Which language should I learn — French or Spanish? Which is better, easier, and more useful?
This guide will help you choose between two popular European languages.
- 1. Nativity — Relatedness of Languages
- 2. Where is it spoken? & Places You’d Like to Visit, Study & Work
- 3. Appeal Factor and Personal Interest
- 4. Career opportunities after learning Spanish or French
- 5. Difficulty level — Which is Easier to Learn?
5 Criteria to help you Choose Spanish or French
I have come across this question many times as someone who is overly interested in languages.
Learning any language is not like bread and butter.
It is an endeavor that takes time and resources to accomplish. When you choose which foreign language to learn, the decision can be like climbing up Mount Everest.
Fortunately for us, I have narrowed down the search to just two languages: French or Spanish.
Now, before you decide on which one to pick, there is something you must understand.
Choosing what language to learn depends on several parameters and personal objectives.
Talking about personal intended goals, we mean inward reflections such as asking yourself;
- What are my interests in the language I want to learn?
- What am I drawn to?
- To begin with, Why am I learning a new language?
The parameters that will help you decide how to choose a language between two, depending on, but not limited to, the followings:
1. Nativity — Relatedness of Languages
One of the primary forces that spur people to select and learn a language is easier to understand and speak.
It is a result of being linguistically similar to your native language.
Looking at French and Spanish, we see that they are part of the Romance Language, which directly links Latin and shares a common vocabulary.
So if you’re a native English speaker, including those who reside in India, both languages are ideal as a second language.
However, note that while both languages share the same family root and vocabulary, they are miles apart in pronunciation.
French and English do not share a similar phonetic base.
French demands that you be specific in pronunciation, whereas Spanish is more comfortable with spelling and pronunciation for an average English speaker.
Again, suppose if you speak Portuguese or Italian. In that case, Spanish will appear more familiar to you, the same way it shares a joint phonetic base with Indian languages.
Many sounds in French are not present in English and other tongues. Thus, how close your mother tongue is to either language will determine how quickly you can understand it.
2. Where is it spoken? & Places You’d Like to Visit, Study & Work
While the speakers’ numbers may not be much of an incentive, it is crucial to know how diversified the language is. French and Spanish are highly diversified and widely spoken tongues.
Each has a specific region where it dominates. It is left for you to decide whether you have an inclination or a bias towards a particular area.
For example, a workplace, a dream destination, cultural aspect, jobs for language learners, etc.
With 20 Spanish-speaking nations, it is the official language of Spain and most countries in Central and South America. This includes the USA, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, etc.
There are over 500 million Hispanic populations globally.
On the other hand, there are over 270 million French speakers worldwide.
It is widely spoken in over 25 countries such as France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Africa nations.
For instance, in Western Europe, some countries like Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, etc., speaks French as an official language, whereas Spanish is only helpful in Spain.
If, as an Indian, you want to travel to any of the American continents, Spanish dominates, with more than half a billion speakers, roughly 40 to 50 million lives in the US.
On the other hand, French is spoken in Canada, France, and other parts of Europe and dominates the West and North African Francophone regions.
If you wish to immigrate to Canada, speaking French can add extra points in the Canada and Quebec PR Point System.
Depending on the requirements, you have to appear in one of the TCF or TEF exams. Plus, France is an excellent study abroad destination; thus, learning French in India makes sense!
Depending on your plans, the spread of either can inform your decision on what to choose.
Now, we’re moving over to the next crucial decision-base consideration: Appeal Factor and Personal Interest.
3. Appeal Factor and Personal Interest
Let’s be honest; you don’t wake up in the morning and shout to the ceiling. “Hey, I’m learning Spanish today!”
People learn a language because it appeals to them, and the same holds for you.
After all, learning a language you love is the best way to remain motivated and achieve a higher language competency level.
Compared to Spanish in general terms, French has a higher appeal, known as the language of love and class.
There are many books in history, architecture, and arts that are written only in French.
Nothing beats the art, cuisine, and fashion, as portrayed by the French culture.
French, without any doubt, very influential on the international scene.
But again, these are just limited perspectives, considering that what constitutes an appealing factor to you may not be the same to someone else.
It brings us back to the issue of personal goals and interests.
4. Career opportunities after learning Spanish or French
Do you want more jobs that require Foreign languages?
Although both French and Spanish are top foreign languages to learn from the job scope perspective.
The choice depends on your career objectives and long-term goals.
For example, suppose you are interested or qualified in aeronautics, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and energy production. In that case, French as a career should appeal to you the most.
Again, if you want to contribute to the universal initiatives or want to work in any international organization to help develop impoverished areas like some places in Africa.
French holds the key since there are more career choices in French.
On the other hand, if you plan to move to the US or set up investments or deal with Latin American clients. You will need to learn Spanish to get easy access to markets or be at a good advantage for a career job.
The career scope in Spanish is on the rise in India.
It can be an asset in any business activities or jobs in BPO and KPO sectors since most companies in these sectors come from the United States with Spanish backgrounds.
Spanish job opportunities are infinite!
Africa and South America are two big untapped markets for Indian companies and MNCs.
Therefore, there are ever-growing jobs in the export-import sector for French and Spanish specialists.
After learning one of these languages, you can find foreign embassies or work as foreign language teachers.
Perhaps, you can enhance career prospects in tourism or apply for a high-paying job as a translator or interpreter.
So, whichever way you look at it, it all winds down to what you love about that particular language.
5. Difficulty level — Which is Easier to Learn?
Spanish is not a very difficult language to master.
Spanish is a phonetic language, meaning that orthography concepts are very close to the rules of pronunciation.
While there are some complicated letters like silent H, J, G, similar B, and V, but all in all, Spanish pronunciation and spelling are pretty straightforward.
Once you’ve memorized the Spanish rules of pronunciation, you can pronounce most of the new words with almost no hesitation.
Additionally, there are thousands of cognates like English – words that have the same meanings. Even though the grammar is quite lengthy and challenging, you can have meaningful communication after only a few weeks.
Of course, several Spanish dialects worldwide feature significant differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and minor grammatical differences.
Overall, Spanish is easier to study than French.
How long does it take to learn Spanish?
With the correct method, proper guidance, regular practice, one can clear a Spanish proficiency test, i.e., B2 of SIELE or DELE test, 2-3 years.
On the contrary, French probably got its reputation as a “difficult” language among Romance languages because it is undoubtedly not phonetic.
French pronunciation and spelling are pretty tricky. We don’t pronounce the words the way we spell them.
Mastering the French pronunciation and accents due to invariable rules and French dialects and accents might take a few years.
Elementary-level grammar is simple enough that you can have a meaningful conversation within a few months.
Like Spanish, French and English share thousands of cognates – some identical and others very closely related.
Grammatically speaking, French is more or less has the same difficulty level as Spanish and other romance languages.
It is not a universal myth that French is more complicated than Spanish. Like any other language,
One needs to devote lots of time to practice listening, reading, and of course, speaking.
According to FSI studies and depending on ones’ intellectual level, If you study 15 hours per week. Then, you can pass a French proficiency test, i.e., DELF B2 or DALF C1 exam, in 3 years!
If you intend to study both European languages, it may be more desirable to start with French.
Because it is comparatively easier to learn Spanish from French than the other way precisely because the former is more complicated.
Final thought (French or Spanish?)
Should I learn French or Spanish?
Both are two widely spoken and popular languages you can learn as an English speaker or Indian.
You can decide based on future planning, career objectivity, interests, and what motivates you. It should be the basis of your selection if you choose to pick one.
LanguageNext – The foreign language institute in Noida offers various French and Spanish language courses in Noida.
All our courses are designed as per the international language proficiency test. I can help you if you have any questions. Just leave a comment.
106 thoughts on “French Vs. Spanish: Which language to learn?”
I live in Banasthali Univerity, can you please suggest to me any online German language tutor or institute?
You can consider any good German institute, irrespective of location to get online classes.
I am an MBA graduate in marketing, working in a good FMCG company. I want to move abroad for marketing jobs. What language do you suggest?
I don’t recommend a particular language. In your case, both are suitable. So, pick one as per specific target country or understanding.
Hi, do you think french would be useful in the USA for jobs?
Some opportunities do exist everywhere, but not that much compared to Spanish. Also, many native French speakers live in the USA.
Hello sir, I am currently in 2nd year of BA-LLB, i am really confused between Spanish and french as further in the future. I want to intern in the UN and settle in the USA please help me as to which language is most suitable for me. Thanks
If your aim is the USA, Spanish is a good choice.
I want to learn Spanish and major in international organizations administration. I did a bachelor’s degree in English, and I find French a difficult language to learn and master.
Spanish is a good language to learn. Good luck with that!
I am learning level three (B1) of the Spanish language, and little bit confuse that whether there is any scope to learn this language? I have a commerce background and want to do my career as a translator. What should I do?
You can make a career as a Spanish translator. However, competition is quite high. You have to focus on skills, experience, and building contacts. I’d suggest trying for MA in Spanish after completing B2 or continue till C1/C2.
I am currently in year 7 and I am learning French. Do you think it will be possible if I want to change from French and do Spanish too because I am also currently learning German?
Yes, you can as long as you have the interest, time, and resources to study.
I will be going to California to study international business. Is Spanish or French more useful in Texas and California?
I want my son for 7 years to learn—so confused, which is a good option for him. Kindly guide.
Since both options are good, it is more a matter of personal preference or whatever specific goals you may have for your son.
Sir, I want to learn French or Spanish but am confused. I want to learn a language that can give me good earnings along with work-from-home opportunities. Please suggest.
That is possible in both languages. Depending on your understanding, you may choose either.
Which institute is better for professional Spanish learning courses in New Delhi? Instituto Hispania/instituto Cervantes? And why?
Both are fine and have their pros and cons. For example, Hispania is affordable, whereas Cervantes is expensive. On the other hand, you get better exposure and environment in Cervantes compared to Hispania. Pick what suits you best!
Hello sir. I am currently studying for my bachelor’s in pharmaceuticals. For my master’s, I would be aiming to go abroad basically Canada, and then I will try to head to the USA. I need to choose between French and Spanish. which one should I go for?
For Canada – French, and USA – Spanish. French is little useful in USA just like Spanish in Canada.
Sir, I’m doing Bachelor’s in Sports Management and my main target is working in the football industry so which language will be beneficial for me to learn rather than English?
Football is more popular in Spanish-speaking countries than Francophone. So that could be one way to pick.
I read your article it’s damn good!! Sir, I have done BBA (IB) and now I will be doing MBA. And I want to learn a foreign language but I’m confused between French and Spanish. I read everything about both but I’m still confused. Can you please help me out?
If you’ve read this or most of my articles and responses, you could have apprehended that I never advise a particular one unless the precise intent or destination is known. Picking one between various choices is pretty personal, and only you can decide. The best I can do is present you with some pointers.
Thank You, Sir.
Can please give me the pointers?
It is mentioned in this article. You can read all, and you will get an idea.
Hello sir I’m learning interior design. Which language is suitable for me?
Both are fine. Whatever you pick, you won’t regret it.
As I have 6-year experience in HR, I would like to learn a language that is good for my same career, and I will get good growth. Can you please suggest French or Spanish which one is better according to my profession?
Both are a good choices. You can pick either one based on your understanding and likeness.
Thank you for a nicely put article. I am interested in learning either French/Spanish (will make a final choice soon). Can you please inform me about good online classes for both these languages? Details like fees, start date, and batch size would also be appreciated.
These days, nearly all language schools are conducting online classes. So, you can pick something close to your place. So that, later, you can continue studying at that center for offline courses.
I am interested in working with refugees and wondered whether learning either French or Spanish would be more useful?
Difficult to say. Both are popular choices.
Hi, I’m studying international relations right now (first year), and I want to work for the EU or the UN when I’m done. Is French or Spanish better suited for me for my career perspectives? Right now, I speak English and Dutch.
Although both are official languages of the UN and EU, however, French is more widely spoken and required in Europe. From the career point of view, especially in Europe, French has an edge over Spanish.
I am working as a freelancer Russian interpreter in hospitals like Medanta and Fortis in Gurugram and now planning to move to the United Kingdom but before leaving India. I want to learn one more foreign language but can’t decide between French and Spanish. Please advise me which language will be more beneficial in Europe.
In Europe, English, German, Russian, and French are widely spoken. Thus, between French and Spanish, the French has an edge in Europe. Spanish is more popular in Central and South America.
Sir good afternoon. I’ve done my Bachelors in English Literature from Delhi University. I’ve excellent communication skills. I was an active part of a lot of college societies, and I’ve been teaching English to school children for the last three years. I want to continue taking my love for languages a little higher by learning a foreign language in my last semester. I read a few Spanish translated novels, and the culture captivated my attention. I fell in love with the novel by Che Guevara and found Cuba and Latin America fascinating.
But I’m apprehensive that the Spanish language may not guarantee job prospects at school. I want to learn it to widen my teaching opportunities at Schools. I stay in Delhi. Can you enlighten me in this regard? I’ve read French job prospects are more at schools. Is it true?
Yes, French is more beneficial than Spanish as far as job opportunities in school are concerned, but the competition is also on the higher side. There are a limited number of schools offering Spanish as a subject, whereas most popular schools have French and German.
I want to pursue a Master’s course abroad for 3 years from now. I am currently waiting for my admission in Delhi University. So I want to start building my profile now, and I think language is an important part of it. If I want to apply to both US and Canada, what would be a more useful language?
French is the official and second most spoken language in Canada. On the other hand, after English, Spanish is the 2nd most useful language in the USA. So, it all depends on the target country.
My daughter just finished her 10th, and she wants to learn Spanish as we are planning to go to the USA next year, and Spanish will be her subject. So she wants to learn Spanish for beginners. Can she learn in the university or which, according to you, would be suitable for her? Can you update me with the university? To find out the course details or online courses. Do you think Instituto Hispania has courses of basic Spanish for Children?
At her age, it won’t be possible to study at any University. I could have recommended some options had you mentioned the city where you’re currently residing. Instituto Hispania is the right choice, and they do offer beginners level Spanish for school-going children. We also provide Spanish courses (offline in Noida and online anywhere for the first two levels).
Sir, I have just given my 10th boards, and I want to learn Spanish or French. And I want to take arts in the 11th also. My communication skills are good, and I like to interact with people, and I love to learn different languages. I dont aspire to become an engineer or doctor but strongly wish to do something in the language field via learning a foreign language. Which language should I choose, and what will I be able to do in the future?
Which language and the opportunities associated with that language is a vast topic. There is no one-language-that-fits-all. This is something only you can decide based on your understanding. I suggest you read some articles, and then you will be able to make the right decision. Good luck!
Sir, I want to be a cabin crew that is why I am trying to learn one more language besides English and Hindi so that It will be helpful to me as an extra advantage in selection for this job. But I am confused in choosing one of the languages between French and Spanish. Please guide me to take one between French and Spanish as per my present career.
While both will be helpful, you can pick French. In the aviation industry, French is a popular choice.
In Delhi, which is a better institute to choose for learning Spanish – Instituto Cervantes or Instituto Hispania?
Both are good, but Instituto Hispania is more affordable.
Sir, I want to do level A1 and A2 in French from a private institute. So after that for B1/B2, what can I join Alliance Française? Because AF is a bit expensive for beginner levels A1/A2. And which private Institute will be better for me for Level A1 and A2 in Delhi?
While the fee is expensive, but Alliance Française is still the best French Institute in Delhi. Direct admission to a higher level is usually not possible at AF. They conduct an access test before registering in the B1/B2. You can also consider ILSC in Malviya Nagar. The fee is reasonable, and the quality of teaching is also good. There are tons of other French institutes too. You can visit a few, and then enroll as per your understanding and price.
But the ILSC Course brochure differs from Alliance Francaise. So after doing beginner level from ILSC, How can I proceed further step.
You can continue at ILSC only. They have a total of 10 levels. You can also give the DELF exam to gauge your level and earn an international diploma.
Sir, I’ve just entered class 11 (not really considering the Covid-19 problem). I am an IIT-JEE aspirant, which as you would be knowing, requires a lot of dedication. I wish to do Computer Science Engineering in the near future and pursue my career abroad. So, should I learn a foreign language now or do that once I enter college? Also, which one should I prefer considering that I want to work in companies like Google, Microsoft, etc. Please help sir.
Cracking IIT-JEE is itself a challenging task. It would be better to concentrate on that. You can consider learning a new language at the College. Both French and Spanish are good choices; you can pick either one as per your understanding.
I am really struggling with which language to pick in high school. I have got ten months to decide but I would love to have some advice as soon as you see this message reply. Which language comes in use more French or Spanish and which one is easier to speak? What would you prefer? I hope you see this message from a student needing help.
Spanish is comparatively easier than French. Choosing the right language is strictly an individual perspective, and unfortunately, no one can advise on that. I’m a language-agnostic and consider all languages equally great. Maybe that’s why I studied a few, including both French and Spanish.
I am 26 yrs old and working as a Content Manager. I am planning to move to Europe for a better career next year. Will learning French provide better career opportunities. Please do let me know how long it will take to learn French?
If you’re moving to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, or Switzerland, then French will be beneficial. French might not help you to find a job. However, it will make your resume more attractive to potential employers. The duration depends on the proficiency level you wish to achieve. You can accomplish an Intermediate level competency level in 1-2 years.
Hi. Which language is better for global career prospects, in global corporations, a decade from now. The choice is between French, German, and Spanish and I am checking this for a 10-year-old.
There is no better language. If that were the case, everyone would be learning that very language.
My question is: To learn any language, it is necessary to have fluency in English both written or spoken?
Vikash Gupta Sir Garu. Namaste.
I am working as a Spanish Translator in Volunteering Organisation, and I have 15 of experience in this field. My English is very poor. Now I want to change my job and wish to work in the Corporate Sector. Can you explain to me what opportunities? Trusting that you can help me, you give me job opportunities anywhere I could help myself. Thank you very much for your support.
As per the information you provided, it is difficult to suggest anything meaningful. Maybe you can try as a Spanish translator in one of the MNCs. Besides, you can add your existing skills and experience in the CV and try to improve your English to widen the job hunt. Good Luck!
Sir, Kindly Suggest the best institute for Spanish in Hyderabad.
There aren’t enough good options in Hyderabad. You can try Vivekananda Institute of Languages (VIOL) at Ramakrishna Math, or try some other Pvt. Spanish learning centers.
Can you suggest some good institutes to learn Spanish in Mumbai?
Instituto Hispania, Academia De Español, and Hispanic Horizons are three top choices in Mumbai.
Sir, I love Spanish. I am now in the 12th and going for engineering. Is Spanish an advantage for my career please reply?
If you love Spanish, you should learn, regardless of your career prospects. It might be beneficial, but difficult to say since there are too many variables.
Hello! Vikash sir,
I am currently working in Gurugram. As further for the high growth in my career, I want to learn a foreign Language but getting confused that which language to learn which is having the maximum job opportunities in India. Also from the other perspective that which one will be useful for me if I will go to Europe for either job or further studies in the future.
Waiting for your reply.
Unfortunately, there is no best language for jobs in India. It is an individual perspective and depends on how you look at it. In Europe, French is more widely spoken and useful than Spanish.
Hello sir, I literally love your articles. Sir, I need your help in deciding which center is best for Spanish learning Dronaa in Noida sector 18 or oracle language institute in cp? Please help me. I am very confused about it.
I use to teach Spanish at Dronaa for a long time. Then the entire foreign language vertical was shifted to LanguageNext. I’m still taking the Spanish classes :). You can join LanguageNext for the Spanish course. Avoid Oracle. In Delhi, Instituto Hispania is a good choice.
I want to be a flight attendant and if we know any foreign language it would be an advantage. So the chances of getting selected increases. I’m confused between French and Spanish. Could you please suggest me? Which language should I learn? And from where I can learn in Mumbai?
Both languages are widely spoken and offer plenty of employment opportunities. You can pick as per your choice. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it in the future. In Mumbai, you can try Alliance Française for French and Instituto Hispania for Spanish. Read — Learn Spanish in Mumbai.
Sir, Want to know which language is best for a biotechnology student?
There is no specific language that combines better with Biotechnology. You can pick as per your preference.
I want to restart my career after the break of 8 years. I want to learn a language and want to pursue as a teacher. Please suggest which language should I learn French or Spanish?
Well, you can consider 5 pointers mentioned in the article. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret in future.
Does French have more impact over Spanish? And nowadays the French language is offered in many schools. So, as a fresher which language should, I go for, As I am new to foreign language learning. Does French language job opportunities is higher than the Spanish language in Delhi? Please care to clear my confusion.
Hundred’s of CBSE and International school are offering French for the past few decades. From a career perspective, both languages offer more or less similar kind of job opportunities in Delhi/NCR. In the end, what it all boils down to are interest and personal and professional objectives. Since I like and know both languages. Thus, it is difficult for me to pick one. 🙂
Sir, currently I’m doing 2nd year English honors. I want to learn French. What step should I take next or should I start it by giving up this graduation and get admission in french honors. in any university or private institute.
Too late to apply for 2019-2020 session. You can continue with your major in English. In addition, start learning French by joining any reputed French learning centre in your city.
I want to know if IGNOU provides weekend classes for foreign language courses or it is totally self-study based. I want to learn French and doing a full-time job. So full time or regular learning not possible for me.
IGNOU language courses are offered through distance learning. You have to study on own. It is better to join any private institute. Most of them are conducting part-time weekend classes. Read — Language Courses at IGNOU.
I am graduating this year in B.E Electronics and Telecommunication Engg and I plan to learn a new language for enhancing my skills and job opportunities in future. Which foreign language do you think i should go for?
You can pick between French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
Dear Mr Vikash,
I am a father of daughter class 10th, She has selected Humanities as Stream for class 11th. She is studying french in her school from class 4th , and has developed keen interest, in fact she has started teaching french for junior classes. Kindly guide the road map,like where to invest time next two years class 11th and class 12th, which graduation option should be taken,and finally what should be the best target to aim for. She is kind of fascinated to France and foreign countries. As a personality she has very good communication skills and loves to interact with different kind of people. Suggest something which is Highly paid and earns lot of respect.
Since there is no French in 11th and 12th. Thus, she can continue with the language with the help of any private tutor or any nearby private institutes. After 12th, she can choose a bachelor program that can provide an academic boost for French learners. Some options are marketing like BBA, fashion, designing, bachelor in journalism, finance, tourism, and more.
In the meanwhile, she can continue with French at any learning centre (part-time) with an aim to complete DALF C1/C2 by the time she completes her graduation. Then, in the end, the MBA is a good option. Professionals In-demand degrees and proficient in French will open a whole world of opportunities for her. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
I am so much interested in learning the French language, so will it provide better career opportunities? I don’t think anything apart from this particular language. So could you suggest me better french classes in Delhi with better career options coz I have only this French language as a career option?
If you have the interest, you should learn French regardless of employment opportunities. At the end of the day, what matters is you are learning the language you love and the purpose associated with it. For courses in Delhi, Read — French Courses in Delhi
What are the fees for French courses?
I am student of 12th std of commerce, after giving my boards I am interested in learning a foreign language i.e French or Spanish. Kindly u suggest which language.
There’s no one absolute best language to learn. Both are equally good European Language to learn. You can choose what you like or as per your personal preferences and future goals.
I was planning to give A1 DELE examination this may. I would really be thankful if you could suggest me some books which i can refer to while studying for my examination.i would really appreciate your help. Thanks!
While I don’t recommend any specific book for A1, you can try any standard DELE A1 book that covers Listening, Reading, and Writing. A1 is a beginner’s level and quite easy and you can pass through self-study. After clearing A1, I’d suggest you join any learning centre for regular classes for A2 to C1.
I want to do Spanish honours, So it is right for my career?
Well, Only you can decide. Spanish is one of the important languages to learn for a career.