Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Talk the Vote

Recently, I've been working on my graduate school (re)application. (I deferred and now have to reapply, with the assurance that I will be accepted again.) If I want a certain scholarship--and I do--I have to study a foreign language. I can't decide what I want to study next (7 down, several thousand to go), so I figured, hey, why not let the internet decide? So, here we are, a poll: what language should I study in graduate school?

Afrikaans (to quote a certain mountain climber, because it's there)
Arabic (I miss hacking up parts of my throat)
Dutch (super useful for Indonesian linguistics)
Farsi (to be the NSA's wet dream--Arabic, Indonesian and Farsi)
Indonesian (they have some lit classes that look fun)
Irish Gaelic (Welsh was fun, so why not Irish?)
Sanskrit (it's dead, so I would never have to speak)
Turkish (vowel harmony, plus see "Farsi" above)
Vietnamese (tones, topic-comment structure, reduplication, classifiers. Whee!)

Thoughts?

14 comments:

Marg said...

afrikaans. i had a friend in high school who spoke it and it sounded pretty when she did.

alea said...

dutch. It meets another one of your requirements: completely useless in the real world (unless you'll be moving to the Low Countries). Plus, you're already heading down of path of absurd specialization that will render you a useless member of society, why not advance the process? (I refer here to linguistics and your idea of a good Indonesian etymology dictionary).

Anonymous said...

I vote for Sanskrit. I can't think of a good reason why; I just do.

Aunt Jan said...

Dutch—because it would be fun to have a Dutchman in the family.



Superficially yours,



Aunt Jan

mysh said...

Well, I was going to suggest Sanskrit, since then you could read the Vedas; plus I'm obsessed with everything dead and useless and can't figure out why everyone else isn't. Aside from Hittite, Ugaritic or Punic, I can't think of any language more dead or useless. (Wait, I take back the last one: apparently it will be useful to know Punic for Vin Diesel's Hannibal the Great.)

So I was going to suggest Sanskrit, but aunt jan's logic is hard to refute. Dutchmen are funny, so you're already halfway there.

Katya said...

In order, I suggest:

1. Dutch
2. Irish Gaelic
3. Arabic
4. Vietnamese
5. Farsi
6. Turkish

I don't suggest Sanskrit because I'm biased against dead languages. I don't suggest Afrikaans because you've already got Dutch up there and if you study one, you've pretty much got the other. (And more people speak Dutch.)

Melyngoch said...

Umm, Sanskrit! Obviously! It's dead and old! You get to read old dead things! What more could you ask?

Also, if you're interested in Indo-European comparative linguistics, and who isn't, then Sanskrit seems like a necessary dimension too often negelected.

And it's tragic you have to fill out applications again, even if you know the outcome. Are they making you write a new letter of intent? I think I'd rather stab myself in the throat with a whole box of toothpicks one at a time.

Tolkien Boy said...

There is truly nothing more sexy in this world than someone growling in Gaelic.

Go for the Irish. All the way.

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matchmakeroftherock said...

Which is closest to Nepalese?

Steven said...

I have a sister-in-law that's a native Afrikaans speaker, I'm sure she'd love to have someone to talk to :)

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NonoNoodle said...

I vote for Thai all the way. It is totally tonal and that is totally cool.

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