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Old 05-28-2009, 07:09 AM
 
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,225 posts, read 6,124,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
Well I don't really think it has much to do with Immigration but the simple fact we have a neighboring country that speaks Spanish.

Do you think we should learn Mandarin? (Chinese money will overtake the Dollar I think, or is it the Yen?)
The Yen is the Japanese Dollar. The Chinese dollar is the Yuan.

I speak Russian and German, but that's because I grew up speaking them in the home. Useless to know in this country. I do plan on learning Spanish in the fall semester because it would open me up to employment opportunities.

Why don't Americans learn other languages? For one, most Americans only use English. Second, many cannot read or comprehend English as it is beyond a fourth-grade level. And a lot of people simply don't want to learn another language.

I agree that people coming here need to learn the language that the majority uses.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post

If you're going to learn a 2nd language, learn a language that will get you the most miles. French? Where could I use that? France and Quebec? ?
About half of Africa. And almost half of your own country, if you're Canadian.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:50 AM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 382,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
As an American I often ponder why we cringe at the idea of a second language, specifically Spanish. Why do we aboslutely refuse to learn a second language? Pride? Patriotism? Xenophobia? Lazy? What?

Lets take a look at Canada shall we? Canada has two official languages; English and French. I'm not 100% sure about this, but a majority of Canadians do not complain about it do they? It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.

There are many countries that have multiple languages, official languages, and work together.

It is said it is not difficult to learn Spanish, according to the U.S.. English is said to be the most difficult.

The United States does not have an official language. Should a bill be passed claiming English and Spanish the official languages?

The benifits of Americans learning a second language are huge, not only will America catch up with the modern world but we could communicate with millions of other people (350 million).

With Spanish growing at a fast rate and Spanish already being the ?third? most spoken language in the world, it only makes sense. The amount of immigrants from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries only speeds up the Spanish speaking population in America while leaving Americans that were born here unable to speak the second most common language. Infact most Immigrants that speak Spanish also speak English.

So what do you think? Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?
I'm bilingual (and learned my second language on my own, as an adult living in a foreign country) and I cringe when lazy immigrants refuse to learn English.

I didn't have a choice when I lived abroad, and neither did my ancestors that came here and worked like hell to make the USA the greatest country in the world.

I have no problem with being bilingual, I have a problem with thinking it's okay to be monolingual in a language other than English and live in the US.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:30 AM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 382,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
As an American I often ponder why we cringe at the idea of a second language, specifically Spanish. Why do we aboslutely refuse to learn a second language? Pride? Patriotism? Xenophobia? Lazy? What?

Lets take a look at Canada shall we? Canada has two official languages; English and French. I'm not 100% sure about this, but a majority of Canadians do not complain about it do they? It is only logical America should have another language and that language is the language of our neighbors, Spanish.

There are many countries that have multiple languages, official languages, and work together.

It is said it is not difficult to learn Spanish, according to the U.S.. English is said to be the most difficult.

The United States does not have an official language. Should a bill be passed claiming English and Spanish the official languages?

The benifits of Americans learning a second language are huge, not only will America catch up with the modern world but we could communicate with millions of other people (350 million).

With Spanish growing at a fast rate and Spanish already being the ?third? most spoken language in the world, it only makes sense. The amount of immigrants from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries only speeds up the Spanish speaking population in America while leaving Americans that were born here unable to speak the second most common language. Infact most Immigrants that speak Spanish also speak English.

So what do you think? Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?
Why would we learn Spanish? What is the economic benefit in that? You're incorrect in saying that most Spanish speaking immigrants speak English, they may LEARN English, but they don't know it. You're talking to someone who lives in a Hispanic majority county in California. They learn it (or not) but they definitely don't know English when they get here like an Australian or the Swiss.

We don't need to learn Spanish. This was written by a Standford professor, and shows that much of the criticism of Americans' linguistic abilities is exaggerated.

Another thing to keep in mind, when you get to feeling bad about being monolingual, is that the fair question is not "how many languages do you know?" It is, "of the languages spoken by five million people or more within a thousand miles or so of where you live, what percentage do you know?" This is a better question, because it is a practical question. No one criticizes a French person for not knowing Burmese (too far away) or Catalan (not enough people speak it). It just wouldn't be very practical for Frenchman to learn Burmese or Catalan, in most cases. But it is practical for a Frenchman to know German, English and Italian, because in the normal course of their lives they will interact with a lot of Germans, English and Italians, because there are millions and millions of them that live not far away.

Of the hundred or so languages spoken by people in California, where I live, only two are spoken by millions of people within a thousand miles of me, Spanish and English. I know one of them, so I score 50% How many Europeans do that well? You might think that our Frenchman could tie me, just by knowing Spanish or English as well as French, giving him 50% of the languages I listed. But a glance at the map shows that this is not enough. By the thousand mile /five million people test, a number of languages need to be counted in: Portuguese, Flemish, Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Albanian and Greek and maybe more. Unless our Frenchman is an accomplished linguist, I have him beat by a mile.

Maybe a fairer test would be that one should include all of the languages on the continent on which one lives that are spoken by a five million or so people. Then in my case we would have to include French, because of the French speaking Canadians, even if most of them live in Quebec which is a long way from Northern Californian. But this change in the test would be disastrous for our Frenchman, who now gets Bulgarian, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and maybe even Turkish added to his list. Besides, I speak some French, maybe enough to get half credit. So I get 1.5 out of 3 or 50% on the whole continent test, a score that virtually no European can match who is not a professional linguist.



Structured Procrastination - On Becoming Bilingual
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
Why would we learn Spanish? What is the economic benefit in that? ]
What? Do you participate in any sports? What is the economic benefit of that? Keep your body in shape? Read poetry? Daydream? Check the ball scores in the morning paper? Replace your socks with holes in the toes? Listen to birdsong in the spring? Read comments on linguistics by Stanford professors? What is the economic benefit of all that?
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,341 posts, read 9,982,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
Why would we learn Spanish? What is the economic benefit in that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
What? Do you participate in any sports? What is the economic benefit of that? Keep your body in shape? Read poetry? Daydream? Check the ball scores in the morning paper? Replace your socks with holes in the toes? Listen to birdsong in the spring? Read comments on linguistics by Stanford professors? What is the economic benefit of all that?
Yeah, I notice this same attitude over and over. Any intellectual pursuit must involve some economic incentive in this country. If you tell someone you are learning a language only because you want to, people think you are insane.

Not just languages either. Any thinking activity. You can tell someone that you are going to vegetate in front of the TV all weekend long and thatís cool. But try telling someone you plan to study physics or chemistry for kicks over the weekend. You'll probably be institutionalized. This country is all about money. I'd doubt anyone would see any benefit in learning to read and write any language, including their own, if it weren't needed for employment.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,428 posts, read 5,492,904 times
Reputation: 1691
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Yeah, I notice this same attitude over and over. Any intellectual pursuit must involve some economic incentive in this country. If you tell someone you are learning a language only because you want to, people think you are insane.
The FINANCIAL - British Council releases new research on the English language markets of India and China

GoAbroad.com :: To Succeed in a Flagging U.S. Economy, Americans are Looking Overseas

Indian textile workers slide back into poverty - Forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/05/28/ap6476080.html - broken link)

That not exactly a fair statement. English is one of the most in demand languages worldwide. Why because it is the language of international business (at least for now.) I don't believe most people in the world would give a hoot about English if it was not for an economic incentive on their end as well. People learn skills alot of the time out of necessity. Or learn a skill to gain profit from that skill.
Granted I would hope that some people out there would like to learn a language for intellectual growth. But I I think a lot of folk world wide learn languages out of necessity.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:09 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,953,604 times
Reputation: 5919
If you live in a country that speaks ABC and then move to a country that speaks XYZ...the person should learn the language od XYZ if they expect to reside there...not expect XYZ to learn your ABC inorder to communicate.

This is with the US. People can speak any language they wish as long as they learn to comunicate in ENGLISH which is the first language of the US. The Declaration of Independence is in ENGLISH.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
The Declaration of Independence is in ENGLISH.
So what? The Declaration of Independence of the Phililppines was written in Spanish, and a mere 111 yeas later, Spanish is not an official languge of the Philippines any more, and a Spanish tourist would be hard pressed to find a Filipino who can speak Spanish.

Anything that cannot bend, will break.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Ca2Mo2Ga2Va!
2,736 posts, read 5,789,261 times
Reputation: 1776
I don't have a problem with learning a second language, by choice. But as bratty as it sounds, I refuse to study spanish because it's constantly rammed down our throats. Let them learn English and use it, then for fun I'd learn Spanish, unless of course I was visiting a Spanish speaking country, then of course I'd try and learn some useful phrases before my vacation.
I think it's awesome for people to speak more than one language, I just need to get over my own issues about Spanish,lol...would love to learn French though
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