Last night I went to the movies to see “Captain Phillips”. Highly recommended! Especially after reading an interview with the actual Captain Phillips who explains the movie is very close to the actual events that took place, I loved the movie even more. It was full of action from beginning to end with an amazing story of one man and his crew’s quick thinking survival skills. For those who are not familiar with the story and/or movie, it takes place on a cargo ship that Captain Phillips is directing through the dangerous waters of the Somali Basin when his ship is attacked by Somalian pirates. The story revolves around Captain Phillips protecting his crew and how he handled the piracy invasion.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the film, I couldn’t help but notice how the Somalian pirates spoke both Somali and English, and pretty developed English at that. However, none of the American sailors aboard the ship could understand Somali. Taking into consideration the amount of interaction the average American has with a Somalian, I understand it may not be a language many Americans study, but what about other languages?
Many other countries require students to learn AT LEAST English, but most other countries know their own language and two others. Are we too dependent on other countries learning English for business and interactions? Shouldn’t we take it upon ourselves to learn certain languages?
At least in New York, it is required to take three years of a language; however, many students stop after high school. I took Spanish for four years in high school and then another four years in college, but I would not consider myself bilingual, although I am working towards it. Would it be better for our country’s future to start students learning languages in Elementary school, to soak up more knowledge in hopes of graduating more bilingual students who enter the “real world”?
Our country is becoming more and more diverse, especially with the Hispanic and Latino population, among others, rising. Therefore, it is only beneficial for more people to learn another language.