Yes so many people say that but fond hopes of DC with a couple of years' school Spanish under their belts translating usefully anything more than 'Two beers and a cheese sandwich please' (not saying that isn't useful) are misguided. I always smile at these threads where people talk about GCSE languages being useful - honestly: go and look at the papers! It is a useful starting point but no more than that - and MFL GCSEs are so rehearsed and formatted that any type of creative language use (i.e. out of context) will be difficult for students who aren't high-flyers.
Spanish is the most popular language now for GCSE and the only one on the up. We German linguists (fantastic first choice Cricket, and a good username to boot) can be a bit snooty about it, I concede, but it is hardly going to make a child stand out. Whereas Latin is - it is one of the very few subjects still regarded with some respect at GCSE and it would be useful too. My DD adored it (which I know doesn't recommend it - she loved Mandarin too) and has often commented on links with English words since doing it.
Go against the grain and make a bold choice. The world is full of GCSE Spanish linguists.
(Stands back and waits for the explosion!)
You are right, of course Amber - I said I was a simple soul. DSs have proved quite useful for ordering food for us in Spain
My O level Frensh has done me reasonably well, even in business. And, no I haven't looked at any papers! Would I be horrified?