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Second most important language

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
Poll Question: What is the second most important language in the world after English?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
5 [4.13%]
35 [28.93%]
25 [20.66%]
9 [7.44%]
47 [38.84%]
You can not vote in this poll

68 messages over 9 pages: 13 4 5 6 7 ... 2 ... 8 9 Next >>
Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4833 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 9 of 68
12 October 2011 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
The history shows that Languages can lose its positions fast and be replaced by another.
3 persons have voted this message useful



georgiqg
Triglot
Newbie
Spain
Joined 4681 days ago

36 posts - 50 votes
Speaks: Bulgarian*, Spanish, English
Studies: German, Russian

 
 Message 10 of 68
12 October 2011 at 9:24pm | IP Logged 
For me, the second most important language is Spanish, because it's the official language of 21 countries and also I think it's the world's most studied as a foreign language, after English, of course.
3 persons have voted this message useful



MarcusOdim
Groupie
Brazil
Joined 4624 days ago

91 posts - 142 votes 

 
 Message 11 of 68
12 October 2011 at 9:36pm | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
The history shows that Languages can lose its positions fast and be replaced by another.


None of them was even close to what English is, you know, how many courses of French/Latin did Russia have 50 years ago? just as many as Brazil, but nowadays we (any country) have 1 in each corner (for English), their music, movies and everything isn't gonna be replaced any time soon

Do you really think that most westerners would get CLOSE to learning how to write and read in Mandarin proficientely even if they had to???? no way, look how lazy some people are to learn English, the most useful language on earth, they'd try to memorize a few characters and give up


(off-topic: not to mention that Mandarin is not the most pleasent sounding language, and I'm saying "pleasant" because I don't wanna be rude)

Edited by MarcusOdim on 12 October 2011 at 9:39pm

1 person has voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4605 days ago

2371 posts - 3676 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 12 of 68
12 October 2011 at 9:53pm | IP Logged 
Well, I voted for Chinese, purely on economic grounds.

I can certainly see an argument for Spanish, and just possibly German, but none at all
for French (sorry).


It might be a very simplified form of Chinese, particularly for the written language,
for us lazy westerners, but if by then, we are completely in hock to our economic
masters, I imagine we'll find sufficient incentive to learn it.


The world is going to change, I am sure of that. Maybe not in my lifetime though.
There'll always be an English .... but maybe not as we know it, Jim.





1 person has voted this message useful



Marc Frisch
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 6442 days ago

1001 posts - 1169 votes 
Speaks: German*, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Persian, Tamil

 
 Message 13 of 68
12 October 2011 at 11:08pm | IP Logged 
Mad Max wrote:
Well, we can consider two Hemispheres, and the 3 most important languages are:


- Northern Hemisphere: English, Chinese, Arabic

- Southern Hemisphere: Portuguese, English, Bahasa Indonesia
4 persons have voted this message useful



MarcusOdim
Groupie
Brazil
Joined 4624 days ago

91 posts - 142 votes 

 
 Message 14 of 68
12 October 2011 at 11:42pm | IP Logged 
montmorency wrote:
... but none at all for French (sorry).



why not? :)
1 person has voted this message useful



gogglehead
Triglot
Senior Member
Argentina
Joined 5852 days ago

248 posts - 320 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Russian, Italian

 
 Message 15 of 68
13 October 2011 at 12:55am | IP Logged 
Interesting. But, as is always the true case, and as sad as it may be, nothing replaces English. I have lived in many countries on all continents, and, upon the occurence of any breakdown in communication, EVERYONE reverts back to English. I witnessed a misunderstanding in Brazil...A German tourist was trying to communicate with a vendor in Rio de Janeiro, what language did they inevitably communicate in? English of course! I have seen this between Spanish and Portuguese speakers, even between Dutch and German speakers! Even in the most remoter villages in the back of beyond, if, perchance anyone speaks another language...you guessed it!
This is a great shame, I do with that the dominance of this language was not so global.

I know this thread relates to the second most important language, and that many people speak of "languages of the future" and other associated monikers, but really?
Mandarin maybe one of the future languages of international business or whatever, but, unless you are involved in international business with China, is it really important? To a few international business people (who do business with China), yes, but globally? Mmmmmm. Hindi, another "language of the future" with a billion speakers (or however many there are) is only useful if you are involved in business with India, most of whom speak English anyway.

Believe me, I am not an Anglophile of any kind, I speak several languages (my profile on here is several years old) and almost wish that the situation was not as it is, but come on, smell the coffee! Even this very (magnificent) website on which I type, founded by a speaker of another language, was created in English!

I do not now live in an English speaking country, and I rarely use the English language, but its dominance is obvious everywhere.

Anyway, I digress, second most "important" language?

Chinese (if you either live in China, or do business with said country, or
Hindi (if you either live in India, or do business with said country
Mongolian (see above)
Swahili (see above)
Welsh (yawn)
etc
etc


4 persons have voted this message useful



lichtrausch
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5737 days ago

525 posts - 1072 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Japanese
Studies: Korean, Mandarin

 
 Message 16 of 68
13 October 2011 at 2:26am | IP Logged 
Some people seem to be suggesting that every language besides English is basically irrelevant outside of the countries where they have official language status. If you go into a big electronics store in Tokyo, store clerks will serve you in Chinese if you prefer. There is no chance you will be served in Welsh. To me that says something about the relative importance of these languages.


4 persons have voted this message useful



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