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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%]
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68 messages over 9 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 7 ... 8 9 Next >>
Jinx
Triglot
Senior Member
Germany
reverbnation.co
Joined 5470 days ago

1085 posts - 1879 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French
Studies: Catalan, Dutch, Esperanto, Croatian, Serbian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish

 
 Message 49 of 68
15 October 2011 at 8:51pm | IP Logged 
MarcusOdim wrote:
Mandarin is overrated and "overugly", FACT


hugs and kisses


MarcusOdim, your English is generally quite good, but I think during the learning process you may not quite have grasped the definition of the word "fact". A "fact" is something which is objectively true, with no relation to the opinions of individuals. Words such as "ugly" cannot logically be connected to discussion of "facts" in any way, because "beautiful," "ugly," etc. are all subjectively applicable, meaning they relate to the opinion of an individual. Subjective and objective are opposites. I hope my explanation can be of some help to you.
5 persons have voted this message useful



Matheus
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4858 days ago

208 posts - 312 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: English, French

 
 Message 50 of 68
20 October 2011 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
Good and bad news about Chinese:

My Italian friend told me that this language is very popular in Italy now. He has just
finished an year studying it. The course started with 87 people (I guess it was at
University) and at the end of the year, just 5 people were still studying it.
It could be the lingua franca for those who speak Chinese dialects, or languages like
Japanese (Chinese characters), Korean (borrowed words), Vietnamese (tonal language),
but not for westerners that can barely speak English well. I have been studying English
for a long time, and even being a simple language, I still make a lot of mistakes.

Unless the West is dealing with China, it's unlikely that it would use Chinese as the
common language, even if it were the international business language. Imagine a German
businessman trying to speak with a Spanish businessman in Chinese. The Spanish would
prefer English due to vocabulary similarity (Latin) and the German would prefer English
due to the reasons that everyone knows.
I believe it's very hard for a Chinese to learn English, but I suppose it's easier than
the other way round. The only language that could overtake English is Spanish, but
apart from Spain (economical problems nowadays), most of the other countries are just
developing.

English is not just the language with the highest GDP. It`s the international language
of the airports, the language that everything is translated first, the language of
science, technology and etc. At least but not last, popular culture, my Brazilian
friends have always listened to English songs without knowing the meaning. People are
used to the sound of English, for me is the most neutral sounding language in the
world, but I don't think my friends would listen to songs in Chinese. I only know two
people that enjoy the sound of the language, but one of them said that he just like x
accent and the other said it's not beautiful when it's sung.
To be a global language, the language can't be that difficult. English hasn`t got a
difficult accent like French or Mandarin. We just have to adapt our ears to understand
people with bad accents, but with Chinese, where the tone has to be accurate, it
doesn't fit. An Egyptian speaking with a Japanese in English, or a Mexican speaking
with a Greek, very different accents, it would still be possible. But sorry, Chinese is
just too difficult to be a common language in the world. The tone has to be perfect and
you also have to learn thousands and thousands of Characters just to read, because you
may not be able to write without the help of a software. English is written with the
Latin alphabet, one of the most, if not the most common alphabet in the world. It also
has words from Latin and Germanic roots, and a simple grammar. Advanced English is very
difficult, but you can communicate with simple and clear English. Chinese could become
the lingua franca of the Asian continent (which is a lot of people).
Even English, that is the most required language for international trade, is still
learnt poorly by the majority. Imagine dealing with tones, alien alphabet, and
thousands of characters. I could also say that most countries in the Americas and also
in Europe would get benefits in learning English due to similarity, be it the alphabet,
vocabulary or grammar.
I just can't imagine, sorry. People say Chinese Mandarin has more than 1 billion native
speakers, but it's so fake. It has indeed those number of speakers, but not all of them
are native speakers. And believe it or not, my two Japanese friends and a Korean friend
failled at learning Chinese, guess which language I used to talk with them? English,
which was around B1-B2, but enough to clear and simple communication.

Edited by Matheus on 20 October 2011 at 9:21pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4833 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 51 of 68
20 October 2011 at 5:31pm | IP Logged 
English is not that easy either. How could it be that Czechs, Poles, Bulgarians refused
to learn Russian and started learning English instead, which is much more difficult for
them?
2 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 5111 days ago

4143 posts - 8864 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 52 of 68
20 October 2011 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
 English is not that easy either. How could it be that Czechs, Poles, Bulgarians refused
to learn Russian and started learning English instead, which is much more difficult for
them?


There are a lot of reasons for that, and none of them are linguistic.
6 persons have voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4833 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 53 of 68
20 October 2011 at 8:09pm | IP Logged 
In 1991 about a half of Latvian population were native Russian speakers. Most of them did
not speak Latvian. Most Latvians spoke good Russian, Russian was used everywhere in
Latvia and in neighbour countries. It was declared a foreign language and oppressed. Now
there are fewer native speakers, many young Latvians do not know Russian. That's how a
language can loose its positions.
1 person has voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4833 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 54 of 68
20 October 2011 at 8:29pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
Марк wrote:
 English is not that easy either. How could it be
that Czechs, Poles, Bulgarians refused
to learn Russian and started learning English instead, which is much more difficult for
them?


There are a lot of reasons for that, and none of them are linguistic.

I understand that. The main reason is that the USSR lost the Cold War, and the USA
remained the only super-power in the world. When America falls, English will loose too.
If China replaces America, Chinese will replace English very quickly, despite its
difficulty to someone.
2 persons have voted this message useful



jiajia
Newbie
China
Joined 4635 days ago

17 posts - 26 votes
Speaks: Mandarin*

 
 Message 55 of 68
21 October 2011 at 9:49am | IP Logged 
Matheus wrote:
I just can't imagine, sorry. People say Chinese Mandarin has more than 1 billion native speakers, but it's so fake. It has indeed those number of speakers, but not all of them are native speakers.


May I suggest that you focus less on the comparison of the total population and turn a bit more attention to the other factors. Frankly, never have we believed that Chinese would be the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th important language after English. Personally, I'm quite fond of Brazilian Portuguese and Italian. It seemed that you had tried to prove your opinion (Chinese is unimportant, very hard to learn, or whatever) to everybody, as if somebody forced you to admit that Chinese was, or would be the 2nd most important language. Actually, we're not at all proud of our 845 million native speakers of Mandarin, nor are we very interested in GDP ranking. No offence!


Edited by jiajia on 21 October 2011 at 9:54am

2 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6686 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 56 of 68
21 October 2011 at 11:41am | IP Logged 
As long as they count Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese etc. as "dialects", it's easy to say that there are 1 billion native speakers of "Chinese".


2 persons have voted this message useful



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