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    I want to learn a new language purely for academic purposes - i.e. for reading research papers (when I get to that point!). I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on the best language for me to learn.

    * My subject is computer science (with emphasis on the theoretical/mathematical side), so it would be good if there were a lot of prolific researchers in that subject who write primarily in the language.

    * I don't really know any other languages at the moment, maybe a little French.

    * Not a language that you have to be a genius to learn - I'm willing to put the work in, but languages are not something I'm that good at.
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    Go for a language whose culture you are interested in. There's nothing worse than starting learning a language and having no interest in the background.
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    (Original post by FrancesO)
    I want to learn a new language purely for academic purposes - i.e. for reading research papers (when I get to that point!). I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on the best language for me to learn.

    * My subject is computer science, so it would be good if there were a lot of prolific researchers in that subject who write primarily in the language.

    * I don't really know any other languages at the moment, maybe a little French.

    * Not a language that you have to be a genius to learn - I'm willing to put the work in, but languages are not something I'm that good at.
    Academic languages would be French and German for sure. Those two aren't particularly difficult, especially if you have some knowledge of them already. However, I would assume that computer science papers would be published mainly in English and even if they're not, you're likely to find the jargon not being translated.

    If anyone thought of suggesting Japanese because of their technological abilities, I very much doubt it'd be that useful. It's not a language as academic as English, French or German and it's far harder than them as well, so maybe not what you're looking for.
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    (Original post by FrancesO)
    I want to learn a new language purely for academic purposes - i.e. for reading research papers (when I get to that point!). I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on the best language for me to learn.

    * My subject is computer science, so it would be good if there were a lot of prolific researchers in that subject who write primarily in the language.
    I always thought that computer language is English.
    At school we learned Basic and Paskal computer languages,they all were connected with English.
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    (Original post by Paul PTS)
    I always thought that computer language is English.
    At school we learned Basic and Paskal computer languages,they all were connected with English.
    Programming languages, yes. But I'm interested in theoretical computer science (which often has very little or nothing to do with programming!), so am referring here to foreign languages that research papers might be written in, or that other theoretical computer scientists would speak.
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    Academic languages would be French and German for sure. Those two aren't particularly difficult, especially if you have some knowledge of them already. However, I would assume that computer science papers would be published mainly in English and even if they're not, you're likely to find the jargon not being translated.

    If anyone thought of suggesting Japanese because of their technological abilities, I very much doubt it'd be that useful. It's not a language as academic as English, French or German and it's far harder than them as well, so maybe not what you're looking for.
    Thanks for your reply!

    Hmm, I tried Japanese before, and although I could manage the speaking stuff I didn't really have much of a chance of learning all the writing systems. :o:

    You're right in that the majority of papers are in English, so far as I can tell. However, I feel like it should be beneficial for anybody in a science related career to learn another language, to help promote the international peer-to-peer community (which sounds so pretentious when I say it like that!)

    Which of French and German would you recommend then?
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    German is probably easier than French as german and english are in the same language family
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    If you want to learn a language that's useful then:
    Russian
    Chinese
    Arabic
    Spanish
    Indian (Maybe)

    Russian, as far as i'm aware is the most academic language in Europe.
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    (Original post by FrancesO)
    Thanks for your reply!

    Hmm, I tried Japanese before, and although I could manage the speaking stuff I didn't really have much of a chance of learning all the writing systems. :o:

    You're right in that the majority of papers are in English, so far as I can tell. However, I feel like it should be beneficial for anybody in a science related career to learn another language, to help promote the international peer-to-peer community (which sounds so pretentious when I say it like that!)

    Which of French and German would you recommend then?
    That's one tough question, haha. I don't know how widely either of them are used for computer science, and I don't know if France/Belgium is more important Germany/German-speaking countries in the field or not. However, there's a lot of science projects going on in Europe, as I'm sure you know, and with some firms like Alstom or Airbus in France, even if they have an impact in the whole of Europe, you may have a bit more of an edge with French.

    For an English speaker, though, it seems that German is easier to learn, at least at the beginning, mastering it may be a bit more of a challenge than French, so it's up to you to see which one you prefer. German will be a bit more logical than French as well, and more related to English due to the common Germanic roots, so you may want to consider that. The best would be for you to try getting some lessons in each language and see which one you'd enjoy the most.

    Having one rather than the other shouldn't be much of a problem anyway, and I'm sure you'll have thousands of opportunities to learn the other one in the future. If you intend to stay in Europe anyway, I'm sure that either would be equally good.
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    (Original post by RamocitoMorales)
    Turkish
    Do I sense a wee bit of bias there? :p:

    (Original post by Gueirguiy)
    If you want to learn a language that's useful then:
    Russian
    Chinese
    Arabic
    Spanish
    Indian (Maybe)

    Russian, as far as i'm aware is the most academic language in Europe.
    I've heard Russian is incredibly hard to learn though, is that true? Although there's something appealing about the way it sounds. :rolleyes:
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    German ftw I wouldn't say that it's necessarily easier than French - a lot of the grammar is more complicated, for example, and French is generally easier at GCSE than German, from my experience in school. However, if you're interested in computer science, then it's quite possible you'd quite like the logic involved in German - it's a much more precise language than French, which is very irregular and 'fluffy', in my opinion.

    Not that I'm biased or anything... :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Gueirguiy)
    If you want to learn a language that's useful then:
    Russian
    Chinese
    Arabic
    Spanish
    Indian (Maybe)

    Russian, as far as i'm aware is the most academic language in Europe.
    Nah, those languages are pretty much useless. Plus too difficult regarding OP's criteria. Mandarin Chinese or Arabic for computer science publications, not happening any time soon… Russian isn't that academic unless you absolutely bum literature, it's nowhere near as popular as Germand and French, Indian (oh hold on, there's no language called Indian, so which one? Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi?). I don't think Spanish has much of an impact on computer science, unless South America happened to grow a serious computer-related industry while I was looking elsewhere? (They might have, for all I know, but I reckon it would have had more an impact if it did? )
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    (Original post by FrancesO)
    Do I sense a wee bit of bias there? :p:



    I've heard Russian is incredibly hard to learn though, is that true? Although there's something appealing about the way it sounds. :rolleyes:
    It's quite difficult yeah, I can't say more about learning it though, I just picked it up by ear while still young.
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    (Original post by FrancesO)
    I've heard Russian is incredibly hard to learn though, is that true? Although there's something appealing about the way it sounds. :rolleyes:
    Russian is absolutely lush ( :coma: ), despite being a right ***** to learn. It's reaaaally interesting and I find it fascinating enough for it to make me wake up to attend 9am grammar classes, but you have to be a bit of a language geek to truly appreciate its beauty, and I'd say it's far less useful than German or French unless, as I said before, you love literature.

    (Original post by Bezzler)
    German ftw I wouldn't say that it's necessarily easier than French - a lot of the grammar is more complicated, for example, and French is generally easier at GCSE than German, from my experience in school. However, if you're interested in computer science, then it's quite possible you'd quite like the logic involved in German - it's a much more precise language than French, which is very irregular and 'fluffy', in my opinion.

    Not that I'm biased or anything... :rolleyes:
    I like your description of French, haha, glad to see I'm not the only one picturing languages in weird ways!
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    Nah, those languages are pretty much useless. Plus too difficult regarding OP's criteria. Mandarin Chinese or Arabic for computer science publications, not happening any time soon… Russian isn't that academic unless you absolutely bum literature, it's nowhere near as popular as Germand and French, Indian (oh hold on, there's no language called Indian, so which one? Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi?). I don't think Spanish has much of an impact on computer science, unless South America happened to grow a serious computer-related industry while I was looking elsewhere? (They might have, for all I know, but I reckon it would have had more an impact if it did? )
    That's why I put next to India , wasn't sure as there are so many different languages there and I'm unsure on their situation.

    French and German more popular than Russian? Definately not German although French is but a large number of those French speaking countries (or were a large number have French as their second language) are not worth the mention.

    You're right about Arabic/Chinese/(Indian-) tbh but I would still regard Russian above French/German. Good of you to learn it btw.
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    (Original post by Gueirguiy)
    That's why I put next to India , wasn't sure as there are so many different languages there and I'm unsure on their situation.

    French and German more popular than Russian? definitely not German although French is but a large number of those French speaking countries (or were a large number have French as their second language) are not worth the mention.

    You're right about Arabic/Chinese/(Indian-) tbh but I would still regard Russian above French/German.
    I don't feel like it has more of an impact that French/German, tbh. There's a lot more trade with France and Germany than there is with Russia, apart from natural resources, but it's not a language of the EU, it's not a language involved in scientific projects like the CERN, nor in firms like Alstom, Airbus, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp.

    And it definitely isn't an academic language for it's not as widely spread as French and German, Russian being so much younger than those two and did not benefit from the Golden Age that the other two got in the 18th century, when people were already sharing scientific projects. People in Russia used to speak French and German, at the time, and now you will see that when people require academic people (ie, Yale for PhD acceptance), it's often French and/or German. Even in International Affairs, French is often the second most spoken language after English and people easily switch from one to the other, but Russian, errrr, not really.
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    (Original post by Anatheme)

    And it definitely isn't an academic language for it's not as widely spread as French and German, Russian being so much younger than those two and did not benefit from the Golden Age that the other two got in the 18th century, when people were already sharing scientific projects. People in Russia used to speak French and German, at the time.
    Russian literature Golden Age - first half of 19th.The begin of 20th Silver literature age.Russians who used to speak in abroad languages at that time mostly belonged to Westerns club.And there were also nobles who belonged to Slavonic club.They wrote different books.
    Russians teached French Russian language.:p: When Cosaks took Paris and wanted some food they cried to French:"Bistro,bistro!Faster,fas ter!"So French now have such a word like bistro.
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    Russian, French or German.

    Edit: probably French in your situation.

    I recently saw an invitation for a conference in France where they specified in the invitation that for the first time (!), participants would be "allowed" to prepare posters in English. ...

    Doubt very much you'd meet with that in Germany... and nobody goes to conferences in Russia, as far as I know. (Maybe baltic researchers do though.)
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    (Original post by Paul PTS)
    Russian literature Golden Age - first half of 19th.The begin of 20th Silver literature age.Russians who used to speak in abroad languages at that time mostly belonged to Westerns club.And there were also nobles who belonged to Slavonic club.They wrote different books.
    Russians teached French Russian language.:p: When Cosaks took Paris and wanted some food they cried to French:"Bistro,bistro!Faster,fas ter!"So French now have such a word like bistro.
    Oh yeah, I've heard that many times. That said, you do have комод, журнал or магазин (that may be a bit Italian too), so we did teach you some stuff too
 
 
 
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