Learning a second language. Which would you learn?

Travel Forums General Talk Learning a second language. Which would you learn?

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21. Posted by starlight2 (Full Member 108 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm studying Korean and have been for the past 3 years. It may not be that useful in the United States but I love Korean culture and I plan on teaching English in Korea in a few years [Studying TESL currently as well].

My husbands first language[s] were Cantonese/Mandarin ... he has since forgotten how to speak Mandarin because his teachers in Canada told his parents he wasn't picking up English fast enough [so they stuck to Cantonese being from HK] .. & he also knows English Fluently, & Spanish Pretty Well & Basic Korean.

I feel knowing a second language [or third or fourth! ect.] is always a good thing.

22. Posted by guiny (Full Member 143 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I have English as my second language, my first language is Portuguese. My obvious choice would be German simply because I always wanted to study German and I have never had the chance.

23. Posted by chemgal (Full Member 149 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I would like to learn Maori - it's NZ's native language. I've always thought it would be great for me and my travelling companion to learn Maori so we can talk and not be overheard when we are travelling! ;)

24. Posted by ppereira (Full Member 25 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Definitely spanish!!!

In the Most Widely Spoken Languages, they say that English estimates vary from 275 to 450 million, Spanish from 150 to over 300 million, Hindi from 150 to 350 million, and Russian from 150 to 180 million.

And The Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (1999) lists the following as the top languages by population:
(number of native speakers in parentheses)

Chinese* (937,132,000)
Spanish (332,000,000)
English (322,000,000)
Bengali (189,000,000)
Hindi/Urdu (182,000,000)

so, as you can see spanish is the one!! :)

and Guatemala is the option to do so.. you live with a family that only speaks spanish so you inmerse yourself into it... and it is really cheap.

learn and travel at the same time!

they tell me that this are good schools


good travelling!!!

Patty :)

This is not a thread for advertising Spanish Schools in Guatemala. It's just a thread about what language someone would choose as their second one.

[ Edit: Removed website addresses. ]

25. Posted by mee (Full Member 138 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

well, i think chinese is the one..

i just started to study chinese actually. german's my mothertongue, my english is very fluent, my french too (studying as well).
in school i had italian and spanish classes, so at least i know what people are talking about.

i always wanted to learn 5 languages, so eventually i have to decide what to learn next.. not that easy to choose (but i guess you know that).


26. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5673 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

For me it would be learning a fourth or fith language, and actually I had it with all those languages. I tried some spanish last year, knew some words and stuff, but was not able to really communicate. I only learned it because of travelling in countries where people don't speak (or refuse to speak) english, which I think should be learned by every single one in the world.
But if I had to choose one right know, it would be Gaelic

27. Posted by janxxxxxxx (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I think your decision to learn Spanish for its practicalities is really smart - if you use it often, it'll become almost like a mother tongue and will be hard for you to forget it. Have to agree with all those who say if you don't use a language, you can lose some of it. Also, I think the best way to learn is immersion or really intense courses . . . not sure where in the US you are, but lucky you if you can pop across the border to Mexico or take a cheap flight to Puerto Rico. My mother tongues are pretty okay - English and Igbo, though my parents' fear that I would speak bad English in school kept my Igbo to a pretty embarrassingly childish level, which I've been trying to remedy. Spanish I learned growing up in school in Texas, but now I speak a horrible muddle of ItaloNol after learning Italian at university to a pretty conversant level (fluency just eluded me!) and using neither of them much anymore outside of chatting with friends (with far better English than my Italian/Spanish so you can guess what happens there). Lack of use has meant I can read quite well, but write only with the aid of a dictionary and speak like a 5th grader. Right now, however, I'm studying Germany because I'd like to study there for a bit. I'm determined to become fluent and THEN I'll brush up on Spanish and Italian and move on to Arabic and possibly French to travel through West and North Africa more easily. . . If I could learn every single language I hear on a bus trip through London, I'd be the happiest girl in the world!!

Something else to look forward to - once you've learned a second language, the third, fourth etc become easier I think. You just know how to learn (if that makes sense) and you get it more quickly. Good luck with Spanish and the languages after that!

28. Posted by meli1984 (Full Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

it all depends on where you live and why you want to learn a second language..
i grew up in belgium so french was my second language, then dutch and then spanish (which i found easier than dutch prob because i could speak french)..

personally i would suggest spanish as it is considered a relatively easy language to learn.. if it is your 2nd language (hence 1st foreign language) i wouldnt reccommend going with something very alien to you or too linguistically far apart.. so i'd stick with a european language.

in any case, good luck with it.. as an english teacher myself these days, i know how hard learning a language can be.. just practise practise practise and dont be scared of mistakes!

29. Posted by me.da (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Well for starters i'd like to finally be fluent in french - after years of study but only a little practice, i know enough to speak it, and little enough to sound like a two year old when i do.

Then - Gaelic, because i have an Ireland fixation and also because until recently it was a dying language and i find it tragic that something as important and uniquely expressive as an entire language can die out. And hey, it sounds great.

- Arabic because i'm told it has very different way of expressing ideas to English, and a very poetic quality.

- Spanish and Portuguese - logical progressions from French and the most useful for me since i hope to work in Latin America. But mainly for the same reasons i love french - they are beautiful, lyrical languages.

The list goes on.... actually, i've never come across a language that i didn't want to learn

Jeez, i better get started.

30. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1388 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am busy with learning Spanish. (after Dutch, German and English the fourth language) I would say it makes traveling a lot easier in a lot of countries, if you could master Spanish.

If you really like to learn good Spanish in South-America then be careful, they are nit teaching you the South-American kind of Spanish, that is a bit different then the Spanish spoken in Spain (well Castilla.)

In my opinion it is showing a bit of respect to the locals, to at least try to speak their language. Also I found out that if you at least gice it a try, they will help you in English easier, than if you come in speaking English to start with.