Can somebody explain the point of French immersion schools?
Wouldn't it be much more useful for children to learn Spanish or Chinese as a second language? Are these schools just a way to show off one's social status? French is a useless language from a business standpoint.
Ah ah ah! Que tu es drole assis dans la neige!
Um... the point is to learn French quickly.
I'm thinking of doing a Spanish immersion class in Puebla, Mexico next year. I could live there for four months cheaper than in the US AND learn Spanish.
I understand that, R2, but what for? It's a useless language.
You don't have to be rich to care about French culture. And it's not like learning one language cancels out others -- you can go to a French immersion school and learn French quickly, and then dedicate yourself to a new language. I know few people who have done immersion that are only bilingual.
R4, you're an idiot.
OP/R4, it isn't useless for people who might want to spend time in France.
Education isn't always about business, nor should it be.
Always a wonderful crowd here. What I don't think some of you realize is that a lot of these immersion schools are preschools and kindergartens. So these kids are immersed in French until first grade and then probably forget everything!
au contraire, mon frère
Being immersed in a language at a very young age is one of the quickest and easiest ways to learn a language, OP.
We have them in Canada because it is one of the national languages. I went to one from kindergarten until grade eight.
Do you mean private ones in the US?I don't know anything about those.
Actually OP, French is used a lot in business. French is a secondary language (officially and unofficially) used in many countries. I'm in a business that requires me to deal internationally, and when looking for jobs I'm asked if I speak French a lot, whereas I've only been asked about Spanish once. Also, everyone else I know that does business internationally speaks French.
Speaking French is an asset as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
R11, yes, I meant ones in the US. I can understand how they would make sense in Canada.
R10, I know that learning a language when young is the best way to pick it up. But then there's that pesky issue of keeping up with it. The children I know who are in these schools are 5 years old and, come first grade, will go to English-only schools. Their parents do not speak French, so I don't understand how the language they learned will stick. A lot of learning a language has to do with using it daily in a conversational way.
Ok, OP. In that specific instance -- of a very short stay at a French immersion school and then no further maintenance with the language -- it seems like a waste of money. That is a far cry from your original point of "French is dumb and you're dumb for learning it."
OP, seriously, keep on digging. You're not quite deep enough yet.
Yes, it's true: you're a moron
I think Spanish will become more important in the future. Even though Brazil speaks Portuguese, I think the rest of Latin America will continue to prosper so it can't hurt.
Either way, they are both beautiful languages. I prefer Spanish because the cultural heritage is immense (simply because of the sheer number of Spanish speaking countries).
Spanish is the language of peons.
Just about anywhere I've traveled to in the world, if I couldn't find someone who could speak English, I was able to find someone who spoke French. This happens in lots of countries you wouldn't expect...Brazil being one of them. Also Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, much of Africa, Italy and other parts of Eastern Europe. Spanish is a great second language to learn, and learning one language does not negate learning the other. Also, a good grounding in French helps you understand English better too.
What happened to people having pride? How submissive, wanting to learn Chinese! Why not learn how to imprison writers and poison everything? Do you want to learn how to work for 40 cents a day, too? That is good for business!
Canada? Nationl language? Please bitch, Montreal is like 3 zip codes, speak English you geographically challenged fags.
Trust me, French is pretty useless outside of France and francophone Africa.
HOWEVER, I think immersion programs are useful, especially for children, no matter what the target language is. Once you learn one foreign language (especially as a child), learning the second, third, and fourth are a breeze.
French is spoken on more continents then any other language. It is also common in international affairs, hence it is commonly used at the UN, even more so then english.
[quote] Either way, they are both beautiful languages. I prefer Spanish because the cultural heritage is immense (simply because of the sheer number of Spanish speaking countries).
depends on WHICH Spanish you speak.
LAS covers all of South America (except Brazil), Central America and Mexico but they do not speak it in Spain. There you would have to learn Castilian or Catalan Spanish.
R24, you couldn't be more wrong. Catalan Spanish is only spoken in very few areas of Spain. A native South American can go to Spain and get around with no problems or need to learn anything new (other than very specific slang terms). A Peruvian can move to Madrid and speak Spanish like he would back at home.
Fuck that. Let the Mexicans learn English. I'm sick of hearing that fucking Spanish chatter in Los Angeles.
If I want to hear Spanish, I'll go to Spain and listen to it whilst being fucked by a hot Spaniard.
[quote] Catalan Spanish is only spoken in very few areas of Spain.
Yet we still have to provide it to our clients in Spain on their videos we supply.
The people I know who send their kids to the French-American School have some tenuous tie to France i.e. they have some French heritage. However, there is snobbery involved as well, since in my city the French American School is an elite school, requires a uniform, and costs a great deal. And then there is the cache of speaking French. Spanish is seen as the language of the housekeeper, gardener, etc.
Fuck you both, R18 and R26.
my double Harvard Degreed fiance went to a French Immersion program in the Public School System in Milton Massachusetts. His fluency and flawless accent (parisians are regularly astounded to discover he is not french) have been immeasurable assets to him. Not only is he able to charm and impress everyone from visiting professors to taxi drivers, but the experience of absorbing 2 languages at a young age has given him the ability to pick up other languages quickly. He has taught himself Dutch and can converse in Russsian as well.
I studied spanish in my teenage years, and have kept some of it, enough to haltingly communicate with some of the cleaning staff i have managed over the years, and I agree that for the average American, Spanish is the most common and practical language to acquire, but of the two of us, I would say his language skills have the potential to open more doors than mine do.
I generally assume that if people learn Spanish they will be using the skill in the service of social programs, as teachers, civil servants or government workers as a way of communicating with mostly poor immigrant populations, whereas when other languages are learned, it will be learned in the service of international business, diplomacy and cultural affairs, as a way of communicating with better educated people of similar social standing. So what sort of vocation is more important to you dictates what language skills would be more valuable
Oh yes, I am racist for wanting people who LIVE HERE to be able to speak the language. Hell, even if I am spending a few weeks in another country, I at least try and learn enough to get by. These people are moving here and don't try. It's bullshit.
R21 is a racist and homophobic imbecile. Quebec is about one-quarter of Canada's population. And plenty of people speak French in other provinces, New Brunswick in particular.
Why not learn French AND Spanish? Is there some rule that you should only learn whatever single language would supposedly be most beneficial? Knowing French helped me understand quite a bit of Spanish when I was in Spain.
What R19 said.
So how many Native American languages do you speak, r26?
R26 is not rascist! It's practical. Big business uses Mexicans as cheap labour. Learning English would better there lives like the Russians who have come here.
God damn, R30.
You really believe the shit you just wrote?
Other languages...... will be learned in the service of international business, diplomacy and cultural affairs, as a way of communicating with better educated people of similar social standing.
Because you cannot have international business or cultural affairs or better educated people in the entirety of the whole FUCKING South and Central American continent or in Spain or yes, even Mexico??
Of course the only Spanish-speaking people you encounter is the fucking cleaning staff.
Learning English would better your life too, r35.
there = their
Spanish is a very useful language to learn for Americans, but learning French is also very useful as well, given that most Europeans learn French as a second or at least third language. Also, pretty much half of Africa speaks it as their second mother tongue. There are even parts of India that were French port cities and the second language in those places is French, not English. La Francophonie is indeed shrinking vis-a-vis the anglosphere, but it still has considerable influence. And yes, it has snob appeal.
First because while French has fewer native speakers, it is the most widely spoken SECOND language in the world. As another poster noted, even if the population at large does not speak French, you can find French speakers in any population. (This is also why the Olympics are always presented in both English and French.) The same is not true about Spanish if you're not in the western hemisphere.
Secondly, and this highlights why teaching native English speaking children French is beneficial, French is much more similar to English than Spanish is to English. Spanish and English have almost nothing in common, but French and English has tons of cognates due to the Norman occupation and rule of England. (At that time French was spoken among the upper classes in England, and English was a commoner's language. This helped many French words and spellings become integrated into English as it is today.) Learning French helps and English speaker understand there own language better.
Also, if you speak English and learn French first, learning later Spanish is almost effortless since you already understand the grammar and French has just as many cognates with Spanish as it does with English. As someone else mentioned, you don't have to only be bilingual.
Ugh. The Castilian Spanish is the worst. Don't forget: they had a king who had a SPEECH IMPEDIMENT so they imitated his "way of speaking", hence barthelona. Friggin' ridiculous.
Sodexo, Airbus, Publicis, L'Oreal, Ubisoft...Americans like to sneer at French business but French companies are some of the most successful in the world.
Just for the record, Catalan is not a form of Spanish, but a different (though related) language.
R42 is right. It's not Catalan Spanish, but just Catalan. It's similar to Spanish, but it's similar to Spanish the way Spanish is similar to French, Italian, and Portuguese.
[quote]Just for the record, Catalan is not a form of Spanish, but a different (though related) language.
Yeah, it's just another horrific, bastardized form of Latin, like all Romance languages.
OP, if you had received more aggressive early intervention as a child, you could have done this on your own:
The average Chinese worker earns $45,000 a year at purchasing power parity. Some people here don't understand the new economy.
OP a cursory google search would have yielded the following: french is an official language in countries other than France and Quebec, it is a second language in several countries including some African countries.
There are many reasons for learning a language or languages. Language is the root of culture - to understand a language is in part to understand how people think, what they value, and their history.
I studied Latin for several years in high school. It has helped me in spelling and understanding the meaning of words in both English and French. I also studied German in university and found it that a lot of the vocabulary also had a similarity to English words, in part because of Saxon, a Germanic language.
For me it is about the wonder of language.
[quote] R39: Learning French helps and English speaker understand there own language better.
I think you may have undermined your case there.
[quote]when looking for jobs I'm asked if I speak French a lot,
As in... "Do you speak French a lot?"
quote}God damn, [R30].
You really believe the shit you just wrote?
Other languages...... will be learned in the service of international business, diplomacy and cultural affairs,
It's a fact, you ignorant twat.
French is the language of diplomacy, an official language of the United Nations (you might be surprised to know that the UN is headquartered in the United States), Interpol, NAFTA and NATO, the International Olympic Committee, most international sports organizations, the International Red Cross, and 29 countries including within North America.
English is NOT the official language of the United States.
The decision to learn a foreign language shouldn't be about which language is the most practical, the most widely-used in business, and/or will help you get "ahead" in the rat race. Rather, the decision to learn a foreign language should be based on your interest in the culture(s) that are expressed in that language, your interest in the literature written in that language, your interest in traveling to places where the language is spoken, your aesthetic appreciation of the language.
If you decide to learn a foreign language because you think it will help you get rich, not only will you be disappointed (you really only need English for that), but you will never speak the language well.
If, on the other hand, you decide to learn a foreign language because you adore the sound of Sylvie Joly's voice, or fall entranced watching Catherine Deneuve in Indochine, or lose yourself in Marguerite Duras and Françoise Sagan or simply love the poetry of the word "ténèbres," then you will be happy and fulfilled and speak the language well.
[quote]Ugh. The Castilian Spanish is the worst. Don't forget: they had a king who had a SPEECH IMPEDIMENT so they imitated his "way of speaking", hence barthelona. Friggin' ridiculous.
How many times do we have to debunk this preposterous legend?
The interdental ceceo ("th" sound) in Castilian occurs wherever a palatalized k sound occurred in Latin. In Italian and Romanian it evolved into a "ch" sound; in French, Catalan and Portuguese (and Andalusian Spanish) into an "s" sound. Sounds simply evolved differently in different areas over the centuries.
[quote]Ugh. The Castilian Spanish is the worst. Don't forget: they had a king who had a SPEECH IMPEDIMENT so they imitated his "way of speaking", hence barthelona. Friggin' ridiculous.
I have read some stupid stuff on the Internet in my day, but this?
The sound that sounds like a "th" to English-speakers was pronounced "ts" in Medieval Spanish, as in "nuts". It was spelled with a ç cedilla. Sephardic Jews speaking Ladino still pronounce it "ts" to this day, since they were expelled from the Peninsula before this sound change to "th" became generalized.
The post above that says the ceceo derives from palatalized k is partly right; it also derives from palatalized t, as in Latin *capitia, which became Medieval Spanish cabeça with the ts sound, modern cabeza with the th sound.
The Latin s became a Castilian s and has nothing to do with the "lisp" phenomenon.
The varieties of Spanish spoken in the Americas are descended from Andalusian, in the region of southern Spain that was under Arab rule for many more centuries than the rest of the Peninsula until the Reconquest. In Andalusia, the medieval "ts" sound evolved into an "s" rather than a "th", thus in Latin American Spanish s and z are now the same sound.
Congrats, OP! You've just won "stupidest OP of the year so far"!
And seeing as it's November, it'll probably stick!
I always appreciate the posts from linguists like R53 and R54.
I must say it was an interesting thread. BTW, knowing a good deal of French really helped me in Morocco. Bon vacance!
I love the assumption that for knowledge to have value it has to be "useful in business."
And the assumption that we know what will be valuable in the future.
(How many people studying Arabic 15 years ago, did so because it would be "useful." Now, it is.)
I agree R52. I've been learning Greek for the last 7 years. My family is from Greece and I've going there every year since 2005. I've also been studying Italian and Spanish. When you learn other languages it opens up new worlds for you. You can get their take on the news, culture, etc. "Esa blakas OP"
[quote]The decision to learn a foreign language shouldn't be about which language is the most practical,
What does it matter why anyone is learning a foreign language?
In this age of celebrating stupidity, are we really going to be judgmental about WHY someone wants to LEARN?
LOL R62! Yeah, God forbid someone should want be smarter!
Countries where France is an official language
Central African Republic
[quote]I must say it was an interesting thread. BTW, knowing a good deal of French really helped me in Morocco. Bon vacance!
Oh, mon cher.
J'espère que vous passerez de bonn-es vacanc-es!
[quote]J'espère que vous passerez de bonn-es vacanc-es!
DES bonnes vacances !
(please review the rules of the partitive article and don't forget that they add a space between the last word of a sentence and an exclamation point or question mark)
Learning any language at a young age increases brain plasticity. Studies have shown that bilingual children's brains have more complex neural pathways, with all multiple cognitive benefits.
Human brains are hardwired for language acquisition during childhood; as adults, learning a second language is much more difficult for most people. Becoming bilingual as a kid makes learning additional languages far easier later in life. It's not fully clear why this is the case, but it is. So it really doesn't matter which immersion program a kid attends, it's just beneficial in the long run.
Quite a bit of international law is still conducted in French.
If you learn French and go to France, at least you'll be able to know what they're saying when they curse you for being American.
[quote]DES bonnes vacances !(please review the rules of the partitive article
We say it either way, genius.
[quote]We say it either way, genius.
That's what I thought too; especially true in conversation.
Say it however you wish, but "de" bonnes vacances is incorrect and you will be judged accordingly.
[quote]French is a useless language from a business standpoint.
Business is the only thing that matters! Either forward our capitalistic interests or commit suicide!
I was in French Immersion from Grade 1 to 12 here in Canada. C'est vrai!
My cousin was also in French Immersion and it has helped him to quickly ascend the ranks at his law firm. Why? Because his French is very useful in many African countries. He's one of the few lawyers who is bilingual so he has become a valuable asset to the firm.
It's so you can say "votre pénis a l'odeur de fromage" when traveling and sound diplomatic!
For fuck's sake, I was just quoting the old man in the "France" episode on AbFab.
One learns French in order to read Proust in the original.
Breaking news: accents now work in the body of the post but not in the "by:" line.
What do we mean here by "French immersion schools"? Are we talking about short intensive courses at somewhere like Berlitz? Or primary and secondary schools that use French as the medium of instruction?
Miss OP'sha, GUUUUUUUUUUUURL, yo' oughta stick yo' tongue up'n mah nappy pussy now, GUUUUURL!
True, half of Africa speaks French. There are more French-speakers in Africa than anywhere else in the world, including France.
Having said that, Castilian Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Russian are more important internationally.
[quote]French is spoken on more continents then any other language. It is also common in international affairs, hence it is commonly used at the UN, even more so then english.
No. English completely dominates as a second language. Only in Francophone Africa is French as important because even France has taken to teaching English as a second language in schools.
Basically, it all depends on the region you'll spend the most time: Spanish for the Americas, French for Africa, Arabic for the middle East and Russian for Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics.
R83 Statistically, French is still the top second language worldwide.
Considering how stupidly gaga people get over Bradley Cooper's french speaking skills, it probably does get you ahead in a lot of ways.
How r84? When Spanish is spoken by many more native speakers and has overtaken it as the chosen second or third language people are willing to learn.
In Europe nowadays, English is the default second language. Same goes for Asia. And in Africa, Anglophone countries tend to be more prosperous, business friendly and politically stable than Francophone countries which tend to be strife-torn dictatorships and banana republics.
In my public school system, the less motivated kids took Spanish. The end result was their classrooms didn't progress as fast, the quality of education suffered, and after 6 years of instruction (7th grade through senior year) the French and German kids could actually speak those languages, the Spanish kids were still struggling through Univision, and the Latin kids were playing D&D.
There seems to be something of a tradition of French teachers being incredibly enthusiastic about teaching the language and the culture of France; that enthusiasm helps kids learn and get excited about engaging with another culture. Again, in comparison to Spanish which came across as a chore for the teachers and the students.
I now live and work in Paris, so my teachers' enthusiasm definitely stuck with me. I benefit here from what I call the "Josephine Baker effect" - French people LOVE Americans who speak French well.
French is also a huge asset for any interaction with Europe or Africa, travel or otherwise. It's entirely possible to "get by" in Germany/Netherlands/Scandinavia without knowledge of those languages (and I have been hired TWICE for jobs in Berlin, and turned down the jobs both times, without a lick of German). French is a huge asset to learn for certain industries: law and fashion are two that come to mind. Other people have mentioned that France does have some world class companies - and it's true, I work in tech and have not had to compromise my career by basing myself here.
France, for better or worse, really is not a multilingual country (when French people travel "abroad", they go to Montreal, Reunion, Tahiti, St Barts). They just have a different way of looking at the world from English speaking places and function in a bit of a parallel universe. That's true of many other important places like Japan, China, etc - but those languages are much much harder to crack / learn fluently, and those cultures are not exactly welcoming of outsiders. French, and French culture, are a good balance of "difference" and "accessible".
Speaking French made it easy for me to learn Spanish as an adult. Now that I've been living in Paris for a few years and I'm basically fluent, I've found that I can bluff my way through Italian and Portuguese without having studied them. I think the key is to get really good at one language from a young age.
Wow my longest DL post ever, just my 2 centimes.
But to answer the OP's question: French immersion schools in the US are a snobbish sociocultural signifier.
I've heard that they make wine in France.
Interesting post, R88.
You can order croissants and not embarrass yourself.
Children who are bilingual at an early age are apt to learn other languages more quickly since they develop a better understanding of language in general. They have less cultural bias towards learning other languages and understand it more as a tool, rather than an identity.
[quote]It's a fact, you ignorant twat. French is the language of diplomacy
I think you might have undermined your case, there.
French is pretty unimportant now.
China is the #1 language
Number two is also a China language
Number Three is Spanish
Number four is English
But English is the language of second people for Chinese and Spains so it's actually the most used language tho not the mother type of language.