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GCSE Latin or French

I’m thinking of studying gcse Latin instead of gcse French but not sure which one to go for. I only started learning Latin in year 9. I've been told that Latin is taught from a young age at independent school so it will be difficult to get a good grade as most of the children who learn Latin at independent schools do it to a very high standard. But I’ve been learning French since year 7. I'm also definately going to be studying gcse German along with either Latin or French.

Please could someone suggest the pros and cons of doing French compared to Latin? For example, are there less resources for Latin so is it difficult getting gcse books for Latin?
Reply 1
So, I would go for French as it’s a modern spoken language that could be of real use in the future. This said, being qualified in Latin has some mystique and for some crazy reason is a marker of intelligence even though all you can say is that ‘Marcus threw the spear in the garden’. It got Boris Johnson much further than he warranted. My real advice is do which ever sub you prefer, it’s only GCSE after all
Latin is more complex as you have to conjugate nouns and adjectives as well as verbs, plus you have tenses such as the ablative and vocative which French doesn't.

That being said, you won't have a speaking exam in Latin, whereas you will in French.

If you have any desire to take Classics at university, the Latin will be more beneficial. However if you're going to go down a more modern languages sort of route the French would be preferable
Reply 3
There are plenty of resources for both. Do whatever one you prefer. At GCSE it doesn’t really matter, excepting for what A levels you’d like to study perhaps
I did latin and german at gcse for my languages (and i'm doing latin a level now :smile:)
The main reasons why i loved latin over the modern foreign languages
1. The way they teach grammar is *very* structured which really helped me. I found it much easier to get taught all the grammar + structures clearly and then being able to slot vocab in to make sentences (if that makes sense), but i was barely taught grammar for German which made it feel harder
2. The texts you do are way more interesting. Instead of having to translate another passage about going to meet my friends at the cinema, you get to do some weird stories- like onions and fish raining from the sky lol. Plus there's your set texts (prose and verse) which you learn a translation of + analyse in questions. I really didn't like analysing stories in english lessons, but I loved Latin analysis (probably cause there's cool mythology stuff as well)
Having a good teacher for latin really helps, or it can get kind of boring, but if you find it fun then i'd go for it. It'll help your english grammar as well.

From a practical point of view, french is more helpful in the long term, esp if you want to take it to a level (since you'll end up with a much better level of fluency then) and you can end up semi-fluent in a foreign language. But if you're not really planning on taking either of them further than gcse, then do whichever one you prefer
Reply 5
I did both in gcse and achieved 9 in both, from my experience, latin is easier than french as it requires students to study it to a much simpler level. do keep in mind that it requires studying some literature, whereas french doesn't.

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