Which language should I or my child learn?
This question bothered me for a while. In high school I chose to study French – partly because it sounded so deliciously foreign, and most importantly, my parents thought I should learn Spanish instead. Hey, I was a teenager, I had no interest in learning Spanish, despite my heritage on my father’s side (his mother’s maiden name was Garcia).
Now, at the age of 41, it is suddenly vitally important to me to learn Spanish, and immediately thereafter, Mandarin. Why? Because population and business-wise, knowing these two languages is an absolute asset. Now if I were going to be a missionary in Zimbabwe, my choices would be different. Missionary work is not in my immediate future, however, so I am looking at the world languages and asking myself…
- What second language would be best for THIS country? (Spanish, obviously, we are already halfway there in terms of printed literature)
- What language do a huge number of people speak? (Mandarin, at least for business purposes)
- In twenty years, what spoken languages will have the most impact on the world – business and population-wise? (English, Spanish, and Mandarin)
Look at it this way, you already know English. However, if the signs of our slippage/imminent demise as a world power are not as evident to you as they are to me, then all I can say is this, learning another language will help broaden your and your child’s horizons.
Another handy learning tool
In my ongoing quest to learn (and help Emily learn) Spanish, I was tickled to discover that the Mid-Continent Public Library system has teamed up with Mango Languages.
Now apparently this was after Rosetta Stone pulled their language software from all public libraries. [cue sarcasm] After all, in these hard times one wouldn’t want the poor and downtrodden masses to have access to such valuable language software, why that might open it up foreign language to anyone with a library card! I learned this little factoid from one of the librarians and was sorely disappointed with that news. In any case, Mango Languages promises to help move your learning of another language along further. Free access to language software with your library card. How cool is that?
I’m looking forward to diving into it within the next week and investigating it more in depth.
Meanwhile, I also highly recommend Pimsleur’s Spanish Level 1 for anyone ages 8 and above. It’s a little too fast-paced for my five-year-old, but I have really enjoyed it.
p.s. I suspect Pimsleur has done the same thing in regards to the public library system, since I could not find any record of their language learning software either. I have worked with Pimsleur, and really liked it, but I really think that both companies need to re-evaluate their policies and consider allowing libraries to stock their cd’s. Send ’em an email and tell them to make Carnegie proud!