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View Poll Results: yes or no
Si! 40 48.78%
No way Jose 42 51.22%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-17-2013, 06:17 AM
 
950 posts, read 1,457,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X14Freak View Post
I made no mention of China in my previous post except criticizing a post and I haven't commented on what the second most important language may be. However, China is well represented if not dominant in manufacturing which is why its language is rapidly gaining currency as an important business language. Furthermore, China is also a centralized unified market of 1.2 billion people while Latin America is composed of dozens of different countries with different laws and policies that make them disparate markets. Also, can you name me a single business niche that Hispanophone countries dominate? I mentioned Zara and Cemex although Zara is facing fierce competition from Forever 21 (American) and H&M (Swedish) while Cemex has been losing market share to different cement companies. Hispanophone countries are virtually absent in high tech fields and are irrelevant when it comes to R&D.

In regards to what I think might be the second most important language, I think there are too many languages in contention after English that make it difficult to choose which language may be the second most important language. It really depends on the field and niche of the business. English is such a dominant lingua franca that all languages that come after it cannot really compete with it.
I agree 100% with the above bold statements, as my field is R&D-related. I'd say even German is more worth learning than Spanish if you're in a science/tech/pharma area.

 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 311,197 times
Reputation: 163
Yes, that is why I said it was a business language that is only necessary if you are conducting your business in China. I run a few business in the US and abroad but I do not need to use the Chinese language to conduct business.

Yes, english is difficult to learn as well for non native speakers. However, for english speakers so is Chinese. Agree that English is the universal language. However the poll just asks what is the second most important language in the world.. as if everyone in the world was conducting business in Spanish then again not everyone in the world is conducting business in China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
What ever country you are in the better you know the local language the better business you are going to have. You can do business in English in China, Japan Spain, France Brazil etc etc. However that is only when you are dealing with the largest firms. But if you are going to really get to the nitty-gritty you will have to deal with middle industry and sub-contractors on your own because that's where the real profit is...then you are going to have to know the local language because at that level there is not much of a reason for those people to delve into foreign languages. If you don't want to do that you are going to have to have a superior group od trusted interpreters and they will have to be people from your country to assure that you are getting the best deal possible.

That said Spanish is the most practical compared to English and Chinese. English is a very difficult language to learn because it is anarchic compared to both Chinese and Spanish which have, in modern times, re-tooled their language.

The way to see this clearly is to get two books from the library in English "A Concise GRammar of English for Foreign Students" and "501 Verbs in English". Now check out similar books in Spanish and Chinese. You local librarian can help you. After a quick comparison you will see that English grammar has as many exceptions as rules and the system of verbs is all over the map...irregular verbs make little sense without a deep study in English.

Spanish grammar rules are more logical, spelling is more logical and the conjugation of verbs is less complicated. This is all due to periodic and detailed review of the language by the nations that speak Spanish.


Chinese has the most streamlined grammar of the three but the writting system is a big big stumbling block.


I am only talking here in general and relative terms. Of course as organized as Spanish appears it is of little use in an office in Nanking or Boise.

English becomes the choice because it is spoken by the Anglosphere which at this point dominates the business world. Again "money talks and logic walks."
 
Old 03-17-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Outer Boroughs, NYC
1,541 posts, read 1,168,329 times
Reputation: 931
@Tom9. I speak and write three languages (French, Spanish, German), and English is my mother tongue. English is the easiest grammar of the four. This very American myth that "English is the most difficult language" is nothing but that--a myth. I have Spanish, French and German grammar books on my bookshelf (and "500 Verbs", too). I don't have to "ask a librarian"--I have the whole series. These 3 languages are just as complex, if not more so, than English. French uses the subjunctive much more than English, and the Spanish subjunctive is more complicated than the French. There's no gender in English, but its mastery in French, Spanish and German (for the last one, three genders) will drive you directly to the lunatic asylum. English spelling is a pain, but French is every bit as complex--the reason there are dictées in France and Quebec. German syntax and morphology are much more complex than English syntax/morphology. (Mark Twain wrote of the "horrible German language," and no one could disagree.) Your post makes me smile. As a Spanish professor once told me: "Learning a foreign language--any foreign language--is a curse."

@Sweetkiss: Have you lived abroad? I have. There are xenophobes and "hicks" everywhere. Americans tend to be more open toward foreigners, including undocumented ones, than people in many other countries. More open than Canadians or Swedes? Probably not. More open than the French or Italians? Yes. After living abroad, I think Americans are probably more welcoming than most.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 10:32 AM
 
381 posts, read 735,643 times
Reputation: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I am not a language teacher but I speak a couple and travel quite a bit. I do use French on occasion as a lingua franca in non-francophone countries, but as I said, I have never had to use Spanish this way.

I am curious as to what would be the great impetus to learn about the Spanish language and culture? Not that I have anything against Spanish - I did make an effort to learn it after all.

But my observation is still that there are a lot more people who can babble in French in Europe, Africa, the Middle East than there are who can do so in Spanish.

This doesn't make French the lingua franca in most of these areas. Far from it. But more than Spanish except for a few places like Portugal.

And it is quite possible that this is switching around in favour of Spanish, though if it is I'd be interesting in hearing some of the reasons.

French is no lingua franca anywhere, not in Europe at all. Maybe 50 years ago.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 11:28 AM
 
1,487 posts, read 1,989,978 times
Reputation: 934
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
@Tom9. I speak and write three languages (French, Spanish, German), and English is my mother tongue. English is the easiest grammar of the four. This very American myth that "English is the most difficult language" is nothing but that--a myth. I have Spanish, French and German grammar books on my bookshelf (and "500 Verbs", too). I don't have to "ask a librarian"--I have the whole series. These 3 languages are just as complex, if not more so, than English. French uses the subjunctive much more than English, and the Spanish subjunctive is more complicated than the French. There's no gender in English, but its mastery in French, Spanish and German (for the last one, three genders) will drive you directly to the lunatic asylum. English spelling is a pain, but French is every bit as complex--the reason there are dictées in France and Quebec. German syntax and morphology are much more complex than English syntax/morphology. (Mark Twain wrote of the "horrible German language," and no one could disagree.) Your post makes me smile. As a Spanish professor once told me: "Learning a foreign language--any foreign language--is a curse."

.
I also speak read and write Spanish, Italian, Japanese. Japanese Language and Lit was my major and I hold a degree in that subject from Tokyo University of Education). And English is also my native language. So without being overly sarcastic let me just quote, I believe it was Mark Twain who said "I don't see what's so difficult about English, every six year old American child speaks it fluently." Your belief that English grammar is the easiest of all is based in the fact that it is your native language and you have known it almost since birth. But you are very honest because most people will say their native language is the most difficult and that does not make much linguistic sense for the most obvious of reasons.


If you are talking about text book learning I might agree a bit more but in practical situations the problems involved in English grammar are too often confusing to the student of the language.


Some of the problems you mention. Yes the subjunctive in Romance languages is difficult for native English speakers as it's use in English is totally different as are the mechanics of it. It's a mood in English and a tense or case in the Romance languages.

BTW my post was not directed specifically at you the fact that you took it so personally (the crack aboit not asking the librarian) makes me smile a bit.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 01:06 PM
 
230 posts, read 489,690 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Same. I have serious doubts that Chinese will become an important language like English. Japan was the 2nd largest economy in the world for some time, very ubiquitous country, but nobody speaks Japanese for the same reason why no non-Asian speaks Chinese. Learning 4000+ characters is too damn hard for most adults. For the average adult to be proficient in conducting business in Chinese, they will have to have had spent much of their childhood learning to read and write Chinese. Not going to happen, ever. The only way Chinese will become a lingua franca of the world would be if they Latinized their writing system.
japan is just japan...one country. china is different. you have the chinese diaspora and greater china (mainland china, hong kong, macau and taiwan). also, one of singapore's official languages is chinese and is widely spoken in malaysia.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 01:15 PM
 
230 posts, read 489,690 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almeida93 View Post
Are you saying latin Americans are poor? Because you can find plenty of information on the internet showing that latin Americans get paid more and enjoy a high standard of living than the chinese. Shoot, why do you think companies are moving to China instead of Latin America? Because labor cost is cheaper. Heck, if you say latin americans are poor in comparison to Americans, then french africans are suffering from starvation.
is it realistic to compare an entire continent to a single country?
also maybe companies are moving to china, instead of latin america, because of better infrastructure?
 
Old 03-17-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,112 posts, read 10,153,432 times
Reputation: 4850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondrood View Post
I don't really know what to vote. It clearly is one of the most important languages in the world - but it's very concentrated in the New World. In Europe, it's just one of the major languages besides English, French, German, Russian and Italian. In (Sub-Saharan) Africa, French and English are the languages. In Asia, it's Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Mandarin. Oceania is English.

I think its major importance actually comes from its increasing status as second language in the United States (in some US areas even first language).
The rise in Spanish in importance in recent decades is in part attributable to Hispanic immigration into the United States, in part to Latin America's role in globalization and the rise of the middle class there (more in some countries, less in others), in part Spain's rise in importance in the EU, and in part a closer relationship between Spain and the US, especially during the Aznar-Bush years.

Nonetheless, its major importance is still hemispheric, not global, and its rise could wane if immigration to the US slows as Spanish fades away at about the third generation in the US (Spanish is the first language only in a few neighborhoods with a strong immigrant population).

Its rise could continue, and possibly become global, if

1) immigration to the US continues at around the same pace as in the past 15-20 years;

2) perhaps more importantly,
a) China becomes Latin American countries' major economic partner, replacing the US;
b) there is greater integration among Latin American countries; and
c) the ruling classes of both regions decide that Spanish will be the language of their business together.

3) to a lesser extent, Spain also resurges as a major economic player in Latin America and it recovers as one of the fastest growing EU countries.

I doubt that any of the above three will occur with great force in the forseeable future, and Spanish will most likely remain the number one language in South/Central America, a major language in the hemisphere, and among the top 5 or 10 globally by numbers.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 311,197 times
Reputation: 163
I have lived abroad.. for about 3-6 months since I was 18 lol Out of all places I've been I would say that South America is the most ethnically diverse yet the most accepting. Especially in Brazil. America has way too many prejudices from society and pegs latin americans as the only illegal immigrants. The media thrives in making the worst cases the front page of their program and newspapers. They make all latin americans seem uneducated and illegal. They forget though that not all hispanics come from one place. If they were open toward undocumented ones then there wouldn't be ICE. Way back when cops would pick up anyone who looked hispanic so there would be no hispanics on the street in the 70's. Never heard about this in another country.

Another point, IF the US was accepting White Americans would consider Hispanics as Americans too and stop classifying them as Hispanic and 'illegal'. There would be more equality and more opportunity. Since I look exotic some Whites and Blacks say derogatory things as if they assumed I didn't understand what they were saying. America isn't all Black and white. They forget that this land once belonged to the Native Americans that are related to North, Central, South American hispanics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post

@Sweetkiss: Have you lived abroad? I have. There are xenophobes and "hicks" everywhere. Americans tend to be more open toward foreigners, including undocumented ones, than people in many other countries. More open than Canadians or Swedes? Probably not. More open than the French or Italians? Yes. After living abroad, I think Americans are probably more welcoming than most.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 04:51 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,127 posts, read 21,737,714 times
Reputation: 10216
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet_kiss1 View Post
Disagree.. Chinese is only relevant to conduct business if you're a business man doing business in China. The hispanic population is rapidly increasing in the US. Also many Asians are doing business in Latin America.
Or if you're doing business with people in China or you're doing business elsewhere but with a Chinese firm. It'd all be highly dependent on just how strong of a global reach Chinese (and Taiwanese) companies have in the future. There's also people who are just interested in the culture, history, media, cuisine or people who would be conducting business of a different sort.

Overall, the argument for Spanish or Mandarin could be made with good points on either side. The better point I think is overemphasis from speakers of other languages of making only the three or four top languages readily available for study. Learning something like Russian, Vietnamese, Korean and/or Turkish allows a potentially much less crowded niche to be filled than learning Spanish or Mandarin.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 03-17-2013 at 05:02 PM..
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