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Advice regarding international business and German language
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simondice Offline
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Advice regarding international business and German language
I had a hunch the other day about learning German as a business language. I surfed the web for a bit and ran into an statistic that blew my mind, but I remained skeptical.

According to this and many other articles, 68% of Japanese students study German.

Now I ask the opinion of the forum, mostly travelers, business owners, playboys and people living in Europe, Japan and China.

1) Are people (especially the girls and business contacts) in Japan and China fluent or have decently fluent German?

2) Is German widely spoken in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe)? If so, what would be a rough percent estimate (from experience) of the people that do? could you mention what countries speak it fluently?

3) What is your experience working with Germans or in Germany as far as Export, Engineering and innovation?

4) What would be a good complement for learning a language after German? I'm fluent in English and Spanish, I was thinking of learning German (easier for me), go for Russian, Mandarin and Arabic in that order?

5) What's your experience working or doing business with Japan, China, Western Europe and Eastern Europe? What languages were mostly spoken?

Thank you

Life is good
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2014 11:41 AM by simondice.)
06-04-2014 11:30 AM
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void Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
Almost everything you want to know is answered http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language
1) I don't know. Germany is kinda popular in Japan and was part of the Axis/Alliance with Hitler.
2) German and German dialects are spoken in Germany (80 Million) + Austria (8 Million) + Switzerland (8 Million)
3) Good/fluent English is mandatory inside international corporations which are based in Germany and in Universities. In a business setting, you most likely will not have contact with Professionals who can't speak English on a respectable level.
4) My languages of choice (as a German) would be Spanish/French/Mandarin_Chinese. Spanish and French people can't or don't want to speak neither German nor English.

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(This post was last modified: 06-04-2014 12:21 PM by void.)
06-04-2014 12:19 PM
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2014 Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
According to [url=http://www.bu.edu/mlcl/home/why-study-

1) Are people (especially the girls and business contacts) in Japan and China fluent or have decently fluent German?

No, they can hardly speak English, let alone German

2) Is German widely spoken in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe)? If so, what would be a rough percent estimate (from experience) of the people that do? could you mention what countries speak it fluently?

Not widely, only in Germany, along with Austria and Switzerland

3) What is your experience working with Germans or in Germany as far as Export, Engineering and innovation?

they're damn good

4) What would be a good complement for learning a language after German? I'm fluent in English and Spanish, I was thinking of learning German (easier for me), go for Russian, Mandarin and Arabic in that order?

If it's for business purposes and you already know English, learn Chinese.

5) What's your experience working or doing business with Japan, China, Western Europe and Eastern Europe? What languages were mostly spoken?

Without a doubt, English is the business language of the world.
06-04-2014 12:39 PM
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Hans Dix Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
I'm fluent in German, completely accent free too.

I'm actually in Germany right now and will be for 6 more weeks. Studying international business. From what you mentioned, it's the damn truth that Japanese (and Chinese) study German because there's a metric fuck ton of them at this school.

The reason being, in my professional experience, that Germany is a very Engineering centric country. Since all lot of Chinese and Japanese desire to enter this highly competitive field, and Germans are at the forefront of European innovation, they flock here to study.

I live with a Chinese student. His rancid ass cooking makes my kitchen smell like a fucking clogged toilet on the daily, but he's a semi-decent dude.

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06-04-2014 12:53 PM
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Enki Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-04-2014 11:30 AM)simondice Wrote:  1) Are people (especially the girls and business contacts) in Japan and China fluent or have decently fluent German?

2) Is German widely spoken in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe)? If so, what would be a rough percent estimate (from experience) of the people that do? could you mention what countries speak it fluently?

3) What is your experience working with Germans or in Germany as far as Export, Engineering and innovation?

4) What would be a good complement for learning a language after German? I'm fluent in English and Spanish, I was thinking of learning German (easier for me), go for Russian, Mandarin and Arabic in that order?

5) What's your experience working or doing business with Japan, China, Western Europe and Eastern Europe? What languages were mostly spoken?

I'm gonna answer to the best of my knowledge:

1) No, statistics are just numbers and more so when it comes to students.

This is a somewhat accurate ranking of different countries in the world by English proficiency http://www.ef.com/epi/

You have 100% of Japanese students learning English and the country only ranks 26th with Moderate Proficiency (Maîtrise moyenne), not far ahead of Italy and Russia, places that aren't exactly known for their good command of English. so I can only Imagine what their German might be like,

2) German IS the most spoken language in Europe in terms of native speakers, Mainly in Germany, Austria and a good chunk of Switzerland.

4) Speaking from an economical perspective, Mandarin Chinese is an obvious winner; however, it's arguably the hardest language in the world for a native English speaker to get a grip on, along with Japanese, Arabic and Korean. http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com...difficulty

Of course I'm not trying intimidate you here as it's definitely feasible, just not a walk in the park

5) If we're overlooking the fact that English is the international language of business, I'd say Japanese and Chinese in their respective countries, Russian in Eastern Europe, German in Central/Eastern Europe, and no clear winner in Western Europe as you have all those former proud empires hardly letting English through the door, let alone other languages.
06-04-2014 01:38 PM
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SwayMe Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-04-2014 12:19 PM)void Wrote:  2) German and German dialects are spoken in Germany (80 Million) + Austria (8 Million) + Switzerland (8 Million)

Let me just add the northern part of Italy as well.
06-04-2014 01:52 PM
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sheesh Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-04-2014 01:52 PM)SwayMe Wrote:  
(06-04-2014 12:19 PM)void Wrote:  2) German and German dialects are spoken in Germany (80 Million) + Austria (8 Million) + Switzerland (8 Million)

Let me just add the northern part of Italy as well.

And a small part of Belgium, too..

To me as a German, it doesn't make any sense to learn German for solely professional purposes unless you are planning to live and work in Germany, of course.

The reason why Japanese learn German might be their interest in engineering but it also has historical roots. Japanese have been obsessed with German culture for a long time and seem to regard it as some kind of superior culture among western cultures.
06-04-2014 03:05 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-04-2014 12:39 PM)2014 Wrote:  According to [url=http://www.bu.edu/mlcl/home/why-study-

1) Are people (especially the girls and business contacts) in Japan and China fluent or have decently fluent German?

No, they can hardly speak English, let alone German

2) Is German widely spoken in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe)? If so, what would be a rough percent estimate (from experience) of the people that do? could you mention what countries speak it fluently?

Not widely, only in Germany, along with Austria and Switzerland

3) What is your experience working with Germans or in Germany as far as Export, Engineering and innovation?

they're damn good

4) What would be a good complement for learning a language after German? I'm fluent in English and Spanish, I was thinking of learning German (easier for me), go for Russian, Mandarin and Arabic in that order?

If it's for business purposes and you already know English, learn Chinese.

5) What's your experience working or doing business with Japan, China, Western Europe and Eastern Europe? What languages were mostly spoken?

Without a doubt, English is the business language of the world.

I've always thought that German Engineering is great. Those Germans are damn efficient in soccer, cars, engineering, math, just about anywhere that requires numbers. What areas of export or engineering did you work with them? If you don't like sharing this info here, you can pm me.

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06-05-2014 03:34 PM
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Bushido Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-04-2014 11:30 AM)simondice Wrote:  According to this and many other articles, 68% of Japanese students study German.

Laugh4

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06-05-2014 08:07 PM
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Ardbeg Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
So I think the "68% of Japanese students study German" is complete bs. If you google it, there are hundreds of German-language sites that refer to this statistic, but I didn't find one that sources the study.

German would be useful if you plan to live and work in Germany. If you want to do business with Germans in other places, English is just fine as means of communication.
06-06-2014 02:42 AM
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Bushido Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
If "study" is defined as learning to say "guuuten taaaaguuu" then maybe the 68% figure is accurate. Maybe. Even that phrase alone would be way to much for many Japanese students, hence the 32% who don't manage to learn German. Laugh

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(This post was last modified: 06-06-2014 02:47 AM by Bushido.)
06-06-2014 02:46 AM
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Hades Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
Germany is hella popular with the Japanese, but that statistic is blown way out of proportion with reality.
06-06-2014 11:04 AM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-05-2014 08:07 PM)dreambig Wrote:  
(06-04-2014 11:30 AM)simondice Wrote:  According to this and many other articles, 68% of Japanese students study German.

Laugh4

That's why I asked. I did think it was bs. I'm still going to learn German though, my gut definitely tells me it'll pay off for some reason.

Life is good
06-06-2014 12:35 PM
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paulstein Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
I'm currently learning German. Not sure what the end game of it is, but like Simondice I suspect it will pay off. I think I'm just in it because I admire the German culture. From a financial/business standpoint I suppose it also can't hurt that the three most economically stable countries in Europe all speak German. The US is a mess and if the opportunity to live in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland came up, I'd bounce in a second.

If you have an entrepreneurial mind set and the capital and balls to try to make some plays there probably is more economic opportunity in learning Chinese.
06-06-2014 08:08 PM
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Bushido Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
I speak German and worked in German-speaking countries.

My advice is simple. Don't learn a language for business reasons. You won't get very far. Loving the country/culture/girls will serve as a much more long-term motivation. Language learning is done out of love, so remember to keep it from becoming "work". I only learned Japanese because the country was amazing and the girls gave me a boner. Now it's an integral part of my career but was never intended that way.

For the record though, learning German will open doors. Combine it with a marketable skill and you will be gold.

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2014 09:18 PM by Bushido.)
06-06-2014 09:17 PM
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RawGod Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
Regarding Japan, yes studying German is popular here - it's even a bit of a fad, as things tend to be in Japan. That doesn't actually mean that many people speak it well, and English is still the language of business. However, if you are a German speaker and also learn Japanese, that will open doors for you as dreambig said - you will be more in demand than just another English speaker.

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06-06-2014 09:39 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
(06-06-2014 09:17 PM)dreambig Wrote:  I speak German and worked in German-speaking countries.

My advice is simple. Don't learn a language for business reasons. You won't get very far. Loving the country/culture/girls will serve as a much more long-term motivation. Language learning is done out of love, so remember to keep it from becoming "work". I only learned Japanese because the country was amazing and the girls gave me a boner. Now it's an integral part of my career but was never intended that way.

For the record though, learning German will open doors. Combine it with a marketable skill and you will be gold.

That's very true, I'll definitely keep it in mind. I also have to visit Japan, Japanese girls are very hot.

Life is good
06-06-2014 09:40 PM
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Bushido Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
@OP

Have you been to Germany? If not, I strongly suggest you do a short homestay there and see what it has to offer. I'm a fan but it's quite a different culture than the US or UK. Languages are like marriages: they are supposed to be for life.

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06-06-2014 10:58 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Advice regarding international business and German language
I haven't yet. I'm planning to do a short stint in August before school through Europe. Definitely hitting some of the German Speaking countries. My friend went to Germany and he wanted to stay there forever.

Life is good
06-06-2014 11:07 PM
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