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    (Original post by Victor-PP)
    Either you elaborate a little or it's you who deserves a facepalm.
    Well it's obvious that there are non-natives with excellent English. Spanishdream was merely pointing out that there is a shortage of native English-speakers that are fluent in other languages.
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    (Original post by Panda Bear)
    Well it's obvious that there are non-natives with excellent English. Spanishdream was merely pointing out that there is a shortage of native English-speakers that are fluent in other languages.
    Agreed. But why would the UN, for instance, prefer a native English speaker over a non-native which may be even more competent in English than a native person, regardless of how odd it may sound? There may be exceptions, though. For example, when dealing with certain people, etc. I'm not denying there is said shortage at all.

    Plus, most of the translators in the sector speak their native language AND English as well as a few others. There are very few English native speakers more proficient in a foreign language than non-native English speakers in English, if you know what I mean. I'm not talking only about the society in general, but about the translators working for the UN and other organisations.

    That's my two cents.
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    (Original post by Victor-PP)
    Agreed. But why would the UN, for instance, prefer a native English speaker over a non-native which may be even more competent in English than a native person, regardless of how odd it may sound? There may be exceptions, though. For example, when dealing with certain people, etc. I'm not denying there is said shortage at all.

    Plus, most of the translators in the sector speak their native language AND English as well as a few others. There are very few English native speakers more proficient in a foreign language than non-native English speakers in English, if you know what I mean. I'm not talking only about the society in general, but about the translators working for the UN and other organisations.

    That's my two cents.
    I don't think it's a matter of the UN having a preference of native English speakers over non-natives. I think it's more them wanting to see more native English speakers picking up other languages.

    Compared to everywhere else in Europe I think it's fair to say that the UK probably has the lowest percentage of people fluent in second languages. Kids don't usually start learning a second language in the UK 'til they reach secondary school and I believe it's much younger elsewhere.
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    (Original post by Panda Bear)
    Compared to everywhere else in Europe I think it's fair to say that the UK probably has the lowest percentage of people fluent in second languages. Kids don't usually start learning a second language in the UK 'til they reach secondary school and I believe it's much younger elsewhere.
    What about immigrants? There are plenty of them in the UK...

    I know it's getting a bit off-topic, but just to support Panda Bear's thought: I started learning English in year 4 (at the moment it's compulsory to start even in year 3 in the Czech Republic) and in addition, many schools require their students to pick up a second foreign language in year 8 or 10. There are even those studying more languages, like taking dead ones. The smaller a nation is, the more languages it has to learn to stand up to other nations.
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    (Original post by fretter778)
    No foreign language can ever be considered a doss subject. There's a lot of hard work involved and you end up with a precious skill that few people have nowadays.
    Yeah, after all only roughly 66 - 75% of the World's population are bilingual..
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    Yeah, after all only roughly 66 - 75% of the World's population are bilingual..
    What I mean is fewer and fewer people are choosing it now at GCSE level let alone A level or degree level.
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    (Original post by Victor-PP)
    Believe it or not, there are plenty of non-native speakers proficient in English.
    Missing the point of why the U.N wants NATIVE speakers...
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    (Original post by Victor-PP)
    Either you elaborate a little or it's you who deserves a facepalm.
    No, you do.

    Native English language speakers with the ability to converse in another are in short supply. Hence why the graduate unemployment of those with language degrees is so low.

    Native level English language, being able to think in that language naturally, is a priceless translation tool for millions upon millions of businesses globally.
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    (Original post by fretter778)
    What I mean is fewer and fewer people are choosing it now at GCSE level let alone A level or degree level.
    This.

    I think languages should be taught a lot earlier to children so that we can increase the amount of linguists in this country.
 
 
 
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