a question.

  Once again, I find myself struggling with my infinite conflicting interests. Why can´t there be more things I don´t like? While this problem occurs fairly often in all number of forms, today it shapes itself as a question: What languages should I take in the fall?

   A recent, priceless conversation on Skype went something like this:

Acacia: “What language do you think I should study this fall?”

Acacia´s mom, completely serious: “Well, how about Turkish?”

No offense to my mom; I would love to learn Turkish. That would be awesome. Unfortunately, my status would officially be reduced to Acacia, Master of Useless Languages. Even more so than now. (Norwegian… who speaks it?)

  Originally, I wanted something extremely challenging and marketable, like Russian, Arabic or Mandarin Chinese. (Enter my disappointment with Franklin´s language department.) My choices as of now are Spanish, Italian, French, and German. I took Spanish for 5 years, and have a lot of it floating around in the part of my brain that is not currently activated. I know I could speak it alright if put in a demanding situation. I decided some months ago to learn German, but after actually studying it and being in Germany for a week or so, I decided something else would be more fun. So, here´s the thing. 

  I´ve decided that for now, my brain can reasonably handle two languages at once on top of English and Norwegian. Although I wouldn´t really have much use for it otherwise, I´m going to take Italian because, well, I´m moving to an Italian-speaking part of the world. I don´t want to be linguistically clueless for a possible 4 years. That´s just plain careless. So, the decision is narrowed down to either Spanish or French. 

  If I studied Spanish, I would become more or less fluent in it after a while. I would be able to speak and communicate marvelously. So many people speak it, too, but I don´t like warm places all that much… like South America, Central America, Spain… those are all warm places. Hmm. It´s such a beautiful language, though.

  If I studied French, I think it would go pretty quickly because it´s so similar to Spanish, but I would be set back to square one. Most likely, I would end up being able to speak both Spanish and French on a mediocre level. However, this would give me communication benefits not only in France, but in Canada and some parts of Africa. Which is worth more: Being able to communicate on a fairly basic level with people all over the world, or being able to communicate with fabulous precision with people in a few specific countries?

  Feedback would be really, really cool. Which language do you think I should study, and why?

14 thoughts on “a question.

  1. åj…er du sikkert at vi kan bare velge ett språk til neste år? det er dritt :(

    MEN, jeg har noe å si–jeg anbefaler at du lære italiensk fordi:

    1. du skal bo i lugano som er en italiensk canton. også jeg tror, siden det er så nære til den italienske grensen, vi kommer til å få mange muligheter til å reise dernede.

    2. italiensk er ganske like spansk når du snakker om lyden og uttalelse, men italiensk grammatik er mer like fransk, faktisk. hvis du tar italiensk, da kan du bruker litt av hva du har allerede lært i spansk.
    oxo, vi har utvekslingsstudenter i år som kommer fra italia og colombia og det klarer å prate med hver andre bare med morsmålet sitt. jeg tror hvis du skal til spania i fremtida du kommer ikke til å få for mye problemer med språk
    i tillegg, hvis du har lyst etter på til å lære fransk, da blir det enda lettere hvis du lære italiensk fordi de er mer like.

    håper det hjelper litt! :D

    • Æ ska selvfølgelig ta italiensk i tillegg hvis æ får anledning til det :) For mæ er det enda viktigere enn hverken fransk eller spansk! Vi må jo kunne snakke det i Lugano!

  2. Though I just thought about this while eating, I haven’t entirely convinced myself of French either. It is a tough language and I remember how getting a bad teacher my third year derailed any interest I had in that class. German would be a great language to better know all Germanic languages, while French would be a great stepping stone into a lot of dialectic languages rather than paralleling languages. I also happen to think Germany is way cooler than France from my visits.

    Who knows, I need to figure this out too it seems.

  3. æ har og litt lyst å lære tysk, men hvis du fant ut at du ikke vil, må æ stemme på spansk. VELDIG viktig i USA(selv om du kanskje ikke skal være der så veldig mye ;) ) og bare varme steder? andes-fjellan?

    men kunne godt ta fransk æ og, så skjønner hvis du bestemmer deg for d. :-)

  4. Another way of looking at it… (from Acacia’s mom) especially being as unique as you are… how many people know Norwegian and Turkish? (In addition to Spanish and Italian in the near future) Perhaps it would be more valuable to know languages not studied by everyone else? You already know a universal language, English.
    Of course Turkish isn’t offered yet, but maybe in the future!

  5. Italien and French or Italien and Spanish? This is just off the top of my head, but Italien and French seem like a nice pair. You would pick up Spanish in a heart beat if you needed it with those two, especially having already studied it. Although, you may remember when we were in Paris that your mom and I had a hard time keeping our Spanish from infiltrating what we remembered of French. I can think of worse problems to have. Anyway…go with your gut…either one will enhance your life, languages are awesome.

  6. Oh, have to put in my vote for communicating on a basic level with people all over the world over fabulous precision.

  7. Thanks for your input everyone! Yeah mommy you actually have a really good point. I don´t feel like I´m realistically going to find any college that teaches Turkish, but I could always just take a year abroad there and learn it basically instantly. It would be a cool combination! For now, I´m going to try for French and Italian I think, and hope it works out schedule-wise.

  8. Acacia, just think, you have already started learning Turkish, plus you practically have a host family plus friends in Istanbul.
    I don’t know why I’m stuck on Turkish, but you loved it so much, and I think it’s going to be an important alliance. Perhaps in the future…in the meantime all l I can say is good luck with French!

  9. I’m coming in late in this game, but I agree Turkish is a must…just BECAUSE YOU WANT TO! You have such a knack for language, you could probably go for 5 or 6. I had a German teacher who spoke 7 well and 4 others not so well. As with everything dearie…go for whatever your heart desires!

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