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Chinese or Arabic???

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Chinese or Arabic

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Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2009, 19:18
Just to get different opinions on the language that I should learn next, I wanted to know which language would be better for the long run in business????
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 07:05
Just my two cents, as an American speaker of two non-Western languages - there are lots of Chinese out there, and they're all learning English. If you plan on doing business there, my sense is that their English will almost always be way better than your Chinese. Unless you plan on moving to China and living there for a long period of time, during which you could conceivably gain some level of fluency, I say go for Arabic.

The pool of Western Arabic speakers is probably way smaller even than Chinese speakers. It's still a bitch to learn (trust me, I know), but probably a bit easier than Chinese. Also, consider that you'd have to decide between learning Mandarin and Cantonese - which may have a lot of similarities, but are essentially different languages for someone who's not fluent already. MSA (modern standard Arabic) is more or less the same everywhere. Spoken Arabic is often different, but standardizing quickly, thanks to al-Jazeera and the Lebanese. And let's face it, it sounds cooler.

But again, unless you plan on moving somewhere where one of these languages is spoken, it's unlikely you'll ever acquire any considerable level of fluency.
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 09:32
I would second that opinion. First of all, the choice would depend on the location u plan to work or frequently travel. All else being equal, u can still do business in China without knowing chinese, but u can almost never do business in middle east (that is assuming u r dealing with locals and not the immigrants) without knowing arabic. This is especially true in Saudi and surrounding countries. Dubai is one notable exception.
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 09:47
Both will definitely open up new avenues... depends on your type of business and location you want to get into.

Personally though, I would try Chinese. Im 99% sure there are more people that speak chinese than Arabic..or even English.
If you want to put yourself through learning a non alphabetic language (which means it's going to be a crazy process trying to learn and understand it)...you definitely want to try to get the biggest return.
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 10:05
... of course, Arabic has an alphabet, thus making it easier to learn. Inshallah.
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 10:48
How about Russian?

I would bet on Arabic, as someone said before, Chinese are more likely to learn English. However, all rich sheiks in the middle east pretty much send their children into Western schools or schools in English over there so all you will really need in a near future is English (unfortunately). Too bad its not Italiano or Spanish or some other nicer language...
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2009, 13:46
It might look good on your resume, but I doubt it will have much practical use.

I have a friend learned chinese for 3 years. And when he finally had a chance to go to china, he opt not too. Now the only time he will use chinese is when starting a conversion with some chinese girl.

And if you go on to any business trip in middle east or china, you will find plenty of people speak English. You will be surprised. I would recommended try to speak a language where their native population isn't very well versed in English.

It will be much more useful/easier to make a friends who's from middle east or china. I would learn spanish or portuguese.
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 12:17
TRISTLW wrote:
Just to get different opinions on the language that I should learn next, I wanted to know which language would be better for the long run in business????

Neither. Learn hindi, tamil and telugu. :P
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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2009, 08:24
LOL.

billyjeans wrote:
It might look good on your resume, but I doubt it will have much practical use.

I have a friend learned chinese for 3 years. And when he finally had a chance to go to china, he opt not too. Now the only time he will use chinese is when starting a conversion with some chinese girl.

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Re: Chinese or Arabic??? [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2009, 10:38
I speak Russian fluently and am conversational in a couple other Eastern European languages -- and yet the only language I've ever used professionally besides English is French, because I just happened to wind up on a long-term engagement with a Paris-based company.

You really can't plan ahead for these things. If you speak Mandarin but your company decides it wants to expand aggressively in Africa, you may wind up learning an African dialect of French, or Arabic, or a local language down the road -- or relying on translators. Needs shift constantly, and I wouldn't say specific language skills are a very critical skill in business these days, though having significant skills in *some* language can be an indicator to others that you are culturally competent and curious about other nations.
Re: Chinese or Arabic???   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2009, 10:38
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