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Why should we bother learning different languages?





james2002
I am wondering why we should learn more languages because we may not need them. Even if we learn those languages, we will forget if we are not using them on daily basis.

Why should we bother learning different languages?
Arnie
It even makes you better at your own language. That's something I've noticed. By learning other languages my Dutch has improved.

English, by the way, is not my native language. Without it I would have had a harder time joining Frihost (even though it has Dutch roots Smile)
dez_trukshun
My native language is Hindi (Indian), but I know English quite good, studying in the USA for 8 years (3rd grade to 10th grade; going to 11th now). As long as I know English, the question you asked,
Quote:
I am wondering why we should learn more languages because we may not need them.

seems to be the most important in my life right now. French is the other language I have decided to pursue in school, and it has been nothing but a hinderance. Private tutoring for 4 years (over 2000USD spent), every alternate day travelling to the school where I get tutored, and then studying day and night for the French tests and exams, memorizing whatever I did not understand, vomiting out whatever I know in the exams, trying my best, and still getting stuck with 65/100 (i'm an A+ student overall though, so 65 is PATHETIC for me). It pisses me off to the zenith degree. I see absolutely no point to it, specially now that English is considered the Universal Tongue. All French has done for me positively is improved my memorizing skills.
I dont think we should bother at all, and if I was in a position to speak out against it to an education official, I would vent my thoughts full of foul in the most polite way possible, making sure that the person would hear my opinion on this and would do something about it.
jharsika
- makes you more culturally aware
- improves your brain
- helps you communicate while travelling
- makes you look smart!
Bannik
james2002 wrote:
I am wondering why we should learn more languages because we may not need them. Even if we learn those languages, we will forget if we are not using them on daily basis.

Why should we bother learning different languages?


money, money, money
loryl
So you don't say stupid things and end up like Newt Gingrich. You can now lolz at him speaking Spanish with a horrible accent here.

But aside from that, not everyone you meet will speak your language. Miscommunication has led to a crapload of things, including the loss of a NASA Mars orbiter, due to a mixup of the metric and English system of measurements.

Who the F in the scientific community still uses the English system anyways...
TheGustav
Because it's definitely interesting to learn about another country's language, and culture, and how differently they use words and such.

Also, if you ever travel to that country, regardless of how much you forgot if you learned a lot of it, you'll probably be able to pick up on the basic. Smile Maybe, kind of, sort of.
knightandre
English isn't the number one language anymore, Chinese is. Knowing more languages widens the amount of potential customers you can have, and many companies will look at it as a hiring factor. It also changes the way you think, and understand.
Cibes
For once learning a foreign language sure is improving some basic learning skills ( although it is a freaking lot of work to learn all that damn vocab!!! Wink ) and then it is just nice to be able to speak to foreign people and not depend on them speaking your language. After all you are not gonna learn a language you'll never be able to use ( apart from Latin maybe )!
gillo
i know english, french, and hindi.... the advantages that they bring me r... Rolling Eyes
more (type) music to listen (by the way i love listening to music),
while doing a search on google, i don't ignore sites in these languages,
more (type) movies ranging from american pie, taxi 4 to koi mil gaya
more chance of getting a job


bye--> au revoir--> alvidaa Exclamation
Jakob [JaWGames]
Swedish is my native language and without english it would have been very hard to do anything on the internet for example. I am learning Deutch too and that feels a bit more like a waste but you improves your languagecapacity and it is never wrong with a foreign language. Who knows? you may meet someone who can't speak either swedish or english.
mohdqaz
Ya...most of us is not born to speak in English. Most of the people will need to learn English to have a better job or not to look stupid when they are in the interview.
Simulator
I think we should have a choice whether we want to learn then or not. Some people arn't good at learning languages and could be doing a subject they lare good at instead. Some people also might never plan to go to a foreign-speaking country so they wont need.
They would be useful but they shouldn't be complusory in schools.
mutouren
I'm chinese
and when I began my English learning
I also found it diffcult to learn a second language and I was not good at this language
while now I notice it's of good use to learn this language
when I communicate my customer
he is a germany speak both Englihs and Germany
and I know a little English
so we could make ourselves understood
language is just a tool for us to understand
just like money
a kind of medium
azbuky
Hi,

I think it is very important for people to study at least one different language, other than his native one. That, of course, if you enjoy that. I love to learn as many foreign languages as I can! First of all, it gives me a special feeling, the feeling of knowledge. Then, it's great to see the look of a foreign's face then you start talking to him in his own language, even if you are from a totaly different country. It makes him feel important. It makes his country feel proud. Then, let's have a look at this forum. The main language used here is English. If English is not your native language (like in my case) and you don't know how to speak it, you are simply left outside of the topics, just by not understanding the topics.

About forgeting the language unless you use it... That's true! But you can always practice any language! There are forums, chat rooms... You even can practice it yourself! For instance, I used to keep my diary in english few years ago! There are many ways to remember a language, you just have to want this!

Bye!
KellaDayne
it's cool for a native english speaker to ask "why should i learn other languages?" but for the rest of the worls it's mostly a matter of how you'll live your life.
noone needs a worker (i mean not the level of shopassistant and sanitary technician, but manager or smth like this) without speaking english and one or more other languages in russia. we deal more and more not only with our homeland sercises, but with the whole world. that is a matter of globalisation and we can't stop it.
so now, i'm learning one semester in Germany to make my German at least as good as my english is. and i also want to learn Friench. coz English and German as foreign languages can be not enough..
Royal
This is like asking: I have a house in the Bronx, what good is it to visit other parts of my city, why stay at the countryside for some weeks, why experience the ocean, go to Europe, submerge in Africa?
Did you ever read the same book both translated and in the original writing? When I look at the Muppetshow with subtitling I still listen to the original lines - I would have missed a lot by just reading the translation...
Different cultures have different lines of thought, only in the original language you can travel along, when people instead talk to you in your language, you can't imagine how much they adjust.
vanille
1. Cultural exchange.
2. They're a fun way to challenge your brain. (actually, this depends on the language)
3. You get to be less of a tourist and more of a local when you travel.
4. You get to relish literature in its original language.
5. Um...you get to communicate with hot foreign people in their own language! Razz
6. It sounds good on your resume? Very Happy
7. It's just plain fun.
8. There's a study that shows that bilingual people have lesser chances of developing Alzheimer's. (did I spell that right?)
the_mariska
james2002 wrote:
I am wondering why we should learn more languages because we may not need them. Even if we learn those languages, we will forget if we are not using them on daily basis.

Why should we bother learning different languages?

You're American, right? Don't worry, you really don't have to. Most of the european students already speak English more correctly than the Americans. And because English will remain as the language of international communication for at least the next 100 years, you won't have to bother learning languages of small european countries that you may probably have no idea of where they are. Well, beware of Chinese Twisted Evil
D'Artagnan
[quote="the_mariska"]
james2002 wrote:
...Well, beware of Chinese Twisted Evil


I was about to say it Razz...

Ok im not a good person to talk about its, as you can see ^^,
if you're a native english speaker , you're very lucky in this fashion...

but it would depend on your level of ambition or in a softer word where you want to go, cuz if you're going to work in a big company and you receive a porpuse to work in germany for example every single german in your workgroup probably speak english fluently, but in a team made up 90% dutch speaker, they certainly will talk in german for each other, in a working discussion or in a launch break, by the way you wouldn't like to have a nice social interaction with the cool people in your team...

it's ONE of the rasons i think i would learn a third (second to you) language, certainly you'll learn by the dayly contact with the language...
what abou working at china or korea...

there's another good reason too speak other language, someone understand a korean speaking english, its worst than mine Razz

(sorry about this one Razz )

Quote:
we will forget if we are not using them on daily basis


its true in part,
try to memorize phrases to learn a new language , is as usefull as try to memoryze the dictionary, at the start its ok, but the only real learning is when you start to think in a diferent language.


---
Quote:

But aside from that, not everyone you meet will speak your language. Miscommunication has led to a crapload of things, including the loss of a NASA Mars orbiter, due to a mixup of the metric and English system of measurements.


Why some countries , mainly USA and England, use diferent standats (metrics, television, some IT related)?

(its just a question, a plain simple question, please read it as a question, im not a american hater or something alike ok.)
xj975
It allows for more brain usage, it allows for cultural diversity, it offers a point of conversation.

You never know when skills will come into play, and most importantly it makes you look smart.
Flakky
More languages lead to more brain usage (as the one above me told) and this will lead to a better memory in the future. It has great advantages but there are other ways to train your brain and keep it to your native language and english since they are so important.
fbcompany
chinese (mandarin or cantonese mainly) will never take over because they are to figgen hard to learn.

Bragging and higher social status is prolly as valid reason as any other to learn another language.

Its all a bit wanky to me. But i don't speak another language and have no need to.
poly
Well, to be able to communicate with people with different cultural background... Although some people obviously don't think so
sopetite
You know, from learning other languages you learn more about a country's history. Like for example, America invaded Asian countries in guise of "teaching" the natives, when what they did is force feed people with english, why? So that America will be a super country. Since an English force fed Asian native would choose to transact with an American rather than transact with a Mandarin-speaking person, American people get the advantage.

Here in our country, Philippines, we know atleast 3 languages, most not taught in the schools. Our native Filipino, a dialect, and English.

It irks me when a white person would come over to an asian country and bitch about the natives being stupid coz they don't know how to speak English well. Ugh, hello? You're in our country, who's the stupid chicken now?
Flakky
sopetite wrote:
It irks me when a white person would come over to an asian country and bitch about the natives being stupid coz they don't know how to speak English well. Ugh, hello? You're in our country, who's the stupid chicken now?
That is just pure stupidity, the tourist wants something, he has to work for it!
sopetite
^
Yeah I know. You know this has happened a LOT. one time I overheard a group of Americans dissing a local vendor coz she can't understand their haggling. Didn't they think that maybe the woman was just pretending not to understand them.

But sometimes tourists are okay, coz there's this one incident that a boisterous guy I know dissed natives from a tribe coz they can't speak without an accent, then this Australian dude swooped in and said to the stupid dude "Magtanim ka na lang ng kamote yabang." (Just go and plant sweet potatoes ******)
stevethedog
I've been trying to learn German for years but don't put enough into it.

I love the country and would like to not have to depend on others to get around and to live! It's common courtesy to make an effort to learn the language, where would you be if they didn't know yours!
karysky
Learning other languages opens you to other cultures as well as the language.

And if you're not learning some remote, obscur language that isn't vastly used in the world, you have a lot of chances of needing it one day.

Languages like English, Spanish and French are languages to learn to travel everywhere.

As for me, I want to learn Chinese to go work a couple of years in China.

People all have their own reasons.
sacandaga
There are now more non-native speakers of English than native speakers. This is leading to the rapid development and evolution of the language as non-native speakers adapt it to their own use. This is most evident around faux amis or amigos falsos - words that are similar in two languages, but mean something completely different.

The most common is the word "actual" which exists in English, Spanish and French, but has different meanings for the romance languages that for English.

Studying other lanuages will help you to converse not only in that other language, but also in English with those non-native speakers, as you will have a better understanding of how they use language.
elite747
Uh, for me it is so I can communicate when I travel. I travel a lot now esp. during the summer. Just a few years ago, I went to Paris, and I forgot most of my French. I felt like the biggest idiot...
Billwaa
I guess it give you more advantage in busneiss. Or even for future. For example, I took German, know Chinese and is learning English. Since most countries in the world speak English, learning English help me. While doing research project, sometime Chinese / German sites give me more information than English, therefore it help. Also for traveling. I went to Italy at April, and we have a delay at Germany. There, I can communicate and read newspaper using German.
Azmo
however, it would be easier if everyone spoke the same language.. thought of this many times, why can't all have english as their mother tounge? I don't I'm from Sweden, but u can't help thinking of this when you try to talk with someone that's less good in english and you don't understand more then 50% of what he's saying.. and I do hate when you have a group conversation and 2 or more people start to talk in their own tounge so the rest of the group don't understand anything... blaah.. everyone should speak swedish! that's the solution to everything! Smile
Sharpe
Azmo wrote:
blaah.. everyone should speak swedish! that's the solution to everything! :)


And that's why we will never agree on one language for all. We all want our own language to be picked over the others.

If you live in the US, you can go without learning another language. If you live in a small country like me, it is more of a necessity imo.
Dutch isn't a common language, so we need to learn more languages just for our survival in the big bad world.
sopetite
I don't feel that it's really a waste of brainspace to learn more languages. It's quite great when you know how other people from the otherr side of the country communicates
enoque
My native language is Portuguese, aside from that one I speak 3 more languages: Spanish, Italian and French.
I would love to speak German also but I haven't convinced myself to learn it yet.
Enough about me.
Regarding the matter in discussion, learning different languages, I think that it's something that we all should do.
If you stop to think about it you'll easily see that English cannot be considered a Universal language. It's spoken by a lot of people in Europe and in the States.
If you go to Africa (generally speaking) or to South America the languages you must know are French, Spanish and Portuguese.
We cannot expect the less educated places of the world to understand us, I think we should make an effort to approach them in their own languages.
And if we think about Asia the difference is even bigger, probably 1/5th of the worlds population speaks Chinese.

Learning different languages is - in my opinion - a sign of civilizational development and respect for different cultures.
nilsmo
Of course we should! Knowing more than one language definitely helps you understand language in general better, and makes the verbal part of your brain more flexible (if you see what I'm saying).
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