Slugs
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I’m in year 9 and am required to take a language for GCSE. So far I have done two years of Spanish and was fairly certain I was going to choose Spanish but I have re thought and am now stuck between choosing Spanish or Latin. I go don’t go to a private school or grammar school and I understand it’s rare to get the opportunity to study Latin at GCSE. I am not interested in the Romance languages or the original Latin authors or anything like that, the sole and only reason for why I’d chose Latin is that I’d stand out on uni and job applications but I’m not 100% sure that is even the case. I know I’d make my life a lot harder for myself in year 10 and 11 if I chose Latin. Should I throw away two years of Spanish to study Latin at GCSE? Should I bother or will the unis not notice? Will this help keep my options open? Please help.
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DoNotMove
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(Original post by Slugs)
I’m in year 9 and am required to take a language for GCSE. So far I have done two years of Spanish and was fairly certain I was going to choose Spanish but I have re thought and am now stuck between choosing Spanish or Latin. I go don’t go to a private school or grammar school and I understand it’s rare to get the opportunity to study Latin at GCSE. I am not interested in the Romance languages or the original Latin authors or anything like that, the sole and only reason for why I’d chose Latin is that I’d stand out on uni and job applications but I’m not 100% sure that is even the case. I know I’d make my life a lot harder for myself in year 10 and 11 if I chose Latin. Should I throw away two years of Spanish to study Latin at GCSE? Should I bother or will the unis not notice? Will this help keep my options open? Please help.
If you want to apply to UCL for uni, take Spanish - I believe they require you to have taken a modern language (Latin obviously not being one). I don't think it particularly makes you stand out on your UCAS application, it's not that rare and universities don't particularly care about what GCSEs you do within a kind of area (e.g. expecting STEM students to take sciences, humanities students to do essay subjects but this is mostly overriden by A-Levels?) so Spanish and Latin are the same vibe. I'd definitely lean toward taking Spanish, especially as you've done it for two years. Latin is not easy at GCSE - I knew people who studied from Year 7 through to 11 and barely passed, so imagine all the work you'd be putting in to get it done in 2 years.
I hope you come to the right decision (:
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RebeccaB_x
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Spanish is way more practical. Unless you have a passion for Latin which it doesn’t seem you do, I’d say take Spanish.
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ashtolga23
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You wouldn't stand out imo, and some universities actually don't count ancient languages as languages. Having said this, I suppose it depends which university and degree course you want to pursue. Maybe Oxford would favour Latin, but UCL would favour Spanish (I can't say this with certainty but it's my experience and the advice I've been given in the past).

I took it because I struggle with languages and it was easier for me, due to the fact there was no speaking/listening element and the papers really played to my strengths (literature and history). They're very different in structure so consider it carefully.
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mintchocchip
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I took latin and I really enjoyed it. I found the literature interesting and I think it helped a lot with English lit essays. I did OCR and for lit, you basically have to memorise the translation and annotations for specific parts. I did that and got 93% (better than English Lang lol) but I also find memorising things v easy.

If your only motivation is to stand out (which you won’t cuz chances are in 10/15 years your employer will want your skills and for you to apply the stuff u learnt at uni, not the fact that you did latin gcse).

I also did latin for 4 years (once a week as was extra curricular as also at a state school) so it was more relaxed I guess.

Literally just pick the one u enjoy bc you’ll spend the next 2 years studying and revising it.
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softhbb
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(Original post by Slugs)
I’m in year 9 and am required to take a language for GCSE. So far I have done two years of Spanish and was fairly certain I was going to choose Spanish but I have re thought and am now stuck between choosing Spanish or Latin. I go don’t go to a private school or grammar school and I understand it’s rare to get the opportunity to study Latin at GCSE. I am not interested in the Romance languages or the original Latin authors or anything like that, the sole and only reason for why I’d chose Latin is that I’d stand out on uni and job applications but I’m not 100% sure that is even the case. I know I’d make my life a lot harder for myself in year 10 and 11 if I chose Latin. Should I throw away two years of Spanish to study Latin at GCSE? Should I bother or will the unis not notice? Will this help keep my options open? Please help.
Do Spanish, Spanish is used more than Latin, plus if you think you’ll do better in Spanish than Latin, then go for spanish, unless you have some strange passion towards learning Latin which I don’t think you do, once u complete your gcses it won’t even be a big deal anymore, for gcse just do what you like and what you are good at. Don’t make it as complicated for yourself at this stage ✨
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Slugs
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(Original post by DoNotMove)
If you want to apply to UCL for uni, take Spanish - I believe they require you to have taken a modern language (Latin obviously not being one). I don't think it particularly makes you stand out on your UCAS application, it's not that rare and universities don't particularly care about what GCSEs you do within a kind of area (e.g. expecting STEM students to take sciences, humanities students to do essay subjects but this is mostly overriden by A-Levels?) so Spanish and Latin are the same vibe. I'd definitely lean toward taking Spanish, especially as you've done it for two years. Latin is not easy at GCSE - I knew people who studied from Year 7 through to 11 and barely passed, so imagine all the work you'd be putting in to get it done in 2 years.
I hope you come to the right decision (:
Thanks for the reply. I hadn’t realised some unis required a modern language. Now I realise if anything taking Latin would narrow my choices rather than keep my options open. I still feel like I’m missing out on an opportunity though...
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DiamondDia
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I would say Spanish, not only would it benefit you in the modern world and globally, it also would be fairly easier as you probably already have some background knowledge on speaking the language. Latin however is kind of an outdated language, not many people speak it. I feel like either Spanish or Latin will still make your CV and portfolio good as they’re both still languages. But just to be safe I would say take Spanish, Latin is kinda hard to learn, especially at GCSE when you’ve not came across anything like it. Latin does not have many links to English as Spanish does. But it’s entirely up to you what you wanna do, if you have passion for Latin, do it.
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Quick-use
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I'm surprised your school doesn't distinguish Latin and Spanish as 'classical languages' and 'modern languages'. I didn't think schools would allow students to substitute a classical language for a modern language, considering how completely different the curriculums are.

Latin really won't make you stand out in my opinion. If you're not particularly interested in doing Latin, 100% go for Spanish.

P.S. I studied 2 languages up to A level (in Scotland) and did a degree in 3 languages. I can read quite a bit of Latin just because of my background in other languages. Feel free to ask me questions if any.
Last edited by Quick-use; 2 days ago
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FrenchOwl2212
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Whilst Spanish is more useful, and would equip you with the skills to learn other Romance languages (I learnt French at school and easily taught myself Portuguese and conversational-yet still quite bad- Italian and Spanish (I have looked at Latin too, having a modern Romance language is more useful to teach yourself latin than vice versa if that's of any interest)). Latin is still extremely interesting, yet is probably less relevant to uni applications. (Have you considered doing the two of them at GCSE together? I think that would be an interesting choice.
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h.annahtamara
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As someone who did both for GCSE, do Spanish. So much more useful and not as hard.
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FrenchOwl2212
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(Original post by h.annahtamara)
As someone who did both for GCSE, do Spanish. So much more useful and not as hard.
Oh that reminds me of Latin grammar. It's more difficult thanks to the 'delightful' noun cases.
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h.annahtamara
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(Original post by FrenchOwl2212)
Oh that reminds me of Latin grammar. It's more difficult thanks to the 'delightful' noun cases.
please im getting flashbacks eek. Honestly i felt like i was catfished when i picked Latin because i didnt know it was required to literally memorise text in Latin and their translation, then analyse it. Pure torture. That said, I did better in Latin than Spanish lol
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black tea
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Spanish is easier and more practical, however the level required for GCSE is pretty basic so you will not have a good level of Spanish at the end of GCSEs if that is what you are hoping for (even if you get an A*). I suspect Latin would be at a pretty basic level too but I personally think it would be more interesting, and potentially a talking point when meeting people. I doubt it will make much of a difference for uni or job applications though and unless you have a specific interest in one of the two, it is probably best to go for the one which you think you will be able to get a better grade in
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