ANSWERS: 28
  • Because they came from America.
  • That's not my experience really. Nearly everyone I know does speak a second language, if just because they were taught a second language at school. In New Zealand we generally also speak Maori, or some phrases of it because many placenames are Maori and government departments are always written in dual languages. At school it's common to learn Chinese, Japanese, French etc, although people are not necesssarily fluent unless they choose to be. The other thing here is I suppose the majority of people travel overseas at some stage and often settle overseas for a while. It comes from being so isolated I guess.
  • It's not English speakers it's Americans
  • Don't want to, no need to, no desire to. I'd never visit a foreign land unless I could speak the language, as to why I never travel, and have no desire to visit foreign lands.
  • Because in the US, you have to wait until high school to take a second language. I think a second language should start in first grade, if not sooner. My Grandson is already being taught Spanish from kids shows on TV.
  • Because some don't find a need for it or can't find the time to study a second language. When my baby's born, he/she'll learn German, Spanish, and French along with English...good thing I'm fluent in all :)
  • Because they are lazy and they expect to be accommodated everywhere they go. The same people who go abroad without speaking a second language are usually the same ones who moan and complain about the people coming to America unable to speak English. Ironic isn't it?
  • There is no need #1 as English seems to be a common language among people in the 70 countries I have traveled to. In the USA, most students learn a 2nd language but never get a chance to practice or keep up with it unless they travel to that location where their 2nd language is spoken frequently. This is unfortunate but... I just recently experienced this in a border area of Thailand where Thai, Laotian, Cambodian, & Vietnamese was being spoken and the ONLY common words were in English among all people present.
  • If i am born in an English-speaking country and do not plan on leaving, why would i need a second language? If i visit another non-speaking country, i have always found a way to communicate with other people. I am perfectly satisfied with my one and only language, English.
  • We tend to have a rather sniffy attitude to other languages. It's a shame really.
  • It's not just english people. It only seems that way if you live in an english country because most people from foriegn countries that come here do it because they already know english as a second language. The fact is that if you don't have the opportunity to speak another language than you won't learn it. Even in Quebec where there are far more bilingual people there is alot of french only speaking people in the smaller communities.
  • 'cos it isn't needed in this country. If I wanted to travel then I would try to learn the language of the country I was visiting. But I am fluent in Z80, BASIC, have a basic knowledge of C++, and used to know 6803 but now I've forgotten it. So there you go, I know a couple of other languages.
  • Why do most people the world over have their native language as their only language? Lack of language instruction, lack of money, too busy trying to make a living, no real need to speak another language, etc.
  • In general, you will find people in any country who only speak their own language. It might be more difficult for people with English as their first language to learn a second language, because so many people speak English. For instance, if someone came to Germany in order to learn German, he or she might have trouble to find someone willing to teach them. Instead, they would rather practice their own English on them.
  • lack of exposure i would say ... english is a widely-spoken language after all, and the US is a huge place ...
  • I was looking over these answers and thought it was interesting that so many people felt they "didn't need to" speak a foreign language so don't. Do you "need" to learn to play piano, "need" to write a poem, "need" to play sport, "need" to travel even? Generally no. You do it because it broadens your horizons, gives you greater understanding, helps you communicate in a deeper manner. If you travel through another country not attempting to speak that language - you will not see, you will observe. And a second point - there are hundreds of cultures living in every country - you really don't have to go far.
  • You must be talking about Americans. That is the common impression people have. People who choose not to learn a second language live ia society where they expect others to learn their language. Since most of the world learns English as a second language, some who speak English feel they have no need to learn to speak another language. In my mind this is a mistake and shows ignorance. For the record, I am American and i speak 3.
  • I think it's just because since the US is such a large country, people rarely come in to contact with people who speak other languages so for most English is all that is even applicable. I speak Spanish decently, but rarely if ever do I have an opportunity to use it (in fact I wish I could use it more).
  • It is a real shame. I think that part of it is that in the United States, the ability to learn a language is viewed as an esoteric talent that is an optional extra to being a well educated person. People will happily say they are no good at languages where a professional would never admit to being innumerate or illiterate. Sure, some people are better than others, but, in countries where mastery of another language is considered a basic educational requirement, people just get on with and do it because they know that professional barriers will be placed in the way if they don't. In many countries, all medical education, for example is in English, and the students have to demonstrate mastery of English before being accepted to medical school.
  • Because English is becoming really common in other countries. If you're just visiting a country, you can get by in bigger cities knowing only a few phrases in the language of that country. It can be handy to know a second language, but it's generally not needed for English speakers. It's just easier to have the world adjust to you.
  • Good question. A lot of people don't have a chance to learn another language, either because they don't have access through educational means, or they are not exposed to it (e.g., at home). I was lucky, my grandparents spoke both Chinese and Japanese at home, and living in an extended family when I was very young, I picked up a knowledge of both languages. I don't speak either really well, but I can manage the basics. In school, we were required to learn French, as French is Canada's second official language. I didn't like learning French in school, and I didn't grasp much of it.
  • Most people who speak English have less exposure to other languages because most of the developed world speaks our language. Even more so, most of the people who speak Engligh live places where less languages exist, if you live in the US or Australia or even Ireland/England, you don't have as much of the exposure to other languages as most of Europe and Asia has...
  • because ENGLISH speaking people in the US do not need to know another language. Because we are the smartest people in the world. ENGLISH makes all other languages sound stupid. And by the way if you want to live in the US learn how to speak ENGLISH. An AMERICAN should not have to speak spanish to get a job unless he or she works for the Border Patrol or the welfare office. GOOD DAY
  • Because (us)(we)(whatever) Yanks are still tryin' t'speak our FIRST language. Don't push it, already!
  • I don't think that this is true. Not only are there plenty of first generation Americans whose families recently came from other countries and who speak a second language in their home, but many long-time Americans also speak second languages. Not to mention the fact that English is the official language in the larger cities in India, and is the 1st language of MANY Indian people. India has a HUGE population. So I don't have the data, but I bet the figure for English polyglots is higher than you think.
  • There was a time, after WW2, when the US was the premier country of the world, and everyone needed to know English. Business, science, literature, even in the art world English became the lingua franca. For a time it seemed as though all other languages would wither away. But even then, educated people wanted to learn foreign languages, as to know a language adds to the possibilities of understanding other cultures, and also furthers the understanding even of your own world. Unfortunately, the world has changed and knowledge of Chinese,Arabic, Russian, and, yes, even Spanish has become useful, if not a necessity.
  • Americans are really very provincial--they think that the whole world revolves around America, they have little respect for the achievements of other countries. But my first reason, that we are very provincial, is the basic reason.
  • Most of them see no need to do so, especially since few of them will ever have occasion to use one.

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