What a shame it is that we spend hours a week in class talking, reading and writing in a language which will never come to use. My parents cannot read English, heck, they barely understand Norwegian, but they have managed to live a normal life without any struggle, and so can we. We have learned the basics, we know how to say hello, bye and what is the clock. Is that not enough? Should we not ban English from our tongues?
I lied. My parents, who own a Chinese restaurant, do not know how to communicate with English-talking guests or read instructions in English. They have to trust hand gestures and illustrations whenever they meet this oh-so dangerous language, and they still curse the day they dropped out of school. Education, they say, is “vely importan, and you must keep leading until youl eyeballs hurt.” They normally do not know what they are talking about (I vaguely remember that one time they taught me not to sit down if the seat is still hot and all butt printy, because it means that the last person who sat there has AIDS, and you do not want to have AIDS), but this one is actually a good advice.
Last summer, I worked at an office in Oslo. One of my colleagues was a German intern and he did not understand Norwegian. He did not talk English either, but he had read English books before and we would in the beginning communicate by writing sentences on a piece of paper and send it back and forth. I cannot remember the reason we did not use Facebook or any other chatting device, but it worked: he now speaks fluent English, taught himself some Norwegian words, although some of them are useless , and became good friends with a lot of the people in the organization we worked for. This is a good example on how useful reading English can be in working life.
But it is not just at the office it is important to communicate, it is important in almost every single work situation. “I can’t communicate with this guy” often means “We do not speak the same...
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