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wavey93
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I want to learn either Portuguese or Chinese because both Brazil and china seem to have emerging markets. However I would rather live in Brazil because it seems more multicultural. Which should I choose?
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nuodai
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#2
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Why not learn both? At least, start with them both, and as you learn more about the languages and the cultures of the places where the languages are spoken, you can decide whether you want to focus on one or the other.
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Ysondrae
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Personally, I say Chinese Mandarin (I assume it would be Mandarin, not Cantonese), as like you've said, China has an emerging market, and learning Mandarin can open up so many more doors of possibilities for you. Mandarin is also the most spoken language in the world, not to mention that it's incredibly interesting and rewarding
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snowy africa
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Well if you are planning to live in Brazil, learn portuguese however chinese would be more beneficial out of this context as China is set to be the largest economy and inevitable in the future everything is going be chinese , BUT if you wana go live in brazil and thats what you want to do chinese aint gona help one bit
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jiayi930829
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If you are thinking about Brazil, then definitely Portuguese.

But on the other hand, though, one fifth of the world's population speak Chinese.
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Enoch.
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Portuguese it is then. kmt allow crusty Brazilian Portuguese
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Anatheme
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(Original post by Ysondrae)
Personally, I say Chinese Mandarin (I assume it would be Mandarin, not Cantonese), as like you've said, China has an emerging market, and learning Mandarin can open up so many more doors of possibilities for you. Mandarin is also the most spoken language in the world, not to mention that it's incredibly interesting and rewarding
The fact that it's widely spoken doesn't mean much. Bengali, Punjabi, Javanese and Telugu all have more native speakers than French, does it really makes them more useful? Same applies for Mandarin, especially as it's only one dialect of Chinese, and although it's the most popular, you don't get to discuss with the entirety of China with it - same for Arabic.

OP, if you have more of an interest for Brazil and Portugal, there is no need to go for Mandarin. Research both cultures thoroughly, look for material on the Internet that would let you try both and make your choice when you're ready. The usefulness of a language won't get you anywhere if you don't have the motivation in the first place.
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william_huang
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you should konw Mandarin is very difficult.why choose such a difficult language if you like Portuguese better?
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Ysondrae
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(Original post by Anatheme)
The fact that it's widely spoken doesn't mean much. Bengali, Punjabi, Javanese and Telugu all have more native speakers than French, does it really makes them more useful? Same applies for Mandarin, especially as it's only one dialect of Chinese, and although it's the most popular, you don't get to discuss with the entirety of China with it - same for Arabic.
To clarify, not only is Mandarin the most widely spoken language in the world, it is also the most widely spoken dialect of Chinese in China, so it is does mean much and represent how useful it is.

If you're going to go to China on business or whatever, then Mandarin is spoken by most of the natives, especially in the cities, which is where many corporate companies and large businesses are located. That's why, when you want to learn Chinese, the courses are almost always about Chinese Mandarin, because that is the Chinese dialect which is most commonly spoken in China and thus most useful to have. Just my opinion on it.
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Anatheme
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(Original post by Ysondrae)
To clarify, not only is Mandarin the most widely spoken language in the world, it is also the most widely spoken dialect of Chinese in China, so it is does mean much and represent how useful it is.

If you're going to go to China on business or whatever, then Mandarin is spoken by most of the natives, especially in the cities, which is where many corporate companies and large businesses are located. That's why, when you want to learn Chinese, the courses are almost always about Chinese Mandarin, because that is the Chinese dialect which is most commonly spoken in China and thus most useful to have. Just my opinion on it.
To be fair, I don't believe in Chinese whatsoever, so you're barking up the wrong tree, but my point was more that too many people uses these kind of numbers and think it makes a language more useful, when it's not the case at all (and if you re-read my message, you'll realise that you've repeated exactly what I had previously said about the dialect in your first line). I definitely believe you'll find more jobs with French than with Mandarin, however widely spoken it is. Outside business, I don't feel Chinese is of much use (no-one has ever shown me evidence of this argument being flawed either, so don't hesitate if you have any), and it already takes so long to learn it to a decent standard, compared to Portuguese (in this case), that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't truly passionate about it, as it seems to be the case with the OP, who sounds like they prefer Portuguese and Brazil.

I'm generally wary of people who even wonder which one these difficult languages (Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Russian) they should take, because they more often than not don't have a clue about said languages, and don't realise they require so much more work than the average european language. And I really don't think these people should bother learning any of those languages if they haven't taken the time to research them properly before making a decision, but that's my point of view, of course.
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Ysondrae
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(Original post by Anatheme)
To be fair, I don't believe in Chinese whatsoever, so you're barking up the wrong tree, but my point was more that too many people uses these kind of numbers and think it makes a language more useful, when it's not the case at all (and if you re-read my message, you'll realise that you've repeated exactly what I had previously said about the dialect in your first line). I definitely believe you'll find more jobs with French than with Mandarin, however widely spoken it is. Outside business, I don't feel Chinese is of much use (no-one has ever shown me evidence of this argument being flawed either, so don't hesitate if you have any), and it already takes so long to learn it to a decent standard, compared to Portuguese (in this case), that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't truly passionate about it, as it seems to be the case with the OP, who sounds like they prefer Portuguese and Brazil.

I'm generally wary of people who even wonder which one these difficult languages (Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Russian) they should take, because they more often than not don't have a clue about said languages, and don't realise they require so much more work than the average european language. And I really don't think these people should bother learning any of those languages if they haven't taken the time to research them properly before making a decision, but that's my point of view, of course.
What do you mean, you 'don't believe in Chinese' and 'I'm barking up the wrong tree'? I was merely stating my own opinion and was using facts to support them.
I disagree, I think you would find more jobs with Mandarin than French, especially in the forthcoming years as China's market continues to develop rapidly.

In regards to Chinese being of not much use, I'm not entirely sure about that. If you studied Chinese Mandarin at uni, then it would open many doors of possibilities for you. For example, you could go to China and train up to be a lawyer there. Also, as China manufactures many products at very cheap prices, then by being able to speak Chinese Mandarin, you could communicate with the wholesale sellers and sell those products back here in the UK for a profit.

Personally, I took up Mandarin two years ago, as being half Chinese I was interested in learning my homeland language and one day, I would like to visit China and maybe even spend a gap year there gaining work experience and developing my linguistic skills. I also have a friend who is fascinated by East Asian culture and she too has been learning Chinese Mandarin along with me, because she intends to visit China several times throughout the future and would like to speak the main dialect.

Of course it takes years of practice and hard work to reach a decent standard, but the locals will understand fractured Mandarin. My mum can only speak Cantonese but when she visited the north of China where they mainly speak Mandarin, even she could get the jist of what was being said and vice versa.
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Xurvi
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#12
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As PKU_Research07 would say it, Mandarin (or any Chinese dialect) is a poor choice unless you intend to live there for quite a long time. The reason is that it's a very difficult language and Chinese people will speak English better than you will be able to speak Chinese (again, unless you've spent a considerable amount of time in China practising) so business is very likely to be conducted in English rather than Chinese.

Brazilian Portuguese however is much easier to learn which in turns means that you're much more likely to reach a decent level that would allow you to do business in their language.

Moreover, with the huge amount of people going for Mandarin, one should expect the Chinese speaker market to get saturated at some point while on the other hand few people learn Portuguese as a foreign language.

Also, Portuguese sounds better to my ears than Chinese :p:
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Anatheme
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(Original post by Ysondrae)
What do you mean, you 'don't believe in Chinese' and 'I'm barking up the wrong tree'? I was merely stating my own opinion and was using facts to support them.
I disagree, I think you would find more jobs with Mandarin than French, especially in the forthcoming years as China's market continues to develop rapidly.

In regards to Chinese being of not much use, I'm not entirely sure about that. If you studied Chinese Mandarin at uni, then it would open many doors of possibilities for you. For example, you could go to China and train up to be a lawyer there. Also, as China manufactures many products at very cheap prices, then by being able to speak Chinese Mandarin, you could communicate with the wholesale sellers and sell those products back here in the UK for a profit.

Personally, I took up Mandarin two years ago, as being half Chinese I was interested in learning my homeland language and one day, I would like to visit China and maybe even spend a gap year there gaining work experience and developing my linguistic skills. I also have a friend who is fascinated by East Asian culture and she too has been learning Chinese Mandarin along with me, because she intends to visit China several times throughout the future and would like to speak the main dialect.

Of course it takes years of practice and hard work to reach a decent standard, but the locals will understand fractured Mandarin. My mum can only speak Cantonese but when she visited the north of China where they mainly speak Mandarin, even she could get the jist of what was being said and vice versa.
It felt like you were trying to convince me of something about Chinese, my bad :p:. The thing, though, is that Chinese is pretty much restricted to China, whereas French is a much more international language, not only with the UN (who only hire native Mandarin speakers as translators/interpreters, unlike French) and the EU, but also with a lot of smaller organisations and trades. It's also more polyvalent as, on an international level, I personally believe there's more use for French (tbf, I could say Arabic or Spanish, here) than there is for Mandarin outside the business world, for example in terms of politics and diplomacy. It doesn't really matter anyway, I won't deny that Chinese's popularity is rising, and although I do believe there are more useful languages, it's not exactly useless.

As for your reasons, they're perfectly understandable, and also make more sense than the reasons of someone who'd only be interested in gaining the skills to get into business. I think it's one of those languages whose culture you must embrace to fully understand the language, and if there's no motivation to learn the extra bits and bobs like culture or history, there isn't much point in studying it.
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kay.p
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#14
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i think chinese would be best because a lot more people speak it but if you want to live in brazil then Portuguese it is.
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Hemzo
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#15
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Portuguese by far (semi-Portuguese.. Maybe a little bit of bias), but the countries that speak Portuguese such as Portugal, Brazil and also Angola and Mozambique are very nice countries. Though I've heard China is also quite nice, but I'd personally go for Portuguese.
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Ysondrae
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(Original post by Anatheme)
It felt like you were trying to convince me of something about Chinese, my bad :p:. The thing, though, is that Chinese is pretty much restricted to China, whereas French is a much more international language, not only with the UN (who only hire native Mandarin speakers as translators/interpreters, unlike French) and the EU, but also with a lot of smaller organisations and trades. It's also more polyvalent as, on an international level, I personally believe there's more use for French (tbf, I could say Arabic or Spanish, here) than there is for Mandarin outside the business world, for example in terms of politics and diplomacy. It doesn't really matter anyway, I won't deny that Chinese's popularity is rising, and although I do believe there are more useful languages, it's not exactly useless.

As for your reasons, they're perfectly understandable, and also make more sense than the reasons of someone who'd only be interested in gaining the skills to get into business. I think it's one of those languages whose culture you must embrace to fully understand the language, and if there's no motivation to learn the extra bits and bobs like culture or history, there isn't much point in studying it.
Ahaha, nope, I wasn't trying to force my opinions on anyone (although I can sound quite brash when debating/stating opinions)
Anyway, you get Chinese people almost everywhere, and with them, they're going to bring with them their homeland language, so Chinese is not entirely restricted to China. You're true about French being more international, but likewise, a lot of people who speak French, can also speak English (although I'm just generalizing there and mainly thinking about Canada.)

In reference to your last paragraph, I think that having a natural interest in a language, and the culture it's derived from, applies to all languages and not just Chinese. For the past 5 years of my life I've learnt Spanish, but because I don't feel that passion for it, I've decided not to continue studying it any further.

Anyway, each to their own
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rockrunride
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Don't learn a language because its country of use has an "emerging market", on the sole premise that international businesspeople from said countries will learn English and your knowledge of their language will only serve as a superficial impression. Anyone that asserts that you should learn to communicate in Mandarin on the basis that it is "widely spoken" will surely a) know nothing at all about language learning, and b) be ignorant of the true "usefulness" of certain languages.

If you have no interest in China or Chinese culture, learning the language would only be useful at all if Hu Jintao was planning world domination. But then again, you'd only get to "ni hao" in that case anyway.

Learn a language that you want to learn. I wanted to learn Spanish, ended up learning French first and now I like it more than Spanish. I subsequently learned titbits of German, Italian and Portuguese and German has begun to fascinate me: not on the stupid premise that 100 million people speak it (indeed most have at least rudimentary English knowledge), but because of its cultural similarity to its neighbours and how it all intertwines. I won't be learning Chinese in a hurry myself.

Go for Portuguese, but think long and hard on why you want to live in Brazil (no dissuasion intended). Was about to recommend peninsular Portuguese to you because it's slightly harder on the listening front, but don't bother if you have no interest in Portugal.

(Original post by Ysondrae)
a lot of people who speak French, can also speak English
No disrespect to Mazz and her utterly beautiful country, but you'd therefore be surprised about the level of English in France..
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Cicerao
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Rubbish reason to learn, but Brazilian Portuguese is an awwwweeeesome language! Most beautiful one ever! <3
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Ysondrae
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(Original post by rockrunride)

No disrespect to Mazz and her utterly beautiful country, but you'd therefore be surprised about the level of English in France..
Hence why I said I was generalizing, and why I was mainly thinking of Canada, if you quoted me properly. I never said all people who speak French can also speak English.
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Anatheme
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(Original post by rockrunride)
No disrespect to Mazz and her utterly beautiful country, but you'd therefore be surprised about the level of English in France..
Only because you were in the south :blah:
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