Foreign Language

Rave18Rave18 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
If you would want to learn a foreign language (apart from English) to complement your career, which language would you go for ?

Comments

  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I speak 3 languages including English. I didn't choose them, they picked me lol because of the area I grew up. If I was to pick one now, I'd pick a language that is close to 1 of those 3 to make learning easier. The more languages you speak the easier the next one becomes to learn.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would pick 3 languages that best suit me for the area I am in....

    1. Spanish - There are PLENTY of people around that speak it
    2. Japanese - I love asian culture and customs, and I want to be able to watch anime with no english subtitles
    3. french/german/russian - I hear women in those countries love men that can speak their language :D
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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    If you want to make lots of money, then working in the MidEast is apparently a good way to do it. So Arabic might be useful for chumming up to the locals.

    Personally, I'm partial to Europe, so Italian, German or French are all attractive.

    For those in the darker areas of Info Sec, then Russian or Romanian or similar could be useful.

    And you can't go wrong learning Chinese - a massive market with increasing high tech.
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  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I will say this about Spanish (don't take it the wrong way). From a standpoint of increasing your career prospects, I don't think that Spanish has much of a value, from the perspective of an American English speaker. It was predicted that it would lead to increased wages and yada yada in the 90s (when I was in middle school and high school). It hasn't panned out that way. Why? We have far more bilingual Spanish-English speakers than we need. Now, there are plenty of other reasons to learn Spanish and part of that is because of the number of bilingual speakers, but for career advancement... not so much... unless you are planning to work for a multinational company that has a big focus in Latin America or Spain (this would be a bit niche, at that point).

    German is a good language to learn... it is the most spoken first language within Europe. They are the strongest economy in Europe and they have huge investments and holdings within the US (tons of German companies in the US). It also has some good qualities that make it easy for an English speaker (English is also a Germanic language). And as an English speaker, knowing one other Germanic language makes it super easy to get by in other Germanic languages (like Dutch and less so Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish... though those three are VERY close to each other, nearly dialects).

    French is okay... a solid economy in Europe (just swapped places with the UK thanks to the Brexit). It isn't nearly as widely spread but has plenty of usage throughout northern Africa and Polynesia. There are advantages for the English speaker here, as well, because we have TONS of words borrowed from French thanks to the Norman Conquest of 1066. Easy to pick up Spanish and Italian with French knowledge.

    Russian... hmm. I don't know here. Probably has a good value... tons of IT and "hacker" usage here. I know that I have seen jobs that required English with a second language that could be Russian (among others). When you start getting into languages with other character sets, it does get hard... and I think your focus should definitely be on speaking prior to reading/writing (programs like Pimsleur are speaking and listening focused). Remember language is more of a spoken thing... alphabets and reading/writing are relatively new developments by comparison. Also, the Slavic languages are among the most removed from English of any of the European sub-language families, another difficulty.

    Chinese. Well, plenty of reason to learn, for sure. And I tell you what, if you wanted to diversify and pick two languages, German and Chinese combined would be a great choice. Germany has so much involvement in the development and engineering of products... and China is where they are made. It is getting to the point where learning one foreign language isn't enough... you will need two [or more] to be competitive. That combo would be super competitive. It would be akin to the MCSE and the CCNA in 1996-2002. Plenty of difficulty here... characters... a completely different language family, tones, tones, and tones. Impressive, to say the least. Plenty of opportunity to teach English there and probably plenty of market for more niche things, like teaching IT there in English and being able to converse in Chinese. Almost endless possibilities.

    Japanese. Plenty of the difficulties of Chinese. Plenty of opportunity. Simpler than Chinese, from what I know as they don't use tones, to my knowledge.

    Arabic. Plenty of reason for this too. A very fractured and diverse language [set]. Right-to-left writing. I toyed with it for a few days and it was fun.

    Outside of those languages, it just comes down to if you want to go to the place that speaks your target language.

    The key to language learning is true motivation. If you are not motivated, you will not learn. It doesn't matter what you motivation is (other will argue with me about that), so long as that is what drives you. I like learning about languages in general because I like technical things in general and I like history... they tie together. But, I have had the most success with the languages that I have been more motivated to learn due to family heritage, value of the language, travel plans, etc.
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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,609 ■■■■■■■■■□
    A friend of mine a few years back ~ 10 started learning Spanish on his own. He would frequent Mexico in one specific region and eventually when his Spanish became stronger he started visiting South American countries. Eventually he took a month off of work and stayed in Argentina and really learned a lot about the culture and language, eventually he ended up leaving his place of employment for another FTE position that was focused heavily in LATAM. Since then his career has taken off literally, like a rocket. Since then he has transitioned to another position and he's really doing well for himself. He is still in IT, but his primary leverage point is his ability to manage the C level's in his corp while engaging with the project team members etc in LATAM. As of 3 years ago he was assigned to Brazil and has learned Portuguese well enough to do presentations and he is only getting better.

    So back to your question I don't know but I have seen the Spanish track work extremely well. While I was working on my programming and database skills he was working on his soft skills and his 2nd and 3rd language. All things equal he is much much farther along with me. There just isn't a lot of people out there who can do what he does in 3 languages while having a mastery of English.


    One last thing. Learning a second language is more than just a complimentary skill, it can be as important if not more than learning any technology.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,248 Mod
    Pick a language you're genuinely interested in - because learning a language and being competent in it is a long on-going process, you need to keep on using it....so if you like a certain culture and you can see yourself watching movies in that language and talking to people who speak that language regularity (and potentially living in a country that speaks that language) then go for it. Otherwise don't waste your time.

    DUO lingo is a good app/tool btw.
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  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Member Posts: 217
    Romanian, Russian, and Chinese.
  • ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS x 4 | ITIL | PCEP Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Spanish just because its the second most spoken language in America. And then Mandarin because its the biggest next to english in cyber
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  • gkcagkca Member Posts: 243 ■■■□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    I know that I have seen jobs that required English with a second language that could be Russian (among others). When you start getting into languages with other character sets, it does get hard... and I think your focus should definitely be on speaking prior to reading/writing (programs like Pimsleur are speaking and listening focused). Remember language is more of a spoken thing... alphabets and reading/writing are relatively new developments by comparison. Also, the Slavic languages are among the most removed from English of any of the European sub-language families, another difficulty.
    I don't think that learning the Cyrillic script would be a big challenge for anyone who's familiar with the Latin script as both are derived from Greek alphabet and share a lot of similarities. And in case of Russian it's way more phonetic than English, so basically it's pronounced the way it's written with a very few exceptions.
    But the grammar would be a tough one I'd imagine as it's quite different compared to English.
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  • tmtextmtex Member Posts: 326
    I am in Texas. Mexican(Spanish) is good to know, will it get you more money, doubtful. Your in IT , learn Indian or whatever it is they speak, they are very hard to understand
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    tmtex wrote: »
    Your in IT , learn Indian or whatever it is they speak, they are very hard to understand

    India is very diverse linguistically. One way to think of it, is if Europe was just one country but still had all these different languages, cultures and religions. Hindi would be the safest bet if you were going to learn one. Most Indians have at least 'cinema' Hindi, although it can be politically insensitive in Southern India - a bit like tourists expecting everyone to speak English everywhere (even if they do, it's nice to have people make an effort).

    But I've always wondered what it might be like to start speaking to an Indian call centre person in their native language.
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  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,828 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Never considered learning a language for career opportunities. It was always out of interest in knowing some basics for the places that I was visiting. Picked up on a significant amount of Spanish living in California for most of my life and learning Dutch since I now live in Holland. I must admit though, language is not my strong point.
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  • KrekenKreken Member Posts: 284
    I already speak three languages but if I would have to learn a new language, it would probably be Mandarin.
  • GSXR750K2GSXR750K2 Member Posts: 325 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've worked on German in the past but not to a point that I would ever claim to understand a conversation. Russian is another I'm very interested in. I can muddle my way through C#. :)
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    I am a native portuguese speaker, learned english around 12-15 and now (25) i am learning spanish (LATAM support).I am looking forward to move to Europe (Belgium, to be more specific), so French might be the choice.Russian looks really interesting, bus as someone said, dealing with another alphabet is not that simple...
  • gkcagkca Member Posts: 243 ■■■□□□□□□□
    d4nz1g wrote: »
    Russian looks really interesting, bus as someone said, dealing with another alphabet is not that simple...
    Well, as a native Russian speaker I can assure you that dealing with Cyrillic alphabet is not that much of a trouble ;)
    I'm trying to learn Vietnamese and that's not an easy one because of the tones... but the alphabet is easy lol
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  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Learning:
    Russian
    Farsi

    Will learn:
    Arabic
    French
    Spanish



    Language learning takes a lot of time and it's no joke. You can quickly forget what you've learned. If you can study abroad or work abroad in the country then you should 100% go for it. If you can go to a section of the city or just meet some natives and practice with them every day for atleast 10 minutes a day, it'll help.

    I spent 2.5 months in Russia. I really enjoy Russia and I would like to go back soon but I forgot most of the Russian that I've learned and I'm having an issue trying to remember things. I know that it'll take 2 weeks before my brain makes Russian the primary language that I use so I might start forcing myself to use it a lot more before I go.

    If you can take a foreign language test, that would be great! I gotta fly to the Ukraine or Russia just to take the test.
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  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, CCSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ECIH, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Russian seem like viable languages for IT professionals for many reasons. Choose one (or more) that fits your goals, location, and personal life the best. I'm learning Japanese because I found a job in Japan ;). Also it's a large IT market and I plan on living in an area with a lot of Japanese once I leave here. Without personal factors, I may have selected Chinese for it's usefulness in business and information security.
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