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Re: "Usefull languages"

From:Simen Rustad <simen-r@...>
Date:Thursday, February 14, 2002, 21:12
Andreas wrote:

> Christophe wrote: > > > >En réponse à David Starner <starner@...>: > > > > > > > > But that's beside the point. I'm talking about adult learning of > > > languages, not learning languages as a child, which is much easier and > > > IIRC somewhat different mentally. > > > > > > >On the contrary, it's exactly at the point. I had explained that I had > >begun > >English learning at that age too, and Dutch learning only now, 15 years > >later. > >Though I began learning English at the age of 10, it took me more than 10 > >years > >of the conventional reading-writing education system to get a small level > >of > >understanding of it (and to this day I'm still unable to read an article
> >the > >Times for example). > > If so, how come you can follow this list? The English used here is
> more idiosyncratic and variable, not to mention more technical. (In fact,
> contributing heavily to my already oversized vocabulary!) > > >On the other hand, I took one month of Dutch now that I am > >25, and I'm already good enough to speak it on an everyday basis! So the > >problem is really not the age when you begin learning, but the way you > >learn. > >Dutch and French people begin learning English at about the same age. Yet > >nearly all Dutch people reach bilingualism, > > Wow! Sweden is often hailed as a model of anglophone internationalism, and > yet very few people are what I'd call bilingual ('xcept for immigrants > who're not bilingual in English). I'd certainly not consider myself > bilingual. > > Andreas >
So is Norway, I read in papers here all the time. We even got a good review from some American paper recently. But still I doubt many Norwegians would be comfortable speaking English in their daily life. (personally I could probably adapt rather quickly, but I am considered speaking a rather good English.) In my class (I'm 16, probably one of the younger here btw.), seval of the students seem to have difficulties to produce oral answers. But then, we've only had English for between six and eight years ... I'm currently studying French on my third year, and struggling with vocabulary. The Norwegian system is quite gramatical, in French, we were taught the present tense of the first declension (is that the word? Verbs in _-er_?) before we learned the correct word for 'to wash'. It seems strange that it should take so long to learn. My guess is that as adult people learn a new language, they already have complex thoughts they wish to say/put to the paper, and they develop the thought that they haven't learned anything of the language. That is _not_ a good attitude for learning, if you'd ask me. And Andreas, I thought to comment on your explanation of the Swedish word _spandera_ (i think). In Norwegian it's _spandere_, which means to buy something to someone, often without demanding a return. In referring to time, _spandere tid på_ would mean to "use time for someone else's good without expecting any personal gain from it", but that takes it far into the realm of connotation. Simen
> >while French people are usually > >never able to utter two words of English (yes, I'm a big exception). The > >only > >difference is that the French system is based on reading and writing,
> >the > >Dutch system is based on speaking. Unless you pretend that the French are > >somehow less gifted in languages than the Dutch, you're obliged to > >recognize > >that there *is* a big difference between both kinds of learning. And > >there's no > >reason why it would change with adults (in fact, it's proven by facts
> >it's > >not. And facts are more important than theory, aren't they?). > > > >Christophe.


Clint Jackson Baker <litrex1@...>American Jingoism