The I Studied A Completely Useless Language (for Medicine) Thread

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
A thread for those who learned a language in high school/college that is completely useless in medicine.

Me: German.

Wie geht's euch?
 

baylormed

On the Search
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2005
4,304
49
Right behind you
Status
Post Doc
durfen said:
A thread for those who learned a language in high school/college that is completely useless in medicine.

Me: German.

Wie geht's euch?
Hey, at least German is spoken in the world....***ahemlatinahem**
 

Schaden Freud

MiSanthrope II
10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2006
1,313
6
Status
Medical Student
durfen said:
A thread for those who learned a language in high school/college that is completely useless in medicine.

Me: German.

Wie geht's euch?


German's not useless. Latin is far more useless!
 
1

101441

baylormed said:
Hey, at least German is spoken in the world....***ahemlatinahem**
Oh yeah, well at least Latin has some tangential relationship with medicine. How about Lithuanian--3 million speakers in the whole world, and it's gramatically similar to Sanskrit (read: USELESS).
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
baylormed said:
Hey, at least German is spoken in the world....***ahemlatinahem**
actually latin is probably one of the most useful languages for medicine -- you can figure out what a whole lot of terms mean without looking them up. As far as practicing medicine, spanish is the most useful second language in the US.
 

baylormed

On the Search
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2005
4,304
49
Right behind you
Status
Post Doc
Law2Doc said:
actually latin is probably one of the most useful languages for medicine -- you can figure out what a whole lot of terms mean without looking them up. As far as practicing medicine, spanish is the most useful second language in the US.
I know, Latin can be useful for medical terminology. However, I think we will have plenty of time to learn the roots of the terms once we go to medical school (well, from my experience anyway, because i took a medical terminology course and learning roots was the first thing we did). I don't really see a necessity for 2 years of Latin classes.
It's these times when I'm very very glad I was born to Spanish-speaking parents :p .
 

the12thmd

Scooter rider.
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2005
204
0
34
TX
Status
Medical Student
I took Latin, but I am currently in Germany!

durfen - Zer gut, danke! Wie geht's? Ich bin in Hannover fuer Weltmeisterschaft 2006.

I haven't taken German, and I have been here for a month, so don't expect me to say much. I can get around, that's about it. :cool:
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
baylormed said:
I know, Latin can be useful for medical terminology. However, I think we will have plenty of time to learn the roots of the terms once we go to medical school (well, from my experience anyway, because i took a medical terminology course and learning roots was the first thing we did). I don't really see a necessity for 2 years of Latin classes.
It's these times when I'm very very glad I was born to Spanish-speaking parents :p .
There's too much terminology to keep in your head. If you can get a ballpark guess out of the roots you have a better shot.
 

Rafa

headbutts like zidane
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2006
2,343
5
the internets
dailywarnews.blogspot.com
Status
Pre-Medical
I plan to learn German in the following year. Figure it might come in handy someday.
 

jstuds_66

Free cat to a good home
10+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2006
414
2
USA
Status
Attending Physician
I speak Portuguese because I lived in Brazil for 2 years. It also is kind of a useless language unless I learn spanish (which is similar, but still very different).
 

strawberryfield

10+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2005
999
9
Status
Attending Physician
If there are some patients out there speaking it, it's not useless! :oops:

I opted for the most useful one in the US, Spanish, and if you learn any romance language you can definitley derive many latin medical terms from those terms in the romance language (not saying this is true for every single word, but...) ;)
 

Vox Animo

Runs with Scissors
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2006
1,287
2
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
So there's more latin nerds out there?
 

Doc Martins

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2004
309
0
Nueva York
Status
jstuds_66 said:
I speak Portuguese because I lived in Brazil for 2 years. It also is kind of a useless language unless I learn spanish (which is similar, but still very different).
Portuguese isn't useless, but I guess it depends on where you live... and it's close enough to Spanish to where you can communicate with spanish speakers.
 

Anastasis

caffeinated for safety
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2005
9,817
4
TX
Status
Attending Physician
Ancient Greek. :thumbup:
 

spospo

Going to extremes
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2006
763
0
34
The 'kane
Status
Medical Student
Vox Animo said:
So there's more latin nerds out there?

i'm a latin nerd, but i haven't taken it in about 4 years. i forget most everything. i also took greek for a while. both of them have come in very handy with figuring out the general idea of words
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
6,875
1,641
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I got French. Can't speak it too well now, though, cause I haven't been in that environment for over 2 years now. But ah well.
 
OP
durfen

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
the12thmd said:
I took Latin, but I am currently in Germany!

durfen - Zer gut, danke! Wie geht's? Ich bin in Hannover fuer Weltmeisterschaft 2006.

I haven't taken German, and I have been here for a month, so don't expect me to say much. I can get around, that's about it. :cool:
Bitte sehr! Ich hab' eifersucht, du bist in Deutschland! Ich will nach Deutschland reisen, aber wer hat die Zeit? :(

I also studied two years Japanese and a year of Latin. Japanese is somewhat useful if I did internship in Hawaii:

Genki desu-ka? Wo haben Sie weh? Oops wrong language.

I'm going to learn Spanish over next summer, gah.
 

oxeye

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2006
6,265
2
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I took German too.

I have never used it for a useful purpose. ;)

I should have taken Spanish.
 
M

Mr. McDuck

veddhead said:
Oh yeah, well at least Latin has some tangential relationship with medicine. How about Lithuanian--3 million speakers in the whole world, and it's gramatically similar to Sanskrit (read: USELESS).
Hey, I'm Lithuanian.

Anyway, American Sign Language. Word up. :thumbup:
 

ADeadLois

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2005
3,158
6
Status
Medical Student
I took French, but I should have taken Spanish. I'm constantly reminded of that "Not knowing Spanish despite the fact that 1/3 of the patients speak it" rant by Dr. Cox to Elliot on "Scrubs"
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
Moderator
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
11,731
1,892
Status
Attending Physician
Schaden Freud said:
German's not useless. Latin is far more useless!
At least Latin give you a hand for new terminology in medicine.

Try Irish. Conas a ta tu, mo chara?
 

Vizious

Junglee
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
67
2
Los Angeles
Status
Medical Student
ASL isn't THAT useless (at least I hope not since that is the only other language I'm close to fluent in other than English). I mean, you could have Deaf patients possibly?

Billy Shears said:
Hey, I'm Lithuanian.

Anyway, American Sign Language. Word up. :thumbup:
 

baylormed

On the Search
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2005
4,304
49
Right behind you
Status
Post Doc
Vizious said:
ASL isn't THAT useless (at least I hope not since that is the only other language I'm close to fluent in other than English). I mean, you could have Deaf patients possibly?
I agree. It's very possible. When I worked at a clinic as an MA, I had to vital a deaf patient and explain to her how to take her meds. She had an interpreter with her, so I didn't have to do anything but talk, but it's still weird to do that.
 

SitraAchra

Attending Anesthesiologist
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
1,282
177
Status
Attending Physician
to practice medicine in Texas, Spanish is a gift from God! Thank the lord I took it in highschool. The best part is when I don't know a certain word I play my "gringo card" and no one cares.
 
M

Mr. McDuck

Vizious said:
ASL isn't THAT useless (at least I hope not since that is the only other language I'm close to fluent in other than English). I mean, you could have Deaf patients possibly?
It's possible. I'm just applying to school now, but I've worked in an operating room for a few years, and I haven't had a single deaf patient. Could be different once I'm in school though.
 

DropkickMurphy

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2005
9,768
23
A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Schaden Freud said:
German's not useless. Latin is far more useless!
Latin's more useful than Sanskrit. :laugh:
 

DropkickMurphy

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2005
9,768
23
A bar room in Mombasa drinking gin
Status
Other Health Professions Student
SitraAchra said:
to practice medicine in Texas, Spanish is a gift from God! Thank the lord I took it in highschool. The best part is when I don't know a certain word I play my "gringo card" and no one cares.
Speaking of stupid gringo mistakes: When teaching new people to rock climb, it is best to check the group for Mexicans before VERY loudly shouting "Hey, someone toss me a 'biner!" (meaning carabiner not the not more racist "beaner")

This nearly got one of my friends' ass kicked.
 

Zweihander

Billygoat Gruff
Gold Donor
15+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2003
19,888
20,967
maximum effort
baylormed said:
I don't really see a necessity for 2 years of Latin classes.
It's so you can correct your attendings when they are trying to teach the Latin roots of a medical term. :D
 

jocg27

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
May 23, 2006
470
7
Status
Medical Student
Doc Martins said:
Portuguese isn't useless, but I guess it depends on where you live... and it's close enough to Spanish to where you can communicate with spanish speakers.

This is actually not the greatest idea for anything but the most basic introductions, questions and directions. Full histories etc need to be done in the patients' language...While Romance languages are similar to each other, they are in fact separate languages. Portuguese is not Spanish, nor is Italian Spanish. Words sound different, and can have different meanings. We have someone who consistently tries to speak to our Spanish-speaking patients in Italian. Communication is definitely compromised. They do not understand her - they look ahead and nod here and there, not understanding much more than if she was speaking in English. I suppose it allows for some level of communication, but use it with caution, and don't assume everything is getting through.
 

TMP-SMX

Senior Member
Moderator Emeritus
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2006
3,769
124
Status
Attending Physician
boulux said:
:thumbup:

Est-ce que tu parles bien ou juste un petit peu?
Je ne sais pas. J'ai pris le français pour cinq ans à l'école et deux courses à l'université. Je ne suis pas le mieux avec le français.

Je déteste les accents, parce qu'ils prennent trop de temps. :sleep:
 

Ema

Biti ili ne biti?
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2005
307
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Knowing a language is not useless! I speak Serbo-Croatian, and I have had a chance to help out docs with interpreting.So, as long as there is someone else that speaks the language its worth it.Ummm.. if you speak Spanish- a huge plus for you in US. :)
 

Ema

Biti ili ne biti?
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2005
307
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hej Sloveni, jošte živi
duh vaših dedova.
Dok za narod srce bije
njihovih sinova.

Živi, živi duh slovenski
živjeće vjekov'ma.
Zalud preti ponor pakla,
zalud vatra groma.

Nek se sada i nad nama
burom sve raznese.
Stena puca, dub se lama
zemlja nek se trese.

Mi stojimo postojano
kano klisurine.
Proklet bio izdajica
svoje domovine.
 

vtucci

Attending in Emergency Medicine
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2003
1,671
13
Houston
Status
Attending Physician
boulux said:
:thumbup:

Est-ce que tu parles bien ou juste un petit peu?
Hablo espanol pero yo comprendo este. No tengo fluencia. Es fantastico, no para estudiantes en el sur de los estadios unidos? Entendio su francias. :)
 
OP
durfen

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Keine Lust fuer Deutsch hier?
 

MaiPenRai

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2006
141
1
Status
Medical Student
Qan queshwata parlansayku? (Quechua, the Inca language), but I am not fluent. Qanri? Gap poot passa Thai prawa tom ngan ti mahawitayalai Payap (but it is not quite good enough to work in a Thai hospital). La unica indioma que puedo usar es el Espanol, y voy a usarlo mucho en el futuro. La problema es eso: Poot kinsa idiomas, but I mix them all up!
 

annamoo

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2006
72
0
Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria
Status
Pre-Medical
Yo Durfen,

i hab Lust fuer Deutsch, aber i wohn in Oesterreich, in Tirol, wo die fasch kein Deutsch reden, sondern Dialekt. i schreib auf Tirolerisch fuer di wiel es so lustig ausschaut, aber i kann Hochdeutsch auch.

Verstasch mi? schon hab i dedenkt.

And yes, they do say gedenkt here, not gedacht, and no I am not kidding, read what I just wrote out loud and make it sound like you're choking and that's how people here talk! I can now speak 2 languages: High German and farm hick mountain Tirolean dialect...

And German is def not useless, if you even wanted to do a program in Europe, you could go to Germany, Austria or Switz (Although you won't understand anyone in Austria or Switz unless you have been here for like a year already...) and do an internship or something. And my sis is doing all of med school in Heidelberg, and will be able to practice anywhere in the EU when she is done, speaks fluent German, so the question of what's useless is relative anyway.
 

Dr.Meow

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2006
3
0
Montreal
Status
Pre-Medical
durfen said:
A thread for those who learned a language in high school/college that is completely useless in medicine.

Me: German.

Wie geht's euch?

I figure all of my languages are potentially useful, especially if I`d like to do an elective or two in another country. Also, each additional language makes it easier to learn another.

Native fluency in English and French. (québecoise)

The fact that I am ntaive in both English and French made German easy, and the fact that I am native in French made Spanish very easy. Chinese is horribly difficult.

Many Spanish, German, and Chinese courses in my pocket.
 

Depakote

Pediatric Anesthesiologist
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2004
20,811
102
SOCMOB
Status
Attending Physician
I studied french in High School.

I used it on a medical mission to Haiti. French and Haitian Creole aren't that different.

It turns out I really suck at French.... but that made me pretty good at Haitian Creole....
 

TypeA

Hola peeps.
10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2006
3,112
0
here.
Status
I studied Latin, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Latin proved to be very helpful in my Med Term class...Spanish proved to be very successful in helping make a fool out of myself by forgetting everything, and ASL was great for eavesdropping.

I think ASL will be the most helpful to patients though. There need to be more signers for the deaf community.
 

Rafa

headbutts like zidane
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2006
2,343
5
the internets
dailywarnews.blogspot.com
Status
Pre-Medical
^ l00lzrrs!
 

braluk

SDN Surgerynator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
11,826
56
The Big Easy
Status
Medical Student
i am a native chinese and english speaker. Im pretty fluent in spanish, and have now gotten teh basics down in italian (italian and spanish are not so different, and leanring italian because my gf is italian :thumbup: )
 

AnotherDork

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2004
215
0
40
Massachusetts
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Law2Doc said:
actually latin is probably one of the most useful languages for medicine -- you can figure out what a whole lot of terms mean without looking them up. As far as practicing medicine, spanish is the most useful second language in the US.
Disagree completely. (And I usually agree with pretty much all of Law2Doc's posts.) I took Latin for 4 years, and it was good for allowing me to know what "Latissimus Dorsi" actually means, but not a day goes by where I don't wish I had learned Spanish instead.
 

braluk

SDN Surgerynator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
11,826
56
The Big Easy
Status
Medical Student
AnotherDork said:
Disagree completely. (And I usually agree with pretty much all of Law2Doc's posts.) I took Latin for 4 years, and it was good for allowing me to know what "Latissimus Dorsi" actually means, but not a day goes by where I don't wish I had learned Spanish instead.
Agree. i think the time spent learning latin is probably more useful learning another language like chinese or spanish. Most medical latin terms I've come across are easily memorized and probably doesnt require me to take a couple years of latin to do.
 

Rafa

headbutts like zidane
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2006
2,343
5
the internets
dailywarnews.blogspot.com
Status
Pre-Medical
After time spent browsing languages on wikipedia, I've come to the conclusion that with English, French, and Spanish, one can communicate with people in *every* country in North and South America with the exception of Brazil, where Portuguese is spoken. And with knowledge of Sp, Pr is only 25% as difficult to learn as it would be without. This will come in handy if you (like me) have interests in living or visiting counties beyond the US, but still within the western hemisphere. :)