Which language to learn after English?

Which language to learn after English?

Postby Crimson King » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:29 am

Well, as the title suggests. What is in your opinion the most useful language to learn after English? Considering that i work as a software developer and will probably move to an European country in the near future.

Btw, you can't say spanish (it's my native tongue)
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby stranac » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:43 am

Learn the language of the country you're going to move to.
There is no universally spoken language in Europe, so if you learn a random language, you would probably end up knowing a language you can't use.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby Crimson King » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:17 pm

stranac wrote:Learn the language of the country you're going to move to.
There is no universally spoken language in Europe, so if you learn a random language, you would probably end up knowing a language you can't use.


Hey stranac, most likely it will be Ireland.

In that regard there would be no problem with the languages i already know/use. But was wondering which would prove the most beneficial while living in Europe (apart from English and Spanish) and also which would look good on a CV as a third language and 'open the most doors' to me.

I know there's no real answer to this question, just wanted to read some feedback from other members.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby Kebap » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:54 am

Of course I suggest German, but then again I do live in Germany.

Meanwhile I am trying to learn Spanish myself. English is really no problem.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby XndrK » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:58 pm

I am learning German. Germany is currently the economic capital of Europe, and if you already know English, it's pretty close. (I mean, they are still two separate languages, but they have a common ancestor, so it shouldn't be too hard.) So...
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby Somelauw » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:09 pm

The obvious choices are German and French.
As Spanish is your native tongue, French would probably be easier for you to pick up.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby ricardo49 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:28 am

I agree that French and German are good languages to learn if you are planning a move to Europe. As someone who has studied a number of languages, I tell anyone who is serious about learning a foreign language to get three basic reference books:

• A dictionary
• A verb book
• A reference grammar

The dictionary should be the biggest, fattest one that you can afford. It is important for it to show the various ways that a given word can be used. My Oxford Spanish Dictionary does precisely that. You need the verb book because verbs have so many forms; some are irregular and some are not. The reference grammar is like a dictionary for the rules of grammar and usage: it is generally arranged so you can look in the list of contents and find the particular rule you need to know about (for example, interrogatives, relative pronouns, compound tenses, etc.). In an ordinary textbook, these rules would be spread throughout the book, whereas in a reference grammar they would be all together in one section. With these three books plus the wonderful free resources of the Internet, you should have what you need to learn the European language of your choice.

Another useful practice to follow is to keep a alphabetized vocabulary list on your computer as you encounter new words and new ways to use them. I have one list for Spanish masculine nouns, another for feminine nouns, and yet another for nouns that can be either gender (words like azúcar and those ending in -ista). I have another list for adverbs, and others for the different kinds of regular and irregular verbs. You get the idea. Here is a sample entry from my list of feminine nouns:

BUSCA search, hunt || Enviaron a un grupo en busca de ayuda. They sent a group to look for help. || Anda en busca de marido. She's looking for a husband.

Be sure to find out how to use the computer to make any accented letters (or special characters like the “ß” in German) required by the language you wish to study. There are various ways to do this, some easier than others. With my word processor, I can shift between an English and a Spanish keyboard.

Finally, try to spend time with people who speak the language you wish to learn, preferably people who don’t speak Spanish very well, so you will be more likely to increase your skills by speaking in their language.

Even if you end up moving to an English-speaking country like Ireland, you may want to travel on the European continent, so whatever other language(s) you learn will not be time wasted.

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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby CasualCoding.org » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:28 am

Since you're already familiar with English and Spanish, you've got the most important languages covered, economically speaking. So what additional language you choose really doesn't matter and is mainly a question of your personal preferences. German and its related languages like Dutch and the like are neither very interesting nor very nicely sounding languages. French is too closely related to Spanish to be an interesting thing to learn. You could look for any of the Eastern European languages; they are not very nicely sounding too, but you'd cover a completely new familiy of languages, which should be most interesting, plus the Eastern European countries become more and more important world-wide. Or you could go for Chinese, which has nothing to do with Europe, yet it is still a very important language economically and probably will become even more important in the future.

My suggestion is, pick a language you are personally interested in. Be it that you like its origin as a country / region, be it that you like its sound.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby Kebap » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:31 am

CasualCoding.org wrote:German and its related languages like Dutch and the like are neither very interesting nor very nicely sounding languages.

Well I beg to differ. Many interesting texts have been written in German in the last couple centuries. Be it philosphy, science, etc. Depending on your interests, it may be worthwile to be able to read and understand them in original, as English translations obviously can't deliver the full picture.

Then again, learning Chinese is a whole different beast, as you would not only have to learn a new language, but also new culture, new letters of alphabet (in fact multiple alphabets), etc. This will take significantly longer.

Agreeing on Eastern European languages. Then again, there are many to choose from.

If anybody wants help learning German, just let me know :)
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby CasualCoding.org » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:56 am

Kebap wrote:Well I beg to differ. Many interesting texts have been written in German in the last couple centuries. Be it philosphy, science, etc. Depending on your interests, it may be worthwile to be able to read and understand them in original, as English translations obviously can't deliver the full picture.


That's true, and it was not what I meant. I didn't argue culturally, but only linguistically. Of course there's a whole world of interesting writings from all kinds of domains that are worth to be studied. But the language itself, linguistically, is not a very interesting language to learn, no interesting grammatical phenomena, no remarkable constructions, and it definitely doesn't sound nicely. It's just boring from the point of view of the learner of a new language, that's all I wanted to say.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby Somelauw » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:31 pm

CasualCoding.org wrote:no interesting grammatical phenomena,

German has a case system.

no remarkable constructions,

Dimunitives
Word composition e.g. 'krankenhaus' / 'ziekenhuis' (ill house) instead of 'hospital'.

and it definitely doesn't sound nicely.

Dutch has many consonant and vowel sounds that are uncommon in Spanish, English and German.
German sounds somewhat differently from other popular languages which may make it interesting. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlATOHGj9EY. Of course this is a caricature.
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Re: Which language to learn after English?

Postby CasualCoding.org » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:44 am

Somelauw wrote:German has a case system.


Well, the remains of a case system, somewhat. In comparison to other case based languages, however, it's rather poor. Plus, in everyday use, those cases get more and more lost. The genitive is almost non-existent in everyday speech, and the dative is already massively reduced in practice. And since grammar in the long run follows actual practice...

Somelauw wrote:Dimunitives


Exist in other languages too, even in English (thingy, girly).

Somelauw wrote:Word composition e.g. 'krankenhaus' / 'ziekenhuis' (ill house) instead of 'hospital'.


Okay, this one is an interesting peculiarity. Not only that the language relies on so many compound words, but it gives you the grammatically legal possibility to create an almost infinite amount of new compounds of arbitrary length. Apart from semantic questions German has almost no restrictions in terms of composition.

Somelauw wrote:German sounds somewhat differently from other popular languages which may make it interesting.


Still, it's not nicely sounding. German conversation always sounds like Wehrmacht soldiers fighting. ;-)
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