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Best language to learn?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Melvil, 27 Sep 2007.

  1. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    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?
     
  2. Cathryn

    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.
     
  3. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Arabic might prove useful over the next few years.......
     
  4. mr_hippo

    mr_hippo Living Legend & Old Fart

    Two suggestions:-
    Latin - will give you a good 'springboard' to other languages.
    Gaelic - I see your location is Edinburgh, keep Scottish Caelic alive.
     
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Welsh is the one to go for. When we invade England it will be compulsory anyway.
     
  6. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    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.
     
  7. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

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

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    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.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    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?
     
  10. Cathryn

    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.
     
  11. Nortones2

    Nortones2 Über Member

    How do they deal with mediocre French? Pretend they're deaf, is my experience. Germans at least will correct your errors, if not with a smile:smile:
     
  12. pw2389

    pw2389 New Member

    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:
     
  13. Cathryn

    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.
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    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....