Originally Posted by LovingRadiance
yeah in theory learning any second language would be a hell of a start.
I suck at it. Or so I think anyway.
I prepared the following last week at home:
In spite of French being the foreign language that I've spent the most years in classrooms learning - I studied it for 5 years in secondary school and a further year at teacher training college - because I've never lived long-term in France, itís the weakest of my languages. If I'm travelling through France, my ease in speaking it improves by the day. (But then deteriorates again once I leave.)
My experience is that if youíre not going to be using a language very often, itís going to be harder to learn it. So, unless thereís a colony of French-speakers near where you live in Alaska or youíre planning to move to Quebec or Louisianna, with whom are you going to be able to practice your French? On the other hand, thereís a lot of Spanish spoken in quite a lot of the USA. And I suspect that Italians would be more numerous than French. (?) Additionally, if youíre planning to travel to Spain and Italy (you didnít mention France to me, but maybe it also plays a big role in your plans?) it would make sense to learn one of those two languages. And Ė closer to home Ė if you want to travel in Latin America, Spanish would definitely be the one to go for.
And today I read that one of your children's father is Spanish-speaking (so she speaks it a bit, too), so it really seems like there's your best chance at practice. (Unless there's something about the French that I don't know.) [And if she joined you in improving her Spanish, it could help her come closer to her father's family roots.]
A word of warning (possibly not at all to the point): sometimes some
of us set ourselves almost-impossible tasks so that we'll have an excuse not to be putting effort into something else that's difficult but definitely do-able.