Learning a foreign language: Which should I choose?

Many high schools offer different foreign languages for students to take. Taking a foreign language looks great on college applications (especially if you stick with it), and it’s neat how many different choices high schools can give you, including Spanish, German, French, Punjabi, and even Japanese. So when learning a foreign language: which should I choose? Of course, each school offers different languages, but usually, you at least have a couple of options to pick from.

Currently, Spanish is pushed pretty heavily in schools. The Latino population in America is always on the rise, and so many believe that learning Spanish becomes far more beneficial than other languages. While it’s true that learning Spanish might some more perks, if your heart isn’t set on learning it, then choose another language that’s more suited to you.

An official in my local school district wanted to eliminate all non-Spanish programs at the high school. This caused an immediate uproar from the language department, as every teacher believed that all languages should hold value and be taught, not just one. I was pushed to learn Spanish at first, but after deciding to learn German, I found that German was where the better fit for me was. Spanish is great, but you definitely should not feel like you have to learn it. Learn it because you want to learn it.

Choosing a language that’s right for me

Also, consider how hard the language is to learn. Languages that are similar to English, such as German, use similar sentence structures and have many cognates (words that are the same in both languages).

The more distantly the language is related to English, the harder it is to learn typically. Russian, for example, is supposed to be a real tough to get down. You might try doing some quick research online about a language to see what’s more up your alley. The best way to choose what foreign language to study is to find a culture that appeals most to you. Learning a language will go hand-in-hand with learning about the culture and lifestyle of a place. If the culture of France sounds interesting to you, then French might be the language for you. Choosing a culture is also important if your school offers you a chance to go on a trip to a foreign country through the language you study.

Take into account what you might like to do for a career. If your big plan would benefit from learning one language over another, take that into account too.
Whatever the case, you definitely shouldn’t feel limited to only one language. You can always take more, or even learn one later. Regardless of when and how you learn it, though, it’s much better to learn a language that fits you.