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Learn 1,000 words in a new language urges campaign watch

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24231822

    Everyone in the UK should learn at least 1,000 words of another language, urges a new campaign.

    The 1,000 Words Campaign stems from concerns that the country is losing out on international trade and jobs because of poor language skills.

    It aims to confront the view that only the brightest can learn a language.

    "For too long people from the UK have suffered from a reputation that we are lazy linguists" said supporter Vicky Gough of the British Council.

    "Speaking another language is crucial to understanding another culture", said Ms Gough.

    Multilingual world
    "So let's overturn our poor record in language learning and show that we are ready to engage with a multilingual world," she urged.
    It's certainly a big challenge... I know over a hundred words in Italian, and might try and learn up to 1,000. After all, it's a beautiful language and culture, and I plan to go on regular holidays to Italy.
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    Time to learn all the swear words. Ever.
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    Perhaps 1,000 is a bit too many if they're just being learnt for the sake of it.
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    Words without context are not that useful if you plan to communicate properly. Learning words together with phrases helps a lot more.
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    I'm a strong believer in people learning languages from a young age.

    UK: English + 2 of Welsh/French/Spanish/German/Italian/Mandarin

    I mean from primary. Then at high school you have to do 2 and can opt for more. And then at 15 (GCSE) you choose at least 1.
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    I can say 1-3 in Finnish and a few colours in Norwegian, do I pass?
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    (Original post by Paparazzo)
    I can say 1-3 in Finnish and a few colours in Norwegian, do I pass?
    Nope. Not that I don't commend you for your efforts on a lesser known language, but you're gonna have to do a lot better.
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    I have around 3000 in Latin but I don't think that'd be much help now...
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    Chinese or Spanish I guess, perhaps some French.
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    Not much use if you don't know how to put them together
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    I should think I have a lot more than 1,000 words in French and Spanish, but that's out of actively learning the langauges (but it's slipping from my mind now ).

    As people have already said, learning words for the sake of it doesn't make much sense. I know a fair few words in Italian and German, but they're all from music, films, books, and the Second World War, or are culinary. That's not much use to man or beast.

    The thing is, I'm very pro-language learning, and our reputation as a country is pretty shameful. However, I don't feel that it is anything to do with trade or economics. No matter how little-Englander it might sound, English is the language of trade. We should learn languages because they create a rounded person, and because it fosters cultural appreciation, not for some cold reason that it's "good for business".
 
 
 

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