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Which foreign language should I take up to help me pursue a law-related career? Watch

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    As I've searched up quite a few of similar threads on TSR, I'm aware that languages are a nice thing to have but certainly not a deal-breaker when it comes to pursuing a law-related career.(or possibly a Politics/IR related career as is my second option.)

    However, I just think it will still be beneficial to be able to speak a foreign language as it may increase my employability provided that I am able to speak it with great fluency where I even know the legal language of that language. So I'm thinking this as a long-term future plan as I know it will take me years to learn to speak a language fluently.


    I'm a foreign student studying at a sixth form college in UK, and my first language is Korean and English is my second language. I'm in lower sixth studying English literature;Government and Politics; Economics; Maths, and I have set my mind on either a Law degree or an International Relations/Politics degree.

    I believe I'm fairly talented at learning a language considering the fact that I began to learn English at a relatively later age and now I speak it almost fluently, and even my first language(Korean) is no where near similar to English which obviously makes it harder for me to learn it than when other European people learn English.


    I know French can come in handy but this is the only language that I find no motivation to learn!

    I think Russian or Chinese(Mandarin or Cantonese) can be useful as there are relatively fewer people in Europe that speak either of those in comparison to French/German/Spanish. Also since I'm a native Korean speaker Chinese shouldn't be as hard to grasp for me as it would be for the English people. For Russian, I believe I'm in the same position as other English people.


    So.. can anyone give me some useful advice on this? Any advice will be much appreicated!
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    I found German really easy to learn. French was meh and Spanish was fun but like french grammar wise so abit confusing for me but that might be because i slacked year 7-9 french
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    Any common language will be really helpful in case you're absolutely fluent in it. Don't underestimate French and Spanish, both are spoken by hundreds of millions of people in either Latin America or Africa, two continents on the rise.
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    (Original post by AishaTara)
    I found German really easy to learn. French was meh and Spanish was fun but like french grammar wise so abit confusing for me but that might be because i slacked year 7-9 french

    I've always wanted to learn German because I love how it sounds so harsh whereas I don't find the sound of French attractive at all somehow. Spanish pronunication is definitely easier for me but the Spanish people seem to speak ridiculously fast as do the Italians! Do you think the fact that there is a distinction between nouns being either male/female makes it very challenging to learn German?
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    (Original post by Sir Fox)
    Any common language will be really helpful in case you're absolutely fluent in it. Don't underestimate French and Spanish, both are spoken by hundreds of millions of people in either Latin America or Africa, two continents on the rise.

    Yes, you are absolutely right, I believe it's actually more about how fluent you are than which language you speak. I think I should pick a language that I'm confident I can continue learning for a long period of time so that I can become fluent in it.
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    If you are interested in a career in European law, or an area where English law overlaps with European (eg human rights, competition) then French might actually be the most directly useful -- it's one of the official languages of the EU and the language of the European Court of Justice. I imagine for this reason it would also be very useful in International Relations. However, if you have no motivation to learn it then there's no point killing yourself over it of course! Though I wonder why you don't fancy it -- I find it a really fun language to speak, and so many parts of France are great, and obviously very accessible. It's true that the French are very snobby about practising with learners though.

    I guess beyond that the other consideration would be if you were thinking of becoming a commercial lawyer, and thought that you might want to specialise in commerce in a particular part of the world: since you already know Korean, then learning Chinese might mean that you would look like a great person to have in a firm with a lot of business in Asia. However, I don't think that Chinese and Korean are actually related (even though Korean script derives from Chinese), so I don't know how much of a headstart you would have on that very difficult language. But if you were to master it that would look extremely impressive, even if you use it directly in your career.

    I speak French and German with fairly good (non-native level) fluency, but I'm finding that there aren't many legal jobs that use them directly. I think that knowing a language mainly demonstrates intelligence and ability to stick at something. So I would pick something you will enjoy and feel motivated to learn, which you can easily find good lessons in, and of which you can find other speakers to practise with. Good luck!
 
 
 
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