Monday, July 28, 2008

The Petty Annoyances Guide for Selecting a Second Language to Learn

Like many Americans, you've long thought about learning a second language. Perhaps you're a college student and want to take a language course as an elective. Maybe you're an adult with some time on your hands and a desire to broaden your horizons. Maybe you're just tired of being monolingual while those around you speak other languages. Or you may be like me. In which case you think there is really only one good reason to learn a second language, and that's to lay 90% of the groundwork for getting laid in that country.

I refuse to believe that I am the only person who has ever considered sex as a primary motivating factor to learn a foreign language. Quite the contrary, I think that it crosses everyone's mind as they scan the list of languages, deciding which one to attempt. Sure you might consider the number of countries where Language A is spoken versus Language B - but don't try to tell me you aren't also considering the possibility of mind blowing coitus with an endless supply of young women who are all stunned that an American is actually fluent in their native language.

Because no one besides myself will publicly admit that this plays a role in second language selection, it falls to me to actually analyze the languages out there, and determine where it is that the least amount of effort expended will yield the highest return of eager young women bouncing on your face.

Here are some of the factors we will be considering:
  • Difficulty of the Language
  • Hotness of the Women
  • Local perception of Americans
  • How sexually open the culture is
  • The relative rarity of an American / White man speaking this language

Because the overall analysis here is so complicated, maybe we should start with the last one first:

Rule #1: No one will be impressed if you show up in Paris speaking French.

Discussion: In France, you are expected to speak French. The French assume that their language is global and cosmopolitan and that if you visit Paris you must have already taken the time to learn a few words. There are a few other reasons why French isn't a great choice, but here's the question to ask yourself: Who is going to be impressed when I show up speaking language "x"? French obviously fails this test. Spanish does too. No one will be impressed anywhere by an American speaking Spanish.

Basically, if you are white, and the native speakers of this language are also white, you are at an immediate disadvantage in the quest to have a woman laugh with delight at your courageous attempts to speak her language at the conversational level. Like say, Italian. Now, if you're an African American, then by all means, go with Italian. But for us white dudes, Western Europe and even South America isn't the most fertile ground to impress anyone.

Now if you showed up in Addis Ababa and start speaking fluent Amharic, cars will screech to a halt and jaws will drop. You might be the first Amharic-speaking white American they've ever seen. Does this mean that Amharic and Ethiopian babes are the way to go? Not remotely. This leads us to:

Rule #2: If the female population isn't already sexually liberated and open, then you're wasting your time.

Discussion: Ask yourself - are they religious? Do they have intensely strong family structures and family bonds? Is this the sort of country where in order to take the girl out for a soda you need permission from the parents, the grandparents, and all uncles older than 16? We're talking about the Middle East here. Many African countries. Some Asian countries. Places that have no casual sex culture. You may impress the hell out of everyone with your mastery of their obscure tongue, but be prepared to live with a dry dick.

Rule #3: On the other hand, there's no point in learning the language if they're going to fuck you anyway.

Discussion: Thailand. Russia. The Balkans. You're an American and you show up with cash? They're going to be breaking down your door to fuck you! No need to learn a single word. Let them struggle with their English. Let's eliminate these countries and languages. We really only want to focus on countries where the knowledge of the language is going to make a huge difference, and in a society with loose morals to begin with.

Rule #4: You're looking for the widest gap between female hotness and male unattractiveness.

Discussion: We're looking for countries where the women are smoking hot, obviously. But less obviously, it's a big plus when the local men are ugly, uninteresting and charmless. It'll make you stand out as an exotic prize. Here I want to be sensitive and not hurt anyone's feelings, so I won't name any of these countries except for South Korea.

Rule #5: Some languages are far easier to learn than others. Don't break your back here.

Korean turns out to be one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn. Which is a pity, since it scores great on our checklist in most other respects. Here's a website that gauges the relative difficulty of foreign languages for English speakers. All things being equal, why choose a more difficult langauge?


So which countries and languages are we talking about then? Here are my thoughts.

#1 Greek

Hottest of all Bond girls - the Greek one from For Your Eyes Only

I keep coming back to Modern Greek as being the best choice. Greek women: beautiful, passionate, sensual. They're looking for an excuse to sleep with you. Give them one. And name me one non-Greek American dude who speaks Greek. There aren't any! You'd be the first! Greece is great to spend time in anyway - food, climate, culture - it's a fantastic country.

#2 Something Nordic

I think Norwegian, Swedish or Finnish aren't bad choices. Again, these aren't languages anyone bothers to learn who doesn't a) have some family tie to the country or b) have a really compelling reason to be there. Nobody picks up Finnish for fun. And the women? Gorgeous. The kind of women you'd take on a spaceship to colonize a new planet. Now, according to that difficulty website, Finnish isn't easy. Maybe Swedish is the way to go.

#3 Japanese

Ya ta!

Then you've got Japanese. It's one hell of a hard language. But the rewards are potentially staggering. I've never been to Japan, but if all that violent, wild-ass-crazy tentacle-porn-cartoon stuff is even remotely grounded in truth, then I can't even fathom how awesome it would be. And you can't beat Japanese women for strange, exotic hotness. Those schoolgirls outfits. Those tomboy haircuts. That small, supple physique that's so intoxicating that you can't help but think NAMBLA may be onto something. These girls already love you because you're American. Now you can really blow their minds.

So have I missed anything? By all means add some suggestions.

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