Which language is better to learn : Mandarin, Spanish, French or German?

Next year I am going to a school which uses the International Baccalaureate [IB] education system. I have to learn one of the languages from above until the end of grade 12. For the languages there are two levels - ab initio [for people who have little or no experience in the language] and higher level [ for people who can speak fluently]. I've learnt French for 1 and 1/4 years and I am roughly an A/ A+ student - this means I will probably need to go to the higher level. Presently, I'm contemplating between French [ higher level] and German and Spanish at the beginner level. If you have learnt any of these languages please give me your personal opinion for the languages [ eg. diffuculty, enjoyment, similarity to English]. Thanks.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Depends on you. If you're good at languages and/or have an interest, why not everything? I've studied all of those and each has it's good and bad points. (French and German 2 years so far, Spanish 1 semester; Mandarin, native speaker, but I'm no longer fluent; I'm actually better at Japanese than any of the above)

    Good points

    Mandarin - Grammatically the language you have up there. No genders, cases, tenses or grammatical irregularities to learn. Might be the smallest vocabulary you'd need to be considered fluent; if current trends continue, could be more important that English in 20-50 years (get a head start); highest number of speakers.

    Spanish - Spoken in the most places of those above; most number of native speakers; easy if you're an American and have lots of exposure already. Probably the easiest to spell and pronounce.

    French - Second most studied language in the world after English (according to my university website), so you'd be able to find people everywhere who know it, even if it's just from school. Easiest for reading comprehension if you're a native English speaker. Spoken in places you might actually want to be: Quebec, Monaco, Switzerland, New Caledonia, Tahiti, France (duh), African countries (if you want to do outreach of some kind).

    German - Personally, I think this might be my favorite. I love all my languages the same, but this one just flows in and out of me the easiest. Writing is easier than Mandarin or French. Difficult words are mostly just compounds from simple, basic words making them easier to remember.

    Bad points:

    Mandarin - Might take the longest to get into, you don't have experience because it's so different from the other languages. New writing system to learn too.

    Spanish - Yeah, it's spoken so many places worldwide, but would you actually go to any of those places? They speak Catalan in Barcelona. The South American country I'm interested in is Brazil and they speak Portuguese.

    French - Hard to spell and pronounce, but since you're in higher levels you might not have a problem with that. French people are rude sometimes, but I guess you could say that about anyone.

    German - It seems like everyone who speaks German already speaks English better than I do. Also, it's the least spoken language overall of the ones you have listed.

    I hope this helps. Sorry if anyone disagrees.

    • Steve6 years agoReport

      Excellent answer. Although I must say that German can be as different from English as French is. Grammar, pronunciation, word genders, case system, verb tenses are pretty much foreign towards English speakers. Though judging by his use or 'learnt' our questioneer is British.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Start Speaking Mandarine http://enle.info/LearnChinese
  • 1 decade ago

    Personally, I would go with German.

    German is the closest to English if that is what you are looking for.

    I know ALOT of German, and I find it is fun to speak, and

    I love to listen to music in German. I'm very advanced in the language.German is an enjoyable language!

    Although, pronunciation can be a little difficult, and grammar and spelling can confuse English speakers. Then again, every language is not going to be simple to learn.

    So...I would go with German!

    Guten Nacht!

  • Izzie
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    German! It has it's difficult parts, like any language, but it is the closest to English from those listed. I've been learning it for 6 years and I love it. I'm going to Germany next semester! You should definitely give it a try.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well I think French is very good, i have been learning it for about 3 years but I think Spanish is More useful in the world and you won't find it hard because it is similar to french.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You will probably use Spanish more in business and work life and stuff

    German is kinda hard and really has a lot of grammar but I've heard it's fun (I haven't taken it, but am a little familiar with it)

    BUT!! My all-time favorite is French!!! It's so much fun, it's easy ( a lot of vocab sounds like english words. If they don't, there are a lot of fun tips to memorize vocab) The accent in French is beautiful and will open up a world of amazing literature and the culture's lovely....I suggest French! :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Since you've already got French, I'd continue with that, and start German as well. After you graduate, Spanish will be easier to learn if you speak French.

    Good luck! I would kill to have gone to one of those schools!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Considering that more and more business will be done with China, and that they are growing rapidly into a powerhouse, knowing any version of their languages would be a BIG asset. It will not be easy as it does not have any significant similarity to any European language. Beyond that, it really depends on what you plan on doing once out of school.

  • joker
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago


    I speak it fluently and love it. I know some Spanish and a bit of French, but I do not like those as much

  • Alyssa
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    i think go for spanish or manderin, if you know a bit of french spanish might be easier to learn . but manderin is hard it has diffrent pronunciations that are hard to copy by a western speakers

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