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As I near 80, I doubt it would be easy to learn languages now, it should have been promoted much earlier..

My high school in Texas* offered only Latin or Spanish as foreign language classes. I took two years of Spanish. (Wish now I had chosen Latin.) When I was in the Army I was assigned to a base in Italy. Immediately bought the Italian Made Simple book and a record course in Italian. When I got to Italy I took Italian 101 at the U. of Maryland branch there. That quickly destroyed what was left of my Spanish. (The two languages are very similar.) Today I retain a bit of Italian grammar and a tiny vocabulary. I was transferred to Germany. Took the Army's "beginning language" German. Bought books. Tried my best to learn German (Which is at least much closer to English than the Romance languages.) By today I will never starve in Germany for lack of knowing the food names and how to say them. I still try to read an occasional German book or article, but I will never be fluent. I can ask for and understand directions in German. I am flattered when a German friend asks me for the proper word in English for a German word.

We live on an island here in the US. It's a very large island (The North American continent), and only English is universally understood. If a way Europeans are lucky to have several languages at their doorsteps.

*I believe Texas stopped all German language education in WW-2 - that'll show them Krauts!
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