What languages should a well-educated individual speak?

yt   Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:56 pm GMT

Powerful economy and Spanish is a sort of idiosyncrasy
Matematik   Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:00 pm GMT
Combined GDP of all French speaking countries is lower than GDP of Hispanic countries.
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:25 pm GMT
Britain is clearly superior to Spain, I feel very greatful for all the money we receive from them. They are very benevolent.
Matematik   Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:45 pm GMT
Germany is clearly superior to UK, I feel very greatful for all the money we receive from them. They are very benevolent.
.   Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:14 pm GMT
English and Dutch.
A little German is optional.
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:16 pm GMT
Matematik, stop pretending you are a British , your English is not "greatful" at all.
PARISIEN   Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:27 pm GMT
. Allemand, anglais, français (par ordre alphabétique) sont essentiels.
Un peu de russe et d'italien en plus ne feraient pas de mal. Du latin aussi, certainement (je regrette sincèrement de ne pas l'avoir étudié à l'école);

. English, French and German (by alphabetocal oder) are essential.
Additionally a little Russian and Italian wouldn't hurt. Some Latin too, certainly (I sincerely regret that I did not study it at school).
For a Russian:   Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:24 pm GMT
Traditionally, French and German were plausible substitutes for English up until the 80s, but everyone needs to know English nowadays. German is considered more useful than French, but the latter is still popular with the intelligentsia (though not necessarily at the cost of German).

Italian is respected; it's considered a major tongue like Fr and Gr, but is less important. Spanish and Japanese are chic. Chinese is the very latest fad and is quickly gaining popularity. Arabic lags way behind.
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:29 pm GMT
Spain has more secondary speakers than Italian in Europe, yet nobody mentions Spanish as a language that educated people should know. Either all educated people post on this forum or there are very few educated Europeans.
Kiki   Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:39 pm GMT
Franco, not to offend you or your countrymen, but Spain was a poor agrarian shithole until the 90s, and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world carried little weight politically and economically. For the last two centuries, Italian was considered to be culturally superior in many places throughout Europe (the language of music, and arguable more important than Spanish in art and literature, particularly in poetry).

It's only after the 80s that Spain approached European living standards, Hispanic soap operas spread throughout the world, Mexicans populated the United states, etc. etc. etc.
Matematik   Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:23 pm GMT
That is your subjective opinion, way subjective I would say. But let's talk about facts:

1. Spain has higher GDP per capita than Italy and more human development index.

2. Spanish language has more secondary speakers than Italian in Western Europe.

3. In Italy they have the social problem of mafia. I know what you will say now : there are mafias everywhere. Yes, in part due to the fact that there are Italians everywhere: in USA, in Germany, in Argentina, Australia, etc... But mafia is an autochthonous problem to Italy and well enrooted in the society so it is hard to fight against it. Even Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has ties to the mafia. Do you really think Italy is more civilised than Spain given this? I don't think so. Italian is the language of Camorra but not of educated people. And not, Napolitan isn't because younger members of mafia groups have been educated in public schools and now they speak standard Italian. Silvio Berlusconi also speaks standard Italian, not Napolitan or Sicilianu.
conqueror   Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:16 am GMT
how about asking yourself instead what foreign languages do the welll-educated people from spain speak . zero. call it lack of interest or incapability but the majority are simply clueless. even younger people are not able to use a computer if its not in spanish ,or read instructions in english from whatever . they rely too much on the others learning spanish , which in my subjective opinion is simply moronic.
For a Chinese   Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:38 am GMT
<< Chinese is the very latest fad and is quickly gaining popularity. Arabic lags way behind. >>

Keep on dreaming Sinophile. Even if China becomes strongest in economy nobody will study and learn it because to western ears it sounds strange, funny, and the speakers of it sound like birds.

Not even speakers who are tonal languages like Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Khmer would bother to learn it.

Chinese like Spanish have huge number of native speakers but very few speak it as a foreign language therefore it's not qualified to be an international language. Hindi on the other hand, though resisted by the Tamils and Bengalis but has considerable number of non-Indic people who can speak it at least in basic level, thanks to Bollywood movies and the that Indians have particularly from third world nations.
Lnk   Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:32 am GMT
Is a doctor or a physicist who only speaks one language not considered to be educated?
Irony   Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:50 pm GMT
On this forum that would seem to be the case. Strange I know.
I have zero interest in learning other languages. It's not that I think everyone should speak English or that English is the best language, I just don''t have any desire to speak another language.

I have been in China for 6 months now and still cant speak a fucking word of it.