Help me choose foreign language

<p>I am not sure what foreign language to pursue at Yale. I was thinking continuing French, though I will have to start at the lowest level classes since my high school had a poor French program. I was also thinking about doing Spanish as it is widely spoken, especially in California, where I'm from. </p>

<p>I was also thinking about doing Vietnamese. I'm Vietnamese, but I'm not necessarily fluent in the language. I can follow conversations, but that's about it. I can barely speak, read, or write any at all. I think that if I do decide to take Vietnamese at Yale, I'm sure I can be fluent in it by the end of my 4 years since my family speaks it, and I already have a basic grasp of the language from growing up with it. </p>

<p>I am also in the same situation with Cantonese. My family speaks it, but I don't. I can follow short conversations and understand when my parents speak in Cantonese, but I can't really speak, let alone read or write it. Do you guys think it is more worth it taking Vietnamese and Cantonese in college so that I can entirely learn languages that I already have a partial grasp of, instead of starting a whole new language?</p>

<p>In your experiences, can one take up an entirely new language (Spanish, in my case) and become fluent in it by the end of the 4 years in college? Would I be better off taking a language (Vietnamese) that I know that I can become fluent in by the end of my 4 years? Is it possible to take two languages in college? </p>


<p>I think you should pick vietnamese :)</p>

<p>Does your family speak French?</p>

<p>^no they don't speak French.</p>

<p>dude, vietnamese and cantonese have so many tones. i wouldn't take either of them if i were u. french would be WAY easier. i mean, cantonese is supposed to be harder than mandarin (and mandarin is a very difficult language).</p>

<p>i would avoid the tonal south asian languages or the unfamiliar northern european languages.</p>

<p>Do you have any plans on going back to Vietnam? I have a friend who grew up speaking Vietnamese, but also became fluent in Spanish and French. Straight out of college he got an internship in Vietnam that lets him live like a kind before he goes to grad school in the States. However, if you have no interest to ever go to Vietnam to work, it might be a smarter idea to stick to Spanish.</p>

<p>Why not study a north-european language? They're insanely useful...</p>

<p>I would take Mandarin if I were you and if Yale offers it. I know tons of people from Hong Kong that speak Cantonese at home but their kids take Mandarin.It will be more useful later on because there are 1+ billion people speaking this language.</p>

<p>i'm an ANTI-northern european. i prefer the familar of the civilized Asia over the mysterious forest cultures</p>

<p>Not many schools offer Cantonese though (San Fransico does) so if you can take it, go to it. East=Rules and civilization. North is...well cold and dark.</p>

<p>Intonation wouldn't be a problem for me, as I pointed out, because I have grown up with the languages my whole life. The problem is that I'm just not fluent.</p>