Friday, May 29, 2009

How Important is it to be Bilingual or Multi-lingual in Today’s World?

Have you ever been someplace, say an amusement park, or walking down the street and heard people speaking in different languages? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to address someone in his or her native tongue?

I feel that being bilingual or multi-lingual is very important in today’s world. Countries that don’t encourage this are falling behind while those that do encourage it are racing ahead.

I speak English fluently and Spanish almost fluently. I understand even more languages. I can pick up words in French, Portuguese, German, Greek, Russian and converse with someone speaking in Italian while I speak in Spanish. Several of these languages have similarities, others don’t. I understand Greek and Russian because I’m of the Orthodox faith and have attended services in both languages.

Here’s a quote from Northwestern News

“…the majority of the world’s population outside the United States is bilingual or multilingual, Marian noted. In the U.S., approximately one out of five American households speaks a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census. And, with higher birth rates among Hispanics relative to the rest of the population, that proportion is rapidly growing.”

To read the full article, go to Evanston Now

What are your thoughts?

Remember, next week starts the "Bounce into Books" book blog tour.

posted by Joy Delgado
We go Beyond Reading
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Check out what’s going on at the zoo!
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa blog


billkirkwrites said...

Hi, Joy. I see from the time of your blog entry, you were up early this morning. I fully agree with your comments about the utility of learning other languages. It's a lot easier to do when visiting or living in the country of origin. But even studying a second language in school may well present opportunities much later in life.

I was fortunate to have lived in Spanish, German, French, Thai and Italian speaking countries growing up and as a young adult. It's been a long time since I've had a chance to use those languages so my facility has grown cold. But I do recall an interesting experience over dinner one evening when I was traveling in Africa back in the early 1980s.

I had occasion to eat dinner in a hotel restaurant in Dakar, Senegal, with a fellow from Portugal who was returning home from a job in Brazil. In addition to Portuguese, he also spoke Spanish, a little French and German but no English. I spoke French, passable Spanish, some German and a little Italian. During the three hours we spent at the dinner table, we probably didn't complete a single sentence in the same language. Every thing we said was in bits and pieces of the various languages we each spoke or understood, augmented with drawings and sketches using the stack of napkins at the table. After it was all over, my brain was tired but what an entertaining and fun way to spend and evening.

Joy said...

Thanks for stopping by Bill. I find knowing and understanding other languages really opens opportunities. Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like it was a fun evening. think of how many new brain cells each of you grew that night!