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Old 01-14-2011, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Northern California
970 posts, read 1,743,712 times
Reputation: 1390

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I don't see the point in learning Chinese unless you are actually going to use the language (and I mean you have concrete plans to use it, not "oh it might be useful in the future"). I live in a part of California where people speak English and/or Spanish. When I have children they will be fluent in those languages.

I am in my mid-20s. I know many people my age who learned second or third languages in school besides Spanish (specifically German, Japanese, and French), and reached a point where they were close to fluent. With one exception, I don't know a single person who actually uses the language they spent years studying. The exception is a woman who travels abroad to Japan and wants to teach in that country. All of the people I know who learned Spanish remember a good portion of it, because they actually get to use what they know in real life.

Sure, teach your kids Chinese. Unless you know some native speakers or plan on actually using the language it is a waste of time. The reason Chinese children learn English is because it is considered the most widely spoken language and that is how the business world operates.

Just as a note, I think learning other languages is important, but learn one that you will actually use!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:04 PM
 
Location: 60630
11,626 posts, read 17,035,814 times
Reputation: 10632
It is newer a waste of time to learn anything
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,982,884 times
Reputation: 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
It is newer a waste of time to learn anything
Yep. This is especially true with languages. They exercise parts of the brains that learning other things do not exercise. Chinese is so different from English, that the parts of the brain used and connections made are vastly different. That is never a bad thing.

Plus, in many areas Chinese is very useful. In my area of southern California it is extremely useful. Both Mandarin and Cantonese are around a lot in many of my surrounding cities.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:52 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
Reputation: 20198
I think children should all learn more than their own language. Which language doesn't really matter so much. It's a good thing to learn just for its own sake. Also, most classes that teach languages incorporate some of the cultural education into the curriculae. Learning about the culture of the countries where these languages are spoken is equally important. Again, for its own sake.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: NoVA
1,377 posts, read 2,194,231 times
Reputation: 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
Where is "My hovercraft is full of eel" from? I used to quote that, but now I can't remember why.

I could google it, I 'spose, but where's the fun in that when I could just ask you?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6D1YI-41ao
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:28 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,744,640 times
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I think Chinese is just as useful as many other languages. I don't think it's the ONLY language worth learning, but if the option is there then why not embrace it? It certainly would have been useful when I lived in California. I wouldn't have as much use for it on a daily basis here in Minnesota, but it would have business benefits. And, of course, languages have so many benefits that go beyond just the ability to speak to other people. It's never a waste of time, even if you rarely use it.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:53 AM
 
9,056 posts, read 6,722,316 times
Reputation: 11008
[quote=♪♫♪♪♫♫♪♥;17422322]


Oh that's right! Hehe. Thanks, ♪♫♪♪♫♫♪♥.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:54 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
Reputation: 32238
I just realised I was forced to learn Spanish. I was held against my will in a classroom with 30 other 9-year olds and our little chairs were pointed toward television sets to watch the school district's closed circut broadcasts. In the 60's! Wow! Big Brother was breathing down my neck and indoctrinating me. And the kicker is my parents thought it was a good thing.

Plus, my parents used me. We'd go on our weekend trips to Tijuana and they'd force me to speak my 4th grade Spanish with the shop keepers. All in an effort to get better prices! Surely this was against the child labor laws?

Who do I see about this?


Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 01-16-2011 at 10:34 AM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:26 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,744,640 times
Reputation: 6687
I do think that, within reason, kids should get a choice in the language that they choose to learn, assuming that a choice is available. I do think that learning a language SHOULD be mandatory, though, and all parents should be encouraging a second language. I can think of no negatives, and a whole lot of positives. The benefits are there even if they never actually get the chance to visit or live in China or deal with native Chinese speakers.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:41 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
Reputation: 30256
In my area, children are exposed to four different languages each year throughout the middle school grades.

A different language each 9 weeks for two years. It's mandatory.

It helps students decide which language they want to learn when they enter high school.
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