[The following was written in 2006 or so.]
Yeah, I'm studying multiple languages simultaneously... nuts, I know, but the main goal isn't fluency so much as understanding the greater context. English is the lingua franca for internet development, but grammar and vocabulary are only part of the total communication... knowing how different cultures structure their primary communications is a key asset in learning what is being said, and what is being heard.
Looked at another way, English is a hub language. Primary-English speakers may not have the immediate incentive to learn other languages that people in other parts of the world may, which is both advantage and disadvantage. Primary-English speakers, particularly in multicultural cities such as San Francisco, have a potential comparative advantage in increasing our skills to connect spokes... a conversation between Japan and Brazil would find it just as expensive to learn one of their primary languages as an English speaker would, but if English is used as the common tongue, then a primary-English speaker can add value, particularly if that speaker has a better understanding of how each culture uses English. Same when connecting to Sofia, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Oslo, Mexico City... if English is the internet's common language, then a little extra effort on the part of primary-English speakers may help the whole effort quite a bit.
I'm interested in more languages, but am focusing on these three now:
I work with Macromedia, a developer of internet technologies, and maintain another blog oriented towards items of interest to web developers. This blog here is more of a personal blog and will likely contain more personal opinion than the other... if you don't agree with me on something, please don't assume that my co-workers agree with me too, thanks....
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