You just said neither you nor your friends bothered to follow up on your opportunities to learn another language, so it puzzles me how you can go overseas and communicate in German and Spanish.I would be most interested to see how many "educated" or "wealthy" business or professional people know another language.
It would be interesting to do a study on that one!
from personal knowledge I can say that every person I know who took any language in school took it to get a grade and never followed through with it; they dont use it, and forgot all about it.
You have used spanish more than algebra because the United States was invaded by spanish speaking people who wont learn english.
Thats not Your fault, however: catering to them by speaking it is your fault, it gives them a sense that they have a right to be here and the right to force everyone to speak their language.
when someone talks in spanish to you try to speak your rightful language of english; if they dont understand then let them get an interpreter or learn the english language.
When I go to other countries, I must speak their language: when in germany I must speak german, when in mexico I must speak spanish,
when Im home in the United States of AMERICA I SPEAK ENGLISH.
I speak Spanish when I get the chance because I think it's fun. I wish I could communicate in many more languages. Today I started studying Italian so I can use it when I go to Italy.
I want every school child in the US to learn the best English possible, and to honor our history. Adding another language actually increases understanding of the first one, and is a great mental exercise. I took French as a kid, and loved it.
I don't have to be arrogant to non-English speakers. I am already a baby boomer from the strongest and most dominant culture at this time in history so I am pretty darn comfortable with myself.However, I feel enriched by learning whatever I can. Spanish doesn't threaten me.
This is a university town with constant international cultural offerings. Most people are here because they enjoy learning and meeting other like-minded people. I forget that's not the case everywhere.