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People and a second language

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posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:46 PM
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Im S.M. and I have been puzzled with people's look on a second language for years. Back in 1980 when I decided to enter a university I found myself unable to join for the lack of a second language. I thought to myself "****** son's of ****** not letting me go in university over a ****** second language". It was then when I began to think about the topic. Why must I focus my time on learning a second language when I barely passes English in juniour high and high school? Learning a second language could only make me more confused and worse at my own language than I already am. There have been many reports addressing the benifets of knowing a second language but what about the people like myself who have problems learning 1 language. I am not impared, I have nothing wrong with me (except an aracnoid cyst wich made me get two holes drilled in my head), but i still cannot seem to grasp any other language. It is not my fault that i was not introduced at an early age, so why should I have to face the unpenatrable wall of learning a second language when i need to get into university. I tried to learn french, but I couldnt seem to get the backwards logic of it. I tried to get Mandrin but not only could I not write it fluently, my accent was completely pathetic. I was able to get into a University but it took several months of traveling and a lot of money I had not planed to spend to fix it. Like I said earlier, I have nothing against learning a second language, but I find that I myself have had too many issues trying to learn even my own language. I do however belive that the second language requirement in several universit's should be disbanned for what I choose to speak and what others choose to speak are different and some people are better at learning than others. As well unlike math and science, what can learning a language other than your native one help you if you plan to be something like a vet or a software designer. All things aside, if you are planning to move to a different place it would be wise to know their native tounge but why should I have to learn Mandrin if i do not plan on communting with others that speak that language or take a trip to Asia. Instead of making a second language a requirement to get into university, they could make it a requirement for things that require that second or more language for jobs like a translator or possibly a fire fighter. Once again I have nothing against other languages just the way that they are being used as addmitance. Plz comment
and realize all the facts that i have listed.

Admin edit: Removed author's name at his request.

[edit on 10-7-2006 by SimonGray]




posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:57 PM
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Our country (yours and mine) is officially bilingual. We start learning French in grade 1. Mine sucks but my son is enrolled in French immersion (courtesy of the taxpayer) and will be bilingual by the time he finishes high school. Aside from the practical implications (such as being able to converse with strippers:lol
a second language increases the synaptic connections in the brain. With the government doing everything it can to provide you with a second language why not avail yourself of what it offers?

BTW- welcome aboard



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 05:30 PM
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As i said above i do agree with the fact that a second language can have benifits, but I still do not understand why it has to be such a requirement in places like university. I have nothing against the French (accept for the several rebelions in the past, although they have somewhat passed that), but what about people like me (although I cannot really say that in a sence), who have trouble learning one language let alone another. It is not fair to have to press a second language on them and make there native language suffer as a result. As well my kid who was born in 1990 is not so fortunate as to get involved in a french immersion at a young age. At the momment he is 13 and going in to grade 9 this september. Myself and my wife have fequently discussed with him about the prospects of learning another language simply for the fact that he needs one to get into the university he wants (wo they sure grow up fast). We have even offered to learn the language with him! The only problem is although we have tried several languages like French and Mandrin but myself as well as my son, Jason, are unable to grasp anything else. My wife, Janet, is a different story as it was easy for her to grasp both the languages as well as english. I am prephaps agered at the audacity of the requirement in something as important as going to university. I cannot afford for my son to not be succsessful as it would be a great dissapointment but i fear if he does not get into a good university than he wont be as succsessful. Although i know there is nothing you can do, I just wish that this topic would have had more thought put into it beofre they made it so. They could have at least delayed it a few more years when the French immersion was implace more fully inorder to not 'screw' certain kids out of an education.

Thx for the comment



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 05:35 PM
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While I am fairly intelligent in some areas (Not so much in others
), learning a second language has always eluded me. Im guessing that my mind just isnt set up properly. I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you who can actually speak two languages well. When you are speaking other than your native tongue, do you have to think in your language first and then translate into the other language or do you somehow end up just thinking in that language?

- Was



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by Wassabi
When you are speaking other than your native tongue, do you have to think in your language first and then translate into the other language or do you somehow end up just thinking in that language?


For me, it really depends on how often and frequently I get to use my second language (english). Many years ago, I lived and studied in the U.S. and after a while I started thinking - even dreaming - in english.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 05:49 PM
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I completely understand what you mean about that. I have always wondered how you would be able to think that way. It is quite confusing and is really annoying when you have to think about it becuase you cannot get the answer on your own.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 06:00 PM
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Babies recognize language as early as 4 months. At 6 to 9 months, they begin comprehending. By the 12th month, they start repeating words they've heard

Even if the child doesn't continue in the language, learning so young clearly stimulates brain activity... Research now shows that learning a second language at a young age not only doesn't hinder children; it helps them do better in their native language and in other academic subjects. The first three years are critical to developing the intellectual potential a youngster carries for life."

When a language is presented before the age of seven, the sounds, intonation and accents are automatically entered into the computer of the infant mind. Linguists sometimes describe the various world languages as having ranges similar to that of scales on the piano. When a child hears the frequencies of a specific language early in life, it can be accessed later with great ease and without accent.

The brain is geared to learn languages at a very early age. I cant speak for other countries but in America I was not introduced to another Language until High school. I had alot of trouble with it even though other fields like science and math came naturally to me.

Do I think its fair that this lack of a second Language skills will hurt your chances for getting into college no, but this is just something that we have to deal with. I had to take language classes in college that where non-credit just to try to keep up. I had to struggle all the way through it and also never came to be fluent in a second language.



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 10:03 AM
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many people dont see the reason to learn other languages but you never know when they might be use full for example the last time i recall the 2 official languages of the UN were english and french i personally believe that they should be english and spanish but thats another story and it seems kinda difficult cause now mandarin is so important but that language family is all in its own category and is frekin had to leanr but so many buisness would rather have a multi langual person than just someone who knows just english i personally am a fluent english spanish and i'm getting preety fluent at french but i had to start real young maybe it would be better if public schols provided a better foriegn language system i hear that most people in european countries speak at least 2-3 different languages but then i guess that is because there are so many countries in europe that are so close together and the US is more of a big country that doesnt have lots of countries with diferent languages around its borders



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by SirKillallott
As i said above i do agree with the fact that a second language can have benifits, but I still do not understand why it has to be such a requirement in places like university.


I'm not sure what it's like where you are, but here in the UK universities -especially prestigious ones who have a large number of applicants - like to take students who are "well rounded individuals". People who have extra abilities outside of their academic field are given preference over those who don't. Sporting achievement, extra languages, belonging to clubs/societies/organisations - all these things are taken into account when an application to a good university is submitted.



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 04:22 PM
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SirKillallott:
French is very different from English, try a more similar language, like German or Dutch.

Wassabi:
When I am speaking other language I think in that language, so much that friday I tried to say a word and I only remembered that word in English, not Portuguese.

Kaiser617:
I think the reason for French being one of the languages of the UN is that French used to be regarded as the language of the diplomats, before the economic power overcame the diplomatic power.



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 04:39 PM
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I never got on with learning a second language at school...

At my old school (and most schools in the UK) I was forced to learn English Language (obviously), French and German - I just got confused all the time, lol.

I left school 3 years ago (16 now), with technically no knowledge of a second language. I now, as a computer programmer have had to learn 20+ entirely different languages, which to me - someone working with code 24/7 - starts to work a lot like vocal languages, you see the same patterns.

And since then, I have started to learn more vocal languages, such as German, and Spanish (not wanted to learn French, though I may have to) - so, in my oppinion; it doesn't matter what age you start at, as long as you have the enthusiam.

Ok, so learning computer languages may of helped me I think.
But even after starting to learn more vocal languages - I don't find them *that* useful. The only reason that I wanted to learn a second (and third) language was because a lot of fellow programmers I have come accross over the years are German and Spanish - so needed to learn the languages to understand them, read their texts, etc.

To me, a second language isn't that useful - depending on who you are. If you're just a bog standard person working in an office (no offence intended), you probably don't *need* to learn a second language (but of course you can if you want, lol).

But, I still think children should be taught a second language starting from an early age, as I find it helps you understand your native language much better; you start to learn *how* a language works, and how great languages are. Of course what a child does with that knowledge after they leave school is beyond anybodies power, so if they choose to forget it all, then that's their choice. But at least they were given the chance.

Plus of course with the world becoming 'smaller and smaller', people will be in contact with people from other countries more and more, so a second language will become useful then also.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 01:41 AM
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Man half the time i dont think with
a voice in my head... unless im going to speak, i find it faster to
think with out that little a$$ hole voice inside my head.

I agree that learning a 2nd language at an early age
is good for mental development.I am learning a 2nd
language spanish.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 08:07 AM
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Yea thats the sad thing about it all is the fact that it is much easier to learn another language at an early age. I myself am 53 and, lol I dont find learning anything other than english that easy anymore
. My son is already 13 and hasnt learned one either
But I guess with my new insite I will try a little harder. Learning German might not be a bad idea. After all I am a German-Canadain. Im a dummkopf when it comes to learning new languages but hey, even if im not perfect at it maybe I can try and help my son a little more than I have. Thx for all the insight, no more posts needed



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 08:19 AM
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The other handy thing about it is when you listen to news reports, you can tell how accurate the translation is. If you are in the military and living abroad, it's VERY interesting what you can pick up from just overhearing conversations (heck, that's true anywhere in the states.)

I could speak a bit of German once (can read a tiny bit of Latin and Greek, and can read some ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.) It's Spanish that I find most useful, living in Texas.

My son picked up Japanese while watching Japanese cartoons.



posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 04:10 PM
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Id like to say thx for ur input on this, you guys have changed my mind a bit on the idiocy of a second language as a university requiremnet. I still wish that they would change this policy but i cant to much now can I.



posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 03:41 PM
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Wo ho i finally learned German

Wo-ho erlernte ich schlieBlich Deutsches



posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 11:16 AM
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The foreign language requirement for most universities goes back pretty much to the renaissance. At that time, it was thought that you must be fluent in classical languages (ie. Greek and Latin), so you could read the great philosophers' words yourself.

A lot of things in education are like that. The field is fairly conservative, at least as far as elements of the curriculum go. Heck, the phys-ed component can be traced back to Roman times.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by ArMaP
SirKillallott:
French is very different from English, try a more similar language, like German or Dutch.

Wassabi:
When I am speaking other language I think in that language, so much that friday I tried to say a word and I only remembered that word in English, not Portuguese.

Kaiser617:
I think the reason for French being one of the languages of the UN is that French used to be regarded as the language of the diplomats, before the economic power overcame the diplomatic power.




It's really not that hard.. Just depends on how you go about it.. I mean French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, and Engilsh are all rooted in Latin.. Just go through slow self study...



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by SirKillallott
Wo ho i finally learned German

Wo-ho erlernte ich schlieBlich Deutsches


Cool
! German is so difficult though, I struggled with the grammar and finally quit after half a year. I speak Swedish fluently, and that helped sometimes (they're closely related), but some aspects of the language are just so difficult
I'm currently taking Spanish, and I think you'd do well at it too. Maybe your son could pick it up? (You mentioned he hasn't learned a language yet).

-Becs

[edit on 22-8-2004 by Becs]

[edit on 22-8-2004 by Becs]



posted on Aug, 22 2004 @ 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by thethrall_nb
It's really not that hard.. Just depends on how you go about it.. I mean French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, and Engilsh are all rooted in Latin.. Just go through slow self study...


Actually, English is rooted in German, but is heavily influenced by French (in the vernacular) thanks to William the Bastard. The technical and scientific jargon in English are heavily influenced by Latin and Greek thanks to the Renaissance.





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