General Question

Carly's avatar

Should I take Spanish or French this year?

Asked by Carly (4452 points ) July 28th, 2011

I took Spanish 101 and it was okay, we mainly learned about culture and how to count to 10 in the language. I can either take Spanish or French for the whole year at my college (two semesters). Which would you suggest taking and why?

If you need more information about my situation, please feel free to ask.

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10 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

I loved learning French BUT which do you believe will be more beneficial to you?

Kardamom's avatar

I’m surprised that your Spanish 101 class seemed so limited. We learned a lot more than that in our college intro Spanish class (although I’d already taken 4 years of Spanish in Jr. and Senior High School)

Since it was so limited, I would suggest taking French. At least you’ll learn some words that can be very useful in literature and cooking (if you’re interested in those subjects). Rather than becoming fluent in either of those languges.

I never took any French, but I wish I had now, because my heritage is French and I love to cook and read and often see French words that I wish I could pronounce and know the meanings.

One of my favorite French cooking terms is mise en place (prounounced kind of like meez ahm plah) which means loosely to “put things in place”. What it usually refers to is having all of your ingredients measured out ahead of time and put into separate containers and lined up in the order in which the recipe calls for each item.

The other one that I like is mirepoix (pronounced like meer pwah) which is the holy trinity of French cooking: carrots, onions and celery.

So I would choose French : )

lemming's avatar

I’d say that if you are arty and cultured and enjoy good food, wine, music, conversation etc you should do French, and I don’t know much about spanish, but all I can think of is that if you are chatty and enjoy warm weather do spanish.

Carly's avatar

The only reason I could think of to take Spanish was because there are so many Spanish speakers living in the US, especially California, which is where I live half the year. I’m a literature major, and I love to cook… so, maybe you’ve all made it really easy for me to decide.
Thanks! :)

Sunny2's avatar

I recommend Spanish for the very reason you thought of. If you want a language you can use, take Spanish. If you want one that’s kind of fun to know, but is not of much use unless you’re in the very few places they speak French, take French. And being able to read French poetry, literature and menus is fun.

ejedlicka's avatar

French, although beautiful, is a dying language compared to the fast growth of the spanish heritage in the United States and around the world. If you went into an interview with the ability to speak French and were competing against someone with the exact same credentials as someone who spoke Spanish rather than French, chances are you would not get the job because Spanish is more widely used.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Spanish would be much more practical than French. Jobs are readily available for people who speak/write Spanish & English (& are really proficient at this). Opportunities to use French would be limited, generally, to vacations taken either in France or certain portions of Canada

scarletheels's avatar

Spanish will be more practical and, depending on where you live, it will help your pay. It’s very easy to learn. And FYI: it’s not just California that has many Hispanics or Spanish speaking people.

Carly's avatar

@scarletheels oh, no, I was just saying that I live there.. compared to living in Maine, which probably doesn’t have nearly as many Hispanics. I’m very aware that there are a lot of places besides CA that have an abundance of Spanish speakers.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If one or the other isn’t necessary for your career path, and you plan to stay in the US, then definitely go with Spanish. For one thing, you’ll get more practice with it and be able to maintain a skill set when you spend time in California. The other reason is that you just don’t know how important it may be in this economy when later searching for a job. It could very possibly give you an edge, even if it isn’t a job requirement.

One other thought. If you plan on taking the next level up in a Spanish class, and that is all you really learned in the 101 class, find a new professor and talk to them about whether you can move on to the next level or should go back to 101.

In high school, there were two Spanish teachers. For those of us that had Mr. M in 101 and had Ms. P. in 201, we were way behind those that had her as a teacher for the second year in a row. It was a long and painful year for all of us, including Ms. P., who had to manage keeping her previous students engaged while trying to catch the rest of us up. College professors aren’t likely to invest that much effort.

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