(Closed) Do you think learning a foreign language is important?

posted 8 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 32
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Yes and Yes! Learning a second language and maybe third or fourth is absolutely necessary. In fact, there are studies that prove that learning a second language decreases the risk of dementia later in life. I’m a big supporter of dual language programs that foster the development of academic language in two languages not just social language.

Post # 33
Member
2085 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

I think it’s critical. The world is flat! 🙂

Post # 34
Member
4045 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

It’s absolutely important, and I wish US schools would make it mandatory at the lower levels. Europe generally has their students learning multiple languages in school starting at a young age, and I think the US should follow suit.

My Swedish aunt learned Swedish at home, and English, French, and German in school, and when she moved to the US as an adult, she learned Spanish. She’s pretty badass. And her employment opportunities are so much better too. Plus, it’s great for travel.

Post # 35
Member
1784 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Yes, and the younger the better. Younger brains are wired to pick up languages much more easily than older brains. I teach English to 5th and 6th graders in Japan, and I wish it was required for younger kids too. 

Post # 36
Member
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Having just gotten back from France, yes!!  I know very little French but everyone appreciated my efforts.  I find it sad that in every other country out there the kids are taught at least two languages and here in the US of A we expect everyone in the world to speak English.  I wish I had been taught tagalog(language of the Phillipines) when I was younger!

Post # 37
Member
8482 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

I wish I could speak other languages! Most especially, Spanish. Theres this really sweet, adorable old hispanic guy thats a customer. He’s sweet as can be, but his English is awful. He really tries, bless his heart, but I can rarely understand what he’s saying. I’d love to be able to actually communicate with him.

And also just in general, it would come in handy. Especially with my job. When someone comes in and they dont 100% speak English and I need to tell them something, like their card is declined or a pump is broke, it gets so frustrating.

Post # 38
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@jbridea:  You should learn Polish! It’s an interesting language and it wasn’t that hard to learn.

Post # 39
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@MrsRuby:  I grew up completly bilingual speaking english and italian and studied french from age 4 and spanish from age 7. I also lived in spain for a year and spent my summers working in france during my last two years of school.

It is a very important skill. To me a language is one of the biggest expressions of a culture and speaking multiple languages well shows that you have an interest in other cultures and are not just wraped up in your own world.

I think in Italy this has become a real problem since english and other languages are taught very badly in school so most young people barely have to tools to travel let alone ever move anywhere other than their own country. It’s sad they miss out on a lot.

Post # 40
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@baletrina:  I don’t understand why american’s alays think that  in europe people all speak two or three languages. It really is only true in some country but for most of southern europe it sadly isn’t true.

The worst thing is that people often think they speak a foreign language when actually they are barely an A1 or A2 level. Most italians will tell you they speak english and spanish because they studied it in school but actually the level taught in schools here is extremly basic.

Post # 41
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

My first language is English and my second is French (although I grew up speaking and learning a French dialect in school more than proper French). I also read and write in Spanish, can understand about 50% of spoken Spanish and can speak (but not terribly well), and I speak and understand basic Kinyarwanda and Swahili. Languages are so, so important. I wouldn’t have worked where I’ve worked and had the opportunities I’ve had if I only spoke English.

 

Post # 42
Member
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

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@BagsnBooks:  How long did it take you to learn Polish? I have never learned another language. I grew up with english and spanish. I dont even know where to begin. Ive looked up on the internet and ive heard a lot of people saying that to learn it you have to speak it from day 1, instead of jumping straight into grammer for 3 months and then trying to speak it. Whats your opinion on this?

Post # 43
Member
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@walnutgirl:  I am only speaking of my experiences with friends and family from other countries.  I am not assuming everyone in Europe speaks multiple languages.  I know that’s not true. I come across people everyday that only speak Polish, Italian, Chinese, etc.

Post # 44
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I am very glad I had all those extra lessons in school! English is my second language, on top of it I speak Croatian, German and basic Spanish. I learned all of them through school and uni. If it wasn’t for my love for english I never would have moved to the uk and met my FH 🙂

Post # 45
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@baletrina:  I guessed as much i just meant that i feel americans put themselves down compared to europeans when it comes to language learning! And it’s simply not true! I know more americans commited to learning a foreign language than europeans  but they usually are more modest about it and doubt themselves more.

Post # 46
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Yes. It is just a cool skill to have. My hubby was born over seas and he speaks another language. I can understand and speak enough to get me around….I’d love it if our kids could learn too.

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