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is it time for us to start leaning chinese, hindi and portugese?

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    blah blah blah

    "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." Noble prize winning physicist, 1923

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    "This antitrust thing will blow over" Bill Gates

    "The [Iraq] war... will last... six days, six weeks... I doubt six months" Donald Rumsfeld.

    No one can predict the future, what will the world look like in 50 years? We have no idea and making economic projections for 50 years in the future is an exercise in futility.
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    English will remain the world's #1 language for the foreseeable future. Roughly around 1.8 billion people can speak English to a reasonable degree.
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    up to the individual, i suppose. one of the problems with language learning is that most other countries encourage English learning, whereas if you are a native english speaker, there isn't an obvious candidate for everyone to learn- makes it more difficult. If you aren't talented with languages/young, it takes a lot of hours, so its essential to pick the right one, i suppose.

    I'd say Spanish or French still, just because of the amount of nations who use those languages, especially in S.Am and Africa. Arabic is a strange one, since it has a lot of variation between countries.

    In general; any language can be useful- and it makes learning a 3rd one easier, no matter how 'useless' the 2nd one is.
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    (Original post by VY Rose)
    I think a second language should be taught as soon as a child enters school. Students from Sweden, Norway, anywhereinEurope etc, are fluent in English by the end of their main education...

    We however, end up with the ability to buy bread in French... boulangerie, anyone?

    French isn't really very useful; nor is it logical to learn... from a careers perspective, we'd be far better off all learning Mandarin. Or to be honest, anything - but properly. I wish I was made fluent in a second language by time I was sixteen!

    We'll see, hmm?
    This is the problem. Our education system fails us by forcing a next to useless language like French down our throats, which will be of approximately no use in future other than being able to order lunch in a French service station. Meanwhile, countries that will soon dominate the world don't even have their languages on our education system. It's bonkers.
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    I agree with the person above me, its pretty stupid when France dont seem to be that influential anymore in world economic etc, I propose we start teaching kids one of teh suggested languages
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    (Original post by navarre)
    This is the problem. Our education system fails us by forcing a next to useless language like French down our throats, which will be of approximately no use in future other than being able to order lunch in a French service station. Meanwhile, countries that will soon dominate the world don't even have their languages on our education system. It's bonkers.
    Actually,about french.I don't think It is useless,I think It is really beneficial.I am going to a French school and I love to read the poems in their own language.Furthermore,I started learning Latin and Spanish which makes them learning even easier.I can understand when somebody speaks in Spanish,without knowing it.(I tasted it and I really understood the whole thing that they were talking,at the subway to be exact ) What I am trying to say every language has its own way to use.
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    I don't know how you learn 'Chinese' as it's a nationality. I don't know why Hindi would be prevalent and I don't see why I need to learn Pork 'n Cheese.
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    (Original post by Wise Tamil Guy)
    I believe that another key language which should be added to the top of the list is tamil. The core population of Sri Lanka speak in this dialect and it would be a welcome change to speak in tamil than the slow English / other languages present in the world.
    Most Sri Lankans speak Sinhalese. Besides, Sri Lanka is a pretty small country, you might as well choose any random language. Bengali, Japanese, Russian and Indonesian are all much bigger and more important.

    And also, India is poised to overtake China population wise by 2050, and if it gets its economy sorted out then it will begin to have a major international presence, especially as the population of Asians in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia starts to mature. You shouldn't overlook Hindi, it has far far more speakers than languages such as Japanese, and also it's a lingua franca within the Asian community, considering that it is mutually intelligible with Urdu and Panjabi, and pretty similar also to Bengali and various other Indian languages. Indeed if you include all the dialect continuum of Hindustani languages, and take into account the fact that Chinese is a dialect continuum itself made up of Mandarin and various other languages, it will soon have more speakers than Chinese.
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    (Original post by Charlaux)
    Actually,about french.I don't think It is useless,I think It is really beneficial.I am going to a French school and I love to read the poems in their own language.Furthermore,I started learning Latin and Spanish which makes them learning even easier.I can understand when somebody speaks in Spanish,without knowing it.(I tasted it and I really understood the whole thing that they were talking,at the subway to be exact ) What I am trying to say every language has its own way to use.
    So because you learnt French... you could understand a little Spanish? What? Surely then you'd be better off learning Spanish off the bat. No one learns a language for the sake of making learning another language easier, and Spanish and French are universes apart when it comes to pronunciation.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    I don't know how you learn 'Chinese' as it's a nationality. I don't know why Hindi would be prevalent and I don't see why I need to learn Pork 'n Cheese.
    il ne faut pas de encouler des mouches...
    cantonese/mandarin then, happy?

    itll be prevalent due to indias status as an emerging econmic superpower and that theyre due to have the largest population on earth in the relatively near future
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    (Original post by navarre)
    So because you learnt French... you could understand a little Spanish? What? Surely then you'd be better off learning Spanish off the bat. No one learns a language for the sake of making learning another language easier, and Spanish and French are universes apart when it comes to pronunciation.
    I learned French because there is a world called " Francophone ;many cultures and many stuff.I just say that you cant say a language is useless because It is really useful.It helps me to learn Spanish and Latin while I do still love French.
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    (Original post by cl_steele)

    itll be prevalent due to indias status as an emerging econmic superpower and that theyre due to have the largest population on earth in the relatively near future
    India has many languages. Hindi is just one of them, and it's not even spoken by the majority. Pretty much all educated Indians learn English, not just for dealing with other countries but also with other states within India which have different languages, so if anything I'd say India's rise to power will reinforce the position of English.
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    (Original post by Oli-Ol)
    I wish I'd had the opportunity to learn more languages.

    I'm currently leaning French, Latin and Italian, and I've previously had lessons in German and had the option of taking Spanish at GCSE. To be fair languages are one of the most important things in the world for me, but I really wish I'd been brought up learning other languages. Maybe not Portuguese, because if you speak the other Romance languages it's not very different, but I'd have loved to have been taught Mandarin/Russian aged 5.
    Exactly. That is why Germans, the French, can speak English so well. They are taught from a VERY young age. The younger the better!

    We start learning their language at age 11/12.....which is why most people even who got their A*s at GCSE can't even put a sentence together.
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    (Original post by ilovelabradors)
    It's always good to learn new things!

    But I tend not to regard forescasts... Uhm... predicting things is not my piece of cake... I like facts!
    Predictions based on sound logic and evidence can be regarded as facts unto themselves, disregarding the proposed event(s).
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    It depends what you are going to use the language for. In most cases than not, people won't need to learn the language unless they intend to work in Asia.
    I work in Asia, so yes, learning Chinese is essential for me.
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    I would enjoy Hindi and Portuguese, both are apparently relatively easy. Chinese has a reputation for being near on impossible, however.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    Most Sri Lankans speak Sinhalese. Besides, Sri Lanka is a pretty small country, you might as well choose any random language. Bengali, Japanese, Russian and Indonesian are all much bigger and more important.

    And also, India is poised to overtake China population wise by 2050, and if it gets its economy sorted out then it will begin to have a major international presence, especially as the population of Asians in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia starts to mature. You shouldn't overlook Hindi, it has far far more speakers than languages such as Japanese, and also it's a lingua franca within the Asian community, considering that it is mutually intelligible with Urdu and Panjabi, and pretty similar also to Bengali and various other Indian languages. Indeed if you include all the dialect continuum of Hindustani languages, and take into account the fact that Chinese is a dialect continuum itself made up of Mandarin and various other languages, it will soon have more speakers than Chinese.
    Tamil as a language shouldnt be overlooked, because of the fact that, it has continuosly been spoken with not too much of deviation from 500 B.C. Modern greek and modern mandarin has significant deviations from older forms and even italian. And theses places were the cradle of the 1st human civilisations. Greece, China, India, Roman Italy. I dont know much about modern day persian and the ancient sumerian & mesopotamian civilisation's lang.

    So with regard to its uniqueness of being perhaps the only major ancient language still being spoken by more than 75 million speakers, it should be given its due respect and recognition atleast with regards to its classical status. In terms of the number of ppl who speak it, yes its small , but hindi is spoken only by 40% of the indian population and while there are similarities betw punjabi,marathi,bengali,etc with hindi, there are great differences too And the highly developed regions of India belong to the southern region where Hindi is very rarely spoken and in punjab where punjabi is poken predominantly, the least developed states of India have hindi as their main lingua franca, where ppl still mainly depend on agriculture and industry has only quite recently started to develop
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    (Original post by Arbolus)
    India has many languages. Hindi is just one of them, and it's not even spoken by the majority. Pretty much all educated Indians learn English, not just for dealing with other countries but also with other states within India which have different languages, so if anything I'd say India's rise to power will reinforce the position of English.
    Yeah, that's true. If you put four Indian people in a room together: one from the south, one from the north, one from the east and one from the west, they will speak in English. Good luck surviving in south India if you know only Hindi.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    It would be way too hard for people to learn Chinese or Hindi. They are much more complex languages than English. English will therefore likely remain the more practical and opted for language (this coming from a non-native speaker). I think, however, that the English that will be used in 50 years will mostly be some derivative form of English, as the one already found in south east Asia.
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    (Original post by Charlaux)
    I learned French because there is a world called " Francophone ;many cultures and many stuff.I just say that you cant say a language is useless because It is really useful.It helps me to learn Spanish and Latin while I do still love French.
    The 'francophonie' largely consists of states that have very little to do with the French language. The membership criteria is anything but strict; hence why Greece, Egypt and Romania are members. There are many cultures in the francophonie, but most have minimal contact with the French language.

    If French helps you learn Spanish and Latin, fine. However, you could be learning a far more useful language like Portuguese which would also help you with those two languages.

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