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Best language for an International Relations/ Econ major?

yvoon98yvoon98 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I'm a native Spanish speaker and have taken classes throughout middle/high school. I want to (and am required to) take language classes (past intermediate level) for my major. I was considering German, French, and Russian; however, my advisor said French or Russian would probably be best. I know that French would be easiest; however, I'm still indecisive. I am wondering if Russian would be beneficial, and if I would be proficient/fluent by the end of university? Will I be more appealing with French or Russian to an employer? Also, would it be best to just wait until my sophomore year to begin language classes? Is a beginner language class going to be easier than something like international politics or an intro to econ?


Replies to: Best language for an International Relations/ Econ major?

  • reinian18reinian18 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    1. If you learn Russian it will be more marketable to employers just because Russian is critical language that is needed in a lot of business (especially involving natural resources like oil, etc) right now and less people in the United States decide to learn it and pursue it to proficiency. But I would look to make sure that the Russian department is well established and has classes that are able to take you to that level (including study abroad opportunities) as Russian is rated a Category III language for English speakers to learn. A lot of Russians and people from Eastern Europe also do not speak English very well so that will give you a leg up. Plus the fact that obviously in international relations Russian is very important right now and has been for decades.

    2. As someone who has learnt French and Spanish to an intermediate-advanced level I can say that hands down French will be easiest to learn, and if I were to be frank with you after just a couple months of intensive study you should be able to read a lot in French. French to be honest isn't that useful in terms of international relations in Europe a lot of francophones speak English pretty well in Europe so for the practical sense there it's not that useful. HOWEVER, if you are interested in Africa the French language would be big asset in places like Morocco, Algeria, Sub-saharan Africa, so I would take a moment to reflect on which area of the world interests you the most.

    3. German isn't that useful as while Germany is a major European powerhouse many people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland speak English very well, and while it might be useful in a sense to read and understand the news and stuff its not as practical as French or Russian.

    4. On the easiness of a language course I would do research to make sure that it won't be overwhelming considering the fact that a lot of universities have language programs that require students at the beginning level to take multiple classes a week and have other set times for conversation/drill sessions which can be time consuming.

    Good luck and I hope this was helpful!!!
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