RE: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 00:49:08 EST


Probably the reason that the Brazilians and Italians did not concern them
selves it that they spoke another romance language. While there is a bit of
difference between Italian and Spanish, Portuguese is much closer and most
educated Brazilians can understand a lot of Spanish.

Many of the common words are different but once you can recognize this small
vocabulary, you can understand a lot of Spanish even if you can not speak


-----Original Message-----
From: Erland Sommarskog []
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 12:46 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: [langue-fr] L'anglais est-il une langue universelle ?

Elliotte Rusty Harold <> writes:
> I've held my tongue in this flame-fest so far, but I'm afraid I can't
> keep silent any longer. Unlike citizens of some larger countries the
> Danes and the Dutch have no illusions that the world is going to
> speak their language. They willingly accept that the mountain isn't
> coming to them, and they're going to have to go to it.

I can't speak for the Dutch and the Danes, but as I've noted my fellow
countrymen do expect that everyone else speak English.

> In a world that gets smaller every day, we are quite lucky that there
> is a lingua franca, even if that lingua franca is English.

English is the language most commonly used for communication between
speakers with different native languages. But it is by no means the
only one.

I occassionally go on holiday trips to vaious places, and there has
yet to be a voyage, where the only foreign language I have used is
English. Even in Korea, where one would expect that English is the
only western language people would ever learn, I actually had an
exchange in French with a native. (Korean is not a language that I
know. I did learn to read Hangűl before I left, but that's all.)

I was on this bus excursion in the south of Argentina, and the guide
asked "is there anyone here who does not understand Spanish?". I was
by no means the only person in the bus who did not have Spanish as
my native language; there were plentyful of Brazilians and Italians
in the company, but I was the only one who considered to make myself
heard. (I didn't; I'm mildly interested in tour guides, and the only
reason I took this tour was because this was the only way to get to
the glacier. Anyway, while Spanish is a language I only half-know, I
grasped most stuff of what she said, even if the Argentinian phonlogy
confused me at times.)

Erland Sommarskog, Stockholm,

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