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Japanese or Chinese major more 'beneficial'

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Japanese or Chinese major more 'beneficial'

Postby europabloke » Thu 11.03.2011 9:40 pm

Hi all,

It's been a long time since I've posted here, just been a lot going on with me enlisting and whatnot.

Alas, I come back, but with what I feel is a pretty stupid question, but important to me.

The the jist of my question is this, apologies in advance for the length of it.

I just enlisted in the USAF and am finishing tech school, ready to deploy to korea next month.

I am looking to build a safety-net while I'm in, incase my other job in aviation doesn't pan out.

I have chosen langauges as my backup, but therein lies my dilemma.

I have always been fascinated with japanese...the people, the lande, the cultre..just everything really. I've informally studied it for a little while now, and somewhat recently came back from a 3 month tour of japan.

With that said, when I started college the only langauge available for my major (foreign languages) was chinese, so I took it. I actually did really well, and found it to be something I thought I could tackle....long story short, I ran out of money and so here I am in the AF.

So my real dilemma herer is really whether to stick with japanese or continue chinese? (I am high beginner with japanese, and low beginner with chinese, I personally studied japanese for a while, as for chinese I took a semester at university)

Everywhere I look there is a flaming debate on which to go with, and it seems neither side ever wins.

All I hear is "if you love japan, go for it. If you want to live in Japan, go for it. China is dirty, go with japanese" for japanese and for chinese it's "china is a world power do it. everyone will be speaking chinese soon do it. there will be 100x's more money and oppertunity in chinese than japanese"

I've also heard that chinese is easier than japanese overall (which I can somewhat attest to from my classes at university) and would therefore have a better working knowledge of it after my 3 years, aka would be more qualified to get a job.


so yeah, I am confused. haha

I am *only* 23, and want to use my years in the service to try and become as proficient as I can in one of the langauges. I know I can always learn both, one for business and the other as a hobby, but again which do I study NOW.

My goal in the end is to have a language that I can find work in translating or something as a fall-back in case my aviation career doesn't turn out.

As you can probably tell from my rather sporadic writing, I am torn between the two, and since making this decision is HUGE as I will spend hundreds (thousands?) of hours really workign withthis, it's really a big decision.

Can anyone englighten me at all on this?

(again apologies as I'm sure this question gets asked a lot, and of course in the end there really is no concrete answr just best guess or whatnot. I'm really just so frustrated with this whole thing I feel I need someone to bounce ideas off of, something lol)


Thank you so much!!
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Re: Japanese or Chinese major more 'beneficial'

Postby john2 » Mon 12.31.2012 9:01 pm

I'd deffinetly rather master japanese, but chinese is also neat.
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Re: Japanese or Chinese major more 'beneficial'

Postby SakeIt2Me » Tue 01.01.2013 10:38 am

I've considered the same decision. Then I attempted to get just one tone down and failed horribly, miserably, utterly, and realized how hard it is to make sounds with your mouth that people who've been learning since birth can make effortlessly! (that was Chinese) So now I'm learning Japanese.

From what I've researched, Chinese grammar is easier to learn for English speakers because it is apparently similar. Also, it is correct that there are/will be many, many more people in the world who speak Chinese than Japanese. From a purely business perspective, learning Chinese is the way to go.
This is a tough choice only you can make. It sounds like you've seen the same answers I have.

I have a friend from China as well, living in my own little town, who I could practice my Chinese with. But here I am learning Japanese, because besides the daunting difficulty of Chinese tones, I find Japanese to be a more musical language to my ears (just my personal opinion). It "calls to me", so to speak.

Besides, the kanji I am learning in Japanese are used in Chinese as well. You can always transfer some of your kanji/hanzi knowledge to whichever language you learn last.

Best wishes in making your decision! The only bad decision would be to procrastinate and not get learning as soon as you can. :)
Maybe I will meet you one day, maybe Wednesday, maybe not...not
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