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    (Original post by hoodwink199)
    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...



    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...
    Actually, it's fair to say languages that aren't English aren't particularly useful from a business perspective. I say this as a language student, who can speak fluent Spanish and also has a high level of Italian, French, and a reading knowledge of Portuguese. I stayed in France once with a woman who used English to email her Indian clients, and this basically sums up the state of world languages: despite both French and Hindi being mentioned on this thread, businesses in their respective countries communicate in English.

    And I'm not saying people who actually have a decent shot of learning Mandarin shouldn't learn it, but the fact that the OP is asking for advice on which language to learn shows they have very little experience in language learning. Getting a teach yourself French book and a private tutor for a year will get you enough knowledge to spend a month long summer course in France, after which time you'll have a reasonable grip on the language. A book on Mandarin and a language teacher will take a lot longer to yield any results, and then you somehow have to fund an extended stay in China. It's just unrealistic.
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    (Original post by moley89)
    Hindi is funky, and like the third most spoken language in the world.
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I live in India and I can assure that learning hindi would be quite pointless, specially if that person intends to focus on corporate law.

    Although hindi is the third most spoken language in the world, most of them speak it as a second language, and therefore not as fluent as you may think.

    Secondly and most important, English is an official language, and widely used in trials, business, education and services.

    Hindi is definitely an important language, but useless for corporate law...
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    You'll never become fluent enough in neither Mandarin nor Russian nor Arabic to do business or work in your field with that language. The people you are gonna deal with in either Russia, China or Egypt speak English. Their English will be better than your second language X by far. Learning those languages can be pretty useful if you move there as it'd make your adaptation easier but you're probably never going to work using those languages. But, if you'd like to move to Shanghai, Moscow or Cairo, well, you might give it a shot.

    I'd recommend you to learn French, unless you are sure you'd like to move abroad somewhere.
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    (Original post by goose123)
    Actually, it's fair to say languages that aren't English aren't particularly useful from a business perspective. I say this as a language student, who can speak fluent Spanish and also has a high level of Italian, French, and a reading knowledge of Portuguese. I stayed in France once with a woman who used English to email her Indian clients, and this basically sums up the state of world languages: despite both French and Hindi being mentioned on this thread, businesses in their respective countries communicate in English.

    And I'm not saying people who actually have a decent shot of learning Mandarin shouldn't learn it, but the fact that the OP is asking for advice on which language to learn shows they have very little experience in language learning. Getting a teach yourself French book and a private tutor for a year will get you enough knowledge to spend a month long summer course in France, after which time you'll have a reasonable grip on the language. A book on Mandarin and a language teacher will take a lot longer to yield any results, and then you somehow have to fund an extended stay in China. It's just unrealistic.
    For your information I did German to GCSE equivalent level (B) and French until A level equivalent (B) [I'm Irish] so I do actually have experience learning a language and I have an aptitude for it - I want to learn a language that will help me stand out from the crowd, and will prove useful to me when I am working in the corporate world - If French or German match this criteria I will take them up again, if not, I'd prefer to take up a language that will really benefit my future.
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    (Original post by Victor-PP)
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I live in India and I can assure that learning hindi would be quite pointless, specially if that person intends to focus on corporate law.

    Although hindi is the third most spoken language in the world, most of them speak it as a second language, and therefore not as fluent as you may think.

    Secondly and most important, English is an official language, and widely used in trials, business, education and services.

    Hindi is definitely an important language, but useless for corporate law...
    I know this, but it's still funky.

    And here in east london hindi is one of the most commonly spoken languages.
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    As above really, French or Mandarin, maybe Arabic? Japanese? Spanish? Depends on what part of law and what part of the world you're interested in

    e.g, If I wanted to work as a lawyer in Cardiff, I'd brush up on my Welsh. Maybe Gaelic for you.
    If you want to work in the EU, get back to French and German.
    Eastern Europe, Russian is a good start, to move into a specific national language, I would imagine.
    Latin America, Spanish or Portuguese.
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    (Original post by mickeyfit)
    For your information I did German to GCSE equivalent level (B) and French until A level equivalent (B) [I'm Irish] so I do actually have experience learning a language and I have an aptitude for it - I want to learn a language that will help me stand out from the crowd, and will prove useful to me when I am working in the corporate world - If French or German match this criteria I will take them up again, if not, I'd prefer to take up a language that will really benefit my future.
    My apologies for the assumption. If this is the case, French is by far the best way to go seeing as you'll have done a fair bit of the groundwork already. Also, considering how hard any non-European languages tend to be, if you got a B in French after about five years' study I'd avoid them like the plague.
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    (Original post by goose123)
    My apologies for the assumption. If this is the case, French is by far the best way to go seeing as you'll have done a fair bit of the groundwork already. Also, considering how hard any non-European languages tend to be, if you got a B in French after about five years' study I'd avoid them like the plague.
    I'm going to dismiss this - I got an A at GCSE level, and a B at A-Level because I didn't have a teacher for the two years (self taught) so I think I did fairly well giving I had an oral, aural and written examination to contend with. Have you ever sat the French Leaving Certificate Paper? It is much rarer for a student to get given an A in Ireland than it seems to be over here.
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    Spanish isn't a bad idea, either.
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    (Original post by mickeyfit)
    I'm going to dismiss this - I got an A at GCSE level, and a B at A-Level because I didn't have a teacher for the two years (self taught) so I think I did fairly well giving I had an oral, aural and written examination to contend with
    Well dismiss it if you like, but I think it goes in my favour: do you realistically think you'll ever have more time to dedicate to whichever language you choose than you did to your A-levels? If you spend the same or less time studying, after two years you'll still only have the equivalent of a B (ie - can't effectively communicate in business settings). If you carry on with French though, you'll be that much further ahead.
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    (Original post by goose123)
    Well dismiss it if you like, but I think it goes in my favour: do you realistically think you'll ever have more time to dedicate to whichever language you choose than you did to your A-levels? If you spend the same or less time studying, after two years you'll still only have the equivalent of a B (ie - can't effectively communicate in business settings). If you carry on with French though, you'll be that much further ahead.
    From what I've heard 80% in the UK is equal to an A - in Ireland you need to get 90% to get an A - which means I had the UK equivalent to an A. I don't want to get fluent straight away - its for my career and I am willing to work on it over years - Like I said - I want to do a language that in the future will benefit my career in the corporate world - from jobs I've seen out there, French is good if you want to get into EU law for example, but might not be all that beneficial in the corporate world - hence why i'm asking - If I just wanted a language that would be easy I would pick French, but thats not what my purpose is.
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    Just remembered OP that I made a very similar thread here a few months ago, which you may find helpful. The general consensus there was that European languages were the way to go - I still stand by my previous comment that French would be a good choice for you (particularly since you gained a high grade at A Level).

    Edit: Have you considered contacting any corporate law firms and asking them? I'm guessing they'll have a better idea of which languages are useful than us students on TSR will.
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    (Original post by mickeyfit)
    From what I've heard 80% in the UK is equal to an A - in Ireland you need to get 90% to get an A - which means I had the UK equivalent to an A. I don't want to get fluent straight away - its for my career and I am willing to work on it over years - Like I said - I want to do a language that in the future will benefit my career in the corporate world - from jobs I've seen out there, French is good if you want to get into EU law for example, but might not be all that beneficial in the corporate world - hence why i'm asking - If I just wanted a language that would be easy I would pick French, but thats not what my purpose is.
    I would argue that getting an A in A-level French still isn't worth having in a business setting, but it's not the point; I'm not trying to disprove your intelligence. Since I know nothing about law, I can't advise you on which language is the most useful to learn for corporate law. What I do know though, and the only reason I bothered to answer to the thread, is that learning Mandarin is a waste of time.
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    (Original post by goose123)
    I would argue that getting an A in A-level French still isn't worth having in a business setting, but it's not the point; I'm not trying to disprove your intelligence. Since I know nothing about law, I can't advise you on which language is the most useful to learn for corporate law. What I do know though, and the only reason I bothered to answer to the thread, is that learning Mandarin is a waste of time.
    How do you know that if you don't know what would be useful to learn for corporate law?
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    (Original post by goose123)
    I would argue that getting an A in A-level French still isn't worth having in a business setting, but it's not the point; I'm not trying to disprove your intelligence. Since I know nothing about law, I can't advise you on which language is the most useful to learn for corporate law. What I do know though, and the only reason I bothered to answer to the thread, is that learning Mandarin is a waste of time.
    Getting an A Level in any language is very useful in securing a job. Employers are very aware of the ignorance of British students and the fact that they think speaking English is enough in the modern world. At a recent graduate AC that I attended 8 out of 9 candidates had language skills in at least one foreign language and this was a UK based role for a British company where the job would definitley not require languages on a daily basis.

    With regards to the OP then I would say learning French is a good idea as a B at A Level is a VERY good starting block and a pretty decent standard. Having studied Mandarin myself I would say that it's not worth bothering with. I personally think that Spanish would be a good one for you to learn as it opens up the opportunity of working in or with Latin America.
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    (Original post by plasticpetal)
    Getting an A Level in any language is very useful in securing a job. Employers are very aware of the ignorance of British students and the fact that they think speaking English is enough in the modern world. At a recent graduate AC that I attended 8 out of 9 candidates had language skills in at least one foreign language and this was a UK based role for a British company where the job would definitley not require languages on a daily basis.

    With regards to the OP then I would say learning French is a good idea as a B at A Level is a VERY good starting block and a pretty decent standard. Having studied Mandarin myself I would say that it's not worth bothering with. I personally think that Spanish would be a good one for you to learn as it opens up the opportunity of working in or with Latin America.
    Thank you!!!
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    I would say French, and I aim to revisit my own French studies when I get back to England (currently studying Japanese in Japan).

    Mandarin is often suggested, but I agree with those who say it's not necessarily the best option. Only choose it if you want to live in China, I think. I've met many Chinese lawyers in Japan, and they all speak excellent English, I asked one about learning Chinese and she made the point that even those foreigners who have been studying the language for years and years are often very difficult to understand and she will always prefer to switch to English if discussing something important.

    I think in the time it takes to become proficient in Mandarin you could become fluent in two European languages, and for that reason I think French is a good bet, perhaps German.

    But choose the language which corresponds with where you might like to live, it probably isn't too relevant as a career booster.
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    (Original post by Over_The_Odds)
    I would say French, and I aim to revisit my own French studies when I get back to England (currently studying Japanese in Japan).

    Mandarin is often suggested, but I agree with those who say it's not necessarily the best option. Only choose it if you want to live in China, I think. I've met many Chinese lawyers in Japan, and they all speak excellent English, I asked one about learning Chinese and she made the point that even those foreigners who have been studying the language for years and years are often very difficult to understand and she will always prefer to switch to English if discussing something important.

    I think in the time it takes to become proficient in Mandarin you could become fluent in two European languages, and for that reason I think French is a good bet, perhaps German.

    But choose the language which corresponds with where you might like to live, it probably isn't too relevant as a career booster.
    Out of interest why is French so useful for law?

    OP Russian or perhaps Portuguese (Brazil). They are not as cliché as the others and both seem to have a shortage of English speakers.
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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
    My view? Don't waste your time studying any language at this stage.

    The level you'll be able to attain by the time you apply for TCs will be nowhere near sufficient (i.e. near fluent) to impress potential employers.

    In any event, language skills are enormously over-rated when it comes to corporate law.

    Think carefully - how do you think you would use your language skill in practice? If you are working in London, you may have foreign clients who seek your English law advice. Realistically, you will be highly unlikely to have the deep knowledge of their language to converse in their mother tongue in complex business matters: few language courses will prepare you for discussing the tax consequences of a corporate transaction.

    The alternative is that you're working for English clients on matters which have a foreign flavour. In those circumstances, you may be liaising with your counterparts in a foreign office or a foreign law firm. Again, you are unlikely to be able to converse to the levels required.

    I don't know any of my colleagues, who had any lanaguage abilities, who used them in practice save for one who was a native French speaker. He spent a little time in the Paris office before returning to London. He never used his French there as there was just no call for it.

    My recommendation would be to concentrate on your legal studies and don't be distracted by attempts to learn another language at such a late stage. Law firms are unlikely to see it as a particular benefit. The only benefit it might be to your CV is if you can demonstrate that you've been able to balance that additional learning with your legal studies. That seems to me to be a fairly high risk strategy.
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    (Original post by chalks)
    My view? Don't waste your time studying any language at this stage.

    The level you'll be able to attain by the time you apply for TCs will be nowhere near sufficient (i.e. near fluent) to impress potential employers.

    In any event, language skills are enormously over-rated when it comes to corporate law.

    Think carefully - how do you think you would use your language skill in practice? If you are working in London, you may have foreign clients who seek your English law advice. Realistically, you will be highly unlikely to have the deep knowledge of their language to converse in their mother tongue in complex business matters: few language courses will prepare you for discussing the tax consequences of a corporate transaction.

    The alternative is that you're working for English clients on matters which have a foreign flavour. In those circumstances, you may be liaising with your counterparts in a foreign office or a foreign law firm. Again, you are unlikely to be able to converse to the levels required.

    I don't know any of my colleagues, who had any lanaguage abilities, who used them in practice save for one who was a native French speaker. He spent a little time in the Paris office before returning to London. He never used his French there as there was just no call for it.

    My recommendation would be to concentrate on your legal studies and don't be distracted by attempts to learn another language at such a late stage. Law firms are unlikely to see it as a particular benefit. The only benefit it might be to your CV is if you can demonstrate that you've been able to balance that additional learning with your legal studies. That seems to me to be a fairly high risk strategy.
    It is not my intention to learn the language for a training contract application - I'm thinking much further down the line - I would like to start now, so that in years to come, it will make more roles available to me - I have seen a lot of legal roles advertised lately that are looking for people with German/Arabic/Russian/Mandarin. I already study part time, and work full time -showing that I am able to balance legal studies with work is already covered !!! it would be naive of me to think I'd be able to get to any level of competency in any second language for it to be worth mentioning in TC applications. (Though looking at some applications they do ask levels of compentency in foreign languages).

    Having a second language interests me because I want to be flexible in where I can work - I want as many doors to be open to me upon qualification as possible and I think a second language would help me with this.
 
 
 
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