Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How Did We Get From LeBatard To Globalization?

D, I got your link this morning and am halfway thru scanning this. This has to be one of the best interviews I've read :-). I didn't know he was Cuban & billingual. Funny stuff and I'm rolling over the Luke-Snoop comparison

Da Realist:

you didn't know DAN LEBATARD was bilingual?? damn near EVERYBODY in miami is bilingual! i think spanish is their official language down there. i'm not kidding. i think it's an actual fact.

speaking of that... i'm trying to become bilingual myself. well mulitlingual, actually. i'm learning french now and would love to move toward spanish and either italian or portuguese after that. by the time Da Kid graduates high school, i want her to at least know french and spanish. i'm going to enroll Da Kid in french class this summer.

Gangsta D:

Isn't she only 4? lol

Da Realist:

3. but children pick up languages AMAZINGLY fast. it's best to learn languages when you're young because your brain is a clean slate.

for example, when i hear a phrase in french, my brain is busy "translating" it because it thinks in english. i have to train my brain to think in french. amber's brain doesn't think in anything right now. she takes a phrase, no matter the language, and applies meaning to it.

Da Kid has already seen the lion king, spiderman 1 & 2 and the little mermaid with french audio. never once has she said, "daddy i don't understand this". she watched it as if she was listening to english. truly amazing.


actually a lot of daycares are starting to teach french and spanish to kids at a young age. A few schools here in Texas start at 2 and a half.

Gangsta D:

This is what the immagrationists want. They want your kids speaking FOREIGN languages because it dilutes America's power. No foreign languages should be taught ever!! lol

Da Realist:

ha ha... :-D

seriously, though. the way the world is shrinking, knowing a second language is going to be imperative for the next generation. most people in europe and africa speak more than one language. and a lot of them speak 3 or 4. america is the most powerful country in the world (for now), but we are also more ignorant than we realize.

(and here's a secret...china will be the next superpower if they keep growing the way they are. maybe not in our lifetime or the next generation's, but china is serious. mandarin will be the most important language to know. it's also one of the toughest to learn, but it's already the most widely spoken language in the world. it's going to be even more widely-spoken because it is only spoken in a specific area of china. once china becomes more of a world player, watch out.)

there are a number of signs that america may go the way of the roman empire eventually. i could preach about this for days but i don't want to bore you. i just want to make sure to give Da Kid every tool i can for her to succeed when she's ready to take on the world.

Gangsta D:

That's what these politicians don't realize. They shun globilization like that's gonna stop it from occuring. Why is it that japanese students learn Japanese AND English at an early age? Yet, we get our panties in a bunch if someone wants to sing the national anthem in spanish? Are you serious? Hubris has destroyed civilizations far larger than ours:)


America as a whole is more reactive than proactive. You mentioned globalization and a lot of the major players here started to embrace it ONLY after they saw foreign players staking claim in our country and challenging them to fight back. We spend more energy and time worrying about what to do instead of more time on actually doing anything. In other words, we look at world as "you guys still need to catch up" as opposed to the world saying "It won't be long before we catch AND pass you".

Da Realist:

i agree. everybody knows our language. english and french are the only languages spoken on every continent. they are the official "world languages".

most parisians know french and english. Canada is officially bilingual. Sweden has 3 official languages. The educated elite in Egypt speaks Arabic, French and English. Most Berliners speak German and English. EVERYBODY knows our language in addition to their own. aside from south florida, we are largely monolingual and arrogantly proud of it.

this puts us at a competitive disadvantage. our generation won't really feel it, but the next one surely will. Da Wife works for freddiemac and she told me top management held an emergency meeting a few weeks ago explaining how the american mortgage is about to fall through the floor.

america came up with the concept of a "mortgage". in the rest of the world, you either had enough money to buy a house on the spot, or you lived with your parents. we came up with the idea of a mortgage. (we also came up with the idea of credit, too. ironically we are the most in-debted country in the world) anyway, the backbone of our mortgage system is foreign investment. foreign investors are starting to move their money (and the concept of mortgage) to other lands because
a) american market is saturated,
b) america is in great debt which fuels
c) the dollar is at an all time low

international business men can weave in and out of different countries because they can speak the language. most american investors can't. as a result, companies like freddie mac and fannie mae are fighting over scraps here in america when foreign competitors are tapping into china and india and mexico.

i don't think any of this will affect us greatly, but Da Kid and her generation will get a leg up if we train them now.


it doesnt help that foreigners will come to our schools for a short period, then move back to their native lands and make a killing in the process. What they pay for localites that come back with a degree from a prestigious American institution, can speaking English and their native language fluently plus understand American culture is ridiculous. What did Americans get from studying abroad or attending institutions in another country when they got back. A low level entry job at some company....

Da Realist:

i haven't felt the pinch to learn a second language more acutely than i do here in dc. my office-mate speaks fluent french and conversational turkish. another teammate speaks fluent russian and spanish. yet another speaks cantonese.

we have a number of other people in the rest of the company that speaks a second language. if i was to estimate up to 40 percent of the company speaks at least 2 languages, i wouldn't be far off. (i forgot to mention the number of technical SME's we have here from india)

the opportunities some of my coworkers have in their lives are truly foreign to me. they take professional classes taught in paris or amsterdam, then come back and provide brownbags in english. training sessions in rome. personal vacations all over the world.

i need to take advantage of this.

Gangsta D:

If you speak conversational Turkish, shouldn't you be working for the CIA? I mean, unless you're from Turkey, do you need to be conversational in Turkish?

Da Realist:

:-) i know... but her husband and all her in-laws are turkish. their two children both know the language and the older one also knows french.

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