What languages would you consider worth learning for an international traveler? >English. >German. >Mandarin

What languages would you consider worth learning for an international traveler?
>English
>German
>Mandarin
>Arabic
>French
>Japanese
>Hindi

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  1. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    How did you miss Spanish?
    Also Russian for not just Russia but Eastern Europe/Central Asia

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      No one speaks Spanish outside of the Americas

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        That's about 500M people, also
        >Spain

  2. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English, Spanish, Chinese
    Everything else is absolutely irrelevant

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      This. These are the only three relevant languages in the world. Everything else can only serve as a niche.

      >Arabic
      This language actually has some great opportunities if you're American or British and wouldn't mind working for intelligence.

  3. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    >English
    Yes, this is the only language you honestly need unless you are planning to live in another country for a while.
    >German
    lol
    >Mandarin
    Are you planning to stay in China for a while? If so, yes.
    >Arabic
    no
    >French
    If you're interested in France and failing African countries, yes.
    >Japanese
    If you're planing to sojourn in japan for months, I would say go for it.
    >Hindi
    no

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >no
      anyone traveling through the Middle East will have advantages if they speak arabic

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Don't forget Western Switzerland and Flanders

  4. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English alone is spoken by someone in almost every town worldwide.
    Add spanish to that and you get almost all of south america + brazillians will understand spanish if you are patient and speak clearly.
    Adding arabic will get you all of MENA, except for Iran (still widely spoken in Iran).
    Adding French gets you west africa, but that's not a popular tourist destination, madagascar a bit moreso however.
    Hindi and Mandarin have the most native speakers, but geographically it's only in a single country for each language so would only be useful if you go there.
    Japanese is not spoken outside of japan, but I hear the english in japan is sub-par so might be worth looking into.

    My verdict: If you plan on travelling in the new world spanish would be amazing, the old world you need to be more specific with where you will be going.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Hindi is basically the same as Urdu which is spoken in Pakistan.

  5. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Secret #realtraveller lifehack:
    Gesturing is a universal language and surprisingly effective at times

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      don't do this in america blacks will shoot you on sight

  6. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English
    >UK was an empire not too long ago
    French
    >Was also an empire not too long ago
    Chinese
    >Business opportunities
    Russian
    >Will get you around the whole ex-Soviet bloc
    If you already know at least English you’re pretty much set. A case could be made for Spanish because then you also unlock all of South America

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      I guess Arabic considering a lot of Middle Eastern and North African countries speak it but you’d need to be willing to subject yourself to that region to begin with

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        It makes sense if you ever go to Dubai

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          Even then English alone is probably fine for Dubai

          • 11 months ago
            Anonymous

            >English alone is probably fine for Dubai
            It is. Been to the Emirates a handful of times, and Kuwait, and have touched bases for a few days in Qatar and Saudi. Everyone I encountered, even the shop keeper in small town out in the middle of the desert, spoke enough English that we could get by.

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          >It makes sense if you ever go to Dubai
          I think the dominant local language of Dubai is actually “English with a South Asian or Filipino accent.”

          Sort of kidding, of course. But foreigners outnumber Emiratis like eight to one, and most of them barely speak Arabic.

  7. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Spanish a must for south america
    Russian for anything east of poland
    hard mode: mandarin and arabic for east asia and middle east, respectively

    French has historically been the language for elite upper-class whites, even nowadays it will get you far in Canada, many parts of Europe, west africa, and various islands and pockets throughout the oceans

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >many parts of Europe
      Wrong. Literally just France, Belgium and some parts of Switzerland

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        > just France, belgium, and some parts of switzerland
        that's a lot of territory, and there are educated individuals as far off as Poland and Romania who are fluent in it too

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          A lot of territory where people already speak English as a 2nd language. The only European languages worth learning are Spanish (Latam) and Russian (ex-USSR) because the people there are either monolingual or bilingual (their native + Russian).

  8. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    All those but German. The Germans all speak English, the swiss are unintelligible despite speaking "German" and the Austrians aren't worth visiting.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      I disagree,not only extremely useful in the german speaking countries but in most of eastern Europe
      also Austria is a wonderful destination

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        >I disagree,not only extremely useful in the german speaking countries but in most of eastern Europe
        I’ve never personally met a German speaker anywhere in Eastern Europe who wasn’t outnumbered by nearby English speakers, so I’m curious to know where in particular (outside of German-speaking countries) you got worthwhile mileage out of German.

        I’ve used German in Turkey, though (of course), and I have met a lot of people working with tourists in Italian resort areas who have at least some command of Deutsch, since vacationing Germans of a certain age will always default to German wherever they can.

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          Czech Republic and Hungary,mainly

          • 11 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Czech Republic and Hungary,mainly
            I suppose that makes sense; Hungarians are always off guest-working in Austria, and both have deep historical/imperial ties to German. There are supposed to be a fair number of German speakers in Slovenia, too, but I never noticed any. More English and Italian.

  9. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English will get you around everywhere in Europe, Oceania, parts of Asia, and North America. Japanese for Japan. Anywhere else is not worth learning another language to visit.

  10. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    > Anywhere popular
    someone will speak English if only to sell you stuff

    > LatAm, Iberia
    Spanish will get you far. Portuguese only marginally useful unless you’re literally relocating to those places

    > MENA
    Modern Standard Arabic very useful. Even just being able to read the script and pronounce things will be a great help

    > Anywhere ever an SSR
    Someone will speak Russian. Like MENA knowing Cyrillic without knowing the language is a big help by itself

    > France, Quebec, and Francophone Africa
    French is de rigeur. Also as another anon alluded to, the elites all speak French. The King of England does.

    > China, Japan
    You will struggle without some proficiency in the local lingo. India excluded as English is well known - more English speakers there than in the British Isles

    B grade languages:
    > Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
    Very similar and easy-ish to pick up for English speakers. Everyone in the Nordics speaks English anyway.

    > German
    Relatively well known in ex-Eastern Bloc countries and there are some rules around tickets etc which mean you can find it in far flung places. But a bit niche tbh if you’re not spending months in Germany or Austria.

    > SEA
    The people you degenerates go there to meet all speak English. If you’re not there for that then maybe you want to learn the local language a little.

    Other languages are only worth the effort if you are relocating there. Even then often performative - everyone in Ireland speaks English, Irish is only used ceremonially outside of some farms.

  11. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Some people make the case that German is a good language for economic reasons but I’ve never understood that because Austria, Germany and Switzerland speak better English than some parts of America tbh. Although they love to travel, I see them fricking everywhere so knowing German can be a cool party trick.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Austria, Germany and Switzerland speak better English than some parts of America tbh
      You might be surprised; there are lots of people in all of the above countries who actually struggle to get by in English; I would say overall proficiency is a bit lower than in, say, the Netherlands or parts of Scandinavia. But it’s true that someone nearby almost always speaks it at least well enough.

      It’s essential if you want to live in one of them, though, and it is a fun party trick abroad.

  12. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    As it absolutely always does whenever this question comes up, which seems to be about every four months, the answer just depends on where you want to go.

    If you want to spend a lot of time in China, Mandarin is extremely useful. Hindi will get you beneath the surface in a lot of Northern India, but in most southern states or Bengal most people would rather speak English (only around 57% of the population speaks any Hindi at all).

    French cuts a wide geographic swath. Arabic too, but it’s so variable in terms of dialects that while locals might understand you almost anywhere if you speak some version of MSA, you may not understand them in many places.

    Personally, the languages other than English that I have spoken in the largest number of countries have been Spanish and Russian.

    But any language is worth learning, even minor languages spoken in only one country, if you like it and want to spend time where it is spoken.

  13. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Japanese is absolutely useless outside Japan. I know because I used to learn it but I never fooled myself into thinking it could be useful, I just wanted to learn a non-europeans language. Outside English if you want best language for travelling it would be either Spanish or French as they both cover a lot of countries.

  14. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English.

    Translation services are almost magic at this point. Stuff like Google glass let's you read text of other languages as well just by pointing your phone at it.

  15. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    You only need 4 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian.
    Other languages (French, German, Arabic, Hindi, etc.) are useless because their speakers already know one of the 4 languages.
    Only exception is Japanese which is quite useful in Japan but useless outside of it.
    Portuguese can also come in handy because most Brazilians are shit at English, but again if you know Spanish it's practically the same language.

  16. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    FWIW Mandarin proficiency can be surprisingly useful in SEA if English isn't working

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >FWIW Mandarin proficiency can be surprisingly useful in SEA if English isn't working
      This surprises me. Nearly all of the established ethnic Chinese people in Thailand speak only various Southeastern varieties—mostly Hakka, Hokkien, and Teochiu—if they speak Chinese at all. Mandarin instruction was practically illegal for about 40 years as part of a Communist-fearing forced assimilation policy, so it was mostly kitchen dialects at home and funny accent Thai on the streets for about two generations. That’s changed more recently, as people of Chinese descent can send kids to after-school Chinese programs again and it has become a moderately popular foreign language course in schools and universities, but I never met a young Thai person learning Chinese who didn’t also know at least some English, which is still mandatory for every secondary school student (only around 20% of whom have Chinese ancestry).

      Situation may be different in other SEA countries; I know that Indonesia had a more segregationist rather than assimilationist policy toward their local Chinese in decades past, and Mandarin is widely taught and used in Singapore. But I didn’t think anywhere had significant populations of native Mandarin speakers that weren’t new arrivals.

      Of course, there are many thousands of new arrivals in recent years. But what I’ve read suggests that they mostly keep to themselves, pack trunks full of money, and go home within a few years. They don’t really try to integrate or stay forever.

      >T. Worked at a Thai university and as a Southeast Asia analyst for a think tank (but I know a lot more about mainland than I do about island SEA)

  17. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    This might be of interest -- it is the most popular SECOND language people learn by country.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Dang, that's not exactly right, it's the language most people were learning remotely recently. But that's going to be pretty close.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      > Spain
      > Spanish

      Lel

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      No, its the language people search for the most. In the USA, most people learn Spanish since high schools force you to take a language course, but most only offer Spanish.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Regardless it's a decent choice
        >ezpz to learn and get first notch on lingoboard
        >infrastructure of learning resources
        >actually some decent content out there to aid retention
        >Spanish grammar + English vocab + gay pronunciation = French
        >springboard to Italian, Portuguese, Romanian
        >hueg population of speakers

  18. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    I miss the old days on SighSee when these threads would degenerate into a fight over whether or not Esperanto was worth learning...

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      LMAO Whatever happened to Esperanto? Do people still try to learn it?

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        I saw a small gang of Esperantists handing out literature just last weekend at a little street festival in Colmar, Alsace, France. So I think it’s safe to say that it remains extremely popular with a tiny network of dedicated weirdos. There are even a handful of people I’ve read about who’ve been cruel enough to raise children to speak it as a first language.

        I’ve heard that it has its own couchsurfing-style network, though, which is pretty cool—there are evidently Esperantists all over the world who will host other Esperantists and show them around where they live in order to have people to speak Esperanto with.

        I think Esperanto is a harmless, slightly charming hobby for particular sorts of dweebs. It totally failed to become Dr. Zamenhof’s dream of a world language thanks to English (perhaps among other things), but it’s like Dungeons and Dragons or something. If you like it, you can probably find someone to play with.

  19. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    The most efficient upgrades you can get are
    >Get up to A2 level Spanish (helps with reading all other latin-based languages)
    >Learn Cyrillic (can be done in 24 hours and gives you a huge upgrade in dealing with a huge chunk of the world. Also when you can read shit, you can start to remember words)
    >Learn basic Arabic phrases and their script for numbers (to fend off morons and prevent basic scams. Learning the whole script is too much of an assache)

  20. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    >no pohnpeian
    >no kinyarwanda
    >no guaraní
    NGMI

  21. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    English is the only language worth learning. Soon the entire world will be speaking English anyways.

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