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  • Learning another language advice

    I graduated undergrad with a 3.8+ overall and 3.9+ major GPA in meteorology with a minor in math. I originally went to graduate school but knew at this point it wasn't what I wanted to do and that my dreams of serving my country were what I needed to pursue.

    I have to wait 11 months to enlist due to being misdiagnosed and taking some meds so I decided in addition to training by body I would refresh my Spanish (fluent but haven't used it in a while) and also learn another language. I don't believe I will be fluent in a year but could develop the ability to communicate and eventually become fluent. Currently I am leaning towards Farsi which is the language spoken in much or Iran and other parts other middle eastern countries such as Afghanistan. Any input on which language I should learn that would most benefit the Navy?

  • #2
    Re: Learning another language advice

    You should learn Korean, cause that's where we're going next (kidding).

    Scott Williams made a post on here about this topic and he listed many major world languages as well as most middle eastern ones - Mandarin, Spanish, French, Farsi, Arabic, Turkish I think was on there, etc. I believe the Navy website has a section about enlistment bonuses and what languages qualify you for a higher bonus (aka - languages the Navy can use most). Whatever you pick, believe that the Navy will try to put you where you skilled (if you know Arabic, then middle east emphasis. Spanish, South America and countries south of Mexico.)

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    • #3
      Re: Learning another language advice

      Originally posted by tfranc View Post
      Whatever you pick, believe that the Navy will try to put you where you skilled (if you know Arabic, then middle east emphasis. Spanish, South America and countries south of Mexico.)
      I'm unsure if this part is all true, "I know a guy" who serves as a Green Beret, was trained by the US Army in Indonesian but he's repeatedly deployed to Afghanistan. But Indonesian (which should also be on the list ^ I think) is for Indonesia & the Philippines. Even returning to US soil from deployment they held him an extra few weeks for "extensive language training" in North Carolina before he was actually sent back to California. None the less, a 2nd, 3rd, even 4th language is an incredible advantage. I'd choose Farsi or whatever the Syrians speak, cause that's where we're going next (kidding).
      Last edited by V8z; 12-22-2013, 07:12 AM. Reason: Humor

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      • #4
        Re: Learning another language advice

        No you're right - it isn't completely true, that's why I said, "try to put you" and not "they put you". They place guys where the need is greatest and most logistically possible. Indonesian and Tagalog might be good ones to learn. I remember a few years back hearing about SEALs being deployed to the Philippines to track terrorist cells associated with Al Queda, but situation might have changed since then. Farsi is Persian, just so's ya know's. And I don't think you have to say "(kidding)" in your last sentence, heh.

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        • #5
          Re: Learning another language advice

          I think it's more practical to learn French if you are studying alone. Learning Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, etc. will be difficult without an instructor. Get Assimil "French with Ease" and pick up some French language papers, novels and/or films as a supplement to the program. 30 minutes a day and you'll be able to carry on a conversation in 6 months or less depending on how quickly you absorb the material (it took me 6). French is used throughout the world, esp. in Europe and Africa, and would certainly help you out in the public/private sector if/when you decide to get out.

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          • #6
            Re: Learning another language advice

            Good points. I think it's the 3rd most widely used language in the world.

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            • #7
              Re: Learning another language advice

              Something to take into account when learning new languages is that the new language skill requires maintenance. I've noticed with 1-1.5 hrs/day and some forced immersion in the language, internet streaming radio, films, books, one can learn basic reading, writing, listening, and speaking of a language with similar alphabet as English within 6-7 months. Examples are Spanish, German. However, after that base it requires similar effort/time and immersion to maintain that personal peak language level you acquired. This is a timing issue, for when you will need the language.
              This must be extremely more difficult for really foreign foreign languages, such as the Middle/Far Eastern languages being discussing in this thread. These have an entirely different alphabet and speech patterns. Not only acquiring them, but maintaining them will take much more effort. Especially since the media you may use for immersion say internet streaming radio or films will not be as easily available. So just as in physical performance, when you plan on learning a new language take into account when you want to peak.

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