This EU map may confirm my suspicion that European language skills atrophy, that Europeans tend to know their own language and English, while the command of tertiary languages like French, German, Russian... as a foreign language is diminishing, and world languages like Arabic, Standard Chinese, Hindi-Urdu haven't yet taken up the slack.
world languages like Arabic, Standard Chinese, Hindi-Urdu
I'm sorta surprised that the US figured as highly as it did.
* Edit: Oops, I read wrong. It's Slovenians three. Austrians have two. Anyway, Hungarians and Romanians should also have it somewhere in the rank of three.
But, many a native-born US citizen speaks only his mother tongue-- and gets enraged when "immigrants" don't/won't/can't learn it fast enough.
skifaster6 answered 9 years ago5% tops. We make it to easy on them. I have made a personal pact never to hire anyone that does not speak 100% good english from now on for my company. Everyone else should do the same. You want to live here, then speak the language or get the hell out...
"The last people you have to tell that English is important are immigrants," says Rumbaut. "English is already the de facto language of the country and of the world."
Something's seriously wrong with that map. My perception is that smaller peoples always speak more languages, so I find it impossible that e.g. Hungarians speak one, while [Slovenians] allegedly three.
Quote from: mjmsprt40 on 2014-12-14, 23:21:57But, many a native-born US citizen speaks only his mother tongue-- and gets enraged when "immigrants" don't/won't/can't learn it fast enough.The only surprise here is that the US isn't larger. Typically you get two years of foreign language in High School, more in college. In addition, you have servicemen picking up other languages while posted overseas.I find this comment ironic: Quoteskifaster6 answered 9 years ago5% tops. We make it to easy on them. I have made a personal pact never to hire anyone that does not speak 100% good english from now on for my company. Everyone else should do the same. You want to live here, then speak the language or get the hell out... It would appear the poster that demands people speak English doesn't know the language all that well himself. Anyway, the folks that are enraged would be so much if they didn't upset themselves so much, especially over non-issue. The data shows that new arrivals indeed are learning English. Having said that, I understand how the enraged folks get their incorrect impressions: telephone IVRs saying "Press 1 for English..." bilingual food cans, them speaking Spanish among themselves. I have a personal story. I'm only second generation American born on father's side. At Christmas as my Sicilian grandparents' house, the adults spoke Italian sometimes among themselves. They also spoke perfect English.A quote from the article:Quote "The last people you have to tell that English is important are immigrants," says Rumbaut. "English is already the de facto language of the country and of the world."
One complaint heard is that if you go to a foreign country--- Spain as an example-- you would have to learn Spanish if you expect to live and work there. Maybe, maybe not.
But does it really, except perhaps for the UK? I believe that all over Europe it would be more accurate to say that English has taken over the role of French than to say that knowledge of foreign languages has diminished. Here in Flanders, for instance, people by and large used to speak fairly decent French and poor English. In Germany something similar applies. English has replaced French post-WW2, but that doesn't mean Germans on average used to speak decent English and French. Even in a country like Romania (1.5 languages according to the map) people all used to speak broken French as a foreign language, but now they speak broken English instead. Heck, it applies even to me. My French is like my dad's English: adequate -- or rather, broken so as not to sound like I'm singling out Romanians. France has never been big on foreign languages in the first place. It wouldn't surprise me if 50 years ago you would've been able to flip the UK and France around.Quote from: jax on 2014-12-14, 15:25:01world languages like Arabic, Standard Chinese, Hindi-UrduTo be a world language you need many non-native speakers and not just from a few neighboring regions. And anyway, if Arabic or Standard Chinese are one language then so is (Vulgar) Latin. Maybe that explains why most people in Portugal are counted as speaking only one language.
A lot of Swedes work in Norway, but the Norwegian command of Swedish is worsening.
Increasingly English may become the lingua franca in Europe, and the motivations for learning further languages might diminish. Or might not, this may not be the whole picture.
It's shocking to learn how many people live on less than $1 day - and regular publication of the figures over the last two decades has helped fuel anti-poverty campaigns. But could the statistic actually have done more harm than good?In the late 1980s, a group of economists at the World Bank in Washington DC noticed that a number of developing countries drew their poverty lines at an income of about $370 a year.This reflected the basic amount that a person needed to live. Each country had a different sense of what the essentials were, but the figure of roughly $370 was common to all, so the World Bank team proposed it as a global poverty line.Some time later one of these economists, Martin Ravallion, was having dinner with his wife and, as they chatted, he had what he described as a kind of "epiphany".If you divide that $370 by 365 days, you get just over $1. And so the catchy "$1-a-day"' concept was born.Simple, powerful and shocking."We intended to have some impact with it," Martin Ravallion recalls. "Make well-heeled people realise how poor many people in the world are."But it's a lot more complicated, and controversial, than it at first appears.
The same guy also made a map using the (arithmetic) mean, average, number of languages.
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