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    Hi,

    I am looking for suggestions on what second language would be the most beneficial for me to learn. I am a law student and am interested in working in commercial/corporate/company law when I finish. Which language would you suggest I take up that would be beneficial to my future career prospects?

    Thanks
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    Hindi is funky, and like the third most spoken language in the world.
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    I imagine a law degree + mandarin would have most companies rolling out the red carpet.
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    (Original post by Ernestestes)
    I imagine a law degree + mandarin would have most companies rolling out the red carpet.
    Mandarin was my first instinct too - I can imagine over the next decade or so China will be massive int eh corporate world
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    Mandarin is like, so cliche.
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    French would be very useful and isn't too difficult to learn, or possibly another European language such as German. Many Law Firms have offices in Europe, so I'd say any major European language would be a good choice. There's no guarantee that Mandarin will be anywhere near as useful as people are anticipating, and it's very difficult to become fluent in.
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    French is a good choice to go with law.
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    Any language is useful. Most firms have a number of branches worldwide, so chances are whichever language you pick will be valuable. But French and Mandarin are generally regarded as the business languages it seems, so they are probably the safest bet.
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    China has the rest of the world by the balls financially. 1/5 of the earth's population are Chinese. What more do you want haha?
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    (Original post by mickeyfit)
    Hi,

    I am looking for suggestions on what second language would be the most beneficial for me to learn. I am a law student and am interested in working in commercial/corporate/company law when I finish. Which language would you suggest I take up that would be beneficial to my future career prospects?

    Thanks
    German!

    Sounds awesome when your'e angry...
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    Russian is actually in very high demand at the moment.

    I don't think it matters that much as long as it is a major language. I don't really know what I'm talking about so don't take this as gospel, but I have been told by a partner at a MC firm at a dinner that Mandarin is a bad idea - I'm told that its extremely difficult to learn, and that businessmen in China speak English anyway. I'm sure it would still be very useful though. Statistically, German and French are actually more in demand in businesses generally than Mandarin - don't just jump on the Mandarin band-wagon, only do Mandarin if that is the language you want to learn.

    I'd say go for the one that you are most interested in. Its more important that you go for a language you'll enjoy learning. Law firms have offices all over the world - if you learn Russian, you can go to Moscow. Dutch, Amsterdam. France, Paris. Germany, Berlin. Arabic, Dubai or Saudi etc. etc.

    n.b. if you are particularly into EU law or public international law and think you might want to spend some time in Brussels or with the UN, then you should definitely take French.

    Don't take a language purely to boost your career prospects. Learning a language will slightly boost your prospects, but getting to a business standard in a particular language is quite an undertaking and will require an awful lot of time and dedication - there are more time-efficient ways of adding to your CV if that is your only goal.
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    Russian? They're getting quite big on the market.
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    it depends
    French- v useful for european law
    mandarin/arabic- if you want to go for commerical/stuff in asia
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Russian is actually in very high demand at the moment.

    I don't think it matters that much as long as it is a major language. I don't really know what I'm talking about so don't take this as gospel, but I have been told by a partner at a MC firm at a dinner that Mandarin is a bad idea - I'm told that its extremely difficult to learn, and that businessmen in China speak English anyway. I'm sure it would still be very useful though. Statistically, German and French are actually more in demand in businesses generally than Mandarin - don't just jump on the Mandarin band-wagon, only do Mandarin if that is the language you want to learn.

    I'd say go for the one that you are most interested in. Its more important that you go for a language you'll enjoy learning. Law firms have offices all over the world - if you learn Russian, you can go to Moscow. Dutch, Amsterdam. France, Paris. Germany, Berlin. Arabic, Dubai or Saudi etc. etc.

    Don't take a language purely to boost your career prospects. Learning a language will very slightly boost your prospects, but getting to a business standard in a particular language is quite an undertaking and will require an awful lot of time and dedication - there are more time-efficient ways of adding to your CV if that is your only goal.

    That. Plus the fact that it sounds awful and that after 8 years, you can just about read a newspaper whereas you could be fluent in a lot more languages by that time.
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    Cantonese, Korean, or Japanese.
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    Learning Mandarin is a truly awful idea. It's incredibly hard, and China is already churning out tens of thousands of university graduates who speak fluent English every year, so there's just no point competing. Plus, to master a language you really need to have an extended stay there which is incredibly impractical with Chinese. You're far better off learning French, German, Spanish, or Italian. Spending say sixth months in any of those countries isn't unrealistic, and there are plenty of resources to help you (instructional books, films, foreign newspapers etc.)

    Also, has anyone here actually ever met anyone who has learnt Mandarin to a high level? There is, however, plenty of evidence that European languages can be easily learnt as so many people speak them.
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    I'd be tempted to say French, German, Russian.

    Obviously, the first two would be the easier choices, but Russia is apparently going up in the times.

    To be able to speak/read/write Mandarin would be excellent, but it's a hard option. You could learn another language in a lot less time.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    but I have been told by a partner at a MC firm at a dinner that Mandarin is a bad idea - I'm told that its extremely difficult to learn, and that businessmen in China speak English anyway. I'm sure it would still be very useful though.
    As always it pays to be wary of what partners have to say... a long time since they breathed the non-rarified air of the real world The flippant "businessmen in China speak English anyway" gives some insight into why the roads of China are becoming littered with failed western companies.

    Mandarin is indeed difficult to learn but some would argue that's a good reason to do it (think of what this signals on your cv). But it can be very hard to make progress unless you're SERIOUS about it and you do have to accept that you'll likely never be fluent.

    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I'd say go for the one that you are most interested in. Its more important that you go for a language you'll enjoy learning. Law firms have offices all over the world - if you learn Russian, you can go to Moscow. Dutch, Amsterdam. France, Paris. Germany, Berlin. Arabic, Dubai or Saudi etc. etc.
    Totally agree. It's hard to judge, at your early stage, which if any language will help you career wise. But it is true what you've heard about Russian and Mandarin being hot at this very minute... In any case if you choose one (or more) you actually want to do then you're pretty well hedged!
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    (Original post by goose123)
    Learning Mandarin is a truly awful idea. It's incredibly hard, and China is already churning out tens of thousands of university graduates who speak fluent English every year, so there's just no point competing. Plus, to master a language you really need to have an extended stay there which is incredibly impractical with Chinese. You're far better off learning French, German, Spanish, or Italian. Spending say sixth months in any of those countries isn't unrealistic, and there are plenty of resources to help you (instructional books, films, foreign newspapers etc.)
    Complete nonsense. European schools also are churning out thousands of graduates who speak a whole catalogue of languages - does that mean it's not worth learning French or German because there's just no point competing? Of course not...

    (Original post by goose123)
    Also, has anyone here actually ever met anyone who has learnt Mandarin to a high level? There is, however, plenty of evidence that European languages can be easily learnt as so many people speak them.
    Fair question but the fact that Mandarin is hard to learn isn't really a contentious topic - it is damn hard to learn full stop. That doesn't mean someone shouldn't learn it...
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    (Original post by hoodwink199)
    As always it pays to be wary of what partners have to say... a long time since they breathed the non-rarified air of the real world The flippant "businessmen in China speak English anyway" gives some insight into why the roads of China are becoming littered with failed western companies.

    Mandarin is indeed difficult to learn but some would argue that's a good reason to do it (think of what this signals on your cv). But it can be very hard to make progress unless you're SERIOUS about it and you do have to accept that you'll likely never be fluent.



    Totally agree. It's hard to judge, at your early stage, which if any language will help you career wise. But it is true what you've heard about Russian and Mandarin being hot at this very minute... In any case if you choose one (or more) you actually want to do then you're pretty well hedged!
    Ok, can you give any specific examples of western businesses which "litter the Chinese roads"? And it looks good on your CV because it's near impossible to actually achieve.

    And it looks impressive on CVs because very few people actually have the skill to do it. It's like saying "I'll do a Maths degree because it's impressive" without actually having any aptitude in Maths.

    To be honest, I find it difficult to take any attempts at learning foreign languages from people who haven't already taken them to A-level or higher seriously. A guy in my Italian from scratch A level class dropped out because it was too hard, then started teaching himself Mandarin Chinese. Did he get anywhere with it? No. A complete waste of time, when if he'd actually stuck at Italian he may have got somewhere. Look at how many "level one" language books you see in the book shops. You'll rarely see a level two, and you never see a "Perfecting Your Mandarin" book, which I think proves my point.
 
 
 
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