Which BRIC+ Languages?

I'm planning on taking some language courses next year and am having issues deciding on which one to study. I'm currently fluent in Mandarin (more or less - not sure if anyone can truly be in terms of reading/writing without being a Chinese national) so my future no doubt points to Asia. That being said, I'd like to study a language that would be useful whether I stay in the US or go abroad to China, and to give me an extra boost on my resume.

I've been thinking a lot about BRIC languages - so Portuguese and Russian (ruling out India cuz everyone speaks English there anyway) - however I believe that Japanese or Korean may be more suited to my needs. I know people advise to study a language similar to one you already know so that you can be completely fluent - fluency usually trumps usefulness, etc. I guess I have the benefit of knowing both a Western and Asian language, so the only real stranger here would be Russian (kind of. It just seems cut out of a totally different mold to me). I personally love Japan and its culture, but I feel like Japanese is starting to become less useful in the finance world as the country's economy stagnates. Portuguese would be relatively easy, as I have a year or two of Spanish study under my belt. I'm leaning towards these two, but I'm very unsure.

What are your thoughts?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (5)

Jun 28, 2013 - 10:28pm


indonesia and bahasa. it's a pretty easy language to learn for an english speaker

im going to assume you're trolling

I'm not concerned with the very poor -Mitt Romney
Jun 28, 2013 - 10:33pm

i think this ultimately of the opinion as to whether or not you BELIEVE BRIC nations are going to be a thing
i personally think india is a fucking joke, and russia, though resource rich, lacks the political and cultural climate to be a truly productive country

brazil may or may not become a thing, so i'd probably say portugese, given the fact that you already know chinese
however, if you want to do something that will be rewarding on an personal level, i'd recommend japanese, since kanji characters are chinese, so it saves you a lot of work

I'm not concerned with the very poor -Mitt Romney
Jun 30, 2013 - 2:34am
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

July 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (36) $363
  • Associates (209) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (119) $152
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (100) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (439) $132
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (355) $82