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French Language or Arabic Language


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A few days ago I decided to go to the Arabic town in my country, something similar to Chinatown in New York or San Francisco and visiting some people I know, I decided to asked them What language in Middle East is the best to learn in terms of jobs opportunities or business, the nationalities I asked where Syrian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Palestinian and Armenian, all of them reply kind of like the same way, Arabic language and French language, for some reason majority of Arabic spoken countries have French as a school language alongside with Arabic such as Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, etcetera, so some of these people where bilingual, they say according to their cultural and religious point of view, Arabic is the language of sacred Qur'an ("القرآن") so many people belong to Islam are interested in this language to read the Islamic book and praying, not only in Middle East but also some people in Pakistan, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, but on the other hand, they say French is more widely spoken than Arabic so apparently French gives people more jobs opportunities, but Arabic gives people more business opportunities with Oil market and tourism from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Emirates United Arabs where French language is not that spoken. So after this experience anecdote Which one gives more opportunities to foreigner in terms of job or business? Arabic or French?

Regards.

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It's funny to see how you post in 4 different languages + 1 variation each time. :D
I only hope it wouldn't be overkill for you.

I have no experience with neither of the 2 languages, but if you are really looking for a job in the Middle East, why not learn both languages?
Don't worry about knowing perfect French or Arabic, not even a native speaker speaks their own language perfectly any way.
Unless you want to become a lawyer, politician or university teacher, reaching B2 level would be enough for daily business.

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I'm not sure If I understood your post correctly. I believe you said French is widely used in Arabic countries and it gives you more job opportunities based on your conversation with people in a small Arabic town in your country. If this is what you meant, I beg to disagree because my family and I are based here in Qatar. French is not really widely spoken here. Knowing French here will not give you more job opportunities than when you know Arabic. I have been here for 8 years and I cannot speak both languages but I managed to get a job. I've been in 3 jobs in my eight years here. They don't mind if you cannot speak Arabic because they can speak and/or understand English except for the really old Arabic people. In fact, many Arabic youths are studying in English schools. They want to learn English too. Some locals hire native English speakers to tutor their children. But it is true that international schools here have French as a subject. I am just not sure if all or most of them have French. 

I even think that knowing Arabic will give you an edge over the others because you can do jobs that require communications with Arabs, both in writing and speaking. I often come across jobs that have as a requirement "knowledgeable in both Arabic and English". But I have yet to see a job here that requires French fluency except of course for a French teaching post or a tutorial job. :)

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Okay, so I asked my husband just to be sure if French is widely spoken here. And he said it is as there is even a radio program here in French. Also, there is an oil and gas French company here which is Totale. So in that sense, there are many French people here. But then there are also other companies here that hail from other countries. But in terms of job opportunities, it is still knowing Arabic and yes, English, that will give you an edge. 

I hope I was able to address your concerns well.

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This would all depend on what type of venture your looking into.  French is spoken widely and does have other languages such as Haitian Kre yol that derive from it.  Are you interested in venturing off to Europe and Haiti? Nice thing about French is that is also spoken in the United states. Now if your looking to venture off to the Middle East then Arabic would be the language to take.  The  sounds associated with Arabic are really cool.  Arabic to me is such a deep routed language. 

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I believe that learning Arabic would be a better choice if you wish to go to the Middle East. As previous posters mentioned, a lot of people in the Middle East are bilingual so they will understand you if you speak English, but it would make them feel more comfortable if you take the effort to learn and speak their native tongue. French may be useful as well, but I believe that it has more of an advantage for someone who already knows Arabic and is trying to be bilingual or multilingual or is trying to work for a French company that is stationed in the Middle East.

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In the country I live in, French is the 2nd language. So anyone wanting to go into business needs to learn this fluently. Also, in the town where I live and in most major towns here, the Arabic community is 2nd or 3rd generation in the country. While they are speak Arabic with the associates who also speak that language, they are all fluent in French as well. My one friend told me that she had not learned the countries 1st language until she was fully grown and needed to be able to speak with the local workers. So in my experience here, it would seem all business students or owners must speak French. But for those who also speak Arabic, they have more resources available to them because of the addition of their language. I don't know properly answers the question. But on a worldwide scale, I would say the Arabic community is much larger than the French community. But I have never done a ratio of the colonized languages of some of the Arabic speaking countries. 

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I would agree that it would be more useful to go with Arabic if you were looking to live in the Middle East, because that's where the language is widely used. But further than that, I'm not really sure where else it's in demand. French is more widely used and required on a global scale. I think you could go very far if you were fluent in French. I believe the world would be your oyster!Ii too don't have any figures to substantiate my thoughts on this, but when I've looked online and through newspapers in the past, I've come across many jobs seeking French speakers, but never anything for Arabic. I'm happy for anyone to correct me on this.

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2 minutes ago, lushlala said:

I would agree that it would be more useful to go with Arabic if you were looking to live in the Middle East, because that's where the language is widely used. But further than that, I'm not really sure where else it's in demand. French is more widely used and required on a global scale. I think you could go very far if you were fluent in French. I believe the world would be your oyster!Ii too don't have any figures to substantiate my thoughts on this, but when I've looked online and through newspapers in the past, I've come across many jobs seeking French speakers, but never anything for Arabic. I'm happy for anyone to correct me on this.

I expect lots of job opportunities for Arabic speakers all over Europe soon, since the EU is purposely importing people from many Arab countries in gigantic bulks to Europe, which they label as "Syrian refugees" (which by the way come from all over the 'Muslim world').

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3 minutes ago, Blaveloper said:

I expect lots of job opportunities for Arabic speakers all over Europe soon, since the EU is purposely importing people from many Arab countries in gigantic bulks to Europe, which they label as "Syrian refugees" (which by the way come from all over the 'Muslim world').

Hehe @Blaveloper, you're funny LOL....You truly have a way with words, not PC at all :) I guess with all of that happening, it could change the landscape, but i maintain it's a long shot. But just out of curiosity, do you not think even with all these Arab speakers 'being imported' into Europe, there'd still be the expectation for them to learn the languages spoken in their host countries? I mean, this has always been the trend around Europe. In the UK there's even a big drive to teach asylum seekers English and they are given very easy access to all these free classes, in a bid to teach them English to 'help them adjust to and fit' into the British way of life. I'm not sure the host countries would suddenly or gradually turn things around to accommodate languages from outside, at the exclusion of their own. I think the Arab speakers, those who don't speak the languages spoken in their new countries, will have to learn the new languages in order to secure jobs. 

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2 minutes ago, lushlala said:

Hehe @Blaveloper, you're funny LOL....You truly have a way with words, not PC at all :) I guess with all of that happening, it could change the landscape, but i maintain it's a long shot. But just out of curiosity, do you not think even with all these Arab speakers 'being imported' into Europe, there'd still be the expectation for them to learn the languages spoken in their host countries? I mean, this has always been the trend around Europe. In the UK there's even a big drive to teach asylum seekers English and they are given very easy access to all these free classes, in a bid to teach them English to 'help them adjust to and fit' into the British way of life. I'm not sure the host countries would suddenly or gradually turn things around to accommodate languages from outside, at the exclusion of their own. I think the Arab speakers, those who don't speak the languages spoken in their new countries, will have to learn the new languages in order to secure jobs. 

Most countries do indeed, but not in all countries it's a must.
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are countries where anyone can survive with just English (because almost everyone in these 4 countries can speak English, even though it's not the official language).
But if you live in Germany, France or Spain, you'll immediately notice you will need to speak their language.

Eventually, about a half of the people living permanently in the capital city of my country (Amsterdam, Netherlands) doesn't speak any Dutch at all (or just the very basics).
I sometimes even see street names being translated to Chinese and Russian at random places.
It's really interesting, I never know which language I can use best when I am in Amsterdam. :P

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Wow, really @Blaveloper?! I've never heard of or observed something like that anywhereHolland must be very accommodating, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, does that not create a sense of animosity in the locals? I ask this because in the UK and Botswana, the locals feel strongly that if you've come to live in their  country, the onus really is upon you as the 'outsider' to learn the culture and language of your host country, to integrate into your new community. I don't see anything wrong with that either. In fact, I personally wouldn't set off from Botswana, travel to say China and expect the locals to make accommodations for me, my language and culture at the expense of their own. Because whether you like it or not, there are many people who are very precious about their language and culture, and that would rub them the wrong way.  -and rightly so!

Your comment on English is slightly different in my opinion, since it's usually the common language to most people. I think it's universally seen as neutral and so doesn't make the locals feel as threatened.

 

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@lushlala Let's say, the Dutch generally have a mixed feeling about it.
On one hand they let you be whoever you already are, but on the other hand they complain about it.
It confuses me too sometimes.

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1 hour ago, Blaveloper said:

@lushlala Let's say, the Dutch generally have a mixed feeling about it.
On one hand they let you be whoever you already are, but on the other hand they complain about it.
It confuses me too sometimes.

Hehe a bit like my people then LOL! -and also, I've always found the Dutch can be more liberal than most. Maybe they just do it for a bit of peace and quiet, they don't want the aggravation that comes with complaining and possibly making the newcomers feel unwelcome. It sounds to me like the Dutch may be a bit more compassionate than most too. Which is a good thing, right?

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Well the first thing that you must keep in mind is that the reason so many Arabic countries such as Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco for example adopt the French language upfront is directly linked to colonization and what occurred in history. Even though independence was gained and/or rights taken back, to this day the French language is omnipresent in their every day lives. If you have ever traveled to a northern African country for example, you will hear a french word included in almost every sentence, ditto on TV  & in the press (some programs, articles and adverts are even narrated entirely in french), traffic signs and various others are in french etc... French is taught in schools as from elementary school and even kids as young as 5 or 6 start understanding it; so basically it's a language they are very familiar and comfortable with, so I fully understand why they'd adopt it for business purposes and put it into financial gaining uses.

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I would go with French over Arabic for sure. Simply, because French seems like the more accessible language of the two. Arabic is really complicated and would require more effort for sure. I am sure it is worth it, but still. French is the easier.

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