Looking For A Language To Study

Seajack

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I looked through eight pages of results on here, and Google searched my question, but didn't find what I was looking for. A little more prepared this time!

As stated in another thread posted on this board, I am interested in getting into a special operations unit once I join the military. Though I am not sure on which to join, I'm preparing as best I can, and understand that being multilingual can be extremely valuable. Language is something rather good at, as I pick up on it pretty easily. I'm in my second year of German, and am looking for a third language to learn and hopefully master before I enter the military.

Is there any language that I could learn that would be particularly useful in the near future? I'm sixteen, so I'll be in the military from 2-7 years, depending on whether I enlist or apply to a service academy, which is another story...

Thanks in advanced.
 

x SF med

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Seajack-
Do you study current events? World events? Politics? The answer to your question lies in those areas, and an idea of where you think something will pop up in the next (as you stated) 2-7 years.

I'm disappointed in you, I know I have answered this almost exact question multiple times in the past year for people stating what you just did. Rread the frigging posts, all of them, yes, I said all of them. Take notes. count the numbers of suggestions for languages. Aanalyze your results, synthesize a series of plans/languages. Aanswer your own question. Be self reliant. In a combat situation somebody else will not give you the answer. I hope nobody on this board gives you one name of a language to study and forces you to find out for yourself what your path is.

If all else fails, study friggin Klingon, maybe the next threat is coming form there.

Oh, if you get all hurt about this, I'm actually being nice.
 

SpitfireV

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You can't just say you're "good at languages" since you'll very rarely find anyone good at all the different types. I'm OK at Chinese for example but Farsi and Arabic do me in knots.
 

Seajack

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Seajack-
Do you study current events? World events? Politics? The answer to your question lies in those areas, and an idea of where you think something will pop up in the next (as you stated) 2-7 years.

I'm disappointed in you, I know I have answered this almost exact question multiple times in the past year for people stating what you just did. Rread the frigging posts, all of them, yes, I said all of them. Take notes. count the numbers of suggestions for languages. Aanalyze your results, synthesize a series of plans/languages. Aanswer your own question. Be self reliant. In a combat situation somebody else will not give you the answer. I hope nobody on this board gives you one name of a language to study and forces you to find out for yourself what your path is.

If all else fails, study friggin Klingon, maybe the next threat is coming form there.

Oh, if you get all hurt about this, I'm actually being nice.



I'm sorry to disappoint you, it wasn't intentional.

As far as reading the posts go, I used the Search button for a range of queries. I got results regarding Afghanistan; I can't know if Afghanistan will even be an issue by the time I'm in the military, and the provincial dialects would really vary what I would focus on. I Googled searched, and got the same results: "I'm going to X, what language should I learn?" Asking here is part of the process of coming to a conclusion, not the conclusion itself.

And I'm not hurt, a little constructive criticism never does harm. I know the difference between being a dick and ranting and, and being constructive, and I appreciate the latter.

You can't just say you're "good at languages" since you'll very rarely find anyone good at all the different types. I'm OK at Chinese for example but Farsi and Arabic do me in knots.

That's a poor choice of words on my part. I'd venture to say that I pick up language easily. I've taken intro courses to Russian, German, Finnish, and Japanese, all of which came extremely easy to me. There may be a few out there that will give me troubles though, and while I've no evidence saying "I'm good at every language", based off of what I have done, I feel somewhat reasonable in saying that language comes easily to me.
 

Marauder06

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Any language you learn is going to be beneficial to you in the long run.

Do you want to specialize in a "niche" language or something more generalized? And what do you want to do after high school? Being truly proficient at a language is much more useful (and more marketable) then being able to order a beer or ask a girl out on a date is several different onces. What do they teach at your school? Become really, really good in that. Then when you join the service or go to college, maintain the skill in that language and then branch out into something more specific. The world might be different by then and the choice of language may be a little more clear.
 

AssadUSMC

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As a former military linguist, I give you this: Don't try to game the system. For example, MANY folks around where I am are pushing to learn Pashto/Dari, while I think that's a mistake. Why? By the time they get any kind of functionality in the language, we'll be out of that place. Arabic is solid - there has been strife there for the last 60 years (well, really, the last 4000 years). Chinese is another good one - esp. since the almost own us. Keep in mind this, too: Whatever region you learn a language for, is going to be the region you work in for most of your career. I'm so glad I speak Spanish, too. ;)
 

Marauder06

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We had a band in Korea which was comprised primary of 98G linguists. We tried to name the band Cunning Linguists, but our female bandmates (one of whom was my wife) balked for some reason ;)
 

Seajack

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Any language you learn is going to be beneficial to you in the long run.

Do you want to specialize in a "niche" language or something more generalized? And what do you want to do after high school? Being truly proficient at a language is much more useful (and more marketable) then being able to order a beer or ask a girl out on a date is several different onces. What do they teach at your school? Become really, really good in that. Then when you join the service or go to college, maintain the skill in that language and then branch out into something more specific. The world might be different by then and the choice of language may be a little more clear.

I want to use a language that will be useful to the military in the next ten years. I don't really have a niche or specific language in mind. If I am fluent in a language by the time I'm in the service, will that at all determine where they send me?

They teach German, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Latin at my school. I don't see French or Latin being useful at all, and as much as I enjoy German, I doubt it'll be useful.

I don't see any political strife with Japan any time soon, but South America has a lot of issues with the drug trade. Can you South America being as much or more of an issue to the States than say, Korea, China, Russia, etc.? That's where I'm kind of lost.

As a former military linguist, I give you this: Don't try to game the system. For example, MANY folks around where I am are pushing to learn Pashto/Dari, while I think that's a mistake. Why? By the time they get any kind of functionality in the language, we'll be out of that place. Arabic is solid - there has been strife there for the last 60 years (well, really, the last 4000 years). Chinese is another good one - esp. since the almost own us. Keep in mind this, too: Whatever region you learn a language for, is going to be the region you work in for most of your career. I'm so glad I speak Spanish, too. ;)

What did you do as a linguist? Do they attach you to a unit?
 

x SF med

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We had a band in Korea which was comprised primary of 98G linguists. We tried to name the band Cunning Linguists, but our female bandmates (one of whom was my wife) balked for some reason ;)

So.... Mara could actually start a story this way.... "There was this one time at Band Camp Casey, we were surrounded by the North Koreans, and No Shit, This Really Happened (here hold my beer, I need my hands for this)....." and it would be true....:cool:
 

Marauder06

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Latin heavily influenced a lot of the Romance languages, so it could be a useful tool to accompany what you're learning elsewhere. It will also help you enormously with your SATs and if you ever take the GRE, you'll be grateful for Latin. Plus, I don't know how it is at your school, but at my high school Latin class was stuffed with the really smart, really hot chicks. Something about law school or med school or something. That said, I don't think you should study Latin at the expense of something more modern and useful. The only time I used my Latin ability when I was in the Army was when we went to Jerusalem. My Soldiers were impressed that I could read the Latin prayers written on the walls and could understand some of the ceremonies we observed. Not particularly helpful.

It's good to start planning for your future now but don't start mentally locking yourself into a niche. As I and others have said before, there's no telling what the world is going to be like by the time you're ready for the military. The way things are going now, you may want to start learning Korean.

Spanish and French are both good languages to learn because lots of shitty little countries that we may have to invade or prop up speak those. Central and South America, the Caribbean, some countries in Europe of course and a smattering of countries in Africa speak French or Spanish. Personally I'd learn Spanish right now. Not only is there a war brewing south of the border, you can speak it in your daily life and practice it by turning on the TV or the radio.
 

Marauder06

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So.... Mara could actually start a story this way.... "There was this one time at Band Camp Casey, we were surrounded by the North Koreans, and No Shit, This Really Happened (here hold my beer, I need my hands for this)....." and it would be true....:cool:

If it was the slightest bit exciting and it came out of my mouth, you would know it wasn't true ;)
 

SpitfireV

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Latin IMO is the most redundant of all languages to learn at high school. Sure, it has its uses in medicine and daylight robbery- sorry, law- but those are only specific phrases or names.But you'll learn that shit in those degrees if you choose to take them.

It's a dead language. I spoke to a woman once who was doing her Doctorate in it and she described it as such.

EDIT: I agree with Mara, learn Spanish for your second language and go for others for your third if you want to. It will open up many doors in the future as far as government work goes. IIRC USCBP has a requirement that their people be fluent.
 

Seajack

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From what I've read here, Spanish sounds like a pretty solid choice. Hopefully it won't interrupt my studies in German (doubt it will). I'll be able to get 2 years of Spanish in school, then I figure I'll continue studying once I'm in the service, so it'll be fresh in the skull.

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.
 

Etype

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Language isn't much of a warrior task. Go workout. Get on www.crossfit.com and work on getting a sub 4 minute Fran time. Go run a 10k, and if it's over 40 minutes, work on that. Work on a double body weight squat, 2.5 body weight deadlift, and 1.5 body weight bench. Then you'll really have something you can work with. Get in the woods and learn how to pattern deer- where they sleep, where they eat, when they move; it's 100% transferable to hunting humans.

If it's not your first language, you'll have a terp- don't worry.
 

Mac_NZ

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Do you play sports?
If not join a team sport. Learn how to interact with others in a tight group and how to put the needs of the group ahead of you own.

Then go for a run and do some push ups and pull ups.
 

Seajack

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Do you play sports?
If not join a team sport. Learn how to interact with others in a tight group and how to put the needs of the group ahead of you own.

Then go for a run and do some push ups and pull ups.

Language isn't much of a warrior task. Go workout. Get on www.crossfit.com and work on getting a sub 4 minute Fran time. Go run a 10k, and if it's over 40 minutes, work on that. Work on a double body weight squat, 2.5 body weight deadlift, and 1.5 body weight bench. Then you'll really have something you can work with. Get in the woods and learn how to pattern deer- where they sleep, where they eat, when they move; it's 100% transferable to hunting humans.

If it's not your first language, you'll have a terp- don't worry.

The Sea Cadet Battalion I am in has some pretty decent phsyical standards. I'm actually going to RCT Training from the 26th-1st January. Can't wait!

I'm on a diving and swim team for the winter. Pretty good balance of body weight strength and cardio between swimming and diving, and I run on my own. I don't really care for "lifting", i.e. benching, and free weights. I don't really feel as tight with with my team in sports as I do with the Cadets though. No camaraderie.

I'll have to try what you said about deer, Etype. I hunt, and did a little of what you talked about; I kept track of their paths and what time of day they'd be on them. I never thought it would relevant to hunting people.

I'm running 6:30 on my mile, and about 15 dead hangs (I could get 20 earlier this summer when I was working construction daily). I do longer than a mile, but I haven't timed it. I'm a much better swimmer, than I am a runner.
 

Etype

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I hate to be pushing the thread in a direction other than intended, but a 6:30 ain't cuttin it!!! I have 230 pound dudes on my team running 6:30 miles. I'd say about middle of the road performance in the SF community is a 13:45-14:00 two mile (probably around 6:20 for a single mile), max on push ups and situps (75-80+ each) and maybe 15 pull ups.
But that's AVERAGE, you don't want that.
 

Seajack

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I'll have to get updated time. I'm sure I can do better with both those, and I'm always looking to improve. It's hard balancing school with PT when I'm in all Honors classes. I know I got 90 last time I did push ups. 50 sit ups. Both have probably went up since I started diving, since the workouts are pretty hard.

It's a little comforting knowing I at least make minimum standards, but going out of my comfort zone is what's fun. Thanks for the advice, Etype.
 

Etype

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It's hard balancing school with PT when I'm in all Honors classes.
It's hard balancing PT with dodging incoming indirect, MRE (mal)nutrition, and relentless OPTEMPO.

But that's why we get paid so well...
 
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