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Thread: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

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    Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    So I've got an offer for BIntSt at UQ, and I'm deliberating between picking either Indonesian or Chinese as my language major. I'm quite torn between the two, they both have their positives and negatives. Both languages would be desired in my preferred career.

    Indonesian:
    - Much easier to learn than Chinese.
    - Indonesia is much more dangerous place to visit than China (you have to do a Semester overseas). http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/indonesia

    Chinese (Mandarin):
    - Apparently one of the hardest languages to learn on the planet. I'm worried if I'll be able to do it or not, at least within the allocated time.
    - Much better place to visit and study abroad, safer, etc.
    - My uneducated guess is that it would be a lot more desirable (Business wise), than Indonesian. If I couldn't make it into my preferred career path, I could probably apply for a plethora of other jobs if I was fluent in Mandarin.

    This is where I'm at an impasse, would like to hear any of your thoughts on the matter. Also I'm wondering if there's a way to study Indonesian abroad without being in too much of a dangerous position.
    Last edited by stereotypicalpotato; 18 Jan 2016 at 6:49 PM.

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    将来: NEET Sien's Avatar
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    Re: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    Kevin rudd did Chinese in uni, no reason why you can't. if you don't put effort in a language you won't get fluent in it.
    And who said chinese was the hardest language? It's all relative to the every person. Don't let someone else judge for you. If you memorize ~2000 characters you're pretty much g to go bro
    So yea, which ever you pick, i wish you the best of luck (don't pick a language based on its 'easiness', there is no easy language. If you don't have any interest towards that language, it'll be very hard to pick up, easy or not. That's just my 2 cents, i'll stfu and stop bsing now )

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    Junior Member sweetalmond's Avatar
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    Re: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    Mandarin
    Pros:
    - wider range of people speak it
    - China has a ever growing presence in the world so it will be useful to learn it in the long-run.
    - apparently we're living in the "asian century"
    - It is one of the more powerful Asian nations and therefore Chinese will be useful in all kinds of things from trade, international relations, and also a large group of people in Australia also speak it.
    - essentially, useful in the long term
    - apart from the chinese characters, its also a simpler language in fact to learn than english or french or indonesian as the tenses are quite simple

    Cons:
    - A whole new set of characters to learn which might make it more difficult
    - a tonal language which may present early difficulties
    - It is useful but there are also a wide range of people who are of a chinese background that grew up in Australia and are therefore bilingual which will present a competition, especially if you believe that Mandarin will give you an edge in employability. (It might still if you manage to speak it fluently)

    Indonesian:
    Pros
    - The Indonesian script/ writing is in roman alphabet (i.e. same as english) hence making it easier
    - Indonesia is a neighbouring country to Australia therefore if you plan to work in international relations, politics, trading, commerce etc. it will be useful to know the language and culture and will give you that edge
    - Quite a lot of people in the Asia region have knowledge of indonesian and malay (which is very similar to indonesian and is spoken in malaysia) including singapore, japan, korea, china etc. E.g I know someone who went to Japan for a business trip and due to her knowledge of Indonesian was able to ask a filipino man for directions, because no one knew English
    - You will probably make more satisfying progress in language learning for Indonesian than Chinese due to Mandarin having a new script and being tonal
    - Indonesian community in Australia

    Cons:
    - There are some difficulties of course like any language
    - It depends on whether you think Indonesian is important/ useful to you
    - Indonesia is not as dominant as China but then again, Indonesian/ Malay is widely spoken in the Asian region too

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    Re: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    I appreciate the responses guys, I think I am leaning more toward Indonesian at the moment

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    Re: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    Definitely mandarin. It allows you to communicate to many big companies overseas in Hong Kong and China. There's a huge market over there, plenty of opportunities to make money, and having to be westernized with a fluency of English will grant you many choices as it is needed.

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    Re: Bachelor of International Studies (which language should I pick?)

    If you haven't learnt a language before, Indonesian would probably be a wiser choice as you don't have to learn a totally new script as well. However, either option is totally doable as long as you put your mind to it - which culture fascinates you more? Where can you see yourself travelling to/living? What kind of job do you want to do in the future? These are probably important factors to consider.
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