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Old 11-14-2012, 09:37 PM
794 posts, read 1,409,788 times
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Hate to sound harsh but this is only part of the answer, and it also has a lot to do with laziness, hegemonism and triumphalism as well. Perhaps a bit of a superiority complex as well.

I mean, there are places in the world where English speakers do have close contact with other languages, and they don't necessarily learn the other language that they are exposed to.

For example, in places in the U.S. where hispanics are the majority like El Paso, Miami, the Rio Grande Valley, and where Spanish has a significant presence (thought not official I realize), the vast, vast majority of anglos are still monolingual in English and can't speak much Spanish beyond si, no, buenos dias, por favor and adios.

Most of the British who lived in Hong Kong prior to the handover in 1997 spoke little to no Chinese (well, Cantonese) even though they lived in a city where 97% of the millions of people around them spoke that language.
And the parents of many of my school friends couldn't speak English despite having lived in an English speaking country for decades. It cuts both ways.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
It seems Japanesse and French are the major languages pushed in Australian schools, I took Japanesse for 3 years. Trouble is if you never use it you loose it.

Do Australian schools still teach French? It seems really stupid if they do.
French is a very useful language. You can use it in the half of Africa that doesn't speak English, in the pacific, in Canada, and France, Switzerland and Belgium (can you make yourself understood in France and Belgium?).
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:12 PM
Location: 53179
14,416 posts, read 22,493,467 times
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Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
As irish_bob has pointed it, most feel like there is no need as English is widely spoken. I'm in the process of learning Swedish - I can construct a few sentences!
Bra jobbat!
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:25 AM
Location: Europe
1,646 posts, read 3,489,002 times
Reputation: 1163
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
In general no.

Most people know San This or That I think. Las Vegas pretty much no one will know. El Paso I'd say about half would know. Montana no one would even know is an Spanish word. Shoot I thought Texas and Florida were Indian names. Which is also a difficulty with parts of the West. We might think a place name is Spanish because it sounds like someplace in Mexico, but in reality both are Indian names that held over.

Never heard of Cabo Canaveral. Is that Cape Canaveral formerly Cape Kennedy formerly Cape Canaveral?
Well maybe you are right about Texas, but Florida (I would bet) is a Spanish word because it was discovered by Juan Ponce de León the Pascua Florida day (Sunday of Easter or Resurrection Sunday) Florida has something to do with flores (flowers) because this date is usually in Spring.

About Cape Canaveral (Cabo Cañaveral) I don't have too much information but it seems to me that Canaveral is the adapted word, the words looks very gramatically Spanish. Yes I think it is Called Cape Kennedy now (I am out of date lol)

El Paso means the step/the way to arrive somewhere.

Sacramento means Sacrament

Montana I suppose it comes from Montaña (mountain)

Las Vegas means meadow/ fertile lowland

Nevada means snowed.

I generally love too much etymology.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:59 AM
Location: Michigan
4,647 posts, read 8,603,611 times
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I would still like to learn another language or a few, but it definitely feels like it'd be a lot harder to become fluent in something that I'm not exposed to in my daily life. I tried learning Japanese (both written and spoken form) but I got caught up on just how different sentences are arranged (like verbs come before nouns?) But if you think about it, some American nowadays don't even care for English and will think you're trying to be too elitist if you use proper grammar (or the Queen's English as it were).
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:44 AM
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,883 posts, read 38,047,932 times
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Originally Posted by Wild Colonial Girl View Post
And the parents of many of my school friends couldn't speak English despite having lived in an English speaking country for decades. It cuts both ways.
I also find this behaviour odd.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:02 AM
Location: Texas
44,259 posts, read 64,384,306 times
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Originally Posted by Catbelle View Post
I've noticed this fact always I've travelled... in fact I know a very very very few English native speakers who learn another language.
I was living in the UK and I met many people, smart people with lots of studies and who have travelled a lot but they were monolingual... more or less happened in USA, where the multiculture is everywhere.

Any reason? Is not compulsory at school the study of a second language?
Premise fail.
It's hardly a "fact."
I have been all over the world and lived for years overseas.
No one necessarily wants to learn other languages more than another culture.
For many, it's a matter of economic survival.
For others, it's a matter of opportunity for constant exposure.

I speak more than 5 languages, and I will tell you...if you are not going to be using the language fairly often, you will RAPIDLY lose proficiency.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:26 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 87,014,195 times
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Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
i belive manadarin should be included in the school corriculum in european schools , will be hugely valuable going forward
The same thing was said about Russian in the Cold War era.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:28 AM
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 103,224,262 times
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Yea, pretty much with you though I think the practical need part is sort of dodgy. You can technically get by being functionally illiterate, having poor grammar, being really bad at arithmetic, not knowing how to fix anything in your garage, etc., but it's better to have those skills. Since ehe vast chunk of the population in the US is fairly close to areas that speak other languages (the Caribbean from the Gulf, the very large border with Mexico, or the border with Quebec) or have large percentages of people who are immigrants who speak another language, it can be very practical to speak another language though possibly not a need.
It may be practical to speak another language, but is it practical to learn it? Knowing Spanish and/or Polish may come in handy from time to time in my part of town... but 90% of the locals around here who speak those languages speak English too. So not speaking Spanish or Polish in what is still a predominantly English-speaking city on an even more predominantly English-speaking continent is hardly akin to being functionally illiterate or having poor grammar. And as a matter of resource allocation, learning another language isn't particularly high on my list of priorities because the value of doing so is negligible. If I moved to Guadalajara next week, my priorities would change in a hurry.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:53 AM
410 posts, read 515,352 times
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English is the universal language and I think the world would be a much better place if every person learned to speak english fluantly.
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