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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:08 pm 
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DS is just coming to the end of year 7 and has to select two of the three languages he has studied this year (French, German and Latin) to continue with next year. As he will certainly continue with Latin, and has to do a MFL for GCSE, he is effectively choosing one of his GCSEs now. School has provided no word of guidance on the decision. Although I think it is terrible that they have to drop one so early (with no option to pick it up at a later date), we knew that this would have to be done. I have agreed that the choice will be entirely his but have been subtly trying to steer him towards French, partly because I find it much easier than German (in spite of having studied both for the same length of time) and also because we rarely go a year without at least one holiday in France and rarely go to German speaking countries. I suspect he is still leaning towards German. However he has often expressed a desire to study and work abroad in the future and, given that he is highly likely to study engineering at university, and certainly something STEM related, I was wondering whether German would be more useful. Some hasty Googling has produced no information on language preferences or even any indication of what level of proficiency, if any, would be a prerequisite for a year abroad. Does anyone have any experience or advice?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:12 am 
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If you tend to travel to French speaking countries then this would probably be the greatest help for GCSE as many students struggle with confidence in the oral exams. Or if he is set on German could you change your destinations?

It's a bit of guess work as to come the time which country he might want to go to study for a year. Frankly, GCSE wouldn't make much difference is my guess. He could pick up the same amount of useful knowledge in a short course of the type that most universities now provide.
He might just as well end up in scandavia or China..

I agree that its very early to be making the choice but I'd not worry too much as in practical terms it probably won't have as much impact as you fear.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:54 am 
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There are some engineering firms that have links to Germany and a few are very interested in German speakers.

I would say that German is more 'logical' than French and so appeals to the scientific minded student.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:52 am 
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Seems that Latin would go well with German, being more structured and logical.

Spanish is another language very useful if some one is interested in studying in/relocating to Spain or South America or USA.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:20 pm 
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I'd let him pick which one he likes best tbh, you never know what is going to happen in life, so you can't plan for it.

I picked French (purely because if I picked German I had to do geography which I hated).

Preferred German, but not enough to tolerate geography.

What I didn't know was I would end up marrying someone who is part German. As an engineer German would have been useful on a few ocassions, however I am currently working in a project with a French speaking client.

According to DDs German teacher, latin is really useful when learning German, weirdly her French teacher says much the same about Latin being useful when learning French.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:21 am 
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Tinkers wrote:
I'd let him pick which one he likes best tbh, you never know what is going to happen in life, so you can't plan for it.

I picked French (purely because if I picked German I had to do geography which I hated).

Preferred German, but not enough to tolerate geography.

What I didn't know was I would end up marrying someone who is part German. As an engineer German would have been useful on a few ocassions, however I am currently working in a project with a French speaking client.

According to DDs German teacher, latin is really useful when learning German, weirdly her French teacher says much the same about Latin being useful when learning French.


Interestingly in French secondary schools Latin is still commonly taught so can understand why the French teacher would say this.

Also agree that I would leave it to DC. My DS took both French and German but preferred German. Ultimately he was forced into French with the result that he doesn't have a MFL qualification at all now and yes you certainly don't know where life will take you so too much planning can be utterly futile and ultimately restrictive.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:39 am 
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Have you considered him dropping Latin and doing both French and German? If he's planning to study engineering with prospects of studying/working abroad wouldn't this provide most options?

Unless of course he's planning to one day construct a time-machine and travel back to ancient Rome... :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:00 pm 
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my DC chosen German as feels more engineering firms prefer German...I am not sure 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:14 pm 
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topsyturvy wrote:
my DC chosen German as feels more engineering firms prefer German...I am not sure 8)



Doesn't make any difference tbh. I'm an engineer and don't really know any German. I've never been asked if I do. Even when I've had dealings with German engineering firms, the German engineers speak English (I know, terrible British attitude).

Any language will at some point come in useful. At the moment French is useful to me at work for the first time in 20+ years. In the past I've spent several weeks working in the Netherlands. It's a myth that all Dutch speak English, they don't. None of the guys in the workshops did. I picked up enough to basically get by.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:44 pm 
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thanks Tinkers i guess it is a Myth that German is better. Now, taken so will just have to do..


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