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 Post subject: spanish or german
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:04 pm
Posts: 89
My daughter is about to choose to study spanish or German in school. She is in year7. She has to choose one to study next year.

I wonder if anyone can tell me the strengths or weakness of these subjects.


thanks
Ik


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 Post subject: Re: spanish or german
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
ik wrote:
My daughter is about to choose to study spanish or German in school. She is in year7. She has to choose one to study next year.

I wonder if anyone can tell me the strengths or weakness of these subjects.


thanks
Ik


German: well structured language, a joy to study especially if you like word building. Spoken only by Germans.
Spanish: Definetely nicer sounding and also spoken by the whole of Latin America with the rather big exemption of Brazil. Unless there is an intention to study in Germany I would go for Spanish.
Unfortunately perosnally I only managed to do a bit of German (very enjoyable) and my son's school makes them do French and German. A pity!

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sj355


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 Post subject: spanish or german
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:17 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Difficult one!

I did F&G at school, two sons both did G&S, daughter now doing F&G. I've been trying to teach myself Spanish for a while, at first via a short evening course at the school (a Language College) to help with the boys, later for holidays etc. I've heard various arguments as to whether F & S "go together" more easily - certainly they share some word roots etc but Spanish sounds more as it's written than French

Our experience is that both boys found German far more straightforward than Spanish - this could be because of the teaching, or it could be the more logical nature of the language,or because the Spanish talk so fast (!) or perhaps even because I wasn't able to help by chatting in "Spanglish" as I could with German. DD similarly is finding German much more inspiring than French - she'll be doing a German exchange trip soon even though she's been doing some French on & off since she was 5, and only German for 18 months

So far I seem to be pointing in the German direction, but having just returned from Latin America I really wish I had better Spanish too. It's strange that so many schools automatically teach French first (historical reasons I guess) when you can only really use it in .... France!

Perhaps just look at the maps of German- speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland...) and Spanish (Spain, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Cuba- though Latin American Spanish does have distinct differences) and decide which appeals most for future travel/work. Or see what the school offers for trips/ exchanges.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:31 pm
Posts: 66
Year 11 daughter's school does French and German. She found the spelling of French difficult, and so dropped French and kept on German. She has used her German on skiing trips, German exchange, and a choir trip to Germany.

German was traditionally taught to boys because lots of scientific papers were written in German. My father had to learn the old Gothic script when he was at school in the 30s.

Spanish is supposed to be easier than French. My sister had both at the same time when she was at school; which she found very confusing. She dropped the French and kept on the Spanish. Don't think she has ever used it. Would have used Italian more.

Personally, I found French easier than German; but I did start French long before I started German. It was the word order in German that I got tangled up with, also more endings!! Most endings in French sound the same even though they are spelt differently. So you only need to think about them when you are writing (which they do less and less at GCSE). Whether Spanish is similar I don't know.

However, there are so many languages out there. A friend worked in Brazil for 3 years. How would she ever have known at school that she would need to become fluent in Brazilian Portuguese??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:04 pm
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Thank you fr all thoughts.

She is currently doing french. They had a presentation at school on the two. Before the presentation she wanted to study spanish, afterwards she is not too sure. She thinks it might be easier to study German.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:15 pm
Posts: 78
Hi all,
My son has started to learn french and spanish this year (year 7). He says a lot of his classmates mix up the two languages because many words are very similar. He is enjoying both though at the moment. I think he will probably use Spanish a lot more on his travels rather than French, but only time will tell.
ik - sometimes the teacher of a language makes a big difference. Does she know who will be teaching German or French? It may be one extra consideration that you could take into account.


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 Post subject: Re: spanish or german
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
solimum wrote:
It's strange that so many schools automatically teach French first (historical reasons I guess) when you can only really use it in .... France!


...and of course there's also Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Seychelles, Mauritius, Morocco, Tunisia, to name just a few!

Full list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:F ... _countries


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 Post subject: french
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
C'est vrai!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
Posts: 450
German is a heavily inflected language, like Latin. English has few inflections:

Sarah's house - the word Sarah changes to Sarah's to indicate 'possession'. In Latin and German, this 'case' is called the 'genitive'.
Man/men. The word man changes to men to indicate a plural
Television/televisions. The word television changes to televisions to indicate a plural
Sheep/sheep. Sheep is uninflected for the plural.

German has many more than our rather limited 2 or 3 inflections. For German, the word ending and (in some cases) the ending of the definite and indefinite article not only change to indicate plural or singular, or possession (genitive), which an English speaker is familiar with, but also for dative (the indirect object of the sentence) and accusative (the direct object of the sentence). Because of the German case system there are numerous ways to say 'the' in German: die, der, das, dem, des, den

Take a look at this website:
http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_cases.htm

If you think your daughter can handle the German case system, then that's half the battle. I remember spending a number of break times at school trying to explain this to a girl who just didn't get it. Not only do you have to understand it, but you have to remember all the details, and then you need to apply it in writing, but harder still, in speech.

Both German and Spanish have simple spelling systems.

French and Spanish have a much closer structure than French and German.

French and Spanish word order are nearer to English word order than is German word order.

French and Spanish have many words in common - this can be either confusing (using the Spanish word instead of the French one), or helpful (being able to identify a word in Spanish because you recognise a similar one in French).

Hope some of this helps

Y


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
My daughter is doing German and Spanish in year 7. She knew a little Spanish when she started - we have Spanish family - but no German at all. She is finding German far easier and more interesting, much to her surprise!


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