stick with spanish?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by celebrian23, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #1
    I'm going to my college orientation in about a week and a half. I have to decide if I want to stick with spanish or not. I've been taking it for 5 years, and I have a bit of a knack for picking up languages. I also know a good amount of italian and welsh, and little bits of a lot of languages. I kind of would like to formally learn italian. But is it worth throwing away all those years of spanish? See, I took spanish because I actually enjoy it, not because I had to. I'd like to still practice it whenever I can. My spanish placement exam put me in a 3rd semester Spanish class, the 2nd highest I could place into. I am hoping to squeeze in a study abroad :) What would you do?
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #2
    If it were me, I'd stick with Spanish, especially if you're in the U.S. This isn't meant as a political comment, but rather a statement of fact - being fluent in Spanish will be of far greater benefit in general than learning Italian or French, or just about any other language.

    That, of course, doesn't consider if you're planning on international business or some other profession in which knowing 4 or 5 languages might be beneficial, but I'd hazard a guess that even taking a few semesters of a language in college won't get you proficient in a third or fourth language.

    If you've already had 5 years, tack on another few semesters and a study abroad gig in Spain and you'll be speaking like a native.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    Ah it's ok... Speaking Spanish should be outlawed in the US any day now. You'll have no use for it.

    Kidding!




    Yes, learn Spanish. I should have, but instead I took German classes. Guess how often I've run into German speakers here?
     
  4. UKnjb macrumors 6502a

    UKnjb

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    #4
    Hmmm. You asked what I would do. I would definitely stick with Spanish if I were you, since you enjoy it and find it easy. Further, you are good at it.

    IMO, doing subjects that are 'easy' are the best ones to take, as they will have the highest probability of high marks in exams. Good exam marks should carry you on through the next stage(s) of your academic career - they all lead to a good CV.

    However, if you have a definite knack for new languages and want to have a crack at formal Italian lessons, I would have a go at it as a side-line; see how it goes and expand it if you find it as easy as the Spanish. Can you accomodate it in your course schedule?

    My 0.02 worth. :)
     
  5. JurgenWigg macrumors 6502

    JurgenWigg

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    #5
    I would recommend the reverse:

    Take Italian and keep up the spanish on the sidelines.

    Just because you stop taking spanish as a course doesn't mean you automatically forget it all! I took 5 years of spanish including an AP course last year, and then haven't taken it since, but i'm really quite surprised how well it sticks with me! Off hand, I think i forgot a lot, but when I get into it, it comes out no sweat. It's like English and English classes through your schooling - past a point, you were fluent in it and could speak it well, most of it was geared towards writing, at least thats how we did it in my school district. If you can speak it and read it with little to no problems, I'd say pick up a new one, just keep spanish in practice and you'll be fine. If you're not really comfortable with spanish (IE: struggle in off-hand conjugations) I'd stick with classes till you are comfortable, but it seems like you are already :D
     
  6. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #6
    Si, yo creo que debes seguir estudiando Español ;)

    I agree with emw, you won't learn much of a new language in a few semesters in college, but you can improve your knowledge of a language you already know (Spanish in this case).
     
  7. celebrian23 thread starter macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #7
    You guys give excellent advice- I was leaning towards the spanish. It's important because working in a study abroad with my major (biochemistry) will take planning. I'll continue self-teachng myself italian and maybe I'll be able to find a community course to take at some point :) This looks like the best path.
     
  8. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    #8
    German is a very useful language to accompany Spanish - in Spain.

    I knew an English teacher who was looking to work 3 years each in an Arabic, Spanish and Mandarin speaking school, then be employable inywhere in the world. Good plan.
     
  9. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

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    #9
    I agree with those you said stick with Spanish.

    It would be a lot more useful to know one or two language fluently than to know a little bit of every language.

    If you only take a few of semasters of Italian, you'll forget it as soon as you're no longer taking it.
     
  10. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #10
    Welsh? Nifty...I'm [slowly] teaching myself Gaelic but without any human teachers, I'm unsure if my spoken proficiency is anywhere near competent. Probably not ;)

    Is Welsh as hard to learn as I've heard?

    If I were you, I'd go with Italian. Since you already have a background in a romance language, it'll be easier to pick up than if you were just going from scratch.
     
  11. celebrian23 thread starter macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #11
    I know some gaelic, but unfortenately I forgot a good amount.. :(

    Welsh isn't hard...but it's different. The pronounciation can get tough, but the grammar isn't too bad. It's just you have to practice doing things differently from english. For example, in welsh, the definite article is used a lot more often than in spanish or english. Then again, my only talent is learning languages so who knows :p

    Slán go fóill!
     
  12. iShane macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Yes yes yes. I would definitely stick with it. I myself love Spanish and I'm currently going into my 3rd year.
     
  13. ChePibe macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2005
    #13
    Absolutely

    Stick with it and go to Spain.

    I speak Spanish fluently, I'm "functionally fluent" in French (well beyond "just getting by", but not as fluent as I'd like to be), and learning Arabic (entering my second year). I'll be graduating in about a year, and stacking the languages onto the resumé is a BIG help. Bilinguals whose first language is English are hard to come by on the market these days, and your income will likely reflect it - your pay often goes up with the languages you know, and if it's something you like to do anyways, do it!

    Don't fool yourself into believing you can learn the language in a classroom in your native country. Unless you immerse yourself in the language and force yourself to speak it - and PICK UP AN ACCENT - it's worthless. Use Bush as an example (regardless of your political leanings ;-)). His Spanish grammar really isn't all that bad (what I've heard, at least), but his accent is unbearable!

    I speak Spanish with a thick Argentine accent (thus the name Che Pibe), and having lived for a few years in Latin America (Chile and Argentina) really helped it. There's nothing more fun than getting that "look" from someone that says, "you sure don't look like an Argentine, but... where are you from?" I'm not suggesting you drop it all to live in Ecuador or anything, but if you're serious about the language you should at least spend a semester or so in a Spanish-speaking country.

    Don't stop at Spanish, though. You've got a self-proclaimed knack for languages, so stick with it! The third language is probably the hardest, but keep going after that! If you can have fun while increasing your earning potential, GO FOR IT!
     
  14. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #14
    i would agree with most of the posters .... stick with spanish...

    with that being said, if your were to get very fluent in spanish, you could pick up italian in a few months... the languages are very similar....

    i took italian and my fiance is fluent in spanish & italian....

    i can understand alot of her spanish because of learning italian....

    Makiti Fatu? :D
     
  15. celebrian23 thread starter macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #15
    Thank you for your good information! (I can't stand to hear bush talk in english- spanish must be unbearable!) I definitely plan on spending a semester somewhere spanish speaking.
     
  16. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #16
    100% Behind this. I regret dropping German just as I was nearly fluent (something like mid-advanced on the Goethe Institut test). My accent is (was) essentially hoch-deutch which, as ChePibe points out re: his Spanish accent, I picked up from living in Duesseldorf - NOT from the classroom. But then, I decided to move on to Japanese:confused: just as you are considering Italian. I love Japanese, but I wish I had followed through on the German. - the only benefit I get from German now is being able to get some slightly better news (though that is being Murdochified too now!) and being able to blend in on a Luftansa flight. There are opportunities for people who go the distance though.

    Good luck!

    yt

    edit: just read your post. if you can afford it, do a full academic year. a semester is nuttin'.
     
  17. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #17
    Will your school give you retro credits if you stay in spanish? If they will, stick with it. You'll get a minor after about 3 or 4 classes. I placed into 3rd semester French my freshman year and I only had to take one semester to get my language requirement out of the way. Now I can take other languages just for fun. I'm enrolled for Hatian Creole next semester.
     
  18. celebrian23 thread starter macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #18
    I don't have a foreign language requirement, only a humanities general requirement. I can easily minor in spanish, I know that.

    I don't know if I can fit in a year- my biochemistry major is very packed, but I'm going to try for a year, though I know that may not be possible.
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #19
    Another vote for stick with it.

    I'm functionally trilingual English/Spanish/French and have coursework in German and Mandarin Chinese (3 years each), while I retain some comprehension of both of my "minor" languages, there is a lot of truth in "use it or lose it". I tend to confuse the two languages as they have some strange similarities in certain sounds and structures.

    With the Spanish and French I have always been able to fake it in Italy with decent success...

    B
     
  20. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I am going to go agaist the grain here and say learn another language. Because it sounds like you really enjoyed learning spanish so I could easily see you enjoying another langeage. A useful language to learn is Chinese mid you very difficult to learn since you will have no base language to draw on like you did with Spanish (eniglish is the base you where drawing on since both share a common base).

    Now some other laungage I could see you enjoying learning is German or French. A lot of eaurpean lanages that you listed are going to share a lot in common with those 2 and both are more widely used than the others you listed.

    My brother AP to about the 3rd year in german for college and there he choose to take spanish because he wanted to learn something knew and was starting to grow bored really learning it.

    My sister knows french and she grown bored with it and desided to learn a 3rd langage.

    It will be very easy for you to learn you 3rd. Learnign the 2nd one is the hardest after that they get easier and easier since you have a larger base to draw on and work with. Your 3rd launage you will noticed things lining up with both the other 2 you already know and learn new things about each.
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #21
    That's how I ended up taking German in HS. I had to take English and French, and thought that Spanish would be too much of a cop out since that's what we spoke at home.

    In hindsight wish I could have formalized my Spanish instead, even though the exposure to something quite different was useful...

    B
     
  22. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    #22
    When deciding on your language learning requirements, it would be useful to make a choice between wanting to speak a language, or/and write it fluently. To speak fluently, with a good ear, you can just live somewhere and really make an effort and be self taught. But your grammar may be abysmal. It may or may not be important. But as an example, at university, studying Spanish, there was a Mexican English guy who spoke fluently but failed all written work miserably. From an employerrs view point, he was stuffed really, as in effect, he couldnt write in his native language!

    Languages knowledge makes you more employable than the norm, and more interesting! but when it comes to the work place, if you think about it, speaking or writing isnt enough, else we would all have the job of our choice in our native tongue. You need to be able to apply the languages you know.
     
  23. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #23
    I don't know that sqeezing a broad in study will help you with language acquisition.......Oh, wait. I misunderstood. :) Sigue con tus estudios en el Castellano. A lo largo, vale.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Stick with Spanish and get even better at it. It's like you finished 90% of a race and didn't bother with the other 10%. Go to Spain and try speaking it there on exchange as well. You may think you're good, but will the real Spanish people understand a thing you say with your accent? It's not a done deal unles you can fool them. ;)


    El pollo rosado no es tan sabroso como las naranjas anaranjadas.
     
  25. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

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    #25
    Finishing Spanish would be a smart move but really, you have a knack for languages and already know a fair ammount of Italian so whatever you decide - you are far ahead of most Americans.

    I would love to study Italian but I know Spanish will be more useful and unfortunately, I don't have a knack for languages.
     

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