Are foreign languages still relevant?

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Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  pinhedz on Sat May 14, 2011 1:10 pm

pinhedz

It's well known that Americans are not interested in foreign languages, at least not to the same degree as Yoo-ropians and other furriners.

Some academics think this situation is unfortunate, even shameful. Americans travel to foreign countries and either fumble around trying to say something in the local language, or they act like everybody they talk to should be speaking English (I've heard that the latter attitude causes resentment sometimes).

What's the solution? Should Americans get more into language study? Would it not be simpler for everyone to just learn English, instead of people speaking all these other languages? If furriners don't like us ... I mean like is that a big effing deal or what?


= ANDY =

Languages are indisposable keys to cultural heritage, not just convenient tools for days when you're playing a tourist.
Anybody who has ever mastered a foreign language to the point where they can enjoy a piece of writing in the language, will probably have had the experience of how much is taken away from some texts through translation.

English is an indisposable way of communication around the world in more or less every and any area imaginable.
But that doesn't mean it should supress other languages, nor that Americans should think that nothing can be learned from speaking other languages.


Leopardi

Learning some languages proves to be a valuable resource in further understanding the development of your own language.


pinhedz

I am fluent in Minnesotan. I also have good listening comprehension in both Virginian and New-Yorkese, although my speaking ability is limited.


pinhedz

Rutger Hauer said he likes America because you can take your car out on the highway knowing "It goes on forever, but Holland is a 3-hour drive."

It's somewhat understandable that Americans have a different attitude--they can travel from New York to San Diego without needing a new language (although New Yorkers had better tone it down if they go to Mississippi or Alabama).


= ANDY =

Speaking French becomes very convenient within a 30 minutes from my home, neccesary some 15 minutes later - unless your in an unavoidable traffic jam, than it can take up to 2 hours to get there.

Germany is about 2 hours driving.

Luxemburg with their incomprehensible Letzenburgs about the same distance.

And London about 2 hours and a bit by train - though English has penetrated our world enough that you don't actually have to go to an English speaking country to find it convenient to speak it.


John McLaughlin

The Romans used to have the same imperial arrogance about Latin. Sic transit gloria.

You've still got time to get a headstart on Arabic or Chinese.


pinhedz

John McLaughlin wrote:You've still got time to get a headstart on Arabic or Chinese.
I don't think I do. Mrs. Pinz speaks Chinese, tho.


pinhedz

Is English the language of pop music? I often hear German and Scandinavian groups that sing in English exclusively, even though the songs are their own compositions.


Dharma Wheel

Mrs. Pinz speaks Chinese???? That's awesome! Tell me all about it!!! Where did she learn it? Has she lived in China? Or visited? Does she also read and write Chinese???

She will love the book The Man who Loved China by Simon Winchester. It's about the genius China scholar Joseph Needham. Really, get the book. It is the most fascinating story.

Also, Iris Chang's The Chinese in America.

And River Town by Peter Hessler.

and The River at the Center of the Earth, also by Simon Winchester.

Does she have some favorite books about China that she can recommend?

I've been to China three times to adopt three daughters and to perform site visits of the orphanages which my foundation supports. I founded the nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 1996 and we've raised over two million dollars and sent it all to China. Everyone associated with the work is a volunteer. You can read about it at http://www.fccny.org/cicpages/intro.asp. I wrote the copy. (There is a way to donate online.) I'm very proud of the work. We make positive changes in hundreds of children's lives.

I've been studying Chinese for 15 years and my daughters go to Chinese school. You know hard it is. On my third trip in 2003 I was able to get by well enough to impress my daughters to spur them on to do well in Chinense school.

The good English spoken by everyone with the tourism industry in China is remarkable. The young people work so hard to achieve near-fluency.

Yes, it is a shame that most Americans don't learn a foreign language. They study a language in school but most people don't evert themselves to know it well.


Dharma Wheel

I just tried the link for my Orphage Assistance Programs and it didn't work. If you want to see it, go to fccny.org and click on Orphage Assistance on the menu on the right. Click on annual report and click on the red topics on the top of the page. It's not up to date, but it's all right.


pinhedz

Dharma Wheel wrote:Mrs. Pinz speaks Chinese???? That's awesome! Tell me all about it!!! Where did she learn it? Has she lived in China? Or visited? Does she also read and write Chinese???
Mrs. Pinz doubled-majored in Russian and Chinese at the University, and spent a 4-month study tour in China, and later a 2-month gub'mint assignment to Hong Kong. Her writing looks pretty nice, probably in part because she took an elective course in Chinese calligraphy at the U.

You might recall that when "Bluexman" (allegedly from Chengdu Suspect ) joined ER, I was questioning him in pinyin, and the pinyin was real (although I don't think Bluexman could tell it was real Razz ).


pinhedz

John McLaughlin wrote:The Romans used to have the same imperial arrogance about Latin. Sic transit gloria.

You've still got time to get a headstart on Arabic or Chinese.
Unlike Latin, English has made considerable inroads in the far East.
And think of all the software that would have to be done over if English is ever discarded. affraid


Catherine

I helped out with some Korean subtitling at work.....

they sent an email round on Friday asking for people to help with foreign subtitling - you don't need to be able to read/write/speak the language apparently.....but I said I would help with Korean, Spanish and French.....my French is shit, but I can understand a bit.....
_________________
We are engaged in a ham-fisted awkward dance of desire I love you


John McLaughlin

pinhedz wrote:
John McLaughlin wrote:The Romans used to have the same imperial arrogance about Latin. Sic transit gloria.

You've still got time to get a headstart on Arabic or Chinese.

Unlike Latin, English has made considerable inroads in the far East.
And think of all the software that would have to be done over if English is ever discarded affraid .
How long a view do you want to take?

pinhedz
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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  Doc Watson on Sat May 14, 2011 1:26 pm

They are still relevant because they are spoken.

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  pinhedz on Sat May 14, 2011 1:29 pm

Doc Watson wrote:They are still relevant because they are spoken.
By foreigners, yes.

But what about for regular people?

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  Doc Watson on Sat May 14, 2011 1:33 pm

pinhedz wrote:
Doc Watson wrote:They are still relevant because they are spoken.
By foreigners, yes.

But what about for regular people?
When I was learning French my teacher told me that the ability to speak a foreign language was oneof the remainings signs of an educated person.
I still believe that to be true.

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  eddie on Sat May 14, 2011 3:15 pm

What remains of my schoolboy French comes in handy at work:

Ou allez-vous, monsieur/madame?
Touchez la carte ici.
Traverser la rue.
Premier a gauche.
Monter l'escalier.
Regardez le plan.
Changez Embankment pour le bruin, le Bakerloo pour Lambeth North.
C'est plus facile de traverser le pont Millennium pour Tate Modern.
Bienvenue a Londres.

...but that's about as far as I stretch.

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Sat May 14, 2011 3:23 pm

pinhedz wrote:I am fluent in Minnesotan. I also have good listening comprehension in both Virginian and New-Yorkese, although my speaking ability is limited.

I still find it interesting how many different languages are packed together in such a small place as Europe...different language for each country...and so many different fucking accents on the tiny island of Britain. I live in Michigan and other than inner city black people and hillbillies in the upper peninsula, everyone sounds the same.

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  Doc Watson on Sun May 15, 2011 1:14 pm

Every area of Australia has different accents and dialects and that is only the ones of us who speak English

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  Doc Watson on Sun May 15, 2011 1:17 pm

eddie wrote:What remains of my schoolboy French comes in handy at work:

Ou allez-vous, monsieur/madame?
Touchez la carte ici.
Traverser la rue.
Premier a gauche.
Monter l'escalier.
Regardez le plan.
Changez Embankment pour le bruin, le Bakerloo pour Lambeth North.
C'est plus facile de traverser le pont Millennium pour Tate Modern.
Bienvenue a Londres.

...but that's about as far as I stretch.
What about Ou est la plume de ma tante ?

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 15, 2011 1:18 pm

Je suis perdu--poo-vay voo may-day?

mayday, mayday ...

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  sil on Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:03 am

Basketball


Last edited by silviando on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

Post  ISN on Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:08 am

everything's easy if you're Spanish
easy breezy Japanezy...
I tried to learn Korean
but it was a con
Kowtow seems fukked up
like hara-kiri
fukkin Asians....hehehe
what the fuck is a samurai
it's honour......yeah, like fuk
and jesus Zen is really fukked up too
no offence
Spaneesh is teh language of love......

I feel like Billy Madison...... Neutral

ISN
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Re: Are foreign languages still relevant?

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