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WHY IS FRENCH / GERMAN TAUGHT MORE THAN SPANISH?

(80 Posts)
HAPPYFACE Thu 11-May-06 20:15:20

My dh and I had a choice of french or german in state secondary schools. When I said to him some primary schools are starting to do french he said he couldn't understand why spanish isn't taught more. Isn't it more spoken throughout the world than french and german? Thus making it more useful in adult life!
If we have got it totally wrong I'm sorry!
If we are correct, can something not be done?

MamaG Thu 11-May-06 20:16:53

I've htought that too!


<<<dreamily>>> brings back memories of me learning spanish at college, sitting next to gorgeous hippy man who looked like Jim Morrison off of hte doors (but alive, obv).

Blandmum Thu 11-May-06 20:18:01

german used to be taught (in part) because most academic publications in Chemistry were published in German. To be a good scientist at the start of the 20 centuary you had to be able to read german. Nowerdays English is the language of academic publication

rosebea Thu 11-May-06 20:18:52

God only knows, I've met far more spanish people in my life than French or German people! Seems silly to me too. Spain's a huge british tourist destination too. It would make far more sense to teach children how to get by in as many languages as possible when they're young and sponge-brained I think

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:18:54

german wasn't taught at my school - only french and spanish. think i must be in the minority though?

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:19:07

I think french is more widely taught for historical reasons. But it does have a very large number of speakers worldwide - probably as many as Spanish if you count second language speakers (such as large swathes of Africa).

Spanish is catching up though - I've read that it has overtaken german but can't remember where I read it so could be wrong.

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:19:31

porque el espanol es tan dificil

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:19:47

(?)

emkana Thu 11-May-06 20:19:47

I think the reason is that French and German have traditionally been the languages taught at schools, and it turned into a vicious cycle of sorts - because these languages are taught more, more people went on to study them at uni, so more became teachers of French/German, and so on.

Spanish definitely on the way up though, I know of several schools where Spanish has replaced German.

Not good news for poor old me, teacher of German.

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:21:08

tutter. Ojalá que yo supiera la palabra español para "show off".

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:22:04

bum ójala isn't it?

when I said spanish has overtaken german btw i meant in the number of children being taught it at school. in case that wasn't clear!

GDG Thu 11-May-06 20:22:51

Dunno. Ds2 does Spanish at nursery though I prefer it to French.

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:23:27

the subjunctive SP - now who's showing off?

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:28:01

and the past subjunctive too <preen>

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:28:47

it might be wrong though!

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:30:24

but shouldn't it have been la palabra espanola?

(or is palabra one of those wiedy ones that is masculine, in which case el palabra espanol)

(sorry all for spanish geekfest)

Tutter Thu 11-May-06 20:31:15

wiedy? wierdy

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:31:58

bugger. no it is la palabra.

must proof read more.

motherinferior Thu 11-May-06 20:32:06

French and Spanish are both Romance languages, whereas German's, er, not (is it technically Teutonic?); which is certainly why my formerly linguist father made me do an O level in German rather than Spanish.

Mind you he said 'you'll learn Spanish anyway'. Hah. Grumble. Wish I could speak bloody Spanish.

SenoraPostrophe Thu 11-May-06 20:34:25

I always thought german was germanic.

so your father was anti-romance then?

I've always liked the sound of german. it wasn't taught at my school.

sarahhal Thu 11-May-06 20:42:54

Even as a French teacher ( with a smidging of Spanish - OK an A level but 17 years ago ) I have to admit that Spanish is much more relevant to a lot of pupils. I guess it's like Emkana says and it'll be a long time before more students are choosing Spanish as their main language.

HenniPenni Thu 11-May-06 20:49:12

The primary school that my DDs go to teach the children spanish,however the linked secondaries teach french and german but not spanish.

SueW Thu 11-May-06 20:55:46

DD's school teaches French to pupils 5-11 then Spanish when they transfer to senior school (dropping French, not alongside it). One of the things it was criticised for in its last inspection iirc.

Ellbell Thu 11-May-06 20:59:57

I agree that it's for historical reasons. These were the languages that were traditionally taught in schools, therefore these were the languages for which teachers were in more plentiful supply. But the times they are a-changing... Applications to study modern languages at universities generally are in decline... all except Spanish. French and, in particular, German are falling massively. Some university German departments are closing (sorry emkana).

I did German A'level, but after a terrible incident involving the German for 'masturbation' (please don't ask...) I decided to drop it at university and took Italian from scratch instead. Italian is hardly taught in schools at all, but it would (IMH - but possibly a teensie bit biased - O) be a great language to teach at KS2 as it is easy to pronounce and to spell and fun to learn. (Though obviously it has far fewer speakers worldwide than Spanish...)

Amiable Thu 11-May-06 21:00:54

I did French and Spanish at school - German not offered. I then did Spanish & Portuguese at university (got to spend a year in Brazil - only reason I did the course!!)

now I find myself with a German dp, and I'm now having to learn that too. Wish I had done it at school, it would have been so much easier!

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