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Thread: American Kids Should Learn Other Languages

  1. #191
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    Did anyone get that?
    Speak English, dammit!!
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  2. #192
    Cat-tastic Babba's Avatar
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  3. #193
    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    What's the difference between fluent and conversational?
    Are you serious?

  4. #194
    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boontito View Post
    I enjoy the dead air I get from a telemarketer when my first reply to them is "I'm sorry, I don't speak English"... in English.
    Not as confused as the hispanics at my former work place when they would ask me a question and I would reply with, "No hablo English."
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  5. #195
    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boontito View Post
    No, I don't think it makes the country worse than others. I just think it doesn't help make my country be all that it can be.

    I served in the Air Force thank you very much!
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  6. #196
    Penny for your thots Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Are you serious?
    Yes. How can one be conversational without being fluent? When I was in the Navy and I'd hit a port, I'd learn two things in the native language : how to order a beer and how to say "you're beautiful" to a woman. Which is a conversation in only the most technical sense of the word. But I never considered myself a polyglot.

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Yes. How can one be conversational without being fluent? When I was in the Navy and I'd hit a port, I'd learn two things in the native language : how to order a beer and how to say "you're beautiful" to a woman. Which is a conversation in only the most technical sense of the word. But I never considered myself a polyglot.
    You can be conversational with perhaps 500 words, and the sorts of things you can have conversations about won't be very abstract. To be fluent implies first, a sense of ease with the language, but more important it would require a much larger vocabulary and capacity for describing things using grammar past, present, future, conditional, etc.

    I'm conversational in Spanish (though just barely) and it's called "intermediate fluency." Advanced fluency (which is probably what a typical 6-7 year old has) requires a good bit more.
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  8. #198
    Somewhere else GoaTlOver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boontito View Post
    An undeserved feeling of superiority is one reason.

    "I'm kind of a big deal. If you want to speak to me, learn my language. I'm not going to stoop so low as to learn yours."
    I don't think that too many people actually think like this. Some most likely do, but you will find them in every country, it is hardly an American issue. If you look at the big picture though, English and Spanish are fast becoming the default languages around the globe. How many countries speak Japanese, or French, Italian, Portuguese, or even mandarin? A lot of languages are being replaced and going the way of Latin because we are far more connected now and learning multiple languages just does not make sense. If learning five languages makes you feel educated or better than everyone else, then good on you. The rest of the world is going to keep on moving towards a common language.

  9. #199
    Cat-tastic Babba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoaTlOver View Post
    I don't think that too many people actually think like this. Some most likely do, but you will find them in every country, it is hardly an American issue. If you look at the big picture though, English and Spanish are fast becoming the default languages around the globe. How many countries speak Japanese, or French, Italian, Portuguese, or even mandarin? A lot of languages are being replaced and going the way of Latin because we are far more connected now and learning multiple languages just does not make sense. If learning five languages makes you feel educated or better than everyone else, then good on you. The rest of the world is going to keep on moving towards a common language.
    Another advantage to learning another language is that along the way you learn about another culture. That in turn can lead to more empathy which this tired old world could use a lot more of.
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  10. #200
    Praguematic Helena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    Another advantage to learning another language is that along the way you learn about another culture. That in turn can lead to more empathy which this tired old world could use a lot more of.
    IMO, it certainly isn't about "feeling better", and it isn't just about empathy either. It's simply knowing more. As I suggested, knowing another language can actually also be used for relatively and sometimes even objectively malevolent purposes. Relying on the idea that everyone speaks English and all important information is at all times available in English - or I can use Google to translate it to English for me - is just naÔve.

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