Topic 17 擅长外语的人
1. Do you think English will be the mainstream language of the world in the future? Why?
I think that it could be. English is already one of the top languages in the world. Almost everywhere you go, people speak it. So it could definitely be the mainstream language in the future. But Mandarin and Spanish are also really popular languages. So I don’t know for sure149.
2. What benefits can a foreign language bring to one’s career?
Well, a foreign language can help you work in different places. If you want to travel for your job,
knowing another language would be really helpful. Besides, knowing a foreign language can also help you speak with clients from different countries. That’s definitely a big advantage if you work in business.
3. When learning a foreign language, which part is more difficult? Speaking or writing?
I think that speaking is probably more difficult. With writing, you have more resources to help you learn, like dictionaries. But speaking a language is harder. In addition to150 knowing grammar rules, you have to pronounce new sounds. Plus, if you’re having a conversation with a native speaker, you might get easily confused151 since they usually speak very quickly.
4. Do you think non-native speakers can master a foreign language perfectly?
They can definitely master it really well. With enough time and practice, it’s possible to speak another language fluently. But I don’t know if they can be perfect with a foreign language. For example, there are some idioms152 in English that a non-native speaker might find it difficult to learn.
5. Do children learn a foreign language easier?
Yes, I think children can learn a foreign language faster and easier. They’re still developing, so their brains can take in153 new information much quicker than adults can.. Lots of people learn one or even two new languages in their childhood. Then it stays with them throughout their lives. It’s amazing how quickly children can learn new things.
6. What are the relations between language and culture? / Do you think learning a foreign language is helpful to understand the local culture?
I think that language helps define a culture. For example, there are some sayings154 that relate to a culture. So they can’t really be translated to another language. More generally speaking, learning a language is just like learning a culture. For instance, you can learn a lot about how a culture views money155 by learning how the language describes money. So yes, learning a foreign language can help you understand the local culture better.
149 I don’t know for sure：我不能很肯定
150 In addition to：除了…
151 get easily confused：很容易懵圈儿，搞不清楚（对方在说什么）
153 take in：吸收
155 how a culture views money: 在一国文化中是如何看待金钱的