Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

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kazootey
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Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby kazootey » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:28 pm

I am considering spending a large part of this summer improving my Spanish. My Spanish isn't great, but it's pretty good, and I'd like to become fluent eventually. I am would like to get a tutor of some sort or doing some other training program. My career goal is to get into prosecution or maybe a large firm gig. Is spending a lot of money and time to become fluent likely to be worth it? Thanks.

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fatduck
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby fatduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:29 pm

un poquito

PirateCap'n
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby PirateCap'n » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:34 pm

kazootey wrote:I am considering spending a large part of this summer improving my Spanish. My Spanish isn't great, but it's pretty good, and I'd like to become fluent eventually. I am would like to get a tutor of some sort or doing some other training program. My career goal is to get into prosecution or maybe a large firm gig. Is spending a lot of money and time to become fluent likely to be worth it? Thanks.


During every interview I had, the interviewer commented on the fact that I speak Spanish and noted how helpful that would be in bringing in/retaining clients. Take that for what it's worth. It certainly wont hurt to be able to speak another language.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:34 pm

Spending a lot of money and time to get fluent when you HAVE a lot of money and time may not be a bad investment, but if you have other stuff that needs taking care of its not worth it. I am fluent in Russian. During my interview with the firm that gave me an offer the partner interviewing me said verbatim: "Oh, I see you're fluent in Russian. I can't really use that in our practice but thats pretty interesting."

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alexb
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby alexb » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:35 pm

If you already know a little, don't get a tutor. Your money is better spent visiting a country for a while and ONLY speaking Spanish. You'll learn a lot more.

FWIW, I had studied the language for 8 years before I could reasonably consider myself fluent and not until after I had spent a significant amount of time in Mexico, immersing myself in the language.

E: my definition of fluency = ability to keep a meaningful conversation with a native speaker, as well as read and write with few errors

Renzo
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Renzo » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:43 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Spending a lot of money and time to get fluent when you HAVE a lot of money and time may not be a bad investment, but if you have other stuff that needs taking care of its not worth it. I am fluent in Russian. During my interview with the firm that gave me an offer the partner interviewing me said verbatim: "Oh, I see you're fluent in Russian. I can't really use that in our practice but thats pretty interesting."


This is pretty much right on. Certain firms have certain languages that might be helpful to them, but there are plenty more qualified candidates with fluency in (Russian, Portuguese, Spanish...) than needed to fill those couple of jobs in those couple of firms.

And, as an aside, don't inflate your fluency on your resume. You say you're fluent, and you better be ready to conduct your interview in that language.

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alexb
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby alexb » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:45 pm

Renzo wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Spending a lot of money and time to get fluent when you HAVE a lot of money and time may not be a bad investment, but if you have other stuff that needs taking care of its not worth it. I am fluent in Russian. During my interview with the firm that gave me an offer the partner interviewing me said verbatim: "Oh, I see you're fluent in Russian. I can't really use that in our practice but thats pretty interesting."


This is pretty much right on. Certain firms have certain languages that might be helpful to them, but there are plenty more qualified candidates with fluency in (Russian, Portuguese, Spanish...) than needed to fill those couple of jobs in those couple of firms.

And, as an aside, don't inflate your fluency on your resume. You say you're fluent, and you better be ready to conduct your interview in that language.


+1

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:52 pm

alexb wrote:
Renzo wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Spending a lot of money and time to get fluent when you HAVE a lot of money and time may not be a bad investment, but if you have other stuff that needs taking care of its not worth it. I am fluent in Russian. During my interview with the firm that gave me an offer the partner interviewing me said verbatim: "Oh, I see you're fluent in Russian. I can't really use that in our practice but thats pretty interesting."


This is pretty much right on. Certain firms have certain languages that might be helpful to them, but there are plenty more qualified candidates with fluency in (Russian, Portuguese, Spanish...) than needed to fill those couple of jobs in those couple of firms.

And, as an aside, don't inflate your fluency on your resume. You say you're fluent, and you better be ready to conduct your interview in that language.


+1


Actually have a friend who said she was fluent in Hindi. During her SA interview a partner interviewed her about everything you would expect, then got up and asked her to wait while he got someone. Another partner walked in the door who spoke Hindi and proceeded to interview her in Hindi.

jml8756
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby jml8756 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:13 pm

alexb wrote:If you already know a little, don't get a tutor. Your money is better spent visiting a country for a while and ONLY speaking Spanish. You'll learn a lot more.

FWIW, I had studied the language for 8 years before I could reasonably consider myself fluent and not until after I had spent a significant amount of time in Mexico, immersing myself in the language.

E: my definition of fluency = ability to keep a meaningful conversation with a native speaker, as well as read and write with few errors


This. You can't just hire a tutor and become fluent. It takes years of study PLUS significant immersion in the language.

Renzo
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Renzo » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:20 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
Actually have a friend who said she was fluent in Hindi. During her SA interview a partner interviewed her about everything you would expect, then got up and asked her to wait while he got someone. Another partner walked in the door who spoke Hindi and proceeded to interview her in Hindi.


Yeah, one of my classmates had an OCI screening interview that went down in Portuguese because the interviewer happened to see it on the resume.

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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:19 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
alexb wrote:
Renzo wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Spending a lot of money and time to get fluent when you HAVE a lot of money and time may not be a bad investment, but if you have other stuff that needs taking care of its not worth it. I am fluent in Russian. During my interview with the firm that gave me an offer the partner interviewing me said verbatim: "Oh, I see you're fluent in Russian. I can't really use that in our practice but thats pretty interesting."


This is pretty much right on. Certain firms have certain languages that might be helpful to them, but there are plenty more qualified candidates with fluency in (Russian, Portuguese, Spanish...) than needed to fill those couple of jobs in those couple of firms.

And, as an aside, don't inflate your fluency on your resume. You say you're fluent, and you better be ready to conduct your interview in that language.


+1


Actually have a friend who said she was fluent in Hindi. During her SA interview a partner interviewed her about everything you would expect, then got up and asked her to wait while he got someone. Another partner walked in the door who spoke Hindi and proceeded to interview her in Hindi.


+2
I've heard of interviewers switching mid interview to the language you've claimed to be fluent in and then just continue the interview in that language

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20160810
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:28 pm

I speak Spanish and list it on my resume. It didn't mean anything for firms, but got brought up at every DA/PD interview. But as has been said, DO NOT claim you're fluent if you can't conduct the interview in that language, especially if you're in a state like CA or TX where there's a VERY good chance your interviewer will speak Spanish too.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby PLATONiC » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:39 pm

SBL wrote:I speak Spanish and list it on my resume. It didn't mean anything for firms, but got brought up at every DA/PD interview. But as has been said, DO NOT claim you're fluent if you can't conduct the interview in that language, especially if you're in a state like CA or TX where there's a VERY good chance your interviewer will speak Spanish too.


But what constitute "fluency"? I speak a foreign language fairly well - makes sense, since I've lived in a foreign country for almost ten years. I can speak to someone with that foreign language without that person ever knowing that I lived more 15+ years in the United States. But once a conversation gets technical (lots of difficult vocabulary), I start to get a little shy.

Is this considered "not fluent" and only "proficient"?

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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:54 pm

Disclaimer: I'm anonymously posting this because I think that I am really open about which school I attend on here and spelling out what it says on my resume will pretty much out me to anyone that has seen it

So my resume has fluent in two different languages, both of which have entirely different scripts from the english language. My resume reads like this: fluent in x (written and spoken) and y (written)

I could get through an interview in x..I could even read a newspaper in the language. But y...all I could do is read the newspaper haha. I wouldn't knw what the hell it says aside from a few words. And I definitely couldn't converse in y.

Anyway so this is an interesting thread because I often wondered how the fluency on the bottom would effect my resume. I had no idea they start conversing with you in the language! Hopefully my "written" makes it clear that I'm not trying to play them.

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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:01 pm

...

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Disclaimer: I'm anonymously posting this because I think that I am really open about which school I attend on here and spelling out what it says on my resume will pretty much out me to anyone that has seen it

So my resume has fluent in two different languages, both of which have entirely different scripts from the english language. My resume reads like this: fluent in x (written and spoken) and y (written)

I could get through an interview in x..I could even read a newspaper in the language. But y...all I could do is read the newspaper haha. I wouldn't knw what the hell it says aside from a few words. And I definitely couldn't converse in y.

Anyway so this is an interesting thread because I often wondered how the fluency on the bottom would effect my resume. I had no idea they start conversing with you in the language! Hopefully my "written" makes it clear that I'm not trying to play them.


i don't think knowledge of elementary phonics in a particular language ought to be considered as written fluency. it just means that you started to learn a language but never went beyond the first half of an introductory course.

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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:21 pm

EdmundBurke23 wrote:
i don't think knowledge of elementary phonics in a particular language ought to be considered as written fluency. it just means that you started to learn a language but never went beyond the first half of an introductory course.



actually, with this particular language, that is not the case. the grammar and syntax is like 85% of the language... a single word tells you not only what the word means but who is doing it, etc. so for ex...daraba=hit, daraboo=that one man hit, etc [i'm giving this as an example not that it is necessarily accurate]

the vocabulary is the easy part...and because the other language that I am fluent in shares over 2000 words with it in addition to roots in other words, for most people learning this language that are fluent in the other one, the vocab is the cake walk. being fluent in the written part of this language is not half an introductory course, in other words.


so yeah...blanket statements ftw.

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Unitas
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby Unitas » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:
i don't think knowledge of elementary phonics in a particular language ought to be considered as written fluency. it just means that you started to learn a language but never went beyond the first half of an introductory course.



actually, with this particular language, that is not the case. the grammar and syntax is like 85% of the language... a single word tells you not only what the word means but who is doing it, etc. so for ex...daraba=hit, daraboo=that one man hit, etc [i'm giving this as an example not that it is necessarily accurate]

the vocabulary is the easy part...and because the other language that I am fluent in shares over 2000 words with it in addition to roots in other words, for most people learning this language that are fluent in the other one, the vocab is the cake walk. being fluent in the written part of this language is not half an introductory course, in other words.


so yeah...blanket statements ftw.


Not trying to be mean and I don't really care, but fluent does not mean "I could get through an interview in x..I could even read a newspaper in the language. But y...all I could do is read the newspaper haha. I wouldn't knw what the hell it says aside from a few words. And I definitely couldn't converse in y." Fluent means you are capable of conversing in the language either by writing/reading or speaking/hearing smoothly and with ease, as a native person would respectively. Getting through a paper or getting through an interview is not fluent, easily do an interview and read and write a paper would be fluent.

Unless maybe fluent Arabic is different than Western languages, but I am unaware of that distinction. Is there a distinction noting that fluent Arabic requires less than the common meaning of fluent?

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Bilingualism on a Resume - how much would it help?

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:
i don't think knowledge of elementary phonics in a particular language ought to be considered as written fluency. it just means that you started to learn a language but never went beyond the first half of an introductory course.



actually, with this particular language, that is not the case. the grammar and syntax is like 85% of the language... a single word tells you not only what the word means but who is doing it, etc. so for ex...daraba=hit, daraboo=that one man hit, etc [i'm giving this as an example not that it is necessarily accurate]

the vocabulary is the easy part...and because the other language that I am fluent in shares over 2000 words with it in addition to roots in other words, for most people learning this language that are fluent in the other one, the vocab is the cake walk. being fluent in the written part of this language is not half an introductory course, in other words.


so yeah...blanket statements ftw.


then i suppose it's not that introductory. but the basic gyst of my statement still holds true. i doubt 85% of the language is grammar and syntax. if that was truly the case, then you'd be able to accomplish even the most rudimentary tasks for a fluent speaker/reader of a language; in order words, you'd be able to read newspapers without much difficulty. if you can't communicate the details of a foreign language document then you haven't achieved written fluency.

as a fully bilingual individual, i am absolutely appalled by the number of people who claim fluency in a foreign language. i am usually suspicious whenever someone states that they speak another language fluently, because, fluency indicates that you are able to accomplish it with ease, which generally occurs only among those who have invested a substantial part of their lives into learning and practicing the language. the ability to dissect a statement does not equate fluency. evaluating whether your knowledge of language Y is strong enough to be called fluent is pointless if you don't consider it in the context of actually applying it on the job + the way it would be viewed among recruiters/interviewers. if your fluency is debatable, and it clearly is, then i suggest that you avoid including it on your resume, in other words.




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