1. When learning a foreign language, which part is easier? Speaking or writing?
I’d say writing. Cuz when we speak, we need to have a proper rhythm and flow. Otherwise we’d sound very hesitative and unconfident. Whereas in writing, you can pause every now and then, and think over on your wording. No one is gonna find out about your pauses, cuz they will only be reading the words. This is just like comparing phoning to texting, the latter one is apparently easier to me.
2. Do you think English will be the mainstream of the world in the future?
As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that English has already been the mainstream language in our time, knowledge-wise and communication-wise. As far as I know, the great majority of significant modern scientific researches are in English, and the most widely used language is also English.
Well if you want me to predict the future trend of popular languages, I’d say that English, in a foreseeable future, will remain its status. I mean, as a Chinese, I do hope that Mandarin could become mainstream, but apparently it seems too difficult to become that popular.
3. What benefits can a foreign language bring to one’s career?
Well, first of all, one who can speak a foreign language would have better chance to communicate directly with more people, directly or indirectly. By ‘directly’ I mean you wouldn’t need an interpreter when talking to a native speaker of that language. You see, we do have many great interpreters; yet interpreting itself cannot be perfect “mirror” of the original script. There will always be some loss, more or less, which means the interpretation can never be intact. And by ‘indirectly’ I mean you’d be able to read books you need in that language. Translating has as much, if not more, problems as interpreting I just mentioned.
4. Is learning a foreign language important?
Yes, definitely. Apart from pragmatic benefits that a foreign language can provide, like communication advantages or appreciating original literature and stuff like that, I think I’ve read an article claiming bilingual people have multiple other advantages over monolingual people. These include better memory, analyzing skills, critical thinking and so on. And even if we put all these mentioned above aside, learning a foreign language brings you very much convenience when travelling abroad, I mean, at least you’ll be able to bargain the price.