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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

So for AGES I've been talking about learning another language and I think it's about time I started!
I did a bit of Japanese in High School and tried teaching myself Icelandic (due to my obsession with the country and the music scene over there), but have researched and looked around and worked out that French and Spanish would be the most useful languages to learn if I wish to travel/live in other countries.

My questions are:
-Have any of you learned french or spanish, and what in your opinion is most useful?
- Have you lived in spanish/french speaking countries and which language/culture would be most attractive to an ENFP?
and finally what is the best way four us to learn languages? what worked for you?

You guys are awesome! :laughing:
 

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Well, it's been at least a couple of centuries since French was the International language of business, arts and letters. Right now, I'd stick with Spanish. I sure wish I had. Then, I'd be able to find work.
 

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Spanish many places will hire bi-lingual speakers. Not to mention its much easier !
 

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The French language is much harder to learn than Spanish (there are a lot more exceptions to memorise rather than just rules)

Most of the French speaking people I've met have been kinda arrogant, although immigrants to places like France and Belgium tend to be the exception to this rule since they come from a different culture to begin with

The Spanish speakers I've met have been more touchy-feely (in a fairly natural way) and they were all from Central or South America. The ones from Spain tend to behave a bit differently
 

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As others pointed out, You will find spanish much more useful. Not to mention, you will have a leg up other people when you court those South American Beauties :wink:
 

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Espanol :) It's much easier and there are 300mil people in the world speaking this language.
 

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Would say Chinese would be the most useful in the future, but also extremely hard! and not one of your options.

I've never tried to learn Spanish, but I'm living in Quebec at the moment, and i'm learning french! i find it ver hard! But i will be so happy when i'm good! :D

I'd say spanish, since people seem to find it easier... :) good luck!
so you want to learn to speak or become fluent?

p.s. icelandic is awesome! :D
 

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Hey Guys,

So for AGES I've been talking about learning another language and I think it's about time I started!
I did a bit of Japanese in High School and tried teaching myself Icelandic (due to my obsession with the country and the music scene over there), but have researched and looked around and worked out that French and Spanish would be the most useful languages to learn if I wish to travel/live in other countries.

My questions are:
-Have any of you learned french or spanish, and what in your opinion is most useful?
- Have you lived in spanish/french speaking countries and which language/culture would be most attractive to an ENFP?
and finally what is the best way four us to learn languages? what worked for you?

You guys are awesome! :laughing:
I learned both. Most of my elementary schooling was in French, and I learned Spanish across high school and college. For me, French is clearly the more useful language, as I'm a Canadian, living in a bilingual city where most of the jobs require bilingualism, but you're not in the same boat, are you?

I've been spending the occasional 3-days-to-a-week in Quebec since I was a kid, whereas I lived for 8 months in Argentina. It's hard for me to say which is more ENFP-friendly. I got more of a Perceiving-vibe from South America, and felt very comfortable there. On the other hand, I get some fleeting impression that le Francophonie produces more INFJs, which is great from my point of view.

Personally, for me, Spanish was always the more interesting of the two. I always had a thing for Spanish-language books, and that played a big part in motivating me to learn it. And that's what you need: motivation. Financial, cultural, whatever... it's the only way you're going to follow through and learn the language.

I studied second-language acquisition for a bit, and the scholarly journals all seemed to agree that the people who succeeded in learning languages tended to be the people who planned and scheduled out their approach, and stuck to it. I didn't do this and I really struggled learning Spanish. Once we got past the beginner stuff and it stopped being like French, I actually had to put some serious effort in, in order to keep a passing mark in my course. Between courses, I tried to keep it up by reading, but I wasn't very consistent with that. When I moved to South America though, all my problems were magically solved. I made Spanish-speaking friends, i was speaking Spanish on Facebook, and I was speaking Spanish to survive day-to-day. If an ENFP has to learn a language, that's what s/he's going to want to do: immerse his/herself.

Now, compared to French, Spanish is a little more simplified grammatically, so it's a little easier to speak propperly. That said, French vocabulary is closer to English vocabulary, so sometimes, even when you don't know a word, your intuition will be right anyway (which can make you feel more confident and fluent). One thing I've noticed too is that most of the bilingual Spanish speakers that I met wouldn't switch to English unless you do. This is great because you need that sort of thing if you're going to practice. Many of the French-speakers I've known have tried to switch to English when they sensed I wasn't a native speaker. This can be really annoying when you want to practice.

With all that, it really just comes down to which language you'll be more motivated to expose yourself to. Go for the one that has more movies, music and books that you like. Are there big French/Spanish-speaking communities on the internet for anything you're interested in? Can you travel to a place where either is spoken? How about teach English overseas like I did? What are your options?

I mean, there are a lot of factors right now keeping me interested in Portuguese, but the only one that's actually getting me to practice is the pair of cute Brazilian pen-pal gals on my Facebook chat. You want something like that when you're learning a language. :laughing:
 
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The best way to learn languages for me was Pimsleur. They are language tapes, 30 lessons of half an hour each, and it teaches you languages the way you learned your mother tongue when you were a baby (very conversationally and teaches you to actually talk in the dialect). It's amazing how much it sticks and I still remember most of my Japanese for which I learned 15 years ago. I find it so unfortunate that schools do not know how to teach a language properly and always hated those classes. I have every single language on Pimsleur as you never know when you need to need it. I can copy French and Spanish for you somehow, but the Spanish is Castillian, and the dialect is useless here in California.

EDIT: Oh and you're awesome.
 
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Hmm. Lots of people speaking Chinese.
And I'd say go for Spanish.
But I'm from a place where there are tons of Spanish-speakers, so it's just from experience!
And Spanish isn't too hard.
 

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Learn both if you can! One dream of mine is to learn several languages, so I'm a little biased. :tongue:

I'm learning Spanish. It was actually a practical decision for me: there are a lot of Spanish-speakers around here, it's good to know for jobs, and it's said to be one of the easiest to learn. I really enjoy it, though, and would recommend it to anybody.

I haven't found the perfect method for practicing it, especially my spoken Spanish, but there are some simple things I do. I make flash cards whenever I get new vocabulary lists and I also try to relate the words I learn to English in some way. Whenever I see Spanish writing somewhere, or hear someone speaking it, I take a moment to try and pick out what I can.

For an ENFP, I think the best way to learn a language would be to practice with other people.
 

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I had French battered into me in school and thus, I now would never learn it, because the words I do know remind me of the awful teachers haha....I would learn Spanish if anything.

This is really interesting though, I really wouldn't mind learning other languages, the ability to speak to even more people!!! :cool: I have a Turkish friend who teaches me pieces here and there. I also love the Hebrew language, mmmmm sexy :wink: I know thats a bit wrong isn't it.....Polish in the UK would be good due to the amount of Pols we have here now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much for your feedback guys, please keep it coming! :happy:

Cynthpoet: Thanks

Hardstyler: Thanks

Spikyface: Thanks, I spose the whole touchy/feeling factor is a good thing to keep in mind around the cultures. How is spain different?

Humaning: Thanks, haha I will have to keep that in mind with the chicas :)

Efraim: Thanks

Luka: Thanks, yeah ultimately speaking fluently would be awesome, but I would be happy just to be able to have a basic conversation with someone :). Learning chinese would be crazy, I definitely want to start with something a little basic! :) Yeah I'm fascinated with Iceland, one day I'll get over there.

Essay: Thanks so much for your detailed answer and answering all of the questions I posed! I definitely intend on travelling more once I've graduated, and would love to teach english overseas so anything around that, suggested companies to be involved with etc. please let me know! :)

BassClef: I had a look at the Pimsleur website and there looks like there are a bunch of products available for both french and spanish, what is the title of the ones you have?

Angel1412kaitou: Thanks, unfortunately there are not too many who speak spanish or french in Australia, so it makes it a little harder! :(

Dejavu: I would LOVE to learn both, but it's be good to at least be able to START learning one haha! Thanks for the tips!

ENFPie: haha that's a bit like me learning in spanish, my teacher wasn't that amazing! mind you i do have some of it stuck in my head as we used to watch this childrens show

I probably should have clarified that I am living in Australia, so speakers of spanish and french are not very common. I was based in San Diego for a couple of months and was also in canada for a bit too, so can understand why you're working on the languages suitable for those areas.

I'm really interested in the idea of travelling internationally to teach english as a second language, so I suppose I have that in the back of my head. Also I have a real heart for Africa and developing countries so that's why I was thinking french, mind you exploring south/central america would be pretty awesome too! In 2012 I'm hoping to be in france for a friends wedding also so knowing a bit of french by then would be awesome! However by the sounds of thinks spanish is a lot more straightforward language to learn.

I'm so indecisive though its annoying ... I had a search on the internet and found out that French is the national language of 29 countries, whereas Spanish is the national language of 20.

Another question that is going through my head is how different is the language in different countries? ie. french canadian, spanish in Mexico as opposed to Spain? Are you still able to have a complete conversation with people?
 

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I've been learning Spanish for five years now and am really comfortable speaking. :D It's a fun language..and pretty useful compared to French.

Listening to Spanish songs helps me a lot...I remember the vocabulary gained from them easier. :D

If you're going to teach yourself, the program Byki (it's free) might help. It's helped me with Norwegian. It's basically just a flash-card program, but it helps with the basics and pronunciation. Livemocha is a good website as well. :]

Best of luck!

Side note: Why don't you pursue Icelandic anymore? It's an awesome language. I'm trying to teach myself Norwegian because Norway is awesome..and I love Scandinavian metal. :p But yeah..

*And to answer your question about languages in different countries: There are a few differences in Spanish between Spain and Latin/South America. In Spain, 's' is pronounced like 'th'..and there are some other little things, but you can communicate no problem once you get past the different sounds. :p
 
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Essay: Thanks so much for your detailed answer and answering all of the questions I posed! I definitely intend on travelling more once I've graduated, and would love to teach english overseas so anything around that, suggested companies to be involved with etc. please let me know! :)
Well, I can recommend to you what was recommended to me, which was teach in South Korea or Taiwan. Both have national programs that hire in people like you and me, train us, and cover some of our living costs. It'll go pretty smoothly, and you'll save a significant amount of money. Oh, but yeah, you want a French- or Spanish-speaking place? From my experience with a Spanish-speaking place, I'd say your best bet is to teach business English to multinational companies. I did this through a placement agency and would have been fine except the agency took half my pay. My friend, however, got hired on directly to English-train for IBM, and he's still down there doing great.

Oh, for that to work, it could held to get a TEFL certificate like Trinity or Celta. You can get by without it, but luck becomes more of a factor.


Another question that is going through my head is how different is the language in different countries? ie. french canadian, spanish in Mexico as opposed to Spain? Are you still able to have a complete conversation with people?
French Canadian French differences: In French Canada there's essentially two Frenches. There's the plain French which they'll use in business/formal/normal situations, which is understandable by all French-speakers around the globe. (Compared to a person from Paris, the French Canadian might even use fewer Englishisms in this form.) Then there's the casual, affected, dialectical form, which is harder for non-French Canadians to understand, and which features more Englishisms, swearing on the church, and cool linguistic stuff left over from the 17th century. Think the equivalent of Austin Powers and his father in the third movie. :tongue:

Latin American Spanish: Every country has it's own accent, which is nice and fun, until people stop pronouncing s's. Every country has 100+ words specific to their country, and sometimes verbs mean different things (which is funny when you accidentally say you'd rather make sweet love to the bus than catch it). In Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, they change some of the registers and verb tenses, but it's pretty easy to learn the new ones. They might do this too in parts of Central America.

European Spanish: Has it's own accent, plus they use a form of the 2nd person plural/formal you that Latin America doesn't (imagine if British people still said "thou art...").

All I know is that the only Spanish which sounds like the Spanish that was taught to me in school (by teachers of 6 different nationalities) is the Spanish of Colombia. :crazy:
 
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Spikyface: Thanks, I spose the whole touchy/feeling factor is a good thing to keep in mind around the cultures. How is spain different?
The people I've met from Spain tend to be more aloof; basically they act more like Europeans
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
WOW this Byki software is AMAZING! thanks so much for telling me about it Fenyrr! :wink:

I've also been using these mp3 files called earworms .. pretty much people conversing in english and french with background music, apparently it helps you remember.
 

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I speak a bit of both and find Spanish easier to speak. It just flows out naturally. I find it very satisfying to actually pronounce all the letters in all the words after speaking French. I do find French prettier to read and write, though.

I would say in general Spanish-speaking countries would appeal more to an ENFP, but that's a huge generalization. A bit warmer, a bit more open with outsiders -- but remember that French isn't only for France, it's also spoken in the Caribbean, Morocco, Madagascar, and other parts of Africa, and some Indian Ocean islands (where I live). What's most useful depends on where you live and where you want to live and travel. In California I found that when they needed a Spanish speaker for a job, they would tend to be biased towards hiring native Spanish speakers -- there are plenty of Hispanic people that grew up speaking Spanish at home and English at school, and learning a second language as an adult it will be really hard for you to reach their level of competency in both. If there's a smaller hispanic population in your area but still a need for Spanish-speakers, it may help you out a lot. There isn't much of a market for French speakers except in major cities, but you'd have less competetion. Spanish would be more useful in social service and education, French in international business and government type jobs.

In California, I mostly used Spanish for ordering at restaurants where English wasn't spoken, giving directions, that sort of thing. Where I live now, French is necessary for daily survival and the only Spanish I hear is French guys yelling out "mi amor" across a bar because they think I'm Spanish. So really, Spanish is generally considered the most useful second language but it isn't for everyone, it all depends on where your life takes you.
 

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That's why I think everyone should learn more than two "second" languages. They do this right in most of the world, but here in the US it gets way too parochial for my tastes. I can't stand the "English Only" separatists who brag about their close-mindedness as if it were some blasted war medal or something. :angry:

I wish I were fluent in three languages. (That's me being jealous of Europeans for having been born somewhere other than the USA.)
 

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-Have any of you learned french or spanish, and what in your opinion is most useful?
-Have you lived in spanish/french speaking countries and which language/culture would be most attractive to an ENFP?
1. Yes, I did. But "useful" for what? It depends on what you want to do. If you're going to Canada, Africa, Europe or international organizations such as the UN, OECD etc. then I recommend French. If you prefer Latin America, USA or Spain then I recommend Spanish.

2. Since I am not an ENFP I can not answer that. However, I can help you with the differences:

France has a strong nationalism and elitism. They will only respect you, if you become French, i.e. speak their language, adopt their ways of life etc. They won't speak English with you even though a lot of them learned the language. If, however, you agree to adapt the French model of citizenship, you will receive full support from the welfare state such as healthcare, education etc. It's their way to promote the French model.

Spain, on the other hand, is very laid back, hardly any elitism, much more open regarding their conception of citizenship. You can see that in the separatist movements in the Basque region or Cataluna, so it is more decentralized. The Spanish model isn't about "one country, one language" which is the ideal of France. Their economy on the other hand is weaker and not as industrialized as the French.

Having said that, and considering the former colonies of both countries, I'd say an ENFP would feel more at home in Spanish-speaking countries.
 
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