|Subject: Languages again|
Calling myself the multilingual is obviously a joke, wish I was for real, but I guess we Europeans at least have some chance to know some different languages just taking a few hour's drive from our home.
Debbie spoke about school learning and she's correct about the time window, but I experienced many people here, having studied English for about 8 years at school (from 10 to 18 y.o.), after a short time can't ever tell five words in a row or understand a simple question. This is because they don't have any real interest in it and they don't care to practise their skill after school. The result is many Italians of my generation and later either believe to know English (but they don't) or are ashamed to speak it because they don't feel up to it. When they go abroad or they are talking to foreigners, they use a sort of pidgin' english which is nevertheless commonly understood in Europe (at least).
English is now taught in primary school too, because its basic grammar is easy, but I see my children haven't the faintest idea of the correct pronunciation. No need to say the teachers are all formed in UK English and American English is widely unknown.
I guess the need for a global language in the Global Village will call for a different English, essential in words and with easied pronunciation, the same way swahili was born from the mix of African and Arabic languages for the purpose of commerce and communication. Will we need a League for Preservation of Original English? :-)