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What language do you learn in America?

  1. Dec 27, 2004 #1

    eax

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    Hi,

    I live in Canada its mandatory to take French courses here. Just wondering what language is it mandetory to learn in America?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2004 #2
    There's no mandatory course in forgien languages in America but most high schools will make you go up to level III in some langauage. The most popular one to learn by far is Spanish, followed by French. German and Latin make decent showings in high school as well and in college a lot of kids seem to favor Japaneese after watching all that anime.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2004 #3

    Evo

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    English of course is the primary language, if you live in some southern states, such as Texas, Spanish is taught as the secondary language until you reach junior high school/middle school, grades 8-9, where you are allowed to chose among other available languages. In northern states I believe French is usually the default secondary language, but this can vary from state to state and even school system to school system.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2004 #4
    Actually in the northern states I would have to say Spanish is still more popular than French... no one likes the french
     
  6. Dec 27, 2004 #5
    I think a secondary language should be taught from 1st grade on. Kids pick it up so quickly. I tried learning Spanish my final year in High School and I just didn't get it. I have so much admiration for the people on here who can communicate in a different language. It would take me about 3 weeks to write this same post in Spanish.
     
  7. Dec 27, 2004 #6

    eax

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    In Canada everyone(so far the schools I've been in) wants to learn Spanish or Latin, Russian is becomming popular being wanted to learn, but majority want to learn Spanish or Latin.
     
  8. Dec 27, 2004 #7

    Astronuc

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    In Texas, I took Spanish from 4th-9th grade, and then German from 10th-12th grade with 1 more year at university. Spanish was mandatory in the elementary grades 2-6th, but I don't know if that is the case now, and optional in the later grades. Unfortunately, my Spanish is now weak because I did not use it and I am now out of practice. Probably with an refresher course, I could pick it up again.

    I wish though that I had taken French, but I was already full on the other requirements. I can read a little in French, but I am far from proficient. I also wish that I had been able to study Russian - I recently audited one semester of Russian at a local university.

    I have to study these languages on my own now.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2004 #8
    I studied spanish for a year when i was in my last year of college, took ages to take it in and just as it started to click together i finished life at school. French is the mandatory language in the UK although i think some places have german as the second language.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2004 #9

    dextercioby

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    I've been in Belgium for exactly 90 days and i can tell u that this country is divided in 2,much more than Canada.Dutch (Flemmish) kids would rather learn English and German as foreign languages,than French which is an official language.While the French (Wallon) would rather learn English as well,though 60% of the population speaks Dutch.I guess German brings them (actually their granparents,but it's stiil fresh in the general memory) bad memories:Swastika on top of the Eiffel Tower... :tongue2:
    English and German should be taught worldwide as languages of science...

    Daniel.

    PS.In the summer of 2003 i was for a month in Russia (in the science city of Dubna) and had quite some difficulties in helping myself from speaking German and especially that word:"Halt!!". :tongue2: Though i didn't have any machine gun...
     
  11. Dec 27, 2004 #10

    eax

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    Why English and German? Most scientific words (from what I have learned) are derived from Latin words.
     
  12. Dec 27, 2004 #11

    Kerrie

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    i think sign language should be a universal language...
     
  13. Dec 27, 2004 #12

    dextercioby

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    You know right,iff you've been reading biology... :tongue2: A glimpse through a math/physics/chemistry book would have proven u that THE VAST MAJORITY OF TERMS ARE ORIGINATED FROM ANCIENT GREEK... :wink:
    Biology notions are just an unhappy exception.'Biology' as a word comes from 2 words in ancient greek:[itex]\beta\iota o\varsigma [/itex] ="life",[itex] \lambda o\gamma o\varsigma [/itex]=(orig.)"speech",later on "science".

    Daniel.
     
  14. Dec 27, 2004 #13
    I think Klingon should be required. from what I've heard about the future we'll all be a lot happier if we don't get on those guys' bad side
     
  15. Dec 27, 2004 #14
    Maybe I should've mentioned this before but eh...
    In my elementary school we never learned a second language but a few years after they started up teaching kids Spanish from first grade on. When I went to the school I went to 6th-12th grades, which was a K-12 school, kids were taught French from K-6th so I learned a grand total of one year of French (out of which I remember absolutely nothing). Starting in 7th I took Latin until I got to level III which I enjoyed but the teacher was a witch so that was the end of that ASAP.
    But hey, on the bright side I'm fluent in Hungarian thanks to my parents which would be a lot cooler if more then 20 million people spoke it in the world. But I digress...
     
  16. Dec 27, 2004 #15

    I agree with you 100% !.Sign language = less noise.
     
  17. Dec 28, 2004 #16

    BobG

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    Language requirements vary depending upon the region of the US you live in. In the Appalachian region, most students are required to learn Redneck, as well as English. In the Northeastern never-ending city (Newarkphiladelphianewyorkprovidenceboston), students are required to learn Jive, as well as English. In Crawford, Texas, students only have to learn Moron - English is beyond their capability.

    There's an excellent website you should visit if you're planning to visit several different regions of the US: http://www.rinkworks.com/dialect/. This site will automatically translate from English to the appropriate language for the region you're currently visiting. An example of an English to Redneck translation is below:

    English
    Good morning class. Today we will learn how to kindly ask Billy Ray to move his truck out of our front yard.

    Bobby Joe, while carrying a shotgun, knocks on Billy Ray's door.

    "Billy Ray, I have a favor to ask of you", yells Bobby Joe, "You know that 1964 Dodge pickup truck you set up on blocks in my front yard last summer? Well, I need to mow my lawn. Could you move your truck, please?"

    "Bobby Joe, you don't need me to move my truck," says Billy Ray (he says this in an Obiwan Kenobe voice, obviously trying to manipulate Bobby Joe's will), "If you wait until next summer, the grass will be high enough that neither of us will even remember it's there."

    Redneck
    Good mo'nin' class. Today we will larn how t'kindly ax Billy Joe Ray t'move his truck outta our front yard, cuss it all t' tarnation. Billy Bob Billy Joe, while carryin' a shotgun, knocks on Billy Joe Ray's dore. "Billy Joe Ray, ah have a favo' t'ax of yo'", yells Billy Bob Billy Joe, "Yo' knows thet 1964 Dodge pickup truck yo' set up on blocks in mah front yard last summer? Wal, ah need t'mow mah lawn, as enny fool kin plainly see. C'd yo' move yer truck 'fore I shoot your hillbilly ***?" "Billy Bob Billy Joe, yo' doesn't need me t'move mah truck," says Billy Joe Ray (he says this hyar in a Billy Obiwan Joe Kenobe Ray voice, obviously tryin' t'manipulate Billy Bob Billy Joe's will), "Eff'n yo' wait until next summer, th' grass will be high inough thet neifer of us will even remember it's thar."
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2004
  18. Dec 28, 2004 #17
    I was fluent in french until the age of 5 and then I started to learn it again in Year 7 until Year 9 (along with German from Year 8 to Year 11). This is the UK system though. In England schools can get statuses and get money for different areas of the curriclum. Should the school get a language status then it can normally offer 9 or 10 languages; normally: French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese - Mandarin and Kantones, Japanese, Latin, Portugese and Italian. (Sorry about any spellings).

    The Bob (2004 ©)
     
  19. Dec 28, 2004 #18

    BobG

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    I was fluent enough in Redneck to serve as interpreter for the first Star Wars film. This scene, in English, then Redneck:

    English
    A terrifying howling is heard from up in the canyon as a mysterious stranger in a brown-hooded cloak approaches. The Sand People immediately scatter and flee in fear. The figure removes the hood from his face to reveal an older man with white hair, a gray beard and kindly face. He greets R2-D2 who peers out of his hiding place: "Hello there. Come here my little friend. Don't be afraid." Luke slowly regains consciousness and recognizes the old hermit: "Ben? Ben Kenobi? Boy, am I glad to see you." Ben is told that the droid was searching for his former master, the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke asks Ben: "Is he a relative of yours?" This news brings back memories for him, because Ben's alias is Obi-Wan:


    Ben: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.
    Luke: I think my uncle knows him. He said he was dead.
    Ben (smiling): Oh, he's not dead. Not yet.
    Luke: You know him?
    Ben: Well, of course I know him. He's me. I haven't gone by the name of Obi-Wan since, oh, before you were born.
    Luke: Well then, the droid does belong to you.
    Ben: I don't seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very interesting.


    Redneck
    A terrifyin' howlin' is heard fum up in th' cennyon as a mahsterious peekoolyarr in a brown-hooded cloak approaches. Th' San' Varmints eemeejutly scatter an' flee in fear. Th' figger removes th' hood fum his face t'reveal an older man wif white hair, a gray bard an' kindly face. He greets R2-D2 who peers outta his hidin' place: "Howdy thar. Come hyar mah li'l friend, cuss it all t' tarnation. Don't be afraid, cuss it all t' tarnation." Luke slowly regains cornsciousness an' reckanizes th' old hermit: "Ben? Zechariah Kenobi? Fella, is ah glad t'see yo'." Zechariah is told thet th' droid was searchin' fo' his fo'mer master, th' propuhty of Billy Bob Obi-Wan Ray Kenobi.
    Luke axs Ben: "Is he a relative of yourn?"
    This hyar noos brin's back memo'ies fo' him, on account o' Ben's alias is Billy Bob Obi-Wan Ray:
    Ben: Billy Bob Obi-Wan Ray Kenobi. Obi-Wan, as enny fool kin plainly see. Now thass a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.
    Luke: ah reckon mah uncle knows him, dawgone it. He said he was daid.
    Zechariah (smilin'): Oh, he's not daid. Not yet.
    Luke: Yo' knows him?
    Ben: Wal, of course ah knows him, dawgone it. He's me. ah ain't gone by th' name of Billy Bob Obi-Wan Ray on account o', oh, befo'e yo' were born an' raised, ah rekkin'.
    Luke: Wal then, th' droid does belong t'yo'.
    Ben: ah doesn't seem t'remember evah ownin' a droid, cuss it all t' tarnation. Durn shine lak to bland me.... en th' ahs and haid. Mighty interestin', thet shine we brood. Lak a swig?
     
  20. Dec 28, 2004 #19

    Moonbear

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    I agree with others that I wish they'd teach foreign languages in elementary school in the US. I took a few afterschool classes, only about 2 weeks each, in French and German, when I was in elementary school. It was part of some experimental program I think. I loved it and it was so easy for me to pick up vocabulary and pronunciation then, even if all I learned was to count to 100 in German and words for chair, table, hello, and to count to 10 in French. Those even stuck with me, unlike languages I learned later that I forgot quickly with disuse (Latin and Spanish).
    At that young age, it's the perfect time for picking up languages. Nonetheless, any exposure at that age seems to help with pronouncing other languages later in life. My latest language interest is Japanese. I got some books and CDs to learn from. I haven't learned much yet other than how to pronounce the letters as they are transliterated into English alphabets. I'd like to learn to speak it first, then worry about reading the characters anyway.
     
  21. Dec 28, 2004 #20

    Evo

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    I guess it depends on the school system. When I grew up, Spanish as a second language was mandatory.

    For both of my kids a second language was mandatory starting from the second grade.
     
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