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Old 07-01-2013, 11:01 AM
 
4,668 posts, read 6,115,072 times
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Originally Posted by JL View Post
this was interesting...



20 girls and 1 guy...The kid is a genius.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,830,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compSciGuy View Post
Same reason most Americans can't do math even though they have years of education in the subject.
Many people from the US can barely speak English, let alone be able to write it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
801 posts, read 1,948,682 times
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Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Many people from the US can barely speak English, let alone be able to write it.
Well, if they can survive and thrive here in the USA without acquiring those skills, or seeing any benefit in doing so, ... Then all I can say is more power to them. However, in my personal circumstances, I find having skills (communications included) is beneficial to having more options in life.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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I'm thinking when China becomes more powerful, more foreigners will live and work in China.
Then the topic would be "Why Americans suck at Chinese", "Why Caucasians have weak language capability"...
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,851,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
I'm thinking when China becomes more powerful, more foreigners will live and work in China.
Then the topic would be "Why Americans suck at Chinese", "Why Caucasians have weak language capability"...
Caucasians specifically Europeans do not have weak language capability. Most Europeans are multilinguals, imagine they learn many foreign languages in school. Some of them can speak 4-6 foreign languages. My husband can speak French, Spanish and English aside from his native language and he can sometimes understsnd Italian. But Chinese is different. It seems like a very difficult language. I think it will take a long long long time before Chinese becomes a global language like English. I also think that more and more upper class Chinese will be able to learn English that there will be no need for foreigners to learn Chinese any more.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,146 posts, read 23,668,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
I'm thinking when China becomes more powerful, more foreigners will live and work in China.
Then the topic would be "Why Americans suck at Chinese", "Why Caucasians have weak language capability"...
The topic is a lot more restrictive than that--it was about why people have difficulty speaking a language even after years of learning the subject and not why expats working in another country can't speak the native language well. These are two very different things. In reference to the first scenario, the scenario shown in this topic, I think it's highly unlikely that there will be years of mandatory Mandarin education in the US for everyone as it's likely that second language acquisition will remain a selection of whatever choices the local school district offers and with Spanish continuing to be the most popular foreign language learned for a long while to come (given its incredible usefulness domestically, with our immediate neighbors, and with a variety of markets in the Americas and in Spain). Unfortunately second language education is usually for a fairly short number of years in the US, and in a similar situation for Japanese and Korean speakers of English, there is usually limited necessity to use and improve that knowledge.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 07-02-2013 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,146 posts, read 23,668,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
Caucasians specifically Europeans do not have weak language capability. Most Europeans are multilinguals, imagine they learn many foreign languages in school. Some of them can speak 4-6 foreign languages. My husband can speak French, Spanish and English aside from his native language and he can sometimes understsnd Italian. But Chinese is different. It seems like a very difficult language. I think it will take a long long long time before Chinese becomes a global language like English. I also think that more and more upper class Chinese will be able to learn English that there will be no need for foreigners to learn Chinese any more.
Well, most of the European languages are fairly closely related and share a lot of features. You can go way out there and learn something like Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian or Basque and you'll see where things get difficult.

Mandarin probably will become the most useful language based in East/Southeast Asia though--there is a certain special "in" from speaking the language of your trade partners and not everyone you'll want to do business with or simply get to know will be fluent in English. In addition to that, it's the only East Asian/Southeast Asian language that has the backing of a major well-funded program for spreading the language (the Confucius Institute) which is in line with Instituto Cervantes, Alliance Francaise, or the Goethe-Institut
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Khulna
10 posts, read 8,087 times
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From my point of view I can say that, They are dependent on themselves in all sectors. THey don't depend on others(western). It may be the reason. They take English carelessly.....
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,169,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
I'm thinking when China becomes more powerful, more foreigners will live and work in China.
Then the topic would be "Why Americans suck at Chinese", "Why Caucasians have weak language capability"...
That's already occurring in Japan. Many foreigners come here to Japan and they generally need to study Japanese. Surprisingly, many are actually quite good.

However, when I was in Korea, many foreigners didn't know any Korean, and had little intention to.

I'm not sure how expats are doing in China. But, I've heard that very few foreigners bother at all with Cantonese. They just stick with English there. Seems like Beijing attracts quite a few interested in Mandarin though. I get the impression that Shanghai attracts more 'uninterested in learning Chinese' types, as it's not considered as 'pure' as Beijing dialect.

But, throughout all of this, I'd definitely say there are tons and tons of Americans and Europeans throughout Asia, who aren't learning much Thai, Chinese, Korean, Khmer, or wherever it is in Asia that they've been living in for decades already.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,169,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
Caucasians specifically Europeans do not have weak language capability. Most Europeans are multilinguals, imagine they learn many foreign languages in school. Some of them can speak 4-6 foreign languages. My husband can speak French, Spanish and English aside from his native language and he can sometimes understsnd Italian. But Chinese is different.
Definitely different.

Actually I learned a little bit of Portuguese while living in Brazil, and pretty much everything I learned in Portuguese, I quickly transferred right into Spanish.

Than, while watching some Italian World Cup, I realized that by just being very familiar with basic Portuguese and basic Spanish, I was very surprised that I could pick up some Italian.

In short, I think it would be quite shocking if there was a European who knew a Latin language, and was completely unable to pick up a second Latin language. They are just way too similar, to not pick up from each other.

But, Asian languages, really have no shared basis...you really have to study every detail of it, from ground zero.
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