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Thread: language skills
01-05-2004, 17:27 #1Virgilthetiger Guest
If one wanted to learn a foregin language to enhance one's chances of getting a fed LE or intel (and for personal development). What do you think ?
I already speak german and now I'm working on chinese (but chinese is tough and I don't know if i'll stick with it).
I was thinking arabic but everyone is studying arabic now.
what to you guys think?
01-05-2004, 17:49 #2
You are going to have to acquire a HS grad level of competancy in that language for it to do you any good in an application process. (FSI 3/3).
If your German is at that level, then I'd look to Spanish. Chinese would be great, but difficult to acquire without immersion for tonal acquisition. If you're language gifted and have some Chinese classes to attend, it would be a great skill to bring to the table.
Your immediate goal is to develop basic conversational skills to be able to successfully take a Personal History statement from a defendant in the target language. From there, you can build on your vocabulary. BTW, for a 3/3 in Chinese, you'd need at least the mastery of 3500 characters and conversational HS level language skills.
Good luck!“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes
01-05-2004, 23:45 #3Virgilthetiger Guest
with each Chinese character being pronouced 4 different ways (inflections) it's tough, thats why I'm thinking of dropping it.
the prof. sez to just keep working on it.
I mean it would be the language to learn either for intel/ LE or private business. With the way their economy is growing and all.
Thanks for the info...
01-06-2004, 00:26 #4
I have to agree that Chinese is difficult. I'm Chinese myself and can read and speak fluently. However, I can only write limited Chinese. It's a difficult language. Most of the non-native people who speak well probably studied Chinese in Asia. I took the FBI language exam 2 months ago in Cantonese and Mandarin and am still waiting for the results. I think (hope) I passed both.
On a different note, I think Japanese is a much easier language to learn, but I don't know if it will enhance your chance of being hired as a Fed LE.
01-06-2004, 02:47 #5Officer
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
In my opinion, I think a big plus regarding language skills is if someone is fluent in spanish. I think other languaguages are good to know. I believe it is a major plus to speak, write and read in spanish.
01-06-2004, 02:50 #6wazhoo Guest
I think FBI recently changed the requirements so that only a 2+ out of 5 in their Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) is deemed most competitive if you have another critical skill. I guess having only 1 critical skill isn't enough. If you want to qualify by language alone, a 3 out of 5 is necessary. The ILR is on a scale of 0 to 5, not 0 to 3.
For a 3/5, like dmclark said, you'd need to speek at a native speaker college level (HS graduate) and be able to talk about or debate current events. A language professor at a major university I saw got a 3/5, so it's not that simple as being able to hold a small conversation.
Most graduates of 2 yrs college-level foreign language programs aren't able to even attain a 1/5 in the test. (0+ is the requirement for satisfying 2nd language requirement at Univ California colleges.) At U of Texas, M.A. students are "required to complete a fourth year (or the equivalent) of formal language instruction and pass a proficiency examination in the area language of their choice before completion of the M.A. degree at the ILR (Interagency Language Roundtable) Level 2"
Further, from http://www.duke.edu/web/cis/globalch...innis-exec.pdf
"... it is clear that no standard four-year curriculum at the college or university level will be sufficient to produce proficiency of the sort needed for either government or private sector careers even in the more commonly taught languages."
Last edited by wazhoo; 01-07-2004 at 12:26.
01-06-2004, 08:19 #7
As an example in Chinese, I have a friend who studied at the Defense Language Institute for 12 months in Mandarin, then went to a school affiliated with Stanford (I believe) in Taipei for an additional 6 months study. He tested out at a 3/3 and was almost suicidal! To top it off, he was scheduled for posting to Chang Mai, Thailand and after 60 days, DEA decided that his language skills would be more useful in....The Hague, Netherlands. Actually, it was really thought out and a good 6 year tour for him and he is totally fluent in Mandarin.
With Spanish becoming the second language (based on population) in the US, it would be a logical second language choice for those seeking that edge. DM“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes
01-06-2004, 10:55 #8ScoobyDoo Guest
Learning any new foreign language could be benificial, even though your German is probably sufficient. As for FBI, if you want to be considered a competitive candidate due to your foreign language skills, you must demonstrate that you are, in fact, fluent. It is no walk in the park! The tests are very difficult! Don't rely on your language skills unless you are truly fluent. Learning conversational Spanish, for example, is not enough to pass the exam. I took and passed the Spanish exams; I had 3 years of high school Spanish, lived in Latin America for 2 years, minored in Spanish in college, and live in California (haha). If you'd like to give it a shot, the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in the language and culture for at least six months (go live in a foreign country). Good luck on your pursuit!
01-06-2004, 12:49 #9HKUSP40 Guest
Before undertaking the study of a new language, it's important to look at the long-term picture, in terms of language difficulty and the amount of time you will have available to study. As an Arabic student, I've seen many kids jump into an Arabic program with unrealistic expectations - thinking that they'll be fluent in one or two years of study. Realistically, it takes most students probably a minimum of 4 years of traditional college study (some of which is total immersion and accelerated study) to become fluent. I think students of Chinese, Korean, Japanese would probably agree that similar requirements exist for these languages.
The bottom line is that if you are uwilling to commit a significant amount of time and effort, you would probably be better off sticking to an easier language and not wasting your time and money.
Last edited by HKUSP40; 01-06-2004 at 12:55.
01-06-2004, 17:10 #10SkipInHiro Guest
I would not consider Japanese!! It takes years of heavy study to get to even a decent level of fluency and it seems to get you very little in LE.
I am a rated interpreter in Japanese (lived and studied in Japan for 5 years) and I haven't recieved any hiring preference for it yet.
I begin to wonder if Japanese is useful in LE! Don't get me wrong.... I love having a second language and think it was worth it, but there seems to be little need in this career field.
01-06-2004, 19:30 #11
Why not join the U.S. Border Patrol? You get the language skills and excellent law enforcement experience. Dealing with spanish only speaking people will definitely accelerate your learning of spanish. Not to mention it stops the clock for you guys out there who are approaching the magic age of 37.
BTW.. I also speak Tagalog(Philippines) on top of my Spanish. Is there a market for this language? Especially with all the Al-Qaeda links in that country nowadays.
01-06-2004, 20:25 #12
DEA's got a great office in Manila! At the USBP, you could even use your German, especially with the Eastern European illegals.“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes