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arabic a good language?

california_love8california_love8 Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
edited May 2008 in Business Major
Hey,

I was wondering if Arabic or Farsi would be a good language to take in college. I like learning different languages, and would ideally like a language that utilizes international travel, and since I have a genuine interest in learning arabic, would that be a good language to learn, or should I just stick with spanish or even portugese because of Brazil's growing economy? Aside from being fun, would Arabic in all honesty be good to learn if you're not interested in the oil, but rather IT industry? For that matter, would portugese or spanish be good for the IT industry or would I need a more asian language like Japanese or something?
Post edited by california_love8 on
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Replies to: arabic a good language?

  • AlexandreAlexandre Registered User Posts: 24,648 Senior Member
    Arabic is spoken by 300 million people, 4th or 5th most commonly spoken language in the World according to the UN. But how useful is it? Your guess is as good as mine...and I actually speak the language! Also, keep in mind that it is one of the hardest languages to learn.
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Registered User Posts: 8,850 Senior Member
    Not very useful. Other than a few oil barons, the relative wealth of the Middle East is absurdly low.

    If you want to work "IT" you need to know English. There is no other relevant language. The main IT firms are either US or Indian w/a few others.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    For IT, the only useful language besides English is probably Mandarin. Indians can speak English so there is no need for learning Hindi. The cost of labor in India is pretty high (relative to China) and you will be seeing more and more IT located in China rather than India.

    Regardless, i would still recommend learning Spanish seeing as you already live in Mexico North.
  • McskittlZ10McskittlZ10 Registered User Posts: 433 Member
    I'm Brazilian and speak Portugeuse. You'd be surprised how useful it can be. You can understand Spanish (if spoken slowly) and learn others quite easily. I have a Jordanian friend and an Egyptian friend and they say that Arabic is quite hard. The squiggles and dots are very hard to understand.
  • naurunauru Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    Would you be better off learning some very advanced programming language that most people find incredibly hard? Even if you spend all of college learning a language to "working knowledge" level (this is not the same as being fluent, which requires a heck of a lot more work to achieve) you will lose most of your ability in the language if you are not regularly immersed in an environment in which you need to use the language.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    Would you be better off learning some very advanced programming language that most people find incredibly hard?

    No.
    you will lose most of your ability in the language if you are not regularly immersed in an environment in which you need to use the language.

    The same is true of programming languages. If you don't use it, you lose it. This effect is amplified given that technology changes so rapidly.
  • california_love8california_love8 Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
    I keep hearing that Brazil is going to become a world power, but can anyone tell me why? Also, what industries are growing there in the business field? I'm guessing IT isn't that big, is it finance or what?

    Also, what are good European languages to learn? I think I might also like working in Europe, so yeah.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Registered User Posts: 24,648 Senior Member
    with 190 million people (and rapidely growing), Brazil is far and away the most populated South American country and has been, for quite some time, one of the leading recipients of direct foreign investment in the World.

    The best European language to learn is French or German. Those are the two leading countries in the EU, they have the largest population, and are spoken in other countries. German is also spoken in Austria, Luxumberg and Switzerland. French is also spoken in Belgium, Luxumberg and Switzerland.

    I can also imagine that Russian would be useful.
  • uahmeduahmed Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    The only thing hard about learning Arabic would just be the initial phase of starting (as with most things). If you decide to learn Farsi later on then you have somewhat of an advantage coming in since you'll be familiar with the script, as well as many words. If you go even further in to Urdu, you'll be do it with ease.

    Can't help you with use in IT though
  • california_love8california_love8 Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
    well for those of you that say that Arabic will be difficult, does the fact that I know a good amount of Hindi perhaps mean that Arabic will be a bit easier to pick up? I know that they aren't completely related and have quite a few differences, but don't they have a similar base?

    Also, how is Russian useful (sorry, I keep asking about different countries)? I really should educate myself more about some of these developing nations' economies. Is there also any place I can read more about Brazil/Russia and why they will be economic "powers" in addition to a cliffnotes summary of why they are good to know?
  • aj16aj16 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    Nope, Hindi and Arabic have nothing in similar. They may seem to sound the same but knowing Hindi wont help at all in studying Arabic
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Registered User Posts: 8,850 Senior Member
    Spanish is far more valuable than Portuguese.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    In my opinion,as far as foreign languages go (besides English) Chinese>Spanish> Russian> Arabic> French> Portuguese.

    However, there are LOTS of jobs for good translaters of Arabic, especially with the national security organizations. From this perspective, Arabic might be the best of the bunch as far as jobs go,but you REALLY need to know it well.
  • uahmeduahmed Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    "Nope, Hindi and Arabic have nothing in similar. They may seem to sound the same but knowing Hindi wont help at all in studying Arabic"

    Hindi has many words which do come from Arabic. The scripts are different though but it should still help a bit.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Registered User Posts: 24,648 Senior Member
    Those who can read Urdu can read Arabic, but they won't understand what they are reading.
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