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Posts: 1554/2050
Donated $50.00
(24-Aug-2006 at 22:57)


English - the only language worth learning ?

Start with a link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5281126.stm

The story is, in this country (the UK) the number of children learning foreign languages is in 'freefall' - has been for a while, apparently.

Is this a bad thing ? To me I can't see why not. English is the dominate language used in the world. Seems to be especially so in business. I work for a big multinational and have worked on contracts with global companies. At the moment I work on a contract my company has with a multinational bank. That bank is the national bank of another nation, that nation does not have English as their nations language. Yet although we perform a serious & major function - all communications are in English. No attempt is ever made to speak in the native tongue of the Bank's nation - or in any language from our global customers except English.

I can see a need to perhaps learn Chinese in the future and some UK schools are teaching this. However, is there a good argument still to learn French or Italian ? This is not to say that the teaching of foreign languages could not be replaced with something like 'world history' or some other multinational subject (e.g. current world events) to show that there is more than just Great Britain, there is a world - but they all learn to speak English for you.

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#1  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Grashnak Add Grashnak to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(24-Aug-2006 at 23:27)


Knowing only english is okay if you work in one of English speaking countries or work for big multinational companies where you are expected to know english.

Besides Croatian I speak English, German and I can handle Italian. I was trying to learn Spanish, but I dropped that down because of lack of time. I can safely tell that there are loads of people who don't speak English. The job I have now requires of me to have contact with people, and being that there are quite a lot of foreigners around here right now I can see it. And the ones who are speaking English are doing it so very badly. When an Englishman comes along I feel like it's my lucky day.

As for me, I like studying languages, and will probably continue to do so

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#2  
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(24-Aug-2006 at 23:34)


Eh well, we arent that lucky in the US. To get anything more than your basic high school diploma you need 3 or 4 years of a foreign language. Of course today my AP English teacher got a 6 foot pull down overhead projector screen thrown at her for saying she thinks you should only need to speak english in the US. Eventually I think everyone will know english, it may take a century or two but eventually it will happen. But until then I can see a problem with thinking english is the only thing needed.

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#3  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 00:26)


As it stands learning a second (or third or fourth...) language is useful given that in different parts of the world, different languages are spoken and not everyone speaks English. I myself would like to learn German or Spanish.

But the governments of the world should make a concerted effort to have their populations speak one language. We can pick English, Cantonese, Hindi, Spanish - just make sure everyone speaks that one language and get rid of this translator nonsense. The more languages that die, the better in my opinion.
#4  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 00:32)


I think multilingual is a gift. I speak, read and write quite good english, poor(ish) swedish. And my of course my native tongue: Finnish.

I studied 2 years russian ( I still can read, write and speak some, but understanding sucks ), And due anime fixation I have learned to speak some japanese.

Due learning all languanges, I also learned about cultures. For native english talker, I do see motivation problem, but if we're realistic, mandarin chinese is still most spoken language on earth.

Native english talkers, in my opinions should learn another languange. Spanish, French, Germany or Chinese... Why? Languange studies are good brain aerobics and also, it broadens ones view. When you learn new languange, you will also learn about new culture.

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#5  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 01:06)


Its a tough one. They are easier to learn whilst young, and yet rather pointless to teach to a young person. I was taught french in school, we had no option. I failed it miserable because... I never plan to speak french. Languages are useful if

a) You enjoy learning about other cultures
b) You plan to work in a multinational company or another job that requires multiple languages.

Of course, when you 5-11... you dont know this.

Also, learning French, Italian.. its pointless because they really only are useful for tourism. Multinational companies based in countries with those languages all speak in English anyway.

If any languages are to be taught at school compulsively, it should be Japanese, because its the only big business country where English isnt prodominately spoken by the masses.
Any other language choices should be an option.

I know it sounds harsh and biggoted, but English is the most spoken language over the world (excluded Mandarin, because its only the most spoken because China is so huge. How many countries actually have it as their main language.)

The biggest business are all based in the USA, UK and Japan. That means English and Japanese are really the only languages worth learning

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#6  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 04:21)


Just like art, gym and other "unessential" courses that are still required I think that it's important for the development of the person. However the current system in the US is absolutely abysmal since you don't learn to speak the language, just the grammar. After five years of French I could read and write it but my comprehension and speaking was terrible. It's also done at an age where our ability to learn and speak other languages has significantly degraded. There is a certain span of years when we are quite young where our ability to comprehend, speak and differentiate languages is extremely keen, but we don't begin learning languages here until ten or so years after that time period.

Also, just as a kind of side note here as far as "aptitude" towards language is concerned. Yes, some people are more naturally keen at it, however, most anyone who's raised bi or more-lingual will always have a much greater ability to then pick up more languages later on.

Practically, I think spanish is probably the most important secondary language to have. While Chinese is technically the largest group, unless you're travelling to China it's unimportant.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
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#7  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 06:07)
Actually, if you want your children to be abel to handle teh world in 10-20 years time, you oughta make them learn Chinese. That language is expanding REALLY fast. China's economy is just amazing. Right now, the HQ of many multinational companies are moving to China. In 20 years time, Chinese will become a very very important language.
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(25-Aug-2006 at 08:09)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Kawee:
Actually, if you want your children to be abel to handle teh world in 10-20 years time, you oughta make them learn Chinese. That language is expanding REALLY fast. China's economy is just amazing. Right now, the HQ of many multinational companies are moving to China. In 20 years time, Chinese will become a very very important language.
However most Chinese speakers who've been privvy to a moderate or better education have also learned english thus making the point mute if you already speak that.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
-Soren Kierkegaard
"Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know."
- Lao Tzu
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#9  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 08:54)


I think English is definitely the language most worth learning in the world.

Whether the French like it or not English is the trade language of the world (I would use the latin term that everyone usually uses in sentences like this, but some mod would probably get anal at me).

I think rather than everyone suddenly having to learn chinese you will find that chinese businessmen will rather start learning english. After all, pretty much all of the experienced high flying types speak it already.

Certainly, learn other languages. Learn about the cultures. The world would become a rather bland place if everyone spoke english all the time.

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#10  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 09:38)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Grashnak:
I can see a need to perhaps learn Chinese in the future and some UK schools are teaching this. However, is there a good argument still to learn French or Italian ? This is not to say that the teaching of foreign languages could not be replaced with something like 'world history' or some other multinational subject (e.g. current world events) to show that there is more than just Great Britain, there is a world - but they all learn to speak English for you.
Sounds like a dictatorship
Seriously, a language is one of the things that makes a nation. Imagine you lose your last name. Only private names from now on. That would be devestating!
English is a very interesting language, but so are all the other languages, and I believe that the languages which will survive the global evolution of humanity will still be learnt, as should be.

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(25-Aug-2006 at 10:11)


Quote:
Is this a bad thing ? To me I can't see why not.
Well if you are only interested in buisness yes you could get by with only english.But foregin languages can teach us a lot.You can better understand the culture and the very ideas of people in a different language.Not to mention that some things simply cannot be translated accuratly

And French still makes a very good impression with the ladies

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views

Last edited by DHoffryn, 25-Aug-2006 at 10:12.
#12  
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(Posted as Arbulus)
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(25-Aug-2006 at 13:09)
I'd say the best languages to know, are English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Portugese. This should allow you to pretty much speak to anyone of the planet

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#13  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 13:21)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Arbulus:
I'd say the best languages to know, are English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Portugese. This should allow you to pretty much speak to anyone of the planet
You forgot German.It's at least as useful as Japanese

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
#14  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 14:00)


As a native English speaker, I am a little biased. But that said, I like the idea of one global language whichever one that may be. English, with its wide spread international usage and written and linguistic flexibility is a perfect language to serve in that role.

Furthermore, only Chinese and Hindu come close in the number of speakers. 1.9 Billion can understand English, 800 million speak mandarin chinese, and another 800 million speak Hindi. Plus most computer technology is designed around english or romanic symbols. So English definately is a great choice as a base for global language.

Now that doesn't mean you have to eliminate the native language (or foreign languages in English speaking countries) because learning languages in and of itself can be beneficial to brain development. However, I am sure that most people would agree that having some sort of "global common" language has a wide range of benefits, reduction of translating costs written and oral, more room on packaging/less wasted paper since currently instructions are written in at least 4 languages, less costly miscommunications due to issues of translation, ability to travel anywhere and be able to function effectively.

If I didn't already know english I would be learning it as fast as I could.
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(25-Aug-2006 at 15:03)


In the dark ages it was latin. Then french. Then german. Now english. Sorry, but english wont be the most used international language forever. It only is because of the influence from the British Empire and the United States, when that declines, so will the use of english.

To you who think having only one language on the globe: do you even know what a language is, and how they work? A language isn't static, neither is it the same for every person speaking it. A language is used to describe and communicate your way of life. It is used differently by people of different ages and of different social groups, because they change it to best fit their own way of life. As long as people live in different ways, their language will change, and there wont be that one language anymore.
#16  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 15:20)


I can't imagine what it would be like to only speak 1 language. I speak Dutch of course, English, German, quite a bit of French and very little bits of some other languages.

I know the learning these languages has enriched my life. It isn't just about wether you can use it and how much you can use it. You have to realise that no language is perfect and by knowing more, you get to understand more about language and get better at communicating as a whole.

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#17  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 20:52)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Zelun:
I think English is definitely the language most worth learning in the world.

Whether the French like it or not English is the trade language of the world (I would use the latin term that everyone usually uses in sentences like this, but some mod would probably get anal at me).

I think rather than everyone suddenly having to learn chinese you will find that chinese businessmen will rather start learning english. After all, pretty much all of the experienced high flying types speak it already.

Certainly, learn other languages. Learn about the cultures. The world would become a rather bland place if everyone spoke english all the time.
exactly... i mean, exactly
#18  
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(Posted as Condemned)
Posts: 946/1441
(25-Aug-2006 at 21:22)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Tobleronex:
In the dark ages it was latin. Then french. Then german. Now english. Sorry, but english wont be the most used international language forever. It only is because of the influence from the British Empire and the United States, when that declines, so will the use of english.
.

What does it matter? we'll all probably be long dead by then.

I heard that about 1 language dies out every month.

How depressing...

This too will pass
#19  
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(25-Aug-2006 at 21:33)


Re: English - the only language worth learning ?

Originally Posted by Condemned:
What does it matter? we'll all probably be long dead by then.

I heard that about 1 language dies out every month.

How depressing...
You forget that new ones get born by about the same rate

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
#20  
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