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Is Luxembourgish considered an important part of the country’s identity? Because on purely practical terms it makes little sense to learn a language spoken by less than 0.5m people located within a small territory. Learning a language requires time and effort which might be spent on acquiring other crucial skills.

I'm obviously not suggesting that little countries should drop or replace their languages, but there are many folks who simply and practically see languages as a means of communication with others and do not associate it with 'culture'.
I get your point. Luxembourgish is indeed useless outside the country.

But when you live or work in that country, it's still worth learning the language.

I personally could not imagine living in a country and not understand the language spoken by a large portion of the population or in important media or institutions. The main radio and TV stations are in Luxembourgish, as well as discussions in parliament or the election campaigns. It's a question of integration into society.
 

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I get your point. Luxembourgish is indeed useless outside the country.

But when you live or work in that country, it's still worth learning the language.

I personally could not imagine living in a country and not understand the language spoken by a large portion of the population or in important media or institutions. The main radio and TV stations are in Luxembourgish, as well as discussions in parliament or the election campaigns. It's a question of integration into society.
Got it.

It's an important part of the country's identity and the Luxembourgish people are proud of it :)
 

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Every year, people from the world over vote with their hard earned dollars, pounds or yens that the cultural mix that France offers - cuisine, architecture, historical sights, museums, exhibitions, fashion, opera, shopping, lifestyle, nature - is better than what any other country has to offer and they come for a visit in numbers no other country can match.
I believe Italy (as messy as it is) is way better than France in many of those topics - surely not worse than Italy as you imply.

I must say I'm usually happy to be French when it's time to eat. We have good local products. I think the geographical situation helps. And the diversity of its many regions keeps captivating me. There is so much difference from Alsace to Normandie, Aquitaine to Provence, Auvergne to Pays de Loire... The folklore, the regional cultures, the landscapes, the climates... that's geographically very different, and still it's France.
Same can be said about Italy and Spain. Big countries with wide diversity. France is not that unique I'm afraid.

74% of Spaniards would welcome a Muslim into the family?! M'kay....It'd be interesting to know where they conducted the poll!
Well, maybe people (as myself) can answer this question as "I would welcome anyone someone from my family decides to share her/his life with no matter where he/she comes from", so while you focus on the Muslim we focus on respecting someone elses choice.

So much that i'm not surprised to know the Portuguese is more fluent in English than the other Latins.
Because of the TV. Spain, Italy and France dub all foreign shows (which are mainly American) while Portuguese have a much wider exposure to the English language since they are kids.

The French is much more a litteral language, something that must be pronounced as it is written. The Spanish and the Italian is close to that too.
Spanish and Italian are much more literal than French. You simply speak these languages as you read them. French, besides that example of the "s" at the end of the word that you don't pronounce, has got many other examples (Mauresmo is "Moresmo", Loit is "Luat", Dodin is "Dodan"...). Of course it doesn't happen as often as in English but it is definitely not like Spanish or Italian in that sense.

Regarding this I remember when I was little and was watching these American shows on TV and I was always puzzled on that thing called "Spelling contests" where kids were doing a contest on how to spell :spit: To me it made no sense, like you have to be really stupid to do a contest on that as it is crystal clear how things are spelled since is just how you speak. When I got older I obviously understood how difficult pronuntiation is in English since you basically have no rules (why it is pronounced "Chaina" and not China? while pronounced Argentina and not "Argentaina"). In Spanish the "i" will always be "i", not "ai" or whatever. Anyway, English compensates with very easy grammar which is the opposite with all these Latin languages.

I don't know what you mean by aerial, but I can tell you that French is not a very phonetic language. It's considered the least phonetic of the latin languages generally. You guys really have a thing with unecessary letters at the end of words. What you pronounce is very different from what you read. German, Italian and Spanish are more phonetic languages for sure.
Exactly. Not clue about German though, since life is too short to learn that language which sounds like a hot mess with that neverending words with lots of consonants together :eek:h:

The thing is, España, Italia and România are not as rich and developed countries as France is. So it makes sense that their English is not as good. Even so, according to the English Proficiency Index, France is still the last one of those nations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EF_English_Proficiency_Index (btw România is actually quite high).
You make no sense here. Portugal and Romania may not be as "rich and developed" but their English is much better. Money has nothing to do with it.

French (speakers) are defending themselves against english, but they have the same bullish attitude as english speakers towards other languages, in Belgium (refusing to learn flemish), Luxembourg (refusing to learn luxembourgish or german).
As far as I know French is a official language in both Belgium and Luxemburg so of course they are entitled to speak French there, even it is not in the French part. Is that being a bully?
 

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English spelling more phonetic than Spanish :worship: There shouldn't have been any doubt that Hugues Daniel's lethal combination of pompousness and utter cluelessness would stretch far beyond tennis topics. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in this gem of a thread.
 

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Spanish and Italian are much more literal than French. You simply speak these languages as you read them. French, besides that example of the "s" at the end of the word that you don't pronounce, has got many other examples (Mauresmo is "Moresmo", Loit is "Luat", Dodin is "Dodan"...). Of course it doesn't happen as often as in English but it is definitely not like Spanish or Italian in that sense.
French is very literal once you know the rules of the language and all kind of vowels you can spell. There are not much variations or exceptions on these rules.

the sound "o" can be written "au" and "eau", but it's still the sound "o" in any case. There are just three ways to have "o" (o, au and eau). The spelling (orthographe) totally depends of the origin of the words (that I guess were pronounced much more phonetically in a long time past, including latin, but were simplified over the centuries in french).

"oi" always sounds "oa", unless there's a "ï" (two points on the "i") to mean you have to spell the "i" (o-i). French just has more rules or codes, but it's as literal as Spanish and Italian once you know them.

"in" in french always sound the same, and you have also the same sound with "ein", "ain" or "un". It's just that the words have different spellings due to their origin. It's a very logical language when you learn it. It's not complicated at all to pronounce it. Except that, of course, in english you don't use much the sound "u". I guess all those letters you find in the french words are just due to the fact we respected their original spellings over the centuries, despite simplifying their pronounciation. We just didn't bend the spelling to the pronounciation over the time. In that sense, there's a big difference from what is written and what is spoken. Language isn't only used as a tool to be spoken: it has a spelling life that we respected. I like a lot that duality that the french language has. That's why it's usually considered as a literary language as well. It is meant to be read as much as to be spoken, if not more. :)

Of course in times of multimedia, that aspect may grow more and more devaluated. Which is unfortunate.
 

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English spelling more phonetic than Spanish :worship: There shouldn't have been any doubt that Hugues Daniel's lethal combination of pompousness and utter cluelessness would stretch far beyond tennis topics. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in this gem of a thread.
I don't even know who you are. But thanks for showing your insignificant ass I guess.
 

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Same can be said about Italy and Spain. Big countries with wide diversity. France is not that unique I'm afraid.
Why should we be afraid of that. I'm guessing that many European countries are worth visiting and discovering in many aspects. I love differences and different cultures. I know and like Spain, have been in several corners of that country (Barcelone, Madrid, Séville, Grenade, Bilbao...), still don't think the diversity of regions, cultures and food is as dense and rich as the French one but who cares and all the better if I'm wrong.
 

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Regarding English, I find pronounciation important, otherwise this could happen:

I guess not understanding would mainly happen to non-natives, because when you are not used to listening to certain ways of speaking English, it can be very hard to understand what is said.
The thing is that even between natives there can be a whole variety of different pronunciations and they can not understand eachother. If you put someone from for example, Inverness, Liverpool, and a strong redneck it can be really hard to understand even for a native.

I had no idea you stayed with english words for that. In France we have french words for them ("supprimer", "télécharger", "souris"...) but of course in most parts of the Web it's in english and we're used to translate them.

Some words we have kept english. "tweet" for instance. Il m'a envoyé un tweet, il m'a tweeté... (and I hate this, I must say - it's like an aesthetic allergy)

what you said about the interconnections between english and french, yes, we have common words, but they were assimilated. After all, even the word "tennis" comes from the french "tenez" (or at least it's explained so).

Anyway, the cultural self-defense is a good thing.
I understand cultural self-defense, but I think you guys have much bigger worries than the anglicism right now.

Exactly. Not clue about German though, since life is too short to learn that language which sounds like a hot mess with that neverending words with lots of consonants together :eek:h:

You make no sense here. Portugal and Romania may not be as "rich and developed" but their English is much better. Money has nothing to do with it.
German is a really nice language when you get into it. And is really phonetic.

I think you understood me wrong. What I said was that despite Portugal and Romania not being as rich as France, their English is much better. Which looks bad for the French. Because as the richer country their people should have better English skills.
 

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I understand cultural self-defense, but I think you guys have much bigger worries than the anglicism right now.
Impressed with the protests? ;)

Macron's speech today (tuesday) was perfect. His work is not a joke, but his opposition (the political one), is. Let's hope the Gilets Jaunes calm down.
 

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Discussion Starter #110
I think you understood me wrong. What I said was that despite Portugal and Romania not being as rich as France, their English is much better. Which looks bad for the French. Because as the richer country their people should have better English skills.
That's simply not true.
 

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What I said was that despite Portugal and Romania not being as rich as France, their English is much better. Which looks bad for the French. Because as the richer country their people should have better English skills.
I’d say it’s actually the opposite.

The less significant or poorer a non-English-speaking country is, the higher is the need of their people for grasping today's lingua franca - English - to succeed on a global stage or to get out of that poverty.

And the more important, powerful and rich a non-English-speaking country is, the less it's important to pick up English. France is a good example of it (BTW, when the UK leaves the EU, maybe even more Europeans will turn to French :grin2:).

Besides France - where the knowledge of the language by birth already secures you the ability to speak with 60 million people - French is also spoken in other rich countries like Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg and of course in many countries or territories in Africa, Caribbean or Oceania.

The total population of the countries where French is the official language or is frequently used is about half a billion people.

Now, compare that with Romania’s 30 million :)
 

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'Bibi' is unpopular in Israel? I checked Wikipedia and he's been the premier already for 9 years plus a three-year term in 1990s. So I guess he must be doing sth right :)

BTW, from an unbiased foreigner's viewpoint, he looks like a nice guy one would invite for a beer :D
he didnt win the majority of the votes in 2009, he lost to zipi livni but bc we have such an awful election system he manage to unit the right wing and form a coalition with the orthodox and got the majority to be prime minister.

he is popular among the right wing mostly and most of my problem with him is related to his Internal policy not foreign.

he is super smart, Intelligent, sharp and Mubarak (former Egyptian president) said he is a charmer

He is a great politician but a small leader.
 

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Size and economic situation both play the role. People living in rich and big countries can satisfy most their needs within the national market.

When you come from a small and poor country, English opens up a new world. Trust me.
 

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he didnt win the majority of the votes in 2009, he lost to zipi livni but bc we have such an awful election system he manage to unit the right wing and form a coalition with the orthodox and got the majority to be prime minister.

he is popular among the right wing mostly and most of my problem with him is related to his Internal policy not foreign.

he is super smart, Intelligent, sharp and Mubarak (former Egyptian president) said he is a charmer

He is a great politician but a small leader.
Thanks, I’m obviously not familiar with his internal policies and I understand that people might be fed up with a leader - even if he/she was otherwise excellent - who has been in power for so long.

But from the outside he really looks like a 'charmer' as you quoted. BTW, I actually thought he was younger and now I see he's turning 70 soon.
 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_French_origin

according to some sources, between 29% and 45% of all the words of the English language in a way came from the French. Gotta remember that in the middle ages the Normands dominated Britain and made quite some influence there.
This is a great link actually, I completely missed it. Thanks for sharing this :cool:

I'm now actually working on my French and the similarities with English make the learning much easier. In a way, English is a derivative of French thanks to that Norman Invasion in the 11th century :lol:

Government x gouvernement, tremble x trembler, mirror x miroir, demand x demander, commence x commencer and thousands of others.

It also nicely illustrates that France used to be a bigger and more powerful country than England (Britain).

For example, in the 14th century, England had just 5-7 million inhabitants, while France had 12-14m and the Holy Roman Empire accommodated almost 20 million. The future glory of the British Empire or the English-speaking USA was yet to come.

Even in Canada, the Frenchmen actually arrived first (Quebec) :grin2:
 

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I've always heard that, but my personal experience in Paris with the natives was pretty good. They were always nice and helpful. It's believed that if you at least try to scratch some French, they will be nice, but if you already start speaking in English as if expecting them to know, they won't be. I speak absolutely nothing of French, but I learned a few sentences (basically: ou est la and je voudrais) and always started talking to people in French, so maybe it was because of that. Also lots of people there simply don't speak English, it's bizarre for such a rich country.
What does "coming from a rich country" have strictly in common with your English proficiency or not though? :confused: I mean there are fairly poor African countries like Uganda or Nigeria in which English is the official language.
 

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Impressed with the protests? ;)

Macron's speech today (tuesday) was perfect. His work is not a joke, but his opposition (the political one), is. Let's hope the Gilets Jaunes calm down.
Actually I was thinking more about the cultural shift towards Islam that is happening.

That's simply not true.
I’d say it’s actually the opposite.

The less significant or poorer a non-English-speaking country is, the higher is the need of their people for grasping today's lingua franca - English - to succeed on a global stage or to get out of that poverty.

And the more important, powerful and rich a non-English-speaking country is, the less it's important to pick up English. France is a good example of it (BTW, when the UK leaves the EU, maybe even more Europeans will turn to French :grin2:).

Besides France - where the knowledge of the language by birth already secures you the ability to speak with 60 million people - French is also spoken in other rich countries like Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg and of course in many countries or territories in Africa, Caribbean or Oceania.

The total population of the countries where French is the official language or is frequently used is about half a billion people.

Now, compare that with Romania’s 30 million :)


What does "coming from a rich country" have strictly in common with your English proficiency or not though? :confused: I mean there are fairly poor African countries like Uganda or Nigeria in which English is the official language.
Technically, a richer country has more resource and infra structure directed towards education, which should lead to people speaking better English. It is not a coincidence that people from poor countries whose native languages are not English normally have worst English than people from Rich countries.

This is a great link actually, I completely missed it. Thanks for sharing this :cool:

I'm now actually working on my French and the similarities with English make the learning much easier. In a way, English is a derivative of French thanks to that Norman Invasion in the 11th century :lol:

Government x gouvernement, tremble x trembler, mirror x miroir, demand x demander, commence x commencer and thousands of others.

It also nicely illustrates that France used to be a bigger and more powerful country than England (Britain).

For example, in the 14th century, England had just 5-7 million inhabitants, while France had 12-14m and the Holy Roman Empire accommodated almost 20 million. The future glory of the British Empire or the English-speaking USA was yet to come.

Even in Canada, the Frenchmen actually arrived first (Quebec) :grin2:
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Technically, a richer country has more resource and infra structure directed towards education, which should lead to people speaking better English. It is not a coincidence that people from poor countries whose native languages are not English normally have worst English than people from Rich countries.
Spain, Italy and France have much worse level of English than many of these small European countries you call "poorer".
 

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What's strange with that? Greek culture is one with the longest lasting continuity & writing next to Chinese, their culture is the source and foundation of many others, the science & democracy are Greek concepts. Are you a cave dweller? :confused: They actually have every right to feel at least slightly superior as far as their cultural heritage & influence is concerned. By no means I do advocate though xenophoby & violence performed in the name of it.
Their culture got them into the worse economic crisis a democratic country has seen post WW2.
 
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