Do you think speaking a foreign language fluently changes your attitudes? - Page 4 - Politics | PoFo

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Polls on politics, news, current affairs and history.

Do you think speaking a foreign language fluently changes your attitudes?

1. Yes, it changed or changes my attitude.
2. No, it did not change my attitude.
3. I never learned to speak any foreign languages fluently therefore I can't really tell if it would change my attitude.
4. Other.
Atlantis wrote:Most conflicts are due to the fact that the opposing parties don't understand each other.

I disagree. Opposing parties do understand each other, they just have different cultural, or political desires. Nationalism, imperialism, and religious bigotry are some examples of those opposing causes.
Communication is never a "simple" matter.

Most humans can sense if someone is going against another.
To get a thorough understanding of another people with another culture a high degree of linguistic competence is indispensable.

I can understand Anglo-Saxon, American, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Albanian, Russian, Polish, Japanese, and Chinese cultures very well.
For example, Germany would never have gone to war in 1914 if its leaders had known the UK (and later the US) would join the war.

This is a very pacifist viewpoint.
In public (parliament) British leaders were saying they had no obligation to join the war alongside France, while in private the Foreign office and the defense establishment were assuring the French that Britain would be on their side.

Many people knew in the 1900's and 1910's that Britain and France were close partners. The Anglo-French forces were like relatives. Their cultures are very different (different language groups, different histories, slightly different politics), but they understood each other very well.
The Germans failed to understand the duplicity of British communication.

The British Empire was very untrustworthy.
Every war is a failure of diplomatic communication.

This is a very pacifist viewpoint.
Verbal communication is a very imperfect means. Ultimately we can only understand what we experienced ourselves. Since no two people have exactly the same experience, we communicate by "guessing" what the other person means. The greater the similarity of experience, the greater the potential for communication.

There is the duality of signified and signifier. The signified is the contents of our experience, which we try to communicate by means of the signifier, ie. language. Thus, the signified and the signifier are not identical. Different people understand different contents (signified) from the same signifier. The trouble is people take the signifier for the signified.

This problem exists even with people of our own cultural background, but is greater with people of a different background.

I loose patients with people who use words without experience.
Tainari88 wrote:Let me understand this in depth Political Interest? Are you of Russian ancestry but grew up in the UK?

Not Russian but I am somewhat that way inclined :) if you understand what I mean. I grew up in an English speaking country, though. I am of Lithuanian descent.

Tainari88 wrote:As for belligerents? I think not getting along in politics has to do with wanting to have the power positions. And it doesn't matter what language groups that are fighting for it have. The purpose of wanting power is the really, really important question.

This is entirely true. But I suppose language barriers are just another complicating factor. For example, if you're an Englishman who speaks fluent Spanish in Spain or Latin America, who understands the nuances of the language, how to make jokes and laugh at jokes, that will always be a plus. The French and Germans always appreciate it when an Englishman speaks their languages fluently without an accent.

Tainari88 wrote:I do agree strongly with you that intercultural exchange and speaking fluently a language that is not your native one everyday opens your mind and so many other things in this world. It is truly something transformative.

Perhaps it's the case that those who are willing to learn other languages and become fluent in them are just naturally going to be more diplomatic and agreeable, that is to say, they learn out of interest as opposed to necessity.

But yes, language is only one issue that divides people.

Tainari88 wrote:I have always profoundly liked you. Always.

I like your introverted vulnerability and how you don't feel socially comfortable. Your fine intellect. Your intelligence and your honesty too.

Tainari you're so kind. I've always really liked you as well!

It's clear that you're someone with a very deep understanding of people. You're emotionally intelligent and perceptive of the world around you.

For you to appreciate my intellect is a massive compliment because you are someone I hold in deep respect.

And this is what we need in this world, open communication and friendship. Even though we may disagree on a few issues I think there is a lot that we do agree on and our politics is merely a question of how we want to reach the same ends. You're a leftist and I'm a rightist but our end vision is fundamentally the same.

Tainari88 wrote:What will transform human beings is creating a society that is founded on values based on humanism and collective responsibility.

Very much so. Everyone working hand in hand as comrades, man for man, woman for woman. For our nations, continents and the entire world.
I do not know first hand , since instead of fluently learning other languages I have simply incorporated whatever words and phrases I like into my predominant English vocabulary . I know it might be terrible , but this is how English has evolved , via a process of assimilating other languages into our own , called " borrowing" . You will notice this in pop music , particularly in Jpop . Native English speakers will incorporate Japanese into their songs , and vice versa .
This is I think the after effect of globalization . Different languages converge as people converse , and engage in commerce , but no one necessarily acquires complete fluency in either language . And it seems that English ends up simply absorbing foreign words into itself , as the lingua franca of McWorld . But English has also altered other languages , such as German , as well .
Speaking of which , I have heard from this German YouTuber , that her having learned English has impacted her personality . Like that she feels different when she speaks English compared to when she speaks German .
So while I would like to familiarize myself with various other languages , especially German , as it is the language of my heritage , and I feel an affinity with the German people , especially due to generally shared predominant personality traits , I also feel that as it is a synthesis of both German and French , among other languages , English is the most advanced , in terms of dialectics . The only thing I dislike about it is its imperialistic character , which makes certain of its speakers tend to take an imperious attitude towards other people , and their languages , as seen in this example .
BigSteve wrote:I speak Spanish and Italian fluently (travel to both countries regularly, so it helps). I learned those languages simply because it made it easier for me to communicate when I visit. It doesn't make me think more about them, and their lives certainly don't become more of a "focus". It doesn't "open your mind", nor does it change my attitude towards life (which, at the moment, is pretty bitchin').

Learning a language says nothing about "human society" aside from the fact that it's now easier for me to order the Ricotta and spinach ravioli in Rome.

I have a dear friend who's fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He travels there for work regularly and believed that, if he spoke their language, he could secure more business from them. It worked. He doesn't give a rat's ass about focusing on their lives. He did it so he could make more money.

As an aside, consider how many non-Americans speak English. I think it's pretty fascinating. I've never been anywhere where I couldn't find one person who spoke English relatively well...
SSDR wrote:This is a very pacifist viewpoint.

I read a few detailed books about this topic - how it all started and Atlantis is right. It was a very unfortunate chain of events that went wrong. Austria-Hungary initially didn't expect war with Russia and thought it was just bluffing as Germany was supporting it. This is why it had to change mobilization plans in the middle resulting in chaos, delayed mobilization and a quick defeat on the eastern front (it also expected Germany would help in the east but it only had plan to attack in the west). Germany initially didn't expect a war at all, that's why it recklessly gave blank cheque to Austria-Hungary. It also thought Russia was just bluffing and it tried to deter Russia from interfering by crude worded telegrams and might of its army. Later it became clear war could happen and pre-mobilization plans were activated, however political leadership still didn't grasp the repercussions. Other countries were mobilizing as well and mobilization couldn't be stopped/paused in the middle as that would basically result in defeat of country due to chaos in armed forces. It also meant Germany would have to invade Belgium very early to have a chance to win the war. Moltke's arguments with German Kaiser started his health problems and he had to resign early in the war. For a long time during the crisis British diplomacy was very unclear about its position and that emboldened Germany in its imperialist diplomacy. Britain had a political crisis during this time and it was resolved only just before outbreak of the war. It's government was very pacifist and a number of ministers resigned due to political development to enter the war. Few days before the outbreak of war Germany took back the blank cheque (Bethmann-Hollweg was finally starting to understand the situation) but it was too late as countries were mobilizing already secretly and political situation was developing faster than diplomacy at that time could communicate (it took about 2 days to get response to a diplomatic telegram).

Had Britain's position been clear from the very beginning, Germany would not have risked WW1. A world war was never the intention.
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