What language did you guys take for your undergrad?

{:(

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I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
 

gdbaby

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I minored in Latin. Really helpful. :p
 

Nikki2002

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ha ha i didn't have to take any!
 

IDforMe

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{:( said:
I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
Spanish. I'm taking more now. But I don't think the language really matters. Take what you're interested in learning.
 
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It doesn't matter then that we are having a huge increase in the hispanic population?
 

Sooz

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{:( said:
I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
I took Spanish, hated it, don't know a bit of it, and am glad I'm done with it. :) And yes, I know that Spanish is supposed to be a fairly easy language to learn, I'm just not good with languages, instead put a Calc. problem in front of me any day of the week ;)

If you are debating between the two and are going to practice in the US, I would think Spanish would come into play more than Japanese. Also, if you have taken two years of Spanish in High School, I think that by reaffirming that knowledge with a course now would possibly give you a good foundation for a useable second language, as opposed to just a quarter of Japanese, which unless you continue taking it would probably not give you enough of the language to really be effective.
 

etudiante04

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I minored in French as an undergrad, after taking French throughout my high school years. What was I smoking?

While I don't regret learning French, I wish I had also learned Spanish in high school. I only had a brief introduction before continuing in French. I now learn Spanish from my friends and coworkers.
 

Slide

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I really don't see how any language has any other advantage over the other. You could debate that the Spanish-speaking population is growing. However, you could also say that the language you took is more applicable (ie, if you plan to practice in an area with a heavy Asian population, especially in California, it may be more advantageous to learn Chinese or Korean) to what you plan to do later in life. Med schools just want to see some well-roundness, from what I understand. If you would rather learn a lesser-spoken in the US because you like the culture or it is one of your root languages than a more-spoken language in the US, you should go for it. Right now I'm kicking myself in the ass because I learned French instead of learning Mandarin, a language I ought to be fluent in.
 

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I'm getting a degree in German. I've taken a semester of Spanish and hated it.....love Mexicans (some of the nicest people ever), but I hate the language.

I also took 4 years of French and 4 of Latin in high school.
 

kalenakai

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Hawaiian Language at Stanford. Go figure. Haha :D
 

Nikki2002

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kalenakai said:
Hawaiian Language at Stanford. Go figure. Haha :D
oh--that totally rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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{:( said:
It doesn't matter then that we are having a huge increase in the hispanic population?
Sure, Spanish would be useful in some situations. Really though, the only language I think admissions committees care about is english. That's why it's tested on the MCAT and many schools have english language/writing pre-req's. Any other language you know is just icing on the cake.
Also, part of applying to med school is being honest about who you are and what you've done and why. If you want to study Japanese, do so. Developing skills that interest you is way more impressive than trying to do everything you think med schools want to see. Stand out from the crowd-- be yourself.
 

Turkeyman

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Speaking of language, I have a totally spam post to make. What language is being spoken in this video? I can't stop laughing because of what happens...but I really want to get the jist of what is going on. Omgosh, I wake the neighbors up howling at this:
http://www.big-boys.com/articles/holditin2.html

Please enlighten me...and enjoy the video :O
Btw, it takes a little bit(1:30) for the laughs to start. So crazy...I know exactly how the host feels.
 

Doctormo24

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For Arts and Science major at my school, you have to take 2 semesters of a foreign language. I decided to take Spanish. I am currently in Spanish 1 and really do enjoy it. Its not a hard language to get a hold of.
 

popolus

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i taught i took english till i saw my verbal score :D
 

lord_jeebus

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I took Japanese and Spanish in undergrad and I don't think either influenced any med school's opinion of me.

I think UCLA prefers that you take a year of Spanish but I think that other schools do not care.

Spanish is probably more useful in the practice of medicine, but I've known several doctors in academia who have worked on projects with Japanese researchers and I imagine knowing some Japanese could have unexpected benefits in other areas of medicine as well.

I don't think that you should make the opinion of admission committees play a role in what language you choose to learn. Especially when they're unlikely to care.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Actually my German skills have proven far more useful than the limited Spanish that I know- that is I have had more times where I have needed to use them. I guess if you were in an area where every other person hable'd Espanol then things might be different.....
 
OP
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Turkeyman said:
Speaking of language, I have a totally spam post to make. What language is being spoken in this video? I can't stop laughing because of what happens...but I really want to get the jist of what is going on. Omgosh, I wake the neighbors up howling at this:
http://www.big-boys.com/articles/holditin2.html

Please enlighten me...and enjoy the video :O
Btw, it takes a little bit(1:30) for the laughs to start. So crazy...I know exactly how the host feels.
I am pretty sure its French, but I may be wrong. Thanks for all the advice. I have yet to come to any final decision, but I will consider what all of you said. I may even learn Croatian... the older generation of my family speaks it fluently.
 

mercaptovizadeh

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{:( said:
I am pretty sure its French, but I may be wrong. Thanks for all the advice. I have yet to come to any final decision, but I will consider what all of you said. I may even learn Croatian... the older generation of my family speaks it fluently.
Take whatever you like. Learning any one language will help you learn other (especially related) languages. I am currently learning ancient Greek, which most would dismiss as totally useless. On the contrary, I think it will be incredibly useful, because:

A.) It is the hardest language I have encountered so far (and I have encountered 4 Indo-European languages (each from a separate family). Knowing it will help me learn other, much easier languages (such as Spanish), in the future.

B.) A lot of literature was written in it. The work of the Greek philosophers, Greek plays, Homer's epics, histories, etc.

C.) The New Testament was written in Greek, so I could get a better understanding of the Bible.

D.) There are so many words in English that have Greek origins and it is just fun to realize this and to learn the original word.

In short, what I'm saying is you should choose to learn the language that will satisfy your needs and goals, not what the medical schools might want. If you want to work with inner city populations or are interested in international medicine, Spanish is more useful. If you like Japanese, might want to work with Japanese people in Japan or with Asian populations in the US, or are just plain fascinated with the language, go ahead and do that.

Also, once you know Japanese, you will basically understand the grammar of Korean (should you want to learn it, too), although the lexicon is entirely different.

PS: Fyi, the language is definitely not French. It's Germanic, and I'm betting it's Scandinavian at that. I'm guessing Danish or Norweigian.
 

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i personally am taking spanish right now, and I am really enjoying it. Its tough but I enjoy recognizing new words when i hear a spanish song or watch spanish tv, plus its a good foundation for italian which I hope to learn in the future. Not to mention, my goal is too read Don Quixote in Spanish one day.

for those applying think of the process as the windmills, hopefully one day it really will disappear for you and you can stop attacking like the good Don.

ok i hope one person, just one, gets my joke
 

byeh2004

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GERMAN!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :love: :love:

Ich bin gut ins bett denn Ich habe ein langer stock.
 

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Even though I had my language requirement covered from high school spanish credit, I ended up taking 4 semesters of Arabic which was pretty fun.
 

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To the OP-

I'm partially biased because I was a linguistics major and I also subscribe to the philosophy that undergrad is a time to explore and have fun with your studies. Take things you won't be able to take later so then you won't regret it later. (I REALLY regret not taking Uzbek or Tibetan) But I think that if you really need to put it into perspective for admissions, having Japanese under your belt will make you stand out. Use it to your advantage-- a talking point for interviews. Also, everyone knows that Japanese is intensely difficult, partly because it requires you to understand subtle nuances of the culture. This exposure to a different culture is a big plus when it comes to admissions!!

I took Japanese in college and also French, and now after graduation i'm satisfying my need for a more exotic language by taking Arabic!

Gambatte!
 

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I took Spanish, but it was easy for me because I already speak fluent Portuguese and the two languages are quite similar. So those were basically easy-A classes for me. Spanish would also be more useful since I live in Florida, and there's a huge hispanic population here (might as well call Miami "Little Havana").

If you've already had exposure to Japanese, then it will be easier for you to learn. Go with what interests you, that way you'll be motivated to go through the trouble of learning the language and do the coursework to get a good grade. You don't want a foreign language to be the downfall of your GPA...you have plenty of intense classes ahead of you (UGH...biochemistry...).
 

redclover

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I was in your exact same position. I signed up for Japanese but dropped it in favor of Spanish, not only because it is more useful in medicine and I have more Spanish background (2 yrs in HS like you), but because my instructor wouldn't let me audit my Japanese course (I'd miss too many classes due to interview travel and senioritis, and in language that's a big deal). On the other hand I figured one semester (that's all I'd be able to fit in) of Japanese wouldn't be much use and quickly forgotten by the time I visited Japan, so maybe it'll be more useful for you since you plan to take three semesters. I don't think the spoken part is very difficult, so you can always try learning it on your own. I picked up a lot just by watching anime.
 

silas2642

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{:( said:
I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
Knock it off. Don't worry about what language will better on your application because no one (including the adcoms) cares. If Japanese turns you on more than Spanish, than take it. Take the classes that interest you and stop worrying about what admissions committees are going to think about your application.
 

AznDoc

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thankfully the 6 years of french between middle school and high school automatically fulfilled my 2 semester language req. yeah baby!
 

freshh.

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I took three years of Spanish in high school and was apart of National Spanish Honor Society for all four years, so when it came time for me to choose a language it was a no brainer. Spanish isn't that hard, and from what exposure I've had to French and German I know I made the right choice.
 

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byeh2004 said:
GERMAN!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :love: :love:

Ich bin gut ins bett denn Ich habe ein langer stock.
Your grammar's terrible, but we get the picture. :laugh: :laugh:
 

Pretty POHA

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I am fluent in German-- but living in Denver, I've never really used it. I am learning to speak Spanish just speaking with the people I work with (it gets lonely being the only English speaker!); I'm glad I spent the time learning German-- because once you've learned one foreign language, I've found it's much easier to pick up the others.

As far as which one's better-- I doubt it matters. I would just hope that you don't lie about being fluent in something, just in case the person who interviews with you starts speaking in that language and you're supposed follow. That'd be BAAAD.
 

little_late_MD

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I took 2 years of spanish, but don't tell my undergrad

that I already spoke it. Easy As rock!
 

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If you read the comments on the bigboys site, you could tell that it was Dutch, and it was on a sketch comedy show in Belgium. still funny though
 

FictionalGirl

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I guess I'm the odd one out here, I took two years of sign language. :D
I loved it. I even got to use it a few times at the children's hospital where I volunteer
 

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{:( said:
I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
Take whatever language you have a greater interest in studying because you will not only find ways to use it later on (assuming you are committed to learning it for the right reasons) but also consider that your performance in classes that you have an active interest for tends to be better. I took German before switching to Spanish and Chinese. Chinese (like Japanese) is a very difficult language to learn, but I enjoy it immensely and don't mind spending a few hours every night to memorize characters and study grammar. One wouldn't think many opportunities to use Chinese would exist in Kansas, certainly not for a biochemistry major/ pre-med but they do exist. Just search them out.

Good luck with whatever you decide, and remember, if you choose to stick with Japanese, there isn't anything preventing you from picking up a medical Spanish book later on, (aside from your own unwillingness to do so...) :thumbup:
 

tigress

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I took Spanish from 3rd grade through high school, so by the time I finished high school I could read it fluently and hold my own in conversation. Spanish lit in my senior year of high school was awesome. And yeah, Don Quixote really is good in the original :) I have this thing against translations; not so much of novels, but defnitely of poetry. I love Spanish poetry but I refuse to read it in translation.

Unfortunately I haven't used my Spanish much since graduating from high school, so I've forgotten it mostly. I think I could pick it back up pretty quickly. I remember at some point in middle school I transitioned over to being able to read/speak Spanish without having to translate to English in my head, and that was a great feeling.

In college I took Hebrew. I wanted to take upper level Spanish lit classes but they wouldn't fit in my schedule :( (this is one of the big problems with going to a tiny college!)
 

the alchemist

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to the OP, take whatever language interests u. the adcoms r looking 4 a well-rounded person so just b urself and not who u think that they want u 2 b. but if u think that spanish might b more helpful 2 u, that's not a bad reason either. i took 2 yrs of latin and 3 yrs of french in high school and 1 yr of korean in college and am now finishing off my 3rd semester of spanish for medical professionals. they do offer similar types of medical spanish classes at most med schools and u could always take it then if u think it'll b helpful. but in terms of helping u get into a med school, i think any language will do so follow ur heart.
 

Saluki

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Arabic and Latin.... Maybe UMich will like the Arabic... I don't know who would care about the Latin...
 

PurpleHaze

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I took 4 years of Latin and 2 years of Japanese in High School, it was required for us to graduate (4 years of one language and 2 of another). Needless to say, I didn't need to take a language in college.
 

45408

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I took three semesters of Spanish (and two years in HS).
 

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Yes, his grammar is terrible. But it's funny no matter how butchered the grammar is.....
 

Turkeyman

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Noway said:
If you read the comments on the bigboys site, you could tell that it was Dutch, and it was on a sketch comedy show in Belgium. still funny though
Ohhh, you know...for some reason I thought any comments on the video would appear below the video itself, and grow as people added more comments. At least that's how I remember the site being when I had visited some time ago...I didn't think I'd have to push View Comments. Whoops! Stupid.
 

PlasticMan

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Spanish is very good to know. Just use it as much as you can in the real world; you won't learn as much of the slang and common talk in classes that you hear on the street. Living in NYC metro area, I use regularly. There's one thing I've been thinking about though, that I've wanted to bring up and see what others think. People are always talking about how important it will to know Spanish as we have an increasing Hispanic population. However, is it possible that it's importance could actually decrease? :eek: How, you ask? From what I see the only hispanics that don't know english are the actual immigrants themselves. Right now we have a huge amount of first generation immigrants here, so it's very important to be able to communicate with them; however as we have less immigration and more 2nd and 3rd generation hispanics born here, spanish importance could decrease, as from my experience the ones that come here young or are born here almost always can speak english and sometimes prefer it even among their bilingual friends! And I think they are developing (or have already) television networks aimed at Latino audiences but all in english. The trend is starting to show that younger latinos prefer english. Just wanted to throw this out there and see if any others are noticing this as well.
 

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Praetorian said:
I'm getting a degree in German. I've taken a semester of Spanish and hated it.....love Mexicans (some of the nicest people ever), but I hate the language.

I also took 4 years of French and 4 of Latin in high school.

Wow...what a generalization...but still a nice one! :)
 

riceman04

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PlasticMan said:
Spanish is very good to know. Just use it as much as you can in the real world; you won't learn as much of the slang and common talk in classes that you hear on the street. Living in NYC metro area, I use regularly. There's one thing I've been thinking about though, that I've wanted to bring up and see what others think. People are always talking about how important it will to know Spanish as we have an increasing Hispanic population. However, is it possible that it's importance could actually decrease? :eek: How, you ask? From what I see the only hispanics that don't know english are the actual immigrants themselves. Right now we have a huge amount of first generation immigrants here, so it's very important to be able to communicate with them; however as we have less immigration and more 2nd and 3rd generation hispanics born here, spanish importance could decrease, as from my experience the ones that come here young or are born here almost always can speak english and sometimes prefer it even among their bilingual friends! And I think they are developing (or have already) television networks aimed at Latino audiences but all in english. The trend is starting to show that younger latinos prefer english. Just wanted to throw this out there and see if any others are noticing this as well.
That's assuming that fewer people will immigrate over here after that first wave you speak of...If anything I think it will increase.
 

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My undergrad degree of biology does not require that I take a foreign language. Will med schools dislike the fact that I dont have any foreign language experience in college?
 

robotsonic

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In college you should take whatever you want. I took German.

Now that I am a med student in New York City (and plan on staying here) I am learning medical Spanish. It isn't that difficult, and there are tons of medical spanish books (just check barnes and noble and you will see what I mean). I will probably never be fluent, but I will be able to get basic medical history and symptom info from patients. Yes, it would be nice if I knew more and didn't have to struggle so much, but I don't regret not taking Spanish in college. The patients are usually just grateful that I am trying, and will forgive my awful grammar. And I try to practice on as many patients as possible now.
 

omggggggggg

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{:( said:
I am taking first quarter Japanese right now, but I am now thinking that might be a mistake for medical school admission. Should I take Spanish instead? Does it matter? I was thinking about taking an intense Spanish language class in South America next summer to help me remember my Spanish (took it first two years of high school) and I think it would look interesting on an application. This is my first time taking Japanese, but I stayed in Japan with some family friends for 6 weeks and really enjoyed learning the language and I like their culture. All I have time for is one language. I like both languages, so it comes down to this... Will Spanish look better on my application than Japanese?
My recommendation is to just go with whatever interests you most - don't worry so much about what "looks good" on an application. If you think Spanish will be better for you as a doctor, then sure, take that instead of Japanese; however, if your decision to take Spanish over Japanese would simply be for the sake of making your med school school applications look better, then it's really not worth it, in my opinion. Follow your passions. In the end, it's your enthusiasm and your commitment to the things you've done that make you a more interesting applicant and, more importantly, a more interesting human being.

I took a semester of intermediate Chinese reading and writing for fluent speakers last year, and I'm currently doing a double major with French, which I took all through middle school and high school. Though I know that Spanish would be a better language to know as a doctor in the United States (and I fully intend to take Spanish language courses when I get the chance - probably senior year), I've always enjoyed learning French and therefore have stuck with it. Currently, I am spending a semester abroad in Paris, and it has been one of the best experiences in my life. I don't regret it one bit.
 

BooMed

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I don't think it really matters unless you major or at least minor in a language. I have a double major and graduated with honors in Spanish, and it has definitely helped me so far. I've been offered numerous jobs translating in healthcare settings, was able to take a special Spanish class just for healthcare workers, and am currently teaching med students basic Spanish.

But if you're just going to take a couple of years to fulfill a requirement, you aren't going to end up fluent anyway, so I don't think it will help or hurt you.
 

crzynikki

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To the OP-

In high school I took Japanese and Spanish, and in undergrad I decided to focus on Japanese (since I have a pretty sturdy grasp of Spanish already). It's a language and culture I've been super-interested in and love studying it. Anyways, if you are really interested in it, you should definitely study it! Since it is something I'm enthusiastic about I was able to speak confidently and in an animated way about it at my interviews (and it came up at ALL my interviews - people were impressed!). It definitely will NOT hurt you. Do what you interests you- it will show people the real you, and it will only help to highlight something unique about you!

Good luck!

Nicole