Will multiple languages help?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by GONAVY3237, May 11, 2018.

  1. GONAVY3237

    GONAVY3237 Member

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    Hello- I was wondering if speaking multiple languages would give me an advantage. I speak English, French, and Spanish fluently since birth, plus I know the ASL alphabet :).

    Also, I have played classical piano since age 6, and trumpet since age 10. Any insights? Thanks!
     
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  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Anything that can set you apart from others will help. Not sure how much each thing will help, but it will help. Make sure it all gets mentioned in your application in some way.
     
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  3. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    I think all of that will help, but you'll still need nomination(s), good grades in the highest level courses your school offers (preferably lots of STEM classes), good SAT/ACT scores, sports/fitness, leadership experience, etc. Then there are all the factors you have little control over, like competitiveness of your district and things like that.

    Do your best in things that interest you, stay out of trouble, stay away from drugs/alcohol. Your chances are zero if you don't apply.

    Good luck.
     
  4. GONAVY3237

    GONAVY3237 Member

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    Thanks for your help. :D
     
  5. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    Yes it can, when you get interviewed and they ask you what makes your different from all the other people tell them about your languages you know. I can speak four languages fluently as well and that gave me points and a boost in the interview for rotc and the service academy a while back.
     
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  6. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    The service academy admission process is pretty defined and fairly objective. While we do not know the exact details they value academics, leadership and physical ability. Academic success is highest and demonstrated leadership is probably next.

    Soft skills like you mention should be included in your application and may help in certain areas but do not think that those soft skills will overcome average performances in other areas.
     
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  7. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Everyone should know American Sign Language. It is extremely useful. :)
     
  8. RoughRider26

    RoughRider26 New Member

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    They may not help with admission anymore than another unique skill (especially as they are not ‘strategic languages ie- Mandarin, Arabic, Russian etc), but they will open up more study abroad/summer abroad opportunities as well as opportunities for course validation.
     
  9. Airplane girl

    Airplane girl Member

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    Does studying a strategic language such as Russian help, even if you are not fluent? I’ve been taking Russian outside of school since freshman year (in addition to Spanish and French in school), and while I’m pretty good at the basic grammar, having basic conversations, and reading short texts, I’m nowhere near fluent. I will be going to a two week Russian language program this summer also, which I think will really help my skills a lot, but I definitely won’t be fluent either.
     
  10. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    I've interviewed an applicant who spoke fluent Pashto which is a critical need but it did not seem to be a huge advantage to him in the admissions process.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Here's the thing. If you enter USNA this year, you arguably won't be using your language skills in any meaningful way for probably at least 5 years, and possibly closer to 8. You'll be in school for four years and then in training to be a SWO, submariner, Marine, aviator, etc. for another few months to couple of years. So while it might open some doors for you at USNA (as noted above), it's not a real benefit to the military for some time. And without native fluency or continuous study, the language skills will decrease over time.

    (As an aside, they can decrease even if you are native fluent. I have a German friend who lived her first 34 years in Germany and learned English in school there. She moved to the US, married and has lived here for about 40 years in an area where there is minimal to no opportunity to speak German. A mutual friend from Germany recently visited and said the woman now speaks German with an (American) accent and has forgotten how to say some things in German. So even native fluency may not always be forever if not used, though this is obviously an extreme case.)