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English Only?

Should One Be Required to Speak the Language of the Country One Wishes To Live In?

  • Yes

    Votes: 45 78.9%
  • No

    Votes: 12 21.1%

  • Total voters
    57

Yan

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I do think that if you are going tol ive in a foreign country then you should at least make the effort of learning the language, especially if you are going to be there some time. I doubt I would get very far in say, France, if I had no knowledge or basics of the language.
To expect someone in their own country to speak your langauge, without making an effort to speak thiers, is arrogant. It is very prevalent amoungst native English speakers. Because English is such a widly spoken langauge the view seems to be why make the effort, someone there will speak English. I'm sure someone from Japan or Vietnam wouldn't expect everyone to be able to speak thier languages if they came to the UK, and would at least be able to say yes, no, and thank you (something I can do in French, German, Polish, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Japanese, and I'm not particularly good at languages), so I think that an English speaking tourist should be able to do that when going abroad.
If you wish to spend more time in that country, for work or to live for example, then it makes sense to become more au fait with the language. After all it would make your life easier when dealing with the general public, and I am sure most natives would help you if at least show willing.

As a native French speaker, I agree with you. When I see an American living in my province who doesn't make the effort to learn French, I have no respect for him. Even if I speak English, I will never answer him in English. My native language is very important and I fight to protect it.

Actually we have some problems in Montreal about the French language. The immigrants decide to speak English instead of French. As long as I remember, Montreal is located in the province of Quebec so the official language must be French.

I'm sorry for the bad words that I will say. If you're going to live in my province and you don't make the effort to learn French, get the **** out. I'm thinking the same way for every country in the world. Please, respect the culture, respect our language. We speak another language than English but it doesn't mean that our language is wrong.
 

Knigar

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when my fiance was living in England, she always tried to speak Englisha dn if we decide to live in Japan I hope to be able to just speak Japanese.
 

Mc toster

Kouhai
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i think thats just racist this country was founded on freedom to all people even if there not from this country what there trying to push is just obscene to me but it would make life easier on them 😌
 

kusojiji

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As a native French speaker, I agree with you. When I see an American living in my province who doesn't make the effort to learn French, I have no respect for him. Even if I speak English, I will never answer him in English.



Hmm.............
 

Thuglife

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"I think there should be a requirement to speak the language of a country if you want to live there. I can't see any good reason not to, as it's bound to make life easier for everyone."


I've been in Japan for 6 years and i don't speak the language. I dont want to and i don't need to. I make about 1200 dollars a week and part of that's because I don't speak Japanese. Some parents want English only in the classroom and they know they'll never get from some ALT over here trying to learn the language.

I'm here to teach..English!!! If I wanna learn this language I'd have to do it on my dime....no thanks.... Unlike most ALT's who do it on the J-Gov's time.
 

CA_Wix

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I believe that is a horrible attitude Thug.

It doesn't take a lot of money at all to learn a foreign language, just a lot of effort. I think the money thing is a poor excuse for laziness. you could easily spend 5000 yen on a couple of books and learn that way. You live here so you always hear Japanese spoken and can practice anytime you want.

And if you had the ability to speak Japanese that doesn't mean your classroom would be "infected" with Japanese. You won't lose your native English and just wouldn't let the children know you understand them when they make fun of a lazy gaijin.

My 2 cents.
 
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Many countries use more than one language. In Africa there are often hundreds of languages, but only English or French is official and almost nobody is a native speaker of the official language.

Some countries do not have an official language (well, yes still the USA). Many others have more than one official language, usually one by region, but sometimes more.

Japan has more than one indigenous language (Ryukyuan, Ainu), but decided that only Japanese should be official.

In places like Hong Kong or Singapore English is official and the main communication language, but few people are truly native speakers.

The Japanese born after the war have all learned English at school, I think. Few Japanese cannot understand any English at all, and a sizeable percentage speak it well enough to have a conversation. In some way English is becoming a communication language between Japanese and foreigners living in Japan, just like between the various people living in Singapore. It wouldn't be strange if English became an official language of Japan. English is an official language in Sudan and I don't think that the Sudanese generally speak better English.

Whether a language is official or not always comes down to politics in the end. It's a purely political choice.

Here in Belgium, the state of Flanders has passed a law to oblige residents to know the language. People have to take a Dutch language test, and if they fail they just can't rent a house or apartment. Expats or EU staff is usually exempt from this. This is clearly discriminatory and targets immigrants. Again, laws are made by politicians.
 
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As a native French speaker, I agree with you. When I see an American living in my province who doesn't make the effort to learn French, I have no respect for him. Even if I speak English, I will never answer him in English. My native language is very important and I fight to protect it.

Quebec is notorious for being the most defensive place on earth when it comes to language laws. There are even laws forbidding signs in any other language than French. Translations are only allowed if they are written in smaller fonts than the French text. Flanders is doing something similar in Belgium. There were bilingual signs before but they were replaced by Dutch only signs.

I understand that Quebecois is threatened by English. But people will eventually speak the language of their preference. If people choose to speak English rather than French, that's their choice and they should be free to do that.

If I went to Quebec I am not sure if I would speak French or English. I have very difficult understanding Quebec French, but no problem with American English.
 

Thorham

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In my opinion it makes sense to learn the language of the country you want to live in. In the Netherlands it's mandatory for immigrants to learn Dutch, and the basics of the Dutch culture. If you don't know Dutch in the Netherlands, then you won't get very far, because everything is in Dutch. Of course plenty of people here know English and some other languages, but they are not good substitutes.
 

Putrefaction

不幸中の幸い. . . がない.
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This has been a bit of a subject of thought with me since I moved to Japan.

Growing up American I always heard the argument that if they want to live in America they should speak English. Yes, it is true that English is not the official language of USA but really shouldn't it be? In my opinion if all government and official affairs are conducted in English the language of that nation is English. I think maybe we are pointing out a small technicality (probably spelled wrong) of law.

I moved to Japan for work. Basically a 3 year business trip. I came here speaking no Japanese, and always feeling guilty for trying to always get explanations in English. I always (and still do) make tremendous efforts to learn and study Japanese, but language takes time to learn. Turns out Japanese are required to study English in grade school for years. My guilt has faltered.

Nonetheless in my opinion it is essential that if you plan to live in a foreign country to also plan to make an effort to learn the local language. Not only does it make life easier but it is courtesy to make an effort. In my experience in Japan I have gotten people that are pissed I am not fluent on to people that are appreciative that I make the effort. 10 colors 10 people?

As a guest to this country I have a new found patience for immigrants to the United States. Also I have gained a huge respect to my ancestors who made the incredibly bold move to build a life in a foreign land. Now I know what it feels to be illiterate and to fear social interaction because I'm not fluent.

Just my thoughts.

Beautiful post. I'm from NY, so I'm used to a jumbled mess of English words and whatnot, and I can safely say that most of these people can get by just fine. It's the effort that counts, not coming up to me and speaking in fast Spanish as if I'm fluent, then when I say Excuse me? giving me a weird look. Hell, I'd even take hand gestures and drawings. I know that if I went out of country I'd at least have a dictionary or common phrases or something down, and if I wanted / needed to live there? I'd be making more of an effort.


Problem is, to what level and in what period of grace time do you give them? Plus, if they are slow learners, do you refuse them asylum?

Perhaps this is cruel of me to say so, but first grade grammar? I was recently given a pre-school sentence in Japanese that I failed to translate. Pre-school. If the same holds for English, safely, a first grade education should be enough to get by minimally, throw in some adult-world words.

Not sure about the rest. I'd say a year, though, with real-life interactions should definitely give them enough to get by.
 

Jericho Desu

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I have thought about this quite a bit and imo living in a country where you don't speak the language is ridiculous. Visiting, vacationing etc fine, do what you want, but not bothering to even try and learn the language of a country you live or want to live in is incomprehendable to me. Of course not everything is "black and white", there are always special circumstances and so fourth, but in general people have a duty to themselves and to the people of the country their living in to make an effort and learn the language to some degree of understanding.

People who don't learn usually group with others and form these pockets of communities, that's fine, but when these pockets only communicate within themselves because they can't communicate with the people of that country it's a damn shame and usually because they have each other to talk with they don't see the need to learn the countries language and basically segregate themselves causing all kinds of misunderstandings and problems with the indigenous population.
 

Emoni

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As a native French speaker, I agree with you. When I see an American living in my province who doesn't make the effort to learn French, I have no respect for him. Even if I speak English, I will never answer him in English. My native language is very important and I fight to protect it.
Actually we have some problems in Montreal about the French language. The immigrants decide to speak English instead of French. As long as I remember, Montreal is located in the province of Quebec so the official language must be French.
I'm sorry for the bad words that I will say. If you're going to live in my province and you don't make the effort to learn French, get the **** out. I'm thinking the same way for every country in the world. Please, respect the culture, respect our language. We speak another language than English but it doesn't mean that our language is wrong.

I see, so you pretty much make a ton of assumptions and force your view and expectations on what little you know of a person within the first few minutes of knowing him. Well, check off French and France as a country I'd rather not bother with if all attitudes are like this. I wonder where the general stereotype of this behavior in France comes from...

Now, I'm all for learning the language prior to going to a country, but depending on the circumstances this can be a very different sort of task for a person. Should it be required? Depends completely on the situation. Forcing it down people's throats to simply make a point is unacceptably brash and unnecessary.

Honestly, I think it should be requirement for anyone studying abroad in Japan to have at least two years of Japanese or so. I say "or so" because I only had about a year and a half before traveling, but still gained a life time worth of benefit. However, there are others who are simply allowed to go with NO language experience and make an *** and cause trouble. Of course that isn't considering those who go without any experience making every effort to learn the language while they are there but struggling the whole way. Each person's situation can be entirely different.

Promoting language learning in general and being open to communication will promote the learning of any language due to interest. Forcing people against their will to do ANYTHING is a surefire way get them to resist at every turn.

The point is communication, not simply a fascist-style spreading of a language.
 

Glenski

Just me
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I have thought about this quite a bit and imo living in a country where you don't speak the language is ridiculous. Visiting, vacationing etc fine, do what you want, but not bothering to even try and learn the language of a country you live or want to live in is incomprehendable to me. Of course not everything is "black and white", there are always special circumstances and so fourth, but in general people have a duty to themselves and to the people of the country their living in to make an effort and learn the language to some degree of understanding.
I'd be interested in knowing how you compare these two underlined parts of your comment.

To what "degree of understanding" is acceptable to you?

Also, when should people stop forming "group with others and form these pockets of communities"? And, why?
 

ChrisGR

Explore the world!
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I selected Yes but the sentence "speak one's language" should be defined but i do think that you should know to make an everyday talk in that language. On the other hand, i hate that english have taken the world... Ok, talk english on net, on inter art but... better not to talk english in a country with another language unless you can't communicate otherwise.
 

Haruspex

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I selected Yes but the sentence "speak one's language" should be defined but i do think that you should know to make an everyday talk in that language. On the other hand, i hate that english have taken the world... Ok, talk english on net, on inter art but... better not to talk english in a country with another language unless you can't communicate otherwise.


To be honest, I'm pretty happy that there's a lingua franca. You should be happy there is a language hell loads of people can speak. And yes, the influence is a price the world must pay, I mean how else would you be able to raise English speakers? You need the exposure.
 

ChrisGR

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To be honest, I'm pretty happy that there's a lingua franca. You should be happy there is a language hell loads of people can speak. And yes, the influence is a price the world must pay, I mean how else would you be able to raise English speakers? You need the exposure.

Yeah, you're right about that but i dont mean the communication only in the net etc but the communication when you visit one country! But its obvious one cannot know the languages of all the countries he/she goes so... just try and learn at least a couple of words before going there! 😌
 

Haruspex

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Learning a couple of words will hardly help anyone. While it is a nice gesture, it will not let you communicate with the people of the target country.
 

ChrisGR

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It's the least you can do though. (lol you're a beacon of light xD) jk
 
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