About a week back Andrei Zmievski blogged about taking linguistics classes and on the fluid nature of languages, and got me thinking about them. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in French with the equivalent of a minor in Russian (and yet I work in the computer industry… funny, eh?), but I’m far from fluent in either language, even though I’d like to be. And I’d like to learn other languages, too, if I had the time.
I think every American should learn a second, maybe even a third language. Especially when a good part of the educated world beyond our country is multi-lingual; I think it puts us at a definite disadvantage.
Yes, I know there’s always someone who will disagree with me on this point. English is quite the lingua franca, and will continue to be, so it’s easy to argue that there’s no need to learn another language in today’s world. Not so. I’ll touch on this in a future post.
And of course, this always brings to mind one of my favorite rants from Dennis Miller, about the English language:
I understand that English is a protean, evolving language that must constantly change in order to remain relevant. But let’s not go out of our way to appropriate words from other cultures simply to justify making something more expensive. Hey, you can add all the Italian suffixes you want, you’re not fooling anybody over there at Starbucks—it’s still just coffee. Now ring me the fuck up, you frappaloser.