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DTMark

Spanish to be most widely-taught language

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Spanish heads to top of class as pupils fall out of love with French

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As thread title - Spanish to be the most widely-taught foreign language in British schools.

We all learned French at school. Also: briefly - German.

I reckon most of us can remember phrases like "Voulez-vouz dormir avec moi ce soir?" (that's probably vaguely right) and a few other bits and pieces, and if I watch French TV I'm surprised by how much French I still know but I have had almost no occasion to use any of it.

And after learning it for - what, three years, three times a week for an hour and a half, or similar, I don't remember studying tense (so I could say "I study French at school" but not "I studied French at school") which means that conversation is never going to progress beyond the basics.

This is parodied nicely in The Tunnel, a series with the British and French police working together, when the British guy, in one scene, suddenly manages to recall some perfect French and can't resist blurting it out: "ou e le chien?" despite not being able to converse usefully in French.

Hilariously, Juncker said that English is losing its importance as a foreign language. Not quite.

Even though France might well be geographically closest, so I see the logic, it is surely time to teach something else and Spanish seems ideal.

French may be the language of love but it seems it is falling out of favour in the British classroom.

It is on the verge of being supplanted by Spanish as the modern foreign language most commonly taught in schools, according to a British Council report. It said that, on current trends, Spanish would be the most popular modern-language A level by 2020 and GCSE by 2025.

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Good.

To make the effrt to learn a langguage, there must be some sort of reward.

Either being able to chat to  the idiot old in laws (me). Or,, normally, money.

French is useless, bar being able to go their for the long teacher summer holidays, which might explain why its taught so much in the UK.

French is used in African shitholes, bit of Canada, pidgin french in Southern US, and some irradiated atolls i nthe Pacific.

Bar Spanish, there are no useful, world, economic langues in Europe bar English, where the social and economic rewards are so fucking massive that the EU, with its fucked up language equability, was so fucking blind to the draw of English to EEer caused Brexit.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Hilariously, Juncker said that English is losing its importance as a foreign language. Not quite.

Indeed an utter joke of a statement. 

If there is a language that's losing importance it's French, used to the language of Science, deposed by English of course. 

Anybody here speak Telugu or Marathai? I suspect not and I suspect most of you have never heard of them, but more people in the world speak those as a first language than French. 3 times more people speak Portuguese than French.

Spanish is the 3rd most widely spoken language, although it's dwarfed massively by English in terms of second language. 

 

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1 minute ago, gilf said:

Spanish is the 3rd most widely spoken language, although it's dwarfed massively by English in terms of second language.

I think you'll find it's American :)

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Good seconded. I find the French arrogant (including my brother-in-law)  and their land will be lost to immigration. Loads of my ex-military buddies have made a new life for themselves in South America and with talk of an extra £2000 tax to fund the NHS, age related taxes and a plethora of other taxes to boot. Not only have I been priced out of a house but the UK also. I'm on a 9 year glide to leaving myself now and if my children can learn to speak Spanish then they'll get on well when they come to visit. Must learn the lingo too.

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1 minute ago, gilf said:

Indeed an utter joke of a statement. 

If there is a language that's losing importance it's French, used to the language of Science, deposed by English of course. 

Anybody here speak Telugu or Marathai? I suspect not and I suspect most of you have never heard of them, but more people in the world speak those as a first language than French. 3 times more people speak Portuguese than French.

Spanish is the 3rd most widely spoken language, although it's dwarfed massively by English in terms of second language. 

 

Just a short time later I was watching Eurovision where the entire show and most of the songs were largely or completely in English. Even the French track had an English chorus.

Learning a second language at school does help if as I did you later go on to learn Italian. Even if they're nothing like each other (French and Italian have similarities) it makes it easier to deal with different patterns and grammar and to appreciate that not every language works in the same way that English does. Indeed over time I've come to see how quirky and weird English actually is, especially with the past tense and its multitude of expressions.

However in terms of usefulness I do suspect it's time to move on from French. It seems to have taken an incredibly long time for this to have happened.

 

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1 hour ago, DTMark said:

ndeed over time I've come to see how quirky and weird English actually is, especially with the past tense and its multitude of expressions.

Our verb conjugations also tend to be a bit more straightforward than others.

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1 hour ago, spygirl said:

Good.

To make the effrt to learn a langguage, there must be some sort of reward.

Either being able to chat to  the idiot old in laws (me). Or,, normally, money.

French is useless, bar being able to go their for the long teacher summer holidays, which might explain why its taught so much in the UK.

French is used in African shitholes, bit of Canada, pidgin french in Southern US, and some irradiated atolls i nthe Pacific.

Bar Spanish, there are no useful, world, economic langues in Europe bar English, where the social and economic rewards are so fucking massive that the EU, with its fucked up language equability, was so fucking blind to the draw of English to EEer caused Brexit.

 

 

Forget Europe -- we should all learn Chinese.

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Even at age 11 in the early 90s I could see that learning French was pretty pointless - I was pissed off that I couldn't take Spanish (it had to be a European language) as that was actually useful Cantonese would have been better though.

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7 minutes ago, eight said:

Our verb conjugations also tend to be a bit more straightforward than others.

Things like the past tense of "to go" which have a different word only used for that past tense - went, which I can only guess was the original past tense of the old English word 'wend'.

"I went" - which is different to "I have gone" which in itself requires the helper verb when went does not.

And our expressions are a marvel. "I was beside myself". WTF does that even mean. English is a much more colourful language than the strictness of the grammar might suggest it is.

Interestingly, or not, apparently the country with the lowest reported levels of severe dyslexia is Italy because the language is said to be so straightforward (not coming from English, it isn't - the grammar seems insane at times) and spelling isn't so tricky because most of the time, it is spelled like it sounds - which isn't true for English since we drop out all the acutes and circumflexes when we steal words from other languages, preferring to "have to remember".

That we regard everything as a genderless "it" unless it is actually alive (countries, boats and aircraft excepted which can be feminine if you choose) is so damn logical. Italians tend to say in English "is nice!" because they forget the "it" in front that is required in English.

I can only guess that English is very easy to start to get to grips with but incredibly difficult to master as a second language.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, DTMark said:

I can only guess that English is very easy to start to get to grips with but incredibly difficult to master as a second language.

I was thinking more of the verb endings, so in English I/you/we/they talk. Whereas in Portuguese for instance, eu falo, tu fales, nos falamos, eles falam. And that's just the present tense.

Edited by eight

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25 minutes ago, eight said:

Our verb conjugations also tend to be a bit more straightforward than others.

More tenses though (eg continuous) not found in some other languages.

I walk.

I do walk.

I am walking.

Less inflection but more tenses.

 

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6 minutes ago, eight said:

I was thinking more of the verb endings, so in English I/you/we/they talk. Whereas in Portuguese for instance, eu falo, tu fales, nos falamos, eles falam. And that's just the present tense.

I find Italian especially beautiful in this regard. You can drop out so many of the little words that aren't strictly necessary since the verb expresses the "I" or the "we". So shorter sentences can be much shorter. You can do "we have" in one word, "abbiamo". You don't need "noi" in front of it because the "amo" ending expresses the "we". But then that's what makes it tricky as you say.

Now bring in plurals and masculine/feminine and the way you have to change the words around it to agree - we don't have to do all that because we don't pretend that a table is male and a cup is female. Is the internet male or female? (it's female). Who decides these things?

That said..

I eat [often]
I am eating [now]
I will eat [later]
I ate [earlier]
I have eaten

I work
..
I have worked

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30 minutes ago, eight said:

I was thinking more of the verb endings, so in English I/you/we/they talk. Whereas in Portuguese for instance, eu falo, tu fales, nos falamos, eles falam. And that's just the present tense.

Only educated or snooty Brazilians use the verb endings properly. :CryBaby: 

There are two versions of Portuguese in Brazil, one a thing of sing-song Latin beauty, the other incomprehensible street gibberish. Guess which you hear the most?

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French ceased to have any credibility as world language in 1815.  Prior to that it had been a court and diplomatic language.

It's amazing really that it's persisted so long primarily down to the inertia of the schools and university systems: French language teachers create French language graduates create French language teachers.

The only languages I would like to know more are the historic ones: Latin, Greek, and British (Cornish / Breton / Gaelic / Welsh).  Modern languages are a waste of time if you speak English because any reasonably educated foreigner will speak good English; and if they're not reasonably educated then I probably don't wish to speak to them. 

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Just now, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Only educated or snooty Brazilians use the verb endings properly. :CryBaby: 

There are two versions of Portuguese in Brazil, one a thing of sing-song Latin beauty, the other incomprehensible street gibberish. Guess which you hear the most?

Same in Italian.

More than that, though, with some regional specialities like the word "barm" [Northern] we expect the English language to be the same from Cornwall to Fair Isle.

Over in Italy - different regions have different words or meanings for the same thing.

I can hear everything the Camamelango says in Suburra (series) like it's in English. Flick over to a series like Gomorrah and the overwhelming majority of it is the street gibberish of which you speak.

I asked my tutor about this.

"It depends on the quality of the person".

;) I love that directness.

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2 hours ago, spygirl said:

Good.

To make the effrt to learn a langguage, there must be some sort of reward.

Either being able to chat to  the idiot old in laws (me). Or,, normally, money.

French is useless, bar being able to go their for the long teacher summer holidays, which might explain why its taught so much in the UK.

French is used in African shitholes, bit of Canada, pidgin french in Southern US, and some irradiated atolls i nthe Pacific.

Bar Spanish, there are no useful, world, economic langues in Europe bar English, where the social and economic rewards are so fucking massive that the EU, with its fucked up language equability, was so fucking blind to the draw of English to EEer caused Brexit.

 

 

Not quite. I'm happy my French got me into Switzerland at least. Good German (mine is poor and would need work) would be better though.

Spanish is quite easy - IMO that is the real reason it's taking over as the main language taught in the UK, because Brits are generally shit at languages, it's going to be easier to get kids to manage Spanish than anything else, and still enables dosser teacher holidays.

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8 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Only educated or snooty Brazilians use the verb endings properly. :CryBaby: 

There are two versions of Portuguese in Brazil, one a thing of sing-song Latin beauty, the other incomprehensible street gibberish. Guess which you hear the most?

Is it Arabic these days?

If not then Brzils on the list ...

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52 minutes ago, DTMark said:

Things like the past tense of "to go" which have a different word only used for that past tense - went, which I can only guess was the original past tense of the old English word 'wend'.

"I went" - which is different to "I have gone" which in itself requires the helper verb when went does not.

And our expressions are a marvel. "I was beside myself". WTF does that even mean. English is a much more colourful language than the strictness of the grammar might suggest it is.

Interestingly, or not, apparently the country with the lowest reported levels of severe dyslexia is Italy because the language is said to be so straightforward (not coming from English, it isn't - the grammar seems insane at times) and spelling isn't so tricky because most of the time, it is spelled like it sounds - which isn't true for English since we drop out all the acutes and circumflexes when we steal words from other languages, preferring to "have to remember".

That we regard everything as a genderless "it" unless it is actually alive (countries, boats and aircraft excepted which can be feminine if you choose) is so damn logical. Italians tend to say in English "is nice!" because they forget the "it" in front that is required in English.

I can only guess that English is very easy to start to get to grips with but incredibly difficult to master as a second language.

Because they  standardised Italian and got rid of the wrinkles that had built up over the years.

All part of making Italy a country rather than collection of whatnot.

It was lucky this happened in the 1800s, when printing presses were cheap.

Yo u  still get a lof dialogues - not accents, full on What the fuck is x speaking.

I dont know they bothered with Esperanto. italian would get you ~90% of the way for a simplified universal language.

And there's no Eperanto to visit/stay at.

With Italy you have a great country and fit women.

Most of the men are useless dicks mind, whic is aplus for a non italian bloke.

 

 

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1 minute ago, spygirl said:

Is it Arabic these days?

If not then Brzils on the list ...

:) You forget that benefits are shite, even if you have work only a tiny elite live well. NGO boat trips to Brazil from North Africa are a bit trickier too.

In Brazil they have enough savages generated by their internal culture, it's the countries that have gone soft that are the targets for Arab population expansion.

 

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1 minute ago, SpectrumFX said:

It's on Duolingo.

xD

It is, not too bad either.

The WLPAN course is spoken Welsh, fun to do and very useful as it starts with everyday phrases.

The further courses then go on to more formal spoken and written Welsh, with the final course introducing formal literary Welsh.

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3 minutes ago, Lone Lurker said:

The further courses then go on to more formal spoken and written Welsh, with the final course introducing formal literary Welsh.

It’s a shame Jeremy Clarkson got chased out of Argentina so quickly on his Top Gear tour..  you can imagine the comedy scene where he turns up in Chubut and finding them all speaking Welsh.

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Oooh... Language. My favourite topic :)

I've been learning Japanese recently, hampered by the fact that I can't find a teacher where I live and learning vocabulary in a non-roman script is pretty much impossible. But I'm soldiering on.

What I'm loving about it is that it's very terse, whole phrases in English become sentences in Japanese. My favourite example is 'go chisou sama deshita'. The literal translation is 'thank you for preparing this beautiful feast for us'. Now... Go and Sama are marks of respect. Deshita means 'did. How the hell they get the rest of it out of 'chisou' is beyond me!

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