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Thread: Looks like another terror attack in London

  1. #121
    Senior Member
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    I've spent a large part of my working life living overseas. I admit, with a little embarrassment, that I can't speak more than a few words of any of the local languages of the countries where I've lived. In my defence it's been difficult to practice any of the local language because the locals were always so keen to practice their English. If you stop in the remotest village in the bush and start asking something, the old man will wave over a small child keen to translate. There probably are a few older long-term immigrants who can't speak English, but only few, and fewer still who can't understand what is said to them.

    But having said that, knowing even a few words of the local language makes a huge difference to how you are perceived.

    (I thought I could get by in French. But I learnt my French in Frankophone West Africa and when I arrived in Marseilles on the ferry I realised that it was a very different thing.)
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

  2. #122
    Senior Member Ihatecamping's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Snip There probably are a few older long-term immigrants who can't speak English, but only few, and fewer still who can't understand what is said to them.
    It's important not to project our attitudes onto others. He said patronisingly. Sorry. I speak fluent German, adequate French and a decent amount of Spanish, but I know not everyone finds learning a language easy. I do know that most people find it possible if they are immersed in the language and culture, and have a need or reason to do so.

    If there really are nearly 200,000 Muslim women living here without adequate English (and I'd trust government figures more than our anecdotal perceptions, based on not observing people who probably don't go out of doors very much anyway), then it's reasonable to ask if that inhibits them from full participation in a country they presumably came to voluntarily. And if it does, what help can be put in place. And if the help is available, and nothing changes, why that might be.
    Specialisation is for insects.

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