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February 14, 2012 6301 No of hits
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In today's highly competitive global business environment knowledge of a foreign language can be a very positive attribute for an employee. Knowing the fundamentals and common expressions of languages other than your own can also be of enormous benefit if you travel internationally for business or pleasure. However, unless you were raised by parents who spoke more than one language, or lived in a multi-lingual neighborhood, learning another language quickly and easily can be very challenging. Of course, there are some fortunate few who possess the unique ability to understand and speak a different language with ease. They are often said to have a "good ear" for languages

Persons born and raised in the United States are likely to have progressed through an educational system where emphasis was placed on learning English to the exclusion of developing knowledge of other languages and cultures. This unfortunate perspective has come into focus as this country struggles to compete with increasingly effective international business concerns. The following shows not only the major languages of the world and the number of native speakers, it also recommends the dimension of the market your organization may wish to enter.

Note: linguists have identified almost 7,000 distinct languages plus several thousand dialects. The major languages of the world and the number of native speakers are as follows:

Chinese Mandarin 836,000,000

English 470,000,000

Hindi 400,000,000

Spanish 392,000,000

Indonesian 200,000,000

Bengali 189,000,000

Arabic 186,000,000

Russian 170,000,000

Portuguese 170,000,000

Japanese 126,000,000

French 110,000,000

German 98,000,000

Chinese Wu 77,100,000

Chinese Cantonese 75,000,000

Malay 60,000,000

Although it is said that English is the universal language, not knowing the language of your competitor is a distinct disadvantage. In this regard, it is interesting to note that among the European Common Market countries, only Wales and Italy do not require mandatory education in a foreign language.

If you are now in a situation where learning new languages is a personal interest in becoming a polyglot or is important to your role and/or tenure in an organization you may want to consider the following.

* Enrolling in foreign language class in a junior college or university that meets for 45 hours per semester may give you some fundamental knowledge of polite interaction with others, the ability to order off of a menu, and the ability to ask directions. However, it is highly unlikely that you will develop functional bilingualism and fluency in the new language

* Taking a language immersion class requires you to attend class for many hours per day on a consistent basis. This has proven to be a very effective learning method. However, it can lead to language and attention fatigue that inhibits the learning process

* Purchasing language books and software for self-paced study requires a total commitment to the learning process. Boredom, frustration and distraction too often work to defeat the benefit the material offers.

To supplement the language learning experiences cited above you may consider:

* Reading a foreign language newspaper or periodical with a language dictionary nearby

* Attending a foreign language movie with or without sub-titles

* Watching language programming if available on your cable provider

* Use the Internet to find language learning resources.

* Speaking with a person knowledgeable if not fluent in the foreign language

* Be prepared to invest the time and energy necessary to achieve your language learning goals.

Tags:   Languages   Basic language skill   Language skills   Enhance language skills   Language technique  

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In today's highly competitive global business environment knowledge of a foreign language can be a very positive attribute for an employee. Knowing the fundamentals and common expressions of languages other than your own can also be of enormous benefit if you travel internationally for business or...

By: Richard Martine Created 73 months ago

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  • Butik
    April 03, 2012
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    Park City Independent Online High School has foreign lnuaagge courses you can take for High School credit. They offer Spanish, French, German, Latin, and Chinese. They have AP classes in Spanish and french.Their foreign lnuaagge courses are web-based and interactive. They are really popular among the student body. PCI is fully accredited, student can take individual classes for high school credit or they can enroll full-time and graduate through Park City Independent.

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