In this infantile article we are treated to a stale anecdote - of not coping in France without knowing French. But how important is learning French or German in today's world? France and Germany are insignificant nations and they will become even more insignificant in the future. French is spoken in a few other parts of the world, but German is only confined to Europe. The German world view is narrow, chauvinistic and outmoded.
The languages which will gain prominence in the future are Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi and possibly Portuguese. Tamil is interesting from a cultural standpoint, but Tamil can once again become an important language. There is a case for learning Russian as well.
Re: Learn foreign languages - but which ones?
by Rivka Mishra on Sep 05, 2011 06:23 PM
The facts on the German language in this article are wrong. German is not widely used as a business and scientific language in Europe. English has replaced German in Eastern Europe completely as a business language. As for scientific usage, German lost its importance soon after WWII.
Re: Re: Learn foreign languages - but which ones?
by Suhrud Godbole on Sep 06, 2011 11:41 AM
Sorry, but I was in Germany for over a month, and EACH and EVERY thing I dealt was written in German. Even the Windows OS I was using there was in German. Now I knew German, so I wasn't at a loss, but it is wrong to say that English has replaced German. It still hasn't. We cannot rule out the possibility of that happening in the future. Why Germany, even in India that will happen soon.
Rediff's way of making fun of the intellect of people who mistakenly meander's to this web-site.
From the point of view of practicality, present day Indian kids should learn :
1. Hindi or any one of the Indian languages (like tamil, bengali, gujrati, Marathi, punjabi etc). Not to sweat too much on Hindi in case you are from a non hindi speaking region. Thanks to bolloywood - the basic hindi understanding and expressions are easy to pick up. No extra effort required apart from following standard curriculum and watching TV/movies.
2. English - which is a standard language (either 1st language or 2nd language) in most Indian schools. So no extra efforts required.
3. Mandarin - Out of syllabus effort. Earlier the start in life...better it is.
Guaranteed acceptability to 70% of the world population.
Very important and timely Article Yogita!! Thank you very much for taking time out to inform us. One of the important things not considered is as you mentioned, the language and culture is innately connected and in this time where all the modernity speaks only top one or two languages, the knowledge, culture and identities associated with many of the languages can easily be wiped out without even realizing the loss. For an adorably richly diverse country like India, diversity is our soul and it would be a total loss. There are clear intellectual, psychological and health advantages to being multilingual, there are no reasons one shouldn’t learn a new language. Clearly learning English is imperative no doubt, but we are smart enough to know more than one and in fact it only makes us smarter, wiser, more understanding and better prepared global citizens in this interconnected future. So we surely must put effort in emphasizing the need for learning new foreign language/s. Well said and best wishes!!!
you dont need 100 language to learn. learn speak good and clear english since we live in global village and english is only link language for the globe. respect it. watch hollywood movies, english serial, reality show. it will help you understand the world cutlure. how people in west think, believe, then its easy to do buisness with them. you can't live in fantasy. u have to face the reality of the modern world.
Re: English is enough.
by Annett Allain on Sep 02, 2011 12:53 PM
I'm sorry but there are people who doesn't speak English and not only a few. For a Frenchman, a German or an Italian it is great if you are speaking some words in his language and all of them are much more poli. I don't think French is for English speaking people such a big thing, at least for the vocabulary. There are many similarities.
And let me tell you one thing: the biggest country in film isn't the USA but India. And American English is quite different to British English, Australian English and so on. Learning another language as English opens some one's mind and it is better for understanding foreign cultures.
If you want to speak always English in a country in which English is neither official nor link language you aren't better then the Frenchman who doesn't want to speak any English.
Re: Re: no
by Chandran KR on Sep 02, 2011 11:57 AM
And coming to the article, what language should we learn to talk to an official or find our way in Tanzania, Borneo, or Timbuktoo!!! How many foreign languages should one learn?
Re: Re: no
by Bhanu Prakash on Sep 02, 2011 12:06 PM
well said. Ony language and mentals thing that you are patriotic only if you learn Hindi. By the way I can read, write and spek HIndi. I sing many hidi songs.
by Bhanu Prakash on Sep 02, 2011 11:57 AM
I am more patriotic than you but I want to learn foreign languages and have already learned 3 of them, other than English. Please do not forget that we Inidans have differnt languages and if you hate other languages and want to learn only HIndi, we too hat Hindi and stick up to our language. Only mentals and language fantics think that Inid shoud have only HIndi. If this is the case no one want to be in india and there can be about 20 counties instead of India. Remember India has these languages for thousands of years and ignoring their language and prefering HIndi is like ignoring your mothe and liking another woman.
by mkishore on Sep 06, 2011 12:32 PM
There is a dialogue in Telugu movie for us telugu is like mother we need it will be with us for 25years, and English is like wife it will be with us for entire life we can not avoid it.
Re: Re: Now-a-days there are Smartphone Apps available ...
by Bhanu Prakash on Sep 02, 2011 12:04 PM
Your are perfectly correct. I am a foreign languge translator and also a researcher in science. Neve a too can translate a big matter, because translation needs intelligence whcih only human can show. Of course at word level it will help and at a very small sentence level it may give some rough irreular message from which you may guess some thing which can go right or wrong, however intellignet you may be