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Learning Chinese (Mandarin) VS Russian -- HELP!

kyle2828kyle2828 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 2014 in Business Major
Hello fellow confidential users,

I am in a bit of a predicament! I am currently enrolling in my Sophomore year at university studying finance, and need (want) to enroll in a challenging and exotic language course for both cultural and obvious business reasons.

SO, I am between Mandarin Chinese and Russian. Now, I am fully aware that China is the "upcoming superpower" (even with its housing bubble) and that Mandarin is the obvious dialect of choice for somebody interested in finance/commodities/import and export. I am not only intrigued with china from a cultural standpoint, but for obvious business reasons.

Russia is also very intriguing to me as it is shrouded in a cloud of mystery and supposedly portrayed as the "nemesis of the U.S." Russia is obviously not even comparable to China as an economy, but - my uncle is the CEO of the largest oil trading company in the world, and is stationed in Russia. Learning Russian would be advantageous because I have major connections within the Russian oil market. But, it is not sure that my uncle will be alive by my time of fluency (russia is quite dangerous), nor sure that he can acquire a job....

So with this information ....I need advice, please! Thank you all! (BTW DEADLINE IS IN 5 HOURS)!!!!!


Replies to: Learning Chinese (Mandarin) VS Russian -- HELP!

  • kyle2828kyle2828 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    no advice? =(
  • MadaboutxMadaboutx Registered User Posts: 1,592 Senior Member
    Chinese may be an upcoming superpower but who knows, it's propped up by the world's unwillingness to do anything about it. In the 80s, Japan was the upcoming superpower economically.

    Chinese is one language you could choose, Russian is an enemy and it's not bad to know the language of your enemy. I'll also throw Arabic in the mix as well. That's another one to look at too.
  • ribbonroad224ribbonroad224 Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    I would choose Mandarin Chinese for all of the reasons that you listed. I know nothing about either language and which is more difficult to learn as a native English speaker.
  • scholarmescholarme Registered User Posts: 2,547 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    If you can grasp the difference in "tones" in Chinese, then it is probably easier than Russian imo.
    Russian syntax & grammar is famously difficult. Otoh they have an alphabet, unlike Chinese, so less memorization.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,909 Forum Champion
    edited September 2014
    In my lifetime I've seen the "hot" language go from Japanese to Russian to Mandarin. Who knows what might be next? IMO study the one that interests you. Any one of them would be useful.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,536 Super Moderator
    Who knows what might be next?
    Arabic. Agreed, take the one that interest you the most.
  • kyle2828kyle2828 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    edited September 2014
    Thanks for the opinions guys - I appreciate all the input. Its quite difficult to make a decision when all you hear is :
    "chinese,chinese" reverberating in your ears. I was looking for opinions based of my external situations such as my uncle being powerful in Russia, and weighing how important that connection/connections are in making decisions for my future.

    When people to say "take one that interests you the most," it is very difficult for me to decide based off of interest as I am literally interested in everything. Everything to be learned interests me, and if I could I would learn over 20 languages - but we all know you don't have the time for that unless you're some autistic savant.
  • TheDidacticTheDidactic Registered User Posts: 2,113 Senior Member
    Hmm this is a tough one.

    It depends on your career aspirations and personal strengths. For business, Chinese is always a popular choice. Russian is also a good choice. Based on recent world news and what you've said about your uncle and his oil company, learning Russian would be an asset. The instability of Russia could pose a problem, but that could be the case for any world power. Another great one is Arabic, especially if you're thinking about working in the oil industry.

    I know that many people say Chinese is hard, but as a person who has taken 3+ years of Chinese, I believe it will be easier to learn than Russian and Arabic. I'm not sure what their grammar is like, but Chinese grammar is surprisingly easy. The hardest part is just remembering the characters and tones.

    Take one that interests you the most. ;D

    I'll put it like this. If you want to be like every other business major who is studying a foreign language and pursuing an interest in international business, study Chinese.

    If you want to be different and study a foreign language that has personal value to you, study Russian.
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