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I am not convinced that the strategy 'Mother tongue plus two' described
in the EU magazine devoted to language issues is going to be effective.
The strategy appears to be to solve (or at least alleviate) the
language problem in Europe by encouraging all Europeans to learn two
foreign languages.  There are a number of problems with this approach:

1. It assumes that everyone is capable of learning two foreign
languages.  In fact there are many people who cannot learn one foreign
language to fluency.

2. The magazine claims that learning a second foreign language is
easier because the experience of learning the first gives you the
necessary language learning skills.  This goes against my own
experience, as having learnt French first did not help me reach fluency
in German (which I found much harder to learn than French).

3. The magazine also points out that learning a language in the same
family as your mother tongue is relatively easy.  But it is difficult
to see how this will be of much use to Europeans.  A Spaniard may find
it easy to learn Portuguese, but of much more use to him will be
English or French.  For an English speaker, no other language is close
enough for his mother tongue to be of any use.  And what about the
Hungarian who wants to learn Czech, or vice versa?

Kordiale, James Chandler
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Selling weapons since '86 to Iraq, and I wondered about that.  During
the Persian Gulf War, those intelligence reports before it all started:
"Oh, Iraq, they have incredible weapons, incredible weapons."
"How do you know that?"
"Well ... we looked at the receipt ... but as soon as that cheque
clears, we're goin' in.  What time's the bank open?  Eight?  We're
going in at nine ... for God 'n' country 'n' ... here's a flag.
Whatever symbol y'all need.  Let's go!  Come on, we're killing sand
niggers.  Let's go!"
- Bill Hicks, at the Oxford Playhouse, 1992

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