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RE: Importance of foreign language in paleo

Hi Tyler,

With two or three years of school study and an adequate dictionary, you
should be able to pick up and read any scientific papers in those languages,
or get back into them conversationally if you need to later.  But on palaeo
field work or conferences, some proficiency on a musical instrument may end
up being much more important to your career.  If only I'd known, I would
have practiced harder!

Dr John D. Scanlon
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
19 Marian Street / PO Box 1094
Mount Isa  QLD  4825
Ph:   07 4749 1555
Fax: 07 4743 6296
Email: riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tyler Kerr [mailto:tylerkerr@comcast.net]
> Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 8:50 AM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Importance of foreign language in paleo
> I have a question for all you paleontologists out there!
> I'm a senior in high school and I'm really serious about going into
> paleontology. However, I've run into a bit of a problem. It seems on my
> schedule I can do one of two things: continue taking German (I've had 3
> years of German, 2 years of French), a language I enjoy but do not plan to
> pursue, or take Band, something that will not help me at all in terms of
> paleontology but is more enjoyable and something I may pursue in college.
> More to the point, would colleges who want strong paleo students look down
> on such a choice as dropping German for Band? In college I plan to take
> either Chinese or Spanish anyways (Since South America and China are two
> hotspots) so is this really such a big deal?
> I'd be interested to know the importance of foreign language in everyday
> paleontological work, in any case.
> Sorry this is a little off topic, but neither my guidance counselors nor
> any other adult could answer this, so I decided to ask the best source I
> could! Please email me back privately.
> Thanks,
> Tyler Kerr