When did you begin to learn foreign language?

K. T.   Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:38 pm GMT
When I was in Hong Kong a few years ago, I didn't find many Chinese who spoke English. I really thought there would be MANY more because of the long British presence there.

Survival rate: I think people are lazy. They want an injection to give them French in an hour. It's insane. I never see books like these:

Neurosurgery in Five Minutes a Day

Learn to Build a Seaworthy Sailing Ship as You Drive to Work

Pass the Bar! Our CD Teaches You the Essentials TODAY.
Xie   Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:51 am GMT
But I think that's natural. Unlike multilingual countries where everyone must speak 2+ languages functionally, the usage of English here is limited. As I put somewhere, only English is official in universities (much to the disappointment to many of us students), and it is supposed to be dominant in the lecture room, but it is STILL not on an equal footing with Chinese in the campus as a whole, not to say other situations where English speakers/Caucasians/other peoples are the minority.

And, well, for ordinary people, struggling hard to "learn" (shouldn't it be "live" with it?) a language is inherently insane too, because "foreign" things are always "foreign" (though it must be fascinating for foreign-thing lovers). It would be kind of weird or stilted for one to speak a foreign tongue, which is understood by the natives, to another native.
K. T.   Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:59 am GMT
I can see your point, Xie.