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Originally posted by greendragon at 2010-2-23 14:03
a little thought of my own, and what does the language do to wire your mind? does the language help expand your contacts, does it help to produce solutions.....
a good sign!
Knowing a second language, any second language, broadens one's horizons. Even if it doesn't make one money, it can make one friends. To take an example, I remember walking down the street one day, and a Muslim was selling kebabs. I said Al-Salam'u'alaikum! and he, with both hands up in the air, a big smile on his face, and holding kebabs in each hand, suddenly exclaimed in surprise and joy 'wa 'alaikum'ul-salam! I was afraide he was about to hug me. That simple phrase from a stranger had obviously made his day.
Did I make any money from this exchange? Did he even give me a kebab? No is the answer in both cases. But it doesn't matter. It was a lasting memory.
I've made money in some languages that I know well, and have made friends in every language that I know well. However, my friendships have proven more enriching than any wealth I could have made.
We shouldn't be learning languages for money. If we do that, we lose our humanity, what makes us human. We become mere robots. We should learn languages because we want to learn from other peoples and make friends with them. That ought to be our true motivation. Besides, I'm sure even traditional Chinese culture would agree with this, whether Confucianist, Buddhist or other. You don't learn another language to 'know thine enemy' or to make a quick buck. Besides, there are plenty of more effective ways of making money than learning languages. Education should not be about dollars, but spiritual development, and language education should be an extension of that ad not be taught like a trade or profession, but as a part of culture, friendship, love and spirituality.