Tutor profile: Claudia L.
Italian is not spoken by a huge number of people worldwide - so is it really a waste of time?
There is a certain attraction in learning just for the sake of it - not for any altruistic gain or because it will affect our careers. While other languages may have an effect on the jobs we do and the places we go, Italian will have an affect on our lives. It will fill our souls and release our passions. Just as achieving excellence for its own sake can be very rewarding, learning Italian for the sheer pleasure of speaking it can be equally fulfilling. There is a certain joy in the fact that it is mostly phonetic - hence it is easy to speak and write, normally the most difficult skills - and the sheer satisfaction of mastering pronunciation quickly is difficult to beat when learning a language. Italian will allow you to release your inner fire - speaking about even trivialities will make you sound intense, and words of love are somehow more irresistible in Italian; in the same way, swearing seems much more insulting! Wanting to speak Italian will take you to some of the most beautiful destinations: Italy, Sicily, San Marino, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, Switzerland and Monaco, and give you a passion for food. Italian, quite simply, is a delight not to be missed. You may not need it, but having what we want instead of simply what we need is a delicious allure.
German is highly structured as a language. What appeal could this possibly have? Doesn't learning this complex language have hints of masochism?
No, no, no! First of all, if you want to travel in Europe, then German will get you further: more people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. This is no surprise, as Germany's 83 million inhabitants make it the largest European country. But not only do the residents of Germany speak German, but it is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, as well as being the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Romania. Secondly, if you like rules, structure and logic, then German is the language for you! There are many rules, but they govern every aspect of the language, so you can't go wrong! Once you know the rules, it's easy - and there are so many of them that you always feel safe. You know your boundaries in German - if you are a perfectionist, a learner who needs to know exactly how the language is formed, or someone who needs rules to operate efficiently, then German will give you what you need. If you are fascinated by amazingly long words, then German will allow you the creativity to produce incredibly lengthy adjectives which will leave no guesswork in their descriptive quality. German will make you sound authoritative and well-informed. Finally, the precision of the language is reflected in the precision of Germans generally - they are outstanding engineers, medics and scientists for this very reason. As a consequence, their economy thrives and generally, people prosper.
Apart from passing those all-important examinations exams, why would you take the time to learn French?
First of all, it is a global language: over 300 million people speak French, so you can communicate with so much of the population on the planet! French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. Significantly, it is also the only language, as well as English, that is taught in every country in the world. Much more interesting, though, is that French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. Also of a wealth of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon, Stromae and Zinedine Zidane! It is also the language of love...
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