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Languages

Postby Freyja » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:26 pm

Sooooo, apparently I'm "gifted in languages" (their words, not mine"). I'm already taking German and Spanish, and they want me to take either French, Arabic, or Russian. So, here's my question. Which should I take?
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Re: Languages

Postby rickshaw92 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:41 pm

Speaking French will make you sound both gay and retarded. Learn to speak flawless B.S.
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Re: Languages

Postby Freyja » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:46 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:Speaking French will make you sound both gay and retarded. Learn to speak flawless B.S.


Haha XD. French was my last choice. Every word sounds the same to me.
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Re: Languages

Postby AztecDave » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:27 pm

let me guess. you guys started calling french fries "freedom fries." n'es pas?
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Re: Languages

Postby JITW » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:38 am

French


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Re: Languages

Postby ktrout » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:11 am

If you want to scare everybody, learn Russian. Plus the grammar is really challenging.
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Re: Languages

Postby ktrout » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:14 am

Which one will be the most desirable on the job market? If Mandarin is an option you might consider that.
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Re: Languages

Postby JITW » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:32 am

ktrout wrote:Which one will be the most desirable on the job market? If Mandarin is an option you might consider that.


There is a specialized demand for Mandarin speakers in the security and corporate intel industry these days (if you have a good background also), I was just sent a 500K a year job to recruit for, they need a Mandarin speaking American for an EP gig in China

But in other industry's, not so much - most big corporations still do the "send our best white guy to China and get him a translator (not that that is even necessary cuz all the people in the China office will speak English anyway) thing. Like one of my buds who is a mechanical engineer was chosen to rep his company in China (with a sweet expat package) over other people in his company (including 2 guys and 1 gal who spoke Mandarin) because he had a couple of years more experience and he was popular around the office

My oldest buddy (from back in High School) just got the Latin America sales territory in his company, he speaks no Spanish and was given this territory over native Spanish speakers who work in the same sales division. He got the promotion cuz he was popular around the office

In the job market having a language skill will not necessarily get you a job or even give you an edge in employment or promotions unless you want to become a translator

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Re: Languages

Postby Freyja » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:03 pm

ktrout wrote:If you want to scare everybody, learn Russian. Plus the grammar is really challenging.


XD It can be a very scary language. My friend Alex speaks it, and he says it's very difficult to learn (It's his second language).
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Re: Languages

Postby Freyja » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:05 pm

JITW wrote:
ktrout wrote:Which one will be the most desirable on the job market? If Mandarin is an option you might consider that.


There is a specialized demand for Mandarin speakers in the security and corporate intel industry these days (if you have a good background also), I was just sent a 500K a year job to recruit for, they need a Mandarin speaking American for an EP gig in China

But in other industry's, not so much - most big corporations still do the "send our best white guy to China and get him a translator (not that that is even necessary cuz all the people in the China office will speak English anyway) thing. Like one of my buds who is a mechanical engineer was chosen to rep his company in China (with a sweet expat package) over other people in his company (including 2 guys and 1 gal who spoke Mandarin) because he had a couple of years more experience and he was popular around the office

My oldest buddy (from back in High School) just got the Latin America sales territory in his company, he speaks no Spanish and was given this territory over native Spanish speakers who work in the same sales division. He got the promotion cuz he was popular around the office

In the job market having a language skill will not necessarily get you a job or even give you an edge in employment or promotions unless you want to become a translator

~JITW


Wow, JITW, thanks for the paragraph response! I think I will look into Mandarin, for they offer it at my school :)
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Re: Languages

Postby marie-angelique » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:21 pm

Russian isn't that hard if your first language is English. It is in the Indo-European family.

At least Arabic has an alphabet. You are going to have to study for a long time before you will know how to look up words in the dictionary. They order them by the 3 letter root word. You need to decide which Arabic to study. Most learn Modern Standard or Egyptian. Use the search function. Lots of flaggers have studied in Yemen and seemed to find it a good experience.

Mandarin is worlds harder than the rest unless you have a really good ear. It's a tonal language. There are no familiar words. At least the grammar isn't too bad.

I hope you plan to major in something else as well.
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Re: Languages

Postby nowonmai » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:37 pm

Whichever ones you learn you can guarantee that when the shit hits the fan, it'll be the wrong one.
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Re: Languages

Postby ktrout » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:01 am

marie-angelique wrote:Mandarin is worlds harder than the rest unless you have a really good ear. It's a tonal language. There are no familiar words. At least the grammar isn't too bad.

Yes, it's completely foreign to native Indo European speakers. It takes a lot of practice. Basically, years. I can imagine being forced to look up words in a Chinese dictionary as my punishment in Hell. There is no alphabet. There are 50,000 characters, represented by 70 or so monosyllabic words. With a few exceptions there are no word changes (run/ran/runs, for example) that you get in other languages. To be able to read and write you need to learn the meanings of 5,000 or so characters.
Since there are only a few dozen separate word "sounds" that can have a number of different meanings it brings a whole new level of meaning to the term "double entrendre".
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Re: Languages

Postby Zero » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:22 am

Out of French, Russian, and Arabic...Islam is so interwoven into Arabic, that if you're not interested in studying Islam, you should avoid it. Personally, I hate the religion, hate the people, and hate that part of the world, so I have no desire to learn it. Russians are thugs, and if you're dealing with a Russian who only speaks Russian without the benefit of your own fixer/translater/driver, you're probably doing it wrong. It's the lingua franca of a very shitty part of the world.

That said, every interesting African I've met both speaks French and also despises it as the language of the colonial occupier.

So I suggest French, you'll fit right in, and don't stop the German or the Spanish.
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Re: Languages

Postby Osiris » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:11 am

I'm learning Mandarin right now. Someone mentioned to me it takes about 3000 hours of practice to be fluent. That's practically a year and a half of full time work. After my experiences with it over the past half year I can say that sounds about right. A lot of people who moved to China the same time as me said they wanted to learn the language and gave up after a few months. There are days I hate this damn language, but I love the challenge.
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