American native English speakers: what other languages have you studied formallyt?

Four years French and three years Latin - High School
Two years French and one year Russian - College

Took one college course entitled Italian for Vocalists which didn’t actually teach the spoken languages, only the lyrics to songs written and commonly performed in Italian, so not certain if that counts.

French, Latin (gold medal to prove it!), and Hebrew.

I took Spanish for two years in high school and basically learned nothing except a few colors and how to count plus a few simple phrases. My university forced everyone to be conversant in another language within 3 semesters so I was thrown back in Spanish again. College Spanish 101 should have been called “Spanish for people that already know it pretty well but want to start off slowly”. I didn’t fall into that category and the professor had no mercy. I clawed my way up to the only ‘C’ I ever made in college. The next two semesters were better even though they were full immersion and tons of work. I made it out of my 3rd semester with a B+ and the ability to read full Spanish novels and give a 45 minute academic lecture in Spanish with a question and answer session at the end (I got a full A on my lecture!).

Alas, today I can still read a fair amount of Spanish but can’t speak it except for some of the simpler phrases. I thought I was doing fairly well in Costa Rica last year until we stopped in a tiny isolated town where the people didn’t speak any English at all unlike the vast majority of people everywhere else we went. I tried to use simple sentences and pronounce words correctly to no avail. I ended up using sign language to buy a bunch of things at the only store in town. Those three semesters of grueling work did not pay off when I needed them to.

Latin for 3 years in high school.

Russian for 1 year at university.

Classical Greek in an intensive course at university. This was the only language that I started to think and dream in.

I put “Fortran” on my grad school applications. (They let me in anyway.)
Yes, it was a long time ago.

German formally. The rest have all been from relatives and community friends/neighbors.

I still occasionally dream in German for some reason, even though I’m not that good at it anymore. In my dreams I usually speak it better than I do when awake!

I took a year of Latin in junior high and another year in high school. The only other choices offered were Spanish and French. This was in the late 50s-early 60s in Los Angeles.

Is Latin still taught in non-sectarian schools today?

4 years of French in Middle/High School. Several years of Hebrew in Sunday School.

One or two semesters of Russian, Italian, Spanish and German, in High School or College.

I’m British. Spanish and French at school. French I stopped when I was 14, Spanish I took to 16 (“GCSE” level).

I live in Sweden so have taken many different courses in Swedish, giving me (allegedly) the equivalent to what a kid gets when he/she leaves school. Well at least as far as I applying to University goes. That is to say I am qualified to do university courses in Swedish (and indeed have done).

Yes, my son took Latin as a freshman in his public school. That was about five years ago, though it is becoming more rare. At my daughter’s high school (we moved) they don’t offer it, despite offering a large number of other language choices.

In college I took Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and German
never studied it formally, but I have the Klingon dictionary and a cassette tape of conversational Klingon

3 years of French and 3 years of Spanish in High School. I can usually suss out the written stuff but only catch a word or 3 in either when spoken, now, almost 30 years later.

My 3rd year of both languages was taught by the same teacher in the same classroom. I had a different seat for each class. More than once I had to return to my locker and get the other set of books, folders and notebooks. A few times I was allowed to correct a test because I used the opposite language’s vocabulary.

Formally? (Most of) One ASL class, ten years ago.

I think I still remember one or two words or letter-signs, at most.

I studied Russian in High School then later used when I went to work in Kazakhstan. After arriving here I took classes in Portuguese.

There was a language requirement back in my high school days; I took French. It’s rusty, though I can read it OK if I work at it.

What’s amusing is that my teacher insisted on proper French pronunciation. When I visited Paris, people thought I was French.

1 semester of Mandarin in the 6th grade, 2 semesters of high school French.

The French is completely gone, and none of the verbal Mandarin remains, but I still recognize maybe 100 basic characters.

French in HS. Latin, German and Spanish in college.

I hated taking a language, so in college, I’d do one for a semester, get frustrated and quit. Then try another one. I was lured to take German by a foxy little German tutor I knew.

Finally, I forced myself to sit through the two required semesters of Spanish. I took them both in the summer after I walked in the spring graduation ceremony, so the pressure was on to pass.

German in high school, and I spoke it with my grandmother. I was almost functional in it, but not so much now. Two years of high school French, and one year of Koine Greek later on, so I could read the New Testament in its original language. The Greek was probably not fair - I know the NT so well that I can usually recognize a passage and work back and forth to puzzle out the Greek.

A professor of ancient Hebrew said that when he went to visit Israel, he could read the signs and newspapers OK, but people would laugh out loud when he tried to speak it. I got the same reaction when I tried to speak French the only time I was there.


Latin, (Ancient) Greek, and French in high school; Spanish in college.

(Plus a couple of lessons in Yucatec Maya, but not enough to count for this poll.)