View Full Version : What language would you learn for your job?

12-19-2007, 04:09 PM
I've often thought that the superpower I wish I had was the ability to understand ANYONE, regardless of language or accent.

Sadly, this has not come to pass. I tried to take a medical Spanish class once, but the instructor was 100 years old if she was a day and couldn't hear. We spent most of the time repeating our questions/comments.

I wish I were fluent in Spanish, because a lot of my patients speak that language. I've also seen a lot of Farsi, Tagalog, and some Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese.

I wish it were easier to learn different languages. Maybe they should teach rudimentary medical phrases in different languages in nursing school? Not that there isn't enough to do as it is :stoned:

12-19-2007, 08:23 PM
I've been learning a small amount of Cantonese with the hopes of communicating with Chinese patients. It's been challenging, but fun at the same time!

12-20-2007, 12:17 AM
French for me.

Our nursing board has provided us with cards which say various things in different languages. It is supposed to be helpful if someone can't speak english. We are not encourage to try and say the words, but give the card to the patient and point at various parts.

It is new and we will see how it goes.

Kevin Who?
12-20-2007, 09:38 AM
I'm mapping out my nursing education to minor in Spanish. It's a growing demographic and I think I'll get alot of mileage out of it. At my uni, there are two levels of medical spanish. If I ever make it back to San Francisco, I may try a little Cantonese, but it intimidates the heck out of me. I break into a cold sweat when I try to pronounce the words on the back of a fortune cookie and they're written frenetically.

12-20-2007, 09:54 AM
For me it would be Spanish. Not only because it is the up and coming language of this country, but my father speaks Spanish. He never taught me Spanish as a child because he believed that if you learned two languages at once, you were master of neither.

So...... I got Rosetta Stone Spanish. No, it's not medical Spanish, but it sure is user friendly and easy to learn. I have a long way to go before I'll be comfortable with conversational Spanish, but what the heck.

I also know a little (and I mean very little) sign language. I know enough to ask if the patient is in pain and where does it hurt. Of course I know the alphabet, but that really takes forever!

12-20-2007, 02:59 PM
I used to be a sign language interpreter, and then I became a medical interpreter...and then, eventually a nurse. I've used my ASL/sign language a little bit since I've been an RN, but at this point I would want an interpreter if I was doing any major discussion. I too feel guilty for not having at least a working knowledge of Spanish, as that is our largest growing minority population, especially since so much of interpreter services are relay (done over the phone).

What are the most common languages where you work/live? Here it seems that besides Spanish it's Russian, Vietnamese, Romanian...but I think Somalian is also high on the list

12-20-2007, 08:11 PM
The most common languages in my area are English (of course), Greek, and Italian.

12-20-2007, 08:12 PM
Oh for heaven's sake...... Spanish too!

12-21-2007, 09:28 PM
Definitely Spanish!

Although the high school down the street from our hospital has 43 primary languages spoken in the homes it serves!

We are lucky enough to have a dedicated ED Spanish interpreter now, but still have to use the little interpr-phone for all the others...

I can charade with the best of them, though!

Mother Jones, RN
12-21-2007, 10:08 PM
Ditto. I want to learn Spanish.

MJ :pepsi:

Nurse Stella
12-22-2007, 09:12 AM
French here. Being less than an hour away from the Canadian border, a lot of our "locals" speak French better than English.


12-22-2007, 01:35 PM
I would have to say French!

12-22-2007, 06:27 PM
French here too, because we are pretty close to France, but also spanish would be kind of useful. Now I have finished my masters I have been thinking of going to night school and perhaps studying french conversation. Though I was thinking more of the benefits of holidays in France rather than for work!

We are seeing more and more Eastern European people coming to Britian and so perhaps Polish or Romanian would be pretty helpful for many of my colleagues.

12-22-2007, 09:28 PM
If we are being practical any of the following would be useful:

Due to the nature of European Immigration there is a large ethnic base. Some of the African languages would be useful too. But Vietnamese is probably the most common in this area. The issue is that we also have to learn the cultural aspects as well, like the practice of coining.

12-24-2007, 11:41 PM
I already have Dutch under my belt (being born there) and of course ESL...but it would be wonderful to get some spanish in there, or french-even though we don't really encounter those languages as much as closer to Vancouver.
I think along with learning about people's cultures as we do in school, some languages would help too. To see the look on people's faces when they are confused as heck from the morphine and they are actually being understood for the first time...worthwhile and priceless:)
Merry Christmas!:santaclaus:

12-26-2007, 03:52 PM
I love Spanish and use it every single day that I work. I would love to learn Japanese.

I've heard of the Rosetta stone learning tools and may look into that. I should be learning more languages, I seem to have a knack for picking them up.