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Do you think that language learning can contribute to eradicate prejudice and racism?
It's impossible to learn a language without a direct contact with the people and the culture. And such direct contacts tend to remove prejudices of all sorts very quickly, unless the person in question is very stubborn and inflexible. But such people are unlikely to be good at languages. So, yes - it works almost directly. I've noticed that famous polyglots who have channels on YouTube and regularly post their videos are far more broad-minded in their views than an average monolingual person of the kind you meet daily on FaceBook.
I think you're right, Irina. But I would add a rider - the most racist people are, I suspect, unlikely to want to learn a foreign language.
I guess it also varies between countries. Some countries - notably France and the UK - tend to be less willing to learn other languages and come across as impolite to those who don't themselves speak French or English. I don't know what came first for me - being broadminded and anti-racist or learning other languages!
Laury and Irena, you both have a point. I think talking to people from different countries and cultures and learning about the language does break down the fascism for the most part. Once you take away the language barrier I think it's easier to see that we are all pretty much the same with a few differences here and there. The problem I have noticed though, specifically in my country, America. People refuse to learn other languages. If you come from a place like Mexico for example. There are people who are just downright rude when they hear a person speaking their native language of Spanish to someone who they clearly know also speaks Spanish. They at times will make the comment, " This is America,we speak English... " or something similar. I find it rude when my fellow Americans do this. I always noticed most people in Europe speak more than one language and I figured it was out of respect for the countries around theirs. That's why I started teaching myself languages to begin with. Respect for another person's culture and country of origin.
I also know that most languages are not offered to learn. We have a choice of Spanish, French and German sometimes and even then if offered it's an elective, not mandatory.