I want to study a second language... what should I choose? I want to study a second language "in a specialized institute": What are the most common language in the world? Of non-English, of course.  "French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese ..." Why did you choose this language? thanxxx for helping.... ^_^  

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I studied French in college myself, but if I had it to do over again I would positively study Spanish. I might even major in Spanish. Because of the enormous increase in the percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. population, there is a great practical advantage in being bilingual in English and Spanish. I don't believe it is sufficient to take a few semesters of any language in order to meet college requirements and then quit. I had four semesters of college French--and then I went to France and found out how totally incompetent I was. There are many beautiful languages in the world, but I believe that Spanish is not only beautiful but exceedingly practical for any American student. It also has the virtues of being very consistent and not at all hard to pronounce. Actually, a lot of us are surrounded by people speaking Spanish, so the pronunciation should come even easier if we listen. My daughter majored in Spanish and spent a year as an exchange student at the University of Madrid. She is now a speech pathologist with an M.A. teaching in the public schools, and she is much sought after because she is bilingual.

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Spanish will probably become an ever-more-useful language to know in the United States. At one time, Japanese was increasingly emphasized, but the decline in the Japanese economy has probably reduced that emphasis.  Many students today seem drawn toward the study of Chinese, since they assume that trade with China will continue to grow.  Still, I think that if I were learning another language today, I would choose Spanish, not only because it is useful in the present day but also because knowing Spanish provides access to a very rich literary tradition, not only in Spain but in Central and South America.

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I think the question is definitely what you want to do with the language. If you want to learn a language for business purposes, which business? Chinese might be your best bet for an international corporation, but if you want to open a corner market you might want to try the local tongue. I'm in California, where Spanish is highly useful. Yet my school teaches only one language: French. The reason? It helps them better understand the English language.
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I would echo the thoughts of others and say that first, you need to think carefully about what you want ot do with the language. Are there foreigners who are at the cutting edge of the field you want to work in? If so, what language do they speak? Also consider that there is quite a difference between being able to speak a language with fluency and being able to read and write in it fluently; depending on what kind of learner you are, one of these might be much harder for you than the other.

That said, American students looking for a general language should be encouraged to study Spanish or Chinese, which are very commonly spoken in the world.

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I agree with the suggestion above that your choice may depend on what you want to do with that language. If Latin is an option, you might want to consider it as well. Latin is a dead language (which menas no one speaks it anymore), but it is highly useful. Many languages are based on Latin. With a Latin language background, one can easily understand many of the romance languages (like French and Spanish). If you are entering the medical field, Latin will be extremely helpful because many of the terms are based on Latin prefixes, suffixes, and roots. The only other consideration might be the type of language you enjoy studying. French and Spanish will be very similar to English, but Japanese or Chinese will be totally different. Both Japanese and Chinese are concept languages. Symbols represent whole words or entire concepts. If you are a conceptual learner, this might be a great language for you to learn.
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I think your choice depends on what you want to do with that foreign language. If you want to teach, then you should choose a widely spoken second language, like Spanish. If you want to have this as an asset in business, then Chinese may be more useful language, seeing as how China is such an important producer of goods for the world.

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Here in Florida, Spanish would be the best possible foreign language to know, since many jobs require Spanish-speaking employees. Nationally, there is a lack of Arabic speakers, and jobs--mostly Federal--requiring English-Arabic bilingual speakers command top dollar. Making this choice probably depends in part on where you live, but right now you can't go wrong learning an Arabic dialect

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Well, if you are seeking to study the most widely spoken language (numbers of native speakers), then, according to the Summer Institute for Linguistics Ethnologue Survey from 1999, the top choice would be Chinese, followed by Spanish, English, Bengali, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German, and French.

However, practically, I would say Spanish would be your best bet as you will most probably come in contact with more Spanish-speaking people in the region of the world in which you live.

Personally (being a certified German Instructor) I would say take German as it is the basis for much engineering and technical writing, and it is a relatively easy language to learn with much history.

But whichever language you choose, it is wonderful that you are seeking to become bi-lingual. It is not only good for the synapses in your brain, it shows us to be part of the world community.

 

 

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