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Foreign languages spoken in your country?

Travel Forums Off Topic Foreign languages spoken in your country?

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21. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

Quoting Isadora

According to the 2000 Census (we conduct them every 10 years so it is the most current), 29 foreign languages were reported as being spoken in the home with Navajo (an indigenous language) included in that list. The list does not take into account different dialects of any particular language. There are approximately 28 indigenous "family" and an additional 25 indigenous "family isolate" languages spoken among the Native American tribes. Another 4-5 island-specific languages are spoken by the indigenous populations who reside on US held territories (American Somoa, Guam, etc. Spanish is spoken on Puerto Rico.)

The US does not have an official language. States are allowed to pass laws adopting an official language and 30 of our 51 have done so - English, of course.

My mom's side of the family is all native american, and I have never met anyone that speaks the language..powhatan or algonquin...I'm not even sure what it would be. As far as I know, the languages of the east coast are completely gone... I guess that's the big downside to having a language that is only spoken and not written.

22. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

I have just tried to find the story and haven't been successful - yet... I heard a news story a few days ago about a Native American woman who was the last one of her tribe to speak their native language. She just passed away, taking the language with her. Sorry I can't be more specific on which tribe and language but will keep looking.

23. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

Things do die out in the world. Sad but true...

That said, it seems irresponsible for the woman not to try to document her language before she went. She must have known that she was the Last Man Standing

I once went to the mouth of the Orinoco and stayed on the Delta there. This area is peopled by the Warao, who have lived for centuries off the country around the delta. Houses on stilts over the water, dugout canoes, that kind of thing.

Well, the missionaries fucked 'em. Made them believe that their animist religion and culture
wrong and Christianity was the way to go...but half baked it. They stand in the middle. Still clinging to the animist way of life, but with a good dose of Catholic guilt over it....and they forgot their traditions. They were getting lost in the mists of time.

By the way. If you're a missionary, go screw. Yep, I'm sure this will garner some responses.

So the last people who remembered the dances and rituals...and just barely, all got together to try to solidify the culture to the youngest generation. It was quite fascinating to see a bunch of elders, over sixty, all dancing together, stopping and giggling like they were six and consult each other about what was next, while the kids tried to dance along.

Anyway. I told that only to support my point that it seems a shame that the woman didn't try to preserve the language.

Canada is technically bi lingual, English and CANADIAN french...and we did have to chug through French for years. But it is rare the Vancouverite who didn't come from Quebec who speak de Quebeqouis.

GLOT
D

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Feb-2009, at 11:15 by Piecar ]

24. Posted by dmdianne (Inactive 2 posts) 5y

Quoting steff

I was suprised to read in a recent newspaper article (sorry, it's in German) that Germans are amongst the top of the list of people in the world, who can speak a foreign language. About 88 % of the professional people interviewed stated that they can speak English, about 20 % even know a second language different to their native tongue.
Got me thinking whether the World Cup in 2006 was a incentive for more people to learn another language or if in schools there's even more languages taught?
So what's the situation in your country? Do many people speak a second language? How are languages taught in school? And would you study the basics of the language of a country you travel to?

Steff

I was amaze to read this post where people are not only focusing on their native language.:):)

I think every person in a country is aware of the Foreign Language. Learning second language aside from our native language is an
advantage.

In our country English was consider as the second language of everybody because we all know that English is the Universal Lanuage. Through English language we can easily communicate to other country without the difficulty to express what ever we want them to understand.

25. Posted by dmdianne (Inactive 2 posts) 5y

Quoting steff

I was suprised to read in a recent newspaper article (sorry, it's in German) that Germans are amongst the top of the list of people in the world, who can speak a foreign language. About 88 % of the professional people interviewed stated that they can speak English, about 20 % even know a second language different to their native tongue.
Got me thinking whether the World Cup in 2006 was a incentive for more people to learn another language or if in schools there's even more languages taught?
So what's the situation in your country? Do many people speak a second language? How are languages taught in school? And would you study the basics of the language of a country you travel to?

Steff

I was amaze to read this post where people are not only focusing on their native language.:):)

I think every person in a country is aware of the Foreign Language. Learning second language aside from our native language is an
advantage.

In our country English was consider as the second language of everybody because we all know that English is the Universal Language. Through English language we can easily communicate to other country without the difficulty to express what ever we want them to understand.

26. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 5y

We here in UPPER CANADA were forced (with plastic bayonets and chaulk sticks) to daily French lessons starting from junior school. In conditions worse than Guantanamo Bay. The psychological trauma was so severe that you couldn't help but learn a few phrases. Of course, we learn the correct Parisian French as oppose to what ever the heck is spoken in lower canada. As is often said, Parisian French sounds like flowery perfume wafting from the lips of the greatest poets, while lower canada French sounds like you just swallowed a mouth full of horse flies and are busy spitting them out !!

Further north east of our majestic metropolis (just below the Inuit lands but further onwards from "Here Be Dragons") you will find the people from the Middle Kingdom (who are short, like the hobbits, except for the native born ones who grow to massive proportions due to the infusion of cow hormones in their food supplies). There you will find many classes in the Middle Kingdomese language. In fact, you can find just about every language ever invented by man (and a few that haven't yet been invented) being taught in our majestic metropolis.

Further west (but still in the watershed of the Hudsons Bay) you'll find less and less of the horrid practices necessary to infuse French, somehow, into ones blood stream. Finally just as you reach the ocean, you'll find another colony of the Middle Kingdom people, who of course speak and teach Middle Kingdomese.

27. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 5y

Only me and Jon Pertwee speak Wurzelese. To be honest he has probably forgotten it all. I say I can speak it, but I can't really..I can say my name though. And I can say "Wurzel".

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