1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. German or Spanish?


German or Spanish?

Hi, I'm a native English speaker and have been studying French for 5 years. I'm studying it for my GCSEs and now want to learn another language simultaneously outside of school using Duo, basically as a hobby but also because it will look good on my CV, but I don't know whether to choose German or Spanish.

I've studied German for two years before and also have relatives who live in Germany, but I have no previous knowledge of Spanish and no one I know is fluent in it. However, I have heard that Spanish is much easier than German, but that it might get confusing learning it with French because French and Spanish sound more similar than French and German do. On the other hand, Spanish also has more speakers worldwide so it might be more useful.

Does anyone know if this is true or have any advice? Thanks :)

January 2, 2018



Reading your post, my first thought was German since you have relatives there, but which one are you actually more interested in?

How "useful" a language is to a person is subjective. There may be more Spanish speakers worldwide than German speakers, but do you have a desire to travel to Spanish speaking countries, make Spanish speaking friends, read books originally written in Spanish, or any other interest that you'd like to use the language for? You can ask yourself the same for German. Do you have any particular interest in the language or culture? Since you've already studied it for two years, and are now considering a different language, perhaps you're not as interested in German?

Your French should help make Spanish easier to learn, and you may mix them up a bit when you get started, but I wouldn't let that discourage you. Plenty of people learn both because they're so similar. I'd go ahead and pick the one you're most interested in. If you change your mind, then you can go ahead and change the language. :)

Bonne chance!


Personally, I prefer the sound of Spanish, and I don't have any particular interest in either culture but if I had to pick one purely based on the language and the culture it would be Spanish. I've started doing German because of my previous knowledge, but we didn't do a great deal of grammar work as it was only at a KS3 level. I think I'll try Spanish too and then choose once I've had a go at both. Thanks :)


Why not both? ;)


I thought about that, but I was afraid it might be too much to take on. Then again, I don't want to take German or Spanish as far as my French: I want to live in France so I would like to be able to speak like a local, but as for the other two I just want to get to sort of an intermediate/advanced sort of level.


I got an idea, do Spanish first and after you become fluent, then German. German is very different from French on the way sentences are shaped. They have 4 grammatical cases which have to be memorized to even understand a majority of the language.


Don't worry about confusing French and Spanish. They are easy to tell apart.


I had a look at both and decided to pursue German, at least for a little while (hence why I'm now level 5 German) and I think I'll see how that goes for now. Already I can see how complex it is, so I might try Spanish for a bit too and decide which language after looking at them both. Thanks for your advice :)


Just go with whichever one you will use, if you have relatives in Germany, then it might be best to learn German.


Thanks, here's a lingot :)


Depends on where you live/where you're planning on living, as well as what you need another language for. I'd say Spanish is useful and fun all the way, but that's not the only deciding factor in what language to learn. These are from what I've experienced:

Pros of Spanish: For many people one of the easiest languages to learn, around a quarter of people in the USA speak it (many immigrants still struggle with English so knowing Spanish makes it easier for them as well), has more native speakers than English so is extremely useful globally, and more. Cons of Spanish: Might not be too useful depending on where you're living; for example, if you're living in a country that's of closer proximity to Germany or a German-speaking country, it's better to learn German. Also, is extremely extremely extremely common so it won't stand out on a resume that much.

Pros of German: Has many words and phrases close to English, extremely useful in business, has booming economy, is spoken in quite a few countries, is the most spoken language of Europe, will typically give you higher bonuses working in eligible businesses than knowing either Spanish or French. Cons of German: Considered much harder than Spanish, has grammar that is somewhat difficult to understand for beginners, has an extremely high amount of grammatical "exceptions".

So Spanish is an extremely easy language and is spoken by a higher amount of people, but German is much more useful economically and is also spoken in quite a few countries. If you want something to look good on your resume, German would probably stand out more to potential employers due to the fact that Spanish is so common and widespread that it surprises nobody when they see it on a resume.


I live in the UK so I'm closer to Germany, but I don't think that will affect it much because I don't visit much. I hadn't considered that German would look better on a CV, so that's making me lean towards German a bit more. Thanks :)


spanish all the way it is so easy


Hi Elizabeth, I like to specialize in one language per month in Duolingo. You will like the tinycards. You could switch monthly between your three target languages. French to get a broad view of the program with a familiar language, German, and Spanish. After a while you could drop one language until some later time, or not. I am pleased that you are doing this while your youthful brain can do so much with learning languages. With regard and respect, Ken


I think that seems like a good idea, but I would probably just switch monthly between Spanish and German because I've almost finished the French tree now and I want to get further in my French than in my German or Spanish, because I'm doing it for my GSCEs and I'll almost definitely do it for my A-levels and at university as well, and I also want to live in France when I'm older so I basically want to be able to speak like a native eventually. On the other hand, for my German and Spanish I want to get to the point where I can have a conversation, watch a film and read a book, but not necessarily know things like idioms or fully understand any really complex grammar. Thanks for your advice, very helpful :)

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.