I participated yesterday in a debate at the BBC5 broadcast nationally over the following subject: a former foreign minister Chris Bryant stated that we should all learn mandarin and French has become useless.
The debate was moderated by the radio presentator Tony Livesey
Of course I went to the studio full of arguments and I did not need long to think before I came across with the following points.
- French is the language of culture, diplomaty, history, gastronomy and romance, that grew over more than a thousand years
- So is it an economic fashion to learn now mandarin as China is effectively expanding and we do recognise the success .and results .. then will we be learning a decade afterwards the neighbourhing languages? and so on?
- French is a global language, spoken by 200 million people around the world and in > 50 countries and over 5 continents.
- French opens the door to more languages .... once you know the language you can easily get onto the other European languages such as Spanish, Italian or Portuguese ... so learning ONE language ... and you get THREE!
- Also if you are going to start onto a course be assured that the learning curve of French language is relatively fast, faster than most of the other languages
During the debate a few persons called in the station and shared their views. A school teacher observed that it was very challenging to introduce mandarin at school for small children. The main language remained French, Spanish and German.
Do comment with your experience and thoughts!
I look forward to hearing from you