cantarellia to Amit, Emily, Jo, Martin, Paige on 16 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by shivani.
Amit Pujari answered on 15 Mar 2012:
Languages are very important tool for communicating effectively.
For example, english is not my mother tounge but I am glad that I learned english in school. Because of this, I can speak with you today and most of the other people in Britain. And can speak to many other people in different countries where they speak english. Also if you know more than one languages, it could be useful. You never know, imagine you speak, lets say german and you go to germany, wouldnt that be useful. Or tomorrow you might work for a german company then you can use your language skills for your benefit.
Also if you are a great engineer or a scientist or a lawyer but your communication skills are not so good. Then you are stuck because no matter how good you are at something, if you can not communicate, your progress will be limited.
Joanne Davies answered on 16 Mar 2012:
Hello again cantarellia. A very good question and language differences can pose a lot of difficulties in Engineering.
I don’t speak any other languages fluently apart from English and I can do all my global business in English.
It’s good to have a basic understanding of some foreign languages and their structures though. I studied Welsh and French at school and I find this helps tremendously in talking with people all over the world who speak different languages.
The English language is widely accepted for Engineering requirements in most countries but if you get the opportunity to learn a language and enjoy it, grab it with both hands. It will help you tremendously one day.
Emily Bullen answered on 16 Mar 2012:
Kind of. I speak fluent french and some german, and they have led to some perks. I got to go to Paris for 3 days a few years ago, to attend a careers fair telling french university students why they might want to go to work for us.
I nearly got a great job in Belgium for a year (because I speak french), that would usually have been offered to someone more experienced, but I was the only one to speak the language. Unfortunately for other reasons that never happened.
French was also useful when I went to test a piece of equipment in Switzerland, as not all the guys there spoke english. I did struggle to know the technical words in french though!
I think it depends where the people you work with are. We are lucky to have english, which is widely understood, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn other languages!
Paige Brown answered on 16 Mar 2012:
Oh yes! Language is everything! Did you know that modern medicine and science did not start until humans started using real language and written language thousands of years ago?
Communicating science is just as important as doing it!
Martin Wallace answered on 19 Mar 2012:
I’ve always found that having a basic understanding of languages is useful in all sorts of ways. You don;t need to be able to speak fluently – though it does help – to get by in another country. When I’ve travelled abroad there’s always been english speakers and hosts who are able to help you. However this doesn’t help if all you need to do is ask where the toilet is in a restaurant.
I would really like to be able to speak French and German a lot better than I do now, and I hope that travelling a bit more in my job will mean I get to practice and improve by making mistakes and learning from them.