Press One For English


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEJfS1v-fU0

Naturally, if you are anyplace else, you just have to yell louder & speak slowly til they understand.

--
Cliff

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

In most other countries I've been to, English is their second or third or fourth language. It's a crying shame that our kids can't learn a few languages while they can without any real effort, from ages 4 through 12. In a global economy, we are backward on this front.
--
Kali

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It's not too hard to learn a foriegn language if it permeates your culture- look at how many quebecois don't know english at all.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

>
1. Kali's ideological bias predisposes her to despise Americans. Perhaps there's a Commie gene.
2. There may not have a global economy much longer. Certainly not the type she so admires.
She seems to believe that being on this side of the Atlantic somehow precludes learning. You can't thrive in Europe without knowing several languages. But the admonishment that Americans can't learn when Europeans know three or four languages is meaningless in a mono-lingual country. It's second nature when one is raised multi-lingual.
Is there still an advantage for Americans learning additional languages? Sure. Thorough language one can pick up a bit of geography, history and culture. I also suggest Latin since Latin is the basis for the French and Spanish and about 60% of English.
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On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 12:11:06 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A good percentage know but choose not to use it. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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says...

I'm glad you said that, because it doesn't sound nice coming from a Yank. d8-)
It drove me nuts, once you get outside of Montreal. If they take pity on you, they'll speak perfectly good English.
-- Ed Huntress
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says...

You may simply have had an unlucky experience because it is a very common to hear people travelling to Quebec say I come to Quebec to practise my French and the minute I try to speak in French, native quebecers switch to english and I can't have a conversation in French.
Chasseur Montreal Canada
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wrote:

Possibly because the visitor is trying to practice the Paris French taught in Canadian schools which amounts to a foreign language in "La Belle Province". Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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you might be refering to people you might meet in a retail or service sector, but I was in a volunteer program ages ago with almost half who were from quebec most who did not know a word of english and the other who did did not know it well. I was astounded by that to begin with. My wife spent most of her life in quebec, says there are areas and people who are unilingual either anglophone or francophone- and because of their commerce have little need to learn or use the other language, but there are large unilingual pockets/ groups.
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says...

you might be refering to people you might meet in a retail or service sector, but I was in a volunteer program ages ago with almost half who were from quebec most who did not know a word of english and the other who did did not know it well. I was astounded by that to begin with. My wife spent most of her life in quebec, says there are areas and people who are unilingual either anglophone or francophone- and because of their commerce have little need to learn or use the other language, but there are large unilingual pockets/ groups.
You were probably a volunteer around 1975-1985. Things have changed a lot since then. When the Parti Qubcois was elected to power in 1976 their priority was separating Quebec from the rest of Canada and protecting the French language. They pushed for cultural isolationism and learning to speak English was definitly not a priority. Quebec now has around 15 universities and around 50 community colleges and English litteracy is considered an absolute necessity. The advent of the internet during the eighties and of satellite tv and more political maturity and awareness of the global village (Quebecers travel a lot especially to the US) were also major factors for change. Hospitality is also highly valued here and use that to your advantage, if you are a tourist from the US, Europe or a fellow Canadian from outside of Quebec introduce yourself as such, you will be surprised by the results.
Chasseur Quebec Canada
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My dad is a snow bird. He encounters Keebeckers fairly regularly who are also snow birds.
He says they stay in traveling ghettos, never leaving their own group, prefering to spend their time drinking beer and sitting around their travel trailers/motor home lager and ignoring everyone else.
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says...

I had no problems in Montreal. When I tried my poor high school Parisian French, they would switch to English!
Steve R.
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says...

Two years ago, broken-down 50 miles in the Quebec bush, we were rescued by two guys that didn't speak a word of English on a 130 mile beer run. we managed easily to communicate that we needed 12" of 3/4" heater hose and 2 hose clamps. I think the common bonding agent was BEER!
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Buerste wrote:

In French it is "biere" German "bier" Spanish "cerveza" Portuguese "cerveja" Russian "пиво" Chinese "啤酒" Greek "μπύρα" Italian "birra" Japanese "ビール" Korean "맥주"
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says...

Beer may have been a factor but the main reason was the unwritten code of the coureur de bois in the bush. No Quebec hunter, fisherman, trapper, forester, camper will leave somebody in need in the bush without assistance.
Chasseur Quebec Canada
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On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 13:00:52 -0600, F. George McDuffee

Many supervisory jobs in manufacturing require bi-lingual or state bi-lingual a plus (meaning they need bi-lingual but don't want to put it in writing).
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On Feb 20, 2:47pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The wackiest one I've seen was Cambodians learning Spanish.
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wrote:

Check what's in their lunch boxes. If it's prahok and lemon grass burritos, you know they're fully assimilated.
-- Ed Huntress
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On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 17:25:14 -0500, "Ed Huntress"

http://www.juarez-mexico.com/HTML/Restaurants/Chinese/MeiKenLou/MeiKenLou.htm
Friends in Juarez took me to this restaurant, first time I heard Chinese people speaking fluent Spanish.
Tom
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wrote:

I wonder if their accent in Spanish is any more acceptable to the Mexicans that ours is?
When I was marketing manager for Sodick we had a Japanese engineer who spoke Spanish. He was fun to listen to, especially when he mixed up his r's and l's. But he could trill both of them. <g>
-- Ed Huntress
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