First Choice of Second Language

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Lourdes Luna, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    Reykjavík
    English - UK
    My native country is England, and I believe others already went into the basic system in the UK. I learnt French from age 11-16 and German from 12-14. I didn't really retain a lot of French, and hardly even a few phrases of German.

    I now live in Iceland and the kids here first start learning Danish at school. That is the 'official second language' according to the schooling system. Of course this is pretty ridiculous and the reasons are entirely historical. Iceland has been independent from Denmark since 1944, but they still have a tendency to think of Denmark as more important to Iceland than other countries. In reality, English is the second language in Iceland. It is also compulsory at school, although introduced after Danish. I think most kids also learn a third foreign language later, but they have a lot more choice there (it would be another European language, though - French, German, Spanish or another Nordic language).

    I think some schools are starting to introduce English before Danish now, which is more pragmatic. Most Icelanders I know speak terrible Danish, if any Danish at all (much like my French) but speak very good English. If an average Icelander and an average Dane met, they would almost definitely speak English together, not Danish.
     
  2. jasio Senior Member

    Actually, it's not a surprise at all. A conversation when one side speaks its second language while the other - his/her mothertongue, can be very frustrating for both sides. I often prefer to speak a language, which is not native for neither me nor the counterpart, because this equals the playfield for both of us. Of course, unless we just chit-chat, an objective of the conversation is to raise language skills, or we simply do not have a common foreign language, which is most often the case, especially with Anglophones. ;)
     
  3. Kaxgufen

    Kaxgufen Senior Member

    La Plata, Argentina
    Castellano de Argentina
    Sigo sin comprender esa manía de llamar "segundo idioma" a una lengua que se estudió académicamente y en la cual la inmensa mayoría no consigue expresar lo que quiere sino lo que puede.
    Estudié inglés y francés en la escuela secundaria. Luego por mi cuenta también tomé cursos de ruso, alemán, italiano, guaraní (muy poquito), esperanto y euskera. El portugués "lo sospecho". Me animé con bastante éxito a leer novelas en inglés, italiano, esperanto y francés. De hecho gran parte de mi carrera la hice con textos en inglés. Pero aun así no consigo hablar ninguna con la fluencia del castellano, o sea como un nativo, y jamás diría que alguno de ellos es "mi segundo idioma".
    Hecha esta importante distinción, me pregunto que tan infladas están las estadísticas...
     
  4. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    No es una cuestión de fluencia, sino del orden de aprendizaje. Quiere decir "segunda lengua después de la materna" (para la mayoría, ya que algunos tienen una lengua materna y paterna, o la lengua de los padres y la lengua del ambiente en que viven, o lengua materna, paterna y del ambiente) o "primera lengua extranjera".

    En mi caso, da lo mismo ruso (L1, la del país donde nací y pasé los primeros diez años de mi vida) que alemán (L2, la del país donde vivo desde entonces), el resto viene después. Lo de leer novelas, lo he hecho en ruso, alemán, francés, inglés, español, alemán, portugués (lengua que nunca estudié de modo formal o sistemático) y catalán...
    Por cierto, no sabía que existía un mercado para novelas en esperanto...
     
  5. Sempervirens Senior Member

    italiano
    :tick:

    A Cesare quello che è di Cesare! :)
     
  6. Kaxgufen

    Kaxgufen Senior Member

    La Plata, Argentina
    Castellano de Argentina
    Como sea, orden o fluencia, aquí la inmensa mayoría de la gente tiene un único idioma en su casa y en la calle...
    Entonces,el segundo idioma sería el poco inglés que estudian en la escuela. Con eso inflan las estadísticas y ponen al inglés en primer lugar como "segundo idioma". La realidad es que no tienen segundo idioma.
     
  7. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    Lo mismo ocurre aquí. La gente pone que el inglés es su segundo idioma y el alemán o el castellano es el tercero. Lo que quieren decir es que los han estudiado en el colegio. Yo también podría poner que estudié matemáticas química, y biología. Es cierto pero no me acuerdo de nada. Pasa igual en la mayor parte de los países. No tienen segundo idioma. Una excepción sería Holanda y Bélgica. Allí aprenden inglés y francés y los hablan de verdad.
     
  8. Beninjam Senior Member

    Belgium
    British English
    I would avoid over-romanticizing the situation in Belgium and Holland.
    Anybody who wants to improve his/her job prospects in Belgium will make an effort to learn the country's other official language.
    There was a time that it was primarily Flemings who learnt French. Nowadays with the Flemish economy in the ascendant, Francophones make a greater effort to master Flemish.
    English is also essential these days, but although many have good spoken competence in their field, general competence is what I would call conversational.

    Dutch people are not subject to the same constraints as Belgians. In general though English competence is relatively good for conversational purposes.
    Dutch people also tend to know some German as well.
     
  9. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Venezuela the most studied language is English, shitty English because most teachers, as it happens in other Spanish speaking countries, tend to suck donkey balls to teach English, the worst of all, the classes are in Spanish. Nobody learns English in high school, if you truly want to speak it study it on your own, that's your best shot. High schools that don't teach science subjects like biology, mathematics, etc., meaning, Humanities High schools, teach philosophy, French, Latin, Ancient Greek and English, though Latin and Ancient Greek are only taught in the last 2 years of high school (HS lasts 5 years). However, in Venezuela most people are monolingual, most don't speak a lick of English or speak very bad and limited English. But most don't need English in their lives so it makes no sense for them to speak it. It's kinda like what happens in Japan, even though most study English in HS they don't speak it.
     
  10. Kaxgufen

    Kaxgufen Senior Member

    La Plata, Argentina
    Castellano de Argentina
    Exactamente. Y seguramente si a esos pobres infelices les preguntás cual es su segundo idioma, se llenan la boca diciendo que el inglés, engrosando la estadística.
     
  11. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    De eso no te quede duda. Es bien sabido que los castellanoparlantes en general son muy monolingües (salvo el excepcional caso de Paraguay donde la mayoría habla español y guaraní), y no falta el exagerado que diga que habla inglés cuando si acaso sabe decir ''hola, me llamo Panchito'' y lo dice con fonética española. Ya me he topado con muchos así; y peor son aquellos que dicen que hablan perfecto por haber pasado una semana en Miami. No digo que tengas que poder leer literatura y saber redactar un ensayo académico para decir que hablas una lengua, pero hay una gran diferencia entre decir ''jelou, ai can tu espí ínglis bery güel bicos ai sin is a isi languich'' y poder comunicarte decentemente en una variedad de temas.
     
  12. kakapadaka Senior Member

    Polish
    Many Poles study German and/or Russian at school and you can usually find these languages in public spaces (restaurants, train stations, ticket machines etc.) I find it ridiculous because it's a relic of times long gone. Everybody had to study Russian back in the day and that obligation somehow stuck around until the present era. However, Polish is a major holiday destination for Spaniards (and Brazillians, surprisingly) and even though we learn Spanish more and more it's still quite hard to find Spanish-friendly commodities around town (not to mention Portuguese). As for German... well, Germany's position in the UE is not debatable, but frankly, there are more popular languages around and it's hard to even meet Germans unless you live in the westernmost part of the country...

    Our second language is obviously English and we like to rub other nations' faces in our language skills, but actually our level is pretty uneven. Some Poles are almost fluent and others can barely have a conversation (for the record, I think Poland ranks somewhere in the middle of all the European countries, below Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and above France, Spain, Italy). Most of us struggle to supress our easily recognisable accent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  13. olaszinho Senior Member

    Italy
    Central Italian
    Nino83

    Per avvicinarsi ad avere un buon accento, secondo me, è più importante concentrarsi sulle consonanti doppie, che è il vero "punto debole" degli stranieri, il più delle volte.[/QUOTE]

    :thumbsup:
    Mi scuso se riprendo questo vecchio messaggio di Nino83, ma sono totalmente d’accordo con lui, anche per me le consonanti geminate costituiscono uno dei maggiori ostacoli nell’apprendimento dell’italiano e lo rendono più complicato ad esempio dello spagnolo. Particolare difficoltà riscontrano quasi tutti i parlanti delle altre lingue romanze, in particolar modo rumeni e spagnoli.
    Un altro argomento coinvolgente èla supposta facilità dell’italiano rispetto allo spagnolo. L’argomentom’intriga molto anche perché ho studiato a lungo lo spagnolo e mi piaceconfrontarlo spesso con l’italiano; per quanto le due lingue siano moltosimili, ritengo che lo spagnolo sia più "semplice dell’italiano per varie ragioni che cercherò di spiegare. Sempre che si possa definire una lingua più semplicedelle altre; molti linguisti negano questa possibilità J
    Maggiori difficoltà dell'italiano rispetto allo spagnolo:

    -Mancanza delle consonanti geminate e di altri fonemi esistenti nella maggior parte dellelingue europee.
    -L’accentografico spagnolo consente di riconoscere subito la vocale tonica, cosa che nonaccade in italiano.
    -Tanto gli articoli quanto le preposizioni sono più complicati in italiano, basti pensarea tutte le preposizioni articolate
    -I participi passati sono estremamente regolari se confrontati con quelli italiani o francesi e in aggiunta esistono solo due classi regolari – ado e – ido e non 3 come in altre lingue romanze.
    -Il passato remoto è più facile in spagnolo (è innegabile che è molto più usato che initaliano, ma uno straniero che voglia avere una conoscenza più che discreta dell’italiano non può prescindere da esso, altrimenti non potrebbe leggere nulla, da wikipedia a testi più formali.Inoltre nel centro-sud è ancora usato anche nell’oralità, in Toscana ,Campania e Puglia e in altre regioni è usato comunemente anche nel linguaggioinformale. Ad ogni modo per tutti gli italiani, il passato remoto è un tempo fondamentale, basti pensare che sin da piccini si narrano le favole col passato remoto! A scuola tutti i testi di base sono scritti usando il passato remoto; affermare che è arcaico o vetusto è una semplificazione, e per di più non corrisponde a verità.
    -Il passato prossimo italiano è assai più complesso del corrispondente tempo spagnolo pretérito perfecto: lo spagnolo utilizza soltanto l’ausiliare avere, proprio come l’inglese, e il participio passato èinvariabile. L’uso degli ausiliari essere e avere in italiano è probabilmente anchepiù complesso che in francese.
    -In spagnolonon esistono le particelle pronominali ci,vi, ne, ce e tutta una serie di verbi pronominali come farcela, cavarsela, smetterla, svignarsela etc, molto usati nellinguaggio colloquiale. Questo rende lo spagnolo più semplice non solo dell’italiano ma anche del catalano e del francese.
    -E’ innegabile che lo spagnolo disponga di molti verbi irregolari al presente, grazie allafamosa dittongazione ma in quanto a difficoltà, credo che ciò sia compensatadai verbi italiani in -ire che sidividono in 2 gruppi e molti di essi inseriscono l’infisso –sco- sci etc.
    -I pluralispagnoli sono semplicissimi e soprattutto regolari! Può essere paragonata aduna lingua artificiale, non presenta eccezioni. Anche i plurali italiani nonsono complessi e risultano piuttosto regolari ma esiste tutta una serie d'eccezioni:
    -nomi uscenti in – co –go che possono uscire in – ci o -gi ma non esistono regole precise.
    -plurali(pochi) che continuano il plurale neutro latino in – a, sebbene in italianosiano considerati femminili plurali: uovo-a/ paio/paia/migliaio/migliaia;mille/mila. Etc. Vi sono inoltre parole con doppio plurale: tipo braccio – bracci e braccia, etc.
    -Esistonoinoltre plurali totalmente irregolari: uomo- uomini; bue- buoi; tempio – templie il caratteristico il dio - gli dèi.

    Difficoltà dello spagnolo:
    -La pronunciadi z/c (spagnolo europeo) può presentare delle difficoltà, stesso dicasi delsuono intermedio fra v/b.
    -Il congiuntivo è un tempo complesso ed esistono 2 diverse desinenzeper l’imperfetto congiuntivo –ara e –ase. Sono presenti irregolaritàanche nell’imperfetto congiuntivo. Non credo comunque che l’uso del congiuntivo sia piùdifficile che in italiano, sempre che si voglia parlare in un buon italiano.
    -Il verbo ser ed estar, può presentare delledifficoltà all’inizio ma tali verbi esistono pure in italiano, anche se il lorouso è sicuramente più semplice. Il francese è la lingua in cui il verbo starenon esiste affatto.
    -Por/para: l’uso di queste preposizioni richiede una certa attenzione, ma che diredella preposizioneitaliana da? Non ha equivalenti in nessun’altralingua romanza ed ha una molteplicità di funzioni.
    -Una certa difficoltà possono presentare l’uso del doppio pronome e i pronomi neutri – esto – eso – aquello.

     
  14. Nino83 Senior Member

    Italian
    Some mistakes made by Bergoglio about geminate consonants (angelus 22 marzo 2015): atira, alguni grecci, Gerusaleme, gli diccono, nela cità santa, acolto, capi del poppolo, elliminare, pericolosso, vano, atraversa, hano, dessidero, indiretamente, quela, camino, sconfita, inalzato, nela.

    Minimal pairs: la tira/l'attira, ha colto/accolto, è liminare (double "l", raddoppio fonosintattico)/eliminare, pericolo osso/pericoloso, vano/vanno, a traversa/attraversa, ano/anno/hanno, camino/cammino.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  15. Mishe Senior Member

    Ljubljana
    Slovenian
    Spanish and Brazilian tourists swarming Poland? That's interesting. What do you think is the reason behind it?
     
  16. kakapadaka Senior Member

    Polish
    As for Spaniards I believe they've been joining all the western crowd of tourists who recently discovered my country; it's a cheap vacation destination, not far away and yet so much different than the West. We also have lots of French guys and Britons (who are particulary fond of organizing short party trips). For some southerners it's a rare oportunity to see snow :D Some areas of Poland -like Kraków- are investing heavily in tourism, creating new airline connections, advertising and whatnot.
    The Brazillians are a mystery to me, it may have something to do with pilgrimages to sites of memory to our saints like the pope John Paul II.
    Maybe some Brazillians would care to comment on this.
     
  17. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    I have, better, we at WR have an old Brazilian forero studying Linguistics in Poland and also I know of an old friend who went to Poland to study English. First of all because of prices, and there might have another reason: we have a sort of big community of Pole and their descendents who live in the Southern part of Brasil. Most of the immigrants came I think during World War flighting their country. Besides that, we really have a big number of Brazilians who go to Poland for tourism, actually who go to Europe as a whole, all over it. And Poland is in my wish list to visit ....

    Ah kakapadaka, forget that pilgrimages reason; all of my friends go to Poland for tourism not related to religion, just for loved of knowing a different culture and places.
     
  18. funnyhat Senior Member

    Michigan, USA
    American English
    To clarify: English, for all practical purposes, is the official language of the United States. Public education is always conducted in English, even in areas where most students do not speak it at home. Some schools offer bilingual programs in which the student (if non-English speaking) can be initially taught in his/her native language, but this is only temporary and eventually the student will be required to take courses that are taught in English in order to finish high school. Some states have passed laws recognizing other languages, but this is essentially ceremonial; government/education still function in English.

    Regarding second languages, this used to be completely optional in the U.S. but now, most states require a couple of years of high school study (and most universities do as well). I don't think any state requires students to study a specific foreign language, but Spanish is offered at all high schools nowadays, and increasingly at lower levels of school. Currently, around 70% of students in foreign-language classes are taking Spanish. French is the next most-common foreign language, studied by around 15% of students IIRC. French is commonly offered at the high school level (ages 14-18) but not necessarily before then. In Louisiana, and states near the Canadian border, it's quite popular and may be offered from early ages.

    Beyond those two languages, it depends on the school. German is the third-most studied language but is not offered everywhere. Chinese is growing is popularity and may pass German. Other languages may be offered depending on the heritage of the students. For example, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Finnish is taught in a few schools.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  19. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    My girls were required to take both French and Spanish in middle school - I think they did one semester of each in sixth and seventh grades, then chose one or the other to take a full year of in eighth.

    When I was in school ('60s-early -70s) no languages were offered in junior high. My high school offered four years each of German, Spanish, and French, and one year each of Latin and Russian. (I think the German students outnumbered all of the others put together.)
     
  20. kakapadaka Senior Member

    Polish
    Spanish eh? I see no Canadians around here and I'm wondering if Spanish is gaining popularity there like in the US of A. If anyone should know about this do elaborate.
     
  21. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    French is one of Canada's two official languages so in English Canada, French is the first ''foreign'' language learnt at school (and vice-versa in Quebec). It will not be supplanted by Spanish in this regard any time soon.
     
  22. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    In a country like Canada with more than one official language, the language learned along with the native language is called a second language rather than a foreign language.

    French as a second language;
    L'anglais langue seconde.
     
  23. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    You're right, of course, wildan. But French is a ''foreign'' (in the sense of non-native) language for the overwhelming majority of English Canadians. French Canadians, for obvious reasons, are generally more proficient in English than vice-versa. I think Spanish is probably the most popular true ''foreign'' language, but I don't think it has anything like the reach Spanish has in the U.S.
     
  24. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    Spanish is practically a second language in the US now, particularly in the Southwest and West and virtually any major city across the country.

    English as a second language (also widely known here as ESL) is the usual AE term for learning that language among immigrants. Almost every school has an ESL program for the children of the many immigrants who move here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  25. Kaxgufen

    Kaxgufen Senior Member

    La Plata, Argentina
    Castellano de Argentina
    ¡Juá! ¿El inglés, nativo y el francés no? ¡Si los dos "vinieron de los barcos"!
     
  26. kakapadaka Senior Member

    Polish
    Uff no sé, se nos va a escapar el tema de las manos. Es un pedazo de tema para discutir.
     

Share This Page

Loading...