Anyone Speak Bronxese?

The never ceasing battle over whether people should or should not speak a foreign language in their own country is raging in Hungary. A recent report indicates three out of four Hungarians aged 25-64 lack any knowledge of a foreign language even though 95% of Hungarian children study a foreign language at school. It is not surprising that English is the most popular language in most European Union schools. The issue is not whether children study a foreign language at school, but whether they are able to speak a foreign language. Neither of my parents ever went to school, but each spoke three languages.

We also have to ask the basic question-what is the purpose of learning a foreign language? Some argue it helps in business or in social contacts. I suspect we are moving toward an era in which English will serve as an international language.

  • Bill Chapman

    You wrote, “I suspect we are moving toward an era in which English will serve as an international language.” English is fairly widespread, but far from universal, as I’ve found on my travels.

    I would argue for wider use of the planned international language Esperanto – which is not the primary language of any state.