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The dominance of English


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Old 14-05-2006, 18:09   #21
Rachel Rachel is offline
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tango, it is but we are talking about the fact that so many people learn English as a second language. More people who know Chinese have Chinese as their first language
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
It's not compulsory anymore though. So there's gonna be A LOT less kids learning languages in Britain. I think it's down to the school to decide what it wants to do.
It was only compulsory up to the age of 14 anyway, wasn't it? I don't think it will make a huge difference, most schools seem to think teaching languages is a good idea.
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:12   #23
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Up to the age of 14? Three years? I didn't know that. We had to do it for 5 years.
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:15   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
Up to the age of 14? Three years? I didn't know that. We had to do it for 5 years.
Well it was optional when I chose my GCSEs, and that was three years ago.
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:19   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyro
Really? Whenever I go to France, I speak French but usually get an English reply Maybe it just depends where you go...
Maybe it does but it's just something that has happened to me a lot of times, so maybe it's not true, maybe I've just been to the "wrong" places..
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:25   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyro
Well it was optional when I chose my GCSEs, and that was three years ago.
Hmmmm...I guess it all depends on the school then.
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Old 14-05-2006, 18:45   #27
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By the way do you know that during 200-400 years, the old French language (Normand) was the Language in the administration, the elite and some literary worlds in England?
That's why for exemple you have some words which are stayed in English (often words about the food: pork (porc in French), veal (veau in French)..

Just say that as a stupid little vengeance..hihi...

No, seriously speaking, I've already said that a lot of times but the persons who understand me the less are English natives so indeed the fact to not be able to make associations with other languages is here a little "less".

I think it would be a good thing that they would learn some other languages because it's interesting to get a larger knowledge about the "roots"...to catch better some meanings.

For example, when you arrive in Sweden in a shop and you want to buy a box of fresh cream...it isn't so easy!....
But with the time you can catch some Swedish words thanks to the roots of several other languages...

That's why even a "not anymore used language" as Latin is interesting to learn...

But it's a question of personal taste...if people don't feel it , they are free to just speak their native language... Each one has different interests.

Think it's good that there is a common language as English of course. Because it's easier to learn than a lot of other languages (for the bases of course). If you know English and Spanish you can travell in a lot of countries.

Last edited by nath; 14-05-2006 at 19:07.
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Old 14-05-2006, 19:06   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nath
That's why for exemple you have some words which are stayed in English (often words about the food: pork (porc in French), veal (veau in French)..
More than a few words actually…

Something like 40% of modern English vocabulary comes directly from Norman-French (or Latin via Norman-French) because Norman-French was the official language of the nobility and administration in England for about 4 centuries after the Norman conquest in 1066, which obviously had a profound influence on the vulgar English spoken by common people.
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Old 14-05-2006, 19:10   #29
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Offtop:
Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
More than a few words actually…

Something like 40% of modern English vocabulary comes directly from Norman-French (or Latin via Norman-French) ....
Shut, Patrick ....I knew that but I 've tried to avoid to be too "chauvinistic"..... By the way my father is Normand...I don't remember if I told you that Pat...
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Old 14-05-2006, 19:14   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nath
If you know English and Spanish you can travell in a lot of countries.
Olé!! i am lucky ...
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Old 14-05-2006, 19:27   #31
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*amazed at how intelligent haku is*
Seriously, you pretty much know everything that ever happened in the world.
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Old 14-05-2006, 19:36   #32
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English isnt really particularly hard to learn..though i do think its better to start early in primary school and made optional in secondary school...I had learnt 3 languages by the age of 8...but it causes you to lose your mother tongue...and they say that its harder for you to learn another language when you get older
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:09   #33
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I had learnt 3 languages by the age of 8..
I admire you!
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:14   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenBee
I admire you!
dont see why theres nothing to admire as i lost one of those languages anyway.. i admire you though...your english is brilliant... i actually thoughht you were english.. lol..
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:19   #35
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I agree that there's always been a need for a lingue franca in history. English simply took over from latin and later french. Besides british colonialism and later US dominance I think it also got a boost from technological revolution. English seems to be the language elect for technology.

I also agree it's pretty easy to learn but only up to an extent. It's easy to learn it sufficiently to communicate and understand, yet it's awfully hard to go that final mile and learn it properly. I can bet most of us non native english speakers here will never achieve standars of an average native english speakers. It's exactly the opposite with German in my experience. The grammar and initial understanding is a bitch, but once you get passed that you pretty much have most of it covered. The road to fluency is significantly shorter than with english. And french... don't even get me started with french... I just started with basic stuff and I can already tell it'll be a tough nut to crack.

About the smugness of native english speakers... I think they are MUCH less smug than native speakers of some other euro languages. All people I've talked to who were only fluent in English expressed some sort of regret or sometimes even shame about not speaking anything else. While I got an impression in France that people wouldn't respond even if they did understand english. French, italians, germans to name just a few... from my observation a general tendency with those nations is that they feel PROUD for not speaking anything else (that certain "speak French/Italian/German or fuck off" vibe), while native English speakers are actually ashamed of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabeena
...and they say that its harder for you to learn another language when you get older
That's true. Kids up till 9/10 can learn new langauges almost effortlessly. Their native langauge vocab hasn't developed yet fully and also they they're very suseptible to new ideas. Families with parents who speak different langauges at home are bilingual without even trying. They often confuse two langauges and form sentences by meshing both languages together. Then it all gets sorted out in school and you get a brand new bilingual. Straight from the shop.
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:22   #36
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freddie, when I was in McDonalds in Switzerland I asked if they spoke english. "No! " That was definately a "fuck off" response.
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:24   #37
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Apparently that has happened to a few people on here aswell, in other countries.
Maybe it has something to do with pride...
"Motherland you are like a whore."
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:30   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
freddie, when I was in McDonalds in Switzerland I asked if they spoke english. "No! " That was definately a "fuck off" response.
I got a same response at McDonald's in Nice and Milano. So there must be something to this euro-language arrongance. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenBee
Apparently that has happened to a few people on here aswell, in other countries.
Maybe it has something to do with pride...
"Motherland you are like a whore."
Harhar. Quite.

We have exactly the opposite problem here in Slovenia. Most native English speakers who live here complain that they don't get enough opportunities to learn our language since as soon as we sense they're struggling we automatically switch to English. And we do the same for Serbians/Croatians/Bosnians, by speaking their language so none of those people ever get to learn Slovene properly. Cause they don't have to.
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:34   #39
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We have exactly the opposite problem here in Slovenia. Most native English speakers who live here complain that they don't get enough opportunities to learn our language since as soon as we sense they're struggling we automatically switch to English. And we do the same for Serbians/Croatians/Bosnians, by speaking their language so none of those people ever get to learn Slovene properly. Cause they don't have to.
I think it's the same here in Sweden, although I'm not sure. I've noticed that mostly people from countries outside of Sweden who live here, know less English than the native Swedes.

I actually met a lady who spoke English with me, on the bus - about a week ago. She asked me for directions. It was soooo much fun.
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Old 14-05-2006, 20:49   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
While I got an impression in France that people wouldn't respond even if they did understand english. French, italians, germans to name just a few... from my observation a general tendency with those nations is that they feel PROUD for not speaking anything else (that certain "speak French/Italian/German or fuck off" vibe), while native English speakers are actually ashamed of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
So there must be something to this euro-language arrongance. :P
I don't think it's such an arrogance for French people....just they don't know English...

May be some old French Persons don't like English mentality....but a lot of French persons are so bad in English that they just don't dare to speak it.
That's why you think they are arrogant.

Morever, when you have to speak English , you have to use different muscles from the face...so when you ask to somebody to change of language SUDDENLY it isn't so easy...
You need some time you be used to use the good muscles...
Ask to Patrick who is very good in English...when he met Olga , he needed some time to adapt himself to speak English...
So if you ask suddenly , in the street , something to a French in English: 1/ he is surprised 2/ he is ashamed because he doesn't know English except "My tailor is rich" or "I love you" so he escapes because he doesn't know how to act...
May be you've met arrogant French persons ...it's absolutely possible cause it exists as everywhere else...but I don't think the main reason of this absence of answer is arrogance.

And the last thing: don't judge all the French by a comparaison with people from Nice or other places near it....cause there...if you have from Paris , they don't answer to you neither...not because they feel French but because they feel just from their region...

Some persons from the South are not really sympathetic indeed..they could be okay with tourists but after they are not kind at all...with Strangers as with other French who live far from their region...

The most generous and warm, indeed, are the French from the Extrem North.
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