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    what do you think?
    I prefer spanish and their cultures but I think chinese will give me more job opportunities.
    any experiences?
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    Chinese won't give you more job opportunities; its importance is negligible in Europe. Spanish isn't that useful either to be honest but it's better than Chinese. The most important thing is to study what you enjoy.
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    French or German are the big ones to learn for business in Europe. However Germans have excellent English and the French aren't bad either.

    I disagree about Chinese. It may not be used all that much for European business but they aren't as good with English. It is still going to be useful.

    Spanish may come in handy if you're looking to move to the US.


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    Do you have previous experience with either language? If so, keeping up those language skills during your degree is a very good idea. However, you could easily find time during university to learn more languages, e.g. through evening classes if your uni offers them too - so you could learn both! I know that for Chinese in particular the chinese government has LOADS of funding available for students wanting to go to China to study Chinese for just a year or two or do degrees/ masters - so you could do Spanish as part of your degree, maybe start learning Chinese on top, then after graduation go to China for a year on one of the many scholarship programs to learn Chinese (if you have questions on this let me know, I'm currently studying Chinese in China for a year as a gap year in the middle of my, completely unrelated, degree).

    In terms of job opportunities, there seem to be loads of opportunities opening up in China at the moment which is very exciting - although I have no experience of Spanish cultures so not sure what opportunities may be there for you too.
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    Spanish is very useful! You will be able to do business within South American markets - which are growing in global significance - and it is desirable when working with US businesses as a large proportion of their client base can often be Spanish speaking. Also, if the right opportunity came about you could work with the Spanish - even be based in Spain.

    It's also worth considering that you could more rapidly achieve a high level of fluency in Spanish than in Chinese. This means that the likelihood of you benefitting from it increases!

    Furthermore, it is not that difficult to convert one's knowledge of Spanish into knowledge of Portuguese; Brazil is a huge, up and coming economy. Something else to consider!

    This isn't to downplay the importance of Chinese however if you speak English and are drawn to Spanish (which has about 60% of vocab with shared roots with English) the advantages of the later seem pretty clear!
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    Chinese would open more doors, however it depends at what level. I would say go with the one you prefer and that you think you can do best in.

    Spanish is spoken very widely by a lot of different countries.
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    there seem to be loads of opportunities opening up in China at the moment which is very exciting
    That requires knowledge of Chinese? Doubtful. I have a friend who studied Chinese at SOAS then moved to China to work for a multinational. He was the only Westerner on his office floor but everyone spoke English at work. He told me he only ever got to use his Chinese outside of work.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    That requires knowledge of Chinese? Doubtful. I have a friend who studied Chinese at SOAS then moved to China to work for a multinational. He was the only Westerner on his office floor but everyone spoke English at work. He told me he only ever got to use his Chinese outside of work.
    If you don't speak Chinese you'll be more limited in where you can work - for example only international companies in Beijing/ Shanghai. Outside of these two cities, less people speak English and so some Chinese knowledge will be invaluable. Beijing/ Shanghai are the most expensive cities to live in so you could be a lot better off working for a Chinese company in another city in China, for example. Plus, moving to a country without speaking the language also massively limits your travel opportunities, ability to do simple day-to-day tasks like shopping/ accommodation/ bills, etc.

    Even if you aren't interested in moving to China and working there (and it's a pretty big decision to make!) Chinese would be very helpful within many businesses, for example trading with China, negotiating with Chinese suppliers, business trips, etc. That being said, Spanish would also be useful within many businesses.
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    If you don't speak Chinese you'll be more limited in where you can work - for example only international companies in Beijing/ Shanghai. Outside of these two cities, less people speak English and so some Chinese knowledge will be invaluable. Beijing/ Shanghai are the most expensive cities to live in so you could be a lot better off working for a Chinese company in another city in China, for example. Plus, moving to a country without speaking the language also massively limits your travel opportunities, ability to do simple day-to-day tasks like shopping/ accommodation/ bills, etc.

    Even if you aren't interested in moving to China and working there (and it's a pretty big decision to make!) Chinese would be very helpful within many businesses, for example trading with China, negotiating with Chinese suppliers, business trips, etc. That being said, Spanish would also be useful within many businesses.
    Not really. I know a number of teachers working in China, none of them speak Chinese but they manage to get by easily enough. Sure, if you moved to some provincial city it might be harder - but why would you go there anyway?

    I accept that it is better to know Chinese than not you want to live in China, but you are overestimating its usefulness abroad. It is a huge language confined more or less to one country, it is not an international language in the way that French, Russian or even German is. China does virtually all its international business in English.

    Supposing that an employer did want to deal with suppliers or arrange a business trip in Chinese rather than in English, you would need to be completely fluent to be of any use, but four years study at university is not enough time to reach fluency. It is also worth considering that there are very many British/Europeans of Chinese descent, many of whom grew up speaking Chinese at home and therefore speak both English and Chinese as a native language - they can and already do fill the (relatively small) number of jobs where knowledge of Chinese is a prerequisite.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Not really. I know a number of teachers working in China, none of them speak Chinese but they manage to get by easily enough. Sure, if you moved to some provincial city it might be harder - but why would you go there anyway?

    I accept that it is better to know Chinese than not you want to live in China, but you are overestimating its usefulness abroad. It is a huge language confined more or less to one country, it is not an international language in the way that French, Russian or even German is. China does virtually all its international business in English.

    Supposing that an employer did want to deal with suppliers or arrange a business trip in Chinese rather than in English, you would need to be completely fluent to be of any use, but four years study at university is not enough time to reach fluency. It is also worth considering that there are very many British/Europeans of Chinese descent, many of whom grew up speaking Chinese at home and therefore speak both English and Chinese as a native language - they can and already do fill the (relatively small) number of jobs where knowledge of Chinese is a prerequisite.
    Well, in a provincial city there may be many more job opportunities, cheaper living costs, more interesting sights, different types of food and people, etc. There's loads of reasons in any country to live anywhere other than the capital city. I can definitely say though that outside of Shanghai (and maybe Beijing), not speaking decent Chinese is a massive disadvantage - and even if you do work in Shanghai, you'll at some point want to travel or do business with people elsewhere in China (it's such a huge and diverse country, with so many places to visit) at which point only being able to communicate in English makes your travel opportunities much more limited and expensive.

    I do get your point about Chinese being less useful outside of China perhaps, although that's just at the moment - China is still growing in the business world and I personally consider Chinese to be a lot more useful for me in the future than French (I speak both languages to a similar upper intermediate-ish level) - although this could be because as a science student I am attracted by the huge investments the Chinese government is putting into scientific research and new technologies (although these do lead into a a lot of business opportunities too). And there is no need to be totally fluent, although 4 years at university is more than enough to do so (assuming it includes a year abroad in China).

    You also make a good point about all bilingual Chinese students who would be your competition - however, European students can still use their other skills to stand out from these. Since coming to China I can unfortunately definitely agree to the stereotype of Chinese education being all about rote memorisation than true understanding, and since the number of Chinese students who completes all their secondary and tertiary education abroad is still relatively low, this is still one advantage Europeans have over many Chinese graduates. And the same situation exists regarding the competition of native speakers of European languages, many of whom start studying English as young as primary school.

    Meh, OP languages will always be useful, but as to which one is the most useful really depends on what you want to do in the future (e.g. if you have a really strong desire to move to China), what the graduate job/ economic/ political situation is like just after you graduate, and any previous experience you have in either language.
 
 
 
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