Language Suited Occupations

Clark   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 08:34 GMT
I was just reading something, and it said that English is one of the nest languages, if not 'the' best language, for talking about technical things.

Now, has anyone ever thought that some languages just seem to fit with a certain occupation?

For example, maybe French goes well with farming. Maybe German goes well with politics; or Italian with wine making.

I do not mean to strike up any stereotypes, but I am interested to see if anyone associates a certain job with a certain language.

For me:

French (in Canada): Farming
French: any occupation
German: Politics
Pennsylvania German: Farming and Preaching
English (in American South): Preaching and Farming
English: Teaching history

These are just the ones that I have givien any thought to.
Ryan   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 15:45 GMT
I think people in the US associate French with being a chef or waiter in an expensive restaurant and German with being a psychologist. The French stereotype obviously comes from all the French restaurants. The German one comes from Sigmund Freud. Other than that I can't think of any strong language stereotypes in this country. However, I don't think certain languages are inherently better suited to certain occupations than others. Anyone who speaks any language can do any job.

Lana   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 15:54 GMT
Lots of scientific journals are written in German. Many people (used to, at least) learn German just to read them. I think German and English both lend themselves well to inventing terminology to describe "new" things succinctly and elegantly by combining words.

I think many people in the US think of French as the language of love. Maybe Italian also.
DORIAN   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 18:45 GMT
For me, English can be the language of love as well as the French. Just read Sonnets of Shakespeare to make sure how perfectly English can express love.
Guofei Ma   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 19:18 GMT
I think of Cantonese as the language of arguing, even though I come from Hong Kong.
Clark   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 21:33 GMT
I do not mean to bring out any negative stereotypes. You know when someone says to you, "I am going to say a word, and you tell me the first thing you think about." That is what I was trying to get at. So, when you think of the French language, what occupation comes to your mind first? The same with the German, Dutch, English, Italian, etc languages.
searcher   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 21:41 GMT
I think that polish leanguage is the best to express vulgarity. Polish people are famous for using swearwords :)
Ryan   Sunday, July 13, 2003, 21:58 GMT
I'm not sure what is your point of doing this, Clark, but I'll humor you some more. I already said what occupations I think of with French and German.

Italian: Clergy high up in Roman Catholic church. Gondolier. Mafia.

Dutch: None I can think of.

Spanish: Migrant worker. But Americans have a different association with Spanish than Europeans do.

Polish: Guy selling hot dogs and bratwurst on the streets of Chicago or Milwaukee.

Russian: Chess player or tennis player

Romanian: Gymnast or vampire

I can think of more but they are probably too offensive.

Clark   Monday, July 14, 2003, 01:09 GMT
Hmm, you seem to be not very nice. However, I was just interested in how people perceive what languages "fit" with certain occupations.
Bastige   Monday, July 14, 2003, 02:31 GMT
German - prison guard
Spanish - maid, gardener, fruit-picker
Italian - criminal
French - whores
Jack Doolan   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 04:19 GMT
Most scientific journals are written in English. Once upon a time Germany led the world in chemistry - but that was between 1840 and 1940. The hot journals today include Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Nucleic Acids Research, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of the Chemical Society, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and a few journals of physics. All of these are in English.

Two or three German journals are cited fairly regularly and one or two French ones including the venerable "Comptes Rendues". I have seen a few citations among many hundreds for Spanish and Italian scientific journals and a few for Japanese ones. Do a search on Pubmed for almost any medical condition, or check the web out for a common amino acid sequence like arg-gly-asp (RGD). Virtually all the abstracts will refer to English language publications.

English, particularly with a California or Maryland accent (if there is such a thing) is associated with biotechnology.
Javi   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 06:39 GMT
What about Danish ? does anybody think Danish has a job associated with it ?
Tremmert   Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 18:07 GMT
Associating German with a prison guard obvious comes from the Gestapo...

How's this for stereotypes - heaven and hell in Europe.


The Brits are the police
The French are the cooks
The Germans are the mechanics
The Italians are the lovers
and the Swiss organise the lot.


The Brits are the cooks
the French are the mechanics
The German are the police
The Swiss are the lovers
and the Italians organise the lot !!!

this is from
Ryan   Thursday, July 17, 2003, 01:17 GMT
Well, at least there will be plenty of fish and chips in Hell and you won't have to worry about having to eat snails.