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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:56 pm 
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Which language is it easier to learn and get an A in?

I learnt French and found the grammar quite complex; there were lots of variations. Have no idea about German.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:01 pm 
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Is Spanish not an option? Between French and German I am not sure as never did German.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:08 pm 
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Are you asking on behalf of a DC who has to take foreign language to GCSE despite not wanting to do one, and so just wants not to spoil their record by not getting a good grade, by any chance?

The answer is one or the other or neither, depending on how the learner personally 'gels' with the language. How does the learner in question feel about the two languages?

Edited to add, can't agree with booellesmum, personally, having returned to Spanish at an evening class this year :roll: . I did by all accounts do a pretty good job of getting DD up to end of year 7 German in six weeks after she got a very late in-year place at grammar school three years ago, though.

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Last edited by ToadMum on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:13 pm 
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DS is learning French, German and Spanish in yr7 and, in helping with revision, I am finding Spanish really easy, German ok and French the most difficult (though I did French at HS). DS also finds French confusing/difficult compared with German.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:31 pm 
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I found languages particularly challenging, I'm a logical thinker and like a set of rules and have to say I found German significantly easier than French or Italian. My son opted for German too. Also the spelling seemed much more straightforward. I suppose if your enthusiastic about one of the choices that would help.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:47 am 
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I speak all three and found them, in order of difficulty, German easiest, Spanish next and French hardest.
All three of my children have also studied all three. They would say German is hardest. All think Spanish easiest.
So, bottom line, different people find different things easy and hard. Spanish has the reputation of being the easiest of the 3 GCSEs, which probably means the grade boundaries are higher and it is therefore harder to get an A.

Can't the child just choose the one s/he likes best?

One word of caution - do not go thinking that any language GCSE is going to be 'useful' in any real world sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:18 am 
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I second what Amber said.

I would also add that it is said that Maths, Music and German go together. So if your child is mathematical and musical, they may well find German the easiest. True so far with my lot (and I didn't tell them that before they started languages!).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:26 am 
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Dd1 really agonised over this at the decision time. It was interesting what happened- she chose French because she liked the sound more, and was very sad that her BF would not be in class with her, as BF chose German. Both girls v bright, BF more methodical and hardworking (and maths oriented).

Apparently German was easier at first and in Y7-8 as the vocab is more like English.

However once in the GCSE stage, BF marks crashed below her predicted A* Dd1 marks went above her predicted A. They told me the German grammar was now much harder to understand, while French was more intuitive to an English speaker.

Just my anecdote.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:07 am 
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Does your child find spelling a problem? I hear that German is easier to spell. Spanish, of course is almost phonetic, but is it offered at the school? Would your child be interested in it?

We do have a lot of words that come from French and German in English and this should be an advantage. However, the same Latin based words are found in Spanish. What is more difficult later on would be the use of the subjunctive in both French and Spanish, although as I don't speak German, I don't know how much the subjunctive is used in the language.

The subjunctive is difficult to English speakers as it is almost never used. You would find it in constructions such as "If I were Prime Minister I would lower taxes". Nowadays, we are hearing more "If I was..."

What does your child like? I loved French and still do as I found it such a lovely sounding language. My son has gone for German and he really liked it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:40 pm 
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salsa wrote:
What is more difficult later on would be the use of the subjunctive in both French and Spanish, although as I don't speak German, I don't know how much the subjunctive is used in the language.

The subjunctive is difficult to English speakers as it is almost never used. You would find it in constructions such as "If I were Prime Minister I would lower taxes". Nowadays, we are hearing more "If I was..."


German has multiple subjunctives! In addition to the "if I were a rich man" construct, there's a fabulous "Konjunctiv I", which is used to report speech and/or to convey scepticism in a devastatingly concise way. Instead of a "he said..." preface, individual verbs have a different form and spelling. You can also express it in various tenses - past, future, etc.

There's a German tendency to shovellotsofwordstogetherintoacompletelynewwordforwhichtheyclaimnoadequateindividualstandalonewordexists. Deciphering those can be daunting at first, but part of the fun. Educated Germans enjoy putting their verbs half a page or more away from the verb's subject, albeit in the same sentence. That's also fun for anyone who has the sort of brain that can readily work out 11+ style puzzles. Some of the funniest movies and best "Krimis" (crime drama) I have ever seen are German language ones. Watching them, even with subtitles, is massively more enjoyable than most of the wall-to-wall cheap, voyeuristic, reality tv tripe served up here.

I really enjoyed learning German and found it very logical and comparatively straightforward to pronounce to a level that doesn't grate too much with a native speaker. I loved French when I studied it, but the pronunciation (and therefore the spelling) is full of pitfalls for the unsuspecting. My command of Spanish is rudimentary, but I've often thought it would be a handy language to have. Choose one you like and view it as a means to have fun with new people, watch movies and find out a bit more about our near neighbours and export markets. A positive attitude and a bit of hard graft with vocabulary really helps with language learning.

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