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The Most Useful Languages


Voinjama
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I'm sure when I did my dissertation I read that loads of people were taking up mandarin only to find that china still works by and large on a semi corrupt networking system iirc called guanxi meaning that English businesses over there end up employing Chinese people to do all the talking and meetings for them and all they had to do was learn enough to be polite

so don't bother getting fluent in mandarin!

Better to oversee things yourselves and personally make sure nothing goes wrong, no?

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I'm still going to carry on learning it though. Going to Munich for 3 months soon, so I need to know it even if they are fluent in English. I will then move onto Spanish. I hope to be trilingual before I am 30 (5 years time). I will never learn a language outside of these though. No point learning Portugese, Italian, Dutch etc unless you will be living in those countries.

At least the languages you're learning are all closely related to each other. God bless people who speak both English and Chinese languages (like me :lol: )

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I'm still going to carry on learning it though. Going to Munich for 3 months soon, so I need to know it even if they are fluent in English. I will then move onto Spanish. I hope to be trilingual before I am 30 (5 years time). I will never learn a language outside of these though. No point learning Portugese, Italian, Dutch etc unless you will be living in those countries.

At least the languages you're learning are all closely related to each other. God bless people who speak both English and Chinese languages (like me :lol: )

It is very impressive that you speak those 2 languages because they are different. I find that most people in England only speak one language, and even though English is the lingua franca of the world, I still think people should make more of an effort to learn something else.

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I'm still going to carry on learning it though. Going to Munich for 3 months soon, so I need to know it even if they are fluent in English. I will then move onto Spanish. I hope to be trilingual before I am 30 (5 years time). I will never learn a language outside of these though. No point learning Portugese, Italian, Dutch etc unless you will be living in those countries.

At least the languages you're learning are all closely related to each other. God bless people who speak both English and Chinese languages (like me :lol: )

It is very impressive that you speak those 2 languages because they are different. I find that most people in England only speak one language, and even though English is the lingua franca of the world, I still think people should make more of an effort to learn something else.

Yeah I agree.

Thanks for the compliement btw :) it is indeed very hard to speak two languages that are as drastically different from each other as English and Chinese are. I think that's why people in China still struggle with English even though English education is huge business there.

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I'm still going to carry on learning it though. Going to Munich for 3 months soon, so I need to know it even if they are fluent in English. I will then move onto Spanish. I hope to be trilingual before I am 30 (5 years time). I will never learn a language outside of these though. No point learning Portugese, Italian, Dutch etc unless you will be living in those countries.

At least the languages you're learning are all closely related to each other. God bless people who speak both English and Chinese languages (like me :lol: )

It is very impressive that you speak those 2 languages because they are different. I find that most people in England only speak one language, and even though English is the lingua franca of the world, I still think people should make more of an effort to learn something else.

Hear, hear.

Out of interest legov, what would you say is your "first" language?

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C++

C#

java

fortran

perl

I could probably still "speak" COBOL (with a smattering of IBM Assembler).

Which is probably the computing equivalent of Latin and Greek. :)

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Capello's English should be better considering he has been here for 3 years. Did Paul Ince speak fluent Italian when he went to Inter Milan? And did David Beckham speak fluent Spanish when he was living in Madrid? Just curious, because there is a notion that when English people go and live abroad they don't even bother to learn the native language.

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For six million quid a year Fabio's English should definitely be better. Paul Ince did learn Italian when he went to Italy. Gary Lineker was fluent in Spanish after six months in Barcelona, I think he still does bits and pieces with the Spanish media in Spanish to this day. Joe Cole is currently learning French (dispelling the rumours that he was going to commute to Lille from Kent) and I think Beckham tried to learn Spanish but just couldnt get to grips with it.

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For six million quid a year Fabio's English should definitely be better. Paul Ince did learn Italian when he went to Italy. Gary Lineker was fluent in Spanish after six months in Barcelona, I think he still does bits and pieces with the Spanish media in Spanish to this day. Joe Cole is currently learning French (dispelling the rumours that he was going to commute to Lille from Kent) and I think Beckham tried to learn Spanish but just couldnt get to grips with it.

Lineker did that interview with maradonna a few years back and it was conducted in perfect, fluent spanish.

Beckham did/does speak Spanish, but not particularly well.

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Yeah, I have just been reading up on Lineker. He did an interview in Spanish with an Argentinian golfer (Andrés Romero) when he was covering the golf for the BBC a couple of years ago. He studied Japanese when in Japan. I think I would do that too, surely being able to mix with the locals is part of the fun of living abroad? Just look at Carlos Tevez, I think one of the big causes of his (obvious) unhappiness with life in Manchester is the fact that he cant speak English which probably leaves him feeling trapped at times. Having a good circle of friends is important to being happy I think and your chances massively increase if you have more people to speak to.

One thing I always meant to learn was more languages. My daughter (aged 5) can speak more languages than I can as she can talk to her nan in Gujarati and speak and read some Arabic. I can still only speak English. I am often surprised when I find out just how similar other languages are to each other though, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are fairly interchangeable and the rules of grammar in those languages isnt a million miles from French. I guess you have an easier time learning those languages if your native tongue is so similar. English really isnt like anything else is it? It's a bastard mix of French and German with little in common with either. People keep saying it is one of the hardest languages to learn, and I guess as an extension of that English speakers have a harder time learning other languages because we cant pin the rules of a new language on concepts we understand from English. I guess that is the price you pay for being an island.

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Yes I can see why people are saying Arabic but most of those countries will be French speaking too and those that aren't will generally be English speaking as a second language. French opens up the Arabic countries and a whole bigger chunk of the African continent plus Cambodia and Vietnam in SE Asia. Spanish speaking Countries open up small parts of Africa too (v small) and even in SE Asia, it gives you the Philippines as well as most of South America (even Brazil that is officially a Portuguese speaking nation does most of its Business in Spanish because that is the language most of it's trading partners use)

Arabic Speaking Countries Map

Map of Countries where French is an Official Language

Map of French Speaking Countries where French isn't an official Language

Map of Countries where Spanish is an Official Language

Map of Countries that have English as an official Language

So the German speaking countries are mainly Germany, Austria, bits of Switzerland (with other bits speaking French & Italian) and a very small part of Northern Italy (Trentino)

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You will probably always be able to find somebody who speaks Arabic in the Muslim countries of the world though. That is a lot of places, and most of them north and east of Saudi Arabia (ie, Iran, Iraq, the "stans") have their own local languages.

mDJc2.png

Oh, and fwiw, Urdu and Hindi are virtually the same language in spoken form. They are written in different alphabets though. A similar thing exists between German and Yiddish.

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If I recall Tanzania was a German Colony before it became British ... I wouldn't say it was fluent there but my wife can speak a reasonable amount of German and used it a few times when we were there

Arusha where we spent a few days is home to the UN and I believe French is it's official language as our guide told us the children were all learning English and French at school now

Seem to recall after the War of independence that the Americans lost :winkold: that they considered adopting French as their official language ... not sure if that would have been better in the long run , they could have ruined someone else's language and all Microsoft Products would have had US French instead of US English

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