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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:01 AM   #18641
g.spinoza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
There are only a very few Italians that speak English.
That's because until not very long ago the preferred second language in school was French. French is still exclusively taught in some schools, God knows why.

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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
Young people usually have a quite good English knowledge, at least in the written form. The pronunciation is more problematic.
I read that the worst in Europe are the Spanish, the best Dutch and Scandinavians.
My experience with Germans is that their English is overrated. The share of Germans speaking good English is not that different from that of Italians (but when they do, they speak a lot better).
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:16 PM   #18642
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That's because until not very long ago the preferred second language in school was French. French is still exclusively taught in some schools, God knows why.
It's still being taught in Romania in almost every school as second foreign language after English or maybe the other way around. I had it too in highschool, I feel a little sorry I didn't bothered to much learning it, since knowing many languages is not bad. But German is coming strong from behind, and many parents want to give their children to German speaking schools, at least from where I come from. Many engineers and doctors are emigrating to Germany.

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My experience with Germans is that their English is overrated. The share of Germans speaking good English is not that different from that of Italians (but when they do, they speak a lot better).
You lived in Germany, I do to for a year, and I give you right. Before I came here, I thought that many Germans speak English and good, that was my experience at the former work place in Romania, where I had to do a lot of talking with Germans and French, and Germans were a lot better at English, some really good, but there still were some that spoke pretty bad, so I switched to German after a while when phoning there.

After arriving, I realized that it's as you say overrated. Still, pretty much better then other places, like Hungary or Czech Republic.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 01:32 PM   #18643
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post

That's because until not very long ago the preferred second language in school was French. French is still exclusively taught in some schools, God knows why.

My experience with Germans is that their English is overrated. The share of Germans speaking good English is not that different from that of Italians (but when they do, they speak a lot better).
True. I speak German anyway, but a lot of my UK colleagues have to endure the angry 'nur Deutsch' remark.

But the French (and Americans) are pretty much scapegoats. For me, I find France one of the most pleasant countries to be on.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:12 PM   #18644
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That's because until not very long ago the preferred second language in school was French. French is still exclusively taught in some schools, God knows why.
and never mind some narrow-minded politicians who say the most important thing is to foster the learning of outdated local dialects instead of English... as I recently read from someone in Bergamo who thinks milanese will take youngster to a good career and life possibilities
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:24 PM   #18645
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and never mind some narrow-minded politicians who say the most important thing is to foster the learning of outdated local dialects instead of English... as I recently read from someone in Bergamo who thinks milanese will take youngster to a good career and life possibilities
Keeping a dialect (or local languages like Frisian) intact is not a bad thing, as long as nobody is hoping that you'll get far...
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:42 PM   #18646
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Gerrin! Whu gonna gerra referendum on whetha to stay or leeve tha EU.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:51 PM   #18647
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(Talking of dialects...)

Wot's all this then?

Meaning (1) what did you say? and (2) what did Cameron say?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:30 PM   #18648
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I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of Romanian cars about here lately (last month or so).

I would even dare say that most of the foreign cars I see now are Romanian, which is a bit odd considering that Romanians don't have full EU rights here untill December I think
RO, PL, most common on Belgian roads besides Dutch plates.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:35 PM   #18649
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I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of Romanian cars about here lately (last month or so).

I would even dare say that most of the foreign cars I see now are Romanian, which is a bit odd considering that Romanians don't have full EU rights here untill December I think
We have an old saying here "If you (plural) don't me, I want you (plural)"
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:38 PM   #18650
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(Talking of dialects...)

Wot's all this then?

Meaning (1) what did you say? and (2) what did Cameron say?


Get in! We're going to get a referendum on whether to stay in, or leave the EU.

Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282

On a personal note, although I don't class myself as European (its a British thing), I'm in favour of staying in the EU specifically for economic reasons. I'm against full integration at the moment but that position is always under review.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:41 PM   #18651
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of Romanian cars about here lately (last month or so).

I would even dare say that most of the foreign cars I see now are Romanian, which is a bit odd considering that Romanians don't have full EU rights here untill December I think
1st January 2014 iirc. Along with Bulgarians I think it means an extra 29 million will be eligible to live & work in Britain unrestricted.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:41 PM   #18652
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True. I speak German anyway, but a lot of my UK colleagues have to endure the angry 'nur Deutsch' remark.
I never got such a remark, not even angry looks. As a matter of fact, during my stay in Germany I tried as much as possible to speak German but when I couldn't (when I had to deliver complex sentences or couldn't find a German word) and spoke English, people were embarrassed when they had to answer in German. I mean, I was the one who had to feel embarrassed (living in a country and speaking badly their language) but most of the times it was the other way around.
Germans were all very kind with me.


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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
and never mind some narrow-minded politicians who say the most important thing is to foster the learning of outdated local dialects instead of English... as I recently read from someone in Bergamo who thinks milanese will take youngster to a good career and life possibilities
This is not unheard of in Northern Italy, whether they managed to get a "local language" recognized (like Friulian, or Ladin) or not (like Bergamasque or Brescian). Here in Brescia there are a lot of ads in the street in local language. It took me quite a lot to understand that "Lönare Bressà" meant "Brescian calendar" (in Italian it would be "Calendario Bresciano"). I guess how many Brescians know that, given the fact that more than a quarter of the residents are born abroad and more than another quarter are born in other parts of Italy.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:52 PM   #18653
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Get in! We're going to get a referendum on whether to stay in, or leave the EU.

Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282

On a personal note, although I don't class myself as European (its a British thing), I'm in favour of staying in the EU specifically for economic reasons. I'm against full integration at the moment but that position is always under review.
Is staying in without full integration an option? Just as a somewhat casual observer I thought that was the issue.

If the vote were held today (or after, say, a month's campaigning), what do you think would happen?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:54 PM   #18654
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and never mind some narrow-minded politicians who say the most important thing is to foster the learning of outdated local dialects instead of English... as I recently read from someone in Bergamo who thinks milanese will take youngster to a good career and life possibilities
Does it need to be either/or? My suburban public high school in a country that has the reputation of not caring about foreign languages offered five. Not counting Latin.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:59 PM   #18655
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Does it need to be either/or? My suburban public high school in a country that has the reputation of not caring about foreign languages offered five. Not counting Latin.
Well, you can't teach everything. I mean if you choose to teach a local language at school, you must take something else off the schedule. In this respect, learning local languagues is useless (because you'll never use it except at home) and detrimental (because you would not learn something else useful).
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:02 PM   #18656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist

and never mind some narrow-minded politicians who say the most important thing is to foster the learning of outdated local dialects instead of English... as I recently read from someone in Bergamo who thinks milanese will take youngster to a good career and life possibilities
Those politicians are anachronistical and also ignorant. Ok, preserving local traditions, but pretend to hire in the public sector only those who speak the local dialect is too far!
Once Umberto Bossi said: "We should have stronger relationship with Switzerland, since it's a neighbooring country where most people speak Italian." Tell to him that less than 10% of Swiss speak Italian and they're all in Ticino region.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:07 PM   #18657
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Italystf, "pretend" in English does not mean the same as in Italian...

EDIT: or does it? English mothertongue speakers, can "pretend" here be used in lieu of "demand"?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:24 PM   #18658
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And I guess that outsiders that get lost around Udine don't like very much those signs with 10 destinations in the same pole, all Italian-Friulan bilingual. I understand local names that are known with Friulan names but do we need autostrada-autostrade, stadio-stadii, municipio-municipi and universitá-universitat?
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:26 PM   #18659
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Is staying in without full integration an option? Just as a somewhat casual observer I thought that was the issue.

If the vote were held today (or after, say, a month's campaigning), what do you think would happen?
Yes staying in without full integration is an option which is our current status. The main stumbling block is, as always, money. We pay a hefty amount into the EU coiffeurs without gaining anything (visible) back. Most people equate this to be a drain on resources.

Another problem is immigration. There are those who want us to stop the amount of Poles, Romanians & Bulgarians from being able to come and work over here. We already have an illegal immigration problem so, rightly or wrongly, they're grouped together as the same problem.

Believe it or not, there are actually people in the south & south east of England who don't want monetary union because a picture of the Queen won't be on the Euro!

I think the outcome of the vote would be to maintain the status quo. I do honestly believe that full monetary integration will happen in the future and although I'm a royalist I really couldn't care less if Liz appeared on the Euro or not. However, the exchange rate would have to be in our favour for any of the main parties to even consider changing.

The longer our membership of the EU continues the more people will want more & more integration. We now even use the European Courts of Justice (when it suits us) to bash our own judicial system. As our cheese eat.... sorry, French cousins would say, c'est la vie & que sera sera.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:32 PM   #18660
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Italystf, "pretend" in English does not mean the same as in Italian...

EDIT: or does it? English mothertongue speakers, can "pretend" here be used in lieu of "demand"?
No. I thought Italystf meant "claim," in the sense of Bossi's telling the public that he was doing something (hiring dialect-speakers?). (I don't think I'd use "pretend" even in that meaning, although the difference is subtle: if you claim to be doing something, it might be true; if you pretend to be doing something, you're lying. So it would be safer - more neutral - for, say, a journalist to use "claim" in a sentence like that.)
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