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Greek or French?

superstressedkidsuperstressedkid Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hi there! I am about to begin my freshman year! My school requires 4 semesters of a language before a study abroad language immersion program. I was initially considering French, because I have always loved the language, but lately I've been considering Greek. My parents do not like the idea of me studying Greek, because they feel it is much less useful than French. I feel like Greek is good because I am interested in the language and it's not as common to be fluent in as French is, but Greek is only spoken in Greece and modern Greek isn't the same as Ancient Greek so I couldn't use it to study ancient texts. French, on the other hand, is spoken in many parts of the world besides France, and I could study French plays, etc. Thoughts? Thanks!!

Replies to: Greek or French?

  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    Where besides Greece (a country that is becoming less and less geopolitically relevant in the world with every passing day) is modern Greek used?

  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame Registered User Posts: 3,019 Senior Member
    Modern Greek is not very useful unless you are planning to go into classical archeology and spend a lot of time in the country. Go with French.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,819 Senior Member
    Or German or Spanish or Italian (if your school offers it). Go onto one of the free online language courses (like DuoLingo) and do a couple of lessons in them. Turns out that many people 'get' some languages more natively than others. See if that is true for you. If your school offers Italian, it is (imo, obviously) easier than French or German.
  • zapfinozapfino Registered User Posts: 2,835 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    As others noted, French will be more useful.

    In part, it depends on your academic and career interests. Modern Greek could be useful is you are interested these fields: classical studies (including Byzantine studies); religious studies (e.g., Eastern Orthodoxy); comparative literature (though you'd need more than one foreign language); Balkan studies (including topics as diverse as history, politics, ethnography and folklore, etc., though study of additional Balkan languages would be helpful); possibly Slavic Studies (though in that case, you should focus on Russian or other Slavic languages first); and, of course, Hellenic Studies itself, if your interests are mostly limited to Greece. Of course, your interest might just focus on personal and cultural enrichment, travel, or, as you noted, a linguistic interest, and that's OK, too.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,917 Senior Member
    I agree with the others that French will be more useful for most people. One additional consideration, though: you might want to take Greek if the Greek teacher at your school is excellent, and the French teacher isn't. I think it might be better to learn modern Greek very well than to learn French poorly.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,459 Senior Member
    Does it have to be "useful"? Can't you go with whatever language you're more interested in? Sometimes studying something "impractical" just for the sake of your own self-satisfaction is the very best reason of all.
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 3,011 Senior Member
    Are you sure modern Greek is offered? The only Greek at D's college was ancient and she took it since was planning to do religion grad work. The other advantage of French is in course scheduling since I bet there are more sections of French offered than Greek.
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