Learning Chinese or Spanish?

<p>For a person who is already fluent in French and English and wants to learn a third language in college, which would you recommend: Chinese (Mandarin) or Spanish?</p>

<p>What I’ve gathered so far:</p>

<p>*Spanish – a virtual second language in America several people speak it. Useful in South America, Spain, some parts of Europe. For a French speaker, learning Spanish shouldn’t be hard and it may even be possible to self-teach. How much of an asset is it to be able to speak Spanish in America? Abroad?</p>

<p>*Chinese – difficult for non-native speakers to learn. Challenging and involves memorizing an entire new set of characters. Many businesses and multinational corporations in America are trying to move into the Chinese market, but how much of an asset is it to be able to speak Chinese? Do many people in China speak English anyway?</p>

<p>So, of the two languages, which would you choose and why?</p>

<p>I speak both so I would probably go for Spanish first in your case since it's a bit (a LOT) easier to learn and then if you're up for it, learn chinese. Not many people speak english well in China.</p>

<p>If you ever want to do anything related to business or Asia, I would recommend learning Chinese. A lot of people say that as long as China's economy doesn't expand too quickly, the 21st Century will belong to China. So by the time our generation is 40-50 years old, China will be a big player in the global economy and international politics. Hence, Chinese will be pretty useful. Just in terms of ease of learning in the long run, you should probably start trying to learn Chinese now because it's been shown that it's more difficult to learn languages as you grow older. Also, learning written Chinese may be more work than it's worth unless you plan to live in China. Learning to speak Chinese is relatively much easier, but still much more difficult than Spanish since Chinese isn't the sort language you're used to where there's a clear system of verb conjugations. </p>

<p>Despite everything I've said above, Spanish is clearly much more important in America and South America.</p>

<p>In addition, Spanish is at its roots a romance language. Meaning you get a lot of feel from certain sounds you've heard all your life that have good connotations (ben, bon) and bad connotations (mal). It's just more intuitive.</p>

<p>Also, in a pinch, you can say an english word in a spanish accent or just add "o/a," "cion," or "dad," and still be right. In non romance languages you really need to know the word or you're screwed (unless you're in japan, where they have a lot of borrrowed words, but the meanings can be really different and there arent as many as youd like)</p>