be seriously tempted to study Spanish.

Whatever you study will be good -- access to another language is a real useful gift.

*If you want to hang out with girls they seem to always study French.[/gross generalization]
post #4 of 33
It's a dead language, but Latin is incredibly useful and versatile. Once you know Latin, you have your foot in the door to a lot more languages, more so than learning one of its derivatives (French, Spanish, Italian, some aspects of German and English, etc.). Plus you can read your science texts and have some clue about what they're saying. Now if you can eventually recite Cicero, look out!

[ 02-20-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
post #5 of 33
[quote]
<strong>The High School offers Japanese, French, Spanish, Latin, and German.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I'd go with Spanish. Nearly all of the countries south of the border speak it. America is doing an ever increasing amount of trade with these countries and an ability to talk to clients/customers/suppliers/etc in their native tongue is always helpful.

If you could find a way to take Chinese instead that might be even more useful.
post #6 of 33
see my signature

[ 02-20-2002: Message edited by: corvette ]</p>
post #7 of 33
I took Latin and I don't think it helped my English that much. Any romance language would be just as good wrt that.


Here's a hint. Take the one you're most interested in. That way you'll study it.
post #8 of 33
Spanish is a beautiful language.

And if you take Spanish I can give you many Chilean mp3s to jam to and impress your teachers with.
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post #9 of 33
I actually learned a lot about English grammar from taking Spanish. Gerunds, past participles, direct and indirect objects are a lot clearer and more defined in Spanish, which helped facilitate better English understanding. Also, it's prettier than any of the other offered movies, and you can slightly understand cool movies like El Mariachi and Mujeres al borde de un ataco de nerviosos.
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post #10 of 33
ASL = American Sign Language, not really *foreign*
post #11 of 33
If it was me I would go with either German or Japanese. They would probably prove most useful in business. Spanish would be a good choice too, especially living in America.
post #12 of 33
IMO Spanish is the business language. Most people in Europe that you would do business with know English. Japan is not the dominate power house it once was. China has the largest number of second language English speakers. Considering everyone, almost, to our south speaks Spanish it would be the way to go.
post #13 of 33
Japanese. Uses the opposite side of your brain, plus then you can understand animes

I remember a story about some guy hwo knew some pictographic language (Chinese, japanese, etc.)and english. He had a stroke and couldnt write in english any more, but the pictographic language gave him no problems.

Other than that, maybe spanish
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post #14 of 33
if you live in the US, the most practical and useful is spanish---same hemisphere. latin is dead--waste of time. if you need latin for improving english, focus on your english classes. name one country that speaks it.

my own opinion is that german is not a very pretty language and useful if you are planning on living in germanic countries later on. french, well, if you are american and the french hear you speaking french, they will reply back to you in english and insult you along the way for being, well, american. you can't win with them.

all of south american and many in us as well as spain. it and chinese are the languages of the future along with english

japan is going down hill. their impact is declining while chinese is increasing.

either study what you are passionate about and find interesting or study what you feel will be practical as a second language.

unlike our european counterparts, you will have little opportunity to speak a european language.

when you get older, study abroad and learn a language there.


best
post #15 of 33
I speak spanish, english and french, so if you were to ask me I would say latin.

Learn spanish, best literature in the world
post #16 of 33
Avoid Japanese.

Of the languages listed, it is the one that will give you the least access to their culture. It isn't just the distance. They don't want you there, and they're a highly closed off/suspicious business culture. Trust me. If you've got round eyes, don't waste your time.

edit: However, the left brain right brain stuff is cool.

[ 02-21-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
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post #17 of 33
Out of a French 101 class of 25, I am one of three guys :cool: Rock on.

I'm taking French mostly because a summer of construction work ruined my taste for Spanish. I know that's a bad reason, but it's true. I just can't think of Spanish without thinking of all the lazy Mexicans whose trash I had to pick up last summer Also, the number of people in Europe who speak English, is in my experience, highly inflated. My family stopped off in Paris for a day and it was hell trying to get around without knowing French. It's also the most widely used language in Africa.
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post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
I've heard a lot of girls take French. I like that aspect, but again, I don't. Solishu's comment about spanish really inspired me. NO to Spanish. After all, I'm ALWAYS complaining that if you live in America, you should speak our language, so by learning Spanish, I's be going against that thinking. German is a language that I'm sure is good, but my dad took it and hated it. Learning Animes doesn't matter at all to me. I'll probably go with Latin. I know it's a dead language, but after going over to the High School yesterday and learning about all the electives, Latin appleals to me most. Both because of the help in vocan, but also because it seems that after hearing all the other languages after latin, I feel Latin roots are at the root of a lot more languages than any other, so by learning Latin, it's be easier to learn another language later on.
post #19 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by iDude:
<strong>I've heard a lot of girls take French. I like that aspect, but again, I don't. Solishu's comment about spanish really inspired me. NO to Spanish. After all, I'm ALWAYS complaining that if you live in America, you should speak our language, so by learning Spanish, I's be going against that thinking. German is a language that I'm sure is good, but my dad took it and hated it. Learning Animes doesn't matter at all to me. I'll probably go with Latin. I know it's a dead language, but after going over to the High School yesterday and learning about all the electives, Latin appleals to me most. Both because of the help in vocan, but also because it seems that after hearing all the other languages after latin, I feel Latin roots are at the root of a lot more languages than any other, so by learning Latin, it's be easier to learn another language later on.</strong><hr></blockquote>

"Our Language" in another 40 years Latino's will be the second larges mass of people in the US. You better keep some Spanish books around. Personally my goal is to learn Spanish and French(So I can harass French Canadians LOL)
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post #20 of 33
I would suggest to you either Spanish or Japanese. Latin (Which I did study) does give you some insight into English, but as you will hardly ever use it, you will forget it soon.

Spanish, you will use alot, as it is common round the Americas.

Japanese will give you the greatest advantage and bragging rights, but you will use it less and it is incredibly hard to master ( believe you me - I have tried!)

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post #21 of 33
Latin gets you chicks? :eek:

Going for my third year of Latin...
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post #22 of 33
While it is annoying that people come to america and dont use english like my great-grandparents had to, I do not think that people should be forced to use english... There is no "offical" US language and that is the way it should stay. people should embrace our diversity...

As for a language, I took French--and I hated it. BUT this was mostly because I hated my teacher. If I could do it all again I would take Italian, or maybe Spanish... French would be cool to know only to impress people (read: women), but I dont really see it as useful unless you are planning to go to France a lot just so you can get around...(They REALLY hate americans)...

I took Latin for two years in elementary school, it was a pain, but I liked it b/c it seemed more structered then french...but as someone said since it is dead you will probably forget it b/c you will never use it, although it would be cool to impress college professors w/latin...

Basically I think you should take Spanish.. it seems like the most practical choice...

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post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am in no way trying to suggest foreigners should be forced to speak english. They can speak whatever they want. I do however think that if they are going to be legal citizens of this country, they should try to assimilate as much as possible into the american culture. Part of that is learning english. It's just a pain to go to some stores and not be able to talk to employees or ask for help.

I never knew the French hated americans. There's another reason not to take it. I would take spanish, but I firmly believe in doing things differently, and Spanish seems like a language that only deadbeats take because they think it's easy.
post #24 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by iDude:
<strong>I

I never knew the French hated americans. .</strong><hr></blockquote>

me too.
post #25 of 33
yeah me neither. I've real we eat frog legs too. oh and all Americans are fat.

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post #26 of 33
on topic:

I live in France, have studied English, German and Latin.

Latin is definitely helpful, not only to help you understand the workings of a language better, but I've found it also helps in other fields, by providing you a certain rigor and a method.

Now Spanish is definitely something you should consider, being a North American and Spanish is widely used in both Americas.

French has its own merits, like most languages, but I can't recommend it since I'm a native speaker and can't relate to learning it.

German is a pain with all the different cases etc., though definitely a plus in the European world.
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post #27 of 33
If you like Asian chicks. Go take either Cantonese or Mandarin.

Those Asian girls like Japanese (some can speak Mandarian), Korea (some too can speak Mandarian), Hong Kong, Taiwan.....abolutely LOVE the foreign people who can speak their language



[ 02-24-2002: Message edited by: Leonis ]</p>
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post #28 of 33
Be careful, asian sex tourists are TB carriers.
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post #29 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>yeah me neither. I've real we eat frog legs too. oh and all Americans are fat.

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes i eat frogs yesterday. Delicious ..., taste of chicken but more delicate.
post #30 of 33
&lt;pokes SYN with stick&gt;

You aren't allowed to enter France without a black beret and a white shirt with black stripes.

You also have to grow a thin mustache and avoid bathing for 5-6 days before they allow you to stroll around in public.

&lt;/pokes SYN with stick&gt;

I read yesterday that the reason the English used to have such terrible teeth is because there was no fluoride in the water...

(Spanish rules!)
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post #31 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>&lt;pokes SYN with stick&gt;

You aren't allowed to enter France without a black beret and a white shirt with black stripes.

You also have to grow a thin mustache and avoid bathing for 5-6 days before they allow you to stroll around in public.

(Spanish rules!)</strong><hr></blockquote>

Why a thin mustache, i prefer a mustache like Salvatore Dali.

:o shame on me, i did not take a bath since 6 months ...

i only take showels

I did not wear any black beret, i just use to wear red ones when i was doing my military service. I am a reserve officer, i am captain .

[ 02-25-2002: Message edited by: powerdoc ]</p>
post #32 of 33
Alright, let me point something out. None of the languages offered up there are particularly useful in the white collar business sense. Every Japanese person you'll encounter knows English, and on top of that Japan is very isolationist, so getting set up in Japan isn't easy.

Hell, everyone knows English. Considering that the official language of the EU is English, French and German are pointless endeavours, unless you're culturally motivated.

That leaves you with Spanish, which is also unnecessary in the white collar environment. So I recommend Latin. I took Latin and some Spanish, and I feel the Latin has done a lot more for me than the Spanish.

If you want to learn a language that will help in business, consider the following.
- Russian
- Polish
- Chinese
- Portuguese

Russia, Ukraine, Poland, China, and Brazil are all major emerging markets where many of the educated residents are not fluent with English. Argentina will be socialist for the next decade or so, so forget about doing business there. None of the other South American markets save Brazil are ready for intense American business.

[ 02-25-2002: Message edited by: Splinemodel ]</p>
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post #33 of 33
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>&lt;pokes SYN with stick&gt;

I read yesterday that the reason the English used to have such terrible teeth is because there was no fluoride in the water...

(Spanish rules!)</strong><hr></blockquote>

Way to go with the non-sequiturs! <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> I don't know if it was fluoride in toothpaste or fluoride in water that made the difference, but I think every country used to have terrible teeth before fluoride was introduced. The gleaming, pearly-white all-American smile thing is more to do with the standard inclusion of baking soda in US toothpaste brands - and a greater interest in cosmetic surgery...
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