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Linguaholic

When has knowing another language come in handy for you?


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Our first child was born in France - it was great knowing more than just the French for push! Although it was my wife who needed to know what was going on and how to express herself it was also important for me in case in the panic of things she got a bit lost - she was fine though and needed no linguistic help from me of course, but it left me with a French obstetrical vocabulary I now have no need for.

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Knowing Spanish helped me many times over the years.  One particular incident that I remember fondly is the annual convention for an international service organization that my parents belonged to. Our entire family was there for the convention (held in Chicago) so it doubled as a family trip.  This was years ago when I was still in high school. 

My parents met some people from South America -- I can't remember which country now -- whom they wanted to converse with and I was able to interpret for them.  We must have spent more than an hour or so hanging out.  It was my first such opportunity to use Spanish as an interpreter and it stands out in my mind.  It was a great experience and I was happy to help my parents out in that way. 

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One time when running really late for a flight in a German airport, my German helped me immeasurably.  The airline staff even bumped me to first class as I was gushing about how the Rhineland was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. 

More generally, it's helped me every time I've travelled abroad.

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I am sorry to say that it has not come in handy at all for me aside from hitting on girls that know French or like how the language sounds.  French does have a romantic flair to it.  I've probably used my knowledge of French half a dozen times since learning it in High School and College.  I guess it sort of came in handy in college as my university demanded that I take a foreign language.  My high school credits advanced me far enough to only have to take 2 semesters of the language in college.

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Knowing english (my second language) landed me a nice job in a foreign land. It open opportunities for me.It also helps me when I'm travelling. Another thing was, one time there was a foreign guy admitted in our facility and nobody wants to talk to him, it frustrates both my co workers and the guy that they don't understand each other. I served as an interpreter and I helped him during his stay.

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When I was in China for a year, some friends and also my mother visited me there. In Nanjing, the city where I studied for a year, most people do not speak English at all. Without having some knowledge in Chinese, it is really hard to get by. So my friends and my mother was happy that I could organise all kind of things in Chinese, as they could not communicate at all with most of the people there.  :wacky:

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Back when I visited my relatives in the Philippines when I was a kid I got lost in the mall.  I was around 10 years old and I strayed away from my mother in a busy mall in a foreign country.  I asked a police officer in Tagalog to help me find my mother, and after a while we eventually found her.  If I didn't know how to speak I probably would have been an orphan that day.

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It was convenient that I had high school German when we moved to Germany! Of course, I improved on it while living there and I think by the end of our stay, I spoke the best German in my family. I had to talk to shopkeepers, the landlady, bus drivers, and the garbage men who refused to take my trash (too much) unless I bought them beer! Every week, I had to leave three cans of beer on the trash cans. How fun it that?

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  • 1 month later...

Learning another language has never come in handy for me. Although I know a time when learning another language would come in handy for me. Whenever I watch Anime, I can never understand them. If I actually knew Japanese it would make understanding them a lot easier.

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Being able to speak English aside from my mother tongue has helped me a lot in landing on several job opportunities. Also, I have had chances to help others in times of need because of this. My being able to speak English has enabled me to assist several tourists before as they were visiting my hometown. It was a great experience aside from the fact that I had made foreign friends afterwards. :)

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One time that Spanish has come in handy happened this past year. My wife's stepsister was getting married to a Spaniard here in Canada. While the couple was busy with all of the wedding stuff, my wife's family and the groom's family were sitting together and trying to get acquainted. The groom's family did not really speak English and my wife's family does not speak Spanish so I was asked to interpret. I had a lot of fun interpreting and I helped the families get to know each other a little better.

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When I worked and lived in Norway... I was so glad I could speak english, because if it wasn't because of that, I'd not have been able to be there in the first place.  Speaking english also came in handy when I got my first writing job, they were seeking for a bilingual person and I turned out to be the right one!  I just applied, got an interview... gave a sample of my work, signed the contract... and started working asap :)  Knowing a second language has been one of the most useful things I've ever done for myself.

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Every single time I travel. I try to learn languages so it would be easy for me to communicate with people wherever I go. It's best to learn a language before going to some place. It's okay if you know just a couple of words.

I strongly believe that everyone must know English because that's the most common language everywhere. Knowing that COULD get you anywhere.

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Guest akasha24

Being able to speak English has always come handy especially when foreigners come for a vacation to my country(Hungary) or simply when I'm just in Budapest and tourists ask me where they can find a specific place etc. It is weird how people walk straight to me, how people sense that I can speak their language  :laugh: Anyways, it's always a plus if someone can speak a couple of languages in addition to their own.

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Although I am not as proficient as I would like to be, when traveling I think it is important to at least have a basic understanding of the language.  Even though there are plenty of Spanish speakers in the US, many are conversant in English and will defer to English.  Now when travelling to Mexico, it is a different story.  Even being able to read signs is a plus much less being able to actually communicate on some level.

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Learning English has got me my dream job which was wanting to be a teacher and I ended up teaching English. It also has helped me communicating with people all over the world since it's the most universal language. I've been able to connect with people all over the world and the most important, I am not scared to travel anywhere. My parents are scared to get on the wrong plane since they don't speak English at all,it's never been the case for me.

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Yeah, pretty much all the time.

Talking to folks generally, at home in California or while travelling. Plus as part of my jobs over the years, I've worked a lot of customer service, and also done translation work here and there.

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