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Old 03-20-2011, 04:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Foreign languages

Do you speak any, if so, which ones and how well? How do you feel about learning foreign languages, which ones would you like to learn, how are you going about doing so and so on..

I'm currently in the process of learning Italian, because I've always liked it and now that I work for an Italian company, it could be very useful. I went to a few courses a few years back so I have a fair grasp of the basic grammar, and in the last couple of months I've been trying to read as much as I can in Italian (started with comic books and plan to move to daily papers and possibly proper books) and I'm already seeing great improvement.

After I gain satisfactory knowledge of Italian, I plan to move on to Spanish, where, strangely enough, my vocabulary is actually wider than Italian at the moment (our TV program has been saturated with Mexican telenovelas so you can't help but pick up some things). I don't want to mix the two at the mo because they're too similar and I figure I might get confused.

In the far distant future I might give French and German a try. The only non-European language I might be interested in learning at some point is Japanese, but I'm not sure I actually wanna go through the process of learning the spectacularly complicated alphabet.

So speak, parla, habla, tell us all about it...(:
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, depending on how you define Foreign languages, I speak english pretty well :P

of the languages I speak:

Mo Theanga Dúchasach - go Líofa, nuair a chleachtaim (Irish, fairly fluently when I practice it)
English - fluently
Spanish - passably, to the level of random conversation when I've practiced it; it's been a while but if I were thrown into a few conversations it'd come back pretty quickly
German - I did three years of it in school, picked it up fairly well but my spoken german is pretty atrocious atm from total lack of practice, I can still read it alright though, and understand a fair bit in conversation.

Other than that, my mother speaks French and sends me texts/speaks it at me every now and then so I have a VERY rudimentary understanding of it, though I can pronounce it pretty well from singing it a fair bit in choral music, same with Latin.

Languages I plan on learning: Mandarin/Cantonese/Japanese (two of the three), because I think it will be important, and because I know very little about asian culture and one of the best ways to learn about a people it to learn the language - it's my personal view that the language you speak has a great impact on your personality and the way you view life, certainly it's very easy to show that different languages have different temperaments. Japanese I'm more interested in because I watch a lot of anime, so it would be nice to be able to forego the need for subtitles, and also cause I'd like to go out there when they're not in the middle of a crisis :P

Improving my german and spanish (and my irish!) and maintaining a more fluent standard - this is important to me, as I know I can do this quite easily, and because it's good practice to be able to speak multiple languages. I also want to have the ability to pass on things like that to my chilren when I have them, and to be able to help them when (yes, when!) they're learning other languages.

I've been told Italian is a great language to learn, because it's totally phonetic. makes it a lot easier to speak if you don't have to think about how different letters in the words are going to change the sounds!

However, all of this is definitely waiting until after I'm finished my finals in two months :s
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would love to learn Spanish and Portugese, mainly because Spanish is almost required in any southern state in the US, and Potugese because I would like to seduce a Brazilian woman at some point in my lifetime. But I'm not much of a language learner, have trouble conforming to different sentence structures and speech patterns.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had a decent understanding of Thai, but that was many years ago and I've probably forgotten most of it. I'd probably get away with making myself understood, but would fail at understanding what was being said to me apart from the odd word. Learning individual words is very easy because like Chinese the words are mostly monosyllabic.
The difficulty lies with it being a tonal language. 5 different tones; high, low, rising, falling and flat. The word for rice = khao can mean several different things if the tone is wrong.

I had a go at learning Spanish a few years ago and as it stands my Spanish isn't bad, but I'm lazy and not getting to use it unless I'm on holiday leaves me pretty rusty.

Over the last couple of years I felt the urge to learn more about Romani.
The problem with Romani is that it's not a written language and never has been.
The language is passed on orally from generation to generation and because of this the language can have minor differences between Romany people around the world depending on what country they live in.
In other words, there are many dialects of Romani.
For example; Romani in England (Anglromani) has been reduced to a form of creole.
This makes learning what is left of the language quite easy because it's just a case of replacing certain English words with the Romani equivalent.
I already had a decent vocabulary of Angloromani passed down from my father and his father before him etc.
The version of Romani I'm most interested in at the moment is Kalderesh(sp?) Romani. A chosen dialect used to standardise the language in the hope of preserving Romani for future generations. This version is closer to the original than most others, although most of the words used are basically the same.
I'm seriously considering taking one of these courses sometime in the future. ROMANI Project - Manchester

Last edited by right-track; 03-20-2011 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I took about five years of French in middle school/high school combined and all I got out of it is how to roughly translate french to someone that knows nothing about French. I can also read it fairly well, enough to get by.

I would like to get the French Rosetta Stone to give me a little brush up on it.

Overall though, Rosetta Stone is awful for teaching someone a new language because they don't touch on the basics of grammar and sentence structures.

I have always wanted to learn Japanese one day.

The main reason I started out on the French path is because they were only offering Spanish and French at my school.

People were saying Spanish was way easier so I went with French for the "challenge" but it wasn't that bad.

I also picked French because it's the language of love or so they say.

My third and final reason for picking French was because there were so many hot chicks in that class and I felt like it was my own personal secret. I told my friend to pick French over Spanish so I did share the wealth somewhat. There were three guys total in my French class and the third guy was gay.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djchameleon View Post
I would like to get the French Rosetta Stone to give me a little brush up on it.

Overall though, Rosetta Stone is awful for teaching someone a new language because they don't touch on the basics of grammar and sentence structures.
Have you tried Linguaphone?
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by right-track View Post
Have you tried Linguaphone?
Never heard of it until now.

I will look into it.
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Fame, fortune, power, titties. People say these are the most crucial things in life, but you can have a pocket full o' gold and it doesn't mean sh*t if you don't have someone to share that gold with. Seems simple. Yet it's an important lesson to learn. Even lone wolves run in packs sometimes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxyRollah View Post
IMO I don't know jack-**** though so don't listen to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco Pepe Kalle View Post
The problem is that most police officers in America are psychopaths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You're a terrible dictionary.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I learned most of my Spanish from it. Put it on my mp3 player and spent hours walking around while speaking to myself.
The only downside I found was that the narrators in the course sounded quite well to do.
Which is fine providing you don't mind sounding like an upper class Spaniard!

Steal it from the internet.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I just looked at the site and I might get the advanced version of the French one.
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Fame, fortune, power, titties. People say these are the most crucial things in life, but you can have a pocket full o' gold and it doesn't mean sh*t if you don't have someone to share that gold with. Seems simple. Yet it's an important lesson to learn. Even lone wolves run in packs sometimes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxyRollah View Post
IMO I don't know jack-**** though so don't listen to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco Pepe Kalle View Post
The problem is that most police officers in America are psychopaths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You're a terrible dictionary.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm Malaysian and write, read and speak fluent Malay.

I'm also very fluent in spoken Cantonese and Hakka (Chinese dialects), a smattering of Mandarin and some Hokkien.

I can read basic French.
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