foreign language a good soft?

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dajja15
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foreign language a good soft?

Postby dajja15 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:24 pm

I read somewhere on here that knowing a foreign language is a good soft? Does anyone agree, have any evidence for this. I just know Swedish, a language that is only known by about 11 million people, so I don't think it would help me. Thoughts/Suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks!

nycparalegal
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:25 pm

I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

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Raskolnikoff
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Raskolnikoff » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:27 pm

nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

uhm.. diversity, ability to communicate with clients that speak it.

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Helmholtz
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:28 pm

Raskolnikoff wrote:ability to communicate with clients that speak it.


lol

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capitalacq
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby capitalacq » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:43 pm

dajja15 wrote:I read somewhere on here that knowing a foreign language is a good soft? Does anyone agree, have any evidence for this. I just know Swedish, a language that is only known by about 11 million people, so I don't think it would help me. Thoughts/Suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks!

it doesn't hurt... and it won't really matter

dajja15
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby dajja15 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:45 pm

nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?



just because I read it on a couple different posts, i didn't think so I was just wondering.

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Helmholtz
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:45 pm

All else equal, a foreign language would get you accepted over somebody else.

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You Gotta Have Faith
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:49 pm

dajja15 wrote:I read somewhere on here that knowing a foreign language is a good soft? Does anyone agree, have any evidence for this. I just know Swedish, a language that is only known by about 11 million people, so I don't think it would help me. Thoughts/Suggestions are very welcome.

Thanks!


When interviewing/visiting one of the schools I applied to last year, they actually asked about it, as it was on the resume, and thought it was cool (I had translated for an event at one point).

So I think it is a unique soft. It won't get you numbers, but definitely make a note of it. Also, an off-beat language, such as Swedish, is sometimes considered even more unique.

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nematoad
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby nematoad » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:52 pm

if your planning on doing international law hell yeah it does, no question. but even just the diversity factor will give you some brownie points. but i'd imagine knowing only one (other than anglais) won't set you apart. you have to know 2 even 3 to really get a big boost.

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Helmholtz
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:59 pm

nematoad wrote:if your planning on doing international law hell yeah it does, no question. but even just the diversity factor will give you some brownie points. but i'd imagine knowing only one (other than anglais) won't set you apart. you have to know 2 even 3 to really get a big boost.


Have you ever read Anna Ivey's account of when she worked in international law? I think she dealt with German corporations although she never left the states once to conduct business. Every single one of the people she had to interact with who was from Germany could speak fluent English. Everyone. This is how it is. Even if OP gets to conduct corporate business with Swedish firms while headquartered in the US (which is probably a huge longshot anyway) the chance that any fluency might come in handy or would help find OP find a job is about nil.

09042014
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:01 pm

Raskolnikoff wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

uhm.. diversity, ability to communicate with clients that speak it.


Too bad Swedes usually know English better than most Americans.

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Raskolnikoff
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Raskolnikoff » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:02 pm

Helmholtz wrote:Have you ever read Anna Ivey's account of when she worked in international law? I think she dealt with German corporations although she never left the states once to conduct business. Every single one of the people she had to interact with who was from Germany could speak fluent English. Everyone.

Doesn't mean that had she spoken fluent German, it would not have been a big plus. It is a client-serving business.

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You Gotta Have Faith
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:03 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
nematoad wrote:if your planning on doing international law hell yeah it does, no question. but even just the diversity factor will give you some brownie points. but i'd imagine knowing only one (other than anglais) won't set you apart. you have to know 2 even 3 to really get a big boost.


Have you ever read Anna Ivey's account of when she worked in international law? I think she dealt with German corporations although she never left the states once to conduct business. Every single one of the people she had to interact with who was from Germany could speak fluent English. Everyone. This is how it is. Even if OP gets to conduct corporate business with Swedish firms while headquartered in the US (which is probably a huge longshot anyway) the chance that any fluency might come in handy or would help find OP find a job is about nil.


I more or less agree that in practice it might not likely make much difference at all unless you really hone in on working in that particular country, etc.

But I think from the strict standpoint of applying to schools, it will be viewed as a plus. It doesn't up the OP's numbers or anything like that. But it's something. It would be more unique to talk about the diversity experiences that brought OP to actually knowing that language.

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Helmholtz
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:05 pm

Raskolnikoff wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:Have you ever read Anna Ivey's account of when she worked in international law? I think she dealt with German corporations although she never left the states once to conduct business. Every single one of the people she had to interact with who was from Germany could speak fluent English. Everyone.

Doesn't mean that had she spoken fluent German, it would not have been a big plus. It is a client-serving business.


She knew German but never got the chance to speak it because all of the clients preferred speaking in English.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:05 pm

Raskolnikoff wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

uhm.. diversity, ability to communicate with clients that speak it.


I would be dramatically more effective in my job if I could speak Spanish. If I were hiring a person for my job, I would not accept anyone not fluent in Spanish. If I were hiring anyone for public interest law in a city, I would only consider people fluent in Spanish.

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You Gotta Have Faith
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:06 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Raskolnikoff wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

uhm.. diversity, ability to communicate with clients that speak it.


Too bad Swedes usually know English better than most Americans.


You'd be surprised. Among the well-traveled and educated, certainly they are very fluent. And indeed, almost everyone speaks a reasonable amount of English. But not as much as one might think.

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nematoad
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby nematoad » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:07 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
nematoad wrote:if your planning on doing international law hell yeah it does, no question. but even just the diversity factor will give you some brownie points. but i'd imagine knowing only one (other than anglais) won't set you apart. you have to know 2 even 3 to really get a big boost.


Have you ever read Anna Ivey's account of when she worked in international law? I think she dealt with German corporations although she never left the states once to conduct business. Every single one of the people she had to interact with who was from Germany could speak fluent English. Everyone. This is how it is. Even if OP gets to conduct corporate business with Swedish firms while headquartered in the US (which is probably a huge longshot anyway) the chance that any fluency might come in handy or would help find OP find a job is about nil.

never read it, but, i guess i can't argue with her account.
however, knowing the native tongue of who you're doing business with is more than just a communication tool, it's a great sign of respect and can make interaction more fluid and conducive to the business at hand.
with europe, i agree, everyone and their mother knows english. i dont think the same can be said for the middle east or asia, both of which are coming more into the scope of intl relations.

09042014
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:12 pm

You Gotta Have Faith wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Raskolnikoff wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:I'm curious why would this be a good soft?

uhm.. diversity, ability to communicate with clients that speak it.


Too bad Swedes usually know English better than most Americans.


You'd be surprised. Among the well-traveled and educated, certainly they are very fluent. And indeed, almost everyone speaks a reasonable amount of English. But not as much as one might think.


For Swedes its like 9/10. Many grad programs are taught exclusively in English in Sweden. They are also completely free.

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General Tso
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:17 pm

I think a foreign language is a soft that will keep you on par with your competition, but it's not anything that will blow an admissions person away. Nobody on the adcom is going to scream "HOLD ON NOW FELLAS WE GOTTA SWEDISH SPEAKER HERE!!"

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UFMatt
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby UFMatt » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:23 pm

It's probably a much bigger benefit when job hunting. For law admissions, not so much.

dajja15
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Re: foreign language a good soft?

Postby dajja15 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:03 am

thanks everyone for their replies, helped a lot. I'm a engineering/physics major so I am going into patent law (hopefully), so I don't think Swedish will help on the job, ha.




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