I have taken Spanish classes almost every year since I was in eighth grade, studied abroad in Spain for four months last fall, chosen it as one of my majors in college, and reached a rather fluent level of the language. I can meet a native speaker and comfortably have a conversation.
Now, in my last year of college I am taking introductory French classes. Those who know that I am a Spanish major are surprised when they hear that I’m taking French, and ask if I need the elective credit hours for graduation – this is not the case at all. In fact, as a double major, I hardly have room to squeeze the extra class in for two semesters, but somehow I am making it work.
Part of the reason that I began to consider learning another language was from looking into grad school this summer (and topic of several future blogs). Vocal performance graduate programs encourage applicants to have a fairly versatile language background – most programs suggest two semesters of experience in French, Italian, and German, as they are three major languages of western vocal literature. I had never been in a day of class in any of these, so I decided to take either French or German at Erskine this year to give myself an extra leg up.
I chose French because I am not so great at its pronunciation (I’m decent in German, I like to think), it is a close cousin to Spanish, and half of my family’s history is French (as my name gives away). So I enrolled, and now I am two and a half weeks into the class and really enjoying it. I seem to be picking it up fairly quickly, and I am reminded of how much I really love languages. It is sort of strange to be starting from scratch with a language, since I haven’t been at that level in about eight years with Spanish, but it’s exciting to begin learning a second foreign language. And just think, I will dabble in at least two more languages in grad school!