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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-03-2009, 08:15 PM
I've always wished i knew more than one language. Perhaps one day i will add another to my list.

So, how many languages do you know? When deciding if you know a language well enough to list as known, lets make the level of understanding at 3rd grade level.

So, how many languages (3rd grade equivalency, and above) do you know? Which languages, specifically?

Note: you don't need to be able to write it, just speak it. And yes, sign language does count.

What share you?

Webhead
06-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Currently, only 1 language: English ;)

There was a time, however, that I was rather proficient in Hawaiian and Spanish. Hawaiian was a really fun language. I wish I still knew it despite the fact that it's virtually useless. The problem with language retention is use. If you don't use an extra language, it slowly fades from your mind.

korhal23
06-03-2009, 08:25 PM
English (Ta-da!!), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Pashto, Arabic, Farsi, and I'm working on Japanese and Korean.

Malruhn
06-03-2009, 10:01 PM
Latin, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, American Sign Langage - and English. I can fluently READ French, but can only converse at about 1st grade level... if that.

I also know enough Farsi, Ukrainian and Japanese to get my butt kicked... enough to make people THINK I can speak it, but not enough to actually carry on a conversation.

I also have a gift/curse... I pick up accents very quickly - and even though I may only know one, stinking word of a language, I speak it like a native. This helps the natives think that I'm a native as well... which leads them to launch into speedy diatribe that leaves me totally confused and lost.

Windstar
06-03-2009, 10:03 PM
I only know 1 officially, but have spattering of 2 or 3 more.

Windstar
:cool::cool:

PhishStyx
06-03-2009, 10:40 PM
Well, I majored in English, so I'm reasonably sure that I'm fluent in that one. On the other hand, I took Latin and Spanish and can barely understand either one.

Grimwell
06-03-2009, 11:27 PM
I know all of the languages that I can speak. :D

/runs

Farcaster
06-04-2009, 12:16 AM
Only my native tongue and a smattering of French.

Skunkape
06-04-2009, 07:59 AM
English and Spanish, but my Spanish really sucks because I don't use it often enough!

GoddessGood
06-04-2009, 08:20 AM
English for sure, spanish ... well, I know enough to get by. I ought to, I lived on the mexican border for 23 years, took 3 years of spanish in highschool and a semester in college. The problem is ... I have no one to speak spanish with. I tried bargaining with my boyfriend (who speaks passable german) that I'd teach him Spanish if he taught me German. Has yet to pan out. I have a long wishlist of languages to learn, though.

Skunkape
06-04-2009, 08:49 AM
I tried bargaining with my boyfriend (who speaks passable german) that I'd teach him Spanish if he taught me German. Has yet to pan out. I have a long wishlist of languages to learn, though.

My paternal grandmother knew German, but when she moved to the U.S., she refused to speak it, so my father never learned it and didn't pass it on!:(

I would have loved it the language had been passed on in the family!

Dimthar
06-04-2009, 09:00 AM
English for sure, spanish ... well, I know enough to get by. I ought to, I lived on the mexican border for 23 years, took 3 years of spanish in highschool and a semester in college. The problem is ... I have no one to speak spanish with.

Oh... so Dimthar don't speak Spanish! Only English (TOEFL 118/120 !) and Italian ;)

------

Truth is, learning a different language works best at a very early age (Like another Tons of skills available). So it is a "Parents Decision" to encourage such Skill.

In my case, my 2 daughters must learn Spanish because they have close Relatives (my In-Laws) that do not speak English at all.

I leave the 3rd one (School System) for them to choose. If possible ($$$) I will bribe them by offering a semester or summer in the country with the native language they chose (3rd).

I know that my daughters' Spanish will be way much better than my English.


My paternal grandmother knew German, but when she moved to the U.S., she refused to speak it, so my father never learned it and didn't pass it on!:(

I would have loved it the language had been passed on in the family!

Thankfully, Immigrants now are more conscious that Kids learning their parent's tongue does not prevent them from speaking a Fluent English. Also the impression that they will be discriminated is disappearing.

Also the improvement in transportation allows Us (Immigrants) to return to the mother land more often and take our progeny with us.

In the case of USA, I strongly believe in English as one of the critical "glues" that unite people as a one nation.

As a Rule of thumb, out of respect, I will automatically switch to English if there is a person present that do not speak Spanish. On the other hand, some people needs to understand that if I am speaking in Spanish with a fellow Hispanic, is not because we hate English, is because OUR greater knowledge of Spanish allows for a Better and Richer communication.

.

GoddessGood
06-04-2009, 12:49 PM
My paternal grandmother knew German, but when she moved to the U.S., she refused to speak it, so my father never learned it and didn't pass it on!:(

I would have loved it the language had been passed on in the family!
My mother spoke fluent French and my father fluent German (both learned in highschool, btw). I only wish they'd taught me. A lady that used to watch us when we were little taught me most of the spanish I still know, and it's from her early lessons that I learned my accent.

Oh... so Dimthar don't speak Spanish! Only English (TOEFL 118/120 !) and Italian ;)
Well, maybe when we get together this month, you can teach me some gaming words in spanish ;) No pienso que seria una idea mala. Also, congrats!

As a Rule of thumb, out of respect, I will automatically switch to English if there is a person present that do not speak Spanish. On the other hand, some people needs to understand that if I am speaking in Spanish with a fellow Hispanic, is not because we hate English, is because OUR greater knowledge of Spanish allows for a Better and Richer communication.
I used to get really offended by this. Going to school on the border like I did, if we had to work in groups the odds were good I would be the only native english speaker. Often that led to me being "in charge" of the group (which I hated) because I could articulate in english, but sometimes it led to me being excluded entirely when someone else got a good idea but couldn't express it in english. The rest of the group would get excited and all start speaking spanish and completely leave me behind. Back then I saw foreign languages as weapons. They were something people used to exclude me or keep information from me, but I realize now that people who don't speak english in this country probably feel the same way.

Mirina
06-05-2009, 11:30 AM
I speak 5 at 3rd grade level and up: Spanish, French, English, German, and Italian (in order learned). I'm also in the process of teaching myself Japanese. I still have a list of languages I'd like to pick up in my lifetime.

Dytrrnikl
06-06-2009, 08:18 AM
1 - English or rather American. My mindset is that if you live in this country, learn the language just like you would if you lived anywhere else in the world. However, since our former Democratic Republican now slowly turning socialist government said we only need a preferred language and not a national one, what can I do - grumble. I get so fricking tired of trying to decipher heavily spanish accented English. Yes it's a really arrogant and close-minded attitude, but it's how I feel.

korhal23
06-06-2009, 09:42 AM
What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages? Bilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks 3 languages? Trilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks 1 language? American.

I don't think you realize just how difficult English is to learn. If you lived anywhere else in the world, you'd know multiple languages most likely.
Knowing more than one language is:
-Extremely helpful for avoiding the situation you stated above, Dytrrnikl. If you knew some Spanish, that "heavily spanish accented English" speaker could've just spoken in some Spanish.
-A highly marketable skill.
-Quite a bit of fun.
-In a modern world, where contact with other languages is frequent and unavoidable short of moving to the middle of nowhere and turning off your cable and internet to live a solitary life as a mountain man, it's just the smart thing to do.

Frankly, the "if you come to this country" argument is a tad offensive because MOST of the folks who come to this country, including most who come here illegally are good people just trying to make a slightly better life than they had for themselves before, and that's nothing you should ever fault someone for. But what really gets me is your one-two punch of "trying to decipher heavily spanish accented English"... here's someone trying to speak English, trying to do what you want, and still isn't fluent yet, and that's not good enough for you? Here's a funny thing you'd know if you tried to learn a foreign language (and refer to my list above if you doubt me) but in other languages, there are certain sounds, certain phonetics, that they make and we don't. Conversely, there's usually some sounds we make that they don't. This leads to accents, as they try to wrap their minds and mouths around these new sounds. And it's a process only time can heal, and the longer you speak one language uninterrupted, the harder and more pronounced your accent is. So cut the guy some slack, he's trying.
And if it means freedom for all those people to come here and make something of themselves without people like you rallying against them versus your freedom from hearing accents? I'd rather the government go Socialist than whatever Fascist brand you're after.

I mean my god. I'm originally from Maryland before joining the Air Force. My (now ex) fiance was from Maine, about 15 minutes from Boston and had the accent pretty pronounced (words like "Cawfee" and the traditional "pahk yah cah"). I had no problem understanding her because folks from Maryland tend to have some aspects of a southern accent and some aspects of more northern accents. But put her in a room with someone from the deep south? She couldn't understand a word, and they couldn't understand her either. And that's two people speaking the EXACT same language... are you opposed to that too?

nijineko
06-06-2009, 11:04 AM
i speak american fluently, and have never had too much trouble with local dialects, so long as i get an explanation on the non-guess-able vocabulary. jive and ebonics are the two i have the most trouble with, lack of cultural referents, i guess. and i still don't know why southerner's insist on calling flowers grass... but at least i know the vocab.

i also speak fluent japanese, and retain a lot of the lesson materials, so i might be able to assist those wishing to learn. teaching esl in japan, i found it advantageous to be able to explain grammatical concepts in japanese well enough for them to grasp it from a japanese grammer point of view.

while i am no longer fluent due to lack of practice, i still retain some of my jsl. that's japanese sign language. even had a chance to use it once in a michael craft's store, of all places. i noticed a pair of girls, mother and daughter, with the occasional sign being tossed between them. turns out that the daughter was mostly deaf, and they were both floored and astonished when i began signing. i mean, most japanese are surprised when some gaijin in the middle of the mid-west starts speaking, but signing? yeah. quite the reaction.

i also know the smattering of words and phrases that most americans pick up in spanish, portuguese, russian, chinese, french, british english, and the odd word in the various native indian languages.

my wish list for fluency includes chinese, korean, spanish or portuguese (south american variants by preference), and several native american languages.

coldbeer
06-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Bilingual French and English
Understand Spanish a litle bit and looking to learn more language

Dytrrnikl
06-07-2009, 08:21 AM
I don't think you realize just how difficult English is to learn.
Actually, despite my narrow-minded and, as I already stated, arrogant perspective, I do understand and realize how difficult English is to learn. Primarily from having conversations with a half a dozen latino immigrants from various parts of South America at a Printing company I worked at for 6 years. They wer constantly asking me about clarifying phrases and other jargon. I enjoyed those conversations immensely. On the flip side, I ended up picking up an incredibly small bit of spanish, enough to direct them in tasks - barely enough.


If you lived anywhere else in the world, you'd know multiple languages most likely.
Absolutely. Hell, from what I understand other places in the world teach there native tongue, and several others as a matter of course - right from the start rather than just in high school.


Knowing more than one language is:
-Extremely helpful for avoiding the situation you stated above, Dytrrnikl. If you knew some Spanish, that "heavily spanish accented English" speaker could've just spoken in some Spanish.
True, but...I've got a brother-in-law who was born and raised in Puerto Rico who has been living here in the states since he was 19, he's now 42. After 23 years, you'd think that would be enough time to have a grasp of speaking the english language to an extent that his Spanish accented english wouldn't be so thick as to think he just came to the US. That's just not the case.



-A highly marketable skill.
- Quite a bit of fun.
Not for me. I had 4 years of both German and Spanish in high school, in which I was able to speak them both fairly well - not completely fluent, but enough to carry on conversations. It's a skill I never put to use or had an opportunity to use out of high school. Now 18 years later I can barely remember bits and pieces of either, though a bit more spanish thanks to my experience at the Printing company I worked at. By the time I reached a point in my life where knowing a differnt language was marketable - today's world, what I learned atrophied into uselessness.


-In a modern world, where contact with other languages is frequent and unavoidable short of moving to the middle of nowhere and turning off your cable and internet to live a solitary life as a mountain man, it's just the smart thing to do.
Good point.



Frankly, the "if you come to this country" argument is a tad offensive because MOST of the folks who come to this country, including most who come here illegally are good people just trying to make a slightly better life than they had for themselves before, and that's nothing you should ever fault someone for.
I don't fault anyone coming to the US LEGALLY to make a life for themselves. ILLEGALLY on the other hand, irritates me a bit, since there are legal means to enter this country - by no means perfect, but definately legal. But that is a topic for a different conversation.


<snip> I'd rather the government go Socialist than whatever Fascist brand you're after.
I was offensive? Well, it looks like you're going tit for tat here. Maybe you missed the part where I called my perspective arrogant. I make no bones about it. But don't ever call me a Fascist. Intolerant - definately. However, while I certainly don't mind expressing my views, I would never want anyone to agree with the views that I have for which I recognize as being narrow-minded and closed. But falling into the scum of White Supremacy, or any other sort of radical hate group, which is what I understand and define Fascism to be - absolutely not.

As for the government going Socialist, I was making a veiled reference to the Barrack admininstration spending money to save, among other things, the big three automakers. Ford saw the way things were moving and changed how they did business - no handout needed. The others, too stupid and greedy to change how they did business. I say let'em fail. It would've been healthier for the economy in the long run. BUT, that is a topic for another conversation.


I mean my god. I'm originally from Maryland before joining the Air Force. My (now ex) fiance was from Maine, about 15 minutes from Boston and had the accent pretty pronounced (words like "Cawfee" and the traditional "pahk yah cah"). I had no problem understanding her because folks from Maryland tend to have some aspects of a southern accent and some aspects of more northern accents. But put her in a room with someone from the deep south? She couldn't understand a word, and they couldn't understand her either. And that's two people speaking the EXACT same language... are you opposed to that too?
You forgot 'fotted'. I'm not opposed to different dialects of the same language or the accents that occur (ok, maybe ebonics - just can't rap my head around that one), it happens thanks to geographical location. I've never had issues deciphering the various american accents in English, only the slang. In PA where I live, things like "Pick the Wash", "Outen the lights", "Red up", "I'm getting runchies", and a ton more are used that I stumble with all the time.

Dimthar
06-07-2009, 11:43 AM
1 - English or rather American. My mindset is that if you live in this country, learn the language just like you would if you lived anywhere else in the world. <Insert RANT HERE> I get so fricking tired of trying to decipher heavily spanish accented English....

Read your Post again, First you start it with "Learn English", and you finish it with "AND Speak it with No Accent".



True, but...I've got a brother-in-law who was born and raised in Puerto Rico who has been living here in the states since he was 19, he's now 42. After 23 years, you'd think that would be enough time to have a grasp of speaking the english language to an extent that his Spanish accented english wouldn't be so thick as to think he just came to the US. That's just not the case.


Wow! Let's pause a little ...

Speaking a new language like many other skills is not just the product of practice, there is a "natural" aptitude related to it.

The Accent is "ingrained" in your speech, being the biggest reason that it was given to you at a very early age (When all skills are easier to pick up). Unless you belong to that group who can easily imitate other people's speech and accents, there is very little you can do in loosing your accent. One then must understand the difficulty that most adult immigrants face when learning a new language.

One thing is saying, learn English, which I completely agree, and other is loose that accent. What accent should I pick up? British? Australian? Irish? Black People's Accent? US Southern? US West Coast? Jamaican?

Believe it or not, I frequently watch the Blue Collar Tour (Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy) and CMT to increase my ability to understand a larger group of Americans, same reason I watch BET.

.

Dytrrnikl
06-08-2009, 12:19 AM
Well, it looks like I'm going to have to add language to the list of topics to never express an opinion about - Religion and Politics being the other two.

Dimthar, not to ignore the spot on points you've made, particularly with the lose the accent part of my op, accents can be practiced to be lessened or changed. Granted it is more difficult to do with a foreign language than it is with say a British person learning to speak English with an American accent or an American learning to speak English with a Scottish or English accent. It can be done.

Ok now, before I set off anymore of a shitstorm than I already have, later everyone.

tesral
06-08-2009, 01:04 AM
Some might argue I don't know it all that well.

Dimthar
06-08-2009, 06:39 AM
... accents can be practiced to be lessened or changed. ... It can be done.

This comment is Key! We all can improve our skills, hone them and refine them. But is a matter of personal choice to dedicate time to it.

Is it really a priority? Instead of trying to speak English like a native, should I learn a 3rd language instead?, learn to play a musical instrument?, play a sport?, spend time with the children? Learn how to use Power Tools? Work overtime?

I think the biggest misconception is that Immigrants do not learn English or that they don't want too.

And I believe perhaps this misconception in the case of the Hispanic community is fueled by the fact that we did not renounce to speak Spanish. We speak it at home (Once my girls go to school I will stop speaking in English to them since I want them to develop a very good Spanish, not that my English is the one to emulate), we listen to it in Songs and Television. They speak it at the store, at Mass or when you Press #2 :)

Not just that, as immigrants (specially the Mexicans) we are blessed, traveling back to Mexico is so easy compared to what our fellow friends from Pakistan, China, India, etc. have to spend $$$ to go and visit Grandma, Uncle or Brother.

We speak it so often that some times it feels like we never left.

.

gajenx
06-08-2009, 10:01 AM
I speak English but also know American Sign Language. This gives me the basics of French Standard sign since that was the parent language for ASL. Though curious does Signing Exact English count as a language? It is a form of instruction Sign Language in the U.S. but it has no idioms and things and so does not count as a full Language by Linguistic standards. But I also am fluent in that, just slow when using it.

Sascha
06-08-2009, 12:41 PM
Took Japanese and Spanish in high school, and some Mandarin Chinese in college; of the three, the only one I *might* be able to converse in is Japanese, though I can say a few rather silly phrases in Spanish.