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View Poll Results: Which of these languages is the LEAST useful?
Chinese 3 2.31%
Arabic 6 4.62%
Hindi 8 6.15%
English 5 3.85%
Spanish 3 2.31%
Bengali 84 64.62%
Portuguese 7 5.38%
Russian 4 3.08%
Japanese 6 4.62%
German 4 3.08%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-29-2015, 02:53 PM
AFP
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
of course portugeese is more useful than german , do you know how big brazil is and how important its becoming economically

majority of germans speak english so its not essential for business to speak german despite the economic might of germany

It will gain even more usefulness after several of the African countries that use it as the official language become more developed particularly Angola and Mozambique.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Buena Park, Orange County, California
1,424 posts, read 2,496,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
of course portugeese is more useful than german , do you know how big brazil is and how important its becoming economically

majority of germans speak english so its not essential for business to speak german despite the economic might of germany
Brazil has proved to be boom and bust thus far, while Germany holds strong as a leader in many fields, and it really is the economic engine of Europe right now. There are people in Spain and Italy learning German so they can get themselves into the German job market. I only foresee Germany getting stronger, whereas Brazil raises a lot of maybes/perhaps/ifs.

I personally would learn Portuguese before German, but I have a strong cultural bias, as I love just about everything Brasileiro (especially the music). On a global scale of importance/usefulness, I think German is definitely ahead of Portuguese, but Portuguese will continue to ascend as long as Brazil's cultural and economic influence grows bigger.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Hyde Park, MA
728 posts, read 978,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aztecgoddess View Post
Lol very true. Oh well, c'est la vie

Something that bothers me a little about people that insist Chinese, Hindi and Bengali are the languages do jour, is they keep forgetting that those languages albeit spoken by hundreds of millions, are mostly limited to one or two countries. While Portuguese, French and even Russian are transcontinental languages, therefore most useful.
I didn't list Portuguese high because I knew I would get pushback, but you're right.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:45 PM
 
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From least useful to most useful

Bengali
Hindi
Portuguese
Japanese
German

Arabic
Russian
Chinese

Spanish
English


I put spaces in between the different levels of usefulness. The bottom 5 are mostly useful in their home countries and a few neighbors, the middle 3 are powerful regional languages, but their international usefulness is more limited. The top 2 languages are found nearly everywhere on the planet. To me the only languages that have seen an importance change are Spanish and Chinese. 50 years ago Chinese wasn't nearly as influential as it is today, the same is true with Spanish. Most of the others in my opinion have lost influence and importance. However, I honestly see the Chinese language influence peaking in the future, for two reasons, one most young Chinese who wish to do international business learn English, and second is Chinese (and any tonal language) is too difficult for some Westerners to learn. That said, my wife is Chinese, and I speak some Chinese. I probably won't ever be able to write much in Chinese...
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:09 PM
 
3,804 posts, read 6,188,177 times
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Most Useful
English
Chinese
Japanese
German
Russian
Hindi
Portuguese
Spanish
Bengali
Arabic
Least Useful

I voted Arabic. If you're a Muslim or work in intelligence it is useful, but that is about it. Most of the movers and shakers in business in rich Arab countries are expats who will cexpect to onduct business in English unless they know their counterpart also speaks their native language. Most locals know very few foreigners speak Arabic, and if they are wealthy they'll speak English as well as if it was their first language.

Bengali loses out because it is smaller. It's hard for foreigners to get jobs in these places, and if they're doing business everyone will expect to speak English. Hindi similarly loses out, but being a bit more widespread I cut it more slack.

Spanish has lots of speakers, but the wealth of their countries is not as great as the number of speakers indicate so it means less. Portuguese is the same way, but it is changing faster than Spanish.

Russian is sort of hot and cold for business, but there are a fair number of former eastern bloc countries where you can use it as an auxiliary language or understand the local language if you know Russian. Plus in the west there are job opportunities in intelligence for Russian speakers.

The next three could probably be moved about and remain valid. Right now Chinese seems hipper, and even though business with foreigners will be done in English getting a job there will be easier if you can speak Chinese.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Southern Italy
2,974 posts, read 2,824,700 times
Reputation: 1495
I voted for Bengali, it is only a regional language in India where both English and Hindi are enough to get by, i don't even find the latter really useful either as English is already widely spoken in India, so there'd be no need for it outside of the countryside.

If i had to rank them form most useful to least useful it would be:
1)English
2)Spanish
3)Chinese
4)Arabic
5)German/Portuguese
6)Russian
8)Japanese
9)Hindi
10)Bengali

Someone who's actually a businessmen would know more than me but this is my opinion, the first 3 explain themselves, i put Arabic in 4th mainly because the Middle East and North Africa have a large untapped potential especially if the political situation stabilizes. German because Switzerland and Germany are still leading exporters and play an important role in economy.
Then Portuguese because Brazil is a highly dynamic country and Angola is currently booming since they discovered the existence of vasts amounts of oil and gas.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
844 posts, read 1,067,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Spanish has lots of speakers, but the wealth of their countries is not as great as the number of speakers indicate so it means less. Portuguese is the same way, but it is changing faster than Spanish.

If GDP is all it matters to you, when choosing language hierarchies: According to Wikipedia, the Spanish speaking countries GDP, it is right above the USD 4.8 billion mark. Second only, to America and China. And on par with Japan.
That of course, not counts Andorra, Puerto Rico, and the huge Hispanic market in the U.S.



In case you wonder, I don’t take Wikipedia as my bible. I just wanted to share with you that following your logic. Spanish scores third/fourth place in importance, well ahead of most of the languages you claim to be more useful.
Here’s the link, in case you wish to do the math.

List of countries by GDP (nominal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saludos

Last edited by Aztecgoddess; 04-29-2015 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:15 PM
 
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I'll admit that I am very surprised. I hardly ever hear of any non-Spanish speaking expats working in these countries, and those who do usually seek out employment due to a predicting fascination with the culture,
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,889 posts, read 38,189,505 times
Reputation: 11654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
From least useful to most useful

Bengali
Hindi
Portuguese
Japanese
German

Arabic
Russian
Chinese

Spanish
English


I put spaces in between the different levels of usefulness. The bottom 5 are mostly useful in their home countries and a few neighbors, the middle 3 are powerful regional languages, but their international usefulness is more limited. The top 2 languages are found nearly everywhere on the planet. ..
That's definitely true of English but no so sure about Spanish. Spanish does not have much of a presence in Africa and Asia or Oceania which is a huge portion of the world. Even in Europe it fades greatly fairly quickly as you move away from Iberia and (arguably) France and Italy.

That said, of the list I'd still likely pick Spanish as second most useful globally.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,889 posts, read 38,189,505 times
Reputation: 11654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabio SBA View Post
In two centuries, French will be like Phrygian: an important language from the past which people knows that existed, but nobody knows exactly how did it sound like except by some few inscriptions.
This would likely mean that the thousands of languages that exist in the world would all be dead then, and only a half-dozen (or perhaps less) would be left.
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