Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: April 2015

France seeks to soothe German language fears

France sought on Wednesday to allay fears in neighboring Germany that teaching of the German language would suffer under a forthcoming education reform.

A formal commitment to promote each other’s language has been vital to ties between the two countries often described as the “motor” of European Union.

German officials are so worried about the impact on Franco-German relations that even Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised the matter with President Francois Hollande.

The reform scraps arrangements under which the brightest French children can take on two foreign languages – typically English and German – on entering secondary school. Berlin fears German will lose out to English if there is just one choice.

The revamp also envisages letting children take on a second foreign language from the age of 12 – one year earlier than now. But at present, few children choose German, with many more opting for Spanish because it is considered easier.”

Read more @ http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/29/us-france-germany-idUSKBN0NK1QH20150429

Languages do matter!

German increasingly popular as a foreign language

“Interest in German as a foreign language remains at a very high level. The latest Deutsch als Fremdsprache weltweit (German as a foreign language worldwide) survey puts the number of German language students worldwide at 15.4 million.

The language is becoming particularly popular in South America, notably Brazil, the Middle East and, above all, China and India. In Brazil, 134,000 people are learning German, in China 117,000 and in India 154,000. Numbers in China have doubled since the last Deutsch als Fremdsprache weltweit survey was conducted in 2010.

At 9.4 million, Europe still boasts the majority of German language students, with Poland topping the list with around 2.28 million. While the collapse of the Soviet Union originally prompted a huge increase in the number of German language students in the countries of the region, interest began to decline in 2000 and has only recently picked up again.”

Read more @ http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150423093741794

Languages do matter!

Schools fail on foreign languages (New Zealand)

“Public support strong for more Mandarin classes but uptake poor given its importance to our trading future.”

Read more @ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11439016

Languages do matter!

From Zuckerberg’s Chinese to Lei Jun’s English: tech leaders busy learning foreign languages

“Tech industry leaders from Silicon Valley to Beijing have at least one shared hobby – learning a foreign language as soon as possible – whether it be Putonghua for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or English for Xiaomi’s Lei Jun.

In China, many tech industry leaders have strong academic backgrounds in computer science but their communication skills may not be as good as their coding, in particularly when they have to speak on the world stage. As Chinese companies increasingly look towards overseas expansion, engagement with global customers has become a must-do thing for many top executives.

Those Chinese tech bosses who do speak fluent English often attract more recognition and exposure in the West than some of their peers. For example, Jack Ma Yun, co-founder and chairman of Alibaba, China’s top e-commerce firm, is widely recognised as a great public speaker on the world stage. Ma began his career as an English teacher and realised how important English is as a global language way ahead of many of his peers.”

Read more @ http://www.scmp.com/tech/leaders-founders/article/1777704/zuckerbergs-chinese-lei-juns-english-tech-leaders-busy

Languages do matter!

Are We Prepared for the Jobs of the Future??? (Foreign languages)

View @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwCEkleilNQ

Languages do matter!

German Increasingly Popular As a Foreign Languge

“Interest in German as a foreign language remains at a very high level. The latest Deutsch als Fremdsprache weltweit (German as a foreign language worldwide) survey puts the number of German language students worldwide at 15.4 million.

The language is becoming particularly popular in South America, notably Brazil, the Middle East and, above all, China and India.

At 9.4 million, Europe still boasts the majority of German language students, with Poland topping the list with around 2.28 million.”

Read more @ http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150423093741794

Languages do matter!

Gallipoli centenary: Australia and New Zealand mark Anzac Day

“Australia and New Zealand have been remembering soldiers from the two countries who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One.

Meanwhile in London, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh – who is patron of the Gallipoli Association – and Prince William were joined by senior government and military figures to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Thousands from Australia and New Zealand came to Turkey for the anniversary along with Princes Charles and Harry and a large number of international dignitaries.”

Read more @ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32459375

Languages do matter!

Switzerland is ‘world’s happiest’ country in new poll

“The land of clocks and chocolates is the world’s happiest country, according to a new survey.

Switzerland topped the third annual World Happiness index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations.

It was closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Togo, Burundi, Benin and Rwanda, with civil-war wracked Syria, were least happy

The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy.”

Read more @ http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32443396

Languages do matter!

When to Go to Europe: Timing Your Trip

“Some people have flexible enough jobs and lifestyles to cherry-pick when to take their vacations, but many others have less choice. Fortunately, Europe welcomes visitors 365 days a year — and each season offers a different ambience and experience.

In travel-industry jargon, the year is divided into three seasons: peak season (roughly mid-June through August), shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October), and off-season (November through March). Each has its pros and cons. Regardless of when you go, if your objective is to ‘meet the people,’ you’ll find Europe filled with them any time of year.”

Read more @ https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/timing-your-trip

Languages do matter!

The Best Time to Visit Europe

“Europe is a year-round travel destination, where any time is a good time to visit some corner of the continent. Since this isn’t an option for most, visitors have to narrow down travel dates based on their own preferences and interests. Generally, ideal times to visit Europe are May, June and September, when prices are reasonable. Crowds are then smaller; the weather is typically agreeable during those months as well.”

Read more @ http://traveltips.usatoday.com/time-visit-europe-16032.html

Languages do matter!