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Old 04-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #1
Bridget
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Language Thread

I think I made a thread similar to this one a long time, but times change and new people show up. This thread is about languages. Do you speak a second or secondary language(s)? What languages do you speak or are learning? How difficult are they for you? What do you like about them, what do you hate about them? How did you come about learning the language? What reason? For fun? For school? For work or business?

I tried my hand at learning German back when all my friends were entering high school and taking up languages on the side for extra credit. I had to teach myself the language considering I wasn't at school at the time, but my ignorance of languages ended up preventing that. I thought all languages followed the same logic and structure of English and that learning a new language meant just building up vocabulary. I gave up German once I realized how wrong I was.

Oddly enough, I became interested in Russian culture around this time through German culture, when I was trying to absorb it to find an incentive to get past the harsh grammar and continue learning the language. I probably fell for the stereotypes of Russia: The rugged and manly nature, the success through struggle, the kind Russian grandma and grandpa, and the general Russian soul, but they compelled me to learn the language. I have a beginner's understanding of Russian now. It's nothing great. I can communicate and do communicate with my Russian friends here and there.

It's odd that I ditched German for the grammar, when Russian is considered by some to be one of the worst languages for grammar. It doesn't matter to me that Russian is sometimes difficult; There's always an incentive to keep me learning. I actually enjoy the culture, the country, the people, everything of interest. This is something I can't say for German and the other considerations I had.

In terms of love and hate, Russian is a double edged sword. The pronunciation sounds awesome, but it proves difficult at times for a boring white guy who lives in the United States. The grammar can be painful, but sometimes it makes sense and prevents huge misunderstandings that English sometimes isn't protected against. (For example, the following sentence: 'The cop approached the suspect and he raised his gun.' Who raised the gun? The cop or the suspect? Russian fixes this by using a special pronoun that refers to the subject specifically no matter how you use it.)

I now have a general interest in languages. They're pretty fascinating. I am currently learning Russian actively while picking up a little Italian (My bloodline is Italian, so I guess I can pay it a visit, lol) and currently studying the Korean Alphabet (which has so far proven to be pretty bad ass. It's a very logical and easy to comprehend alphabet). My life goal is to actually take in as many languages as possible. Languages have actually improved my view of the world. Learning a language means learning its place of origin and being opened to parts of the world that use the language. A lot of negative stereotypes or misconceptions have been completely washed away in my mind from the benefits of language. What about you?
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
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English.

Nothing else.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:05 AM   #3
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It is nice that you have the enthusiasm.

I am lucky that English is the most wide know language, and that I am English. I really can't be arsed learning another.

If I learnt a new one, unless I used it often I'd forget it really quickly.

Last edited by Paft; 04-10-2010 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 04-10-2010, 02:40 AM   #4
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Same here. Maybe a few important words in German, some Japanese. That's pretty much it.

Don't use it, ya lose it.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
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I'm currently taking a Spanish class as part as my schedule as a senior.

But I probably won't use it later in life, it's too complicated. All the verbs and shit are harder to memorize, but it's a learning thing. I'm not going to speak fucking Spanish. I would instantly refuse if knowing Spanish was a prerequisite to any given job.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:07 AM   #6
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I am inactively pursuing expertise in Spanish, French, German, Finnish, and Russian.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I am inactively pursuing expertise in Spanish, French, German, Finnish, and Russian.
You, sir, are a champion and a scholar.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:16 AM   #8
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Gracias, merci, danke, kiitos, i spasibo.

Fuck Cyrllic.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:39 PM   #9
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Primary: Finnish
Secondary: English

We had to learn Swedish in school for some years but cant really remember anything
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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English, some fragments of French retained from school, currently learning Italian.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:44 PM   #11
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i could just about get by in france.. perhaps some other latin derived speaking countries. cant say i understand a word of russian or anything else though!
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #12
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I took German for 3.5 years in HS, but a lot of it has atrophied and only seems to come out during Oktoberfest.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:32 PM   #13
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Pig Latin, sup
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #14
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Learning Japanese... took about a half a semester (had to drop it), but will take it again this summer and beyond (hopefully).
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:07 AM   #15
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I took 4 years of German, and try to use it from time to time, but I feel like I've lost a lot of it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:13 AM   #16
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btw.. Its pretty funny how close Estonian is related to Finnish..
I have never even tried to learn Estonian tho I can understand some of it if someone speaks it :P
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:51 AM   #17
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i took spanish in high school and college, could definitely get by in spain or mexico. i talk to the mexicans at work in spanish all the time, so im getting better at understanding and speaking it (ive always been great with reading and writing it, but listening is a different story). they talk so goddamned fast that its hard to keep up!
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:17 AM   #18
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Yeah I have the same problem. :\
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #19
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Yeah, I am good at reading and writing Russian, but sometimes words that I understand in text go by unnoticed when it is spoken. This is because I usually forget how the word is pronounced. I don't have difficulties necessarily because the speakers talk fast; It's trying to tell where a word begins and ends. It seems the words 'slur' together.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:22 PM   #20
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I've always wanted to learn latin, though everyone says it's a 'dead' language.
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