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Japanese, Chinese, or Russian?

  1. Jan 27, 2013 #1
    Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    Hi, all! I went to the SCUWiP about a week ago and it was soooo exciting!! I LOVE physics!

    Anyway, just wanted to ask your opinion about the second language thing. I have heard that SpaceX is looking for physicists who speak both English and either Japanese, Chinese, or Russian to participate in their programs. I have friends who are taking Japanese, and that sounds like fun. But... given the choice which would you choose?

    Seems like Russians are more active in physics research than anybody else, so Russian might be the best choice. Japanese and Chinese might become even more necessary soon... I just can't decide. I have 5 years of Latin, so more Latin would be the logical choice.

    LOL - this is a fun conundrum to face, right? Plus, don't these languages come in many different flavors? How do I know I have picked the "right" one?

    BTW, I am not looking for a job with SpaceX. It is just that the topic got me thinking for the first time about this question; what language would be most useful working with the international physics community eventually?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    Chinese, they are getting very good in physics and will eclipse the Russian soon if not already.
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    Well, I chose Chinese, but that's because there was a girl involved in the decision. =P

    Really, you should choose whichever one you find most interesting, or whichever one is spoken in a place you would be most interested in visiting. You'll need that interest to get you through the times when you feel like smacking your head on your desk repeatedly because you're not making as much progress as you wish you were!
  5. Jan 27, 2013 #4
    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    I am learning the Russian but reason is not SpaceX, because Most of Mathematical Researches are written in that and not translated.
  6. Jan 28, 2013 #5
    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    I'm learning Japanese as a 4th language at the moment, but I picked it because I like japanese culture and such. If I were to pick purely on future usefullness I would probably pick Chinese. Just beware that regardless of what you pick it's a fairly large time investment required over a long period of time. For vocabulary, I can recommend you the following site: www.memrise.com which helps a lot actually.
  7. Jan 28, 2013 #6
    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    English of course!

    For me I'll choose Russian, there are very good papers in Russian as Snow-Leopard said. for example James Gleick said there no significant contribution in chaos between Poncare(1890) and lorentz(1963), but this area was very active I think name Kolomogorv Sufficient for who study non-linear dynamics Actually there was diffrenet schools, it doesn't become because of poltical reasons. (my source:Chaos et determinisme, translated to Arabic).
    In short words there huge scienec in Russian and not translated.

    Chinese looks very promising language.
  8. Jan 28, 2013 #7
    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    Изучай русский, но он очень трудный язык...

    Russian or Japanese would be a good idea. Just don't expect them to be very easy. I've got a friend who knows some Japanese and Russian, and of the two, he claims that Russian is harder.
  9. Feb 5, 2013 #8
    Re: Japanese, Chinese, or Russian??

    Thank you all for your posts. You have given me a great deal to think about. I think I will take Mute's advice to heart and do some more research into each language and culture to find out which one would be most interesting. Otherwise, I could never decide.

    Thank you all so much!
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