Why should everyone speak English?

March 15, 2007 5:08am CST
I've encountered many wonderful Americans in the last 20 years, there have however been many of them who seem annoyed when they go abroad and they have trouble communicating with the locals. They come back and complain that nobody there spoke English. My questions are: Why should they? And why don't Americans care about learning a foreign language?
1 person likes this
4 responses
• Netherlands
15 Mar 07
Interesting !!!! Didn't really thought about it. Maybe because english language is one the most spoken among other languages in the world ??? Or maybe because it's just for vacation or a short of time. I'm sure it will be different if they have to stay for a long period of time. But, Americans is not the only one though. I saw lotsa tourist in our area that from other country such as French and German. Not so many of them will talk in English nor local language. They will only talk in their own language. So, we communicate with "tarzan" (sign) language. It is frustrating but can be laughing as well. But you are right !!! When you go to other countries that has different language than yours and aware that you will facing language problem, it will be better if they learnt a bit foreign language. It might save you from being scam and you might be treated even better.
• Austria
15 Mar 07
yes so true, I've had experience with snooty Germans on vacation as well,
@mags31ca (203)
• Canada
15 Mar 07
Although I am not multilingual (wish I were though) I do encounter many people in my work who are. They all start out with, "Sorry, my English is poor." It astounds me that they would apologize for not speaking a second or third language well.
15 Mar 07
My apologies to the Americans, but they DO expect a lot. Seeming that they are THE supreme super power in the world, their mentality is still within a small box that there's only one country in the world that is worth anything and the is the U.S. Which is wrong. I have nothing against Americans. I think they are one of the best people around. One should at least equip himself with all the basic knowledge of the place he is visiting and must understand that NOT everything he/she sees apply as if they were in their home town. Think out of the box and keep an open mind. Do not critcise. Enjoy the most you can.
@g_aileen09 (1354)
• Philippines
15 Mar 07
I agree with you on this. Before one goes to a foreign land, american or not, they should see to it that they are equipped with the basic vocabulary in the language spoken by the natives...or better yet bring their personal interpreters.