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Did you notice that there are more and more people learning a third language, apart from their mother tongue and a working language? Why?

I have been working very long hours for the past year or so, and sometimes, I managed to take a breather and have a late lunch around mid afternoon, at a vegetarian shop nearby. By the afternoon, all the usual lunch-time crowds would have been gone, and I could eat in relative peace and quiet.

One recent afternoon, three young men strolled in the shop, and were promptly greeted by the friendly people in this shop. They were Korean Americans.

The young lady who took the order from these young men was from mainland China, and could only understand very rudimentary English and had to communicate with customers in Mandarin.

One of the Korean Americans realized that the young lady could not understand him, and spoke to the server in very fluent Mandarin, “別