Other Languages You've Studied

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

How many non-English languages have you studied?

none
1
0%
1
79
16%
2
135
27%
3
124
25%
4
63
13%
5-6
64
13%
7-9
34
7%
 
Total votes: 500

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warriorness
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Postby warriorness » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:26 am UTC

lanicita wrote:
CorranH wrote:Ho studato Italiano per due anni, ma mi ricordo di pochissimo adesso.


Yay! Sono felice che io non sia la sola persona che parla un po' d'italiano.

Yay! I am happy that I am not the only person that speaks a little Italian.


Knowledge of Spanish or any romance language will get you far. I was able to understand most of both of those (without reading lancita's translation) - but I'd never be able to write it. Same with Portuguese.
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Postby apricity » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:35 am UTC

Yeah, Italian's been rather easy for me up to this point because it's so similar to Spanish.

I haven't seen Life is Beautiful yet, except excerpts in Italian class. It's on my Netflix list though, along with a bunch of other Italian movies. I'm kind of in love with this language.
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Postby Roffle » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:25 am UTC

Non-english?

Well, that includes my native tounge, norwegian, since I have studied that.

Also, I speak German (badly), as well as (equally bad) Danish and Swedish. I can also read Dutch. Mostly.
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hyperion
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Postby hyperion » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:52 am UTC

italian in primary school years 3-6

spanish in year 7

french year 8-now

and some german/japanese/etc on my own. just individual phrases, though. no really serious grammaring.
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Postby tendays » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:39 am UTC

Mujhe cheh bhashe aati hain. Enakku aaru mozhigal mudiyum. :-)
("I speak six languages", in Hindi and Tamil)

I voted 5-6:
For a long time I didn't care for languages.
I technically have two mother tongues (French and Finnish). Had to learn German at school but strongly disliked it. Then I had to learn English, but being interested in computers I had a strong motivation for that one.
Then I went to India for about half a year and a friend started teaching me Hindi.
And one day I had a revelation that I wanted to learn languages: I had already been studying Hindi quite seriously and that day I realised I took talk to the cleaning lady at an (another) friend's house, and understand what she was saying. Even though we didn't go beyond very simple sentences the feeling was really wonderful!
Then I met an Indian girl so that was an extra motivation :-) So I started learning her language too (Tamil). Then I went to Portugal and started learning Portuguese.
So, French, Finnish, German, Hindi, Tamil, Portuguese, that makes six. I also learned a bit of Italian but too little for that to count I guess.
Tamil is definitely my favourite because it sounds so funny :-)

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Postby Captain_Thunder » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:51 am UTC

I've had some Spanish in school, although I'd really like to learn Japenese, or maybe Latin.

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Postby EstLladon » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:06 am UTC

Well, I'm from Russia so I know russian. English, as you see. Tiny bits of french and even tinier bits of german.

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Postby wilkeson » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:36 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:
wilkeson wrote:I tried to teach myself Mandarin, but that's been put on the far back burner for the time being. The different tones are a mite bit tricky for my western tongue.


Tones aren't as bad as people think. I think Mandarin's only got 5? Once I memorised the 5 in Thai (mid,low,falling,high+rising a little, down-up), it's been fine - not as hard as pronouncing a non-aspirated b for instance.

What I dread about Chinese is that it doesn't have an alphabet... that's a lot of characters to learn...

I think they are. In English we use tones to convey certain parts of the conversation that are difficult to express otherwise (excitement, sadness, sarcasm, etc). So instead of learning different words to convey your thoughts you have to learn an entirely new way of speaking. That, and I feel foolish making all of those unnatural (to me) tones.

As for the writing, I wasn't even planning on learning that. I hear in China groups of kids will have competitions to see who can look up a character the fastest in a dictionary. Crazy.

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Postby damienthebloody » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:40 pm UTC

mandarin has four, plus a neutral tone. and they're very distinct from one another. cantonese is a bitch - it's got six, and they tend to be similar, and there are also arguably 3 or 4 extra variations on those tones...
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:41 pm UTC

French for like 5 or so, but not consecutively, and I don't remember any of it.

Indonesian for like 3 or so, again, don't remember any of it.

Just 'Je ne parle pas français'
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Postby Rorgg » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

Take it from an old fart: use it or lose it applies probably more to language skills than anything else. I got my BA in Linguistics, taking a lot of French (4 years in HS, then 2 more quarters in college), 3 quarters of German, 3 quarters of Classical Greek, 3 quarters of Russian, and 3 quarters of Italian.

My French is still somewhat passable, because I've made an actual effort to try to keep in practice a little from time to time. The Italian's close enough to the French plus the Spanish I run into from time to time that if I had to, I could probably barely scrape by with an understanding and generous speaker.

Russian? German? Greek? A few words here and there, but largely gone. Oddly, my ability to read the script in Cyrillic and Greek... still largely there, but as to what the words MEAN? No way.

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Salad Days
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Postby Salad Days » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:13 pm UTC

I've studied French, Welsh and Latin. These were all in high school, I didn't seek them out - they found me.

I remember the most Welsh, and the least French.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:58 pm UTC

french, german and welsh. countless programming languages do they count?

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Postby Alisto » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:45 pm UTC

damienthebloody wrote:mandarin has four, plus a neutral tone.


What he said. Speaking it really isn't that bad if you have any kind of musical/tonal aptitude. For me, it's completely natural. Understanding what's being said, though, can be another story.

As for the hanzi (characters)... yeah, that can be a pain. I've found the easiest way to learn them is to just write them over and over again. I would want to write something and realize I didn't know some of the characters. For the next few days, I would write those characters over and over again. Not in a, "Write, 'I will not throw paper planes in class,' 5,000 times," kind of way. More like just doodling in the margins while taking notes in class.

Sure, you have a few thousand characters to learn, but that just means LOTS of doodles.
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Postby gmalivuk » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:26 pm UTC

Johnthemage wrote:And the pronounciations can be a bitch too, because extending a sound sounds the same as just adding a new character... but they sound the same... shii (shi i) is different from shii (shi -)


Speaking of times when you can spell something differently without changing the pronunciation...

too to two
their they're there
site sight cite
aye eye I
ewe yew you
seas sees seize
flew flue flu
bight bite byte
peak pique peek
right rite wright write

And that's just American English. British English (and other non-rhotic varieties that don't pronounce rs before consonants) has several more sets of four.
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Postby Hench » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:51 pm UTC

I know a little German...not nearly enough to carry on a conversation though, it's been far too long since I last used any of it.

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Postby shadebug » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC

I was strict with it so i went for 4 which are the ones I've officially studied.

English is my native language, studied up to english literature at A-Level, Language at GCSE

Spanish is my second language in which I am fluent, also studied from 13 years old and still studying it at university now (I'm 21)

French was six or seven years up to GCSE, I forget if I started in third or fourth year of primary. Either way, I got an A at GCSE, can understand it spoken slowly and can read it without too much hassle. Not fantastic at speaking it but i can probably get by, though I do have a speech prepared about how deeply it pains me that I know no french but not to worry because my brother speaks french like a true Parisian, terribly.

Latin I studied for four years, I can read it reasonably well.

Ancient Greek I studied for one semester, I can transliterate and I can translate pretty easily if I have a dictionary (yes, that is an acheivement)

Otherwise, knowing english, spanish, french, latin and a little greek means that I'm about as proficient at reading just about any Romance language as I am at Latin, I've tried and muddled my way through reading texts in Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.

Living in spain and doing anything to avoid watrching spanish tv means I spend some time watching German TV, though all I've learnt to say is Ruf An and Lippenherpes
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Postby davef » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:31 pm UTC

Irish (Americans always seem to call it Gaelic) and German to Leaving Cert (till I was 18 ). Always sucked at German but I was fluent in Irish from the time I was 13 till about 20. I've forgotten most of it by now but I am trying to make an effort to use it more lately. It's a beautiful language.
Last edited by davef on Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby shadebug » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:36 pm UTC

Yeah, I never liked Irish being called Gaelic, it always seemed to make more sense if you ere to apply it to Welsh or Galician.
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Postby Twasbrillig » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:25 pm UTC

French, Japanese, Spanish. w00t.
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Postby Traisenau » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:52 pm UTC

MurdocRocks wrote:couldn't you say:

Hon ga suki desu.

and

Hon (w)o yomukoto ga suki desu.

I think both of those are correct...


You could but that is just some easy stuff. I like books, and actually the second one is kinda wrong, not entirely sure bout the koto part as there are more than 5 different meanings for it, but for when you say that you like doING something then it's noga, for example: Hon wo yomu noga suki desu, I like to read books.


And gmalivuk, thats nothing, lets look at koyo and a few slight variations of it:

koyo- = employment
ko-yo- = effectiveness
ko-yo- = official business
ko-yo-go = official language
koyoi = tonight
koyomi = calendar

And I could go on and on with nearly every combination of characters known to man
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Postby LME » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:03 pm UTC

Just American Sign Language for 2 years at the college, then some extra conversational classes and I would help tutoring. Howerver I'm super rusty at it, and my speed is terrible compared to some of the kids I was helping tutor last term. It's a fun language and probably the easiest language anyone could ever learn. I thought about continuing with my education of ASL and maybe becoming a translator as an on-the-side source of income, but it's all up in the air.

I'm also inching my way towards learning German. I "acquired" just about every language program that The Rosetta Stone has to offer, so I'm using that and it's doing a fine job (whenever I get around to spending an hour or two using it). I'm not expecting perfect fluency from it, but survivalist basics would be nice to have in 4 or 5 other languages.

Edit: Oh and everyone keeps telling me I have a knack for learning languages quick (finding patterns and trying to map out grammar and such), so if I do have some gift I wouldn't mind trying to exploit the hell out of it.
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Postby Alisto » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:56 pm UTC

Johnthemage wrote:
koyo- = employment
ko-yo- = effectiveness
ko-yo- = official business
ko-yo-go = official language
koyoi = tonight
koyomi = calendar



ma - mother
ma - horse
ma - scold
ma - hemp
ma - turns a sentence into a question

That's Mandarin with the five different tones.
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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:05 am UTC

I remember a long time ago one of my teachers said he was translating for some military dudes and he said "ma" with the wrong tone...

Needless to say they didn't like it.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:09 am UTC

I'm fluent in English (mothertongue. dur. XDD). I took two years og spanish, and retained enough to tell someone "My name is - and I'm 18 buttholes."....

..i could say years, too, but...


I was in Latin for abotu a week before we moved. That still ticks me off to this day <_<

I am working on learning Japanese. I have no formal course of study, just picking up what i can when I can. It will suffice, however, until I get to college, where I plan on majoring in East Asian Studies - Japan. So yeah. The tones aren't that hard for me, I do't think. I watch a lot of subbed anime and dramas, so... I have a decent grasp of hearing it--don't know what theyre saying 90% of the time, but it gives me a little thrill when they say something and I can be like.. "oh! I know what they jsut said! they just said (insert usually a curse word)" XDDDD

I still think fluency in English is my best talent. I mean... i know kids older than me who aren't fluent yet. O_o;

Makes me feel bad. u_u
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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:10 am UTC

Learning Latin would be awesome.

I technically learned a bit of terminology, but not as a language at all.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Postby Traisenau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:11 am UTC

Shinjo- = feeling
shinju = pearl
shinju- = double suicide


shinja = religious believer
shinjin = religious belief
shinjin = newcomer
shinjinbukai = devout
shinjinikui = doubtful
shinjirarenai = unbelievable

Oh, and don't froget about all of the fun endings to words, verb stems, dictionary form, nai form, present endings for nouns, present endings for verbs, present endings for i adjectives, past endings for nouns, past endings for verbs, past endings for i adjectives, negative endings for nouns, negative endings for verbs, negative endings for i adjectives, past negative endings for nouns, past negative endings for verbs, past negative endings for i adjectives. And there is a different particle and form of sentence for any sort of sentence you can think of.
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Alisto
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Postby Alisto » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:18 am UTC

LilyoftheShadow wrote:I am working on learning Japanese. I have no formal course of study, just picking up what i can when I can. It will suffice, however, until I get to college, where I plan on majoring in East Asian Studies - Japan. So yeah. The tones aren't that hard for me, I do't think.


Japanese isn't a tonal language. :p
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:19 am UTC

Johnthemage wrote:
Oh, and don't froget about all of the fun endings to words, verb stems, dictionary form, nai form, present endings for nouns, present endings for verbs, present endings for i adjectives, past endings for nouns, past endings for verbs, past endings for i adjectives, negative endings for nouns, negative endings for verbs, negative endings for i adjectives, past negative endings for nouns, past negative endings for verbs, past negative endings for i adjectives. And there is a different particle and form of sentence for any sort of sentence you can think of.


You make it sound so complex.

There are three verb groups. Each has a past, present, past negative, present negative forms in each of three leves of formality and two gender usuages, plus the ~te for, which can be used in conjunction with any number of other stuff to make MORE stuff. Then theres the formal and negative conjucations of adjectives (of which there are two types)... And there aren't THAT many honoratives. Theres ~kun, ~chan, ~san, ~dono(archaic), ~sama, ~sensei, ~sempai, ~chama... (which have I missed?)

BUT.

All you ahve to do to turn a sentance into a question is add 'ka'.

kore wa ringo desu = this is an apple.
これはりんごです。
kore wa ringo desu ka? = is this an apple?
これはりんごですか?

although if you must ask whetehr something is an apple, people will look at you funny.
Last edited by Akira on Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:19 am UTC

Alisto wrote:
LilyoftheShadow wrote:I am working on learning Japanese. I have no formal course of study, just picking up what i can when I can. It will suffice, however, until I get to college, where I plan on majoring in East Asian Studies - Japan. So yeah. The tones aren't that hard for me, I do't think.


Japanese isn't a tonal language. :p


Must be why it isn't hard. u_u
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Postby Belial » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:21 am UTC

yeah, technically, if you break it out of its organizational structure, any language looks way, way complex.

That said, Japanese is pretty brutal. Most english speakers will never get to a point where they don't sound kindof stupid in Japanese. Not a reason not to go for it, just don't expect to ever be so fluent that you fit right in...
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:24 am UTC

Lol, I don't expect to ever be perfectly fluent in another language.

THat is one thing that will bug me. I'm very used to being at least reasonably eloquent in English--my vocabulary is far and above most of my... *cough* ...peer's.

It'll be wierd to not have that level of proficency.

But. I will work hard nonetheless. ^^
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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:25 am UTC

I speak japanese!

"sashiburi da na"

The most popular said phrase in history of animes.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Postby Traisenau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:29 am UTC

I mostly talking about some of the more complicated stuff, different particles and forms you put things into for things like have to do, expect to do, will do, g to a place in order to do, etc.
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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:36 am UTC

Yeah... The one thing I'm really dreading actually STUDYING is particles.

I've got the basic grammars down. I can introduce myself, and I know the general sentance order...

But particles?

Pat wa, ga, and o... i'm lost. XD
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Postby Traisenau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:31 am UTC

Oh, that's just the surface of particles, there are so many for every situation...

ni, he, tsumori, ga, noga, de, ji, jin, pan, ban, hen, etc.
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Postby fynch » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:33 am UTC

LilyoftheShadow wrote:THat is one thing that will bug me. I'm very used to being at least reasonably eloquent in English--my vocabulary is far and above most of my... *cough* ...peer's.



It'll be wierd to not have that level of proficency.


lame...


anyways: another bad combination of words that sound the same is raise and raze. They have opposite meanings, too.

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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:35 am UTC

Words are all about context.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Akira
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Postby Akira » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:37 am UTC

Johnthemage wrote:Oh, that's just the surface of particles, there are so many for every situation...

ni, he, tsumori, ga, noga, de, ji, jin, pan, ban, hen, etc.


I'm fully aware of that--thats why i'm dreading it :lol:

I have a somewhat decent grasp on ni when i see it used... but beyond that. yeah.
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Warning: Arguments about semantics really, really annoy this member, and are liable to make her snippy, offensive, and REALLY politically incorrect.

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Traisenau
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Postby Traisenau » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:42 am UTC

In which form... it is used for about 5... that I know of...
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