Do Languages Have A Personality?

January 27 23:18 2022
5 Considerations to Help Students Select the Right Language for the Upcoming School Year

Just like some people see personalities in the oddest things, multilingual educator Margaret Hayes, author of the forthcoming book Fearless Foreign Language, sees personalities in languages, too. 

“French is the language of joie de vivre. If “joy of living” to someone involves flashy rock concerts rather than sophisticated classical concertos, French may not be his ideal language,” she says. “Spanish is perfect for the butterfingers amongst us. Spanish speakers don’t break a dish; fragile items just break of their own accord. The Spanish language absolves klutzes of any responsibility towards the dish owner, who is still probably pretty unhappy to lose a dish!”

The time to consider seriously which language to choose is now, since students select classes in the late winter/early spring ahead of the next school year. As middle and high school students across the country gear up to select a language to study, Hayes provides the following advice:

⦁ Don’t select a language just because Aunt Martha took it in high school herself. Her skills are likely to be too rusty to be of much use to help with homework.

⦁ Don’t think that, if a school only offers one language, a student is locked into it for life. Undertaking a course of study in a language will provide a solid framework for learning any other language one may try to learn in the future.

⦁ Although English is considered a Germanic language, taking either French or Spanish will help with English vocabulary words that show up on standardized college tests. 

⦁ Based on future profession, future business moguls should seriously consider Asian languages. Fashionistas and artsy types, French. Engineers, German. Classical history and literature lovers should geek on Latin. Everyone else should seriously consider Spanish. “Spanish is the de facto second official language of our country, after all. It’s not going anywhere any time soon.”

⦁ Finally, Hayes doesn’t shy away from matching the language’s personality with that of its prospective students. “I hate stereotyping, but the more of a match there is, the happier, and likelier more successful, the well-placed student will find herself.” She recommends German for students who appreciate a high degree of efficiency, competence, and meticulousness. French is perfect for unconventional kids who may pride themselves on being stylish and ahead of the curve. Spanish is a sure bet, she adds, for people best described as outgoing and the life of the party.

In addition to the above points to ponder, Hayes offers a free quiz on her website for visitors to help decide on French, German or Spanish. “Which Language Got Your Back?” is available at

About Sit Down & Speak Up! Media

Experts say Foreign Language Anxiety is suffered by up to 30% of any given students in their new world languages classroom. Sit Down & Speak Up! Media, publisher of Fearless Foreign Language, to be published March of 2022, aims to address these concerns by giving new language learners a head start on their fabulous new journey. 

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For more information, contact:

Margaret Hayes, MAEd
[email protected]

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Company Name: Sit Down & Speak Up! Media
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City: Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Country: United States