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To non-native English speakers: Do you feel frustrated that everyone has to learn English, while Anglophones hardly learn other languages?

First of all, if the lingua franca weren’t English, it would be something else, and there would be native speakers of that language enjoying the same advantage – possibly wondering about the same question.

Secondly, English-speaking countries produce lots of quality entertainment (Hollywood, the US and British music industries, BBC, video games, etc.), scientific research, computer and technology-related development, etc. There’s an abundance of authentic material which sort of sells itself and makes learning the language a more personally motivating and rewarding experience than it might otherwise be, as a mere language. So you have that going for you.

That said, I’m pretty sure those anglophones who move to live in a non-anglophone country (more or less permanently) will be missing out on a lot of things – essentially suppressing parts of what would otherwise be considered their normal, healthy, adult life – if they can’t motivate themselves to learn the local language.

My answer might be biased: I come from the Western Judeo-Christian cultural background and my native language is written in a Latin script. Maybe I would feel differently about it if the prominent lingua franca were, say, Mandarin or Arabic, as these languages and their respective cultural spheres are definitely farther removed from my day-to-day experience than the “Anglosphere”.



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