Best language to learn?

Melvil

Guest
Just wondering about doing a foreign language course and thinking about which language would be 'best' to learn? I have schoolboy French and a tiny wee bit of Mandarin but don't mind starting a language from scratch.

Any ideas?
 

Cathryn

California Correspondant
French is beatiful and gives you access to one of the loveliest countries on earth, with the best cheese. Italian is lovely too, and ditto ref the country. Russian is glamorous (try telling people you speak russian) but peskily difficult. German is ugly, but quite entertaining.

What's your aptitude to languages? That would dictate how complicated you go.

For me though, you need motivation. Are you planning a tour or a holiday next year? I learned Russian in preparation for my long time dream trip there, and it kept me motivated all the year, which was difficult. And the satisfaction of being able to communicate was FABULOUS.
 

Noodley

Guest
stay away from languages that require you to generate huge amounts of phlegm - Welsh springs to mind as falling within this category.
 

Elmer Fudd

Miserable Old Bar Steward
Smokin Joe said:
Welsh is the one to go for. When we invade England it will be compulsory anyway.
Don't try invading from Fishguard on ya bike, you'll be knacked by the time you reach the GoldEngland !

I'd choose Portugese, love the country and people.

Option #2, Geordie.
 
OP
M

Melvil

Guest
Cathryn said:
French is beatiful and gives you access to one of the loveliest countries on earth, with the best cheese. Italian is lovely too, and ditto ref the country. Russian is glamorous (try telling people you speak russian) but peskily difficult. German is ugly, but quite entertaining.

What's your aptitude to languages? That would dictate how complicated you go.

For me though, you need motivation. Are you planning a tour or a holiday next year? I learned Russian in preparation for my long time dream trip there, and it kept me motivated all the year, which was difficult. And the satisfaction of being able to communicate was FABULOUS.
Yes, French is definitely appealing so far as we go there a fair amount...as is Spanish but have no Spanish to start with so would be a fairly steep learning curve!
Never considered Russian - good for you, how hard was learning the cyrillic?
 

Cathryn

California Correspondant
It was difficult - and I did a languages degree. I could read basic things (metro and train stops) but reading and writing was very hard. Speaking wasn't too bad. I did enjoy it, and it's very sexy.

If you go to France though, and get the opportunity to practise it, that would be my recommendation. It's a beautiful language and the people simply open up when you speak good French.
 

pw2389

New Member
Melvil said:
Yes, French is definitely appealing so far as we go there a fair amount...as is Spanish but have no Spanish to start with so would be a fairly steep learning curve!
Never considered Russian - good for you, how hard was learning the cyrillic?
Spanish is probably the easiest language for native English speakers to learn. The gender of the nouns is more straightforward than French: just about everything that ends -o is masculine and -a is feminine.

If you're looking for quick results then avoid anything that doesn't use the Roman alphabet. But then you probably know this from your experience with Mandarin. I study Japanese and the written language is more difficult than the spoken. :biggrin::biggrin:
 

Cathryn

California Correspondant
I disagree. Popular belief says they're snotty, but no-one's ever been snotty to me when I've tried. They've spoken English instead which annoys me intensely, but I've given a big smile and had a go, and never been snubbed.

The Italians just treat you like a linguistic genius if you speak good Italian. Which is fantastic.
 

cookiemonster

Legendary Member
Location
Hong Kong
I've just started to learn Japanese. Not as difficult a language to learn to speak as you would expect. But reading and writing it is a bugger though.
 

Cathryn

California Correspondant
Jim said:
D'accordo !

Having been given the wrong passports I went back and explained in Italian that they weren't mine..... to a round of "Bravo" etc.

:biggrin:
You feel like a conquering hero, don't you!! I studied in Florence for 6 months, which was amazing, but they're used to Italian speaking foreigners there. During a trip to Naples and the Amalfi Coast this year, they were almost embarrassing with their praise. I came away feeling like God's gift to the Italians :biggrin: Definitely going back....
 
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