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Old 02-02-2011, 09:44 PM
 
5,965 posts, read 5,856,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knax View Post
It's not that the French are stupid, it's just that the French think everybody on this planet needs to speak French and nothing else. It's evident when you go to France. They will talk to you in French, even though you just told me you don't speak any French. That will be totally ignored. They are to proud to learn another language. I think especially English is hated in France. It must always be only French.
This was somewhat the case years ago but far less so these days. Many French do speak English to a degree but some are embarrassed to do so.

It is English speaking countries that continue to refuse to learn other languages. Too lazy perhaps?
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:48 PM
 
5,965 posts, read 5,856,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
I always figured the best place to learn English would be England. I hear they start speaking English there before they're even 2 years old.
One of the seaside cities i hear is fun to learn and be in. Bourmouth or Brighton during the summer come to mind.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 102,874,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
It is English speaking countries that continue to refuse to learn other languages. Too lazy perhaps?
I can't speak for other English-speaking nations but in North America it's not a matter of laziness so much as pragmatism. We're not like Europe where there are dozens of languages and you can drive through 5 or 6 language zones in a single day. In North America, there are only three principle languages spoken, and of those three, English is the principle language over some 80% of the continent. Of the small chunk that speaks French, about half of them also speak English because their nation (Canada) is primarily English-speaking. If I get up tomorrow morning, point my car in any direction, and drive for 12 hours straight, I'll end up some place where English is either the principle or a common secondary language. If I get up and do the same thing again the day after... same result-- I'd still be somewhere where English is widely or exclusively spoken. So there's never been much need to learn a second language.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,579 posts, read 86,702,293 times
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Arabic-speakers speak English beautifully, and have very little accent, and English is very widely spoken by everyone in the Middle East who has a decent education. You could become very proficient in English there.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,265 posts, read 43,039,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I once met a Japanese boy sitting in the parque in Antigua, Guatemala, where people from all over the world go to learn Spanish. I asked if he was there to study Spanish, he said "No, Engrish". The people studying Spanish, when not in classes, socialize with each other around town in English, and my Japanese friend just sat in the cafes and practiced English with them.
That's what I always try to say to my students as well.

Through backpack travelers in cheap countries, is the cheapest way to constantly practice English.

Much better than paying a fortunate to study in a classroom in Chicago or Toronto or wherever, and probably living with similar background students as themselves.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Tower of Heaven
4,023 posts, read 7,351,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knax View Post
It's not that the French are stupid, it's just that the French think everybody on this planet needs to speak French and nothing else. It's evident when you go to France. They will talk to you in French, even though you just told me you don't speak any French. That will be totally ignored. They are to proud to learn another language. I think especially English is hated in France. It must always be only French.
Hated by a part of the population, but not young people.They understood English is the "world language" and they think this language is cool.Do you know the french rock is mostly (90%) song in English ? We improve, slowly but surely
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,265 posts, read 43,039,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knax View Post
It's not that the French are stupid, it's just that the French think everybody on this planet needs to speak French and nothing else. It's evident when you go to France. They will talk to you in French, even though you just told me you don't speak any French. That will be totally ignored. They are to proud to learn another language. I think especially English is hated in France. It must always be only French.
I visited France and had the opposite experience. Actually every French person I have ever met seems to try to make a big effort to be as friendly as possible to dispell those stereotypes.

When I was in Paris near the Eiffel Tower, I had once French guy quickly come over to me, and asked if he could take a photo for me, where I'd be in the photo as well. (I was solo).

I'm also a guy, and very straight, and so was he, so before you think it was anything else but friendliness, it wasn't.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:01 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
9,317 posts, read 14,225,541 times
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The OP wanted to point out what foreign populations are best at learning English, citing TOEFL results, though some interpreted his awkwardly phrased post as a question, where is it best to learn English.

There is nothing impressive, amazing, or even unusual about an interested Teutonic/Germanic-language speaker (e.g. German, Dutch, the various Scandinavian) learning another Teutonic/Germanic language, English.

By the same token, there is nothing impressive, amazing, or even unusual about an interested Romance-language speaker, especially one who has had significant exposure to Latin, learning another Romance language.


Hell, I had some exposure to Latin in high school and university (yes, I am that old) and I eventually learned all the major Romance languages (except Romanian) to varying degrees of fluency and I use them all professionally and/or socially on a daily basis, and I am not particularly bright, impressive, or amazing. In fact, I am a common idiot. Really.

What may be impressive is the ability that people from some ex-Yugoslavia countries seem to have in learning foreign languages in general, English in particular. But that may be more of a myth than fact.

Maybe the OP should study some language-family trees and the history of northwestern Europe and its islands, basically the North Sea region, especially from around the Sixth Century to the Eleventh Century.

One of the biggest blunders in education over the past century or so, at least in western Europe and maybe the US, is the elimination of Latin from the general curriculum and, for a very long time, the treatment of the Romance languages as separate, instead of considering them as dialects of one language. I think they call it nationalism, or something like that, still lingering up to the late Twentieth Century, and by now it is probably too late, except for a few specialists, or perhaps the very few "classical" schools in the US, and the liceo classico in Italy and their counterparts in a few other countries.

But even there they do not normally emphasize the contemporary practical applications of Latin which, if viewed from the proper perspective, can cover a significant swathe of the human population on this planet. I, for one, at least, have earned a living, by now into four decades and over three continents, by applying this method and perspective, but what do I know? I have not invented the wheel, much less a civilization-saving form of alternative energy. Nevertheless, I have no complaints, and I do not perceive the world as it really is to be unjust.

Anyway, anyone for proto-Germanic, then?

As for the best place to learn English, I like the suggestion in the middle of a vast continent where basically only English is spoken, and the accent largely neutral, i.e. the central US, otherwise known as the mid-west or mid-America, hopefully still the bastion of the classical US now and going forward. Also perhaps some of the western US.

But certainly not the south or the east coast where regional accents can be very distinctive; for example, though I can muster some sort of standard English based on my university education, my native language is a crass, ethnic, New York working-class English dialect, mostly useful for cussing out people, whether in jest or earnest.

Finally, bless you, RenaudFR, for your youthful enthusiasm on the various CD forums, I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Last edited by bale002; 02-03-2011 at 05:12 AM..
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Europe
325 posts, read 786,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knax View Post
It's not that the French are stupid, it's just that the French think everybody on this planet needs to speak French and nothing else. It's evident when you go to France. They will talk to you in French, even though you just told me you don't speak any French. That will be totally ignored. They are to proud to learn another language. I think especially English is hated in France. It must always be only French.
In my opinion, their view of people speaking non-French to them would not be that different from people speaking non-English to Americans. It's not like we are the most polite country on earth. A lot of (uncultured) Americans feel that the world should speak English and nothing else.

And, as mentioned, many French are simply embarrassed by their English-speaking abilities, not necessarily too proud to speak other languages.

To answer the OP, the Northwest is another option. Very few people there speak any other languages and I believe the English-speaking accent there is pretty universal (i.e. what people on American television use).
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 102,874,028 times
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In my 37 years in this country I have never encountered one single person who feels the whole world should speak English and nothing else. Where are these throngs of so-called uncultured people that you speak of?
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