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View Poll Results: Which is most useful for world traveling?
Cantonese 0 0%
Mandarin 1 2.08%
French 2 4.17%
Spanish 40 83.33%
Portuguese 1 2.08%
Other, please specify 4 8.33%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Most practical second language?

If you vote "Other", please specify the language.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
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Re: Most practical second language?

The Olympic announcements are done in English and French I thought.

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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Most practical second language?

No option for Canadian?
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
No option for Canadian?
Canadians have a language of their own?
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Most practical second language?

Spanish now.

Chinese or Korean in the not too distant future.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: Most practical second language?

For "world traveling", assuming you're going where civilized people with visible means of support go ,English is probably 80% of it. The only really useful second "lingua" would be the one spoken in the place you're traveling to. To say "Spanish" just because hey, a lotta people out there speak it, won't be very useful as a second language if you plan to "Do Europe" or Do Asia".
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
For "world traveling", assuming you're going where civilized people with visible means of support go ,English is probably 80% of it. The only really useful second "lingua" would be the one spoken in the place you're traveling to. To say "Spanish" just because hey, a lotta people out there speak it, won't be very useful as a second language if you plan to "Do Europe" or Do Asia".
Are you responding to someone here? Or to yourself?
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-05-2006, 06:17 PM   #8
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Re: Most practical second language?

pig latin
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #9
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Re: Most practical second language?

Thanks all for participating.

I'm surprised no one voted Chinese. Chinese are all over the world. Have a problem communicating? Find a chinese restaurant, problem solved
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Chinese are all over the world.
Why is this so. Does anybody know?

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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 12:52 PM   #11
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Re: Most practical second language?

As much as I wish it were otherwise, I would say at this point that English is the most globally useful language. I wish it were otherwise because, frankly, I think it puts native-English-speaking countries at a competitive disadvantage.

Chinese is great if you are in China, Singapore or Taiwan, not much use elsewhere. (Though I found in China I could get by just by writing Japanese-style Kanji, if one doesn't mind the deaf-mute look -- which generally works in China, as they consider everybody else to be retarded anyway.) Spanish is probably most useful in the Americas (with some exceptions), and French in Africa. Arabic might fill in the gaps.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 12:57 PM   #12
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
and French in Africa.
After six years of the stuff I'm glad to learn that it's useful somewhere besides France.

Our kid elected to take Spanish instead of Japanese or Hawaiian, although she has plenty of time left to change her mind. Ironically the biggest benefit I got from studying a foreign language was improving my understanding of English grammar & vocabulary.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Most practical second language?

i'd guess that english would be the most practical second language for americans.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 01:25 PM   #14
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
After six years of the stuff I'm glad to learn that it's useful somewhere besides France.
Hey, it's still the international language of post. When I fill out customs declarations for parcels sent abroad, I have the choice of either Japanese or French.

Quote:
Our kid elected to take Spanish instead of Japanese or Hawaiian, although she has plenty of time left to change her mind.
Some day, she will kick herself. She can learn Spanish anywhere, but where else can she learn Hawaiian?

Quote:
Ironically the biggest benefit I got from studying a foreign language was improving my understanding of English grammar & vocabulary.
This may be true for any European language, English being the bastard child of all of them. I would never have learned what the subjunctive is were it not for high-school French class.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Thanks all for participating.

I'm surprised no one voted Chinese. Chinese are all over the world. Have a problem communicating? Find a chinese restaurant, problem solved
True enough if your problem is that you are starving for moo goo gai pan.

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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 06:52 PM   #16
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Re: Most practical second language?

English is #2.

#1?

L'amour, d'accord?
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 07:08 PM   #17
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Have a problem communicating? Find a chinese restaurant,
... reminds me of a chinese restaurant we used to frequent, where the hostess would always greet us, menus in hand, with "two for dinner?" ... no matter how many people in our party.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 07:47 PM   #18
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Re: Most practical second language?

body language.
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Re: Most practical second language?
Old 10-06-2006, 11:09 PM   #19
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Re: Most practical second language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... reminds me of a chinese restaurant we used to frequent, where the hostess would always greet us, menus in hand, with "two for dinner?" ... no matter how many people in our party.
Maybe she meant "Twofer dinners tonight!"?

My FIL tells the story of getting off a cruise ship in a foreign port and looking for a taxi tour of the area. He marched up to the cab rank and asked the first driver "Do you speak English?" The reply was "Yes!"

That was the last word of English they heard in that port...
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