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Best foreign language for Future Physicist

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    Which foreign language will be most useful for a future physicist working in nuclear fusion multinational collaboration projects?
    Or is english all he needs?

    I aspire to work for the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project) in which EU, US, Japan, China, India, S. Korea are members of.

    At first I though Japanese since they are one of the leading members in nuclear fusion and high-tech industry but then I thought will Chinese surpass Japanese in 2020s?

    Please help! (I have to decide whether I should go with a foreign language, and if so which one, soon.)
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2010 #2
    Maybe you should work for North Korea if you are into Nuclear stuff.
  4. Apr 5, 2010 #3
    In other words,

    What is best non-English language to learn for future scientist working in multinational projects? (Will second language even be useful?)
  5. Apr 5, 2010 #4


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    Gold Member

    There are plenty of similar threads.
    There's no doubt than English is more than sufficient for any multinational collaboration project. So it's more important to spend time learning physics than spending time to learn a new language from scratch.
  6. Apr 15, 2010 #5
    If anyone else has the same/related question, I can help. I talked to some college faculty members and an alumni on science policy, STEM, international science projects, etc, and found that "at least for the many decades to come", english will likely "remain" the unifying language among international scientists. Unless you plan to work for long periods of time or permanently, the country's language is useful. So if you have space in your undergraduate study of Physics, another language is not as significant as previously thought for the current times.
  7. Apr 15, 2010 #6
    When selecting an appropriate language for yourself to fulfill your language requirement, select one that you think "you" may become involved with in the future.
  8. Apr 15, 2010 #7
    Why can't people just search? Is it sheer laziness or the belief that your question is so unique and important that it warrants a new thread?

    Any one you like. I myself learnt German and if I ever go into high energy physics, I'm set. But if I want to go to China, then I'll just learn Chinese later. No biggie.
  9. Apr 15, 2010 #8
    French perhaps as ITER is at Cadarache no? And the EPFL is French-Speaking, thus the name. But English is probably sufficient. It would be awesome to one day work in Fusion, I just hope I do well enough now in undergrad to get a PhD and so forth. Good luck :)
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