It should be required. Two years of instruction was required at my high school (although most people took the whole four) and I'm better for it. Not only is it just good for the modern world, but it helped me understand English better.
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
In fact, if you're a Swede living in Sweden and you speak poor English, other Swedes will think you're stupid or some kind of dinosaur. Can you imagine if we had such an attitude here in the USA? People like me, who can speak 3 languages, would think most of my peers were a bunch of idiots!
Yes! =) I know this from my experience with Dutch, which is really very similar to German. But that similarity can be treacherous ... I've spent a lot of time in the Netherlands and with my Dutch friends, so I understand most of what they're saying in Dutch, but whenever I try to speak a little, I do it totally wrong and basically just speak German with a Dutch accent, *just because* it seems so similar ... but actually is more different.I've always been interested in learning German. It's somewhat similar to Swedish, so I think it would be easier to learn, however you have more verb tenses and genders to remember. Swedish is more simple, as I think Swedish people are more simple in general.
Then I have always wanted to learn French, because there is a language that is easy in every way a language can possibly be easy. I already speak Spanish, so I know a Latin language, plus English.... so I basically already have the entire French vocabulary in my brain, it's just to learn the syntax.
I image that can happen too when you speak Spanish and learn French ... easy to mix it up when it's too similar.
It's my plan to learn Spanish eventually ... due to my knowledge of French, I understand a lot of it when I see it written, but it's much more difficult for me to understand spoken Spanish.
Yeah, same for me ... or Arabic. Horribly difficult, because they don't write vowels in their written language, but most of the grammar depends on vowels. And even if you manage that, you have the problem that hardly any Arab actually speaks "high Arabic"... oh my.I think Chinese would be such a huge investment, that unless I plan to move to China for some reason, I don't think I will able to do it.
So no, I guess my next project would be Spanish. Or maybe getting into the Polish a language a little more, after I had a *very* basic introduction at college (for a European language, it's ridiculously complex, IMO).
"Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."