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It's not something that comes up in casual conversation very often, to be sure. Probably not even as often as ... have reason to learn the capital of Norway (or Sweden or Denmark) unless they were particularly interested in European geography.

When I attended middle school, we had to learn the capital of /every/ country. Nepal: Kathmandu, USA: Washington, Bhutan: Thimphu etc.
Per Erik Rønne
Thorp, Washington is right next to Ellensburg, Washington. We also ... someone in New York City might call it "The City".

al-madi:na(t) al-munawwara(t) "the Illuminated City". (or "the Shining City") in Qur'an 68:8 just al-madi:na(t) , usually taken to mean madi:natu~n-nabiyy ... Enc. of Islam II "(al-)Madina". actually the other way round, it's more like calling "New York City" just "New York".

Whoa. The proper name is "New York" (it's officially "the City of New York"); "New York City" is an improper name. Though it's a sub-tle thing, it's generally the case that Outsiders are more likely to use "New York City" and Insiders are more likely to use "New York" in corresponding contexts. An ancient New York proverb goes "Beware of anyone who says 'I come from New York City'". (I'll admit, I often say that, but because you get tired of people saying "city?" or "city or state?" and things like that.)
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It's not something that comes up in casual conversation very ... or Denmark) unless they were particularly interested in European geography.

When I attended middle school, we had to learn the capital of /every/ country. Nepal: Kathmandu, USA: Washington, Bhutan: Thimphu etc.

But not in an American school. I should have specified that I was speaking of the American school systems with which I am familiar. It is not a point of pride here in the US, I'd say.
I would prefer to see more emphasis on teaching geography in this small world. Not everyone agrees with that view, and there are points to the other side of that argument. There is only so much time to teach all that must be taught, so less obviously valuable material is skimped or skipped entirely.

In some ways it doesn't really matter much for someone whose world view begins and ends within national borders. I expect that at least some Norwegians do not bother to keep on the latest news from Burkina Faso, say, or Comoros, and there isn't much reason for a shopkeeper in Steigen to do so. Taxi drivers in Tulsa are equally unlikely to think much about Oslo. Oslo doesn't tip.

rzed
Of course there is quite a bit wrong with US ... her 9th-grade year, essentially none to Asian history at all.

Have things really changed? When I were in secondary school, let's see, in eighth grade we had one term on ... some anthropology, some ancient history (i.e., ancient Greece), and we were supposed to get to economics but we never did.

No, I don't think things changed much between my and your school careers, but they did change between my parents' time and mine, at least insofar as geography is concerned. It was then taught as a regular subject, carrying weight equal to history, math, or science.
Apart from the hints that geography offered, there has never been a strong emphasis in US schools on history outside the
Egyptian-Hebrew-Greek-Roman-Western European-British-American trajectory. Since that leaves out most of the land area and most of the population of the world, it would seem to be a deficiency, but not one that is evidently worth what it would cost to fix it. It might be interesting to offer an alternative history course for at least a solid year in high school; the course would cover everything but the EHGRWEBA trajectory. It would be grossly insufficient, but it would at least bring Mesopotamian, Persian, Arabic, Nomadic Asian, Polynesian, Chinese, Indian, African, East European, South American, Paleoaustralian, and the numerous Paleoamerican cultures to US students' conscious awareness.

rzed
Apart from the hints that geography offered, there has never been a strong emphasis in US schools on history outside ... course would cover everything but the EHGRWEBA trajectory. It would be grossly insufficient, but it would at least bring Mesopotamian,

In mid-Sixties-to-mid-Seventies Northern England we were fed a few drops of the Tigris and Euphrates. However, Ur is now a blur and we only made it to Nineveh inasmuch as it rhymed with Mrs Miniver.
Persian,

Xerxes! (Remembered partly because of his cool name and partly because he had the barefaced cheek to mess with our heroes, the Spartans. His dad was called Delius or something. Or maybe it was Daedalus.
Arabic,

You mean like they had history pre-Lawrence? Wow.
Nomadic Asian,

Genghis Khan (and his brother Kublai).
Polynesian,

HMS Bounty.
Chinese,

We were told that they spent 3,000 years inventing gunpowder.
Indian,

Empah!
African,

Empah!
East European,

Rasputin and potatoes. And do Bismarck and Metternich count?
South American,

Hmm. Tricky. British Honduras might once have got a mention. Corned beef came from Argentina. Oh, and there was a Womble called Great Uncle Orinoco, too.
Paleoaustralian,

Captain Cook! Plus, the school Film Society once showed us a scratchy 16-mm print of Jenny Agutter in Walkabout which was much enjoyed, albeit for non-paleoaustralian reasons. Rolf Harris also made an entire career out of blighting our childhoods, of course.
and the numerous Paleoamerican cultures

Aztec bars from the tuck shop.
to US students' conscious awareness.

Maybe it's better now, but at my school? I doubt it.

Ross Howard
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I do very well know the meaning of the word "province". Besides history, what is the difference between a U.S. "state", a German "Land" - and a Canadian "province"?

American "states" exercise limited sovereignty I don't believe that's true of either a German "Land" or a Canadian province, despite the federal nature of their political systems.
I do very well know the meaning of the word ... U.S. "state", a German "Land" - and a Canadian "province"?

American "states" exercise limited sovereignty I don't believe that's true of either a German "Land" or a Canadian province, despite the federal nature of their political systems.

Does any US state exercise as much sovereignty as Quebec and Bavaria do?
Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany

"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward" (Email Removed) Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
Thus spake Per Rønne:
Those Scandiwegians are all the same.

An American couple that i met in Copenhagen told me that "Scandinavia is a lovely country" :-).

An American couple I met in London told me: "We've done England this week, and tomorrow we're flying to Australia for a week, to do that, too."

Simon R. Hughes
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I do very well know the meaning of the word "province". Besides history, what is the difference between a U.S. "state", a German "Land" - and a Canadian "province"?

States and provinces tend to stay the same size and remain under the same national government.

Opus the Penguin (that's my real email addy)
You snipped my sig!
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