And if you believe the USAF, who train all the bulk of our language analysts, they would tell you that folks have an easier time going form the language with genders and strong case structure to those which do not have them.
If you mean the DLI, I would argue that they train -speakers and understanders- of languages, not 'analysts' at all.
I have spoken to many military 'linguists' and finding a common starting point for them to understand that an actual 'linguist' is a totally different animal, is sometimes an impossible task.
Uhhh, analyst here means what you said. Speakers and understanders. Those who do intelligence analysis in the language they are able to show proficiency in. I watched a kid go from no Arabic or Mandarin within a few years to having enough regional and dialect fluency to enter the field as needed.
see to a Linguist of the 'I have a degree or degree in Linguisitics' variety...that is not analyzing the language itself, and thus is more akin to 'translation and cultural interpretation' in that this sort of thing is not analysing say the qualities of the language, how its formed, etc.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics
-that- is nothing like what an 'analyst' in the military sense does, which is 'read or listen, tell someone what it means including cultural knowledge'
vs a linguist would perhaps break down and study language in the following sub areas
Phonetics, the study of the physical properties of speech sound production and perception
Phonology, the study of sounds as abstract elements in the speaker's mind that distinguish meaning (phonemes)
Morphology, the study of morphemes, or the internal structures of words and how they can be modified
Syntax, the study of how words combine to form grammatical sentences
Semantics, the study of the meaning of words (lexical semantics) and fixed word combinations (phraseology), and how these combine to form the meanings of sentences
Pragmatics, the study of how utterances are used in communicative acts, and the role played by context and non-linguistic knowledge in the transmission of meaning
Discourse analysis, the analysis of language use in texts (spoken, written, or signed)
Stylistics, the study of linguistic factors (rhetoric, diction, stress) that place a discourse in context
Semiotics, the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis), indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.
Not saying it's better or worse or superior, merely that it is not the same thing at all.