Why learn French?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Wxp4759cb, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    For composition majors, at the college I'm interested in your only 2 choices for language are German or French. I could see why you might need German, but what would be the point of French?
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Due to French colonial past, French is more widely spoken around the world than German. French is also traditionally the language of diplomacy, and quite ofter, medicine & law (particularly international law) as well.
  3. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I wasn't trying to say French was a bad language. I just wanted to know if it had any musical purpose. For insance there are ALOT of operas in German.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I think the reason is that in western music, the three languages that you will find which have most left their trace on the nomenclature of "concert" music are Italian, German, and French...a look at a number of orchestral scores will confirm that while Itialian is easily the most common, the musical directions typically given in the standard orchestral repertoire can easily come from any of the three languages. Remember, it's not all about opera: there are also composers like Ravel, Debussy, Faure, Franck, Saint-Saens, Satie, Dukas, Messiaen, etc...(not to mention composers from the earlier periods).
  5. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Italian is a choice for some music degrees, but for some reason composition is only French or German.
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Learn both. And Italian if you can. Then you can impress your dates by translating operas without having to read the supertitles.
  7. Aroneng

    Aroneng Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    If you have the chance to visit different countries, France is one of the few that it is almost a necessity to speak the local language. Depending where you are visiting in France, German might get you by and Spanish might persuade them to speak English to you.

    The company I work for is a Finnish company and I have had the opportunity to visit many different countries as well as during college. In my experience France was the most difficult country to communicate with people, unless you spoke French.

    Just as a reality check, although some may disagree:

    If you speak 4 languages you are qualingual
    If you speak 3 languages you are trilingual
    If you speak 2 languages you are bilingual
    If you speak only 1 language, you are probably American
  8. This is absolutely true. Learn Japanese and Portuguese and come visit me in Rio.

    In fact, it´s difficult to give one answer to your question. You already got on this thread excellent reasons to learn both.
    Learn French if you don´t know any other Latin
    language. Consider learning at least a bit of both.