Double major in Chinese and Arabic

I’m a senior and want to double major in Chinese and Arabic. I know Chinese is a very hard language and arabic. So I was wondering if double major in Chinese and Arabic is overwhelming.

It is! Why double major in both languages?

Do you currently have any background in either Chinese or Arabic? In almost all cases, elementary language courses cannot be counted for the major, so unless you’re coming into college with placement out of the elementary level, you’re looking at trying to fulfill the major requirements into 3 years.

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I thought double majoring in Chinese and Arabic will give me a better chance in being an interpreter for law enforcement.

You do not need to major in the language to develop the needed interpreting skills, but both Chinese and Arabic are considered difficult languages for English speakers to learn, so they each would require lots of course work to reach a usable level of proficiency.

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Law enforcement where? The most common languages (after English) in the US are:

Spanish (30m+ people; 50+% in CA, TX, FL; NY, IL, AZ, NJ & CO have 1m+)

Chinese (3m; 40% in CA)
Tagalog (1.6m; mostly HI, CA, NV)
Vietnamese (1.5m; mostly CA, WA, OK, NE )
French (1.3m; 2m if you include Fr Creole; LA, ME, NH, VT)
Korean (1.2m; mostly GA & VA and LA, NYC, DC)
German (1.0m; midwest, esp ND)
Arabic (1m, 40% around Detroit)
Russian (>1m; mostly NY & CA)
Italian (>1m; mostly NY & NJ)

Also, Arabic is not a unitary language. MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), which is mostly what is taught in schools in the US is useful, but the 4 main dialects are pretty different when spoken (I know Libyans who say they struggle to understand Lebanese Arabic).


I would say Chinese and Arabic would put you in good position in international business and diplomacy, rather than for law enforcement.

I agree with both languages it’s more for UN or international work… Arabic dialects differ… maybe a major in international relations and a minor in Arabic or Chinese

Where do you live that Arabic is important? Michigan?

@collegemom3717 : Shouldn’t “Chinese” be broken down by dialect such as Mandarin & Cantonese ?

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absolutely, @Publisher!


What you want isn’t a double language major, but getting into a Critical language flagship, which equips you to reach the highest possible level of proficiency alongside another major that means you may become a target recruit for alphabet agencies. Any Critical Language has been flagged by the Dept. of Defense so you can pick any from that list:
I don’t know whether they’re still accepting applications. Hopefully there’s one in your state. Click and read carefully then act quickly:

Your first step is to try and learn basics for ONE language through a CC. Not all may have started second semester but look quickly. If that isn’t possible, then try to find a group through community education and start learning. You REALLy don’t want to start your College Level 1 class from scratch.

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to many Chinese people, Mandarin is “Chinese”, though us Cantonese speakers highly object to that. Apparently Google seems to think that Mandarin is the only form of Chinese as well, as there is no Cantonese spoken translation in its translate program.

Just to be anal, Mandarin and Cantonese are examples of Chinese spoken languages (there are 700 or so dialects, Mandarin is by far the most widely used with Cantonese a distant second), while Chinese itself is what is written. Though there are a couple of forms of written Chinese as well, Traditional and Simplified. Simplified is used in China and somewhat in Singapore, while the other Asian countries with Chinese populations use Traditional.

My mother tongue is Arabic , I speak /read /write Arabic and English fluently and I’m studying korean as my 3rd language. I honestly wouldn’t recommend to u to study both at once Arabic is really hard language especially grammar and Chinese even harder. Try to choice 1 of the 2 languages, 1 that closest go ur heart otherwise I feel like u gonna have big headache from both languages since they both so different

One advantage in studying Chinese is that it more or less follows the same subject-verb-object sentence structure. There are also things in Chinese that are simpler such as plurals and certain conjugations or lack thereof.

Korean is monotonic is speech and the written language is in an alphabet form. Both things make Korean pretty easy to learn on the forefront. But sentence patterns go usually as subject-object-verb, and the verb conjugations drive me nuts. Also, a lot of words that when put as a compound word, should produce another word, doesn’t happen a lot, which also drives me nuts. For example, “sun” + “glasses” should equal the word “sunglasses”, which it does in Chinese but noooo not in Korean even though they use the same exact words. You can thank all the English loan words in Korean for somewhat destroying the language. Korean also has this concept of dual words, one using Chinese, the other using Korean. Take counting for example. So you wind up using the Chinese words when talking about money or what page you are in, but Korean when talking about numbers in general.

SOV (sort of like an HP calculator) appears to be used by more languages than SVO, but the two biggest languages use SVO.

How many of those English loan words were originally loan words from languages other than English? :slight_smile:

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Not sure why an 8 month old thread was needlessly resurrected, so I’m closing.

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