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    Hi, I want to study Spanish at university but just can't decide whether to combine it with either Italian or Portuguese as a beginner language. I wouldn't say I'm a natural at languages and have to work hard (predicted a B at A2). Has anyone experience of combining the aforementioned languages? I'm having silly worries such as wondering if Portuguese may be too similar to Spanish and I will mix the two up. I am thinking that two languages will be more useful to me in the future, especially as teaching is one of my career possibilities.
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    (Original post by CPNICO)
    Hi, I want to study Spanish at university but just can't decide whether to combine it with either Italian or Portuguese as a beginner language. I wouldn't say I'm a natural at languages and have to work hard (predicted a B at A2). Has anyone experience of combining the aforementioned languages? I'm having silly worries such as wondering if Portuguese may be too similar to Spanish and I will mix the two up. I am thinking that two languages will be more useful to me in the future, especially as teaching is one of my career possibilities.
    Hi,

    Portuguese and Spanish are indeed similar, to the extent that they are partially mutually intelligible, although generally Portuguese speakers can understand Spanish better than Spanish can understand Portuguese. And as a romance language, Italian is similar to both Spanish and Portuguese, so there would be room for a few mix-ups whichever you choose. However, you shouldn't let that put you off. It's all part of the learning process and even people who are fluent mix things up on occasion. That said, the similarity can actually be useful. I find having a knowledge of Spanish is very helpful in my work as a translator of Portuguese.

    I would definitely say it's worth making the effort to do two languages as it will widen your options. My personal opinion is that Portuguese would be more useful, with over 200 million speakers and Brazil being an emerging economy, but what and where you might be thinking of teaching may have a bearing on your decision.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
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    If started university doing a post A level and beginners language. From the start of applying for the beginners language I wasn't really feeling it and now I just study my post A level language. Beginner language classes are fast paced and a lot of hard work so I would say to go for it if you are really enthusiastic about the new language and willing to put the work in. It certainly won't hold you back majorly in the future with just one language because you are studying that one language on a broader and larger scale.


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    (Original post by Leanne1455)
    If started university doing a post A level and beginners language. From the start of applying for the beginners language I wasn't really feeling it and now I just study my post A level language. Beginner language classes are fast paced and a lot of hard work so I would say to go for it if you are really enthusiastic about the new language and willing to put the work in. It certainly won't hold you back majorly in the future with just one language because you are studying that one language on a broader and larger scale.


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    Thanks for your reply. It's helpful because it makes me realise that I could perhaps start with two languages and drop one if I, like you, find it too difficult to cope with two for whatever reason. If you don't mind me asking, which languages did you choose and which one did you drop?
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    (Original post by FionaMG)
    Hi,

    Portuguese and Spanish are indeed similar, to the extent that they are partially mutually intelligible, although generally Portuguese speakers can understand Spanish better than Spanish can understand Portuguese. And as a romance language, Italian is similar to both Spanish and Portuguese, so there would be room for a few mix-ups whichever you choose. However, you shouldn't let that put you off. It's all part of the learning process and even people who are fluent mix things up on occasion. That said, the similarity can actually be useful. I find having a knowledge of Spanish is very helpful in my work as a translator of Portuguese.

    I would definitely say it's worth making the effort to do two languages as it will widen your options. My personal opinion is that Portuguese would be more useful, with over 200 million speakers and Brazil being an emerging economy, but what and where you might be thinking of teaching may have a bearing on your decision.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
    Yes, it does help and thanks so much for replying. I agree that two languages could turn out to be more useful and, another poster Leanne has given me the idea of starting with two and dropping one if I find it too much. I am still very torn between Italian and Portuguese though. Italian would be better if I went into teacher later on but Portuguese is better for general business apparently. Of the two languages, I like the sound of Italian but my Spanish teacher said that Portuguese may be more useful. Decisions, decisions ....
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    (Original post by CPNICO)
    Thanks for your reply. It's helpful because it makes me realise that I could perhaps start with two languages and drop one if I, like you, find it too difficult to cope with two for whatever reason. If you don't mind me asking, which languages did you choose and which one did you drop?
    I started off doing Advanced German and Beginners Italian and Translation Studies. Even before starting university I was a little unsure about Italian and couldn't really get into it because it was so different to German. I also had no personal connection to the language as I do with German. If my university offered it I would have fine beginners French. I wouldn't start with the idea that you can just drop a language because, like me, you will end up having a pile of catching up to do because of the new modules you pick up in its place or you will have to complete a whole year doing something you really don't enjoy. I swapped after 3 weeks and that was right near the cut off point for being able to change. Chances are if you don't have a feel for the language before you go, you won't after three weeks of lessons.

    If this is the case maybe take your post A level language at university and do a language course on the side- less pressure, less demanding and you can leave it freely without it affecting your degree.


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    Thanks Leanne, that's really helpful and such a good point about not starting and then dropping a subject if I can help it. Good advice, thanks very much.
 
 
 
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