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jeremy0207's avatar

What language(s) do you recommend for a bilingual speaker to learn?

Asked by jeremy0207 (202points) January 21st, 2014

I speak English and Spanish. Spanish is my first language, English I learned once I moved from Puerto Rico here to Philadelphia.
I am interested in learning more languages (maybe 2 or 3 more) because I would love to know more than 2 languages. I have a feeling knowing more than 2 languages can open opportunities in life and I am willing to put my effort into it. From what I am thinking, I want to be either a mechanic or a firefighter. It seems as though I will not need to know more than 2 languages for these jobs, but hey you never know. You say you want to do this, or be that, and end up doing something completely different (not necessarily true ALL the time). I just want to be prepared is all.

* I began learning Arabic but got expelled from school so I couldn’t learn is as well as I wanted to (I understand this is not an excuse to continue learning the language, but after that I slowly began to forget the language since it was something I was not practicing each day)

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16 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Latin, Japanese, and of course German

zenvelo's avatar

Mandarin. It is the language of business moving forward.

RocketGuy's avatar

I recently saw a survey – English, Spanish, Chinese were top of the list. You have 2 of the 3 already!

JLeslie's avatar

Go for German. The Germans created and developed many things in engineering, and so if you enjoy being a mechanic, German might come in handy. Many engineering terms are from English or German since they are the inventors.

Also, consider what languages are most around you. If you will be working with the public as a firefighter or mechanic, being able to speak to customers in their first language can be a plus. It helps build rapport and trust. Around me there are a lot of people from Greece. Although, Greek is a tough language from what I understand. Since you know Spanish, Italian or Portuguese might be useful. Again, depending where you live, and both languages are romance languages like Spanish.

Chinese is a good one too. It will be more and more suseful in the world. Although, the Chinese are being taught English in school now from a very young age.

longgone's avatar

I’m German. Isn’t German supposed to be one of the hardest languages to learn?

zenvelo's avatar

@longgone Yes, it is, because it has an unusual sentence structure and compound words. And the common ancestry of English and German dates back 1500 years, so its connection to modern German is much more distant than the connection to modern French.

longgone's avatar

^ “It has an unusual sentence structure and compound words”

Exactly. Many, many Germans struggle with English grammar and spelling for that reason – because their mother tongue is just so very different. Mark Twain said:

A dog is “der Hund”; a woman is “die Frau”; a horse is “das Pferd”; now you put that dog in the genitive case, and is he the same dog he was before? No, sir; he is “des Hundes”; put him in the dative case and what is he? Why, he is “dem Hund.” Now you snatch him into the accusative case and how is it with him? Why, he is “den Hunden.” But suppose he happens to be twins and you have to pluralize him- what then? Why, they’ll swat that twin dog around through the 4 cases until he’ll think he’s an entire international dog-show all in is own person. I don’t like dogs, but I wouldn’t treat a dog like that- I wouldn’t even treat a borrowed dog that way. Well, it’s just the same with a cat. They start her in at the nominative singular in good health and fair to look upon, and they sweat her through all the 4 cases and the 16 the’s and when she limps out through the accusative plural you wouldn’t recognize her for the same being. Yes, sir, once the German language gets hold of a cat, it’s goodbye cat. That’s about the amount of it.

Cupcake's avatar

Did you like Arabic? Perhaps you can find some classes in your community, maybe at a mosque, to continue with your Arabic studies.

Will you be staying in Philadelphia long-term? Are their certain languages that you are more likely to encounter there?

downtide's avatar

Chinese or Japanese might be good ones to go for, although they are very difficult too. But I’m wondering if showing an interest in learning Arabic might get you flagged by the NSA as a potential terrorist…

jeremy0207's avatar

@Cupcake Well I will be staying in Philadelphia long term yes. So I will keep in mind what you said.

@downtide Really? Wow, that’s messed up.

RocketGuy's avatar

@jeremy0207 – welcome to America

CWOTUS's avatar

Visual Basic is helpful.

filmfann's avatar

Chinese or Japanese might be more useful, but French will make others think you are smart.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I would recommend something like French, because it is very closely related to both English and Spanish, and thus is probably the easiest.

In terms of what is more demanded by employers, the top languages would probably be Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic. By no coincidence, these languages are more difficult to learn and also less likely to be taught in elementary schools. Spanish and French probably have a much lower demand because they are more widely taught.

Smitha's avatar

French, Russian or Arabic. Since you are interested in becoming a firefighter learning sign language would be an added advantage.

jeremy0207's avatar

@Smitha Yeah sign language is another I want to learn. I think it would be very good.

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