Sunday, 27 April 2008

Our World in English

It was after attending a lecture by Mr Robert Quinn that I thought of it and I realized I could also provide my own opinion about this topic.

There´s a whole world around us in English: labels, leaflets, posters, recordings, brand names, traffic signs, newspapers and magazines.English is a "lingua franca". Most foreigns speak in English. Their public education systems have included English for many years now.

Very few taxi or bus drivers can speak English fluently. Shop assistants and waiters cannot boast of having a mastery of any foreign language. Slowly but firmly, more and more companies request their new candidates to understand and speak English.
Some people living in the Spanish coast refuse and resist to study, learn or acquire English as a foreign language. They just give excuses by saying that the only thing they have to do is work. They complain and say that foreigners coming to Spain should speak Spanish.They don´t realize our schools are crowded with foreign students (mostly British). Local train stops are announced by a recorded machine..., in English!

Our Spanish mobile phones have a nasty recorded message saying: "your credit is about to expire". Computers are not an exception: We are using machines whose main operation system´s name is Windows. We are getting used to abbreviations like HTML, POP or words like: mail, post, receive, download , picture, and so on.There is always an English books section in the coast department stores. Congratulation and greeting cards are now part of our lives. We say CD and press the key enter in our keyboards and we also write for sale when we want to sell our old flat. No one is surprised to read Real Estate in any of our streets and almost all our young students carry a funny gadget that they call iPod .Halloween has become a popular celebration in Spain and children dress now in freak costumes while asking neighbours for candies..., and their mums have now a copy of pumpkin pie recipe somewhere in their coputers or written by their shopping lists.

Many teenagers now are the owners of a Wii play station and when they have to wee, they know very well the difference between ladies and men. We take our children to throw a birthday party in MacDonalds or Burger King. Once there, they have a Whoper of a Big Mac or fries and cola.

Are you sure you don´t speak English? next time you visit Malaga airport, don´t forget to listen to this nice gentleman who says in a warning voice: "please, do not leave your luggage unattended" or something awful might happen afterwards. Do you want to lose your job? Do you want to be out of society, out of internet, out of business or old fashioned? If you don´t, you have two options: get prepared for the future and start learning Chinese or take up English lessons now!

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