Jump to content


WWYD? Spanish vs. Italian


Recommended Posts

I had originally planned to start Spanish this year with the kiddos. However, we just booked a two-week trip to Italy in April (YAY! :D). Now I'm trying to decide if we should ditch the Spanish plans and study Italian instead. My hesitation is that, though Italian seems really neat and cool and it would be very handy for our trip, I'm not sure it makes the most sense as a second language, KWIM?


I guess the options I'm trying to decide between are:


1) Study Italian this year, then drop it next year and start Spanish


2) Forget Spanish and just have Italian be the second language that we study/focus on


3) Study Spanish full time, then just learn the typical conversational Italian for the trip (bathroom, taxi, etc.). Then we could just continue on with Spanish


4) Do both Italian and Spanish full on.


I'm really hesitant about #4, because we're also studying Latin, and I'm going to get more serious about it this year for dd11 (starting First Form). I'm just really not sure we'd get around to actually doing three full foreign language programs.


Please help me make a decision! WWYD? :bigear:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you were to spend a couple of months in Italy and interact with the Italian society on the daily basis during that time, then I would say sure, as it would be a shame to waste such a neat opportunity to learn another language. However, if you're going to get realistic, you're going to spend two weeks there, which is just your usual tourist experience in which you can perfectly get by using simple English and survival phrases which you can pick up very quickly and which do not require a knowledge of the language to use them.


A foreign language is a long-term, accumulative area of study. It's really NOT advisable to constantly vacillate between your language choices, do a year of this and a year of that, break and interrupt your studies - because on the long run, such an approach is harmful and ends up in knowing snippets of various languages, but not being conversational, let alone literate, in either. That's why your language choice shouldn't be motivated by something as ephemeral (in the context of your long term education) as a trip to a certain foreign country. If we're talking about repeated trips, strong family or cultural ties with a language and a place, then it's a different situation, but I would never think of having kids learn Arabic because they visited Morocco (besides you can get by there with French just fine :D), or learn Czech because we had a few short stays in Prague.

A trip might be an additional argument - but once you've already got a bunch of arguments to learn a certain language, kwim? :)


So if it's, for whatever reasons, important for you that your children learn Spanish, I'd go with the option 3. Make it a fun trip and "prepare" a bit for the trip, but don't take it too seriously in terms of language study.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...