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  #21  
Old 29.02.2012, 16:49
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Re: Parliament snubs national language rule

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Or CH could just acknowledge that English is the Lengua Franca of the C.E.*
There is nothing wrong with having a foreign language as lingua franca, like all the countries of the EU but three (I put my money on English being official in Malta).
To us, English is just another language, nothing special. We just can speak it. That's all. English is only special to you English speakers. Fair enough.

I won't discuss the significance of language groups and background in European back stage politics. It's like my Swiss thought example: a discussion in a lingua franca is fine as long as it's technical. But when it gets to politics, values, feelings, culture etc. it's not the same as communication in each other's real language. Story of my life, but I know other cases (*insert modesty smiley here*)
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  #22  
Old 29.02.2012, 16:56
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Re: Parliament snubs national language rule

A problem of perception perhaps. English speakers are notorious at not learning foreign language, for all sorts of reasons- so they think that learning 2 is way beyond the ability of most. And yet most Europeans, show clearly that learning 2 is not a problem for most of them

Last edited by Odile; 29.02.2012 at 17:07.
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  #23  
Old 29.02.2012, 17:19
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Re: Parliament snubs national language rule

My two cents and a slightly different perspective here - I hope I don't offend anyone, as this is strictly based upon my personal experience.

Back in the day when I was starting middle school in my home country (which coincidentally was the time when a foreign language was first introduced in my academic life), at the school I was going to attend, kids could choose whether to take English or French as foreign language. Now I believe it has changed, but I am not sure as I haven't lived there in a few years and I am not up to date with school developments. I was dying to take English, whose sounds I found cool and fun, and also all my best buddies were taking English (which was a huge deal), but my mother forced me to take French. I cried, argued, yelled, protested, nothing worked - she wouldn't budge. Her rationale?

Textual words: "We come from a country where, if you want to communicate with the world, you will HAVE to learn foreign languages, otherwise you will always be isolated. Now, since English is the lingua franca of the world at the moment, you will have to learn it at some point, no way around that. However, if you choose it as a first foreign language now, you will think that you can communicate with everyone anyway (anybody ever heard the argument "But everyone speaks English anyway"?) and you will become one of those people who are too lazy to learn other languages. So you're taking French now, and learning English later, and I am not changing my mind. Done. End of discussion."

I hated her for that, but today I thank her. I don't want to go into the questions of national pride, unity, etc. but, purely from the standpoint of my personal experience, I am grateful today that my mom did what she did, so I actually see value in starting off with languages other than English - and then later learning English of course.
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  #24  
Old 29.02.2012, 18:01
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Re: Parliament snubs national language rule

My mum said exactly the same, She was fluent in both German and English (MT French) and insisted I learnt German as a first foreign language and I was not happy at the time. English was easy peasy after that 6 months in London basically did the deed. Hurrah for clever mums.
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Old 29.02.2012, 18:05
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Re: Parliament snubs national language rule

Quote:
My mum said exactly the same, She was fluent in both German and English (MT French) and insisted I learnt German as a first foreign language and I was not happy at the time. English was easy peasy after that 6 months in London basically did the deed. Hurrah for clever mums.
and hurrah for the guy who wrote message nr. 3 on this thread:
Parliament snubs national language rule

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