San Francisco, Home To Many Languages You Can Learn

Since the beginning of time people from different cultures have had a strong need to communicate in a way that each other understands.

There is nothing more that creates distrust than when someone is speaking in a room and you can’t understand what they are saying.

All that you do understand is that when they are speaking, they are looking at you.

What do people often do in that situation?

Ask for a translator.

Maybe get annoyed.

The movie industry at times has captured this dilemma brilliantly in terms of the need for people to communicate more effectively even when they somewhat understand each other’s language.

The nice aspect to most of the films is how they address this limitation in communication with humor. writer, Magnolia Pictures photo credit

Broken English is a 2007 American romance film written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes, starring Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud.

Here is the storyline.

Nora Wilder (Parker Posey), a single career woman, works at a Manhattan boutique hotel where her excellent skills in guest relations are the complete opposite of her lack of skills in the romance department.

She's surrounded by friends who are all happily engaged or romantically involved and somehow, love escapes Nora—until she meets an unusual Frenchman (Melvil Poupaud) who helps her discover life beyond her self-imposed boundaries.

What we loved about the film was how the two lovers were able to break down their language barriers through love and friendship.

Here is another example at the other end of the spectrum. writer, Universal Pictures photo credit

The Interpreter is a 2005 political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, and Jesper Christensen. It is notable for being the first movie to have been shot inside the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Now for the storyline.

Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

Imagine if you are in that situation, you understand the other language involved a little, but not a lot. The ramifications of that dilemma could be substantial.

All of this speaks to a suggestion that maybe most or all of us, in a world that is more and more becoming one electronic village, should make a greater effort to learn and speak another language.

One of the beauties of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that you come into contact with virtually every culture that exists in the world.

It makes for a far more interesting and educational life.

We have a visiting speaker who loves the idea of learning a new language as a future goal.

Maybe you should too.

6 Most Useful Languages to Learn in 2018 writer, photo credit

By Saania Kalia

Learning a language has been a popular New Year resolution for many years, and has consistently featured as one of the top 10 resolutions of all time.

So, if you are considering learning a language this New Year, then you are in luck as we have selected the top foreign languages to learn in 2018.

  1. Spanish

The far and wide spread of the Spanish language across Europe and the Americas has made it our No. 1 language to learn in the year 2018. With over 470 million native speakers and a growing number of non-native speakers, it is the most commonly spoken language in the world, second only to Mandarin Chinese.

Native: 470 Million (2017)

Non-native: 100 Million (2017)

Official Language in: Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Uruguay and Equatorial Guinea.

Un-officially Spoken in: Andorra, Belize, Gibraltar and United States.

  1. Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language in the world with over 1 billion native speakers. It is the official language of China and is spoken by almost 70% of the Chinese population. With celebrities such as Mark Zuckerberg embracing the dialect, Mandarin Chinese has the potential of challenging the supremacy of English, especially in business circles as China pips the United States out of the top spot as the nation with the world's highest GDP.

Native: 1 Billion (2017)

Non-native: 200 Million (2017)

Official Language in: China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Un-officially spoken in: Indonesia, southern Vietnam, and Malaysia.

  1. French

French is a Romance language spoken by approximately 80 million native speakers and over 153 million non-native speakers worldwide. It is the second-most widely spoken first language in Europe and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Due to its colonial past, similar to that of English, French also has more non-native speakers than native speakers who are spread across the world.

Native: 80 Million (2017)

Non-native: 153 Million (2017)

Official Language in: France, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Chad, Guinea, Rwanda, Belgium, Burundi, Benin, Haiti, Switzerland, Togo, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Comoros, Luxembourg, Vanuatu, Seychelles and Monaco.

Un-officially Spoken in: Algeria, Albania, Andorra, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Dominica, Egypt, Greece, Laos, Lebanon, Morocco, Macedonia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Romania, Saint-Lucia, Tunisia and Vietnam.

  1. Arabic

Arabic is commonly spoken in the Middle East and is the dominant language in some of the fastest growing markets in this region with over 420 million speakers worldwide. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, and Hindi.

Native: 290 Million (2017)

Non-native: 132 Million (2017)

Official Language in: Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine, Mauritania, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Un-officially Spoken in: Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan.

  1. German

As one of the 3 official languages of the European Union, the German language has an estimated 110 million native speakers and is the most widely spoken native language in Europe. In addition to being the lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe, German is a language that is fast gaining popularity on the internet with (Germany) being the top country level domain out there.

Native: 110 Million (Est.)

Non-native: 52 Million

Official Language in: Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein.

Un-officially Spoken in: Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine.

  1. English

With over 370 million native speakers worldwide, English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is also the current language of business across the globe. While basic knowledge of the English language may be enough to communicate at a beginner level, it might hinder creating a rapport with a native English speaker, especially for business purposes. Proficiency in the English language is essential for professional as well as personal success.

Native: 370 Million

Non-native: 600 Million

Official Language in: USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and over 50 other countries.

Un-officially spoken in: UAE, Sri Lanka and over 40 other countries.

Learn a language and improve your communication to make 2018 a fruitful year. Start your course today!

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