French called 'useless' language by former British foreign minister

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Brian Barker
Local time: 08:25
A Common Language should be taught in schools, worldwide Jun 17, 2010

Chris Bryant raises the question on which language should be taught in British schools.

I see that President Obama wants everyone to learn another language, however which one should it be?

The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish. Yet this leaves Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, out of the equation.

It is time to move forward and discuss the subject of a common international language, taught worldwide, in all schools and in all nations. As a native English speaker, my vote is for Esperanto.

Please look at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670. A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
a faux-pas Jun 18, 2010

This is not the first time a politician has made a faux-pas, nor will it be the last. As for the teaching of foreign languages in Britain, well French, German and Spanish have always been the "top" languages (I am an ex-teacher). I do not consider French a "useless" language at all, for what it's worth. However, my opinion is never reflected in the press, only that of politicians! Let us just hope that the French don't think that Chris Bryant was speaking on behalf of all British people!! Like most politicians, he is out of touch with people on the ground.
Liz Askew


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:25
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Esperanto Jun 18, 2010

My vote is also for Esperanto, a language that is very simple, both in vocabulary and grammar, and easy to learn.

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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
German to Spanish
+ ...
Newspeak? Jun 18, 2010

Brian Barker wrote:

Chris Bryant raises the question on which language should be taught in British schools.

I see that President Obama wants everyone to learn another language, however which one should it be?

The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish. Yet this leaves Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, out of the equation.

It is time to move forward and discuss the subject of a common international language, taught worldwide, in all schools and in all nations. As a native English speaker, my vote is for Esperanto.

Please look at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670. A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net



Agree. And when we all have a common language: Translators what do we do?
I am sorry, but trying to impose a unique common language to the society seems quite stupid to me. First, because it reminds me too much to the Orwellian Newspeak and second because languages have an own natural development. Each time the human beings have modified the natural evolution, we have paid it at a very high cost.

First, they spoke French to the Russian Imperial Court, then the Germans - always so punctual - arrived late at the United States founding congress and they decided to speak English. And now, the Hispanic world is invading the Anglo-Saxon world and China is expanding at breakneck speed. That is, businessmen are learning chinese just now and population will follow...

Newspeak? No, thanks! And in my opinion, who is really useless is the former british minister, not any other language wich enriches our culture.




[Editado a las 2010-06-18 21:59 GMT]


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Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
Member (2007)
English to French
English would be a good start... Jun 18, 2010

Brian Barker wrote:

Chris Bryant raises the question on which language should be taught in British schools.




Well, in sunny Walsall, English would be an advantage. No racism intended here. Black Country is a dialect spoken by the locals.

Example :

English: Are you really French ?
Walsall : Am Ya real France ? - you can easily imagine the social consequences it has on the economic development for the region.

Joke apart, the former minister probably doesn't speak a foreign language himself, like so many British politicians, so he doesn't know what he is missing.

Not sporty myself, I think all those sports facilities paid with taxpayers' money are a waste...

Most schools offer French, quite a few Spanish, some German. Grammar schools offer Mandarin and Japanese... So there is some variety.

There again, if we are talking international language to learn, I vote for the one in Avatar. Great appeal for the younger generations.

Carole


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Anders Warnqvist  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:25
English to Swedish
+ ...
The EU has an interesting plan... Jun 20, 2010

The EU is trying to convince all EU citiziens to know at least two more EU-languages besides their own. I don't think we can decide on one single language to use all around the world, but if most people know three languages, it's better than the current situation!

I use Swedish in Scandinavia, German with my Italians friends (for some reason they all seem to have studied German too) English in most other countries and a mixture of Russian and German in Eastern Europe.

How far would I come with Esperanto? Not very far. More languages for the people, not just one!


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:25
English to German
+ ...
erm nope. Jun 20, 2010

Paul Dixon wrote:

My vote is also for Esperanto, a language that is very simple, both in vocabulary and grammar, and easy to learn.


:] I prefer an as complicated language as possible.

in case there ever would be a smaller demand for English, I then still had a chance for a switch of my focus while staying in my profession.

prefer an as complicated as possible one, please.

please a language capable of expressing of some. at least some. clarified thoughts. which 'quite sometimes' won't work without LOTS of hypotaxis.

(btw in the last time seen in another translators forum... ) funny ideas about "general spanish" and "general english", what a disaster they COULD be, why they CAN'T be and what's the fun about leaving the clients in their belief they COULD exist. charming discussion.

the only pips who want is "shorter, more handy, please" are staff of MT solutions.





[Edited at 2010-06-20 14:32 GMT]


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French called 'useless' language by former British foreign minister

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