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Victor_S.

Foreign Language

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Well, I go to the United States Air Force Academy and as part of my major I am required to take a foreign language for two semesters and depending on how I like it I can minor in it. I can't decide whether I want to take russian or german. They both interest me and I thought I would ask which one you guys would reccomend. The reason I mention that I am in the air force is that depending on what I choose could possibly affect where I am deployed to after graduation. Just looking to see what you guys think.

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Maybe it`s only because i`m from germany myself, but i think the german language will be easier to learn for you.

English is not that far from the german language, but between english and russian are worlds.

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English & German are definently more alike. I've heard Russian is one of the most difficult languages to learn.

I'm interested though, why between Russian & German? <s>I would have thought USAF would want more Arabic speakers?</s>

Edit: A'ha! Germany or Russia would be more a likely base for the air force than Baghdad or Kabul!

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I'd go with Russian - I have studied both, and I bloody hated German grammar. Granted, I studied them at low levels, but I still found Russian to be more interesting, and in some ways easier.

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I studied German, French, Italian and Greek at school...can barely remember a word of any of them.

I found German the easiest to learn of those.

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Some chick is teaching me Maltese at the moment. Not that bad. wink_o.gif I learned a year and a half of Japanese but the letters are hard to learn

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Chinese! Buwahahahaha!

It's not that hard to learn spoken Mandarin, but to this day I'm freaking illiterate with the calligraphy.

But if you have the mental balls, you can make good money being an interpretor for business in the future. wink_o.gif

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I'm learning German right now, and I have to say that there are many similarities between English and German.  

I would suggest German.

-Pilot

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Take German. At least it has some resemblence to Engrish! I've taken two years of Japanese and while I really enjoy the class, the language isn't exactly my cup of green tea. I decided not to take it again... but for some reason I am half resenting that choice.

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I heard you can only learn Russian perfectly if being born in Russia. But I'd go for Russian anyway smile_o.gif

(granted, German is my mother tongue. If you want to know what is easier, I guess German is)

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You can never learn enough languages. Right now I can speak, read and write English, German, Fench and picking up some Afrikaans. Next year when I start college I probably be doing Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin).

Pretty much what everyone said, pick German because it has resemblence with English and thus being a bit easier. Russian is way harder.

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I speak English, Irish and French. French is easy enough, but it is spoken so fast that it takes a while to understand what is being said. German gets mixed reviews: Some say its easy, others say its too hard. Russian is meant to be one of the hardest languages, especially considering you have to learn a new alphabet.

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I heard you can only learn Russian perfectly if being born in Russia. But I'd go for Russian anyway smile_o.gif

(granted, German is my mother tongue. If you want to know what is easier, I guess German is)

Thats half true. If you are not born in russian you have a pretty heavy accent {LoL, you should see my Israel born friends trying to speak in russian  biggrin_o.gif  }

Russian is also similar to english , because some of the words are the same or prenounced a little diffrently

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If you're joining the USAF, German'll probably me more useful than Russian. I dare say there's more likelihood that you'll work with Germans on some sort of exercise or operations than work with Russians.

It'd also be pretty useful if you ever ended up at Ramstein or the other USAFE bases in Germany.

I learnt French and German at school and found them both fairly easy to learn since English kinda branches from the same tree as modern French and German (Saxons and Normans ruling Britain kinda helped). But they can still be challenging; I had a fair bit of trouble remembering the gender of nouns, but verbs, adjectives and sentence structure were fine.

They were both pretty enjoyable learning experiences but I personally have never really had any need for them since school, and as a result my ability to speak them has gone a bit rusty.

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I can speak 3 languages more or less fluent and without accent now. German(native), French and English. I must say if you ask me something about the grammar of each of them i wont be able to tell you anything. I only know that german grammar is the most complex and the french has the most exceptions. rofl.gif

If you're native english speaker you should take german, its easier to learn than Russian because they have some similarities at least.

My problem was, because in school i chose to study spanish and latin, my lazyness. I preferred to speak a language instead of learning the grammar and that stuff. Thats why i stopped both after a year. Learning a language is always hard, but it's way easier if you're young and you're living in a country where the language you want to study is the only spoken.

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English kinda branches from the same tree as modern French and German (Saxons and Normans ruling Britain kinda helped).

English came to England with the Saxons, and it was/is a Germanic language like German, so the coming of the Saxons didn't just "kinda help," it's the very reason English is English and a Germanic language. Modern French comes from Latin so it's not the same branch, but modern English has a lot of French & Latin words loaned into it, that's why it resembles.

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If you're looking for a 'safe' language that's easy and enough to pass the requirement but you don't want to have to use or worry about, stick to a classical European language. No offense to the native speakers of those languages, this is advice from an American to an American for an American situation.

If you want to stretch your mind and think outside the box, learn and maintain an East Asian language. They're so completely different from your present comprehension that learning and maintaining ability in one or more of those languages can have a powerful impact on your logical processes and cognitive relationships.

If you want to get on the short list for high-profile assignments, pick a targeted ME language. Don't ask me how they know, but 'they' know who stateside has the background in Farsi, Pushto, and the various colloquial Arabic's, 'They' know how to find them, and to twist their ear so to speak.

If you choose the liberal arts english major's cop-out of Rocks for Jocks swahili (stereotype niggly, no offense to serious folks) you'd best also pick up French as well, it would be invaluable all across Africa.

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Dari or Pashtu... If he he's going to Afghanistan, he should go for Dari. Pashtu is spoken is spoken by 35 % of the population in Afghanistan, and 8 % in Pakistan.

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I don't know which language is easier (better say which language is less hard) to learn, for Russian you have to learn a lot new letters etc, and if you already can for example Latin, German should be way easier. If you learnt ancient Greek at school, the Russian letters should be easy to learn...

I'd like to learn Russian, but I already speak German pretty fluent wink_o.gif

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Thanks for all of your input. I think I will go with German because of its similarities to english and I think I would pick it up faster. I have heard good things about Ramstein. I would love to go to germany at some point.

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I speak both english and danish, so from there my grasp of german is fairly good to (the similarities between german and danish are vast) - hence it would come as no suprise for my reccomendation to be German...

and anyway, if you get a little bored, you can always try learning russian as well tounge2.gif

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I'd pick russian. you will more likely run into someone who speaks only russian than someone who speaks only german.

of course it all depends on whether you want it useful or just get off easy...

ah well both point towards russian biggrin_o.gif

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