British Culture and Civilisation

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Should a British person bother learning any language other than English?

English is said to be the most common and used language on Earth. People from all over the world use it to communicate with individuals from other countries. Moreover, in almost all of the European schools English is the mandatory first language. This brings us to the question: What about the English native speakers? Is there any need for them to study other foreign languages? According to a recent survey in the UK, an overwhelming number of British state schools (sixty per cent in fact) and three quarters of 14-year-olds do not study a modern language. Furthermore, the study of foreign languages in the universities, with the exception of Mandarin, is gradually becoming extinct. Even so, there is a considerable disagreement over whether a British person should bother over learning any language other than English.

The advantages of giving the opportunity to the British to learn foreign languages are undeniable. To begin with, knowing more than three languages is a prerequisite for many jobs. If you want to be a tourist guide, a journalist or have a job that includes travelling all over the world, you will certainly need to have a great knowledge of foreign languages. For instance, if you’re filming a documentary or writing an article about a certain population and their culture, being able to talk in their own language will help you communicate with them and thus find some useful information about their customs. What is more, if a British person ever happens to move to another country, learning the local language will help him (or her) to interact with the locals and accommodate more quickly to their way of living. Similarly, many British people think that, when they are on holiday, there is no need for them to know how to speak in that certain region’s language since the English is a widely known language. However, if that certain person wants to get to know the local people better or...
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