Pick a language, any language

So Sarah and I are thinking of signing up for language classes at City University in the Autumn. There’s a choice, but the trouble is matching it to our levels of ability.

Now I did two language GCSEs – French (eight years’ study) and German (three years’ study) – getting on for 20 years ago. I’ve had to use German in my work, French to a lesser extent. I’ve also learnt some Greek, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, but only at a very functional level

Sarah, however, has A-levels in Russian, French, German and Spanish. Her Spanish is much better than mine; her French is better than mine; her German is about the same as mine, maybe not quite as good.

Here are our choices for languages to learn:

  • French (all levels),
  • Spanish (all levels),
  • Arabic (level one only),
  • German (level two and three),
  • Italian (level one, two and three) and
  • Japanese.

Level two means “rusty GCSE” or better. Level three means “rusty A-level” or better.

So which should we pick?

  • German’s on a bad day for both us, but would probably be the most useful for me, since I’m frequently dealing with German companies and we’d both enjoy getting ourselves properly fluent again
  • French is interesting but we’d essentially be attending different classes for that, which defeats the point of learning a language together.
  • Ditto Spanish (no hablo Espa?ɬ�ol mui bien).
  • Japanese would be utterly useless for us both but would be interesting
  • Arabic would be interesting, but we’d have to stop after a year
  • Italian would be fun and potentially useful since we might actually go on holiday to Italy again. But I’ve already done a few lessons, so I’d be at a very slight advantage.

It’s looking like Italian at that moment, with German the main contender. Anyone recommend a different choice?

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