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 Language Learning Forum : Languages & Work Post Reply
14 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
albysky
Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
lang-8.com/1108796Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2572 days ago

287 posts - 393 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, German

 
 Message 1 of 14
10 November 2013 at 5:17pm | IP Logged 
If you are not an interpreter or translator , do you think it is better to know 2 or 3 languages very well like
C1/C2 or 5/6 at a more intermidiate level like B1/B2 ?

Edited by Fasulye on 24 January 2014 at 10:12am

2 persons have voted this message useful



betelgeuzah
Diglot
Groupie
Finland
Joined 2585 days ago

51 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: Finnish*, English
Studies: Japanese, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 14
10 November 2013 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
Most definitely 5-6 at B1/B2.

I think it will give the most bang for an average employer's buck unless the job requires very good understanding in the languages.

EDIT: I must say that English as C1/C2 is a no-brainer though. Maybe Italy is different but if the country is any smaller in size, good English is a necessary asset in most places.

Edited by betelgeuzah on 10 November 2013 at 5:44pm

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2891 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 3 of 14
10 November 2013 at 5:54pm | IP Logged 
I think B2 is where things start being very useful. B2 should really be the minimum.
7 persons have voted this message useful



Maralol
Nonaglot
Newbie
France
Joined 3202 days ago

35 posts - 75 votes 
Speaks: Spanish, French*, English, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Portuguese, Catalan
Studies: Polish, Danish, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 14
10 November 2013 at 7:59pm | IP Logged 
It depends on the job, really.


Sometimes recruiters are happy if the candidate has a B1 knowledge of a given language
because even if they aren't fully functional it's still a good way to break the ice and
have a privileged relationship with clients.

Edited by Maralol on 10 November 2013 at 8:01pm

1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3716 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 5 of 14
10 November 2013 at 9:02pm | IP Logged 
If your job involves having the same easy conversation over and over again, and your customers come from many countries, having a whole bunch of solid B1 languages would certainly be useful. B1 is high enough that you can engage in face-to-face interaction on familiar, everyday subjects and expect to communicate reliably. If you work in a restaurant or a hotel, for example, you could do a lot with B1.

If you actually need to use a language professionally, however, it's a different matter. By "professional", I mean any white-collar job that involves lots of reading, writing, persuading, presenting, selling, and other activities along those lines. In that case, I agree with Khatzumoto:

Quote:
Of course, it depends on one’s goals. But if we really want the maximum benefits of knowing a language, I think those max benefits only come with (native-level) fluency. If you want to be able to actually cut stuff, you need a sharp knife. You want to be able to use your languages to do (cut) ANYTHING. And fast. Understand everything from standard to regional dialects, read fast, speak fast and correctly, write fast and correctly. Otherwise you just have a collection of blunt mental; it looks good on paper, but it doesn’t do anything or it doesn’t do enough. Then there’s the social aspect — again, this is related to language as a social tool — you want to be persuasive. And to be persuasive, it helps to be funny, I think. To be funny takes some cultural plugged-in-edness, and being plugged in takes time — you do have to plug in.

I'm a pretty solid B2 most days, with a few individual skills in the C1 range, but if I had to work exclusively in French, it would be a challenge. I could certainly be a very effective "junior code monkey", but I would have a hard time pitching projects to clients or talking groups of people out of making disastrous mistakes.

This is where I really feel the limits of B2. It's perfectly fine for basic socialization with groups of native speakers, and for communicating complex ideas one-on-one to patient and sympathetic listeners. But if I'm in a group of natives, and nobody's especially interested in my opinion, I can't "take the floor", get everyone's attention, and make a point persuasively. Or at least I can't do it without imposing on everybody's good will. And this is where Khatzumoto's "sharp knife" metaphor appeals to me, and why I still haven't started learning Spanish.

Edited by emk on 11 November 2013 at 4:23pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



hrhenry
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
languagehopper.blogs
Joined 3314 days ago

1871 posts - 3641 votes 
Speaks: English*, SpanishC2, ItalianC2, Norwegian, Catalan, Galician, Turkish, Portuguese
Studies: Polish, Indonesian, Ojibwe

 
 Message 6 of 14
10 November 2013 at 9:08pm | IP Logged 
albysky wrote:
If you are not an interpreter or translator , do you think it is
better to know 2 or 3 languages very well like
C1/C2 or 5/6 at a more intermidiate level like B1/B2 ?

There's no reason a person can't be at a very high level in 2 or 3 languages and
intermediate in several others.

Most people I know (and I include myself in this) gained C1 or C2 level while living
and/or working in the target language's country, then go on to study other languages,
fully recognizing that an advanced level in those languages isn't necessary to be able
to do many things.

R.
==
3 persons have voted this message useful



Julie
Heptaglot
Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5087 days ago

1251 posts - 1733 votes 
5 sounds
Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 
 Message 7 of 14
10 November 2013 at 9:12pm | IP Logged 
All depends on the job and specific languages. I would say that 2-3 C1/C2 languages might be more useful (provided that these are the languages needed by your employer). Generally, it's not about the number of languages, though (I don't think there are that many jobs were 6 languages are needed :)) but about whether you speak what your potential employer needs or not.
1 person has voted this message useful



beano
Diglot
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2806 days ago

1049 posts - 2152 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Russian, Serbian, Hungarian

 
 Message 8 of 14
10 November 2013 at 10:04pm | IP Logged 
I find written translation tasks easier as I have time to think exactly how I'm going to phrase things and
unfamiliar technical vocabulary can be looked up. Thinking on your feet is certainly more stressful.


1 person has voted this message useful



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