A Conversation for Talking Point: Learning Languages

My answers

Post 1


In these days of globalisation and people travelling more widely and international emphasis everywhere, learning a second language is even more crucial than it ever was before. In the next few years I think high end executive posts may well come with a need to speak more than one language.

English is now spoken very widely across the world, mostly as an official second language, and more people can communicate with others, especially on the internet.

If the language is taught properly, then the culture of the nation should also be taught. I love the French lifestyle and part of this love is because my French teacher incorporated the culture with his lessons.

I speak English as my first language, French is my second. I can make myself understood in Italian and I am a bit rusty in Spanish but I could feed myself and drink beer, so the essentials are taken care of!

It is absolute essential to have an understanding of a second language. The era of believing that English is the only language is long gone. The more you understand the language and culture the better it is!

Sorry Zamenhof, old fruit…It is not language barriers which create wars and conflict. It is human nature. And Esperanto is no cure for that.

My answers

Post 2


I totally agree with you on this one Crickett. As the world becomes more multicultural everyday, it is vital that people learn to speak at least one other language than the language of their mother tongue.

Western societies such as the UK and the USA harbour vast amount of residents that were either born in another country or English is not their first language.

If we consider the amount of British or American citizens that can speak another language fluently, which isnt that many, we can see how many communication barriers there are to overcome. It is therefore essential that we understand not only the language of our neighbours but also their culture.

Even though the world continues to build its global community where it is more easier now than ever before to communicate to people all over the world, some of us are still ignorant of the values and traditions of other cultures.

My answers

Post 3


I agree with what is said above. Learning one or two foreign languages is very rewarding, and it is a pity that native english speakers tend not to do this. I suppose it is because they know they can manage anyway because "everyone" else speaks english. But when you are born into a very small language as I am, (swedish, approx. 9 million speakers) it is necessay if you want to travel, meet people, read interesting litterature or even study at university level.

English is my second language, french my third, I understand some spanish and of course I understand norwegian and danish, closely related to swedish

My answers

Post 4


I agree Crickett, there'd still be conflict even if we all shared the same mother tongue.
There's more to understanding another culture than just learning the language, but it's a good start.

We should all try new languages at school, but as with most subjects, some find this easier than others. Perhaps we should have different options - superficial language courses to enable some basic holiday/business communication & more in depth ones for those who want to really get to grips with the details.

I have a smattering of French & German from school, as well as a trace of Latin, all of which has been useful on holidays abroad. Even attempting reading/speaking/translating other European languages is made easier.

Now I'm learning Japanese at an evening class because my son is living in Japan. It's more fun than school was as I have better motivation.

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