View Full Version : Lingusitics

03-14-10, 06:59 AM
Greetings Marines,

I did a perusal of this site to try to find some of the information I was looking for, but was unable to really get my questions answered.

I will soon do a lat-move, probably to 2674 or 2676. Well, let me put it this way. I wish to be a linguist, and would prefer to learn German at the DLI, but I understand that whatever the Marine Corps needs of me is what I will learn.

My question is this: I have spent quite a bit of time at the DLI website as well as here, and have found that sometimes Marines get to put in a wish list of top three languages they wish to study, and that sometimes prior experience in a language is taken into consideration. I have no experience in German, but am willing to take up Rosetta Stone for about six months or so to get familiar with the basics.

What I wish to know is if I learn the basics of German, and can demonstrate a bit of competency in the language, how much consideration will be given to me in determining my language? I understand that the language we get is also based partially on when classes are to start.

I guess what I'm really asking is how likely am I to get assigned the language of my choice, given some basic understanding of the language? Also, is German considered a Western European language (2674) or an Eastern European language (2676)?

Also, I took the DLAB before boot camp (over two years ago), and passed, although barely, with a 104. Should I need to re-take it since it has been so long?

Thank you for you time in reading my post, Marines.

03-14-10, 08:37 AM
That's a first, never actually seen someone asking about German before. I'd say you've got about as much chance of getting that as your language with prior language skills as you do without it, which is to say, not very likely either way. Pretty sure you do get to put in a wishlist though. Throw it on there, it can't hurt.

You should be good with your current DLAB, but of course you could take it again if you want to raise the score.

03-14-10, 12:36 PM
Well, for the record I go to DLI and know a couple of Marines that speak fluent German. One is in Pashto and one is in Arabic. German is not a language enlisted Marines learn at the DLI that I have heard of... although I know in reenlistment contracts you can sometimes pick your language as an incentive.. I'm not sure if German is on that list though. Best of luck.

Also, everyone puts in a wishlist... it means not a whole lot. I put in 4 choices of variety and got none of them.

03-14-10, 08:17 PM
Don't get your hopes up for getting German, that's a long shot. Expect to get some sort of Arabic language or Korean (not sure if Korean has the same numbers it used to). As for Rosetta Stone, you can brush up which ever language you want, but I think your time is better spent just not worry about language study and the whatnot cause you will have plenty of time to be stressed and worried about that when you start your language course and plus you don't know what language you will get yet. It's just hit-or-miss about whether people get a wishlist or not, and stuff of that nature.

Have you talked to your CRS about getting something guaranteed in writing? If you are reenlisting in FTAP then you have a greater ability to bargain for what you want, but not always everything.

03-14-10, 11:31 PM
Thanks for the responses gents. I figured German would be a pretty far-off possibility. Not sure what provoked my desire to learn German, to be honest, except that I like how the language sounds and I kinda want to live over in Germany after I EAS, whenever that might be.

Haven't talked to my CRS yet, as I'm currently deployed to Korea. Have already decided that will be the first thing I will do when I get back to Oki. I know this is a question for the CRS, but I'm two years out from my EAS date - when is the earliest I can put in for a re-enlistment?

Is Pashto a Cat3 language or a Cat4 language? Not sure I could handle a Cat4 language, to be honest with you. I read that they upped the DLAB score requirements for the language categories, so 100 is the minimum for a Cat1 language.

Thanks again for the help.

03-14-10, 11:34 PM
Pashto was recently moved from a 43 week course to a 64 week course. So that would put it along with the cat 4 languages. They don't really take DLAB into huge account. If you get over 100 you could get any language. I know people in Arabic with 102 or 103.

03-14-10, 11:41 PM
You need a 100 on the DLAB as a Marine. Cat 4 is the easiest CAT. Do a little more research.

You will not get german. Your second time through DLI you could take it though.

(I am a DLI grad from 2008)

If you have any more questions please feel free to PM me, or someone like Moss.

03-14-10, 11:44 PM
I've done as much research as my intermittent internet connection will allow. My apologies, I just mixed up my language categories. Thanks for the help everyone, I'll be PMing some of you soon.

03-15-10, 02:41 AM
First, language difficulty is rated from Cat I to Cat IV, easiest to hardest (sorta). Like what was said before, DLAB score does not matter. I've known DLAB waivers that did well and saw people that did exceptionally well on the DLAB get rolled back in class because they couldn't pick it up fast enough.

You should be able to put in for your reenlistment a year from your EAS, but they have been letting people put in for reenlistment earlier then that. Aside from German, it would be smart to think about which high demand language you would want to learn and then try to use that as a bargaining chip when you decide to go for it. The CRS will have to talk with the 2600 monitor and if he tells him he's tells him he has a Marine that wants to go learn Phasto the monitor might be more inclined to put something in writing, and at least that way you don't get stuck with something you don't want. But this all depends on your CRS, the monitor, and how outstanding of a Marine you are because that effects how hard your CRS and others will work for you.

By the way, where are you at in Korea?

03-15-10, 06:07 AM

That's what I thought, about the language categories. Wasn't positive, so I didn't wanna argue with jackson07. Either way, the point and question about Pashto was the same.

Your tip about using it as a bargaining chip makes sense. I know Korean, Pashto, Farsi, Arabic, and maybe even Russian are in pretty high demand. What are some others that I might have a decent shot of choosing? And which is more widely spoken, Pashto or Farsi? I believe both are Afghan dialects, right?

03-15-10, 08:30 AM
I'm an instructor at Goodfellow and the big languages coming through now are Arabic (still the overwhelming majority), Korean, Spanish and then there are ones and twos that come through in Pashto (numbers are picking up), Farsi, Russian, and Chinese. So those are the ones you have a best shot of gettin into.

Pashto is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Farsi, in one form or another (Farsi, Dari, Tajiki) is mostly spoken in Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan.

03-15-10, 09:27 AM
Everything that I have read in these threads, and on the DLI website, so far, leads me to think that Farsi (other than Arabic, of course) is one of the more widely spoken languages in the middle east right now. It seems like Iran is going to be on the radar for years to come, while Afghanistan could end sooner than expected, with President Obama in office.

It seems like, strategically, Farsi would be the best choice right now. Maybe I'm wrong about that?

03-15-10, 09:30 AM
The good thing about learning Farsi now is that they've been putting the Farsi linguists through a Dari conversion course. This way they can operate in Afghanistan as well as Iran, if needed.

03-21-10, 08:58 AM
This is all good info guys, thanks for the help. Since I've been talking to a few Marines on this site, as well as a few other contacts from elsewhere that I've been emailing, I am leaning more towards Farsi as my language, rather than German. I still like the idea of learning German, but at the same time I know that I probably serve a better chance of actually using my language while in the Corps if I pick Farsi. Besides, there isn't even a very good chance that I'll get to learn German.