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CHAT: Anglification (was Re: My Conlang Museum in Netscapetoo)

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 2, 2000, 1:16
nicole perrin wrote:

> taliesin the storyteller wrote: > <snip a lot of stuff about swedish & norwegian, etc.> > > Those of you that has English as L1 don't know how fortunate you are, > > you have really no idea. I can picture a future social divide here, > > until English prevails and Norwegian is crushed; that of an underclass > > of people that can't tackle an L2 (yes there are ppl who can only ever > > learn one language), > > Is that really true? Don't mean to sound ignorant, but my impression > was that having English as L1 just made people lazy about learning other > languages. I mean, in America it seems pretty special to be fluent in > more than two languages, while in lots of other places around the world > it seems almost commonplace. I always thought this was because people > made it too easy on English speakers ;)
Well, I think the real reason so many Americans don't speak another language has to do with economics: it's simply not necessary for the vast majority of us. Unlike most of us here in this forum, most people only learn another language for imminently practical reasons, usually because there are large numbers of speakers of other languages nearby. In America, or Russia, or parts of Latin America, you might have to travel a thousand miles just to leave your macrodialectal area; in Europe, and in a great many parts of the world, you could travel a hundred miles and be surrounded by a completely different language. And note that now with the increasing numbers of Spanish-speakers in the Southwest of the US, there has been an concomitant increase in the fluency of native English speakers in the language. ====================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." ======================================