Is a second language part of your preps?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tully Mars, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Recently the wife and I have been on a language kick. We've purchased a few and are currently working on German. I'm sure many here speak a second language, or perhaps more than a second. My work has taken me around the globe,and like many folks I've pick up bits and pieces or a "working knowledge" of a few different tongues over the years. My wife has always wanted to speak German so we bought that along with a few others. To me, the advantage in a PSHTF could be great not to mention in "every day life." Possibly a career change for someone who finds themselves unable to do more physical type work? We have selected an "oddball" language that (IMHO) isn't likely to be understood by anyone in our expected AOs so that when needed we may converse with a bit of privacy even in public..
    If you've ever considered a second language I would urge you to do so. Not only is it a great way to pass time and a lot of fun, it may come in very handy someday.
    stg58, chelloveck, Dunerunner and 3 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Yup... Habla Smith and Wesson? Comprende?
  3. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    It's good exercise for your brain as well. I'm teaching my six year old Spanish now, and we're going to start on Arabic in a couple of years. In addition to alternate languages, cryptography and cryptanalysis are also excellent workouts for the brain, and they have some practical applications in prepping and for surviving many SHTF scenarios. I've started my son on simple substitution ciphers and, as the years progress, we'll move into more complicated systems.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  4. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    At one time I could butcher enough Mandarin to get around Beijing without infuriating any of the natives but I've since forgotten all but the most basic pleasantries. These days I speak just enough Spanish to find a bathroom, a beer, or some old, moldy cheese. I'd like to learn Japanese though. About four years ago we were planning a trip to Japan and were looking at interactive language lessons on DVD. Then Fukushima went and the trip and language lesson plans got backburnered. One of these days tho...
    stg58 likes this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    There are a variety of languages floating around both my immediate family, and extended family.
    All of us speak Spanish to varing degrees, German by at least three, some Italian, some polish, some native born French, some Farsi, and several signers.
    I read Spanish better than I speak it.but we have French and German born, Iranian born, and married into the family.
    My daughter intends to pursue a career as a translator.:)
    tulianr likes this.
  6. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I speak 5.56...

    My wife spoke Mexican Spanish son gets by with it (I can order a beer, count and find the restroom).
  7. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Speaking additional languages is not my main focus, rather being able to comprehend what is being said around me. Knowing what may be about to happen is more of a concern...
  8. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Seems to me if one can comprehend a language, they would be able to speak it as well??
    KAS likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    No. That does not follow like night and day. One is translation, the other creation. For some, no problem, for others, (like me) it is a struggle.
    tulianr likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You need a few words to comprehend another language, but fluency is not required. So much is dependent on context that it isn't likely to miss intent. I can get by in French, and have done so in Canada and Morocco, without knowing all the words spoken to me. In Spanish, I can get a beer or knifed. Selecting a second language is more interesting. I do not see a use for French, but sure do see one for Chinese.
    tulianr likes this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I can read a foreign language easier than I can speak it. Root words, common language structure, context are all easier for me written. Spoken, I am constantly trying to catch up in my mind.
    tulianr likes this.
  12. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    I know just enough of the common languages hearabouts to know if I'm being targeted.

    ...and I never speak Spanish on the streets.

    Opsec. [tongue]
    techsar and kellory like this.
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I agree with both Tully and tulian....Becoming reasonably proficient in a second language is good for the brain and it has some very handy practical applications. Learning a second language facilitates the learning of 3rd and subsequent languages, developing neural pathways that help keep the brain healthy and functional.

    If members of a prepper group speak a common, preferrably obscure language, it should work adequately as a useful tactical code (immediate/short term) that would make decryption more of a challenge. e.g. Navajo Windtalkers during WWII. The Navajo ¡°Windtalkers¡± by David Kahn
    tulianr and Tully Mars like this.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Does Klingon, count?
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Klingon would count as a second language, though there are probably enough mutant zombie Comic Con and Star Trek nerds around to make it a more commonly understood language than Esperanto.
  16. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    We speak a little (Mexican) Spanish around the house. Mainly as in asking where something is, or what time it is. I also took some French(all I can remember is how to order hot chocolate or cheese though). My main language I took in school was Japanese, but after my Japanese grandmother died, I forgot a lot of it. Have foreign language books/CDs for Italian, Japanese, French, and Spanish. Every so often I can even speak English...
  17. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I can speak some Russian. Plus I know some Spanish so I know when Hispanics are saying improper things about me.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  18. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I speak what would be considered very good Spanish. My nephew spent a good chunk of his childhood in Mexico and speaks flawless Spanish.

    Fluency is not required but to say you can rely on context alone might get you into trouble. You will get a pass in tourist areas; when dealing with the "real people" don't expect as much headroom.

    Any foreign language skill is
    beneficial, but if you are going to take the time to learn it, it may as well be something practical and I would not suggest German unless your bug out location is just outside Hamburg and/or you want to learn German for your own enrichment.

    Also, it is better to know one language very well than a few bits and pieces of several languages.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  19. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

  20. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Couldn't agree more.
    As far as the German goes, it is admittedly, a whim. My wife has always wanted to master it; and as we all know, if Momma ain't happy...;)
    I plan on taking her across the pond so that she can see some of the things I've been fortunate enough to see.
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