Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Posted by LindalePosted by Nemmerle
The best way to learn a language is to speak it, and Europe is one land mass, no real borders to speak of - you can just drive from one country to another.
Part of me wonders how the UK would have done as part of the EU if it had been connected by land.
Plans for a bridge across the Channel have existed since the late 1800s. Boris Johnson also fired a few shots at how a bridge needs to exist. Some years back, civil engineers gave Margaret Thatcher plans for a 21-mile bridge across the Dover Narrows. Yes, we do certainly have the technology to do it. We have bridges today which traverse a lot longer than 21 miles.
The problem with a bridge that long is the sheer amount of money required. Off the top of my head, I think the top 5 longest bridges in the world are all in China. As for how UK could come up with £3 BILLION is no easy thing to swallow. Even if France paid in half, £1.5 billion is still a nightmare to organise. Good luck getting Tories to organise it. Granted, a toll system would repay the entire amount in 5-6 years, but do you really want your money tied up for that long?
I can't speak to the feasibility of the idea beyond what's written there - presumably there were some challenges with it that account for why people built a rail tunnel and enjoyed all the admin that comes with that. (Perhaps something to do with wanting a static point for checks.)
As to the money side of it - 5-6 years isn't a ridiculous amount of time to have your money tied up if you're a country, nor is 3 billion a ridiculous amount to pay for a major piece of infrastructure. The problem there - however - is that governments aren't countries, and are loathe to spend anything on infrastructure. Because, if they work the deal as a service contract, they can saddle the next government with the bill. No-one wants to invest in infrastructure that will help the next person in power keep the people who have to live in that country happy - everyone, in fact, wants the next person who is in power to have a very hard time so much as keeping the lights on.
So what's desirable is to buy a lot of services now, and put the payment for those services into a contract that doesn't become due until after you're no longer there, or which you have the relationships to renegotiate if you do happen to be there.
It's selling out the future and it's something that our politicians have been doing very successfully, and largely blaming foreigners for the consequences of, for quite some time now. Find a group that's easy to hate and blame them for the fact that you've made everyone poor and miserable. When one excuse goes, you just have to find another group you can encourage people to hate. Blacks, drug dealers, muslims, whatever. Just keep people hating the person who lives next to them, or in the next town over. ¬_¬
Mister Angry Rules Guy
1st February 2010
Disunited Queendom also doesn't seem to want things that help the economy.
As for static points for checks, all you need are two, one at each end of the bridge. Check each lorry coming on, and again coming off. That is simple enough to do. This is a toll bridge anyway, so you already have the toll stops at each end of the bridge. If you need check stops, have them at the toll stops. Do it all in one stop.
As for those challenges you asked about, they revolve around two major factors
1: The Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, so the process of building a bridge shuts down that much-needed shipping. This is exactly the equivalent of shutting down a main motorway while building an overpass or interchange. The gods forbid you should shut down the M6. But, again, that is short-term, exactly as you mentioned. No one wants to look ahead to the benefits AFTER the bridge is built.
2: Both sides of The Dover Narrows are lined with chalk. Everyone knows about the Chalk Cliffs of Dover, but few know the entire Calais area also has chalk cliffs, because Great Britain was once connected to the mainland. Chalk is near-impossible to anchor anything, much less something as large as a bridge.
In the end, maybe a road Chunnel, or two, would be the better option. But, how can we convince the current administration to look ahead to the future far enough to pay for such a project?
Last edited by Lindale 6 days ago
Posted by Andron TapsPosted by Lindale
As members of the European union, any EU citizen is allowed to live and work in any any EU nation. As long as the nation is a member of the EU, you can go nearly anywhere for nearly job. In addition, businesses get minimal import and export fees, if any at all, which reduces prices all across the EU.
Surely that must include language training? If not, I think you'll have a tough time growing up in Spain and then finding work in Germany.
It helps to speak the language, but often it is not a requirement. Especially in big companies, where the default language is English anyway. I know a bunch of people who just showed up with the right job qualifications who started learning the language after they arrived.
Mister Angry Rules Guy
1st February 2010
English is the default Official Language of the entire world anyway, thanks to half the world once being the Great British Empire. Although, the other half of the world speaking English is mainly due to America being the world's vigilante.
That said, the vast majority of Europe's languages descend from Germanic or Latin origins. That means, if you speak German or French/Italian, you can go nearly anywhere in Europe, and be able to work out what someone is saying.
As for the Easter Bloc nations (Poland, Croatia, etc), even a basic knowledge of Russian goes a long way. But even there, most will speak at least one Germanic or Latin language.
As for learning, I completely agree that the best way is to be there, and learn by natural daily experience.