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28-07-2005
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The Language of Fashion: Which language is best to study?
I'm a fashion merchandising major going into my sophomore year and I'm having a tough time deciding what foreign language to focus on. Fashion is so global is seems really important to be fluent in a second language and I was wondering if anyone knew what language companies are really desperate to see on resumes. Thanks!

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28-07-2005
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Well, as I understand it ... English is the international language of business and most Europeans in the big cities speak some English ... so you already have that going.

My guess for a second language would be either French or Italian ... French because so many fashion terms are French. Italian because Italy such a big presence in fashion right now. And then another thought ... I've been told that Antwerp is an up and coming fashion city and one of the official languages there is French (Flemish being the other) ...so maybe French would be my first choice.

Lena can probably answer this better than I.

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28-07-2005
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french, then german, then japanese ...

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28-07-2005
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I'd say French, Italian, Japanease, and even maybe Russian.

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30-07-2005
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thanks for the replies, this gives me a lot to think about, though it sounds like french is the way to go.

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30-07-2005
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i'm going to say chinese...seriously i'm thinking about taking it up, though it seems like a big pain...

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30-07-2005
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Spanish. It's everywhere.

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30-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mishahoi
i'm going to say chinese...seriously i'm thinking about taking it up, though it seems like a big pain...
French then spanish, japanese and chinese, theres alot of growth oppourtunity now adays, but mandarin not cantonese, because cantonese is only useful within Hong Kong.

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30-07-2005
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english is key, as others have already said, no doubt about it. but you're smart to think about another language as an additional cred. french is overrated (if you know what i mean), of course it wd be an added panache in your chapeau (a mite precieux, pardon), but if i were you in addition to english i'd think about acquiring a second lang that might only help for a few jobs but that few others wd be otherwise qualified for and wd move you immediately to the top of the resume pile. italian and japanese spring immediately to mind, esp. japanese, but you'd best get started it is, i hear, something you'll continue to be learning for a long time to come (got to get started on memorizing thousands of characters, for a start...)
good luck, i envy you your opportunities, and good on ya for thinking about this now..

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30-07-2005
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I would say French because once you know French it is incredibly easy to learn Spanish.

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30-07-2005
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I'm surprised more people haven't said chinese! It's the second big business language since they changed to a capitalist model, and particularly in fashion since a lot of textiles come from China.

Of course, if you learn, say, Hungarian, you're going to be big in Hungary, so it partially depends on where you want to focus.

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30-07-2005
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Itís good to know Chinese, I was browsing though a design specific job board, out of 24 thereís 3 of they ask or prefer to know some Chinese (of course you have to know English first!!!) , one for web or magazines art director, one for some type graphic designer and another one is internship working with manufactory to design clothing/ accessory.



IMO, English is first, second one I would go with Chinese, because China is a GORWING market, they are looking for a lot of people specially in design and creative field.

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30-07-2005
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Italian.

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30-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypresses
Itís good to know Chinese, I was browsing though a design specific job board, out of 24 thereís 3 of they ask or prefer to know some Chinese (of course you have to know English first!!!) , one for web or magazines art director, one for some type graphic designer and another one is internship working with manufactory to design clothing/ accessory.



IMO, English is first, second one I would go with Chinese, because China is a GORWING market, they are looking for a lot of people specially in design and creative field.
yes, i must reiterate that i think chinese would be a huge addition to anyone's qualifying marks on a resume... i mean, say the chinese boom only lasts 10 or 20 years....thats still 10 or 20 *years* you would have a job (probably a good one at that)... god, i REALLY don't want to learn a whole nother asian language though *dizzy*

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31-07-2005
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To concur-French,German,Japanese and Italian as they are indefinitely the biggest non-English speaking markets for fashion....Russia and China are also coming along quite significantly as well.

But in response to Antwerp: A fashion city it may be,Antwerp is really a tiny market and relies mostly on International sales. Besides,all the designer's in the Flemish region speak English as their third official language,so there's really no need for those purposes. Unless one just wants to,like me!

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