Certainly I didn’t know what languages I was going to study to when I first took the decision of studying Translation. I mean, I had no idea about languages until I stepped foot onto my degree.
It was 2009 I think, and I knew, of course, I’d study English in my degree. That language has been like a couple throughout all my life —and it’s interesting I’m still making the same mistakes though. Yet, what else? Just English? That wouldn’t be enough for being able to work as a translator, or at least here in my country because you must speak more than three languages to afford it. So, I tried two more languages out in order to can decide between them. Those two languages were French and German. The languages my future degree was going to be taught in.
I’m quite sure you have seldom heard words such as déjà vu, delicatessen, coup d’état, poltergeist, au revoir, or auf wiedersehen —yeah, it’s written like this even though you didn’t know, and furthermore both words mean the same. But, as the curious boy I am, I wanted to discover the meanings in both languages. So, whereas I was studying my last year in Primary Education, I took some short lessons of both. I must confess I was completly afraid of starting German. Have you ever noticed that German has a sharp downdrift? Has it three genders? Otherwise, these genders have nothing to do with the “ordinary” meaning of the semiotic sense of the word. For instance, girl is German is mädchen and you’d say “It’s an obviously feminine gender, it’s a girl!”. So, you’d be wrong. “What the hell” you’d think. I evidently did.
I ought to say I learnt few words… Ich habe ein Haus, and not too much else. Anyway, I gave up soon because as a Spanish native speaker, it was hardly difficult for me being able to understand everything, the genders, the declination, all the tenses, too much. That’s when I tried out French.
Well, French is a nice language to pretend you’re rich when you’re not. It always sounds better poulet aux haricots et oignons than “chicken with beans and onions”. Or, being able to pronunciate as a Parisian maitre when speaking about wines. However, I wanted to take a look and try out, and I fell completly in love of it. Those magical words written down with eight words pronouncing just four of them. Making the “r” as the Spanish’ “j” —really, French?—.
I decided to study French because it’s a spoken language in more zones around the world and I personally prefered the French pronuntiation than German’s. That was the reason why. Nevertheless, there will always be someone who prefers German than French, and someone who prefers other languages such as Chinese, or Arabic. That depends on what do you want to work in, and so many other facts.
If you want to be a translator, I advice you to make a simple research on Google and look for “what are the most spoken languages around the world”, or “highest fees in translation”, etc. As I said on my first page blog, in my town there are a lot of factories which works with a lot of French and Arabic people —francophones above all—, and that was a good reason plus to study French. So, if things went wrong in Translation I could choose among other possibilities to work in.
As a conclusion, I recommend you again to do a research of your desired job, and an analyse of your city’s jobs. “What languages can I get profit to here? Will I have a good future with Chinese if I stay in my town?” All of these are the questions you must bear in mind when choosing the languages you want to learn. And, you must choose a language whose culture you like, and a one with you can enjoy with while you’re studying.
These are my opinions and experiences about choosing languages. Now it’s up to you to know what way you want to take and au revoir mes amis.