Chinese or Spanish

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by maps, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. maps

    maps DIS Veteran

    Nov 23, 2002
    Hi all

    My daughter is choosing her classes for her first year of high school. For the language part, we are torn between Spanish or Chinese. My husband says it would be to her advantage to try Chinese since it may make her stand out for college. I think Spanish would be the more practical language for the US.

    Opinions? (She doesn't care one way of the other)

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  3. mombrontrent

    mombrontrent DIS Veteran

    Mar 8, 2008
    Well ultimatley it's up to her. Spainsh might be easier to learn as I am sure she already has some basic knowledge and exposure of the laguage. However I would probably go with Chinese, that might come in handy in the future especially in business.
  4. afnaechiquita

    afnaechiquita DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2008
    Depending on what she wants to do with her life (although I know I changed my mind from when I was in HS to when I got to college!), both of those are extremely marketable languages. I woud go with Chinese, as it's more challenging and so it would be better to learn while younger versus picking it up later, whereas since there are similarities between Spanish and English, she'd have a better chance of picking up Spanish later if she wanted.
  5. Iforgetmypassword

    Iforgetmypassword "I am Mrs. Nesbit!!"

    Oct 19, 2012
    I'd let her choose.
  6. BuzznBelle'smom

    BuzznBelle'smom <font color=red>There are tomato-ey paw prints all

    Mar 18, 2002
    I think she should decide. While it's nice to think in terms of college and career, it doesn't really matter if she's miserable in the here and now.

    My DS15 chose Chinese last year, because he thought it would be interesting. I know at least one kid dropped the class, and DS ended up hating it, and switching to Spanish this year. DS15 is not the world's best student.

    We did wind up having a Chinese exchange student for a few days, because of the Chinese class. The whole family enjoyed his visit.
  7. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    Chinese is a very difficult language to learn. They really be getting only the basics in high school I would guess. Our school just started offering this and so far the only thing they have learned is how to count and say hello. They have been in class for 5 months now.

    But I would let her choose as well. Has she already had Spanish in middle school? Does she like it?

    My kids are half Spanish and they still didn't want to take it in High school after the middle school experience. My oldest took Latin and my daughter is now taking French(so she can go to Paris:rotfl2:)

    As for what looks better on a college application- well I don't think what language you take really matters- as long as you take one.

    That being said I used to work with someone that was really not bright at all- couldn't do the basic tasks-(his dad was a big wig so he got the job) He could speak Chinese though. And he was responsible for taking out the Chinese business men to dinner. That's it. So I suppose there is the option of being the only one that knows it giving someone job security.
  8. Sorsha

    Sorsha <font color=royalblue>People, don't be like the ch

    Feb 26, 2007
    I took 3.5 years of Spanish in high school. That was 20-odd years ago and the only 3 languages offered were Spanish, French, and German; and none of the others interested me. By the time I was a senior, I was relatively fluent as long as people spoke slowly at me, and were willing to put up with what I am sure was a pretty awful accent. My grandpa volunteered at a church-based community service center/relief agency and would often take me along during "migrant season" (we have a large cherry-picking season mid-summer that attracts farm workers) to help translate for the Hispanic farm workers.

    That said, I have used it very little since my high school days, and have lost almost all of it. I can still translate a little, especially if it is written, or spoken very slowly. I can make myself understood enough to request a bathroom or a policeman, or to order food. I can still count and identify colors and say basic things like good/bad, hello/good-bye, slow/fast, left/right, thank you/you're welcome, etc. That's about it.

    DD18 is taking French and is on her 2nd year. Her sole reason for taking it is that she wants to be able to travel in Europe/France. Honestly, I think she has learned very little. :confused3

    I would let the student choose, but know that Chinese is HARD, and if she doesn't have a natural aptitude for languages it might be discouraging. Also, a lot depends on what she thinks she may do as an adult. Where will she live? What career will she have? In the United States, in a lot of areas, Spanish will be a more "useful" language. In the business/International community, Chinese might be more widely used.
  9. TifffanyD

    TifffanyD DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2007
    If she wants to continue with language in college then it will be easier to find a school that offers Spanish. Other than that, they both seem great. I took French.
  10. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2009
    Asian languages are hard to learn. Not only do you learn a new vocabulary, you also have to learn new symbols. It isn't ABC anymore.

    Both could help her long-term earning potential. A lot of places are looking for Spanish speakers. If she is planning on a corporate career, a lot of corporations are going global and would like Chinese speakers.

    I took one semester of Japanese in college and it was one of the toughest classes I took. But if she wants toward Chinese, the younger she starts the better.
  11. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    Its also something that will stand out on a resume.
  12. Janepod

    Janepod <font color=royalblue>The new dinning plan is out.

    Sep 21, 2010
    Unless she's planning to major in international business of some kind, it won't make a difference in a college application. She should choose what interests her.
  13. Kim&Chris

    Kim&Chris dreaming of relaxing & soaking up the warm sun at

    Mar 23, 2000
    I'd encourage her to choose Chinese, if she's leaning towards a future in business.
  14. taitai

    taitai DIS Veteran

    Jan 29, 2008
    Chinese. Obviously, it is your daughter's choice, but I would pick Chinese. Actually, it isn't that hard to learn. The tones are tricky and that is the tough part. Grammar is really easy. The characters are just little pictures.

    Both languages will be extremely helpful in the future. They are the top two languages in the world in terms of number of people speaking them and that will only continue to grow. Both will be very attractive for future employers.

    My elementary school children are in a Mandarin Immersion program. All they speak in school since they started kindergarten. They think Chinese is super easy and HATE English as it is so hard to learn!!!!
  15. NY Disney fan

    NY Disney fan DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2005
    Spanish because:
    1.) More chance to practice it in the US with various people
    2.) South America will be just as competitive as Asia in the future. (ie, oil, communications industries)
    3.) Easier to learn
    4.) Can watch Spanish TV to accelerate skill
    5.) More need for Spanish speakers in US.

    Funny story: my American friend has a long-distance boyfriend who was native to Germany. They became serious and she flew to Germany to meet his mother. His mother did not speak English and my friend did not speak German. The whole time they both spoke to each other in Spanish!
  16. Sorsha

    Sorsha <font color=royalblue>People, don't be like the ch

    Feb 26, 2007
    English IS hard to learn if you aren't a native speaker, especially if you speak a language that is from a different "family". The sounds/grammar/etc will be totally foreign.

    However, English, and for example, German, share so many similarities, and have roots in the same "family" (West Germanic). It is much easier for a native English speaker, especially one who is a teenager (the older you get the harder it is to pick it up - elementary kids would have an easier time) to pick up a related language. Spanish is easy to pick up for people in the US because we tend to be so exposed to bits and pieces of it from a very young age. Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street? :rotfl:

    For a native English speaker, however, Chinese (Sino-Tibetan family) is completely foreign and shares no roots. That will make it much more difficult.
  17. Riles_and_Gabe

    Riles_and_Gabe DIS Veteran

    Nov 27, 2010
    I had my son take Spanish. Not only do I think it will be useful later on in life here in the US but we also like to take trips to different Countries where their main language is Spanish. If he had felt strongly about another language than I most likely would have let him take that instead.
  18. XYSRUS

    XYSRUS DIS Veteran

    Apr 2, 2006
    My oldest is in Honors Chinese III. He says it is difficult but it is also his favorite class-total immersion since October of his Freshman year.
    IDK. I would let my child decide want language they want to take.
  19. runsandjumps

    runsandjumps DIS Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    While I think Spanish is more practical for everyday encounters ( depending on your area), Chinese will serve her better in a career.
    ETA that I had placed my son in a mandarin immersion program starting at kindergarten. I truly wish we still lived there just for since reason.
  20. Ginny Favers

    Ginny Favers <font color=green>I told my husband I think they m

    Dec 30, 2011
    I don't know, I am very happy I took 7 years of Spanish because it's spoken so much in the US, it's nice to be able to know what's going on. I feel like not a week goes by that I'm not using my knowledge of Spanish to translate something. It was essential when we moved down to the border, but even this morning I was proud that I knew what they were singing about while I was doing my Zumba. LOL.
  21. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    Well, depending on what kind of a career she chooses, Chinese MIGHT serve her better. I think if she plans to live in the US, either on the west coast or in the North East, and if she wants to work in Health care, Spanish is a much more practical useful language to be able to speak at work (for example, a doctor or a nurse can explain to a Spanish speaking family or patient about his/her treatment if he speaks Spanish). Same goes for if she wants to teach in certain areas of the country.

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