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Old 11-22-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,034 posts, read 4,542,211 times
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I hear French all the time here (Lafayette, La)
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:35 AM
 
13 posts, read 17,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
Bingo.

On the local level Quebec speaking French is great but to have two National languages in the entirety of Canada is less so IMHO. Even worse is the situation in Belgium.
Seriously, in Belgium, everything official appears to be in French, Dutch, English, and German...

As an American living in Quebec (and I've lived and been many places in the US), I think I've become less warm toward French, although I speak it. I don't like all the hostility that the French-English divide creates here... Or how in English Canada, everything has to be available in French, but in French Canada, you can't get many basic services in English. That's not the debate here, though...

I think U.S. students should all be encouraged to learn at least basic Spanish, and it should be taught YOUNG so it sticks. There is no denying it is very valuable! If you learn Spanish, you'll also realize it is just as beautiful as French (I think it is more so).

French, German, Mandarin-- these would all be good languages to start in junior high, if we keep our current system.

Germany has one of the largest economies in the world and they travel a LOT; its a valuable language for business, tourism, and philosophy. French is valuable as well because it is very widespread, especially in Africa and the Caribbean.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,688,982 times
Reputation: 1215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Peterson View Post
It would be nice if you gave your source once in a while because all the lists I have seen French is anywhere from 11th to 18th as a first or second language.

No where near 470 million on any list I saw.
Take a look at my post a few pages back, my source was wikipedia which has its own sources of course.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Houston
2,026 posts, read 3,667,976 times
Reputation: 466
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
I speak Spanish(even tho Im not hispanic or latin or ethnically related) and I find it incredibly useful beyond comparison in California.

After 15+ years of speaking the language, I couldnt imagine not being able to communicate with spanish speaking neighbors and people at the store, on the street etc.

Its incredibly natural to speak in spanish in many places around the US.
Whether people here like it or not, the boarder Spanish has already become a second language for the boarder states and several other states as well. It's the same for Texas as California.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 17,890,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Ne View Post
Take a look at my post a few pages back, my source was wikipedia which has its own sources of course.
The wiki page I found used the same numbers i had posted earlier which had French as the 11th most spoken.

My numbers were based on an older study by The Summer Institute for Linguistics.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: USA
2,774 posts, read 6,664,708 times
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I took two semesters of French in college and honestly I didn't find it difficult. If you can pass one language with straight As I did (not to be bragging), Spanish will come easy. Romance languages generally have similar words and syntax. Try the German syntax some time.

The hardest language I ever encountered is Latin. It takes daily work to keep up with it.

Russian could be tough as one must learn the cyrillic alphabet to read and understand Russian. Likewise with Greek and its alphabet. I could go on and on all night but I will stop here.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,168 posts, read 2,526,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakal View Post
French is widely spoken in many parts of Africa. And not just among elites.
It is not as widely spoken as you would think considering it is the official language of so many countries. I remember when I was in Senegal, a country whose official language is French, and you would not hear very many people speaking French. Most people there spoke Wolof. That is the case in many of the African countries. French is often the official language for some African countries, but is mainly used for government and international business. It is usually not the language that most of the people in the country use though.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:25 PM
 
787 posts, read 1,464,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp1188 View Post
It is not as widely spoken as you would think considering it is the official language of so many countries. I remember when I was in Senegal, a country whose official language is French, and you would not hear very many people speaking French. Most people there spoke Wolof. That is the case in many of the African countries. French is often the official language for some African countries, but is mainly used for government and international business. It is usually not the language that most of the people in the country use though.

Depends on the country. There are many native speakers of French in places like Abidjan, for instance: Cote D'Ivoire has a host of native langiages. On the African continent, languages like English and French are most often used in urban areas, especially between people whose native language is not the same...
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:27 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,599 posts, read 33,579,817 times
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Just because French is spoken in a small area of Canada, it doesn't mean the whole country speaks French.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:58 AM
 
Location: SWE
887 posts, read 1,373,195 times
Reputation: 798
I don't see any benefit for the US to become the mess that a bilingual country can be. And much less benefit if the second language would be French. If PalmBch "Just LOOOOOVES" french i think that's great. It just really isn't in my opinion a reason why 300+ million people would have to be forced to study it all of the sudden.
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