Pimsleur Language Programs has released its first survey after 50 years in the language industry. It’s called Americans and Language: Perceptions and Realities, and hopefully it will shame the citizens of that fair land to wiki more on the world around them, rather than cooing over celebrity bio’s.
According to the survey, less than 10 percent of Americans are aware that Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world, and nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of those polled incorrectly maintain that English is the most commonly spoken language, followed by Spanish (14 percent). Yet, the number of people speaking Mandarin more than doubles the number of English and Spanish speakers.
Other survey findings show:
Despite the uptake in usage of language learning programs, almost three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans are unable to hold a conversation in more than one language. Of those who say they are multi-lingual, just under half (49 percent) can have a conversation in Spanish, 15 percent can have a conversation in French, and six percent in German. Only four percent of Americans, respectively, can speak Hindi, Italian, Japanese and Vietnamese.
Americans have concerns with learning a new language: the biggest challenges cited are difficulty (32 percent) and not having enough time (29 percent). Nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of Americans felt they were “too old” to learn a language; 16 percent were intimidated because they had failed at learning a new language in the past.
French is the language of love. Nearly half (45 percent) of those polled agree that French is the sexiest language on Earth, compared to only 16 percent who said Italian, English (15 percent) and Spanish (10 percent).
So my learned Americans, take your lesser brothers and sisters in hand – and wise them up a bit about all the beautiful things (Not kim kardashian, well, five minutes a day studying pictures of Kim is exploring the wonders of nature) this world, and not just Texas, has to offer.
The company behind the survey have released the Pimsleur Course Manager App (available also as book) of Dr. Paul Pimsleur’s classic How to Learn a Foreign Language, with its 30-minute daily lessons, which the app will badger you to finished within the alloted time.
Originally posted on Kalkion.com by Dominic Kennedy