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Speak Good English Campaign

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Superglide
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Postby Superglide » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 8:11 pm

Vaucluse wrote:
German is not limited to use in Germany . . . You can use it pretty much anywhere in central Europe, Holland, Belgium, eastern Europe ......


Bad advise!
If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.
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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 8:19 pm

My Dutch friends might suggest that the earlier comment about them was a 'bridge too far' :wink:

Funnily enough I was thinking of this topic just this morning. As last night I learned a friend who works in a senior IT-development role in London has started taking German lessons, to help communicate with her current German clients.

Funny that, Beppi said all Germans speak English.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 8:23 pm

I didn't say they all speak it well.
But English is taught as first (in a few cases second) foreign language in all schools in Western Germany for 50 years and Eastern Germany 30 years.
So there might be some older people (especially in Eastern Germany) who really never learnt it at all.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 8:42 pm

beppi wrote:I didn't say they all speak it well.

Good day Beppi :)

Well quite. If even people in MNCs at director level in Germany are struggling...


But English is taught as first (in a few cases second) foreign language in all schools in Western Germany for 50 years and Eastern Germany 30 years.
So there might be some older people (especially in Eastern Germany) who really never learnt it at all.

I think you made this comment before but I don't quite follow. Did people in the East begin being taught English ten years before the wall came down? That would be counter-intuitive, maybe I'm being thick, care to elaborate?

p.s. I think there is also another important distinction: Just because you have been taught a language in school, does not mean that you speak it in later life.



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Postby beppi » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:11 pm

I don't know why you like to dwell on your point that Germans are bad at English.
Fact is, in Europe, the only countries where it is easier than Germany to get around with English are Holland, Britain and Ireland.
Good luck if you try to survive with English only in Spain, Italy or (heavens beware) France!

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:15 pm

beppi wrote:I don't know why you like to dwell on your point that Germans are bad at English.
Fact is, in Europe, the only countries where it is easier than Germany to get around with English are Holland, Britain and Ireland.
Good luck if you try to survive with English only in Spain, Italy or (heavens beware) France!


Yeah yeah, so you say. But do you fancy answering my question re: English teaching in East Germany?

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Postby beppi » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:19 pm

Unification was in 1989, 22 years ago.
Even before that, English was inceasingly commonly taught, usually as second foreign language (after Russian).

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:27 pm

beppi wrote:Even before that, English was inceasingly commonly taught, usually as second foreign language (after Russian).


Really, I didn't know that! It is counter-intuitive for me as I would not have expected East Germans then to have expectations of needing to speak English. Rather like a muslim school giving children pre-emptive lessons in how to make bacon sandwiches.

Anyway. You've seen my comments about most people I meet not speaking any English... so I won't labour the point again!

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Postby poodlek » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:30 pm

beppi wrote:I don't know why you like to dwell on your point that Germans are bad at English.
Fact is, in Europe, the only countries where it is easier than Germany to get around with English are Holland, Britain and Ireland.
Good luck if you try to survive with English only in Spain, Italy or (heavens beware) France!


I spent 3 months in Spain and Italy and did just fine. It helps to grease the wheels a little bit with some attempts at phrase book type conversation before apologizing and asking to switch to English. The only place I really had trouble was on a road trip through Basque country. There I had to resort to my (extremely rusty) French. I hadn't bothered to buy a Basque phrase book...

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:34 pm

poodlek wrote:I spent 3 months in Spain and Italy and did just fine. It helps to grease the wheels a little bit with some attempts at phrase book type conversation before apologizing and asking to switch to English. The only place I really had trouble was on a road trip through Basque country. There I had to resort to my (extremely rusty) French. I hadn't bothered to buy a Basque phrase book...


Trivia time:

Basque is closely tied with Cornish, apparently.

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Postby poodlek » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:39 pm

JR8 wrote:
poodlek wrote:I spent 3 months in Spain and Italy and did just fine. It helps to grease the wheels a little bit with some attempts at phrase book type conversation before apologizing and asking to switch to English. The only place I really had trouble was on a road trip through Basque country. There I had to resort to my (extremely rusty) French. I hadn't bothered to buy a Basque phrase book...


Trivia time:

Basque is closely tied with Cornish, apparently.


No kidding! No wonder I felt so at home ;-) (although I'm about 10th gen. Canadian my ancestors come from Devon and Cornwall)
Seriously though, the written language looks like alphabet soup. Does anyone still speak Cornish?

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 9:55 pm

JR8 wrote:Anyway. You've seen my comments about most people I meet not speaking any English... so I won't labour the point again!

I think it is the generation thing. IMHO a generation ago hardly anybody spoke English in Central Europe but also in BRD - at least that was my impression. My first foreigner language is German but it is now practically extinct. 15y ago I was already more into English and clearly remember my surprise when I could use it to communicate buying something in Saturn. But at that time it was not so common and the guy helping me was rather young, Now I don't know any German who does not speak good English but all the guys are either the younger generation or highly educated.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 10:13 pm

poodlek wrote:
JR8 wrote:
poodlek wrote:I spent 3 months in Spain and Italy and did just fine. It helps to grease the wheels a little bit with some attempts at phrase book type conversation before apologizing and asking to switch to English. The only place I really had trouble was on a road trip through Basque country. There I had to resort to my (extremely rusty) French. I hadn't bothered to buy a Basque phrase book...


Trivia time:

Basque is closely tied with Cornish, apparently.


No kidding! No wonder I felt so at home ;-) (although I'm about 10th gen. Canadian my ancestors come from Devon and Cornwall)
Seriously though, the written language looks like alphabet soup. Does anyone still speak Cornish?


Not kidding!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_language

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Postby beppi » Fri, 02 Dec 2011 10:25 pm

JR8 wrote:Basque is closely tied with Cornish, apparently.


My god, why are you constantly posting irrelevant (and in some cases wrong) information like this?!?

Cornish is a (dead but then revived by a few hobbiers) Celtic Language (like Gaelic, Welsh, etc.) and part of the Indo-European language family.
Basque is not replated to any other known language and probably a relict of what people spoke before the Indo-Europeans came from the Middle East approx. 10000 years ago.

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Just saying...

Postby farlene » Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:00 am

I know I’m a little late for this but I just got to say something and I reckon I’ll be “slammed”


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