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  • Two Or More Languages Is A Big Plus

    I envy those who can communicate in more than one language. I can not claim that distinction, although I do understand a lot of French. It is an important language (and part of our culture) in Canada, and we do get a good opportunity to learn the language as part of our education. But I can not go very far conversationally, which does limit things to a degree. And even though both my parents could speak Italian, they didn't try to teach us......although sometimes my older Sis could pick out things they were saying, when they tried to keep their conversation to themselves. But even though we prefer to be like everyone else when we are young (and not waste time with extra seemingly unnecessary education), it sure would have been nice to have been able to speak fluent Italian as I grew older. Come to think of it, my Mother was a fantastic pianist and my Dad was an excellent carpenter, and I don't remember too much training there either. But that was long ago, and parents were not as involved in the good old days.

    I digress......but I really think those with an extra language (or more) under their belt are much better off. Think of the benefits of going to other countries and being comfortable in your language surroundings! And think of the widened job opportunities for those who are proficient in another language (or more), especially in this age of global interaction! Such a valuable skillset!!

    Sometimes it's foolish of us to mock anyone who has broken English for example, and yet they are doing their best to communicate in a language outside their own comfort level. So what if they aren't perfect at it. They get by. Good on them!

    I would imagine that in the USA, a lot of folks have at least an appreciation for Spanish. Is that widely offered in schools across the Country, or is it more concentrated in specific States? I thought the latter. In Canada we have a distinct French province - Quebec, but we have French communities in many parts of Canada. Where I live, in the Central Prairies, we actually have the largest French population in one local centre - St. Boniface, outside of Quebec. Overall, if you want your kids to learn French in this country, you can pretty much "immerse" them into it.

    Clearly, Louisiana has a real French identity, and there is a very real link with that State and Canada, in terms of French "roots".

    Further to....there are well-based ethnic communities that populate this and other countries, where traditional language mix very nicely with the official languages, and in my mind, make countries richer in so many ways.

    Anyway, I just want to salute those who have more than one language to draw from. If you get the chance to learn, just go for it. I often wish I had been taught by my parents, or taken a course or two since school days. Again, it's a very powerful tool, whether it be on vacations, for a job, or when someone needs some directions/help when in your locale. For those who can speak more than two languages, that is really heavy duty stuff!!

    And folks, for what it's worth, it can be attractive when someone can handle more than one language with ease..... (just sayin)
    Last edited by CanDB; 03-16-2014, 11:12 AM.

  • #2
    I can use Google translate, does that count?


    Most schools here have spanish. Mine had spanish, french and german and I took 3 years of german.
    :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
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    • #3
      There isn't a commitment to teaching foreign languages in the US.

      At the school where I taught before I retired, there were four languages: Spanish, French, Latin and German.

      The German teacher got married and left the state and the principals cut the program. The French teacher retired and they cut the program.

      I told them 18 months before I retired to give them plenty of time to find another Latin teacher, and the first words out of their mouth was to cut Latin I for my final year. They could hardly wait to cut it. My last Latin class was Latin II/II/IV ... in one class period.

      As it turned out, there was a Latin teacher in an APS middle school who ended up going to another HS in town. They didn't even try. The HS where I taught opened in 1954 and offered Latin every year until the year I retired. 58 years of Latin down the drain. At one time I had all Latin classes and the largest program in the state. Now Spanish is the only foreign language taught there, and it isn't even foreign to a large part of the student body.

      When the national conversation turns to education, you can just about look at the second hand on your watch to see how long it takes to blame teachers for perceived shortcomings. News Flash: teachers don't run the schools, administrators do. If there are bad teachers, guess who hired them?

      Public Educations is run and ruined by the three-headed monster of: colleges of education; state departments of education; and, public school administrators.

      One of my daughters is a brilliant world history/German teacher, and she is job hunting. She will leave the teaching profession because teachers are getting hosed and she's fed up. Another of my daughters is marrying a guy this Summer who just started his middle school teaching career. He is a brilliant language arts/social studies/science teacher. We'll see how long he lasts.

      Even if there was a sudden national commitment to teaching languages, just getting enough teachers would take about a decade of solid, consistent commitment to the goal.

      I was interested in teaching Classics to early elementary kids (K-3). I attended the American Classical League Convention in ABQ in 2005 and collected materials for the purpose.

      At that time I had a Latin Honor Society. I wanted them to arrange to teach some of these lessons to little kids, but I needed assistance to coordinate the effort.

      The principal at my school was the cluster leader of all the middle and elementary schools that fed into out HS. I asked him for help in contacting and arranging the elementary schools to put my students with willing teachers.

      He told me to write a proposal. I did and never heard from him again on the subject. He is an example of the kind of idiots who run the schools today. They have no clue about education which is too bad because they are in charge.
      Last edited by samparnell; 03-16-2014, 11:35 AM.
      "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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      • #4
        Originally posted by samparnell View Post
        There isn't a commitment to teaching foreign languages in the US.

        At the school where I taught before I retired, there were four languages: Spanish, French, Latin and German.

        The German teacher got married and left the state and the principals cut the program. The French teacher retired and they cut the program.

        I told them 18 months before I retired to give them plenty of time to find another Latin teacher, and the first words out of their mouth was to cut Latin I for my final year. They could hardly wait to cut it. My last Latin class was Latin II/II/IV ... in one class period.

        As it turned out, there was a Latin teacher in an APS middle school who ended up going to another HS in town. They didn't even try. The HS where I taught opened in 1954 and offered Latin every year until the year I retired. 58 years of Latin down the drain. At one time I had all Latin classes and the largest program in the state. Now Spanish is the only foreign language taught there, and it isn't even foreign to a large part of the student body.

        When the national conversation turns to education, you can just about look at the second hand on your watch to see how long it takes to blame teachers for perceived shortcomings. News Flash: teachers don't run the schools, administrators do. If there are bad teachers, guess who hired them?

        Public Educations is run and ruined by the three-headed monster of: colleges of education; state departments of education; and, public school administrators.

        One of my daughters is a brilliant world history/German teacher, and she is job hunting. She will leave the teaching profession because teachers are getting hosed and she's fed up. Another of my daughters is marrying a guy this Summer who just started his middle school teaching career. He is a brilliant language arts/social studies/science teacher. We'll see how long he lasts.
        I'd blame the department of education for most of it. Claiming for years that an American education is all you need when we've fallen so far behind most other civilized countries in terms of test scores and graduation rates.

        I think there should be more of an emphasis on foreign languages in our schools. Latin would be especially useful in most science and literature fields.
        Last edited by Houshmazode; 03-16-2014, 11:45 AM.
        :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
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        • #5
          Thx Sam......that was very interesting!

          I'm glad you and Housh see the importance of teaching (which is absolutely no surprise to me), and in this case, the value of language study. We are a global community, and the more we invest in it, the better off we will be. Plus each one of us can enrich our lives by developing language skills.

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          • #6
            I'm really eager to learn Spanish, my goal for the next 3 years is to get up to a level where I can properly converse with someone in Spanish. Can unlock a lot of doors being bilingual, or better still, polyglottic.
            Come On You Blues! GO BRONCOS!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CanDB View Post
              Thx Sam......that was very interesting!

              I'm glad you and Housh see the importance of teaching (which is absolutely no surprise to me), and in this case, the value of language study. We are a global community, and the more we invest in it, the better off we will be. Plus each one of us can enrich our lives by developing language skills.
              That's why I took groups of students and parents to Italy and Greece seven times. I was planning an eighth trip right after I retired, but had to have hip replacement instead.

              We always had the greatest conversations just sitting around a table or walking around with those from other countries. Foreign exchange should be a top priority.

              My German teacher daughter spent a year in Hamburg on the Congress/Bundestag exchange program.
              "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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              • #8
                Originally posted by samparnell View Post
                That's why I took groups of students and parents to Italy and Greece seven times. I was planning an eighth trip right after I retired, but had to have hip replacement instead.

                We always had the greatest conversations just sitting around a table or walking around with those from other countries. Foreign exchange should be a top priority.

                My German teacher daughter spent a year in Hamburg on the Congress/Bundestag exchange program.
                Totally agree. This world has so much to offer, and we can learn from what others have accomplished. And exchanging information is so interesting and enlightening!

                Also, by travelling we may learn to appreciate what we have.

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                • #9
                  FTR.....does the language of love count???


                  :paper: (as in, "it counts with me!!!")

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                  • #10
                    Both my parents came here from Germany (Hamburg) before I was born, but gladly kept talking German at home, so that I grew up bilingually. Later I took up Spanish and some French and even Latin. The latter was a pain in the **, although, I'm glad about it now because it taught me a lot about the structure of language as such.

                    I agree with you guys that in terms of language acquisition our education system is in a very sad state. Plus, as Sam has described it, depends way too much on the teachers. Languages should be much higher on the list of priorities, , they are powerful tools that enable you to take a look into other cultures and a world beyond your own.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by raymoe View Post
                      Both my parents came here from Germany (Hamburg) before I was born, but gladly kept talking German at home, so that I grew up bilingually. Later I took up Spanish and some French and even Latin. The latter was a pain in the **, although, I'm glad about it now because it taught me a lot about the structure of language as such.

                      I agree with you guys that in terms of language acquisition our education system is in a very sad state. Plus, as Sam has described it, depends way too much on the teachers. Languages should be much higher on the list of priorities, , they are powerful tools that enable you to take a look into other cultures and a world beyond your own.
                      Welcome aboard!!!

                      I agree with you.

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                      • #12
                        Jeg kann nicht understand hvad du sier?
                        Adopted Poster
                        AZ Snake Fan

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                        • #13
                          My gf speaks russian, german, spanish, french and english. Its fun to vacay with her because nothing gets passed her.

                          I am only fluent in english, but I can get by with spanish. I understand more than I can speak. And I know a little mandarin but thats now taking a backseat to russian...(my GF is Russian so she teaches me)
                          So far:
                          FA- Melvin Gordon. Brandon Scherff
                          1. Kenneth Murray LB; 2. Shenault WR; 2B. Biadazz Center, 3. OT

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BroncosDivision View Post
                            Jeg kann nicht understand hvad du sier?
                            It's about time you showed up!!!!!!





                            You can't fool me either.....I knew all but one of the words you wrote:




                            Jeg kann nicht hvad du sier? Those were easy.....






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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by underrated29 View Post
                              My gf speaks russian, german, spanish, french and english. Its fun to vacay with her because nothing gets passed her.

                              I am only fluent in english, but I can get by with spanish. I understand more than I can speak. And I know a little mandarin but thats now taking a backseat to russian...(my GF is Russian so she teaches me)
                              I don't know your gf, but I have a hunch that multiple languages are kind of "sexy".........I'm sure you agree, languages or not.

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