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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    What language should I learn?

    I've always wanted to learn another language, and I think it would look great on my law school application in two years. So which should it be? I took French in high school, but I've forgotten it now.

    I don't want to go with something like Chinese or Japaneses, nothing too complicated. Since I moved from Texas, I no longer need to learn Spanish just to order a cheeseburger, or any other product that is sold by minimum wage employees.

    Is there any one language that is widely spoken across Europe, other than English?

    What software programs would you recommend? I know Rosetta Stone is a popular choice, but it cost $200! I tried an online demo and I was actually about to learn different phrases right away, so it must be worth it.

    Three of my four grandparents were born in Germany, including my dad, so I am leaning towards German. But I think Italian would be cool too.

  2. #2
    Pretty Hate Machine Weeks's Avatar
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    Mandarin. Don't learn Spanish because it won't make you stand out, unless you want to deal with immigrants all the time.

    But since you refuse to learn something Chinese, I'd suggest Russian. They're going to take over someday anyway.

  3. #3
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Klingon. Definitely Klingon.

  4. #4
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Russian. The CIS is where it's at.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  5. #5
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain
    I don't want to go with something like Chinese or Japaneses, nothing too complicated.

    ...

    Is there any one language that is widely spoken across Europe, other than English?
    Well if Japaneses are to complicated, maybe you could just start with 1 Japanese and go from there.

    I would think German and French would be good language choices.
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weeks
    Mandarin. Don't learn Spanish because it won't make you stand out, unless you want to deal with immigrants all the time.

    But since you refuse to learn something Chinese, I'd suggest Russian. They're going to take over someday anyway.
    I'm just under the impression that Chinese would be extremely difficult. I do think it would be highly beneficial since I want to become a business lawyer. It would open a lot of doors.

  7. #7
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth
    Japanese isn't all that hard to speak.. writing and reading?!? Errr fuggetabudit.
    Reading, especially. You can always write in Hiragana and Katakana. Those are easy enough to learn. It's learning the several thousand Kanji that will kill you dead.

  8. #8
    pathetic earthling volleybrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain
    I'm just under the impression that Chinese would be extremely difficult.
    That's exactly why it would make you more valuable should you decide to learn it.
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  9. #9
    Displaced Southerner polara426sh's Avatar
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    Learn Spanish. Spanish is the predominant language in the Western Hemisphere. Three countries speak English: Belize, Canada, and the US. 1.5 countries speak French: French Guyana and Quebec. One Country speaks Portuguese, Brazil. Everyone else speaks Spanish.

  10. #10
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    The opportunities in Latin America are amazing. Many of the nations are progressing very well now and so having the grasp of the Spanish language is a big plus. I read somewhere that being bi-lingual in Spanish is considered one of the best things on your resume.

    Also, realize that the illegal immigrants are a fraction of the population - some of the richest people in the world speak Spanish.

  11. #11
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    The opportunities in Latin America are amazing. Many of the nations are progressing very well now and so having the grasp of the Spanish language is a big plus. I read somewhere that being bi-lingual in Spanish is considered one of the best things on your resume.

    Also, realize that the illegal immigrants are a fraction of the population - some of the richest people in the world speak Spanish.

    Actually, The Richest person does. Some guy in Mexico just passed Gates in the latest estimates.
    In the words of Einstein
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  12. #12
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Spanish...not to mention once you learn a langauge based on latin all of the other latin languages become very easy to learn. I was able to get around Italy quite easily knowing Spanish. There is a lot of cross-over.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
    Senior Member FlyingAnchor's Avatar
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    The first language you should consider is one you WANT to learn, you will have more motivation to keep at it.
    Then again I have to support Spanish as a choice. You will have more chances in the Western hemisphere to use it and many european countries speak a smattering of it.
    Steven

  14. #14
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    if you can get rid of your thinly disguised prejudice against spanish speaking people, i would suggest that. it makes no sense learning a language that you won't have the opportunity to practice on a regular basis.

  15. #15
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squegeeboo
    Actually, The Richest person does. Some guy in Mexico just passed Gates in the latest estimates.
    Yes, I think he owns a big telecom company - but I might be wrong.

  16. #16
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    As for learning a language, supposedly Pimsleur is very good, at least conversationally. It's just audio CDs, so you wouldn't even need to be sitting at your computer to use it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    if you can get rid of your thinly disguised prejudice against spanish speaking people, i would suggest that. it makes no sense learning a language that you won't have the opportunity to practice on a regular basis.
    I only have prejudice against those people who work in customer service oriented jobs and don't speak English. I will keep Spanish as an option.

    I would be able to use German regularly by talking to my grandmother. 92% of the population here in Colorado is white, so I really would not have an opportunity to use another language regularly. Its something I would have to be self-disciplined about and keep with it. Self-discipline is one of the reasons I want to teach myself another language.

  18. #18
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    How about Ryanese?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    Yes, I think he owns a big telecom company - but I might be wrong.
    I think its more like all of Mexico.

  20. #20
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    English...it's the only language that actually matters. Everybody will be speaking it in the future.

  21. #21
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain
    I'm just under the impression that Chinese would be extremely difficult. I do think it would be highly beneficial since I want to become a business lawyer. It would open a lot of doors.
    You're thinking of Chinese Algebra. That's really hard.

  22. #22
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    since you can't decide...why not study latin? it would be a good base no matter which direction you end up taking.

  23. #23
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    I have the same delimma.

    I probably will work on Spanish, as in Texas, most everyone speaks it.
    After that, its a toss-up between Russian, and Mandarin.

  24. #24
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Chinese is hard, but not so much as people make it out to be -- the grammar, for instance, is quite simple. However, because it seems so fundamentally foreign to English speakers, it's also that much more rewarding when you do figure stuff out.

    BUT do not go into it thinking that you will be able to speak and read comfortably after a few months (which you might be able to do with Spanish or French). Also, if you're non-Asian, be aware that no matter how well you speak and immerse yourself in the culture, you will always be an outsider. This may or may not be an issue for you -- it is for some, less so for others.

    Japanese is far easier to pronounce, but the grammar is a pain. Reading is perhaps easier than Chinese because they do use phonetic alphabets (kana) along with Chinese characters (kanji). Same deal applies with the eternal outsider status of non-Japanese people.

    If you're set on a useful European language, definitely go for Spanish. French, German, and Italian are wonderful languages, but they're relatively localised. That said, go with what you're interested in. It will make your life a lot easier, and you will be able to speak the language that much better.

    As for Russian, I have heard much about how hard it is to learn. Can't say from experience if it's true or not.

    Finally, look into an immersion program. Being surrounded by the language is by far the best way to learn it, IMHO.

    In terms of usefulness in the future, I'd say Chinese (Mandarin) comes first, followed by Spanish and Arabic. Japanese and Russian might be useful, but less so.

    My own plans are to continue working on my Chinese, and attack both French and Spanish. French because I believe that, as a Canadian, I should speak it; Spanish because my mother is originally from Chile, and I want to connect with my family there.

    What do you want to do with your chosen language? If I may say so, learning a language to look good on a law school application isn't the best way to approach it.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    I would suggest French. While France and French Guyana openly use it, it is used or accepted by the US, Vietnam, Canada, and other countries.

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