#1
Hey guys,

Had an English class today and as usual my teacher and I had a little argument. Could a sane sober native speaker please clear this one up for me?

The sentence is (as far as I can remember...) something like this:
"And with such a vexing matter as dealing with the French, fluency in the language shouldn't be too much to expect".

Alright, so what in this case does the underlined part mean? As in, the meaning of the phrase "shouldn't be too much to expect". Please help me

P.S.I have actually found the article itself that was quoted in our textbook, if anyone's interested: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/shapiro/550.htm

Here's the proper quote: "And when it comes to the vexing matter of dealing with the French, fluency in the language should not be too much to expect."

Last sentence of the second paragraph.

Need a proper explanation please.

Thanks!
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#2
It means one naturally assumes a French speaker to speak French fluently... I don't really see the ambiguity. I've not read the article, but I imagine it's something to do with dealing with people who are poor speakers of their native language?
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The power to feel with others give.
Calm, calm me more; nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

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#3
"should not be too much to expect"... doesn't that just mean that there won't be too much to expect?
#4
It means it's a reasonable request - it's not expecting much of someone, so they should have learned the language.
#5
Shouldn't be --> Should not be

Too much --> Too much

To expect --> To expect

Put them together: Should not be too much to expect.

It means that fluency is expected.
Quote by denizenz
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#6
More please, this seems to have risen some confusion... If it's not a problem, please read the entire paragraph. I want 100% confirmation on the meaning in this very context, of the underlined part. Please...
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#7
Quote by Gakusey
More please, this seems to have risen some confusion... If it's not a problem, please read the entire paragraph. I want 100% confirmation on the meaning in this very context, of the underlined part. Please...




What do you not understand from the posts above yours?
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#10
All of them say different things.

The article is about American ambassadors not knowing the language of the country they work in.

Basically, my take was that when appointing an ambassador to, say, France, it's not much to ask of him to be fluent in French. It is a given. The ambassador should be fluent in French.

Am I right or not?

Everyone else in class was against me, saying the sentence means... I don't even remember their take on this, to be honest.
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#11
Quote by Gakusey
All of them say different things.

The article is about American ambassadors not knowing the language of the country they work in.

Basically, my take was that when appointing an ambassador to, say, France, it's not much to ask of him to be fluent in French. It is a given. The ambassador should be fluent in French.


Am I right or not?

Everyone else in class was against me, saying the sentence means... I don't even remember their take on this, to be honest.


Yep. You got it right. Tell your class that they are all wrong.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#12
Quote by Gakusey
All of them say different things.

The article is about American ambassadors not knowing the language of the country they work in.

Basically, my take was that when appointing an ambassador to, say, France, it's not much to ask of him to be fluent in French. The ambassador should be fluent in French.

Am I right or not?

Everyone else in class was against me, saying the sentence means... I don't even remember their take on this, to be honest.

You are correct and the rest of your class is wrong, you have my full permission to beat them with a length of rubber hose.
#13
yes, it means that , when speaking to the french .. in this case the ambassador, it is expected that the ambassador should be able tp speak french fluently .
#14
monkey boner

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I fell asleep on my arm once, scariest thing that ever happened to me. I thought it was kill.
#15
"Yes, George W. Bush has chosen as his envoy to Paris a generous Republican donor who believes that English is the true language of love and diplomacy. Plum diplomatic postings are awarded in every administration to wealthy business leaders whose ties to the president are mostly financial. But, generally, these political appointees meet minimal standards. And when it comes to the vexing matter of dealing with the French, fluency in the language should not be too much to expect."

There's the whole paragraph. It's just saying that it should be expected that the diplomat be fluent in the language of the country he's visiting. The first part is saying our government just chooses rich people who "support" the presidential administration financially instead of qualified people, such as those fluent in other languages. The underlined part in particular is hard to define out of context. In context, it just means that fluency in a given language (in this case, French) should be a very reasonable expectation for one in a diplomatic position, but because Bush chose an envoy based on his wealth (and how much of that wealth he shares with the administration) rather than on qualification, even though fluency in the language is not too much to ask, the man appointed by Bush "meet minimal standards" and doesn't speak the language.

Hope that didn't make things more confusing...
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#17
Ok, thank you! God, was I pissed!

And it's not about the class, really, because they just accept whatever the hell the teacher's saying, it's the teacher that annoys the shit out of me. Her English is so freakin' poor, it's hilarious she's been working here for 20 years. And it's the best uni in Russia... I mean, its very goal is to make students fluent in two languages (in my case, Japanese and English), since it's a Foreign Ministry uni, so we're all supposed to be diplomats. How the hell do they let her work there if she's so incompetent?.. And it's not even about this case, because it's political stuff and I wouldn't even dream of her knowing this stuff, but she's as stupid when it comes to elementary English...

Alright, rant over. Thanks again.

P.S. Shall I bring this up on Wednesday when we have our next class or is it better to just forget it, seeing as she's the one who's gonna mark my exams and all And she already hates me for being better than her, they all do. I'm the freakin' Braveheart around there, cause English is the most difficult subject for everyone else, whereas it's practically a piece of cake for me, so I skip classes regularly and get bad marks
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#18
Quote by sock_demon
The speaker expects the French, in the least to fluently speak french.


No, the speaker is criticizing the US ambassador, not the French themselves. The whole article deals with the fact that Bush appointed an ambassador that was clearly unqualified. So that particular section is the speaker noting that it's to be expected that an ambassador to a country could speak the country's language.

Or maybe that's what you meant and I misread your post
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You sir have no penis




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#19
Quote by Gakusey
P.S. Shall I bring this up on Wednesday when we have our next class or is it better to just forget it, seeing as she's the one who's gonna mark my exams and all And she already hates me for being better than her, they all do. I'm the freakin' Braveheart around there, cause English is the most difficult subject for everyone else, whereas it's practically a piece of cake for me, so I skip classes regularly and get bad marks

Don't bring it up, just forget about it now. Have fun knowing you're better than your teachers.
#20
You got it correct. Print of this page and show it to your cretinous English teacher. If they don't understand the meaning of that sentence, then, quite frankly, they shouldn't be teaching. When teaching English, fluency shouldn't be too much to expect...
#21
The teacher we have tomorrow is brilliant, though... It's just that there's too freakin' many of them, and few are up to the standard.

Alright, thanks again to all of you for the help!!
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#22
Judging by the way you write, I would never have known you are not a native speaker. The standard you are is a whole lot better than alot of people I know. I'm suprised you actually need lessons...
#23
In Soviet Russia, lessons need YOU!

English is a compulsory subject. No one gives a flying **** about my English, I just need to be present each and every time and do as the teacher says. Ok, I'm making it sound worse than it really is, but still... No one cares I have a CPE Cambridge certificate (and yeah, I'm full of myself ). But I guess, you know, it's the only reasonable way. Most students find our uni's English curriculum very very difficult, and a lot of them fail altogether. I was just lucky enough to spend half of my life abroad

And thanks, by the way. Your words mean a lot more to me than any stupid mark. Let the losers be losers. I just hated the way the teacher and my classmates acted, that's all. I was minding my own business until this sentence came up and I was supposed to translate it, so I did, and all hell broke lose. No one even gave me a chance to explain anything. So I instantly thought of The Pit

P.S. Notice how the smilies make up an almost perfect quadrangle...
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Last edited by Gakusey at Sep 22, 2008,