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How's your reaction when someone tells you English is not important?


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I have two classmates that have zero knowledge of the English language and they actually believe they don't need English to succeed in the business world. One of them wants to study Law and she's going to have English-taught classes in English in University.... Doesn't it grind your gears when someone thinks English (or even all the other languages) English is not necessary? In this century, how can some take their prime language for granted, even if they don't play to leave their [non-English-spoken] country?

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I have two classmates that have zero knowledge of the English language and they actually believe they don't need English to succeed in the business world.

It seems that they also have zero knowledge of the business world :P I'm pretty sure that it's nearly impossible to get anywhere in business without English nowadays... Unless they're planning on having a very local business and start it all by themselves, since every company requires people to know English well if they want to apply for some serious position.

I'm not really angry when people tell me that English is not important. I mean, it's their opinion and they'll probably realise that they're wrong sooner or later.

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Surprising comment, but yet in a way, perhaps not.  It could be that these individuals are reluctant to learn English or have no interest in learning and so they choose to disparage the language.

There's really no doubt that learning English would be a huge advantage in the business world.  Pretty much every kind of commercial endeavor will have international ties of some kind or would benefit from same.  The individual who knows the language and thus can communicate across physical and cultural borders would have a clear advantage. 

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I can't see how a foreign speaker would say that if they are going to take classes in English. There are words specific to law that she may not understand. It is really a bad idea to ignore English. It will only hurt her down the road.

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I just couldn't take seriously anyone saying such a thing.

It may not be absolutely necessary, but English is very important nowadays no mater what country you live in.

Personally I couldn't live without it. I need it for my work (I'm a freelance web / app developer, most resources you can find on programming languages and such is all in English and I work internationally), all the websites I use is in English and the many people I communicate with on internet is done in English.

Also I like traveling, knowing English makes communication so much easier wherever in the world you go. 

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I believe that those who say that knowing english is not important are completely delusional and live in denial! No wonder your friends don't think it's important... it's just they don't know to speak it!  They might have no interest in learning it either, so they are just trying to excuse themselves by saying knowing english is not important. 

Truth is english is super important, I've met very ignorant people who have dared to compare english to french, lol!  I was like woah... it's like comparing a shark with a seal (no offence!), because english is a very international language.  Actually is thanks to the fact I'm bilingual that I could land a really good job some years ago.  I actualy couldn't be more grateful :)  Learning english has opened so many doors for me!!

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I cannot imagine those people who are saying that English is not important. Nowadays when you travel and go to different countries it is widely spoken and use and you will meet many English speaking people and there are many of them who had studied already the language. I am always amazed to some people like the Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Italians and other nationalities who are well versed in the English language. They can communicate well and that is because of hard work on studying English language which is really a very important language in the world. :)

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When someone tells me straight up that English is not important, I usually just give them the most incredulous face I can make and laugh out loud. I'm not laughing at them, but at the preposterous nature of what they have just stated. Most typically, the people who make this statement are ignorant about more things than just language issues, and it's best to just not have those kind of people around you all of the time.

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In all honesty I've never heard of anyone who didn't consider English important. I mean, sure, where I live there are a lot of niche immigrant communities wherein people interact in their native language instead of learning the languages of Canada. But how can somebody studying business or law be so shortsighted in thinking English isn't worth knowing?

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I believe that those who say that knowing english is not important are completely delusional and live in denial! No wonder your friends don't think it's important... it's just they don't know to speak it!  They might have no interest in learning it either, so they are just trying to excuse themselves by saying knowing english is not important.

I agree with this too and have actually put it to the test - I've offered myself to teach her at least with the basics like "how are you" and stuff and she insists she doesn't want my help and she's fine on her own. Yes, she doesn't even know how to start a conversation like "Hello, how are you, what are you up to?". It's frightening.

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I think things are only important when people make them important, and since it's not important to them, then maybe it's not, obviously not to all people at least. There are lots of ways to be successful in business, and there is no one particular overall requirement to attain said monetary success.

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  • 2 months later...

I consider English Language to be very significant in today's world. I think your school mates haven't given it much thought to realize that there is a wide world of English speakers out there. Knowing English Language is a big advantage in doing business, communicating and travelling, therefore I consider it quite necessary.

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It depends on the country you're living and the people you're going to interact with in business or in other aspects of life. For example, China, Japan, Korea etc give no importance to English at all, but there business is doing better than the English countries itself :P and there are well reknowned and very powerfull businessmen without any know how of English language, but if you're in a country where English is the major language in business and/or in general then of course it is important. So it is all about where you're at and what you're going to do and with whom.

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I get offended by this. Because I make a living speaking and writing and basically communicating in English. I don't want to debate with them but I really hope they are open minded enough before even saying such a thing.

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I haven't heard this from anyone else. Probably because all of the people in my country are xenocentric or they prefer other culture rather than ours. They all have a colonial mentality mindset! Who could blame them? Our country and government officials are so corrupt that they don't care whether they steal the people's money. As long as they become rich infamous thieves who deserve to rot in jail.

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There are a few prime languages in this world that are used in business, and English is one of them. No, they don't have to learn it. But if they want to conduct business worldwide, learning English is a great place to start.

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English is an international language that requires you to be able to relate with people from all works of life. If you want to go global, it is important for you to learn it. Even if you're not planning to leave your country in the near future, you can relate with people on the Internet that are English speaking people.

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That's like saying that being able to communicate is not important. This shouldn't really be a debate on which language is more important or which is more popular. What should matter to people is that we understand what we are saying to each other. It's not about the English language per se, but if English is the common language of two people, wouldn't it be silly for them to each speak a different language?  :angel:

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There are some people that are really not with things and are in denial, but as it is english is one of the most important languages in the world. If you would like to trade or even use technology to the max then you definitely need to be able to use the english language to a good standard.

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Well to be honest I couldn't really tell you because I've never had someone say that to me before. I suppose in very small communities that are monolingual and have little contact with the outside economy that may be true. Realistically however English will always give you a major advantage both economically and educationally. So many learning materials are in English that you will severely limit yourself if you don't speak it.

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I would happy, since that means I would have one less business rival to worry about. It's true that if your business is located in a non-English-speaking-country, then you probably won't find much use in learning English.

However, if you're ambitious and looking to expand overseas, then knowing English is definitely a must, since it's effectively the most widespread language in the business world. So at the end of the day, I would say the importance of English lies in its ability to expand your business prospects.

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