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February 08 2012

The uselessness of learning foreign languages

Victor Ginsburgh, 8 February 2012

English is the dominant language of the Internet, business, and world trade. Do we need another? This column applies an economist’s rationale to the question.

Full Article: The uselessness of learning foreign languages

// oAnth:

[...]

Worldwide, English is indeed the language that is most often used in international contacts and trade. But it is not the only one, as shown by Jacques Melitz (2008) who uses two measures of linguistic distances between trading partners and tries to estimate their effect. ‘Open-circuit communication’ (OCC) demands that the language be either official or widely spoken (at least 20% of the population knows the language). Spanish, for instance, will be an OCC between Bolivia (where 44% of the population knows Spanish) and Mexico (88%). A ‘direct communication’ (DC) language is any language common (that is, spoken by at least 4% in each country) in a pair of countries. In short, Melitz suggests distinguishing between two channels through which the trade-enhancing effect may take place: OCCs that depend on translation (which can be produced as long as there are enough people who can provide it in both countries) and DCs (which enable traders to communicate directly). He finds that ‘direct communication’ has the largest positive effect on trades: A 10% increase in the probability that two citizens, one in country A, the other in B, speak the same language increases their trades by 10%. Other European OCCs also contribute, but somewhat less. However, and interestingly enough, Melitz also shows that English as an OCC is no more effective than other European languages in promoting trade.

[...]
Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

May 24 2011

02mydafsoup-01

When English speaking people are mocking Chines pronouncing their language their change very 'L' into 'R' ?

The English /r/ is retroflex, means, the tongue goes backward and without activating the vibration of the velum (velar /r/ - e.g. northern German, or French /r/) or tongue (apikopostalveaolar /r/ - e.g. Bavarian /r/-s): so,  for the English speaker the Chinese /l/-s or /r/-s sound much more than their /r/-s, as there is no difference in articulating an /r/ or /l/ in Chinese, but for the Germans this Chinese /r/ or /l/ has nothing to do with an /r/ as they are used to pronounce it. Germans therefore are mocking Chinese people by using always the /l/. 

The Chinese /r/ or /l/ is also retroflex, close to the English /r/, specially in American pronunciation - the point of the tongue does not touch the palatalum, means, there is a small space kept open between the mouth ceiling  (palatalum) and the backward moved tongue.

Greetings - oAnth

April 10 2011

02mydafsoup-01

JARGON FINDER | The Communications Network

  

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March 30 2011

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November 08 2010

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