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Old 05-28-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875

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Quote:
Originally Posted by breeze823 View Post
I refuse to study spanish because it's constantly rammed down our throats.
Well, you live in the wrong place. Come on down here to south Texas. Nobody has ever tried to ram Spanish down my throat, or anybody else's. I wish they would, so I could practice it. I'm really getting rusty, because the 50% Hispanic population here prefers to learn English and use it whenever possible. They do speak to each other in Spanish in casual personal conversations, but if I don't like it, I don't have to try to eavesdrop on their personal affairs.

As a convenience to new members of the community who are not yet comfortable in English, a lot of stores and offices and government agencies have employees who can and will cheerfully speak Spanish when it is necessary to do so in order to ensure understanding. Understanding is a nice thing to have in a community, and makes it a better place to live. If your community doesn't have it or doesn't want it, you're welcome in Victoria TX. But don't bring your attitude.

.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-28-2009 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:18 PM
 
596 posts, read 739,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
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.
Russian would NOT be useless in Sacramento. There is a huge Russian community and every business is looking for bilingual Russian speaking employees.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:19 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,834,119 times
Reputation: 1300
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Corinthians127 View Post
Actually, I think it is a fact. America has one of the lowest bi-langual speaking population than any other country.
thinking it is a fact does not make it so. i have no doubt that the usa ranks low as far as second languages are concerned. but that does not in and of itself make an argument, especially when failing to consider the reasons and implications.

Quote:
That depends, if the country is small sure, but larger countries should know multiple languages.
i'd be willing to wager that it is the exact opposite. i would look at the fact that as was mentioned earlier, the smaller the country, the larger the chance that your immediate neighbors speak a different language. the larger the country, the larger the chance that you are dealing with the same tongues.

Quote:
Actually linguists have said many times English is the hardest due to so many rules. Most English speakers can not even speak it correctly.
wrong. most linguists say that the 'hardest' language is the one that is least like your native tongue upon learning it. english would be terribly hard for someone from spain or china to learn. but it would be relatively easy for someone from germany to learn.

as far as which languages are technically more complicated, even spanish has a tougher conjugation system than english does.

you want to see a technically difficult language? if so, i'll refer you again to finnish. then i'll throw in mandarin and hungarian for free. they easily trump english in pure technicality. but again, it depends on where you are coming from.

Quote:
There are over 34 Million spanish speakers in the US. That number will quickly rise with immigration.
great.

Quote:
If it is an official language, it would be taught in schools.
i had four years of french in school. wanna guess as to how fluent i am in the language? hint: i can remember how to say computer.

Quote:
The test to become an American citizen requires the understand of English.
another great. the tests must not be too hard then, since there are a number of *citizens* that are still less than conversational in english.

either way, claiming that we should adopt spanish and english as paired official languages is like saying that the french should adopt german along with french as the official languages. in fact, they have even more reason according to your argument, because they are smaller, and are in contact with the germans and the german economy way more often than we are with mexico. as long as we're on that track, they should also adopt spanish, dutch, and romansh because they border switzerland, belgium, and spain as well as germany, and english because the uk is just across the channel, hungarian because it is heavily spoken in austria, which is just a stone's throw away, and while we're at it we will require them to learn arabic since they are immigrating in large numbers to the country.

comparitively, the usa has spanish (duh), french and cantonese (both in can-adia), and, what... creole (mostly carribean), that it would need to worry about on that level? and that is even by stretching the borders a few hundred miles.

Quote:
I actually do not know why America hasn't caught up with the rest of the world by implementing the metric system.
unrelated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The number of individual Canadians who are bilingual is excruciatingly small. Among French Canadians, less than half would be able to carry on a very simple conversation in English. A much smaller number , maybe 5-10%, who are functionally bilingual. Among English-speaking Canadians, the number who can speak French decently well might be one or two percent.

Intermarriage between a French and English speaking Canadian is extremely rare, as are the number of children being raised in a bilingual household. There are probably more children in Canada who can speak English and Ukrainian, than the number who can speak English and French.

All Canadians are required to study the other language in school, for a full 12 years. At the end, very few can speak the other language any better than I could speak Mandarin Chinese after two semesters. In fact, I worked at two places in Canada with maybe 50 employees, and I could speak French better than any Canadian on the staff. They were flabbergasted to hear me, an American, speaking French on the telephone.

This is a bit off topic, but merely declaring a coiuntry to be bilingual does not guarantee that its citizenry will make any efffort to speak both of them.
exactly. this is my point to a tee.

the influence of languages is dictated by necissity, and trying to force it one way or another is bound not to work.

it won't matter if we regulate and federalize spanish–it won't change how many people are speaking the language. again, no one is going to that hasn't already decided to learn english is going to suddenly because of its duo status as official language along with spanish, and vice versa.

i think that languages are very important, and i like to learn them. i am fluent in one secondary language, spanish, and i have studied both french and italian; languages are great learning tools, and have social benefits as well. but that does not mean that we need to start swapping languages with our neighbors on an official level.

aaron out.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
The most important* course I took in high school was Latin. There, I learned that languages have a structure, and the structure is to be adhered to if you wish to be a successful user of the language. And, it then dawned on me that English is like that, too, and that's what all those things are that my English teacher (same guy) was trying to drill into my head.

So, I didn't really begin to understand the importance of good English until I could hold it side by side with the importance of good Latin. But it didn't need to be Latin. It could have been Turkish or Guarani.

(* Not exactly true. The most important course I took was touch typing, on big old Underwoods with blank keys. I can still hear Mrs. Norenberg droning: "A-S-D-F-J-K-L-Semicolon".
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,904 posts, read 18,464,697 times
Reputation: 13738
Todos deben aprender a hablar por lo menos una otra idoma. Realmente no es tan deficil. No seas flojo.

El mundo is mas grande que los estados unidos y nuestra paiz es declinando. Es necessario a aprender lo mas posible acerca de la tierra afuera de tus fronteras si quieres vivir bien en la futura. Pero debe aprender mandarin chino en ves de espanol. Es un gran diversion a gritar a los imigrantes ilegales en el propio idoma de ellos, pero no vale mucho si queires quedar rico.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
That's not necessarily so. The older you get, it gets mas deficil. After middle age, nearly impossible unless you abandon your own language and live permanently in the place where you never use your old language at all anymore. What I have said, however, is NOT true if you had already become bilingual before the age of about 12. Then, you can keep on easily adding additional languages for the rest of your life. That is why is it so important to become bilingual at grade-school age, and why it is so tragic that American educators have doggedly refused to expose young children to foreign languages, whining that it will confuse the delicate brains of the little darlings..

Last edited by jtur88; 05-28-2009 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:14 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,834,119 times
Reputation: 1300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The most important* course I took in high school was Latin. There, I learned that languages have a structure, and the structure is to be adhered to if you wish to be a successful user of the language. And, it then dawned on me that English is like that, too, and that's what all those things are that my English teacher (same guy) was trying to drill into my head.

So, I didn't really begin to understand the importance of good English until I could hold it side by side with the importance of good Latin. But it didn't need to be Latin. It could have been Turkish or Guarani.

(* Not exactly true. The most important course I took was touch typing, on big old Underwoods with blank keys. I can still hear Mrs. Norenberg droning: "A-S-D-F-J-K-L-Semicolon".
that is precisely what happened to me when i learned spanish, and even to some degree french and italian–but mostly spanish, since that is the only other language that i am fluent in.

the nifty thing about our brains is that to a large degree, they are reliant on language in order to have the capacity to create and understand great ideas. in order to conceive of mediocre (on a scale of complexity and cooperation) innovations, we have to have a language base already set for the use of the simple innovations, and we need a linguistic grasp of the mediocre innovations before our minds can comprehend the great innovations. of course, this is a fairly simplistic way to phrase it, but maybe this means that i just lack the linguistic capability for even the simple innovations yet....

either way, language really is a cool thing to study. but we can't actually force people to study language, and the nationalization of various languages is not going to do anything to increase the number of people that are taking advantage of the linguistics programs that are already in existence–it has to come down to personal initiative, family initiative, and environmental necessity (which doesn't yet exist for the majority of the people in the country, otherwise they wouldn't generally be in the monolingual category in the first place).
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,613,725 times
Reputation: 35875
In a way, we do force them We force all immigrants to become fluent in English in order to meeti citizenship criteria. In Canada, an immigrant cah opt for English or French as his citizenship language.

If Spanish became an official language of the US, an immigrant from China or Italy could choose to become fluent in Spanish in order to meet cieizenship rquirements.

This is an excellent argument against making Spanish an official language. I would not advocate that, not at this time. However, I am completely against defining our "official language" as the only language in which one can legally transact official business or correspond with the government. That would be a very counterproductive idea. The constitution gives "the people" the right to petition the government, and says nothing about using any language, official or otherwise, as a medium for doing that.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,904 posts, read 18,464,697 times
Reputation: 13738
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
That's not necessarily so. The older you get, it gets mas deficil. After middle age, nearly impossible unless you abandon your own language and live permanently in the place where you never use your old language at all anymore. What I have said, however, is NOT true if you had already become bilingual before the age of about 12. Then, you can keep on easily adding additional languages for the rest of your life. That is why is it so important to become bilingual at grade-school age, and why it is so tragic that American educators have doggedly refused to expose young children to foreign languages, whining that it will confuse the delicate brains of the little darlings..
I learned Spanish as a second language as an adult. I did learn while adverturing in Bolivia and Brazil for a year, though. Immersion in the language really helps; I was speaking fluently after about 4 months. I just wish I remembered more Portugese. Nao fallo ben el Portugese.

These days you can have Spanish immersion by living just about anywhere in the Southwest. Go learn it, it's good for ya.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 382,199 times
Reputation: 61
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?
Okay idiots that didn't bother to read what I said, I learned a language and it had zero economic benefit to me. I said that in response to the implied meaning of the original post that we should learn Spanish because our neighbors speak it and:

Should Americans learn Spanish or be like most 3rd world countries and only speak one language?


I took that quote as the poster's reasoning that knowing only one language makes us stupid/poor like a 3rd world country and responded with a question emphasizing the economic argument to her point. Make sense, geniuses?
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