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Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

Discussions about those units who make up The Parachute Regiment.
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WOW! That hurt.
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Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#1 Post by WOW! That hurt. » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 6:43 am

I speak German (Not fluently, but well enough to get whatever I need or a point across) and I was wondering if the army would find that at all useful. I have a knack for languages overall. I used to speak Spanish very well, too, until I learned German. So as a Para, would this skill be useful at all or is just something that will atrophy and die under the avalanche of whoop @$$ that training will bring.
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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#2 Post by Tab » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 8:36 am

Any skill is a plus, but if you spoke Arabic, or some languages where there is current fighting then that would be a bigger plus. Also you will find that many Germans speak English any way these days.

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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#3 Post by WOW! That hurt. » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 1:08 pm

Yea, I figured that would pretty much be the case. Although Spanish does have a lot of Arabic influence due to the Muslims controlling Spain and various other Southern European territories for 400 some odd years. Would you know if a soldier could ask to be put in an Arabic language course (Although, I think the Afghans speak pushtin) if he shows he has a history of speaking other languages??

Yea, most Germans do speak English better than native English speakers these days, except for the Bavarians, I find. Which is really annoying, because they speak with the really weird and difficult accent.
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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#4 Post by Hyperlithe » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 4:28 pm

I'm a RAF linguist (French, German, Russian, Arabic, Pashto)
I have met the occasional para doing language training, so it is certainly possible. You don't just ask though, you have to pass a language aptitude test, and I know people who have failed it, despite being at least bi-lingual! (Not saying you will fail, just don't take passing it as a given)
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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#5 Post by WOW! That hurt. » Thu 23 Feb, 2012 2:41 am

Thanks for the info. The testing thing sounds fair enough. When I was in Highschool in California there were Spanish speaking Mexicans who failed the Spanish learners' class. So I can see why it would be in place.

Just out of curiousity, what competancy did the RAF train you to in those languages?
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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#6 Post by Hyperlithe » Thu 23 Feb, 2012 9:29 pm

Diploma - 18 month course.
But that's because it's my primary role. Most people who do it as a voluntary thing do 15 months or less.
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Re: Are Foreign Languages useful in the Paras

#7 Post by gunner75 » Sat 03 Mar, 2012 12:33 am

Having a skill like that will benefit you in ALL walks of life not just the forces. I too can speak a bit of the old German due to being an army brat over there as a kid while my dad served. If your that way inclined and you get the oportunity to learn go for it! I always took oportunities presented to me with both hands and made the most of them. It certainly served me well in life!
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