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Re: Importance of foreign language in paleo

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,

Yeah, except Chinese, where you will hardly be able to read a newspaper after that time, let alone a scientific article, which contains different vocabulary and therefore plenty of characters you will never have seen before. Learning to read that is a full-time job. Using a dictionary -- finding the characters in it -- is very time-consuming.

Speaking it is much easier, provided you manage to remember the tones.

Oh, 19th and often 20th century scientific articles in German have such a style that you are not likely to understand all of them after 2 or 3 years of school study, no matter what the dictionary is like.