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Author Topic: Not sure which languages to learn  (Read 4036 times)

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penultimatedoomguy

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Not sure which languages to learn
« on: November 09, 2015, 00:27:00 »

Hi, I am dreaming of becoming a polyglot.  Right now, I am learning some Japanese because my family is traveling to Japan again net year.  I already know some vocab, grammar rules, and I can read hiragana and katakana, but I feel that my Japanese is still very limited.  My Japanese is what the topic is about, but the languages I want to learn in the future.  I heard that I should learn Latin if I am becoming a scientist or doctor, but is Latin necessary for college?  I don't feel motivated in learning Latin.  I also don't know if I want to become fluent in Japanese.  The languages I'm interested in learning are huge languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, French, and Arabic.  I might learn Japanese and Latin, then Spanish and Mandarin, and then French and Arabic, but which ones are the most important right now?
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Saga Musix

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Re: Not sure which languages to learn
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 00:38:41 »

Quote
I heard that I should learn Latin if I am becoming a scientist or doctor, but is Latin necessary for college?
At least here in Germany the only time your require a "Latinum" (a qualification in Latin you get in school) is for medical, theological and many lingual degrees. For anything else you don't need it per se but it can be a useful language to know if you want to get into indo-european languages like the ones you mentioned, as it helps seeing the connections between those languages and the origins of many words become obvious. Whether it's important for this I can't say, though. I found it useful but I probably forgot most of Latin that I learned in school.
I can't say anything about the situation in the US though.
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penultimatedoomguy

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Re: Not sure which languages to learn
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 02:55:19 »

If you want a different perspective, you can take a look at this:
http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com/2011/02/10-reasons-not-to-learn-latin.html
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ModTomIT

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Re: Not sure which languages to learn
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 01:06:36 »

Hi, I am dreaming of becoming a polyglot.  Right now, I am learning some Japanese because my family is traveling to Japan again net year.  I already know some vocab, grammar rules, and I can read hiragana and katakana, but I feel that my Japanese is still very limited.  My Japanese is what the topic is about, but the languages I want to learn in the future.  I heard that I should learn Latin if I am becoming a scientist or doctor, but is Latin necessary for college?  I don't feel motivated in learning Latin.  I also don't know if I want to become fluent in Japanese.  The languages I'm interested in learning are huge languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, French, and Arabic.  I might learn Japanese and Latin, then Spanish and Mandarin, and then French and Arabic, but which ones are the most important right now?

Hi, Japanese is a wonderful, complex language. Like many people who make mods I have a thing for Japan and travelled there recently. I knew enough Japanese to order food, read or guess at the meanings of signs written in kanji, and that was after several months of (constant) self study. I could say things in Japanese, but found it difficult to have a conversation at all. I could communicate basic things though...with a combination of my bad Japanese and various degrees of English knowledge on the part of people in Japan we could communicate enough. I will continue to learn Japanese and will return to Japan.

You know about Japanese but consider that it really is perhaps the hardest language in the world to learn. Some say it isn't, but things like multiple readings for kanji, sometimes in the double digits, and counters, are very time-consuming and frustrating to learn. If you want to learn Japanese, I suggest you focus on it exclusively for a long while.

Latin is not as important as it used to be, but it helps in learning Spanish, French, Italian, or Romanian, and its the language of the Roman Catholic Church, and many famous works are written in some version of Latin, so there's that.

If you live in North America, Spanish is very useful, and in most places in the Americas, its essential. Its also useful in Spain, or course! Spanish is an easy language to start with but difficult to master.

Mandarin is the language of the elite in China, in government and business, and hundreds of millions of normal folks in the Chinese mainland. The Chinese diaspora in the West and the people of Hong Kong tend to speak Cantonese and other dialects I do believe, so consider that. Mandarin relies on tones, which makes pronouncing it correctly difficult. Consider also that Mandarin since mid 20th century uses a simplified set of ideograms which are different than those used in Hong Kong, Singapore and by the Chinese diaspora in the West.

French is a useful language, spoken in Africa, Quebec,  France, and other scattered places around the world. Many great works of literature have been written in French.

Arabic is a language which is spoken in many countries, if you were looking for a language of global import, I would not hesitate to learn Arabic.

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penultimatedoomguy

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Re: Not sure which languages to learn
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 01:50:11 »

What do you think of Hindi?  Although it is not global, it still might be a somewhat important language to learn.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 01:54:47 by penultimatedoomguy »
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bmo

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Re: Not sure which languages to learn
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 20:42:24 »

i lived in japan for nearly 7 years and was a translator for 2. its a really fun language which for me, was drastically different than english or dutch. not that hard to pick up the basics and only 5 vowels make it easy for beginners to pronounce :) give it a shot
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