Learning languages

Hey Veeky Forums, what language would you recommend that I learn?

Right now, I'm a senior in HS and I speak fluent English and German and know enough Spanish to get myself out of trouble. I live in the United States. Should I expand on a language like Spanish or Portuguese, or should I take something like Japanese, Mandarin, or Cantonese?

I'm planning on majoring in economics.

Other urls found in this thread:


spanish or chinese. my spanish tutor is only $80 a month.

Learning a language as an adult is extremely difficult and learning one of the Asian languages is almost impossible. Read this:

You may never achieve fluency even if you devote every waking moment to it. Even if you can it'll take at least 5 years, and that is if you are a savant. Considering you only know two languages at ~18 you are not a savant, so it'll take you at least 10 years (probably more) to learn one of them. Abandon hope of it unless you plan on becoming a linguist, but that's a bad goal because you will fail to compete against native speakers or kids who have parents who were very prescient and got them started as infants.

French, Spanish, Portuguese (or Italian, I guess) are within reach though. Fluency in French will be extremely difficult, but IMO that is the right language to be learning. Africa is the last frontier lads.


>Learning a language as an adult is extremely difficult and learning one of the Asian languages is almost impossible.

Are you retarded or what?

That's simply false, as attested by the millions who have mastered various languages as adults, myself included.

OP, I would suggest doubling down on Spanish if you are planning to continue living in the States. It is becoming increasingly more common there, and having it as a skill is a huge asset in many positions/companies.

If you are planning on doing business in China, Mandarin is highly useful. Otherwise, it's not nearly as big as some people say. English is still the global language for commerce, and there is no reason to believe this will change. Mandarin has more native speakers than English, but there are still many, many, many times the number of non-native English speakers learning English than non-native Mandarin speakers learning Mandarin.

Only Russian only hardcore.

I remember seeing research that showed that learning a second language barely increased people's earnings. It was like 1 or 2%. And given how much time you have to invest, it's not worth it from a fiscal point of view unless you have certain goals in mind that you need to know a certain language for.

My advice is learn a language for fun and to pick a language that's used somewhere you would like to visit because that's the real value it will give you.

You are probably overrating your command of whatever foreign language you learned as an adult. Can you think in this language? If so can you think at even 10% the speed you can in your native language?

True fluency takes a very long time. Near native is achievable but would require long term immersion and almost singular focus.

People overrate their accomplishments.

>True fluency takes a very long time.
True, but it takes only 6 months to achieve conversational fluency in just about any language.
Thinking in a language has absolutely nothing to do with how fluent you can speak it.

I only spoke one language up until I was 27.
I picked up Farsi (Dari) in about 9 months and passed the exam to be a CAT 3.
Spent two years translating for the marines before coming back home.
My fluency was enough to keep me and my squad mates alive.
Never once had an issue in language barrier.
Easiest 200k/yr I've ever earned.

>Easiest 200k/yr I've ever earned.

top kek

People are going to get pissed at this guy, but he's correct.

I know some people that studied Mandarin for 5 years, then moved to China and lived there for 10 years that can hardly hold a nearly fluent conversation with a Chinese native speaker or hardly read a Chinese newspaper. One of the few people I know that have pulled it off are people like Jared Psigoda, and he's lived in China for 10+ years, and studied it all through college and high school.


Look up literally any civilian contracting jobs that involve field translations in war zones.
CAT 1 starts around $120k
CAT 2 $150-170k
CAT 3 $180-210k

>Can you think in this language?

People ask this question a lot about language learners, I've noticed.

Honestly, it's not as simple as like "oh I think in this language now; I guess I'm good."

It depends on the context. When I was in France, surrounded by French speakers, using French much more than English on a day-to-day basis, I thought mostly in French. Now that I live in the US, using English on a day-to-day basis, I think in English. Language is not -quite- the only thing going on inside our thoughts, either. "Thinking" can happen across multiple languages in a lot of ways in one thought process. Learning a language is similar to other acquired skills in that if you -do- practice, it will become second nature. It's true for both speaking it and "thinking in" it.

But that point aside, I am fairly certain that OP was not referring to native level proficiency, and the fact of the matter is that native level proficiency is not very important to achieve. Especially in business, where most communication is through text, as long as you decently understand your target language's grammar and have a good grasp on the vocabulary and writing system, you're pretty set.

they are just low IQ retards. I have friends that learnt French, German and Mandarin, and can hold conversations with their teachers just fine. I went to a chinese restaurant and they ordered all the food in mandarin. It completely depends on the person, but it can be done.

What did you do to learn the language in such a short time?

What exam did you take specifically? (Cat 3 seems to refer to the difficulty of the language as defined by the US DLI and not a proficiency level, which I assume was 2 or "advanced" in your case)

Finally, how did you (or did you at all) develop the proper accent?

(sorry if I'm being interrogative, you seem the only person in this thread that knows what he's talking about)

I'm a Chinese Ex Pat with a small business in Cali.

My advice: Learn a useful business language like German or Japanese.

Any Chinese worth doing business with will speak english.

And it doesn't matter if you speak chinese anyways. If they see you're a westerner, they'll just constantly lie to you.

>If they see you're a westerner, they'll just constantly lie to you.

And play semantics... Chinese LOVE to use bullshit colloquialism that westerners think is "wise" or cute...

Good luck talking through a contract in chinese... nothing they say will be trustworthy, and

If you try to deal in Chinese... they will be happy to, but then they will blame you for not understanding their Language when they violate the contract...

First rule of doing business with Chinese - make sure all legal matters are handled in English.

As a Chinaman, how accurate would you say the stories in this are to typical Chinese business life?



Its absolutely true...

There is an age old saying kown to the Koreans, Japanese, South East Asians, Indians, etc....

"Never trust a smiling Chinese businessman."

There is a reason why we Chinese tend to trust white people more than ourselves... we think you tend to be "stupidly honest"

waste of time.

English is king. Spanish, German, and Chinese can add a little bit of help in international business ventures, but for the most part are parlor tricks.

Good to know. I thought I about learning Mandarin for a bit, but then decided against it. That was before I naturally IRL redpilled myself about how you're all a bunch of cunts.

>you're all a bunch of cunts.

Keep in mind these are 1st gen Chinese... born, raised under communist oppression...

everything to them is a zero sum game. Me winning means you losing.

there is no concept of, "we all win" in a communist life.

But 2nd Gen Chinese adopt super fucking quick and are probably even better Americans than Euros.

>Keep in mind these are 1st gen Chinese... born, raised under communist oppression...
>everything to them is a zero sum game. Me winning means you losing.

For you white folks out there that don't understand this thinking... read up on the Cultural Revolution...

>But 2nd Gen Chinese adopt super fucking quick
This I do see and they are generally a lot better

> and are probably even better Americans than Euros
Nah. This is only anecdotal, but I have yet to meet any Chinese people in my life with the strength of morals and civility of the good whites I know. And that comes from two of the more highly Chinese over-ridden Western cities (Melbourne and San Francisco).

Most likely because the European countries are built on the same (Christian) values that America is. Although I do have to say that I've met a number of older Chinese people that have spent their whole life here who embrace the tough American country better than most, which earns a lot of respect from me.

I think the problem with all of the younger ones is that due to the vast rate of immigration, they aren't moving into areas that are almost entirely white where they have to adopt the new culture; they are instead just moving in droves and taking areas over and bringing their culture and values with them. sucks ass

>strength of morals

I never defined "better american" literally... lol

Whites come from christian/catholic foundations. You have a concept of god. We worship the RMB. You have lines you will not cross. We will sell melanine laced baby formula to our own neighbors if it makes us an extra yuan.

I meant 2nd gen Chinese are better "capitalists" than even you americans.

>What did you do to learn the language in such a short time?
I started with a free language software I got from my local library, then moved on to both Rosetta stone and Pimsluer.
I finished the free resource in about a month, RS in about 3 months, Pimsluer in about 2 months.
Lastly, I made friends with two people that did the same military translating job that I wanted.
I would have one sit on each side of me, one would speak in only Farsi, the other would only speak English.
I would translate what they said to each other and have them correct me as I go.
I would have them spend an hour or so each day with me in exchange for me buying their lunch or beers or whatever.

>What exam did you take specifically?
It was a fluency exam for the contracting company I was with. Idk if it'll be the same one for each company.
Basically they had me transcribe like 10 or so pages of information (some from Farsi to English and vice versa) and had me hold a conversation with one of the other translators for like 2 hours.
CAT 3 refers to your clearance level.
So at CAT 3 I was dealing with TS/SCI type stuff.
But the company has a different test based on what CAT level you are applying for with ascending difficulty.

>did you develop the proper accent?
That's a tough one to answer because I was never really close to any of the native speakers to get an honest assessment from them.
Most of them are simply impressed that you went out of your way to learn that language.
But I never really had any problems with people understanding what I was saying.

lol good capitalists I could agree with that.

I took the original screencaps and uploaded them onto imgur.
It always amazes how often it crops up on Veeky Forums/reddit and that I've created something that now influences the minds of thousands of people.

Thanks a lot for your answers. The live translation thing is something I've never heard of before but makes perfect sense. Maybe I can find some people on language learning forums or something.

Yeah man, it actually played a significant role in shaping how I view the Chinese in general. Much appreciated

mandarin/Arabic for finance with emphasis on mandarin

>The live translation thing is something I've never heard of before
Honestly this seemed to be what made everything click for me with the language.
If you can't find people that you can meet with in person you may be able to find an online tutor on sites like italki.com
But I would definitely recommend getting some kind of language partner.

You could pick the language of a country that has a much higher typical wage than the country you are currently in, then emmigrate there. Switzerland, for example, has some of the highest wages in the world and has three languages you could choose from.

The main problem is just vocabulary. People try to learn a language with a clear goal in mind so achieving "true fluency" is often irrelevant.


it's already been posted but i'm posting it again