Which of these languages should I learn?
Topic: Which of these languages should I learn?
April 21, 2019 / By Steffie Question:
I can't decide between Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Russian.
I love Japanese and Korean music and the sound of both languages and could very well see myself traveling to those countries. However I have an intense dislike for the word grammar and know those languages have complex grammar. I find the sound of Mandarin to be fascinating and the written language beautiful. I know I would be able to communicate with many by learning this language and it would give me access to a wealth of history, literature etc but I couldn't see myself going to China. I am in adoration of the sound of Russian and find the alphabet to be fascinating and beautiful.
I love languages but have a hard time sticking to one...which do you recommend? Which would give me the most opportunities? Also please do not recommend Spanish; I'm already taking classes for that.
Best Answers: Which of these languages should I learn?
Quanna | 2 days ago
You've picked four incredibly complex languages for a native English speaker to learn! I can really only speak to Chinese and Russian from personal experience, but I would assume that the Asian languages will share some similar traits.
Russian will be easier for you to learn to read, but Russian grammar is miserable with a full six cases for nouns and as such true Russian fluency is a very difficult feat to achieve. Conversation can be difficult for native English speakers because the way Russian is spoken words frequently run together - sort of like French if you've studied that - and it can be difficult for us to separate individual words. However, Russian words do have many English cognates and idioms will come much more naturally to a Western ear.
By contrast, basic understanding of Chinese may be easier to achieve if you can make the initial leap to acclimatizing yourself to a tonal language. The grammar is simply nowhere near as complex although for a native English speaker it is still quite a leap. Chinese characters will take a while to master, but it's not an impossible accomplishment if you set aside the proper amount of time to do the work.
I have heard that Korean is the most difficult language for an English speaker to learn. I do not remember why. I have also heard that Japanese is easier than Mandarin because there are more English cognates.
From a practical perspective, Russian will open you up to Eastern European languages such as Czech and Polish. Considering the current geopolitical situation, Mandarin Chinese appears to be more immediately useful as the Chinese star is on the rise while Eastern Europe is on the decline. However, it should also be noted that geopolitics can change rapidly (20 years ago, no one would have guessed that Arabic would be a very useful thing for a native English speaker to learn).
If you're drawn to Russia and have no great need to go to Asia, learn Russian. If you're an international business major and interested in the language take Chinese because it will probably give you greater mileage on a resume.
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Originally Answered: Compare the languages of Spanish and German for a college student to study for two semesters?
I vote for German.
In Europe Spanish is very much a minority language. German is spoken by more folk than any other language than Russian.
I also learnt German for my masters many moons ago.
You might want to try doing a summer in Germany at the Goethe Institut. Check it out on their web site; http://www.goethe.de/enindex.htm
2-3 months will give you the basics. I nearly passed my German exam after 7 weeks there.
If you can spend 3 months there and avoid other americans, live with a family or specifically ask for a non-English speaking roommate, you could very well pass for more than just 2 semesters of german when you get back.
Oh yes, I read Der Kleine Hobbit in order to improve my vocabulary when I went back to Germany to teach in a Gymnasium about 7 years after my 2 summers at the Goethe Instutit. It helped. :-)
Whenever I travel, I've met someone who speaks German.
By the way ther are 5 languages spoken, officially, in south America. :-)
v_v that person was a jackass dont listen to him. i request you learn mandarin, as you love everything about it. i am learning gaelic which is an ancient irish and i wont be caught dead outside the us so... my answer is mandarin
👍 50 | 👎 -6
This will depend on what you want to do. If you've already accomplished a lot in life, and all of these are only for recreational purposes, then I suggest you pick what you like the most, and which country you will be spending the most time in.
But if you're a business/financial/politics major, I would say Mandarin. As many have said here and you probably know, many of us especially in international business and relations will be dealing with a lot of Chinese people in the future. This is quite inevitable. Most of US's civil engineers and architects' clients are already the Chinese. They're the ones building skyscrapers and China is the main market for that.
So take into consideration your goals here.
👍 49 | 👎 -14
If you're planning on going to a large city in Japan, such as Tokyo, I would recommend learning Japanese. The road signs are exclusively in Japanese and it could be very easy to get lost. However, if you have such a strong feeling for Mandarin Chinese then choose it, you gave good reasons for it.
You probably won't find Russian very useful, since you'll probably only go there a few times. I could be totally wrong though, you may like Russia.
I hope this helps you make a good decision. :)
👍 48 | 👎 -22
Believe me, I'm studying it and it is WONDERFUL. Interesting. Useful.
Useful because studying Russian will help you understand other languages such as Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Bulgarian.....see? So many languages!
I'm not saying that once you know Russian you also know all those languages, but I'm saying it will help understand them, because they have similar grammar and words and pronunciation.
Slavic languages sound awesome. And Russia is a big country, and very rich in history and culture.
Awesome culture and music.
My suggestion is Russian, definitely
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Originally Answered: What more should I learn? and is this more mature to do?
I'm in the same situation!!! :D
My mom said if I got A's this semester (cause I got straight a's 6th and 7th grade) I can get a horse. Well I did lessons for 2 years western and then moved states so I had to switch to english for 6 months. I didn't like the barn I was at at all so I found a cool laid back barn where I volunteer to work (muck stable, fix fences, drag fields, feeding, grooming). Let me tell you I learned more about horses in the week that I started than in the 2 1/2 years I have been riding! It is really good thing! and you might be able to work out half off lease for work because you are 16 (I am 13 so I cant) I totally recommend that. Well I found a horse and after the semester ends I can buy it! Im so excited! Im only a pleasure rider so w/t/c and trails so I taught and perfected it by myself with alittle help from another boarder. if you jump and stuff you might want to take lessons alittle bit longer but you are totally good and the right track! Good luck!