Genric Holiday Post (a Bit of Best of, a bit of Christmas Books)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Fri Jan 2 15:05:59 EST 2004

--- Sally Odgers <sodgers at> wrote:

> Jon, would you say we're one of the worse peoples
> for speaking one language
> only?
> Sallyo.

Quite certainly, although (in NSW at least) it is
compulsory to learn a language for at least two years
in high school, this is only for about 1 hour a week.
After that students can elect to study a language, but
very few do. What language students do learn (Japanese
in the main these days - French or German when I was
at school) is usually forgotten soon after. I have one
friend who has taught himself French, Spanish,
Portugese, Catalan and Afrikaans well enough to
converse with native speakers plus enough Dutch,
German and Italian to get by on but this is very rare.
I have another friend who speaks Russian, Polish,
French, German, Spanish, Hebrew and Yiddish (and is
now learning Arabic) be she grew up with most of those
languages in a very confusing early life being bundled
around Europe before settling in Argentina.
On the whole I suspect that native English speakers
are the most linguisticly insular in the world,
believing that foreigners should learn English, and
that Australians in particular are the worst of the

Jon (who forgets all the German he learnt 35 years

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