How many Americans can speak French fluently
Why are so many Americans unable to speak foreign languages?
This is mainly due to the offer and the way it is offered. My husband had German at school and his sister had Spanish. Both were only offered in upper school, because it has simply not yet been accepted that it might be an advantage to speak other languages as well. The reason for this lies in the fact that English is still a world language, so why learn another language.
The reason behind this fact is not the Americans but the British Empire and the Commonwealth.
If I speak a language that is standard in almost every country in the world, if it is not even a mother tongue, and if everyone I deal with on business assumes that English is a good form, then the question is in fact why one should learn another language.
As a German, that makes sense, because in Europe there are various languages in countries that are only a few hours away by car. The USA, on the other hand, is huge and apart from a few who only speak Spanish (one of the reasons why the trend is towards Spanish as a foreign language), there is hardly anyone around here who does not speak English (apart from a few Canadians in Quebec, Canada).
It only makes sense that you don't deal with other languages, because what should you learn that would be an advantage? German? Great. Then you can talk to the Germans. French? There are a little more + colonies, but they usually also speak English if they really want to do business with us.
I know it sounds banal, but you just don't see any advantage here in speaking other languages.
I speak English and German fluently and almost without an accent, I can keep my head above water with French and have my Latinum ... Of all the languages I speak, English theoretically gets me the furthest in the world economy.
Yes, maybe here in the USA you should put a little more emphasis on languages and you should definitely start earlier than in 11th grade.
But I also believe that the trend towards bilingual (Spanish), which meanders through children's books and various media, is slowly becoming more important. Lets see what happens.
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