How important is english in non-english countries?




 
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Boots
 
April 1st, 2005  
WarMachine
 
 

Topic: How important is english in non-english countries?


I've noticed that a lot of our non american or british friends come from foreign countries. So i just want to know how prolific english is in their societies and how important it is to know it these days.
April 1st, 2005  
Tibs
 
I can only speak on the basis of Hong Kong.

Apparently the SAR govt. wants all the schools to be trilingual (and possibly quadlingual with French), and lack the funding to do so. Most of the people in my school spend most of their free time communicating in Cantonese or Indian (which does kind of undermine the point of having an English system!)
From what I've noticed, English (and French) are barely useful unless you live in an English or French community or that someone you know speaks only those languages.

In terms of Hong Kong, mandarin seems to be much more important to learn. (for obvious reasons due to its proximity to the PRC)

From what I've heard, Hong Kong Universities do not recognise A level qualifications in Mandarin because they expect you to know it already (!??!). Will try and find out more on this.
April 1st, 2005  
behemoth79
 
 
english is the standard language of international commerce. whether or not countries stress education in english, i dont know. what i do know is that it is wise for people to learn english if they plan on communicating with people in another country.
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Boots
April 1st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
English is becoming increasingly important in Italy. I have been studying it since Junior High but this gov made it mandatory to take it since Primary School.
April 1st, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
English is becoming increasingly important in Italy. I have been studying it since Junior High but this gov made it mandatory to take it since Primary School.

Anyways, notice that we don't get Movies or shows in English: differently than in northern Europe, American movies gets dubbed. Which is just a huge limit.
April 1st, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
In Spain its study is obligatory science you are 6 years old, and I guess that in all europe happens the same...
April 1st, 2005  
Pierrot
 
Quote:
guess that in all europe happens the same...
yes almost, in France you have to choose a foreign language when you are 7 or 8 yo (I don't remember exactly), but this is not english compulsory. Nevertheless you have to choose a second language when you get 12 or 13 yo.
Personally I am more gifted for german than english I believe
April 1st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Ah, but English is a Germanic language. Many of the words are virtually the same though the grammer is quite different.

I speak limited German (it was alot better when I used it everyday in Deutschesland). I also speak some Spanish but that has lingered longer and suffered accordingly. My best second language is French. Four years of it in high school and a large French speaking area of the world just on my border. It really helps alot not just in Canada but here in Vermont too. Can't tell you how many times I've helped out visiting Quebeçois in dealings with the locals. Oddly enough, in Montreal I'm not given much credit for it and the locals there are just as unfriendly as ever, but since working with Canadian Forces several years ago at Valcartier I have visited Quebec City and fell in love with the place. Speak a little Français and they warm right up to you. At least that's what's happened for me the half dozen or so times I've been back.

Getting back to subject, I hope Americans don't grow to depend too heavily on English being the "world language" of commerce. Language is as much an expression of the culture as art is. Literature is of course an art and something is lost in the artwork when translated.
April 1st, 2005  
MadeInChina
 
english is very important in chian, almost every kid learns it nowdays

it is very important for future references, becuase the 2 most important languges are chinese and english, which when mastered like me will bring about good fortunes when having a job
April 3rd, 2005  
dougal
 
 
Its not as important as Irish here.