Language Most Useful?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by dmash, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. word

    word Senior member

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    +1

    To the OP - if your motivation to learn a language is primarily personal interest, I'd stick with one of the Latin derivatives. You get Roman letters (unlike Russian or Arabic), you get an alphabet (unlike Mandarin), and if you attain a certain fluency in one you can pretty much understand and be understood in most of the others.


    Cyrillic doesn't take too long to figure out.
     


  2. rs232

    rs232 Senior member

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    ^Yeah, that's the easy part. I chose French. Haven't regretted it, and have used it a fair bit. I'm pretty sure France has one of the highest {business potential/people willing to learn English well} ratios - mainly due to the relatively small denominator [​IMG]
     


  3. Austin45

    Austin45 Member

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    Russian or Arabic, like everyone else is saying. Mandarin is basically useless to learn in a business setting because the vast majority of Chinese in business already speak english and won't want to speak to you in Mandarin anyways. French and Spanish are both nice but not as useful as Russian/Arabic in my opinion.

    Let me respectfully disagree with you on this one. I don't think the Chinese as you put it actually are so versed with English. You might think that based on the fact that it is said English is the second language in China, but you will be surprise or even shocked to know that even in the biggest cities like Beijing and Shanghai, not even to mention Chongquin and Tianjin or Wuhan, less than 5% of the people here can actually address you in good and proper English.

    That said, I think you are also wrong if you think that a Chinese will not want to speak Mandarin with you if you could speak it. That will only happen if your Mandarin is just as good as most Chinese English is, which is zero good.
     


  4. Austin45

    Austin45 Member

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    Thank you for all the responses thus far!

    Question regarding immersion though. I know this is the absolute best way to learn it....but I find it hard to do this still being in undergrad. It's not like I have 10k saved back to just go hang out over in Spain or China for a few months.


    Ok now I am sorry for posting twice under the same thread, but I have to do this since both post addresses different issues.

    If you are actually interested in studying Chinese the "immersion way", I can help you with that. There are many language exchange programs going on for undergrats. All you need is to have enough to pay your own flight ticket, because unfortunately most don't pay for your flight any more. man but. You don't need to worry about accommodation or feeding, as the program or school in which you are placed pays for that or provides that to you.

    And it is a program open for summer so if you are really interested, you could be taking Chinese classes in China this summer.

    How do i know all this? Because I participate in one myself.

    Just let me know if you are interested and I will give you more details.
     


  5. DorothyHick

    DorothyHick Member

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    That is so true that english is useful one.
     


  6. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    study Basic. it is the most intra-galactic language being used a long long time ago. also used in the Outer rim territories as well.

    also, sounds very similar to modern-day English, coincidentally.
     


  7. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    You might keep your TV and car radio on Spanish stations.
    +1 I didn't take any Spanish in high school, but my wife speaks Spanish and I listen to music in Spanish all the time and I can at least understand 75% of what people are saying. I try to converse with her in Spanish as practice which has helped. Add that to spending time spent immersing yourself in places that only speak Spanish and you will get the hang of it easily.
     


  8. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Yes, you will get by without it, yes, a lot of people will speak to you in English, and then they will turn and confer with their colleagues, and you will have no idea what they are saying. This is not ideal.

    So really, the key is that you should know enough that they won't be sure what you know? If they know you know some, they won't be sure enough to openly do that crap in front of you (especially since a lot of language learners understand *far* more than they can speak)

    For the OP though...spanish is probably pretty useful unless you are working in a hospital that already has a critical mass of spanish speakers to the point where it barely differentiates you (which is quite likely in florida). Then you might want to look for another language with high immigration to your area (since it is usually only the immigrants and tourists that would need pure foreign language medical care...their children will know english)
     


  9. El Argentino

    El Argentino Senior member

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    Thank you for all the responses thus far!

    Question regarding immersion though. I know this is the absolute best way to learn it....but I find it hard to do this still being in undergrad. It's not like I have 10k saved back to just go hang out over in Spain or China for a few months.


    Even semesters abroad should be just about the price of tuition....
     


  10. mehhhh

    mehhhh Senior member

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    Chinese, German, Spanish, and Japanese are the most useful languages for business IMO, unless you plan to be involved in anything oil related. Unfortunately Chinese and Japanese are tough to learn.

    Spanish would be my go-to if I were in Florida.

    Studying Latin is always fun, too.
     


  11. aphextwin07

    aphextwin07 Senior member

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  12. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Mongolian and Klingon.

    Doing business in China requires Mandarin

    +1

    It's more or less essential, especially if you're trying to sell them something.
     


  13. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Ok now I am sorry for posting twice under the same thread, but I have to do this since both post addresses different issues.

    If you are actually interested in studying Chinese the "immersion way",


    There are many people in China who want to study English this way, and will pay good money to some quite expensive English immersion schools.
     


  14. Matt

    Matt ex-m@Triate

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    So really, the key is that you should know enough that they won't be sure what you know? If they know you know some, they won't be sure enough to openly do that crap in front of you (especially since a lot of language learners understand *far* more than they can speak)

    I do it all the time.

    Basically people turn and confer in Vietnamese in front of me a lot. My VNese is OK (tough fucking language btw) but certainly far from business-grade and I will sit there and listen, understanding enough to know what is going on, but not the details of it.

    When there is a point being made between them that I am 100 percent certain I understood, details and all, I interject and answer in English.

    Then time stops.

    Everyone assumes that I have understood absolutely everything.

    Then nothing happens in Vietnamese again for the rest of the meeting.
     


  15. Destination_Arubin

    Destination_Arubin New Member

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    I guess if you're going to a business level, which is pretty damn high I'd stick with something like Spanish or French because I think they're slightly easier to get good at than say Chinese or Japanese.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that they're easier, but I think the language sentence structure is more similar than Asian languages to English which makes learning them maybe slightly easier.
     


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