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View Poll Results: yes or no
Si! 40 48.78%
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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It takes a smart and motivated adult 4 years to grasp basic Chinese.
It takes an average adult 10+ years.

 
Old 03-14-2013, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Scotland
7,956 posts, read 11,851,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
I would have thought Mandarin would have more importance than Spanish nowadays.
It will be they are about to start teaching it in Schools in the UK, some already are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Owen instead of refuting every suggestion, give me some evidence that Chinese isn't the 2nd most important language.

Mandarin Chinese becoming first choice as second language - The Denver Post

'Teach children Mandarin Chinese - or put economy at risk' - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
 
Old 03-14-2013, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,883 posts, read 38,059,497 times
Reputation: 11651
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
I am not trying to be facetious here but let me ask you if you are a teacher of foreign languages? I seriously doubt that French is any longer in any top position as the lingua franca in Europe. It has been in steady decline since the end of the war. I taught in Japan at the Athenee Francais in Tokyo in the 1950's and at that time they had more English classes than they had French classes (survival). Japanese students from Tokyo today tell me that Spanish has been a staple for the institute for as long as they can recall.

You will also see just by checking the world websites for the Spanish government sponsored version of the Athenee, the Instituto Cervantes. It is growing by leaps and bounds while the Athenee is not growing. The Athenee today is as much geared toward teaching the children of French diplomats and overseas French families than it is to FSL. Of course if you live in a Spanish speaking country you won't notice its world wide growth unless you are a teacher looking for work as an instructor of SSL.

There are a lot of reasons why the interest in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture are growing. I am sure we all know this trend will continue and the reasons are obvious.

Chinese? The writing system keeps it where it is as a second language. However if China becomes so powerful that the language cannot be ignored in favor of English things will probably change.
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.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 01:55 PM
 
1,267 posts, read 3,076,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
No, not true at all. Sorry. I know some of you guys would love to think that Spanish is taking over the US, that is fantasy and not reality
????


I have never heard anyone say spanish is taking over the US..in my entire life. The thought has never even crossed my mind. But i have heard a bunch of paranoid people on the internet claim China is going to take over the world and, that we are all going to be speaking chinese(mandarin or cantonese, they never really say or perhaps don't even know). Just like they claim we were all going to be speaking Japanese when Japan was rising economically, it never really happen. Yes, China and the U.S are the economic powerhouses in the world, that does not mean mandarin chinese is. English is the undisputed lingua franca in the world. Yes the decision makers in spanish speaking countries speak english, but so do the decisions maker in EVERY other country. We are not comparing spanish and english here, we are comparing who is in second place between mandarin, french, and spanish.

The articles given Paull805 are talking about the rising important of mandarin and how countries are barely opening classes to teach their children that language. The second article in fact( from the U.K) says they're 72,000 students who took the spanish test, while only 2,000 students in mandarin. The same article also talks about the steady decline of the number of french and german students, while a rising increase in the number of spanish students.

English is the main language in the U.S. Spanish is not the first language in any state but it is the minority language in many states ranging from 10% to 40%. Spanish has 50 millions speakers( Including Native, Secondary, and Students) in the U.S, only 15 million short from the total population of France. Take note that this number has doubled from just 20 yrs ago. Add that to the 45+ million speakers living in Spain and the 350+ million speakers living in Latin America and you have a big number.


To Jtur88

Of course speakers of Hindi, Arabic, and Mandarin would find Spanish harder in comparison to an indo-european speaker. But i don't understand why you say that? What incentive do they even have to learn spanish? Like other have said, Hindi, Arabic, and Mandarin would probably be enough(Plus English in case they want to go International) in their homeland. What i am trying to say is, an english speaker would find spanish easier than mandarin.

French is mainly a second language in many nations in Africa were french is the official languages. Heck many africans don't even speak french in those countries, the upperclass and bussinessman know french. In comparison spanish is spoken primarily in Spanish America, were the countries have a larger gdp and standard of living, being more exposed at global scale.

Last edited by Almeida93; 03-14-2013 at 02:17 PM..
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:21 PM
 
Location: USA
1,543 posts, read 2,959,347 times
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I don't think there is a global # 2 language. But I do think that English and Spanish share the # 1 spot in the western hemisphere. English is still the most important worldwide.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:31 PM
 
9,961 posts, read 17,533,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
It takes a smart and motivated adult 4 years to grasp basic Chinese.
It takes an average adult 10+ years.
How about a very smart and unmotivated adult? Six and a half years?
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:41 PM
 
9,961 posts, read 17,533,732 times
Reputation: 9193
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.
If you know English and Spanish you can basically converse with the entire Western Hemisphere--and the few non English or Spanish nations are fairly small like Haiti with the massive exception of Brazil. Though Portugese-speakers in Brazil can understand much of the Spanish language due to the similarities with Portugese(though it's harder for Spanish speakers to understand Portugese). So for us in the Americas, English and Spanish are obviously the main ones to focus on. For those that travel into Africa or the Middle East I understand that Spanish isn't going to be much help(French got me through Morocco much easier). Likewise in most of Asia unless you're fluent in the local Asian languages, English is going to be the go to language. These days travelling around much of the world I see that many travellers from a variety of European countries are forced to speak in English to communicate to the locals even in places like the Czech Republic or Croatia.

Personally I think that every one who speaks English or a Germanic or Northern European language should learn at least a working knowledge of a Romance language. Once you learn one Latin-based language it's easier to pick up the others. I grew up learning French, then learnt Spanish mainly through travelling(and then courses) and was able to figure out a good deal of Italian as well.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 02:43 PM
 
25,021 posts, read 27,949,504 times
Reputation: 11790
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
2030 seems very soon but hey you never know.
No, it's not going to, period. The overwhelming majority of Spanish speakers in the US aren't even American born. First generation American born speak broken Spanish at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
I would have thought Mandarin would have more importance than Spanish nowadays.
It would, if they would Latinize their writing system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Almeida93 View Post
????


I have never heard anyone say spanish is taking over the US..in my entire life. <snip>
You obviously haven't spent much time in the Politics & Other Controversies forum and the Illegal Immigration subforum then.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 03:04 PM
 
18,069 posts, read 18,832,764 times
Reputation: 25191
There is no second most important language in the world; the only important world language is English. Any other language (besides a person's native language) will be important because of regional influences.
 
Old 03-14-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,633 posts, read 23,890,394 times
Reputation: 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
I heard that there will be more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the United States by 2030?
I am doubtful if it will ever become an officual language. Statistics reveal that by the third generation people speak english only. So it keeps coming back on itself.
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