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the status of Spanish in America [was: the man who...]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Friday, August 20, 2004, 5:26
Carsten hat geschrieben:

> Others writing in Spanish: > > > [...] > > I guess I should take a Spanish course one day ... In the US > you learn it in (high-)school like we learn English and > French or Latin, right?
Not exactly. Far, far more Germans learn English well than American anglophones learn Spanish well, if only for the obvious reason that it makes it more difficult to move up in the world only knowing German. The economic incentive in America simply isn't there to the same extent, even in the Southwest where large minorities of the population speak the language natively. Based on my outsider's experience of the German schoolsystem and an insider's experience of an American one (there is no one system here), I'd say a better analog in Germany is French: historically important, lots of neighbors speak it, highly useful in some professions, but not absolutely essential. Trebor wrote:
> Wow! I really hate you now! ;) J/k. Seriously, if you knew how > dumbed-down the education system is over here in North America, > you would probably die of shock ;) F'rex, the French teacher was > unsure of what "(in)transitive" means! :S
As I noted above, no such system exists, certainly not across the whole continent! In my highschool, my German teacher had two doctorates: one in German literature, one in English literature. She knew or spoke German (natively), English, Russian, Italian, Latin and French, and would go off on tangents about Indo-European historical linguistics every now and again. She also wasn't the only one with a doctorate. (And that was in my public highschool, too.) ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637