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Southeast Asia forum

Learning an asian language

Posted by mattocmd on 2/7/2007 at 22:02


I have a question that someone might be able to help me with. I am looking to learn a foreign language for both the personal enrichment and to hopefully expand my future career possibilities. Although I still do not know what I want to be "when I grow up," my current dream job would be either governmental (specifically Foreign Services Officer or a traveling auditor for the G.A.O.) or a career in the business world (international sales/travel).

I still need to knock three continents off of my list, but thus far I have a fascination with the Asian culture. Many reputable universities require a foreign language in order to be admitted into their international master's programs. Therefore, I think it would be best to learn an Asian language.

I know that the fastest and most efficient way to learn a language is a combination of classes and cultural immersion. I could easily afford to live in Thailand and take Thai language classes (without having to work) or I could proceed with my planned "teach in Korea" adventure and learn the language there.

With the current status of Thailand as a developing nation it seems that it might be a useful language to learn. On the other hand, with the possible fall of communism in North Korea and the business opportunities that would ensue (not to mention the current opportunities that already exist in the south), Korean might be more useful.

To sum it up, which language is more useful for governmental and international business careers, Thai or Korean?

Thank you!

#1 mattocmd has been a member since 13/6/2007. Location: United States. Posts: 365
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Posted by chopin on 3/7/2007 at 09:30

Hi mattocmd,

Thai is only useful in Thailand, and Korean in the Koreas. Why not consider Mandarin (Chinese)? It is useful in China (>10 billion people), Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and wherever there are Chinese around the globe - including America, Europe and most parts of Asia.

#2 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
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Posted by maleewan_th on 4/7/2007 at 10:15

Hello Mattocmd,
I'm in Thailand and I have degree from university and I used to teach some farang to learn Thai if you interesting to learn Thai contact me: and I have rescidence in northern of Thailand beatiful view of Mekong river.

#3 maleewan_th has been a member since 13/5/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by peterANDsharon on 4/7/2007 at 13:02

I have been learning Vietnamese for many years and still struggle to make a decent conversation! I went to night school 1 night per week for 1& 3/4hours, for 4 years! This was for certificate 2 in applied language. I have learnt to get by whilst traveling in VN, but still find it very difficult at times!
I admit that it is very rewarding and challenging and it certainly opens many doors when there. It can also be very amusing when they talk behind your back! I must admit that it would have been more logical from a career point to learn mandarin. Good luck and keep practicing!

#4 peterANDsharon has been a member since 21/4/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by Guernseystu on 24/7/2007 at 01:21

Whichever language you decide to study, make sure that you learn how to read it first and I guarantee you will learn it much faster and with fewer mistakes.

#5 Guernseystu has been a member since 10/7/2007. Posts: 108

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