Most useful foreign language for lawyers

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ddp
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby ddp » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:24 am

Dick Whitman wrote:If you already speak Spanish fluently, consider learning Portuguese. It should be by far the easiest language for you to learn and it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, including in one of the BRICs -- Brazil.


Great point. I didn't even think about Portuguese. However, I do know a Brazilian lawyer who speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and English. She told me that many Brazilian professionals she knows speak Spanish. So while it would be easy to pick up I'm not sure if it would be that much more useful than knowing Spanish. Definitely something to look into though...

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ddp
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby ddp » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:27 am

como wrote:I would say it depends. I think you can learn French much easier than any of the others you listed, so it's the more feasible one to go after next. It would be much better to be fluent in Spanish and proficient in French than to be fluent in Spanish and have a basic grasp of Chinese or Russian.



Yeah...I guess I'm coming to the conclusion that picking up another completely foreign language like Chinese or Russian this late in the game would be sort of futile given that I'll probably never be proficient enough to use it in the practice of law. French may also be good for government work later on as well.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby SoxyPirate » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:40 am

ddp wrote:
Dick Whitman wrote:If you already speak Spanish fluently, consider learning Portuguese. It should be by far the easiest language for you to learn and it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, including in one of the BRICs -- Brazil.


Great point. I didn't even think about Portuguese. However, I do know a Brazilian lawyer who speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and English. She told me that many Brazilian professionals she knows speak Spanish. So while it would be easy to pick up I'm not sure if it would be that much more useful than knowing Spanish. Definitely something to look into though...


Oddly enough, it seems that it's easier to learn Spanish if you know Brazilian Portuguese than it is to learn Portuguese if you know Spanish.

My explanation is that there are dialects in Southern and Northeastern Brazil that are so similar to Spanish that it's very easy for Brazilians to pick up the Spanish. Spanish became very easy once I became fluent in Portuguese. Spanish speakers, however, at least in my experience, have a much harder time picking up on Portuguese because it is so different (relatively) to anything they've ever heard (unlike Brazilians who have heard the Southern and Northeastern dialects that so closely resemble Spanish).

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studymaster
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby studymaster » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:03 pm

Snooker wrote:
studymaster wrote:
TheJudge wrote:Chinese. Just because China seems to be one of the least English-fluent regions in the world. Also, their legal market will continue growing tremendously over the next decade or a little longer. So Chinese would help if you want to work there or even set up your own little firm over there.

*cough* BS *cough*


I lived in China. Calling it an english-fluent region is a joke. If 1 million Chinese learn english, maybe 10 of them will ever be fluent.

Ok sparky. I NEVER called it english fluent. EVER. Rather I contested that is was one of the LEAST english fluent places. This is comparative, your statement is based on absolute level of fluency... see the disconnect?

rajS
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby rajS » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:49 pm

i speak a few languages/dialects from india...hindi, punjabi, urdu a little bit..and i know spanish fairly well ..but how much do the languages from india help? since jobs are being outsourced to India alot..anyone know?

de5igual
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby de5igual » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:51 pm

rajS wrote:i speak a few languages/dialects from india...hindi, punjabi, urdu a little bit..and i know spanish fairly well ..but how much do the languages from india help? since jobs are being outsourced to India alot..anyone know?


i wouldn't think it'd help much since business/government is typically conducted in english in india, am i right?

solidsnake
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby solidsnake » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:25 am

f0bolous wrote:
TheJudge wrote:Pptmmt 同志,你说的对。但是我觉得你犯了一个错误,如果你用稍微这个词, 你不能加“一些”在句子的后面。


同志 = 同性戀 :?:



Don't worry, he's already demonstrated his ignorance of Chinese, and China for that matter, by either insinuating or outright stating that there is (1) rule of law here and that (2) a foreigner can open THEIR OWN firm here; the latter point implies that foreign lawyers are (3) welcome here and will (4) sometime in the future be allowed to practice here legally, despite the quasi-civil legal system in place that permits a Chinese national to sit for what is functionally the equivalent of the bar, without requiring any prior legal training. This policy has created an over-abundance of Chinese lawyers who, desperate for work, do not want competition from foreigners. China is an insulated, xenophobic country; yet, despite the doom-and-gloom, there is hope. I found, and my Chinese friends agree, that Clint Eastwood's Changeling, although set in 1930's Los Angeles, quite accurately reflects China's current state of law and order. Perhaps in another 80 years, China will finally catch up to the America of today.

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ddp
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby ddp » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:40 am

rajS wrote:i speak a few languages/dialects from india...hindi, punjabi, urdu a little bit..and i know spanish fairly well ..but how much do the languages from india help? since jobs are being outsourced to India alot..anyone know?



I don't know about India but I talked to someone who had just graduated last year and was doing Big Law and he said that he's fluent in Russian and his language fluency had only come up once in conversation (he didn't even use it) at work.

Snooker
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby Snooker » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:55 pm

studymaster wrote:
Snooker wrote:
studymaster wrote:
TheJudge wrote:Chinese. Just because China seems to be one of the least English-fluent regions in the world. Also, their legal market will continue growing tremendously over the next decade or a little longer. So Chinese would help if you want to work there or even set up your own little firm over there.

*cough* BS *cough*


I lived in China. Calling it an english-fluent region is a joke. If 1 million Chinese learn english, maybe 10 of them will ever be fluent.

Ok sparky. I NEVER called it english fluent. EVER. Rather I contested that is was one of the LEAST english fluent places. This is comparative, your statement is based on absolute level of fluency... see the disconnect?


He said english-fluent, you said BS, I supported his original contention. I didn't offer a measure of absolute fluency - there is no such thing - but demographic ability with the language overall. Though in my opinion, Chinese would be of more help to helping Chinese multinationals set up operations running through the US. Lenovo is a good example (partner of IBM), as is HTC (microsoft products), or Hon Hai (iphones). Sinopec and China Oil base their western hemisphere operations in Houston. There's way more work than Chinese-speaking attorneys, and NO Chinese-born lawyer is willing to appear in US court on behalf of a big corporate client. They will always find an American to do that.

Chinese helps in getting business, too. I can make a room of perfect strangers explode into astonished gasps, applause, and cries of "he's so amazing!" with a few words. I posted another thread here on TLS with some Chinese and a Chinese poster suggested "Chinese must idolize you for this ability". Community leaders in Chinatown hold me up as some model for immigrants' children to follow. Inspiring respect and admiration is among the most powerful of sales & marketing tools. I made friends with the next Australian ambassador to Taiwan and learned about how they use former Chinese diplomats turned politicians in negotiations with a "surprise introduction" in Chinese to put shock-and-awe on the table. Chinese can't do that, it's got to be a local boy.

Mandarin will be very useful for any firm that deals with Chinese clients. Ideally, they'll want to make a team of Chinese natives and CSL lawyers to maximize their comparative advantages. Chinese-native attorneys tend not to meet even the basic qualifications for biglaw, the language and culture are just radically different and even basic cultural terms like "utilitarian justice" are warped by Chinese dictionaries into "base profiteering justice".

2nd generation Chinese are not native speaker proficiency. They usually have the abilities a white student would have after 6 months of intensive study (by Berkeley, Stanford, and Princeton's metrics), unless they attended Chinese school, at which point it's 8 months.

Snooker
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby Snooker » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:58 pm

solidsnake wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
TheJudge wrote:Pptmmt 同志,你说的对。但是我觉得你犯了一个错误,如果你用稍微这个词, 你不能加“一些”在句子的后面。


同志 = 同性戀 :?:



Don't worry, he's already demonstrated his ignorance of Chinese, and China for that matter, by either insinuating or outright stating that there is (1) rule of law here and that (2) a foreigner can open THEIR OWN firm here; the latter point implies that foreign lawyers are (3) welcome here and will (4) sometime in the future be allowed to practice here legally, despite the quasi-civil legal system in place that permits a Chinese national to sit for what is functionally the equivalent of the bar, without requiring any prior legal training. This policy has created an over-abundance of Chinese lawyers who, desperate for work, do not want competition from foreigners. China is an insulated, xenophobic country; yet, despite the doom-and-gloom, there is hope. I found, and my Chinese friends agree, that Clint Eastwood's Changeling, although set in 1930's Los Angeles, quite accurately reflects China's current state of law and order. Perhaps in another 80 years, China will finally catch up to the America of today.


Actually he's not so ignorant:
http://www.lehmanlaw.com/

Lehman is one of the top firms in China, and it was started by a foreigner who went there. I don't see good reason to practice law IN China, though, unless you just want to live there.

TheJudge
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby TheJudge » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:36 pm

solidsnake wrote:
f0bolous wrote:
TheJudge wrote:Pptmmt 同志,你说的对。但是我觉得你犯了一个错误,如果你用稍微这个词, 你不能加“一些”在句子的后面。


同志 = 同性戀 :?:



Don't worry, he's already demonstrated his ignorance of Chinese, and China for that matter, by either insinuating or outright stating that there is (1) rule of law here and that (2) a foreigner can open THEIR OWN firm here; the latter point implies that foreign lawyers are (3) welcome here and will (4) sometime in the future be allowed to practice here legally, despite the quasi-civil legal system in place that permits a Chinese national to sit for what is functionally the equivalent of the bar, without requiring any prior legal training. This policy has created an over-abundance of Chinese lawyers who, desperate for work, do not want competition from foreigners. China is an insulated, xenophobic country; yet, despite the doom-and-gloom, there is hope. I found, and my Chinese friends agree, that Clint Eastwood's Changeling, although set in 1930's Los Angeles, quite accurately reflects China's current state of law and order. Perhaps in another 80 years, China will finally catch up to the America of today.


Was that comment directed at me? Trust me pal, I know more things about China than you know about anything. And don's be so condescending re the Chinese legal system (which is still underdeveloped, I agree)

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studymaster
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby studymaster » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:41 pm

Snooker wrote:
studymaster wrote:
Snooker wrote:
I lived in China. Calling it an english-fluent region is a joke. If 1 million Chinese learn english, maybe 10 of them will ever be fluent.

Ok sparky. I NEVER called it english fluent. EVER. Rather I contested that is was one of the LEAST english fluent places. This is comparative, your statement is based on absolute level of fluency... see the disconnect?


He said english-fluent, you said BS, I supported his original contention. I didn't offer a measure of absolute fluency - there is no such thing - but demographic ability with the language overall.


To clarify... He said LEAST english fluent, I said bs. You're talking about "demographic ability with the language overall"? What precisely does that mean? Do you mean the % of people with language skills at various levels? Because that again is ABSOLUTE. It measures China in a vaccuum. ((And your " - there is no such thing - " remark was way off base)) I was arguing that one cannot judge whether china is RELATIVELY lackign in english skills without a good deal of information on other places. Originally it was said you lived in china, ok, you have some idea what the level of english knowledge in china is, you don't have any particular insight into whether it is one of the LEAST english fluent places, that is comparative...

solidsnake
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Re: Most useful foreign language for lawyers

Postby solidsnake » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:12 pm

Lehman has Chinese partners, who hold true ownership of the firm. And no TheJudge, you clearly don't know squat about China.

Nice Chinese btw, I love how you use Chinese words but English grammar. Its like reverse Chinglish.

ESL Teachers :roll:




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