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languages to learn


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#1 ajumbaje

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:11 AM

For those who visit this thread, what languages, besides your native language, have you found to be useful?

I was looking to learn something out of the ordinary that could help me with employment, but am not sure exactly which one.

I have taken ~6 years or spanish and 1 of french. I had the idea of either japanese, russian, or swahili. Any other suggestions any of you might have?

I was thinking of getting a rosetta stone program for the language I would want to learn unless there is something software based(for the mac) that people have found to be better.

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#2 JolietJake

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:13 AM

I'm taking a spanish class right now, i figured it would be the most useful.

I enjoy the videos and puns posted by Joliet Jake. I think he's almost as funny as my favorite comedian, Dane Cook. Now excuse me while I listen to Fallout Boy's music on their myspace page.


#3 Rocko

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:14 AM

I've taken two years of American Sign Language. I plan on continuing next year. Really interesting stuff. Just as much of a new culture as a language like French (which I took for five years).

#4 Bretts31344

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:22 AM

I just started learning Japanese just for fun. I found this site tonight and it is awesome, http://www.livemocha.com. I think most of the stuff is free and there are a lot of languages to choose from.

#5 ajumbaje

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:31 AM

I just started learning Japanese just for fun. I found this site tonight and it is awesome, http://www.livemocha.com. I think most of the stuff is free and there are a lot of languages to choose from.


just signed up!

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#6 snakelda

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:21 AM

Are you fluent in spanish and can you joke around with other people in spanish?My room mate has taken around 5 years of spanish and he doesn't really speak it good and is hard to understand but he does good in writing it. Oh and I'm fluent in spanish and I do pretty good in english but I was just wondering about that. You should definitely learn japanese!

#7 bringerofdeath

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:38 AM

I'd go with Chinese preferably mandarin imo. I foresee a'lot of business opportunities in near future in China. Also Japanese will be a great one too.
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#8 fatherofcaitlyn

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:32 AM

If you're learning a language for fun, disregard the below.

Learning a language is useless unless you plan to use it daily in either translating or conversation.

Since language is learned best through cultural immersion, you should focus on languages of place you want to live.

Swahili is usually spoken in Africa. Some areas of Africa are complete shitholes. If you're going work as a missionary or do-gooder, there are a lot of people in need of running water and any electricity.

Russian, of course, is usually spoken in Russia. Russia is a lot like Canada without the politeness, abundant consumer goods and the simple understanding that Americans have been protecting their asses for decades. It does have a lot of organized crime.

Japanese, of course, is usually spoken in Japan. Their population is aging. So, there will be opportunities if you're career is in medicine. However, your pay will be tempered by the massive taxes the government will have to impose on your pay to continue the social programs for senior citizens. It is a lot like the US without the excessive spending on military programs and you're considered a foreigner.

As others have said, Chinese is a good language to learn. If you know it, it might buy you some time and a promotion after the deed to the USA is transferred over to them.
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#9 ajumbaje

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:07 PM

Are you fluent in spanish and can you joke around with other people in spanish?My room mate has taken around 5 years of spanish and he doesn't really speak it good and is hard to understand but he does good in writing it. Oh and I'm fluent in spanish and I do pretty good in english but I was just wondering about that. You should definitely learn japanese!


Im a mix of those. I can understand some stuff, but not everything I hear

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#10 Magehart

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

I've been slowly learning Mandarin. It's definitely the best one to learn in my book. Most international commerce is done in Mandarin and English therefore I doubt either will go away anytime soon.

A great runner up to Mandarin is French. It is also one the more predominant languages of business but not as widely available as Mandarin.

In the end you already speak the most important language on the planet. The best thing to do if you can't finesse English that well is to polish it off first. Speaking impeccable English will get you farther than speaking two languages.
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#11 GuilewasNK

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:51 PM

Spanish.

I took three years of it high school, and while I am nowhere near fluent I know enough words/phrases that it has helped. I'd say spanish is the language to learn because the population in the US that speaks it continues to grow. I think if one can become fluent it is a great thing to have on a resume.

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#12 Javery

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:51 PM

I really want to learn another language. I took Spanish in high school and I know a little (but I'd be considered illiterate). It is definitely the most useful language around where I live but I think I'd like to try Japanese for fun since it is so wildly different from English. Has anyone tried the Rosetta Stone discs? Do they work?

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#13 Magehart

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:07 PM

Rosetta Stone is a different style of learning. They go for an association approach where they'll make you learn a word or two at a time. This is helpful for some people but when I was learning Mandarin it was a beast because it can help you to pronounce and say words but writing it is best learned from a fluent speaker in Mandarin. For that reason i'm much more an advocate of paying the < $100 cost at a community college to learn a foreign language (plus ours has access to Rosetta Stone for free as part of the cost).
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Mr Simon was there, too, as well as other Germans who lived through the Berlin blockade like Gerhard Kapito.
"After the war, we looked on the Allies as occupiers," he says. "But after that we came to see them as our friends."


Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

#14 jlseal

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:19 PM

Personally, I'd learn C or C++ for when the robots take over.
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#15 fatherofcaitlyn

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:29 PM

Personally, I'd learn C or C++ for when the robots take over.


Java will be used. Pointers in C would cause the first generation of robot to fail.
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#16 lokizz

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

im looking to learn Korean and would also like to learn japaneese ( mainly due to my love for anime and asian dramas). itd be nice to be able to watch them anytime and not need subtitles. it wouldnt hurt to know spanish too. ill check out that mocha site maybe it could help.

#17 lokizz

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:19 PM

If you're learning a language for fun, disregard the below.

Learning a language is useless unless you plan to use it daily in either translating or conversation.

Since language is learned best through cultural immersion, you should focus on languages of place you want to live.

Swahili is usually spoken in Africa. Some areas of Africa are complete shitholes. If you're going work as a missionary or do-gooder, there are a lot of people in need of running water and any electricity.

Russian, of course, is usually spoken in Russia. Russia is a lot like Canada without the politeness, abundant consumer goods and the simple understanding that Americans have been protecting their asses for decades. It does have a lot of organized crime.

Japanese, of course, is usually spoken in Japan. Their population is aging. So, there will be opportunities if you're career is in medicine. However, your pay will be tempered by the massive taxes the government will have to impose on your pay to continue the social programs for senior citizens. It is a lot like the US without the excessive spending on military programs and you're considered a foreigner.

As others have said, Chinese is a good language to learn. If you know it, it might buy you some time and a promotion after the deed to the USA is transferred over to them.



im glad you said it and i didnt but its true they own america i saw something where they own 800 billion dollars in american debt. chineese and spanish are going to be a necessity in the future.

#18 blaked569

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:27 PM

Mandarin Chinese - as many posters have said, this is a very practical language in the business field. Also will come in handy when the Chinese take over the US in like 20 years.

#19 shieryda

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:34 PM

Everyone should learn Spanish.

I would like to learn American Sign Language, as well. We taught our son (when he was an infant) a few signs and it was so helpful.

I'd also like to learn Mandarin Chinese so that I don't have to use subtitles when I watch my kung-fu flix.

#20 Spacepest

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:13 PM

I was forced to take three years of Spanish in high school as a graduation requirement, which I had no desire to take in the first place. I tell no one at work that I can speak it because then I would be expected to become a translator to the public for free, greatly increasing my workload on top of my regular duties. Plus the Spanish I learned was the dialect spoken in Spain, not Mexico, so there is some difference (like comparing standard English and Ebonics, and if you use big words the Mexican/South American speaker is completely lost).

I took one year of French in college for fun. I might tackle Japanese next. Although if I was going into a foreign business environment, I'd definately take Mandarin Chinese.
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#21 fatherofcaitlyn

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:13 PM

Plus the Spanish I learned was the dialect spoken in Spain, not Mexico, so there is some difference (like comparing standard English and Ebonics, and if you use big words the Mexican/South American speaker is completely lost).



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#22 kainzero

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:52 PM

I'm currently (self)-studying Japanese. It's difficult and if I were completely on track, I'd be spending at least 2 hours a day studying.

There's a lot of real unique ways to studying it, but the most important tool out there that I've used is SRS/Anki. It is, by far, the best way to remember things long term. If I had Anki when I was in high school, I would've gotten an 800 on SAT Verbal and memorized so many vocabulary words.

My study program is adapted from AJATT and some threads on the Reviewing the Kanji website. It's really helpful and beats learning in a class. I also occasionally write on Lang-8, a site where you can blog in a foreign language and people come by and correct it.

I'm still far from understanding native material, but I definitely feel like I'm getting closer and I can work through certain things. The other day I bought a cookbook and I can understand it well enough to make the recipe, despite not knowing 70% of the words and grammar.
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#23 Droenixjpn

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:31 PM

I take German at school, I'm in German 2 ADV. right now, and I self-study Japanese at home and on my free-time. I have a study hall in school right now, so I can use that time to practice writing Japanese there or reviewing it.

I would just learn what language you want to learn and go from there, don't force yourself to learn a language you don't want to learn. It does not motivate you to learn that language and it will of course, feel like a chore.

And of course, immerse yourself in the language. Go on websites that are in that country's language, read the text there and try to translate it in your head. Of course, if you can find a native speaker of the language you are learning, go ahead and try to have a conversation with them.

As I said before, just learn the language you wish to learn. Motivate yourself to do it, think of all the benefits of knowing the language, even if it's a little bit of it. You can always break through the language barrier, just takes patience, concentration and hard work.

#24 Labbo94

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:59 AM

I'm in my third year of French, and plan to have taken six years of it by the time I'm out of high school. Since most of my family are Franco-Americans and I've grown up in a community so tightly embedded with Canadian culture and immigration I figured it would be both useful and necessary.

#25 c0rnpwn

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:40 PM

I take Latin for my major and I also learned Italian for fun. My family hail from Sicily so it's helped in speaking with the few hold-outs that are still over there. I took like 8 years of Spanish in middleschool/highschool and the Italian just obliterated any Spanish-speaking ability I had. Posso capire lo spagnolo ma non posso parlarlo.

Take what you want to learn, not what's useful. You'll never be good at it unless you are the most disciplined of people (and I'm talking monk-like levels of discipline).
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#26 fatherofcaitlyn

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:05 PM

...try to translate it in your head.


If you truly immerse yourself in a language, you won't translate it.

Your brain will simply rewire itself to think, hear and speak in that language.
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#27 ananag112

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:34 PM

Learn math. Its by far the most useful language to learn.
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#28 Xiados

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:05 PM

Japanese for about 4 1/2 years so far. Considering the plan is to go there, it's useful. I've learned some French as well, but don't have much use for it. I would say if you learn any other languages, keep them around the same area. Otherwise hope they really have a use.

#29 Gourd

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:46 PM

I honestly wish I could pick up a language in a reasonable amount of time without back breaking labor.

I come from a multilingual family, however I have extreme difficulties with learning language in general. I actually had to attend special education classes specifically to get a handle on speaking English.

Basically I chose to devote myself to getting /one/ language down pat. The rest of the family is fluent in French and English.

That I speak English well is a point of (sore) pride for me; I tend to be complimented on crisp and precise enunciation. I suppose that's a side effect of having it beaten into my brain.
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