Is 18 too old to become fluent in a second language?
What language should I learn as a "just in case" language
Like if I want to leave the country and live somewhere else
Russian and Spanish are probably the most widely understood by number of countries, maybe German too.
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean open up a lot of doors too, but they're obviously more difficult.
You could also ask on /int/.
Of course it isn't. College students start learning a new language then usually. Most schools in the USA only offer 2-3 languages, whereas universities offer 5-7.
It is too late if by fluent you mean a native speaker of the language. The window for native language acquisition generally ends around puberty (give or take a year or two).
If, on the other hand, by fluent you simply mean that you are able to both speak and understand a foreign language easily, then no, it's not to late at all. It will just take some focus and hard work.
Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, whichever..
If you have the gift of tongues it should come easily to you. You might not be aware of this gift yet. Just drop a lot of acid and consult your nearest Rosetta stone. Toodle-oo
Mandarin Chinese is harder initially because of the tones but Japanese grammar will fuck your shit up in the long run. Unless you have weeaboo dreams I recommend Mandarin, and even then learning Chinese characters is beneficial in Japanese too
No but it's gonna be veeeeeeeery hard to really and truly learn it fluently, and once you do learn it you'll have to maintain the skill constantly or else it will decay rapidly. Honestly unless you're dead sure you're going to be moving to somewhere it's spoken, or you are planning to make friends who will speak it with you constantly, you're gonna waste all that time you spent learning it.
Grammatically, somewhat, but the pronunciation can be harder than Japanese.
You should also think about which country you're more interested in visiting/working in. Japan is more developed and first world, whereas in China you'll have to deal with stuff like explosive diarrhea, psycho traffic, people spitting in the streets, etc. Obviously there's good and bad everywhere though.
What do you mean when you say you don't understand the "constructs" that make some languages more difficult?
The "being too old to learn another language" meme is just a myth perpetuated because nobody bothers to do their own research. It takes until a child is about 5-6 years on average to master a language, which can be done by adults in less time if they're motivated enough.
I started my second language when I was 18. Have no problems.
Ignore this guy, he's just an idiot. Countless apps exist now which you can use to top up your ability everyday and immerse yourself.
i took French for three years in High school. did terrible. didnt take it from age 16 until age 20.
I'd consider myself fluent enough now after a year and a half of brushing up.
its totally doable, just pick a language that doesnt suck, and preferably one that uses the same alphabet.
English French Spanish Chinese Russian and Arabic are the only relevant languages.
Yeah, that's just because the word order is so different in Japanese. Translators in general are shit, even for single words.
Different grammar doesn't necessarily mean hard though. Some grammatical things are more logical in Japanese.
Only for high-level intelligence jobs in the CIA or something. Most Arab countries were colonies of Britain or France and the important people speak excellent English/French.
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and possibly German are all far more useful.
That doesn't mean it's easy, it can make things more vague and confusing for foreign learners. Word order and general grammar is just so different in non-Germanic/Romance languages.
>tfw when my friend applied himself and became fluent in japanese in only 2 years and is now living the dream in japan while I'm still here in stupid yurop
Yeah, but the jobs are highly specialized. Most Arab countries are unstable and could go full jihad at any moment.
Korea, Japan, Brazil, etc. are more stable and developing.
OP asked in the context of preparing to move to a new country.