What is the most useful language?

blank   Tuesday, September 28, 2004, 13:05 GMT
I was just wondering what people's thoughts were about what the most useful language is. From an American standpoint, Spanish is probably the most useful domestically. If you want to work for the government, Arabic might be useful. And if you want to do international business in the next few decades then Chinese will probably be the language of choice. Does anyone have any opinions or experiences on this matter? How do these differ for other countries?

Also, because of the complexity and the centralization of the Chinese language does anyone think that it could one day replace English as the primary language taught around the world?

And on a side note, what do people think about the fact that France has placed legal restrictions on the number of English songs that can be played on the radio?

This is actually three topics but I didn't want to start a bunch of threads.
Doogle   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 01:51 GMT
In non-english speaking countries English is definately the language to learn. For english speaking people probably the other main european languages like French, spanish or German.
Franco   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 02:02 GMT
El idioma más utíl definitivamente es inglés porque todo el mundo lo habla.

Francia es un lugar puerco, tiene un idioma tan repugnante que el gobierno tiene que forzar a la gente hablarlo cuando la gente no quiere. Francia me pone enfadado.

Para la gente que habla inglés el idioma que aprender es Tagalog.
Jim   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 02:41 GMT
"In non-english speaking countries English is definately the language to learn."

"From an American standpoint, Spanish ..." or "... Arabic ..."

It seems to me that for people in English-speaking countries English would be the most important. Okay, perhaps I'm just being silly. What is the most important second language to learn? It obviously depends on the individual.

I think that, even as globalised as the World is today, most individuals can get by easy enough with only one language. Of course, those into international business, the tourist industry and travel are a different story. Also if you live in a multilingual country, like Canada or India, then you're also in a different situation.

Francophone Canadians would do well learning English. Anglophone Canadians would do well learning French. Tamils would probably benifit from learning Hindi and/or English. Japanese is useful if you're in the Australian tourist industry.

All in all, though, from a general perspective I'd say the English is the most important followed by Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, French and German.

Could Chinese one day replace English as the primary language taught around the world inspite of its complexity and centralisation? Yeah, it's possible but not to likely if it remains so centralised. As for it's complexity ... English is complex too.

Let France ban all foreign songs from the radio if they want. I'd like to see a bit of the same in Australia. I'd like more home-grown music on Aussie radio and more home-grown programmes on Aussie TV.
Jim   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 02:58 GMT
... Although, I wouldn't perceive it to be very nice if the French singled out English songs for this restriction but allowed as many German ones on air as broadcasters wish. You've got to be fair. It wouldn't be fair, for example, if there were a maximum quota of 10% for American shows on Aussie TV but no limit on British ones.
Plünket   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 03:55 GMT
la langue la plus importante est l'english porquoi la gente speak it en todas pièces del monde y nadie niemand kann es stoppen. Eu penso daquele for personas que don't vive nei posti where de mensen spreken het geen Engels lo más utíl aprender is chinois.

Dios te salbe, María plena yes de grazia o siñor ye con tu bendita yes entre todas as mullers y bendito ye o fruito de o tuyo bientre, Chesús.

Who recognizes the language in which the second part is written?
Clark   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 06:29 GMT
It is Aragonese.
Clark   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 06:31 GMT
The most useful language is the language(s) that one does his or her everyday business in.
Damian   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 06:32 GMT
<<more home-grown programmes on Aussie TV>>

You sent your Neighbours to the UK
Now they're playing Home and Away
Marta   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 14:37 GMT
I live in Poland we should know three languages German, Rassian and English. But this is only theory, in practice the most people know only Polish.
Easterner   Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 19:10 GMT
The most useful language is the one in which you can engage in meaningful communication with the most people, especially those who are important to you. For me these are Hungarian and English at the moment. Learning the others is mostly a pleasant luxury... :-)

As for Chinese... Well, I wouldn't think it will replace English, at least in the nearest future. It's too unusual for the Western mind. On the other hand, Spanish could become a serious rival to English at some parts of the USA as far as usefulness is concerned...
Jim   Thursday, September 30, 2004, 00:02 GMT
We sent our Neighbours to the UK,
Now they're playing Home and Away;
And there we hope they ever stay,
Bring 'em back home? No way!


You remind me of the more pathetic side of home-groan Aussie telly. "Neighbours" and "Home And Away": bloody rotten shows they are. But I guess that's just my taste. There are plenty of people out there who just lap this drivel up. So if the TV stations are going to be showing soap operas anyway, it might as well be domestic drivel instead of "The Young And The Restless" and "Melrose Place".
Damian   Thursday, September 30, 2004, 08:07 GMT

They are the most well known Aussie soaps over here but I don't watch them...honest! There is occasionally another one about a country police station way in the outback somewhere and that was quite cool and not just about rustling sheep or whatever. I liked looking at the Aussie countryside...all that space! You have SO much space over there! I can't remember what it's called right now but I don't think it's showing here on the main channels unless I trawl through Sky.
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, September 30, 2004, 08:21 GMT
A cop shop in the country? No idea. Minus the police, it might be McLeod's Daughters? (I don't remember the exact spelling but it's pronounced "M'cloud").

The best thing to come out of Britain, of late, is Ali G!! He is a genius, and of course one of the American networks snapped him up, along with his other characters.
vincenç   Thursday, September 30, 2004, 13:01 GMT
Franco, zu putaren seme egi bat zara! El francés es tan bonito que el castellano y no sé puta huevona te pariò para que hablaras tan feo. Vete a la mierda fatxa pepero, mira como terminò tu fantasma nocturno José Ma Aznar!

Gora Euskal Herria!
Viscan Occitània e Catalonha!