German or Italian???

Sagason   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 03:07 GMT
which language should I learn?????? Which language should I learn?????
I'd like to learn German because it is a strong language, and its difficulty is challenging but Italian seems interesting and beautiful and I would learn faster than German.... A Hard choice.... or is it possible to learn two languages at the same time?
Clark   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 04:44 GMT
Why not French? It is more useful than the other two (that is, unless you want to go to a German or Italian-speaking country).
wingyellow   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 05:03 GMT
How can French be more useful than German?

Besides France, only poor African countries and Quebec province speak French. In fact, more people speak Cantonese than French.

If you want to learn for money, choose Japanese or Chinese. Otherwise, it doesn't matter at all.
Henry   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 07:03 GMT
I agree. I think Clark is a bit obsessed with French. I'll say German cos I really despise Italian. You know all that bravado about the mafia and acting hard as if they are superior to everyone else kinda crap. Any language other than that...I won't say. But yes definitely learn German if you must or even French. I don't know about Asian languages. I am sorry but most Asians are desperately trying to become Anglicised so what's the point of learning their languages?
Clark   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 07:30 GMT
Well, I am not obsessed with French; I just see the value in speaking it. Tell me, how is German useful outside of German-speaking areas? And Italian is only spoken in Italy.

Here are some interesting notes I have learned:

1.) To work at Euro Disney, you have to speak at least French and English.
2.) The Olympic Games Organisation's two official languages are French and English.*
3.) The United Nations has six official languages, but French and English are the two main languages (this means that most of the official documents and meetings are carried out in French and/or English).

Plus, French is spoken in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. English is spoken on every continent, even in the South Pole! German is spoken in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Italian is spoken in Italy and San Marino (which is convieniently(sp) located within the borders of Italy.

Also; yes, there are millions, soon to be billions, of speakers of Chinese, but where are they all located? They are all in China, and VERY FEW places elsewhere. And these "elswhere places" are not populated by many, or the number of Chinese-speakers pales in comparison to speakers of another language (or languages). For example, California has a large Chinese population, but there are more English-speakers.

I am really very curious to see why you both think German is more useful than French. True, you have not said this in the exact words, but you have led me to believe this is what you mean to say.

* = During the last winter olympics, I listened to the anouncers take their turns to speak; one was speaking French, the other English. And this was in Idaho! Tell me, how many French-speakers can their be in Idaho? Not many, but the olympians who did not speak English, probably knew some French, or vice-a-versa.
wingyellow   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 07:34 GMT
The points of learning Asian languages:

1. some of them are quite rich (even Microsoft wants to enter the Japan's gaming market);
2. some of them are too stupid to learn foreign languages

After all, deciding which language to learn depends on the economic return. I personally recommend Japanese. And the China's market has a hell lot of opportunities, Chinese like to do business with someone who can speak Chinese.
wingyellow   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 07:45 GMT
maybe I was wrong. But I think French is not at all necessary in Asia. Except for showing off, no one learn it. And even fewer people learn German.

I was not talking about Chinese. I was talking about Cantonese, which has 90m speakers. I think it is more than the number of French speakers.

And seriously, what did French people do to deserve the language superiority? We Chinese fought the Japanese for more than 10 years. We were killed, raped, burned and looted, but we defended our land until the last second. We did not surrender. And French people? They lost their land to Hitler and went into exile in Britain.
Hythloday   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 08:27 GMT
If you have mastered English, then you will probably find German easier to learn than Italian. English and German are closely related, whereas Italian belongs to the group of 'romance' languages including French. No language is superior to any other, by the way. If any language was deficient, then it would quickly die out. The mere existence of German, French, Chinese, etc. proves that all languages are capable of doing the job that they are there to do, that the people who speak them are able to express themselves satisfactorily, and that they are all equal.
Antonio   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 12:23 GMT
I agree with Clark. Sorry peeps, but French is the second lingua franca. Only Germans and poor East Europeans speak German. Italian is a very beautiful language and I am proud of being half italian. I also learned German and I really love it.
As to French, I never learned it and I know what I miss by not speaking it. 100 years ago French was in the place English is today, so... no point arguing it.

Besides, almost every German I ever met spoke good English. The Italians speak a terrible English but, at least, they do.
Wingyellow   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 13:10 GMT
Arnold is a German speaking candidate who is ridiculed because of his accent.
Don't say poor Eastern European, because you are using an Eastern European website.
Learn languages for money, not for history. I don't think you can get a better job or explore a newer market by learning French. French is kind of useless nowaday.
I always wonder what you guys learn languages for. Once again, if you are white, learn an Asian language and come to Asia.
Clark   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 16:37 GMT
Wingyellow, you are looking at the French argument in the wrong way. Of course speaking French and no other languages is not going to get you a well paying job, but if you speak English, then you can get a good job. And since we are not talking about English, but German, Italian and French, French is obviously the best choice out of the three. But when compared to English, French is not as useful, but sertainly NOT USELESS. And when French is compared to German and Italian, it is very useful.

In America, even though we have a huge percentage of Spanish-speaking immigrants, French is still the number one language choice for learners.

However, I do not agree with you at all about your theory on why to learn languages. For some people, it works to speak a language for the money, but for me, it is the sheer pleasure of speaking to other people form different places and from different cultures than my own. And then there is the litereature from the many different languages.

When you say French is useless, then I would hate to learn about what you think of German, since of course, it is not nearly as important as French.

But we must remember that if one goes to Germany, the most important and beneficial language one could speak would be German, naturally. But if you went to some place around the world, I would imagine it would be easier to conjure up a Francophone than a German-speaker.
Tremmert   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 17:17 GMT
Ok well here's one fact that puts German right at the top: it's the second most common language on the Internet (English obviously being the most common). The only reason I know this is because it was mentioned in an advertisement for the local Deutsche Schule (sorry if that's spelled wrong) open day, so they're probably biased but the fact is probably true.
Clark   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 17:53 GMT
For some reason, I do not think this is true. Let me research this a bit, and I will get back to you.
Clark   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 18:04 GMT
Well, I did not find exactly what I was looking for, but I found something close.

This link tells about the actual people who are on the internet.
Rene   Tuesday, September 09, 2003, 18:23 GMT
French is one of the working languages of the Secretariat of the United Nations.