U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,475 posts, read 7,294,351 times
Reputation: 2217

Advertisements

I think French AND Spanish should be official third and second official languages in the U.S. with English being first of course.


IMO, our schools need to do a better job of teaching these languages!
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,706,903 times
Reputation: 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
I think French AND Spanish should be official third and second official languages in the U.S. with English being first of course.


IMO, our schools need to do a better job of teaching these languages!
The ONLY reason a country has second languages is because there is a large part of said nation that speaks it, so if we don't need it, we won't do it. Why? Do you know what having a second language means? It means every government document, statement, everything the government does, must be in every official language, that sounds like a waste of money to me, and what would adding it as an official language do to our learning of it? News flash, absolutely nothing.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:29 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,056,237 times
Reputation: 966
It should be an OPTION!!! French or Spanish. Why Spanish is a no-brainer. However, the OP has a point about French. French is widely spoken...maybe not as a first language but just look at the map, it is widely spoken across the world. If you are interested in Canada, Europe, South Pacific, Caribbean or Africa...anyone of those regions...French would be good for you. Also, the French language does not carry any stigma around like...Why do you want to learn THAT language? That is what I feel.

Going back to Spanish, some people want to learn an increasingly important language for the US (Spanish) while others have no interest in Latin America whatsoever. French is good for those not interested in those areas. There is also a stigma for non-Latinos trying to speak Spanish. I once got laughed at for speaking trying to speak it to a native. You really have to be interested in either Latin America or urban America to be interested in that language.

Mandarin Chinese is simply not practical. To become fluent...you have to live in China for years!!! It is too difficult of a language for westerners to realistically pick up while doing a semester overseas. I do think Arabic may be an option, but only at the university level for those specifically interested in that part of the world. German is OK for European-Americans, but it is only spoken in Central Europe. It should only be taught at the universities. Japanese?! It is spoken in Japan, Japan and Japan. The recent recession in Japan has caused it to be less important to the US economically. Japan is not buying up the US like we thought in the 1980's.

(I didn't mean to cause any offense by mentioning the stigma...it is just from my own experience as an Anglo American that people will seem VERY interested on why the heck you are interested in learning the language of another culture. This comes from both Anglos and Latinos)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 17,944,914 times
Reputation: 5397
Old list but I am sure it is still pretty close.

http://"http://www2.ignatius.edu/fac...languages.htm"

The Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (1999) lists the following as the top languages by population:
(number of native speakers in parentheses)

1. Chinese* (937,132,000)
2. Spanish (332,000,000)
3. English (322,000,000)
4. Bengali (189,000,000)
5. Hindi/Urdu (182,000,000)
6. Arabic* (174,950,000)
7. Portuguese (170,000,000)
8. Russian (170,000,000)
9. Japanese (125,000,000)
10. German (98,000,000)

French got lost along the way
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:39 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,423,519 times
Reputation: 2687
Have you ever even been to Canada? (I live across the border) You might get all the signs in both languages, but you only really hear French in the province of Quebec ( the French part of Canada). There is a lot of division on whether the country "has" 2 languages -- most people will only speak one (thier own). Depending on where you are, if you speak the other, you can get odd reactions.

We don't need that aggravation. FWIW, I speak Spanish and I am not hispanic/I don't think we need a second language at all.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 10:54 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,056,237 times
Reputation: 966
Please re read my posting...French may not have the numbers in NATIVE SPEAKERS, but look into the number of speakers as a second language, number of countries it is spoken in and use in international organziations. THEN YOU WILL SEE MY POINT.

BuffaloTransport. Ever been to Quebec City? Everyone is French there. But once again, this was not the point of my original posting.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 11:02 PM
 
517 posts, read 1,156,282 times
Reputation: 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ne View Post
Wow, no German?
Nope. German really wasn't in demand from students. I am sure our demographics had something to do with it. The high school was 45% Asian so the school was more inclined to offer courses such as Tagalog and Madrian instead of German.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-20-2009, 11:29 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,421,599 times
Reputation: 6702
I've never heard of any stigma for anyone wanting to learn Spanish. Obviously you've encountered it, but I would find it very surprising to find that more than a very small percentage of people attached any stigma to the learning of Spanish.

I see nothing wrong with choosing to learn other languages instead or in addition to Spanish, but I wouldn't let any fear of stigma from what I would think are just a handful of people stop me. (and as an aside, Spanish is quite useful in many small towns or rural areas of the US, too, and of course it is also spoken in Spain, so it's not just an urban American or Latin American language.)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2009, 12:12 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,973,253 times
Reputation: 6679
French is spoken in more countries than Spanish, but from what I can tell in many of these cases it's a holdover from colonialism that represents a minority or an educated elite. Ethnologue seems to indicate that between 75% to 80% of French speakers are in France.

Ethnologue report for language code: fra

Also some nations that are seen as "French speaking" actually speak a Creole French, which might be difficult to understand even for people who "take French." There are also other dialectic variations. My Aunt's ex-husband is Belgian and in Belgian French the counting system has apparently reduced the "base 20" element so they say "septante" rather than "soixante-dix." (I only took a semester and a half of French, but the counting sticks with you)

Last edited by Thomas R.; 11-21-2009 at 12:14 AM.. Reason: Huitante is apparently only used in parts of Switzerland
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2009, 02:30 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
1,807 posts, read 2,165,507 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcee510 View Post
Nope. German really wasn't in demand from students. I am sure our demographics had something to do with it. The high school was 45% Asian so the school was more inclined to offer courses such as Tagalog and Madrian instead of German.
There was an article not too long ago in my local newspaper (Dallas Morning News) about the dire situation most German programs here in Texas are doing. As could be expected, Spanish and Mandarin are on the rise, while German is often left behind or cut out entirely.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top