I always wanted to learn German. What gave me that idea was my days as a paperboy, when I had one customer who took the Abendpost, a German-language newspaper we had in Chicago (and probably other parts of the country, I don’t know). I learned the days of the week delivering that little paper: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, und Sontag (the weekend Abendpost was the Sontagpost, even though I delivered it on Saturday). Problem was, I never went to a high school that offered it, and in college I didn’t have the presence of mind to say, “no, I’m not going to take Latin, I’m going to start another language.”
Both my mother and Grandma Holton took German, so I can’t see where they’d’ve had a problem with it. Grandma said that, when she took it, they had to learn to read and write Fraktur, the Blackletter script that all German used to be written in.
I guess the Nazis decided to go with more modern typefaces and declared Fraktur Judenschrift (i.e. Jewish script) and thus illegal. So Mom didn’t have to learn it.
On the other hand, I might have taken French or Spanish. I taught myself enough Spanish to be able to communicate with my crew when I was working as a production supervisor. Maybe knowing Latin helped me learn Spanish. I’ve heard that learning Latin and French helps you in both languages. Makes you wonder why.
For now, though, I think I’ll just stick with English.