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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:51 pm
by zenmonkey
FyrsteSumarenINoreg wrote:Guadeloupe, Martinique and other French-speaking islands are even closer. :roll:


Closer to what?

Flying to Guadaloupe would cost me (Frankfurt) about 430€, I can drive to France in 3 hrs for 30€ or fly to Spain for less than 100€ (there is even a special to get me to Mallorca for 95€ right now).

For someone in Canada (say Toronto), Cancun is closer and cheaper (by 3x?) than Gaudaloupe or Martinique. Heck, even Puerto Vallarta, on the other side of Mexico is a cheaper flight.

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:19 pm
by Speakeasy
zenmonkey wrote: … For someone in Canada (say Toronto), Cancun is closer and cheaper (by 3x?) than Gaudaloupe or Martinique. Heck, even Puerto Vallarta, on the other side of Mexico is a cheaper flight.
Not only are the flights from Canada to Spanish-speaking Central American destinations cheaper than those to English-speaking or French-speaking southern destinations (with the notable exception of Haïti), but accommodations, bars, restaurants, entertainment activities, guided tours, shopping, and just about everything else are also significantly less expensive. Furthermore, in most cases, the facilities in Spanish-speaking tourist destinations are far more modern and more “luxurious” … there’s no accounting for taste … whereas the management and staff of these facilities seem to have a better grasp on the notion that “the paying customer is king” than, say, their Francophone counterparts do. Oh, yes, the latter have definitely heard of the concept, but they’re still thinking about it!

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:33 pm
by zenmonkey
Speakeasy wrote:
zenmonkey wrote: … For someone in Canada (say Toronto), Cancun is closer and cheaper (by 3x?) than Gaudaloupe or Martinique. Heck, even Puerto Vallarta, on the other side of Mexico is a cheaper flight.
Not only are the flights from Canada to Spanish-speaking Central American destinations cheaper than those to English-speaking or French-speaking southern destinations (with the notable exception of Haïti), but accommodations, bars, restaurants, entertainment activities, guided tours, shopping, and just about everything else are also significantly less expensive. Furthermore, in most cases, the facilities in Spanish-speaking tourist destinations are far more modern and more “luxurious” … there’s no accounting for taste … whereas the management and staff of these facilities seem to have a better grasp on the notion that “the paying customer is king” than, say, their Francophone counterparts do. Oh, yes, the latter have definitely heard of the concept, but they’re still thinking about it!


North America. ;)

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:01 am
by romeo.alpha
Ser wrote:Honestly I think you're exaggerating the influence prosody exerts in being understood. All aspects of pronunciation matter a lot.


Try understanding people speaking French among themselves, and not shifting their register up so that it is comprehensible for foreigners, and then come back and tell me you think I'm exaggerating the influence prosody exerts in being understood.

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:12 am
by Cavesa
romeo.alpha wrote:
Ser wrote:Honestly I think you're exaggerating the influence prosody exerts in being understood. All aspects of pronunciation matter a lot.


Try understanding people speaking French among themselves, and not shifting their register up so that it is comprehensible for foreigners, and then come back and tell me you think I'm exaggerating the influence prosody exerts in being understood.


Yes, I'm telling you that I think that you're exaggerating the influence prosody exerts in being understood. :-)

And truth be told, if you cannot believe even me, there is little hope for meaningful discussion here. I may not be a polyglot or know very distant languages, like many people here, but when it comes to experience with French and with understanding normal natives, you won't find many more experienced people around here. Or perhaps even at your local university ;-) And I also have a not negligeable amount of experience with understanding normal Spanish natives too, so I can compare. And truth be told, I don't think either of them is significantly harder or easier to understand by foreigners (when not dumbed down of course), there are just a bit different kinds of difficulty in each.

Prosody is not unimportant, but it is definitely not the single most important part of the whole. Just look at people with really bad prosody in English,who still get understood, it can't be that hard to imagine for you! It is language learning, not prosody learning with a bit of vocab thrown in :-D

Yes, prosody is one of the many things a learner needs to focus on. But it is simply completely unimportant as a factor in choosing a language. And even more as a factor in the global popularity of any language.

Money is important. The languges of rich people are popular.
The amounts of natives are important, but much less than their money.
Tradition and availability of teaching resources is important. People learn what they can realistically imagine learning and what they can get their hands on. The language learning related politics of every country plays a big role. People pick from the few choices at school and very often stick to that choice for their whole lives, no matter how far they get or how many times they restart later.
How difficult a language is, that is important, but it is heavily influenced by marketing and by prejudices. And also by the things people can perceive. People take into account ortograph, a different script, a complicated looking grammar, when they are choosing. Not prosody, sorry.

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:25 am
by Kraut
You need two foreign languages to get the Abitur in Germany. English has always been unrivalled with almost 100 per cent of students studying it. French - also unrivalled and institutionalised like English - has always come second place. Twenty years ago Spanish was negligeable but is rapidly gaining ground and today beats French when they compete against each other.
https://www.abendblatt.de/hamburg/artic ... sisch.html


Hamburg
Foreign languages at school: Spanish overtakes French





Schule-Spanisch-ueberholt-Franzoesisch.html



/.../
Demand also rises with supply

"This is a development that we have been following for some time," says Christian Helmchen, research assistant for the didactics of Romance languages at the University of Hamburg. Finally, two master's theses have investigated why French is losing popularity as a second foreign language. "Surveys of Hamburg schoolchildren revealed that they find French lessons very stressful and grammatically heavy," says Helmchen. In addition, pupils complained that they could only express themselves in French after a longer period of time in such a way that conversations became possible.

According to the researcher, French lessons are still strongly influenced by grammar, which is taught in separate units, whereas grammar is not so much in focus in English and Spanish lessons. The previously often expressed assumption that French is considered a "girl's subject" and is therefore comparatively rarely chosen by boys could not be confirmed in the studies, says Christian Helmchen.
Spanish is regarded as a global language that brings advantages

Spanish is considered a global language by both pupils and students, whose mastery promises professional advantages. Latin America is increasingly perceived as an attractive economic market. "Many of our Spanish students are now even more attracted to Latin America than to Spain - it used to be different," says Helmchen.

The school authorities have further explanations for the phenomenon: In 2008, many schools only offered French or Latin as a second foreign language. In the following years, however, more and more schools offered Spanish, and demand increased as a result. In addition, the proportion of students of Spanish origin is also increasing, so that there are also more offers in the language of origin.

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator
/.../


Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:11 am
by Cavesa
Those are great points, Kraut.

Yes, it is often a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. People take what they are offered, and the same things are offered, because they are being taken. But it can slowly change and I think Spanish will keep growing not only in Germany.

A good point is the effect of the increasing amount of Spanish natives or heritage speakers in Germany. This has been discussed here, in context of the US mostly. But it seems to be a more universal phenomenon.

Curiously, it seems to me that French has the exactly opposite problem around here. Just yesterday, my little sister was complaining that the textbook had been obviously made for tourists. And understood a grammar point immediately, thanks to my clear short direct explanation, while her useless teacher had been beating around the bush for weeks. Around here, and unfortunately not only in the French classes, people are being shown tons of grammar without proper explanation, due to the stupid and probably wrongly applied "communication method". People complain especially about French, that it is just about memorisation and no logic. Because they are not being taught grammar properly. (To compare: the German learners taught without proper focus on grammar complain just like the French ones. The ones taught more traditionally with normal approach to grammar just face the challenge, get proper teaching, and speak basic German while their French taking classmates still can't put a sentence together. The tiny minority of Spanish learners is curiously more similar to the German ones, with more logical coursebooks and a similar learning curve.)

It is fascinating that two opposite situations can lead to a very similar result: declining interest in French, rising interest in Spanish (even though slower here, due to German still being the number 2, and Russian trying to rival French or Spanish).

Around here, I would also say it is also due to the stupid myth that "French is so hard", which is being repeated by most teachers. The English, German, or Spanish teachers don't tell people that. Instead, they are trying to do their jobs properly.

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 4:31 am
by sirgregory
Below is a link with original data referenced in the article (from Duolingo). There are some cases where I think you'd get quite different results if you were to survey foreign language learning in the country in general as opposed to just Duolingo usage. In Scandinavia, Spanish comes out as the most popular foreign language. Clearly English is more studied there as a foreign language, but people have presumably taken enough years of it in school that they don't bother doing it on Duolingo. I thought I'd heard German is commonly taught in schools there as well. I'd also wonder if Spanish is really the most popular foreign language in the UK. That is quite surprising to me, if true.

https://making.duolingo.com/which-count ... rn-from-it

For the US, the results are more in line with expectations. Spanish is unquestionably the most popular. For scholarly usefulness, I would say French is still well ahead (and German as well). If you look at the graduate school foreign language requirements for Yale's history department, for example, you will note that French is far more broadly recommended than Spanish.

https://history.yale.edu/academics/graduate-program/language-requirements

Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 6:49 am
by DaveAgain
sirgregory wrote:I'd also wonder if Spanish is really the most popular foreign language in the UK. That is quite surprising to me, if true.

https://making.duolingo.com/which-count ... rn-from-it
There's quite a large british expat community in Spain, and it's a popular holiday destination for British people.

Spanish is a popular adult evening class language, and is now taught in some UK schools as the L2, although french is the traditional choice.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 73#p134773

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 30#p122593