Seems "the youth" nowadays don't understand the point of studying foreign languages unless you plan to go abroad and speak them. I held forth a bit about how much I've got out of my foreign language skills and she said, "Brilliant! Write that down and send it to me." So I did... that is to say, I started, then forgot about it, only discovering it two years later:
"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."So there you have it. Learn Russian - or French... or any foreign language - and become better at communicating in your own. And if you're lucky, you get to enjoy weird stuff like this all by yourself:- Mark Twain
When I chose to study languages to degree level, I had no idea of what practical use they might be to me in the real world, beyond being able to go abroad and speak the local language. I just studied languages because I was good at them, and I enjoyed the mixture of detective work / creative craft that went into each translation or essay.
With the benefit of several years hindsight, I now realise that learning foreign languages clued me into the basics of communication - concision, precision, tone, rhythm, and knowing when to stop being careful and blurt out whatever's on your mind.
I don't use the languages I can speak very much in my day to day work - I'm a copywriter and creative director for internet stuff - but the background I have in manipulating language is behind pretty much everything I do, every day: boiling down wordy briefs into concise and informative documents, distinguishing sense from nonsense, picking the right word, tweaking sentences to make a paragraph flow properly etc.
Modern communications like the internet are making the world seem smaller every day. Clarity of self-expression, the ability to understand other cultures and different ways of doing things are more important than ever. A modern language is one of the best skills you could have.
Here, Hitler and Stalin are preparing to do battle, starting with a bit of bragging about just how damn tough they are, ending with Hitler doing a bad guy / maniacal laugh. This must have been before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, then...