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Commending Speakers of Other Languages

Updated on October 8, 2010

I commend those who speak more than one language.

a) Some are lucky and have learnt it in a very easy way. I will give my example: English is my First language but I have spent some time in Africa, so I picked up the language gradually, until I could flow with it. There are bits I still don’t understand and I don’t speak in a strong accent but it’s enough for me to communicate.

b) Others have to actually study it. Example in the UK, there are lots of foreigners who are learning English as a Second language. ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is a very popular course in all UK Colleges.

c) There are also people who either learn another language for pleasure or because they are relocating.


Language Poll

How many Languages do you Speak?

See results

The Challenge:

  • People speak fast to you (in the language you are learning)
  • Getting the right Word Order – “I like you very much”, when translated can be “I like very much you” in other languages.
  • Learning how to write it.
  • Getting the right pronunciation. One of my students once said to his friend during a Lesson Activity “nice Sh*t, what he mean was “Nice Shirt”. Also, during a “Describing People” lesson a lady said to another “you smell”, she meant “you small”. (you are small/petit). In Spanish "Juan" is pronounced as "hwahn". So, wrong pronunciation can get one into trouble.


The Benefits

  • You can communicate with a wider range of people. I can greet people in many languages and say some phrases. One of my Ice Breakers for when I start teaching a new class is to ask students to Introduce themselves (to the class) and name their Country. I respond by saying "hello" in their Language. Sometimes, I get it right and if I don't they tell me the correct word - It gets everyone smiling.
  • Funny one – If people are talking about you, you’ll understand. I’ve heard of some African ladies speaking in their language about an English man who sat nearby. They went on an on and he later spoke to them in an African language. They were stunned. Classic! (He must have spent some time in Africa)
  • You could be paid more or could negotiate an increased salary. Example a Bilingual Secretary should earn more than a Secretary who speaks just one language, especially if it would benefit the Company.


Interesting Facts

  1. You lean quicker if you live in the country that speaks the language you are learning.
  2. There are lots of Hubbers on HubPages who have English as a Second Language and they write very good Hubs – You can find them in Grammar Police Arrests.
  3. Before my first visit to Barcelona, I paid for Spanish Lessons. When I got there, the people spoke to me so fast, It took me a long time for me to break it down, let alone start phrasing an answer. So, I spoke in English throughout the holiday.

** Learning languages is a Challenge but certainly worthwhile.**


My Question to you is: What Language do you think would be the most difficult to learn?



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    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      Great hub! My country, the Philippines, observes bilingual education, where English and Filipino are taught side by side in school. Filipino(our native first language) is for national communication and understanding and English(our second language), for global competitiveness. Most average families even speak English at home. So our facility of the English language comes in handy.

      Filipinos speak as many as 80 dialects, too, that's why there is a need to have one national language, Filipino. I speak Pangasinense, my first language.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Wow Ellinor - I admire you for that and then look at some European Presidents who can't speak English. As a President, why won't they take time to learn English? (No Dis Respect) I just can't get my head round it or maybe I am being harsh....

      Anyway well done. Best Wishes. :)

    • profile image

      ellinor 7 years ago

      Hi Elena, I several languages, danish english, german ,french(not fluently),and some hebrew. And due to my danish I understand Norwegian ,and swedish too. I find it so strange ,when people do not speak another language. I suppose ,me living in denmark we simply have to learn other languages, because no one speaks danish.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Marliza - thanks for sharing more insight on that.

      Have a great weekend.

      Hi Harvey - thanks for your comments. I will try my best to. Best Wishes and well done on having it Published.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 7 years ago from Illinois

      Lady, I just wish that everyone in the USA spoke English! Why should we have to press one for English? The cost of printing signs and paper in many languages is enormous.

      Multi-lingual is wonderful, but people should speak the language of the country they live in. How can one succeed not knowng the language of the country in which they reside?

      I have a favor to ask. Could you possibly read my new book, and write an honest review of it? I have always loved this story my father told me. Fifteen per cent of the selling price goes to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and I honor my father by telling this story of our cousin in 1930's NYC. The story has been embellished, since it was a three or four minute tale. It is based on truth.

      I thank you, Harvey

    • Marliza Gunter profile image

      Marliza Gunter 7 years ago from South Africa

      yes..Afrikaans, English, Spanish uses a common alphabet..but Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and so on uses their own alphabetical is said that only one of those little painted pictures of the Chinese could easily stand for a whole sentence or even a short paragraph depending on how they painted all those little stripes..we find it difficult to string a sentence using a standard alphabet, but I fear to think how on earth will I ever try to learn the Asian languages..:)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Wow, I didn't know that they don't have ABC... I wonder what they have. Thanks for your comments. Nice to see you again. :)

    • Marliza Gunter profile image

      Marliza Gunter 7 years ago from South Africa I am again on one of your language hubs.. :) I think that that picture language of the Chinese are the most difficult..they don't even have a ABC..hehe..I also think that when they can even just try to speak any other language that at least uses a ABC, its just admirable..those people leave me in awe.. :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      It is Philipo - Thanks.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

      Its good learning and understanding other people's languages.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Andromida. It's nice to know you can speak more than one language and thanks for your encouraging comments. Best Wishes.

      ** Hello Elena, Thanks for the insight into languages that are difficult to learn. I have picked up a few phrases in Polish but they are so difficult to write. They look nothing like the way they are pronounced. Lovely to see you - My name sake. :)

      ** Hello Always Exploring - I think French is one of the easiest ones to learn. You might even be able to study free online. I agree it does sound lovely, especially when a man is speaking it. lol. (speaking for myself - they have a Lovely intonation)

      Thanks so much for stopping. Have a Blessed new week.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Lol Allan. I like that idea. It would knock the socks off them. You could always start by asking them how to say "hello" and "thank you" in Chinese - then take it from there. Best Wishes.

      ** Hello Mike - thanks for those comments. It must be a lot of pressure on someone to learn a language for the Job but.... it has to be done. Merci. Gracias.

      ** Hello Dreamreachout - lovely to hear from you. Hope you are bearing up. There are lots and lots of Indians in UK and I admire the fact that they communicate well in English. Infact, you hardly see Indian's studying English - It's usually people from Bangladesh. I wonder if it was a Requirement in Indian Schools.

      Thanks for the Update on Common Wealth. England and India maybe neck and neck but I wouldn't mind if India Won more, simply because they got very bad press (about hosting it) from the news in Europe and some of the "Big" athletes cancelled their attendance. I even wrote an article about it:

      Why Put India Down?

      Shuku ria. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I wish i could speak French. I think it,s a beautiful sounding language, it,s hard enough to just speak English lol I like your topic, very interesting and so well written.

      Cheers and God Bless

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

      Howdy! Asian languages aren't the most difficult to learn when it comes to grammar, semantics etc. The one difficulty with them is that you have to also learn their alphabet or signs. They are ranked 2 in terms of difficulty. For example, Japanese is rather easy once you learn the signs.

      The most difficult languages are the Slavic ones in Central Europe, e.g. Polish or Czech (among others). Complexity lays in the multiple grammar and terminology variations, these languages are all declined, and it's extremely difficult for a foreigner to grasp it all.

      As it is, English is in the pack of easy languages to learn :-)

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 7 years ago

      I am very slow at learning languages. Since my young ages I am used to speak in two languages, later I tried to learn two other languages-French and Hindi-not fully successful though.But, I think learning foreign languages from two different language of origins is more helpful than learning a new language from your native language of origin.Elena, you always find great topics for your hubs,thank you :)

    • profile image

      dreamreachout 7 years ago

      Elena, In India, mostly people can speak three languages as we are a multilingual nation!! Along with that one has to know English as it is the official language for all purpose!! I speak Bengali which is my mother tongue, Hindi and English!!

      CWG has been great here in Delhi!! I hope you are following as well!! India and England are neck and neck on the medal's tally fighting out for the second position overall!!

      Catch up with you soon again!! Cheers!!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I agree with Allan Douglas that Chinese seems as if it would be difficult to learn. I will confess that I was awful in both Spanish and French classes in high school and college. French somehow seemed a little easier, but not by much.

      In America, people in service industries who can speak more than one language are often paid more. In some areas, the ability to speak Spanish is a job requirement. A global economy fueled by the Internet and social media makes the ability to communicate with people from other countries and cultures even more important.

      Thanks for another wonderful and enlightening article. Voted up and useful.


    • Allan Douglas profile image

      Allan Douglas 7 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

      Which do I think would be most difficult to learn? Chinese, and the one I'd like most to learn because on the are occasion we eat out, one of our favorite places to go is a Chinese restaurant. The food is great, the service wonderful, but all the staff talk to one another in Chinese and sometimes it seems obvious they're making fun of the patrons. I'd love to do like your friend in Africa and return a comment in Chinese.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hello JDove-Miller - I'm glad the Latin came in handy for you later. Quite a challenging language to learn. Enjoy the weekend.

      ** Thanks Mentalist Acer for sharing that - it's the first time I've heard of Cajun French but as you noted, it's only spoken in Louisiana. Interesting...

      ** Hi Hello Hello - I understand the point you are making. People do ridicule others for this. They need to credit people more for communicating well in English (when it's not their first language). Enjoy the weekend. :)

      ** Very interesting Comment Jai - There are actually native English people who can't read or write, living in UK. Government encourage them to take Literacy classes. As for you still having problems with Grammar - I beg to differ. I understand your Hubs perfectly.

      Thanks for making note of the difficult languages to learn. Regards.

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 7 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      Lady E, it amazes me, since we can only write in English on HP, the quality of Hubs that non-English speaking Hubbers create. I was born and raised in the U.S., and still have problems with grammar. Hardest languages... Vietnamese or Thai?

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      These people showing their real education and I am not talking about books and school. It doesn't bother me because of that. I just see them as idiots and keep quiet. If they start to tormenting then I turn and asked them if they speak my language as well as I speak English and that always is the end of it.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      They have a native language in Louisiana,US...called Cajun French,that is only spoken in this state,my dad spoke but my mom did not so I never learned and is completly(although derived)different from French;)

    • JDove-Miller profile image

      JDove-Miller 7 years ago from YOUNGSVILLE

      I too admire people who speak more than one language. I studied both French and Latin, but did not master either. The Latin came in handy for learning roots though.


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