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Best language to accompany physics major?

  1. Jan 19, 2012 #1
    For my physics major I'm required to take a broadening unit each semester. I've decided I'll learn a language, I'm thinking either German or Japanese (although I would welcome other suggestions). I would be just as happy to learn either language, so I thought I'd pose the question as to which one might lead to better career prospects should I find myself looking for work overseas at the end of my study.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2012 #2
    Japanese is pretty easy to learn because it follows mostly consistent rules. I can see it being more useful, since more German speakers understand English than do Japanese speakers (in my experience).
  4. Jan 19, 2012 #3
    In terms of the question, "best language to accompany physics major?", I am tempted to answer:

  5. Jan 19, 2012 #4
    Would it not also depend greatly on the culture you would like to live in? I could see myself working in any western European country, and consequently I am focusing my foreign language efforts on French and/or German. On the other hand, I cannot see myself living in Japan. The culture is too rigid and ... alien to the one I am familiar with for me to adapt properly. You should consider whether you have similar concerns before attempting to learn a language for the purposes of potentially living elsewhere.
  6. Jan 20, 2012 #5
    Academically, German would be the most suitable.
    There are plenty of awesome books (physics and mathematics) that are published only in German.
    Employment wise, this should be helpful as well.
    The language is also used in Austria and parts of Switzerland (e.g. Zurich).
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