Learning a Language!

United States
February 13, 2007 5:56am CST
I'm 16 and I really want to learn Mandarin Chinese. I know alittle and I have a Chinese friend teaching me over the internet. In this day and age with internet etc how important do you think it is to learn another language? And do you think kids are getting enough education on different cultures and different languges in school these days? I am very focused on learning Chinese even tough all my friends and parents think is a dumb waste of time. So do you think learning more then one language is important and what languages do you know?
1 person likes this
5 responses
• China
13 Feb 07
Hello! I'm a Chinese ,I want to tell you that just do it ,there is nothing can't do in the world if you try your best . In our country ,every student must study english even without the CET4(college english test band four) certificate ,our college and university students can't graduate ,everyone of us study english everyday from about ten years old but many of us can't grasp it better or we can only study to reday for the exam but can't say it out or write an very easy artical . But I think to study a language just say it out write out and try your best to use it ,that's all .
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 07
Thanks for the confidence I will enjoy learning Mandarin Chinese and I hope I'll become fluent!
• China
21 Feb 07
Thank you for your response .And I believe you can do it very well if you put your heart on it and there are so many examples who study English or other language so good by there older years (that somebody thought) ,when you can't make it continue just find some example like this to encourage for yourself .The best wishes for you .
@zavebe (122)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I'm American, and most americans don't know two languages. Spanish/English is becoming common, though. And I'm a huge supporter of making the world bilingual, at least. Personally, I haven't been able to master another language. I stumbled through 3 years of french in High school, and then couldnt get out of French 101 in College. I got kicked out of my german class, cause I did so bad. and I'm not very good at spanish, either. But I'm learning Japanese, now. And I'll be taking my third quarter of it this spring. In a lingustics class I took, I learned that people who are truly bilingual have a slower onset of dementia when they're older. They have a stronger neuron connection in their brain, and so it takes longer to deteriorate as they grow older. They're also more adpet at learning new languages. I think being bilingual is actually healthy for your brain, as strange as that sounds. I also think it's important to at least learn about other cultures. America is suffering the most from this, I think. We're such a vast nation, and so secluded from everywhere else. While in europe the nations tend to be closer, so they see more of the world simply by people who pass through. America is suffering, a bit, from no being exposed to other cultures more. With the internet, I think we're being forced to understand new cultures at an earlier age, but it isn't something enforced in our schools too strongly. In other nations like Japan it's required that students learn english. They're forced, essentially, to be bilingual. I think it's a good thing for the world to understand each others cultures. And grow a respect for your own. ^.^
• United States
14 Feb 07
Wow, thanks for the great response I disagree with America suffering because i live in a small town and ive been introduced to the Chinese, Japanese,Mexican and even Cambodian culture by friends America is very diverse and I think that helps us alot
• China
2 Mar 07
Oh~~In China,most children are told"As we all know,English has became more and more important.In order to get high score,enter into a top school,and find a good job etc,you must work hard in schooltime...English is one of the most important things includeing computer ,you must learn those well ...."Many words like these...And,many people not only learn English,but also learn other foreign languages such as French,Japanese,Korea,Arabic and so on...And they could master them well~~~~Amazing..I am looking forward to being a man like them~~~~Of course,it's very hard for me,even only a daydream..@.@... I should work hard...That's why I come here.My English is limited.From my descriptive,you'll find it...Sorry,I couldn't change this situation in a short time... Ha,thank you for your passion for China and Chinese.Welcome to China in future! PS:The puppy is cute! ^.^
@ehomba (15)
• Singapore
17 Feb 07
no offence, but even as a chinese, i feel learning chinese is a waste of time. For one, it is a lot harder than most languages, except maybe tamil? Learning more than one language isn't that important, maybe people shd speak english more. Afterall it is a link language spoken internationally
• Oman
17 Feb 07
There are too many different cultures and languages in the world. Even if you spent your whole life only learning languages i dont think you would be able to learn all the languages of the world. So its impossible for a school to teach their students about cultures because, which one would they choose. How can a school decide if one culture is more important than the other. Ofcourse especially in multi-cultural societies they should teach the students to accept other cultures and not make fun of differences in cultures. Personally students should be allowed to learn a language if they want. If you are interested in learning another language then its really good. When you try to teach someone a language and they are not interested in learning it then its very difficult. I speak 3 languages, English, Hindi and French but i learnt them all in school. At the moment I am trying to learn portugese which is my dads native language. I think its great that you are learning Chinese. I would find it very difficult. Are you learning to write Chinese as well? Id say keep at it. You dont know how nice people feel if you can talk to them in their own language.