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    Obviously English is by far the dominant language in computer science but after that I'd say German is probably second. So I'd recommend learning German for your purposes.
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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 language - has only three times.Past,present and future.
    Special attention to gender.Sometimes I don't understand "My friend drank tea." I don't see if the friend is she or he.In Russian I would look at verb drink,on the ending of the word,and would easily find out who is the friend of the talker.I also would find out gender of talker in several sentence by the same way.I don't need to ask specially.
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    I would seriously consider whether you really want to fully invest the time it takes to learn a language up the the level to understand academic work. It will not be a case of teaching yourself. You will need to take formal lessons and have a structured plan to learn the language. It is a massive undertaking and is often not worth your while unless you are really willing to invest a considerable amount of time (and periods abroad) to learn the language properly.
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    (Original post by beefmaster)
    I would seriously consider whether you really want to fully invest the time it takes to learn a language up the the level to understand academic work. It will not be a case of teaching yourself. You will need to take formal lessons and have a structured plan to learn the language. It is a massive undertaking and is often not worth your while unless you are really willing to invest a considerable amount of time (and periods abroad) to learn the language properly.
    Sorry, completely off-topic but I stalked your profile and saw that you did Arabic at the university of Damascus. Do you have any tips, piece of advice, pictures, anything about it for me, please? I'm going there for my year abroad and trying to get as much info as possible :o:
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    Sorry, completely off-topic but I stalked your profile and saw that you did Arabic at the university of Damascus. Do you have any tips, piece of advice, pictures, anything about it for me, please? I'm going there for my year abroad and trying to get as much info as possible :o:
    If you click on the travel blog on my sig there are some pictures and a link to my google pictures account somewhere on there.

    As far as being in Damascus what do you want to know?

    p.s where are you studying now?
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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 (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.
    i agree with whoever said learn programming languages tbh. i know quite a few people who are doing computer related degrees (networking, programming etc) and none of them needed to know any other languages except programming languages if necessary. i think it's quite rare to come across research that isnt written in english
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    (Original post by RamocitoMorales)
    Turkish
    What's the history of the Turkish language...you use the latin script right?
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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 (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.

    Russian.
    But it'll be hard
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    German.

    ...yes, I'm biased
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    (Original post by FieldLeftBlank)
    Russian.
    But it'll be hard
    It would be good if there were a lot of prolific researchers in that subject who write primarily in the language.
    Not Russian. Who writes in Russian if they want the rest of the planet to hear about their theory? It'll be English then French or German.
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    Thanks for the great replies everyone! It would seem my options are as following...

    French/German

    Both widely used in the field, both not too hard to learn. I think I'd lean towards German from what people say, as it sounds like it's slightly more useful in my field and the fact that it's logical does sound like it would help me to learn it.

    Russian

    I have a slightly irrational urge to go for this just because I love the way Russian sounds - but it's very hard to learn, which means I'd probably find it impossible. Confused over how relevant it is, as some people have said it would be very useful, others none at all.

    So overall I'm thinking German may be my best option, but Russian sounds tempting...

    Beefmaster, I'm aware learning a language is a lot of hard work and I will be taking lessons - maybe I won't manage to get as far as I'd like but I would prefer to try first.
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    I don't really know about which language is better for computer science but I would say the most important language to learn at the moment is chinese. China will probably be the next superpower ahead of America soon.
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    Not Russian. Who writes in Russian if they want the rest of the planet to hear about their theory? It'll be English then French or German.
    This is ridiculous. There are great books on mathematics and computer science in Russian. Many books.

    Btw OP, Russian might not be that hard if you want to primarily read in it. Reading would require you to have mastered the grammar completely (which is the part people find hardest, I think).
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    (Original post by FieldLeftBlank)
    This is ridiculous. There are great books on mathematics and computer science in Russian. Many books.

    Btw OP, Russian might not be that hard if you want to primarily read in it. Reading would require you to have mastered the grammar completely (which is the part people find hardest, I think).
    You would surprise me by saying they've not been translated in more widely spoken languages, not by telling me there are "many books" written in a language… What I'm saying is that the international community of researchers is unlikely to use Russian as a primary mean of communication to replace English, French or German, for these languages are easier to learn for most people than Russian would be, and are also historically more important than Russian. If you're after an academic language, forget Russian, you will have nowhere near as many resources as you would with French or German (assuming you already know English).
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    (Original post by FieldLeftBlank)
    This is ridiculous. There are great books on mathematics and computer science in Russian. Many books.

    Btw OP, Russian might not be that hard if you want to primarily read in it. Reading would require you to have mastered the grammar completely (which is the part people find hardest, I think).
    Can I ask what you're studying? It sounds like you're slightly more familiar with the field than most people I've asked. Is there enough (interesting) research going on in Russia that it would be worth it? I'm slightly clueless as to what research is done in what countries...

    Although I just looked up the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre, which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and that looks like it covers some pretty good stuff actually.
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    Ah ha, this has led me to a brilliant idea - checking a list of computer science conferences and looking at the working languages to see what crops up the most.
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    You would surprise me by saying they've not been translated in more widely spoken languages, not by telling me there are "many books" written in a language… What I'm saying is that the international community of researchers is unlikely to use Russian as a primary mean of communication to replace English, French or German, for these languages are easier to learn for most people than Russian would be, and are also historically more important than Russian. If you're after an academic language, forget Russian, you will have nowhere near as many resources as you would with French or German (assuming you already know English).
    What is that supposed to mean?


    (Original post by FrancesO)
    Can I ask what you're studying? It sounds like you're slightly more familiar with the field than most people I've asked. Is there enough (interesting) research going on in Russia that it would be worth it? I'm slightly clueless as to what research is done in what countries...

    Although I just looked up the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre, which is part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and that looks like it covers some pretty good stuff actually.
    Well I'm still in high school I'm into mathematics (with all the competitions and stuff) so I've covered a lot of material that's not included in the curriculum. And it's all been lots of Russian books and lots and lots of Bulgarian ones whose authors have used almost only Russian books to do the research etc. I don't know, maybe it's because of our communist past :dontknow:
    And I have friends who are seriously into comp science and they've forsaken everything but Russian literature. Besides, it's open access to everything East European that's worth taking a look at.

    But don't listen to me, I'm a russophile so everything I say is biased. :p:

    By the way, background interest is very helpful, as someone above said.
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    C++
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    Learn Portuguese and get Spanish for free

    Note: It doesn't work vice-versa though so its a 2 for 1 deal =)
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    (Original post by FieldLeftBlank)
    What is that supposed to mean?
    As explained before…
    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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