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Spanish or French?


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Hello Everyone... I finally got the courage to ask a question after lurking and being so addicted to this forum...


How do you decide on a foreign language? Is it what you want your children to learn? My dh says ask ds what he wants? Would it be too much to add because ds is already learning Latin (Prima Latina). What's the best age? My brother tells me Spanish is more practical but my sister likes French because she knows it (somewhat). (*The "plan" is for him to travel to Europe when he's 16 or 17 - If he wants to go.)



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Spanish is probably easier to learn because:

1. the resources available are much more vast and less expensive

2. uh, it's everywhere

3. finding someone to tutor or a fluent speaker is less troublesome

4. the vowels are the same as English (or something like that, I hope I got that right- a friend teaches her children Spanish first then English, they learn to read in Spanish and she told me something along those line, geesh)

5. You're laughing by now right?

6. Spanish is spoken in Europe




Latin is the base of all romance languages including French and Spanish. It has more benefits than making other languages easier and is worthwhile subject of study for every student.


We're studying French although I have a tough time convincing anyone else to study it because of the same reasons I listed for Spanish-

1. the resources are limited, there are many but nowhere as many for Spanish and it can be a little expensive if you order from Canada or France for authentic materials

2. uh, it's not everywhere unless you're moving further North (please don't)

3. fluent speaker/tutor- not as many resources as a Spanish tutor

4. We study French because dd's paternal grandmother was Parisan and her dad speaks French, some Italian and of course English.


yep, I'm a lot of help

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I gave ds11 his choice. I encouraged him to choose Spanish because dh and I already speak it (not-native speakers, we learned in school), but he choose French. I decided to learn along with him. He has never studied Latin formally, but we have done tons of work with roots which is helping him a lot.


On the plus side, dh and I can still speak to each other in Spanish if we don't want the kids to understand us.

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because I have a degree in it, we live in Texas and my dad's family is from Mexico. We will start Latin in 5th grade. Then in hs I will let him choose a third language - but will encourage French if he doesn't have strong opinions.


My goal is for him to be completely fluent in Spanish by graduation, an excellent grasp of Latin and enough of his third language that he could be fluent within college years if he chooses.


Jessica is right that there is *so* much out there to support learning Spanish - games, videos, Spanish public television, toys...the list is endless.



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Jessica-- you sound like me when I'm talking to my husband. He has this glassy-eyed look when I'm rambling... you have a great point about Spanish.


Friederike-- French is just lovely. You're right!


WTMindy-- okay, so it's not too much to do both latin and spanish at the same time. thanks.


Freethinkermom--that's so great you still remember spanish after taking it in school. I did as well, and nothing stuck. I took spanish too but only 2 years in high school and 2 years of Italian in college (nothing stuck) :( - The plan was to be a filmaker and I loved Italian movies (getting off track here).


Laura and Jennefer -- That's true, he can choose his language later on in hs or college-- I really don't think that far ahead. I just think about the week.. haha


I do speak another language, tagalog, and alot of the words are similar to spanish...... that might be the way to go.........

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My rationale on how to choose a language:

1. What does the child want to learn?

2. Does anyone in the family or nearby speak it? It's not imperative, but it does make it easier.

3. Does the child have any interests that make one language a better choice?

4. What would the child like to be able to read in the future? Reading can be as important as speaking.

5. Is there an immediate need--travel, relative, etc.


I really believe that learning 2 languages at the same time is not all that difficult. We have stuck with Latin and French and couldn't be happier. Dd will almost certainly pick up some German in high school (advice by music professor who was just delighted that she already had Latin and French).


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I really wanted my ds to learn Spanish. Of course it's more practical and everybody on both sides of the family took Spanish and we have one native speaker. However, my son attended a regular school through 3rd grade and he was exposed to French since pre-K. He knows that Spanish is more practical but prefers the sounds of French. He agreed to give Spanish a try so I started teaching him a little bit myself. To make a long story short, this child does not have an ear, or a tongue, for Spanish. We will start formal French studies this summer!

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We have done 2 years of Latin and will do 3 more of Latin Prep for 6-8th grade. She can then choose another language for high school credit. She is leaning towards French, because we have friends who have been missionarys in France for 30 years. She visited there when she was 6 and would like to go back and spend time with them when she is a teenager.

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