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Started by kbieniu7, November 06, 2014, 02:49:08 PM

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I am familiar with these languages:

Dutch - Native language
Gibberish - Advanced level in various dialects
English - Advanced level
German - Intermediate level
Spanish - Elementary level
Afrikaans - Elementary level
French - Able to read simple texts, but difficult to speak
Esperanto - Beginner level

Well, Dutch is my native language and I have learned English at high school and via internet.
(I can speak Gibberish in different dialects, but there are only a few who can understand my dialects)
I have had German classes at high school and I usually tend to speak and practise with natives when I am on holiday. I am able to hold a conversation about any subject, but I am not always sure about grammar.
I am currently learning Spanish. I can write little conversations about various subjects, but it is still difficult to understand what people say. I hope that I can have any conversation by next summer.
Over the last year, I adapted myself to Afrikaans, just by listening and reading. Because of its similarities with Dutch I can understand almost every written sentence, but to write is myself is a whole different story. Ek kan 'n bietjie in Afrikaans skryf en praat, maar ek weet nie altyd nie of ek die regte woorde gebruik. (I can write and speak a little bit in Afrikaans, but I am not always sure whether I use the right words)
I've had three years of French classes at high school. Although I have a good pronunciation, I cannot speak French. In my opinion language learning at high school is not the best way to learn a language. If I would get lost in France I could ask for directions and order bread at the bakery, etc., though.
Two weeks ago I started learning Esperanto and I progress really fast. I like the language. :)


German: native language
English: C1(advanced)
French: B2(upper intermediate)
Italian: I can read texts and go shopping/order food, not too bad for about 15 lessons à 40min
Dutch: never really learned it, but I'm able to read it
Swedish: I did a little online course once and I think I'm about as good at it as in Italian
Danish and Norwegian: I can understand it and am able to produce something that sounds like it ;)
Medical Terminology aka latin for dummies: just starting to learn it at uni.


Thank you all! I'm glad that you have so much to share with others and you joined the discussion :)

trabman11, Vizoria - thank you guys, for correcting me! ;)

I have the same feelings with French! When I started my adventure with this language it was a kind of horror! However, after some time, after attempting a course and beeing 2 months in France this summer I get used to it. But it's still hard to understand, when people say something to me. And the number of homophones (words, that are pronounced the same way) is a hell!

About English, I find it from time to time as well! Even if it's not any technical or too sophisticated vocabulary, sometimes I'm missing a word in Polish, or I find an English phrase expressing myself better.

Oh! To be honest, all the time I've thought, that you're a native Finnish! :D I've never had contact with Finnish, but I've heard it's hard. So - respect! ;)

I was forced with French too and I also find, that I can communicate in some situation better, that before using it in "real life". I think it's all because of our perception of a language. If we only speak in a classroom, we look at it like at another subject at school. To learn and pass the test without seeing real possibilities.

Latin, Old Greek? Wow, I know only one person, who learnt Latin. By the way, many people, inculding my father, say, that learning Latin would help in learning other languages, as they have the same roots. I think it's a false. It might be helpful, with French or Italian, but the distance between e.g. germanic ones is too far.
On the second hand, I believie, that some language might be helpful in getting closer to other ones. It's a true, but I would say, only when it's in reverse. An example:

English -> French (other group, but many similiar words) -> Italian -> Latin

You've shared really interesting notes!

The difference between dialects of the one language: It's something which exist in widespread languages. Imagine, if it's possible for local, regional dialects to pop out, the differences in globally-spread languages is something certain, what must occur earlier or later. As you have said.

Quote from: GDO28AnagramI guess if you're talking at 88MPH, you'd'ave a situation where all'd'words y''re sayin''re bein' mangled 'n't'one, 'r'av'it such dat dipthongs're being rendered down t' single letters, 'r maybe have letters dat're bein' lopped off an' replaced wi'dapostrophes. Imagin' dat.
Oh yeah, I met with some of that. :D In written form it looks like hell! In Polish, even if you say something so fast, it would be not possible to write it down in such form. In general, we do not contract anything, at all.

Conjugation without a pronoun. As you said - it's not needed, as long as it is possible to produce unique formes for each person. The same in Polish (if I may put a example ;) )
jestem - I am
jesteś - you are
jest - he/she/it is
jesteśmy - we are
jesteście - you are
są - they are

And as far as I know, the same in Czech, Slovak, Turkish or Portuguese. It's just redundancy - exactly what you have said.Anyway in English there is another blockage of skipping the pronouns. Without them, the verb became an Imperative. (do it right now!)

Quote from: is there ever enough overlap between two different languages, like Spanish and Portuguese, such that speakers of two different languages can more or less understand each other?).
Yes, there is. I have a friend from Portugal and he says, that he understand Spanish quite well. The same me - as I speak Polish, I understand some topics in Czech and Slovak.

I had a chance to meet an Australian Girl this summer. And I must say, that sometimes I had trouble with understanding her - even if she used "standard" vocabulary, her accent was different enough to create a problem.

Quote from: eggman121 on November 07, 2014, 10:56:08 PMEurope and
Japan. They sound like awesome countries (...)

Europe is not a country. At least, not yet :D
That's an impressive list of achievements! By the way, I see, that many people there claim their problem with understanding French ;)

Polish? Nice... :D But in fact, Polish is so rarely learnt language, that almost any foreigner speaking it I hear about has some Polish origins ;)

Well, I didn't mention, that I also speak Polish, it was too obvious for me :P But maybe I'll write something more about me later. Now, keep discussing ;)

Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


@GDO29Anagram, and Kamil,
Indeed we go into some interesting topic here. Funny is, that I never talked about liguistics in English, so please be patient if I hop from one place to another without warning. It is a really huge discussion. But back to topic:
In fact I don´t know Guudeboulderfist /never seen this name before, but maybe he lives in my neighborhood here.

But the only thing I wanted to explain is, that we all are in the middle of something, that isn´t fixed. And this contracting of words is one example for a language beeing alive, it only happens if we speak.
Wether a dialect is language or speech - I am not sure. It can become language, but at first it is speech, and sometimes parts of dialects may find their way into language. This may happen, if more people like to use former personalized speech in a more common way. But all this is part of a never ending discussion. And I have my opinions but they are only constructions I like to use, cause they seem to work for now. (and we still didn´t really start do discuss fantasy/absolutely personalized speech like mentioned "Ganaramian English").

Away from dialects a nice example for this unfixed and open to change behavior of speech is the German word "Handy" for "mobile phone". Someone unknown first must have used this word, someone, who wasn´t familiar with English language. Most Germans can´t speak English, so it was only a question of time, when more people, and eventually companies started to use this word to sell mobile phones. Now it is part of the German language, in a kind, that we call Denglish.
The most changes like this needed more time to become common but the www and our mobile lifestyles seem to change speech much faster than ever before in history.

And here is a point, where we can see, that linguistics meets philosophy. We can´t look at language without looking at sozial life and politics and history at the same. So I must speak about the Romans here.
Kamil talked about this illusion, that maybe Latin could be a help to learn or understand some modern European languages. In fact Latin can give you hints about the roots of modern languages, and used this way, Latin can help you to get some kind of insight into living speech. For me it was the start of becoming doubtful.
I can read Italian and if I am in Italy I can easily buy things on a market. But I can´t speak with the people there. The same happens with Spanish and Portugese. I have some hints, but that is all. Modern Greek? No clue, they speak totally different to the stuff I learned in school. English - ha - English is the most Latin influenced language in Europe, more than 70 percents of the English Language roots in Latin. That happened, cause Britain was part of the Roman Empire, and much later again part of the Norman Empire, and eventually the upperclass started speaking French. So English is a totally mix´n´match  between a huge number of different languages and speeches.

Latin as I learned it, was some kind of holy gral of my teachers. When we had to speak it, they had a very specific way to do so. But hearing neighbors with Italian roots sounded soo much different. And when I eventually heard the first English Latin scientists speaking, I wondered about it, cause they pronounced it "British".

The question for me always was: who is right here? And to be honest, I am damn sure, that people in Pompeii talked in a way, that is much more similar to recent Naple speech, than to any academic Latin. And if you visit Rome, and you know, that some of the people there live in houses, that are more than 2000 years old, then you only can think about them as people, who continued their way to live and speak until today. Italy wasn´t lost in any time, it only changed like everything else.

Again this is a sign for the conclusion between speech, language, and real life, and real persons. It works only this way.

And to come to an end: At the moment I am most interested in Chinese. Not, that I am going to learn the languages, but the very strong bonds between the letters and painting, between talking and thinking and feeling - that is intriguing. It is so different from everything here in Europe.

Oh my, so much words...


What languages do you speak?

Native: French
Near Native level: English
Badly but can understand: Spanish and Portuguese
Trying to learn: Japanese
Airporttalk: Learning at work.

Have you ever used them in real life, for real purposes?

Well, considering I'm french I use it almost everyday. Being at home, school or work. I've also been writing in English daily for the past 7-8 years through various forums and I sometime speak English with a friend on teamspeak. I've also met a few non french speaking person while they were in Paris (Not just from SC4D) and spoke to them in English.

Have you ever been to other country and used local language instead of English?

Yes, though not really well. When I was in Norway two years ago I did use some Norwegian words here and there. Though I mostly remained silent as I was with my sister and she took care of most things. I also try to speak Portuguese when I go south during holidays.

Which language sounds for you most beautifully?; Which one fascinates you the most?; Which one would you like to try?

Call me a weaboo (correct term is Japanophile) all you want, but Japanese sounds the most beautiful to me. If I can manage to learn it well enough, I'll afford a big trip in Japan in a few years, maybe months If I'm fast. Then I'd be able to use it there and hopefully learn even more.

Maybe there's one which scaries you!?

Almost every language I don't know nor am interested in.  ;D

Have you ever been surprised by anything in foreign language?

Hmmm, not that I can think of.

What is more, I come with another idea. Learning language at school/university/courses etc. might be efficient, but there is no better way to improve your skills, than speaking, listening or writing - simply, just using it!

I can totally agree with you on this one, but I'll argue. If I can speak English the way I do today (despite my very very french accent, which I'm trying to transform) isn't because of what they teach you at school. But really just from reading in English on the internet, speaking in English with non-french people (Mainly io_bg, which helped me a lot by correcting my mistakes as we spoke, even though it made me upset at the time), and playing games and watching movies in English. Three years ago my English teacher asked me what I did to speak English so well ( considering the class low level. I had the second best marks, my best friend was first.) and I told her it was all thanks to the internet, games and movies. She was surprised.
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

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What languages do you speak?

Native: Indonesian
Fluently: English
Not much: Arabic, Balinese (both actually I can because my highschool gave me these lesson ;D), Japanese
Currently Learning: Japanese
Maybe learning anytime: Korean, Javanese, Mandarin, Russian.

Have you ever used them in real life, for real purposes?

well, umm Indonesian is the daily language but at this moment I trying to make english as my main language but it seems kinda hard to done since not everyone here wanted to talk in english :P. Balinese I used it when live there around 2007-2010 as some people there use it as main language. and other one not yet been practiced but I might randomly talk in Japanese.

Which language sounds for you most beautifully?; Which one fascinates you the most?

Well Japanese is the one maybe, then english and Korean might be in the third on my list.

Which one would you like to try?

Same as above

Maybe there's one which scaries you!?

umm, nothing I think :P but maybe its the one which contain mystical stuff? idk

Have you ever been surprised by anything in foreign language?

well there is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokai (sorry a bit disguising)
idk if I said that word here...


I pretend to speak Spanish (native), German, English (actually I'm taking lessons again) and French. I can speak a little Italian and I know some words and expressions in Catalan, Basque, Galician and Portuguese. I also know some insults in Arabic for fun...  :P

I would like to learn all of them better if I could!!

It's incredible to see how much people here are interested in learning new languages. If anyone needs some support in Spanish I'll be glad to help in anything you may need. I swear my Spanish is much better than my English!!!!  ;D