English as lingua franca

General discussion about learning languages
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Josquin
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Re: French Group 2016 - Les Voyageurs

Postby Josquin » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:58 pm

Marais wrote:English is the lingua franca because of the media which is pretty much (in the grand scheme of things) all in English.

You've heard of dubbing and national language media, haven't you? Except for songs on the radio, virtually NO media in Germany are in English. Still everybody learns English, because a) schools teach it, b) it's important for all kind of careers, and c) it's useful for touristic purposes.
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Re: French Group 2016 - Les Voyageurs

Postby Marais » Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:30 pm

Josquin wrote:
Marais wrote:English is the lingua franca because of the media which is pretty much (in the grand scheme of things) all in English.

You've heard of dubbing and national language media, haven't you? Except for songs on the radio, virtually NO media in Germany are in English. Still everybody learns English, because a) schools teach it, b) it's important for all kind of careers, and c) it's useful for touristic purposes.

You've heard of the 'internet', haven't you?

I'm sure all 13 year old European kids speak English because it's useful for their career :roll:

Nothing to do with them being addicted to internet and smartphones in particular and most of the media on those platforms being English?

I've so far yet to see a plausible refutation to the point that most media is in English, and if you want to consume it, you have to know at least a bit of English. As far as i see it, these as facts.
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Re: French Group 2016 - Les Voyageurs

Postby Marais » Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:33 pm

Josquin wrote:
Marais wrote:English is the lingua franca because of the media which is pretty much (in the grand scheme of things) all in English.

You've heard of dubbing and national language media, haven't you? Except for songs on the radio, virtually NO media in Germany are in English. Still everybody learns English, because a) schools teach it, b) it's important for all kind of careers, and c) it's useful for touristic purposes.

Also, point a) above is disproven by the dreadful record of people who learn languages at school in actually reaching any decent level. Anglophones don't learn French well in Canada. Why, when they have it at school from age 5 and live in bilingual communities, where it would be useful? Why, when a massive world population and dozens of countries speak French? (disproving your point c) above)
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Re: French Group 2016 - Les Voyageurs

Postby Josquin » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:42 pm

@Marais: Believe me or don't! Maybe, as a German, I know more about the situation in my native country than you do, but maybe I don't. :roll: The Internet also exists in different languages than English, you know? Also, you don't need to understand the lyrics of a song to like it.
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Re: French Group 2016 - Les Voyageurs

Postby Marais » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:50 pm

Josquin wrote:@Marais: Believe me or don't! Maybe, as a German, I know more about the situation in my native country than you do, but maybe I don't. :roll: The Internet also exists in different languages than English, you know? Also, you don't need to understand the lyrics of a song to like it.

I don't really think you being German gives you any more insight then the rest of us. You're arguing that hardly any media on TV or radio is in English. And i never said it was. I said 'media' and media appears on more platforms than TV.

13 year old European kids don't learn English to better their prospects. They learn it because the popular news, youtubers, films etc are all in English. Just like the Scandi's do.

Anyway enough derailing if you want to continue this discussion i'm happy to have you PM me if i can receive them.
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Re: English as lingua franca

Postby LadyGrey1986 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:29 pm

You realise how important it is to have a lingua franca when you work with immigrants. A couple of months ago, I had to help a lady from mainland China who only spoke Schizuhanese. Even my colleague, who is a native Mandarin speaker, had some difficulty understanding her. There is only so much you can achieve with smiling and gesturing.
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Re: English as lingua franca

Postby DaveBee » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:44 pm

LadyGrey1986 wrote:You realise how important it is to have a lingua franca when you work with immigrants. A couple of months ago, I had to help a lady from mainland China who only spoke Schizuhanese. Even my colleague, who is a native Mandarin speaker, had some difficulty understanding her. There is only so much you can achieve with smiling and gesturing.
France the UK now have a language requirement for prospective immigrants (A1-B1). Is the netherlands moving towards that?
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Re: English as lingua franca

Postby Serpent » Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:35 pm

@Marais, I think you overestimate how well 13 year olds speak English. Sure, some do, but mostly those who can travel. Modern European teens have much more opportunities to use foreign languages than their parents did.

I think it's largely about expectations. Basic English has become as important as basic math (or even more, given that there's a calculator on almost any gadget). IMO many people totally "fake it until they make it". There's also some shared vocabulary that's not used or less common in English, like ananas or kiosk. And of course in general it's often easier to communicate with European non-native speakers.

As for the perspectives, they're just more specific and real. Even when a British or American person tries to learn a language for career opportunities, deep inside most of them know that they can find a job abroad without learning the local language. Meanwhile some European teens know they won't even get through high school if their English is not good enough.
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Re: English as lingua franca

Postby reineke » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:22 am

"In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth".

"As in the discussions of English in other sections of this chapter, the media landscape of Europe cannot be painted with a broad brush. Germany, for example, with about 83 million people, has the largest media market in Europe. Consequently, the media landscape has a high concentration of national, German language media. In contrast to Belgium, Switzerland, or the Netherlands, for example, television programs from abroad, such as CNN or BBC World, do not attain substantial market shares. With regard to free television the German market is the most competitive in Europe...

Language dubbing and subtitling are also practiced differently depending upon the country. Larger countries like France and Germany consider the investment in dubbing English-language films worthwhile. Thus, contact via television with exclusively English language offers is a rare occurrence.

Smaller countries, for example, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands, subtitle films; Scandinavia and the Netherlands, as reported by Hasebrink & Herzog, regard dubbing as “cultural barbarism” (2002, p. 24-25). This means that TV is an important source of contact with foreign languages;

Informal counts show that 40 to 60 % of the programs on Dutch-speaking channels are actually in a foreign language, mainly English. In addition to such popular English language channels as MTV and the Discovery Channel, Dutch TV viewers will get at least one hour of English on average every day. Earlier research (de Bot, Jagt, Janssen, Kessels & Schils, 1986) has shown that watching subtitled TV programs does not mean that only the subtitles are attended to: information is drawn both from the spoken language and from the subtitles. Research by the Dutch Broadcasting Association shows that the Dutch population clearly prefers subtitling over dubbing. Keeping up or developing foreign language skills is expressly mentioned as one of the reasons.

In the Walloon Community of Belgium, however, dubbing is preferred, possibly because in Walloon media English has a place that is much less important than in Flanders. The most important reason for this is the rich French media offerings. Being part of the Francophone world, Wallonia has since the rise of cinema depended to a great extent on French productions. Since France had an intensive production of films, the public was used to French actors (and French voices when sound was added to the pictures). The Francophone market was so important that foreign films of possible interest to the Francophone audience were dubbed in spite of additional costs for doing so.

As in other western countries, radio has a large number of formatted programs broadcast for specific target groups. Those programs especially designed to attract young audiences offer mainly current popular music, a large majority of which has English lyrics. As several studies have indicated, radio programs for young audiences in Germany can offer 95 to 100 % of their music in English language (e.g., for the Berlin market, Wichert, 1997). This corresponds to audience studies which consistently show a strong preference among younger audiences for English language music, although older groups still prefer German pop among popular music in general.

Corresponding to rules in France, which require that 40% of broadcast music has French lyrics, the Organization of German Music Publishers has voted in favor of quotas for German language music. While English language programs are very common on Dutch television and a host of English spoken channels are available, hardly anyone listens to English language radio stations.

...A subsequent report found that among Germans 15 years of age and older, 44% claimed to be able to participate in a conversation in English (just 12% claimed to be able to speak French) (European Commission, 2001b). Compared to Eurobarometer surveys from previous years, this figure marks a steady increase in language proficiency: in 1998 it was 41% and in 1990 just 34%."

Lack of empirical evidence on Dutch attitudes has not kept various academics from expressing their fear that Dutch will be replaced by English in the near future (e.g., Beheydt, 1996; de Swaan, 1991). These fears are not supported by a pilot study in which 69 immigrants from 31 different countries were questioned about their language attitudes and intentions to learn other languages (Weltens & De Bot, 1995). The main conclusion of the study, which was motivated by impressions in various immigration countries that immigrants “skip” the national language and try to learn a larger international language in order to move on, was that among immigrants in the Netherlands, at any rate, learning English, for all its attractiveness in other respects, is not seen as an alternative to learning Dutch.

http://www.springer.com/us/book/9780387368931
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Re: English as lingua franca

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:12 am

DaveBee wrote:
LadyGrey1986 wrote:You realise how important it is to have a lingua franca when you work with immigrants. A couple of months ago, I had to help a lady from mainland China who only spoke Schizuhanese. Even my colleague, who is a native Mandarin speaker, had some difficulty understanding her. There is only so much you can achieve with smiling and gesturing.
France the UK now have a language requirement for prospective immigrants (A1-B1). Is the netherlands moving towards that?


The Netherlands has long had a language requirement in place. I don't know wether it is applied to fellow EU citizens (I doubt it, which imo is stupid, should be applied to everyone otherwise English speaking populations even from non-English speaking countries are going to expand all over the EU). As an immigrant into the Netherlands you have a time limit to learn the language by, also can't remember the time frame nor level required.

Edit: I read the France link you provided and realised this is to acquire French nationality. Yes the rules are the same for Dutch nationality, but don't recall the level required (I know this as I am a dual citizen- Netherlands/Australia).
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