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Spanish vs French vs Italian vs German for self teaching over summer holidays?

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    Which langauge is the most useful to learn (i.e how many people speak it, how easy it is etc)
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Italian
    • German


    I have no previous knowledge of any (only KS3 for French )

    Also could you reccommend any books/resources to help me self teach the langauge?
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    I guess Spanish is the best... its the 3rd or 4th most spoken language and it is pretty easy... I did quite a lot of it in just 3 weeks .... although I had my exams so had to stop attending class after that !!

    The others are not even in the top 10 most spoken :eviltongue:
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    Spanish is the most widely spoken language on your list, although in my opinion, French would be the easiest for you to learn.

    If you are planning to self-teach over summer, why don't you book yourself a holiday to one of the chosen countries? That'll be better than any book, imo.
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    I speak French, German and Spanish- and Spanish is by FAR the easiest. Spanish is the 2nd fastest growing language in the world (the 1st is mandarin) so if you're going by numbers alone, maybe go for Spanish. But have a look at the countries and have a think about where interests you most
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    I speak Italian fluently so I would say Italian haha but I do Spanish Italian and FRench A level and would recommend both Spanish and Italian but I personally don't like French as much it's alright but it's harder in terms of language and grammar. I'd say if you learn either Italian or Spanish they will compliment each other so you'll find it easier to pick them up. Although if I had to choose between French and German I would choose French just because I'm not keen on the way German sounds.
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    (Original post by Nikstar95)
    I guess Spanish is the best... its the 3rd or 4th most spoken language and it is pretty easy... I did quite a lot of it in just 3 weeks .... although I had my exams so had to stop attending class after that !!

    The others are not even in the top 10 most spoken :eviltongue:
    Wait, you're saying french isn't in the top 10 most spoken languages in the world?!
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    (Original post by gemnomnom)
    Spanish is the most widely spoken language on your list, although in my opinion, French would be the easiest for you to learn.

    If you are planning to self-teach over summer, why don't you book yourself a holiday to one of the chosen countries? That'll be better than any book, imo.
    French grammar is very difficult, I'd have said, by experience, that spanish is easier to learn than french
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    spanish
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    Depends why you want to learn a language. Spanish is the fastest growing, but French still remains one of the official languages of big international organisations (i.e. UN and NATO).
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    Many people say Spanish is easy because it resembles the English language quite well.

    If you've done French then it should be easy-ish for you to continue learning. It's all about the tongue!.. Or so my old French teacher used to say.

    I'm not entirely sure about Italian. I immediately thought of "pancetta" for some reason when I read the title of the thread. (Think I've been watching too much Come Dine With Me!)

    I'm gonna be biased and say go for German. I'm currently self-teaching myself the language and I absolutely love it! I can grasp new languages quite well so it's okay for me, but it really depends on personal preference. I think German is all about the throat. It's amazing!
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    (Original post by OLawyer)
    French grammar is very difficult, I'd have said, by experience, that spanish is easier to learn than french
    If OP enjoys a challenge and the subsequent satisfaction, overcoming French grammar is the way to go. Although difficult, it is largely logical, and there is much to learn. If you have the drive, you will enjoy it.

    French is also similar to English; many of our words are cognates. Perhaps more so than Spanish, but I cannot be sure of that.
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    (Original post by OLawyer)
    Wait, you're saying french isn't in the top 10 most spoken languages in the world?!
    HAHA!!! NOoo french is 10th

    But Spanish is a much more sexy language than any other :sexface: .... so spanish is the best!!!
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    (Original post by matty123)
    Which langauge is the most useful to learn (i.e how many people speak it, how easy it is etc)
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Italian
    • German


    I have no previous knowledge of any (only KS3 for French )

    Also could you reccommend any books/resources to help me self teach the langauge?
    I'd say Italian. It's the language of love, and if you want to attract the opposite sex, then Italian is the language to learn. I'm learning Italian right now and LOVING it. It really is a gorgeous language, and by no means too hard. Many words are similar to those in English, and many words you hear and realise that it has the same origin as in English, for example 'il gatto' means 'the cat', and sound similar when spoken.

    As for usefulness? Well, Spanish is the most useful. Second most spoken language in the world, and it's also spoken as a first language by 10% of Americans.

    Nevertheless, German is the most useful to learn if you're not planning on leaving Europe. It's the most spoken language in Europe, and is very widely used on the internet, in science and technology. Be warned though, German is BY FAR the hardest language to learn. I did it for GCSE and hated its difficulty, although now I regret not taking it further as I love the language.

    French I would advise against. Pretty useless language by modern standards, and it's on the decline. Unless you're planning on working for a non-English speaking company in France, it's not worth the time learning.
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    (Original post by OLawyer)
    Wait, you're saying french isn't in the top 10 most spoken languages in the world?!
    Which century are you talking about? The 18th?

    If you mean current day, then no, French is not one of the ten most spoken languages in the world. It can't compete with behemoths like English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Portuguese.
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    I have been studying each of these four languages and I would by far choose Spanish any day of the year, believe me when I say it is easy. However, my favourite one is Italian (Not the easiest though)
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    Everybody says that Spanish is easy. I found everything up to lower intermediate very simple, but at the most advanced stages I found Spanish much much harder than French. My teacher agrees with me, and she did a degree in French and Spanish. French is harder going at first, but once you get the hang of it, delving deeper into the language isn't that difficult. I don't know much about German, but my German friend reckons it isn't too bad once you grapple with the cases.

    But really, do whatever you like
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    (Original post by gemnomnom)
    Spanish is the most widely spoken language on your list...
    Depends what you mean by "widely spoken". I believe French is more 'widely spoken' in that more countries speak it as an official language. Indeed, German, too, might be spoken in as many countries as Spanish. It is true that there are more Spanish speakers, though.

    The best way to learn is immersion, though. That means, if you can't go to the countries themselves, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, constantly talking to yourself in the language in your head. Good luck!
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    (Original post by M'Ling)
    Depends what you mean by "widely spoken". I believe French is more 'widely spoken' in that more countries speak it as an official language. Indeed, German, too, might be spoken in as many countries as Spanish. It is true that there are more Spanish speakers, though.

    The best way to learn is immersion, though. That means, if you can't go to the countries themselves, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, constantly talking to yourself in the language in your head. Good luck!
    Widely spoken in terms of number of speakers.

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Updated: September 7, 2012
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