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Foreign language speakers?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jtmac, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    Who here is proficient in a foreign language?

    I've often been (pleasantly) surprised to find out some GTers I wouldn't have expected are quite at home in foreign languages. It occurred to me to ask because of the Pandora stream I'm listening to that I can hardly pick up a word from.

    - I had Spanish in high school, a one-night-a-week basic Spanish course as a young adult, and then used the Pimsleur CD lessons. At various times I've spent a week or so in Latin American countries that gave me some reinforcement despite having interpreters for our work, and eventually lived in La Antigua, Guatemala to study Spanish for a month. From the start, I conversed only in Spanish, day in and day out, discussed politics and software with my instructor (with the help of a dictionary), and read the newspaper in Spanish (with the occasional help of a dictionary. And now I'm listening to Spanish music of which I can hardly understand a word. :crying:
    - I've picked up some Japanese over time due to interest and lots of time with Japanese media. I'd say I know as much Japanese as I do Spanish, but I'd be far less functional with it since it is such a different language. Spanish is almost the same language as English, but with Japanese none of my English experience carries over.
    - I studied Esperanto for a very, very brief time in high school. As in, a few minutes with a sheet of grammar rules and a couple of hours practicing with the vocabulary. That much practice made me as proficient with Esperanto as I am now with Spanish (although my Esperanto is now very rusty since I dropped it due to it being close enough to Spanish as to be confusing). I believe that every school in the world should make Esperanto its first foreign language. I have never heard any argument against it that held any water.
    - I'm OK with English.

    I also happen to loathe French and Portuguese. At least the retardation that is some more advanced Spanish conjugation is not found at all levels of the language as it is with those. Don't get me wrong--English is no better. It makes me ANGRY to think that people could be irresponsible enough to let such idiocy become the very standard of their language (English included).

    When my Japanese and Spanish are better, I intend to study Hebrew and Mandarin.

    I don't believe that there is any "age cutoff" for learning language. I think there is enough counter-evidence to file that as a myth. There are simply issues of frame of mind and motivation.

    What are the experiences of you other foreign language learners? Is there any one here who is against the learning of foreign languages, as I've seen insinuated at times?
     
  2. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

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    For me the only foreign languages that I'm somehow familiar with are:
    - English and
    - Russian
    I'm not really good or especially fast with picking up all those strange, exotic sounds :supergrin:
     

  3. sputnik767

    sputnik767

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    I am fluent in Russian, but then again, it was my first language. English came easy for me, but I was pretty young.
     
  4. Woofie

    Woofie Disirregardless CLM

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    Your speakers should replicate any language spoken on the media you are playing. They should also replicate specific sounds and ambient environmental noise. :thumbsup:
     
  5. milglock707

    milglock707

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    Deutsch ist meine Muttersprache!!! :wavey:
     
  6. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    Of all the languages I've encountered, I simply love Italian. I can order a beer and find the men's room in just about every corner of the world but I'm giving very serious thought to making it my first second language. HH
     
  7. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

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    I have some Sony speakers. Does that count. :rofl:
     
  8. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Every native Polish speaker I know speaks like 5 languages. I read something once about how Poles can pick up other languages more easily because Polish has a lot of both the eastern and western sounds in it, or something.

    I knew a Polish/Swedish girl once, she spoke Polish, Swedish, French, Spanish, German, English and Italian. And she was HOT! Totally not interested in me, though :(

    I have the opposite talent--I'm naturally awful at languages. I didn't learn to speak English until I was almost 6, I was a native Korean speaker when I was a kid, and I can't speak it at all anymore (although I can still understand some). I've been living in a French speaking country on and off for four years and I still pretty much suck at it.
     
  9. freeride88

    freeride88

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    I basically had a minor in Spanish in college and can barely get along in it, if even that. My wife was raised from childhood in Ukraine, and speaks English, Ukrainian, Russian, and a bit of German.
     
  10. Mikey444

    Mikey444 sacré bleu!

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    My language problem stems from the fact that I've taken too many, but not enough of any single one.

    I speak some French, some German, some horrible Spanish, I was learning Swahili but I haven't practiced in a while.

    I'll be fluent in Zulu in the next two-three years (I'm an African Studies major and language fluency is required)
     
  11. Mikey444

    Mikey444 sacré bleu!

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    My German professor from last year spoke 10 languages, 6 of them fluently.
     
  12. hatidua

    hatidua

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    -born and raised speaking English
    -elementary school in Cebuano (Mindanao)
    -frequent work in Latin America has led to marginal Spanish
    -I lived in the Southern U.S. for a long spell which led to familiarity with Backwater Redneck
     
  13. Smashy

    Smashy

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    I had semester of German when I lived in Germany for a couple of years (military), also had a German girlfriend. So I learned some, but I don't really like the language. I only learned it because I was there. Left there in '92 and haven't spoken a word since, don't remember any of it now.

    I took Latin in 10th grade. That was almost 30 years ago. Likewise, don't remember any of it, although I find it one of the more interesting languages.

    I studied Japanese on my own for about a year, got fairly good at it. But then my situation changed and I no longer had time to spend on it. Another language forgotten.

    For some strange reason, I have an interest in the less popular languages. I'd like to learn Indonesian, Tagalog, and Ojibwe. Don't ask, I'm just weird like that.
     
  14. KommieforniaGlocker

    KommieforniaGlocker

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    I can Speak Spanish Fluently it was actually my first language I learned English when I was in Pre-School. My grandma took care of me while my parents both worked and all she spoke was spanish.

    I used to be able to speak Portuguese, but lost it, I picked it up in High School,(not academically just hanging with alot of Friends and families and being aroud them all the time) as it was pretty close to Spanish, I had no trouble with it......I understand it...Just have trouble speaking it..and say some things very very slowly now. It even impressed some clients when I worked in Banking, but I never practiced it and never really spoke it. As everybody I know speaks English, the Spanish I am fluent, read, write, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  15. SteadyGlock

    SteadyGlock

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    Bulgarian: basic conversant (used to be intermediate, can read Cyrillic)
    German: intermediately conversant (used to be advanced)
    Czech: academic / research ability, very basic speaking ability
    Studied 1-2 semesters of the following: French, Spanish, Japanese, Polish.

    I've always wanted to be fluent in a language, and my true love is Czech....probably the most difficult one I've ever attempted. If I had to pick one to really concentrate on at this stage in life, it would be Russian. Once I finish this MBA program, I'm planning on really working on Russian.
     
  16. Andy W

    Andy W

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    I studied Spanish all four years of high school and I took Spanish 1 in college last semester. However, I don't really have anyone to practice it with so I haven't become fluent. My Spanish teacher last semester told me that I could probably get along just fine if I were to go to a Spanish speaking country.

    We had a lot of fun in that class, mostly because there were only two students. One of the things I always used to do was use a different dialect than she was trying to teach us. My instructor was from Columbia and taught us the Columbian pronunciations, but I always tried to use Argentinean pronunciation. I miss that class.
     
  17. snair

    snair

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    mannheimarich and ebonics
     
  18. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

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    I know a few words in Deutsch and am going to be learning Esperanto soon.
     
  19. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    I never been fully fluent, but I speak some Dine (Navajo). Brushed up on when I was in college. Ironically, it fulfilled my 'foriegn language' credits.
     
  20. MetalSlugIV

    MetalSlugIV

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    I speak C and it's dialects (C++). I am fluent in Java and a I know a smattering of Python... oh wait wrong languages...