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International Business: French vs German?

graceboveegracebovee Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
So I'm most likely going to be enrolling into the international business program at URI very soon. It's a duel-degree program where you get a B.S. in one of their business majors (I'm doing marketing) and a B.A. in a foreign language, which will prepare you to work abroad your fourth year there. My question is, which language do you think would be best for me to chose: French or German? I don't care about difficulty, I just want to know what you think the best decision would be from the standpoint of usefulness in a business setting. Thank you!

Replies to: International Business: French vs German?

  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    edited October 2014
    Int'l business is conducted in English. In all the non-English speaking countries i have worked in, everyone had to speak English, give presentations in English, write reports in English. All the Germans I've worked with could speak, read, write in English better than the average American. If u must pick a language then, i'd suggest french or spanish. Don't pick mandarin or arabic bcs u will never get proficient enough in it at this late stage to use it in a business setting.

    On a practical note, learning french will enable u to order food & wine without mispronouncing it.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I agree. I do lots of international business and English is the language of choice. I lead workshops in English, write reports in English, and everyone communicates in English. The one exception has been Japan - where, even though their proficiency is quite high, they are particularly afraid of making mistakes, and so they hire simultaneous translators (so as I would speak, a translator translated what I said into Japanese, and as they spoke, another translator translated what they said into English and I heard it in my ear and could respond quickly). I do have French proficiency, but that's just for my personal pleasure / enrichment, and it hasn't helped me in business - my French clients all speak excellent English. Though they do get to indulge me picking away at a few phrases :-)
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,363 Forum Champion
    My H worked companies headquartered in Europe as well as US companies with worldwide operations. In both cases English was the language of the company and was used exclusively when people from different countries got together. Take whichever language appeals to you.
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