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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 02:15

Title: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 02:15
Like too many Americans, my language skills are pathetic. Growing up I was exposed to a rather mundane six or seven years of Spanish, but my suspicions of these classes being sorely lacking in useful information were confirmed when, in high school, one of my good friends who was Cuban (born there, fluent in Spanish) failed the class.  :S

At the time, French classes were considered to be more exotic and refined, but these were only available to a small minority of students IIRC. Russian was also a distant option, but this was looked upon with suspicion in the 1980s, and I'd be surprised if more than a dozen kids were ever a part of that program (spies all of them, I'm sure).    :-x



So what are your language skills?
I'm curious to know a few things regarding this issue.

How many languages do you understand?
To what extent (spoken, written, formal, casual)?
How did you acquire these skills (native language-upbringing, academic study, self-study, cultural immersion, etc)?

Also:
Any preferences for one language over another, and why?
Any thoughts or observations on language education in different parts of the world?

Feel free to add any other sub-topics to this discussion.

Gracias.  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Havetts on November 02, 2014, 03:36
Seeing I study International Business and Languages I am studying the English language, the German language and Spanish. I'd say im fluent in Dutch, obviously, English and German. I have spent 6 months abroad speaking German when I worked in Düsseldorf, which I enjoyed a lot and I miss the people there and working in Germany.

For my study abroad I spent 5,5 months in Winnipeg, Canada. I would say Im fluent in English, but after that period there is no doubt in my mind I speak fluent English, very specific terms that'd be hard to translate are sometimes an issue, but generally its easy to speak English. We Dutch people have the luxury of learning English since the 7th grade of elementary school and having none of the kids shows translated or dubbed but rather subtitled.

German isnt very hard to learn as Dutch shares a lot of grammatical rules as German and the words are very alike, some people always exaggerate how hard German is to speak and then they always refer to the grammatical rules of the Dativ, Akkusativ and Genetiv, but its very easy if you ask me. You'll just have to learn it once properly and then its rather easy. Although some ( a lot :P) disagree with me.

Spanish on the other hand.. Its a language thats tough if you ask me. Especially seeing the other languages I've learnt are based on the Germanic way of grammar etc. So to learn a latin based language is pretty hard. I'd say I'd be able to understand some of conversations, and I'd be able to translate a lot when I am reading the text slowly and analyzing it. But speaking Spanish is hard, all the grammatical rules are tough. When to use the Subjuntivo or not and when to use either the Indefenido or Imperfecto is hard.



I've taken two electives of Russian for my studies. And all the other languages in difficulty are nothing compared to the Russian language and its grammatical rules. I can read cyrillic, I know some sentences that I've remembered from two years ago, but that language is hard as hell. It is a very beautiful language, but sounds harsh on the ears. I'd love to learn more Russian, but damn if it isnt hard as hell.




Por favor. :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: just some guy on November 02, 2014, 06:35
Fluent read, write and speak = 0  :lol

but English mother tongue,  and as I am not really a language person, when I moved to Sweden I focused on spoken, so can converse in Swedish, written and reading not great.

but I can listen to flemish cycling comms and get a lot of what is going on,
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 02, 2014, 08:17
English native
French fluent (has suffered this year)
Dutch very basic

Having studied Latin at school, I can read and roughly understand most languages based on it.

This is the twenty first century, so I also count these, in all of which I am fluent ;)

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Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 02, 2014, 08:18
Fluent Dutch English French
I can understand and read German just fine but I'm not fluent in it when speaking but I could hold a conversation with a native German speaker
Same for Italian and Spanish but I'd say my speaking skills are no more than just casual. I can say some lines and if I got the time to think and construct sentences I think I'd get a bit further, but there's no time for that in a conversation
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 02, 2014, 08:20
Unlike, say, riding a bike, one may rapidly lose the skill of languages, the mastery of which is therefore a cruel business that demands fastidious commitment, continued investment and slavish attention.

Like certain other things in life, I suppose. ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 02, 2014, 08:25
Yes, like love. Although those of you who have already had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful Romanian film California Dreamin' / Nesfârșit (2007) will doubtless agree that language is not always the essential ingredient of seduction.

I met an Englishwoman a few months ago who had been a French language translator. She had met a Walloon - a Belgian francophone - while on holiday some years before.

Walloons tend not to be great English speakers, just as the English themselves are often poor linguists, and her spouse was no exception. He had not a word of English. So she depended on her skills to pick up the slack. Thus did they fall in love and marry, eventually settling in Belgium.

Last year, while still in her forties, this Englishwoman had a stroke. She was paralysed only temporarily but the stroke left her completely without the French language that had been her life and love's work.

It was a disturbing moment, to talk to her in English and her husband in French and for her not to understand a word of what I said to him. What was worse, she found that she couldn't retain whatever French she tried to relearn in the course of therapy and so her hapless husband was now desperately scrabbling to learn English from scratch.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 02, 2014, 08:44
I lied about speaking French for my job here in Belgium. You see, two European languages were a minimum requirement.

I had classroom French, which consisted mostly of ogling the conspicuously beautiful correspondantes sent to our school annually by the University of Grenoble's undergraduate programme. I was an accomplished reader and a decent writer of French but the dry, academic curriculum afforded few opportunities to develop spoken proficiency.

So I lied about that and, to my amazement, nobody tested me. The ability to speak multiple languages in Brussels is so common as to be banal. There was simply an assumption that I wouldn't be there otherwise.

I got the job. Day One, my new colleague welcomes me and rattles along full speed in French like a TGV. I am immediately on the backfoot. It took me three months of intense practice but I survived. And nobody ever picked me up on what my resumé had promised. ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: just some guy on November 02, 2014, 08:44
Yes, like love. Although those of you who have already had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful Romanian film California Dreamin' / Nesfârșit (2007) will doubtless agree that language is not always the essential ingredient of seduction.

I met an Englishwoman a few months ago who had been a French language translator. She had met a Walloon - a Belgian francophone - while on holiday some years before.

Walloons tend not to be great English speakers, just as the English themselves are often poor linguists, and her spouse was no exception. He had not a word of English. So she depended on her skills to pick up the slack. Thus did they fall in love and marry, eventually settling in Belgium.

Last year, while still in her forties, this Englishwoman had a stroke. She was paralysed only temporarily but the stroke left her completely without the French language that had been her life and love's work.

It was a disturbing moment, to talk to her in English and her husband in French and for her not to understand a word of what I said to him. What was worse, she found that she couldn't retain whatever French she tried to relearn in the course of therapy and so her hapless husband was now desperately scrabbling to learn English from scratch.
Wow, hope they work it out Laz
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 02, 2014, 09:36
I'm fluent in *de German (native language), *dk Danish (learned from the age of 3) and *gb English (learned from the age of 11).

I have no trouble reading and understanding *se Swedish, *no Norwegian and *nl Dutch - unless the Norwegians hail from Harstad, like one of my colleagues does. But Harstadians are virtually impossible to understand even for Norwegians. :D

Due to four years of Latin in school, I can get the gist of *it Italian, *fr French, *es Spanish and *pt Portuguese texts, and understand some words of *ro Romanian.

As my mother's family come from the Czech Republic, I can make myself understood on a basic level in *cz Czech (mostly spoken though, not at all written - and I mostly only understand the gist of Czech texts when I read it out loud). Enough to get by in cafés & restaurants or asking for directions (even giving directions sometimes). Even enough to get asked questions in quick-fire Czech sometimes, giving me a blank stare. :lol

And due to the Slavic languages' close relatedness, I get a little of *pl Polish, *sk Slovakian and *ru Russian. When I hear people speak one of those languages, I can normally determine which country they're from - but not what they're actually talking about.

Did I ever mention that I have a knack for languages? ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 02, 2014, 09:40
German isnt very hard to learn as Dutch shares a lot of grammatical rules as German and the words are very alike, some people always exaggerate how hard German is to speak and then they always refer to the grammatical rules of the Dativ, Akkusativ and Genetiv, but its very easy if you ask me. You'll just have to learn it once properly and then its rather easy. Although some ( a lot :P) disagree with me.
Finally someone who tells the truth! German isn't hard at all, it's very logical.

I've taken two electives of Russian for my studies. And all the other languages in difficulty are nothing compared to the Russian language and its grammatical rules. I can read cyrillic, I know some sentences that I've remembered from two years ago, but that language is hard as hell. It is a very beautiful language, but sounds harsh on the ears. I'd love to learn more Russian, but damn if it isnt hard as hell.
I can confirm that. As far as I know, all Slavic languages have a complicated grammar - more complicated than Latin.
Very melodic when spoken though, not harsh on the ears at all in my opinion.

Fluent read, write and speak = 0  :lol
I can confirm this as well! :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 02, 2014, 10:09
Finally someone who tells the truth! German isn't hard at all, it's very logical.
Of course that depends on who you ask. People from Southern Europe will have a very hard time speaking and understanding German. I think it's a very difficult language too - it's easy to learn, hard to master (for me as a Dutch person). I could easily have a conversation in German, however, I'd make lots of mistakes. I'd make less mistakes in French, English and (written) Spanish and Italian, because I at least understand the most basic grammar rules :fp
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 02, 2014, 10:18
Of course that depends on who you ask.
That's true. :)
All those kids in Prague speaking fluent *cz Czech, with its grammar and its č ř ž š sounds ... :o
My uncle went to therapy as a child as he couldn't pronounce ř correctly. In any other country, nobody would ever have noticed - the sound is unique to Czech.

Here's a Czech tongue-twister for you to practice on:
Tři sta třicet tři stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes tři sta třicet tři stříbrných střech.
(333 silver syringes splash [water] on 333 silver roofs)
 :P :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on November 02, 2014, 10:29
Native English, once fluent but rapidly receding through lack of use Spanish, French very rusty, Sign Language (I teach in a school with a Hearing Impaired unit) not bad and improving, Latin and New Testament Greek atrophied in memory.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Slow Rider on November 02, 2014, 11:17
Dutch as a native language. English I speak well enough, though perhaps not as fluent as I'd like.

I can understand spoken and written German to a degree, but when I speak it it's just Dutch with a German accent and a few actual German words thrown in. That seems to work pretty well though.

French, well, enough to ask for the bill and order bread. Some basic directions perhaps, but that's it. I've wanted to improve my French for years now, but never got around to doing something with that.

I can order a beer and say hello in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili (though I regularly mix up between the first three of those), but that's all I can manage in those languages.

So basically, just Dutch and English.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 13:00
Por favor. :)

Did you mean to say, "De nada"?  :P


I can understand spoken and written German to a degree, but when I speak it it's just Dutch with a German accent...
That sounds like a good trick! That's how most Americans seem to interpret foreign languages anyway.  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Havetts on November 02, 2014, 13:04
Did you mean to say, "De nada"?  :P

Yes, as for my excuse, I was not in a very sober state last night so I am pretty surprised such a coherent post came out. :-x :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 02, 2014, 13:05
I can understand spoken and written German to a degree, but when I speak it it's just Dutch with a German accent and a few actual German words thrown in. That seems to work pretty well though.

This is me  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 02, 2014, 13:06
Did you mean to say, "De nada"?  :P

That sounds like a good trick! That's how most Americans seem to interpret foreign languages anyway.  :D

but americans must realize there are a god awful lot of languages that are in no way similar to English :D Dutch with a German accent sounds pretty good :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: search on November 02, 2014, 13:11
*nl vandaag is het zo warm, dus wil ik niet reizen met de tram
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 13:17
Yes, like love.
A friend of mine (a piano player), who I used to perform with quite a bit, met a Spanish girl here who was working as an au pair. She didn't speak English, nor he Spanish. But they fell in love, and eventually got married. She would attend most of our concerts, and we all got along with her quite well, although her English improved only incrementally over the course of many months. But still, they had found their bond.

I believe the strain did take a toll on her, and after a couple of years they decided to relocate to Spain. That was well over a decade ago, and as far as know they are both still living there, and I can only presume that they are still together. Knowing this guy as I had, it is easy for me to imagine that his Spanish—even after all these years—is probably no better than her English ever was. So if he loses her, I would expect to see him back here with little more than the clothes on his back, speaking some form of barely recognizable Spanglish.
:D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 02, 2014, 13:17
*nl vandaag is het zo warm, dus wil ik niet reizen met de tram

Het is fijner om met de fiets te gaan  ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 13:27
In love and war...

My Uncle, who is British, has a knack for languages and I believe is conversant in five or six, mostly European, languages. But I love the story of how he first learned German. At the end of WWII, he and his sisters (which obviously included my mom-to-be) were young children living in and around London. At the time, there were work camps for captured German soldiers awaiting return to their homeland. Many of these soldiers were quite young, and my uncle and his sisters befriended some of them through an apparent lack of security, and what must've been the most inadequate fencing imaginable. 
:D

One of my favorite stories was of the time they disguised one of these young German lads, and snuck him into a movie theater with them.  :P On occasion, my uncle would pull off the reverse of this subterfuge—he would disguise himself as a German prisoner and make his way into the camp for some of the more formal events that were taking place that he wanted to witness. This is true.

These were all young people who were victims of a war that none of them obviously wanted. Through such open-heartedness, my uncle was able to forge friendships with some of these young Germans that would prove to last him, and them, a lifetime.


As this thread has demonstrated, language need not be a barrier to love, or peace.  :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: search on November 02, 2014, 13:27
...so, as you can see, I speak dutch fluently :p

but no...basically the only language I do speak fluently is German. I can understand written English more or less perfectly, but I struggle a bit in actual conversations, with slang/dialect and so on involved, and my written English is far away from perfect as well - I can make myself understood though I think.

I had french in school for four years, and reading it I can still understand what its about, but I forgot most of it and wouldn't say I can actually speak French. I can read Dutch and also understand most of it, but I have never learned that in any way, its basically due to the similarities to German and hearing experiences (on Sporza).
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Slow Rider on November 02, 2014, 13:29
*de Ich spreche alle Sprachen, nur nicht so schnell, aber das kommt nog well!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: search on November 02, 2014, 13:33
"My Englisch is not very good, but my German is better"

Lothar Matthäus


 :shh
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 02, 2014, 15:02
Danish/English

For me it works in the worst kind of combination, my grammar is better in English. Vocabulary is about the same, maybe a bit better in English after all, but it is expanded in different areas, I know all kinds of sayings in Danish, but know more science and economics related words in English.

Danish is my mother tongue and I originally learned English from tv/rap-music before going to an English languaged schools for four years. I like speaking English better than Danish, and does communicate with other Danish people in English at times. Either people that feel the same, or if I am ordering food or something.

I can easily understand Norwegian, Swedish is a bit tougher. Other western European languages I can pick up a lot of information from, only had 3½ years of French, which I never learned, and one year of Spanish, where I somehow managed to pass despite not going to half the classes, and failing on almost every test, thank you curve.

Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 02, 2014, 15:11
one year of Spanish, where I somehow managed to pass despite not going to half the classes, and failing on almost every test, thank you curve.
The Danish school system ... *shakes head*
That wouldn't have been possible in Germany.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 02, 2014, 15:24
The Danish school system ... *shakes head*
That wouldn't have been possible in Germany.

Well it wasn't meant to be either, we had one teacher for the first half of the year, at that point I only missed 13%, and was far below the 10% across all classes. Then after Christmas our classes was located at the same time as another class, so they hired a substitute. I showed up for less and less classes, but never got a warning and ended up on 4?% for the year missed Spanish classes. Also this year was a pre-year for the next two where you had to pick only 6 classes (I think we had like 10-12 at the time) Basically the school didn't care how you did in the classes that you A:could not pick a year later B:Didn't intend to pick. Hence Art, PE and Spanish was classes that you could basically slack in, they also did not count in the GPA. I still was pretty low in absence from classes over all, but I mean spending 4 hours on a bus to not learn anything in a Spanish class with a substitute teacher just seemed like a waste.

Also I am still amazed that with zero effort I was still better than the classes average in that Spanish class.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: just some guy on November 02, 2014, 16:11
the key as an English speaker in a country where you do not know the local Tongue is to


 speak very slowly in english and ignore the blank stares and yell at the same time

works everytime

 ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on November 02, 2014, 16:15
My Godfather grew up in an English speaking family, attended an Irish speaking school where he learned Latin, was then taught Greek through Latin.

Similarly, I knew a Kenyan, whose native language I don't think I ever knew the name of, who went to a Swahili school knowing no Swahilil, but learned English through Swahili, Spanish through English, and is now working in Paraguay, having learned his fifth language, Guaraní, through the medium of his fourth language.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 02, 2014, 16:23
Fluent in French (mother tongue), English and Dutch. Learning Russian now.

I wish I could unlearn English, though.  :lol Language of the Empire.  :-x My Dutch is not as fluent as my language, so I'm making a lot of effort to practice it. I wish there existed some nicely done Dutch cycling forum because basically I register on these forums for language practice. Besides, a Dutch cycling forum should waaay more interesting than CN. :shh

I'm currently following some Russian evening lesson in order to become a good double agent for the KGB when Putin creates his Eurasian Union.  :lol And perhaps in order to someday read Demons in original version.  :cool

I've bought some albums of Tintin in Walloon (from Brabant) and in Gaumais (that's the dialect in the real South of Wallonia, it's close to the  'Lorrain' in France) but I can't read a WORD of them.  :D Just for a collection. My family is not from Wallonia originally, I grew up there but no real roots. Anyway all these endogenous languages are ways in Europe to undermine to official languages (along with the English language).

Also in Flanders, I've heard my late grandma speak her Flemish dialect (dialect from the Waasland) with my dad. He could understand it but replied in French. I couldn't understand a word of it because what I have learnt and am fluent in is standard Dutch. Likewise when I hear Boonen or Wellens (Bart, I mean) [who are both from the Antwerp province/ the Campine] replying to an interview, it's unintelligible for me while Nys is perfectly intelligible for me.

Also studied Spanish at secundary school but forgot almost all of it. I realized that Germanic languages suited me better (but no German  :D). Okay when I read Italian or Spanish I can sometimes guess what it says but I can't say I'm good at it. I mean I also had Latin classes for 6 years but it doesn't really help. ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 02, 2014, 16:42
Or learn the local tongue ... :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Anthony Moan on November 02, 2014, 16:53
After couple of drinks I am fluent in all. Just name it, Dari, Pashtu, Urdu, Arabic you name it Tony got it all!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 22:27
Danish is my mother tongue and I originally learned English from tv/rap-music...
Rap-inspired English, with a Danish accent. I would love to hear some recordings of those early iterations.  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 02, 2014, 22:50
Also in Flanders, I've heard my late grandma speak her Flemish dialect (dialect from the Waasland) with my dad. He could understand it but replied in French. I couldn't understand a word of it because what I have learnt and am fluent in is standard Dutch. Likewise when I hear Boonen or Wellens (Bart, I mean) [who are both from the Antwerp province/ the Campine] replying to an interview, it's unintelligible for me while Nys is perfectly intelligible for me.
That is really interesting to me, and a bit surprising. Is the difficulty the result of vocabulary—different words being used, or are they using similar words to Dutch but with a different pronunciation and sound?
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 03, 2014, 02:02
Rap-inspired English, with a Danish accent. I would love to hear some recordings of those early iterations.  :D

Learned it from listening, I was no way rapping. Every once in a while I try to write a rhyme or something, normally ends up half finished and with me finding it years later at which point I laugh at the bad rhymes and stuff. A couple of funny ones has come out of playing with words though.

My accent in English is luckily not Danish though, it is more African American than anything else.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 04, 2014, 03:25
My accent in English is luckily not Danish though, it is more African American than anything else.

Wanna bet?  :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: 42x16ss on November 04, 2014, 08:13
Here in Australia languages other than English are almost entirely voluntary at school and as a result, bilingual Australians are very rare unless you or your parents migrated here. Luckily for me my grandmother on my mothers side is from Bilbao and taught me Spanish from a young age and I continued to study it right through high school. I was very fluent for a time thanks to my time in Europe trying to turn pro but my skill has suffered from not having someone to talk to, so I was very pleased when my girlfriend decided to learn Spanish to try and improve her chances of getting to a project in Santiago with her work. Now I get to practice and she gets a second tutor :).

My Italian is also good enough to get by (read survive ;)) thanks to my Spanish skills and riding for an elite amateur team in Bergamo for two years in my early 20's. When we went to Lake Como earlier this year I surprised myself with just how much I remember even though I'd only spoken Italian a handful of times since I was there.

Out of all my close friends now, the only ones who are even slightly bilingual are a couple who spent 3 years working and living in Poland and a friend who learned Italian from his grandparents. Even my girlfriend, whose parents were born in Serbia and Germany is only learning her second language now, at 33.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 04, 2014, 09:59
... I was very pleased when my girlfriend decided to learn Spanish to try and improve her chances of getting to a project in Santiago with her work ...

So is that Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela or Santiago de Cuba?
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: 42x16ss on November 04, 2014, 11:29
So is that Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela or Santiago de Cuba?

Santiago de Chile, which would be cool because Chile has some phenomenal beaches within a day's drive of Santiago, in Pichelemu and Valparaiso  :s :cool :shh
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 04, 2014, 11:51
That is really interesting to me, and a bit surprising. Is the difficulty the result of vocabulary—different words being used, or are they using similar words to Dutch but with a different pronunciation and sound?

A bit of the two but mainly a matter of pronunciation, I guess. For example, the word "boat" in Dutch writes "boot" (but pronounced the same way as in English) and in the Waasland dialect it's pronounced "büt" (German ü).

But there are also vocabulary differences. For example, a "beer" is "een bier" in Dutch but becomes "een rebbe" in the dialect spoken in Aalst. :lol

It actually goes very far because on tv you very often have shows (mainly TV series) in local Flemish areas and they would speak their own dialects in it, so that the shows always get subtitles in standard Dutch, whether on public or private broadcasters. The shows can even be aired in the Netherlands (at least that is what my uni professor of linguistics told me) and of course it'll get subtitles.

It's so that a person from Ostend can't be understood by a guy from Antwerp if he speaks in his local dialect, and reverse is also true. Actually it's the same in the Walloonland where the Walloon of Liège is not the same as the Walloon of Namur but it's now been a couple of generation since Walloons dropped their dialects for French (though not so long ago actually). In Flanders on the other hand, dialects are still pêrennial, something that we can't understand in the French-speaking part because we are learning Dutch as a second language and when we meet Flemings, we realise that they are not speaking the language that we've learnt at all. The official language in Flanders is Dutch (as the Dutch speak it) but the Flemings are learning Dutch at school, they still speak their dialects at home.

Quote from: Kiwirider
The other reason I hesitate in my rating is the fact that the local dialect and accent is really hard to understand for anyone not from the area - franco and anglo alike. If the rest of Quebec could disown Gatineau, they probably would - based on the language abuse alone! Hulloise/Gatinoise is a weird mash of English and French - more than just the usual franglais. They use verbs like "checker" and a grammatical order that often follows English! Thanks to the accent, phrases like "je ne sais pas" become something resembling "shaypaw" (one word) ...

That's weird because we are used here to see Quebeckers as real "purists." For example, when I was in Canada, I was watching a game of tennis on TV. I think I wasn't in Quebec but in Acadia/New-Brunswick where they also speak French and they would translate every term into French. So, "breakpoint" became "balle de bris", "bris" being the litteral translation for "break", while on the Continent we would simply say "balle de break" for "breakpoint."

But yes, French Canadians have a very distinctive accent that I find beautiful but I can see it's hard to understand for non-natives. French Canada is one of my favourite place on earth.  :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: l29205 on November 04, 2014, 16:33
English is my main language.  Being from the American Midwest there is not much diversity to be exposed to anything else.  Having gone to Catholic private schools for my education I did get many years of Latin.  So I can read most Latin languages and can converse if the person I am speaking with slows down.  Italians and Spaniards speak at 100 KPH (62 MPH) IMO.  I did learn Japanese in College but I only use it when ordering sushi. 

All that being said according to Google translate I am fluent in all major languages.  :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 04, 2014, 17:21
Wanna bet?  :lol

Why not, not sure how such a bet would be resolved though.

Also remind you I said more than anything else. I am not saying if I was somewhere people would think I was from that place. More so that people in a third place would think I was American.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: cj2002 on November 04, 2014, 18:03
I'm a native English speaker (shocking, I know...) with proficiencies in other European languages ranging from rusty to competent but shy.

German I studied for 8 or 9 years, and we have a number of friends in Berlin and elsewhere who I have visited on several occasions. But I'm badly out of practice these days.

My French, built from innumerable trips, coupled to fluency of both parents, is even rustier.

The only foreign language I'm actually practising is Portuguese (also shocking, right?). I'm even having lessons[1].
 1. Not a euphemism
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 04, 2014, 20:16
[1]
 1. Not a euphemism

Saucy! ;)[2]
 2. The euphemism[1]
 1. If it was one, I mean.[1]
 1. And it would be cool if it was.[1]
 1. Of course it would.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 04, 2014, 20:31
Saucy! ;)[1]
 1. The euphemism[1]
 1. If it was one, I mean.[1]
 1. And it would be cool if it was.[1]
 1. Of course it would.

What a great ways to use footnotes, some might call it cool, but I would call it hot, so hot it is stolen  :o[2]

Spoiler (hover to show)
 2. So from the makers of footnote within a footnote we now bring you, a footnote within a footnote within a quote within a quote within a footnote within a footnote[1]
 1. 
I keep thinking you are Flo because of that avatar bet you lost  :S I was wondering why flo was giving props to Bobby G



What I really finds interesting is if AC wins the double, will he ride the Vuelta, I think so[1].
 1. Fun fact:In races that he finished Contador is undefeated in GT's starting outside outside of France, he is 0/3 in GT's starting inside of France[1]
 1. How many starts in France in 2015? 0 yes? 3 wins for AC?
Outlandish idea. But had to click "Like" because of the ballsy virtuosity of the footnote-within-a-footnote.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 04, 2014, 22:38
Why not, not sure how such a bet would be resolved though.
Doesn't matter, as long as we agree that the winner becomes the sole heir of the "DB" nickname.  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DB-Coop on November 04, 2014, 22:43
Doesn't matter, as long as we agree that the winner becomes the sole heir of the "DB" nickname.  :P

How would we get the lesser known third DB to join?

Also Wager seems a bit high, I would hate to have to adopt the nickname DC-Boob or DC-Poop for that matter :-x.

Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: t-72 on November 04, 2014, 22:50
Foreign Languages? English and portuguese!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 04, 2014, 23:37
English is my main language.  Being from the American Midwest there is not much diversity to be exposed to anything else.
I suppose it's quite different here in the North East then. Most bank machines that I approach will typically have up to 6 or 8 different language options, and it's not at all uncommon to walk into a cell phone store and have English pamphlets and brochures on one side, and Spanish on the other, due to a, mostly, ever-increasing Puerto Rican population. On one recent visit to my local Verizon store, someone had mistakenly placed only Spanish broachers on both sides. It was a telling moment, and one that would easily confirm the worst fears of any xenophobe—and there is no shortage of such types in many parts of the U.S.

One very interesting observation that I have made over the past several years though, is that when strolling through some of the more common and very public walking/hiking areas, on any given day, there is a noticeable contingent of foreigners, speaking in their native tongues, which far surpasses the ratio to local folks that one would normally encounter.

It would not be at all unusual to encounter Chinese, Korean, Bosnian, Russian, Polish, German, Romanian, Greek, Hindi, or, more recently, Urdu. Curiously enough, French and Spanish would be the least likely heard, even though they would be the most commonly spoken/learned languages in other walks of like (pun accepted).

English with a British accent? The rarest of them all (unless one my relatives happens to be in town :P).
Nor can I ever recall hearing anything that resembled Dutch. :?

Why the locals don't seem to embrace these outdoor areas as enthusiastically as foreigners do,  could easily be debated. With the particular areas that I have in mind, part of it is certainly to do with the wealth surrounding these areas, as rich people will tend to go off and indulge in "richer" things than a walk in the woods. But it is also curious to me that so many "new arrivals" seem to discover these same places that are still unknown to many locals (or if known, they just haven't been experienced).

To clarify that last point a bit:
It is obvious to me,  in many ways, that usually these people are, in fact, new arrivals. Their clothing,  the undeniable sound of a language not yet corrupted or influenced by its present surroundings, and, yes, by the way they walk. I still can't quite pin down exactly what it is that informs me, but without exception, I can always accurately predict, from a distance, when I am about to cross paths with any of these immigrants. Before I hear a word spoken, and even if their clothing doesn't tip me off, I am never wrong. They just seem to carry themselves "differently."

Although now that I consider it: One tip-off could easily be the fact that Americans will often go walking by themselves or in pairs, but rarely in larger groups (not referring to organized hikes or planned adventures. I'm talking about, basically, a morning or afternoon stroll). But a group made up of a large family, or more than three adults, will almost certainly be from another country (at least when it comes to these particular public areas, which are generally the protected wooded surroundings to our local reservoirs, and state parks).

Cultural differences? I suppose it could be a vast topic all its own. It is curious though.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: l29205 on November 05, 2014, 00:57

Although now that I consider it: One tip-off could easily be the fact that Americans will often go walking by themselves or in pairs, but rarely in larger groups (not referring to organized hikes or planned adventures. I'm talking about, basically, a morning or afternoon stroll). But a group made up of a large family, or more than three adults, will almost certainly be from another country (at least when it comes to these particular public areas, which are generally the protected wooded surroundings to our local reservoirs, and state parks).

Cultural differences? I suppose it could be a vast topic all its own. It is curious though.

I would agree that for the most part Americans seem to like solitude. So they run and walk alone or with one maybe two people.  Also, I notice that we have a tendency to be less vocal in when we are engaged in those activities.

 
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Anthony Moan on November 05, 2014, 18:09
Just dont work with Scotish dude :D I am like 70% of time pretending that I understand something. Last time it takes me 3 minutes to get him where we are going to brunch, it was Yacht Club but that Yacht word was like something I have never heard before, something like Josh as I understood lol!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Dim on November 08, 2014, 19:07
Fluent... None :D

English - As my first language, obviously.

French - French is weird with me. I can read French no problems at all. If i bump into a french friend in england i can barely understand a word they say and If i try to speak it im utterly lost. When going to france, the first day im utterly lost and can barely buy a train ticket, then it slowly all comes back to me, and after a week or two I can hold a conversation without any real problems. To the point where, after a spending a week in France and then going to Germany, i was converting german numbers (when spending money) back into French so i could work out costs rather than back into english (which was really odd), and several germans actually thought i was french. :S

I think its a confidence and memory issue. The longer you are in a place the more you remember, but also the more confident you get in what you do actually know.

German - I can do the basics, order food, understand menus, ask for the bill, say please and thank you, ask for directions etc.

Flemish - Well i can understand sporza :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Dim on November 08, 2014, 19:08
Just dont work with Scotish dude :D I am like 70% of time pretending that I understand something.

Same with the Geordies. I find squinting helps, no idea why
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: just some guy on November 08, 2014, 19:38
I once spent 3 very enjoyable hours watching rugby, drinking with 2 fishermen who lived on Skye.

even though they spoke English I still have no idea of one word they said, even told them, they laughed and 1 bought the next round.

I literally guessed the convo for 3 hours


great night  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: pastronef on November 08, 2014, 21:42
Italian: native Language

English: many years of school, songs, tv. spoken daily at work
French: many years of school, had a Chinese-French girldfriend. spoken daily at work
German: few years at school, Eurosport in German. spoken daily at work
Spanish: never studied, understand it through Italian, magazines, tv.
Catalan: love it, don't speak it, just love reading and listening. understand quite a bit.

Schweizer-Deutsch: I hear it every day at work.  the most incredible language, I feel shame for the people speaking it, for the children who will never learn German but this utterly mad language.


Flemish-Dutch: can understand but I don't speak it. have many Benelux guests at the hotel. Prefer Dutch TV to Belgian TV.

can't help but try to guess any language I hear when I hear foreign people talking. frinds think I'm mad  :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 08, 2014, 21:52
Italian: native Language

English: ...spoken daily at work
French: ...spoken daily at work
German: ...spoken daily at work

Schweizer-Deutsch: I hear it every day at work.

What the hell?  :S

Where do you work, the United Nations?  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: pastronef on November 08, 2014, 22:12
What the hell?  :S

Where do you work, the United Nations?  :P

ahahah, no  :lol
I work in a Spa-Wellness Hotel in Piedmont.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: cj2002 on November 10, 2014, 20:30
This would seem as good a place as any to mention that I am really enjoying making myself understood in Barcelona by speaking Portuguese badly!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 10, 2014, 20:41
This would seem as good a place as any to mention that I am really enjoying making myself understood in Barcelona by speaking Portuguese badly!

You can also try French if you speak that.

Also, this has been bugging me because I hate to leave prepositions dangling at the end of the statement ...

In how many languages are you fluent?
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 10, 2014, 22:05
In how many languages are you fluent?
Well, not that long ago, you would've been able to do something about that.  :P

Perhaps you can persuade one of the current Council of Elders to alter the thread title?

It's all good by me.  :cool




(Truth be told, the title never sat that well with me. I knew there had to be a better way to express it.)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 10, 2014, 22:06
Well, not that long ago, you would've been able to do something about that.  :P

Perhaps you can persuade one of the current Council of Elders to alter the thread title?

It's all good by me.  :cool




(Truth be told, the title never sat that well with me. I knew there was a better way to express it.)

Oh, don't worry, I still have the power for some reason. ;) Anyway, the title is not wrong, it's just playing on my OCD :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 10, 2014, 22:07
...it's just playing on my OCD :D
But words do matter, and in a thread about language, they should matter even more.

So feel free.  :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: barrus on November 10, 2014, 22:18
A bit of the two but mainly a matter of pronunciation, I guess. For example, the word "boat" in Dutch writes "boot" (but pronounced the same way as in English) and in the Waasland dialect it's pronounced "büt" (German ü).

But there are also vocabulary differences. For example, a "beer" is "een bier" in Dutch but becomes "een rebbe" in the dialect spoken in Aalst. :lol

It actually goes very far because on tv you very often have shows (mainly TV series) in local Flemish areas and they would speak their own dialects in it, so that the shows always get subtitles in standard Dutch, whether on public or private broadcasters. The shows can even be aired in the Netherlands (at least that is what my uni professor of linguistics told me) and of course it'll get subtitles.

It's so that a person from Ostend can't be understood by a guy from Antwerp if he speaks in his local dialect, and reverse is also true. Actually it's the same in the Walloonland where the Walloon of Liège is not the same as the Walloon of Namur but it's now been a couple of generation since Walloons dropped their dialects for French (though not so long ago actually). In Flanders on the other hand, dialects are still pêrennial, something that we can't understand in the French-speaking part because we are learning Dutch as a second language and when we meet Flemings, we realise that they are not speaking the language that we've learnt at all. The official language in Flanders is Dutch (as the Dutch speak it) but the Flemings are learning Dutch at school, they still speak their dialects at home.


Actually in the Netherlands, so what should be Dutch as the Dutch speak it, sometimes hard to understand from region to region, for example, unless you've been there for a while you won't be able to understand two people from Limburg talk to each other, some with a lot of other regions. I myself also has a pretty thick dialect at times when I am home and it can be really hard for Flemish people, or people from certain other parts of the Netherlands to understand at times (different words and pronounciation). For example, when I am home, or not really focusing on speaking, certain types of letter combinations are different than other parts of the Netherlands. For example what normally is sch, like school, for me can easily turn into sk, ie skool. The pronounciation of eu and ui is often reversed in my region, for example with kuiken (chick) and keuken (kitchen), which I pronounce opposite of how it's written so people don't understand what I mean. Than there are verb differences which can make it even more difficult (since these too are sometimes reversed). And mix it with some base Amsterdam and some other regional peculiarities and it becomes a mess. So yeah, even in the Netherlands there are a lot of different dialects often times hard to understand for non-native speakers or people from other regions


Oh and to answer the question of the thread:
Fluent: Dutch
Decent: English
Basic: German
Able to read/interpret most things (non-spoken): French
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 10, 2014, 22:37
For example what normally is sch, like school, for me can easily turn into sk, ie skool.
Wait a minute, I would pronounce those both exactly the same (like "skool"). :slow
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: barrus on November 10, 2014, 22:43
Wait a minute, I would pronounce those both exactly the same (like "skool"). :slow

In dutch sch is normally sg, so sgool
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 10, 2014, 22:55
In dutch sch is normally sg, so sgool
More specifically, s-gchchchggchch*sound of slowly being strangled*chchgchch-ool. :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 10, 2014, 23:10
I realize I've posted this link before, but I think I'd like to meet this girl.  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uAAniqFFhQ
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: oliveira on November 11, 2014, 00:00
Well, I'm fluent in my native one, Portuguese. As every portuguese I talk basic spanish, actually a very special basic spanish known as portuñol that is basic spanish spoken as if it was good.

English is the foreing language where I'm most confortable. Then, I can easily understand written and spoken french and italian, but I can't fluentlly speak or write on those.

For the rest, I believe I can communicate with every sensient being on the planet out of the art of desenrascanço!
Spoiler (hover to show)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 11, 2014, 12:11
You've hit upon one of the really weird paradoxes about Quebec French.

You're right that there are lots of words and phrases that are "purist" French. For example, you'll hear of "le stationnement" far more often than "le parking" or "la fin de semaine" rather than "le weekend" (although the latter is quite common).[...]

Ah yes "le stationnement". Remember now. But I understand the explanations on Montreal and the Federal Government. I guess the Quebec society has changed a lot over the years and probably they are less of purists than they were 40 years ago. Propably.

Ahhh, now that is another story ...

I have a friend who's partner was Franco-Ontarian. They moved to Acadia - and even her partner found the language out there more purist and a bit obscure compared to what they'd grown up speaking ...

Ah no no no no & no.  :D I was in Acadia but the tennis game I was watching was on a Quebec broadcaster or at least I think so. But it was really weird "balle de bris" for "breakpoint". "Bris d'égalité" for "tie break" (while on the continent we may say "jeu décisif" but more frequently so "tie-break"), balle de manche for "set point" (we say "balle de set" on the continent). Only "balle de match" remained, lol, I thought they would have said "balle de partie", but no.  :lol

However the Acadians have always been rebels, more so than the Quebeckers that they call "the people from the River" ("Les gens du Fleuve"). They haven't forgotten the "Grand dérangement", I guess.  :P

You clearly haven't talked to anyone from Hull (QC)!!!   ;)   As I say, it's a local accent that is universally mocked across the rest of Quebec.
I had a quick surf, and found this interview between what sounds to be a Montrealais and a guy from around the area where I live (whose accent isn't as broad as some here). See if you can spot what I'm talking about with the accents ...  ;) ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhtTQiDJLs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhtTQiDJLs)


Oh lol, even I can't understand that man.  :D But no, I didn't have the pleasure to go west of Montreal. From Montreal we went ot Quebec City, then Tadoussac - for a whale cruise  :) - and then we landed in (Nico) Matane for a whole loop around Gaspesia (breathtaking landscape) and then Acadia/New Brunswick.

Quote from: barrus
Actually in the Netherlands, so what should be Dutch as the Dutch speak it, sometimes hard to understand from region to region, for example, unless you've been there for a while you won't be able to understand two people from Limburg talk to each other, some with a lot of other regions.

But Limburg is on the periphery, right?

I have several acquaintances from Dutch Limburg, so I know that they have a very distinctive dialect that is close to Belgian Limburg. Frisian is also a peculiar dialect but it's up there in the North. And then you have the region of Breskens and such where people are rather speaking a West-Flemish dialect because it's historically a bit of Flanders in the Netherlands. There are dialectal varieties in every language communities. Read our discussion with Kiwi on Canadian French.  ;)

Yet there still exists a standard language - Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands - which was standardised around the Randstad, though based on the historical Brabant dialect (if I remember  my uni courses well), which is the official language in Flanders: of the administration, justice, teaching, and ... public broadcaster (Dim, on Sporza, they speak Dutch, not Flemish  :D).


By the way, "school" pronounced "sk" is correct for me. It's just that the "ch" sound is guttural, a bit like German 'ch', I think (?) (when not preceded by 's'). When I'm telling this Frenchies for example, I'm saying "just pronounce 'sk'", otherwise it's too complicate. It's just that the 'g' sound also is guttural but it's definitely another sound.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 12, 2014, 18:19
Frisian is also a peculiar dialect but it's up there in the North.
Frisian is not a dialect! It's a whole own language!

Unless of course you're talking about the Dutch that people in Fryslân speak, which is probably very distinct.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 13, 2014, 09:21
So, just to clarify, your comments about Quebecois(es) being language purists are based on that trip? If so, no wonder you were surprised by my initial comments. Even in my short time here, attitudes to language have changed hugely!

FWIW, my experience of perceptions of the Québecois is much the same as described by Echoes.

Those French and Belgian francophones with whom I've discussed Québec have all talked of a pariahlike fastidiousness about the French language that is, for them at least, explained by the insecurity of being a "threatened" minority.

Québec is a surprisingly common topic. Several of these people express an interest in emigrating there, which is a very fashionable thing to do among thirtysomethings wanting to start or having recently started a family.

Anyway, having described the language situation as it appears to them, most interlocutors found it understandable but a bit silly (one occasionally hears of examples similar to that 'pasta-pâtes' thing in Flanders).

But to conclude, unlike Echoes' concrete personal experience however, I think most of what I have heard about language in Québec is just a matter of perception, hence my italicisation of it above. It is quite probable that European perceptions of Québec, largely informed by media coverage and hearsay rather than getting off one's arse to go visit, have some catching up to do. :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 17, 2014, 10:55
A professor at uni once taught us that the difference between a dialect and a language is that a language is officially sanctioned by a country, just that. By that definition, Frisian is a dialect. But anyway, it doesn't change anything at the point I was trying to make.


As a Catholic, what I appreciate about Quebec and mostly the Quebec countryside is that they remained traditional and the effect of the Quiet Revolution wasn't persistent all the way.

The Quiet Revolutioon was an avatar of what teh French called the Glorious Thirty and what the Italians call Italietta, I think. The 30 first post War years characterised by rapid economic growth, welfare state, consumption society and the development of societal issues, ...

The Parti Quebecois and Levesque in particular (I have no respect for the man) revolutionised the way Quebeckers should look at independence. Until the sixties, Independentists called the region "Bas-Canada" or "French Canada" and from then on they called it "Quebec", which means that they let the Acadians down (+ don't forget there are francophones all the way to British Columbia, I think) and then they respected the bilingual nature of Quebec. The republican conception of a nation.

Laws like the "pasta gate", etc are red herrings I think. In the 80's Lévesque famously surrendered to the Anglophones (Kitchen Meeting and Lake Meech Agreement), which shows that he didn't really wish independence.

For those of you who have good command of French and have no problem wih the Canadian accent I'd really recommend this wonderful doco about the Acadians: https://www.onf.ca/film/acadiens_de_la_dispersion (Les Acadiens de la dispersion  :))

And the conference by Denys Lesage about the Great Peace of Montreal  :cool :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRhs-7YfjAU
 
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 17, 2014, 12:06
A professor at uni once taught us that the difference between a dialect and a language is that a language is officially sanctioned by a country, just that.
Frisian is officially sanctioned by both the Netherlands (350.000 native speakers in Fryslân, with more learning it as a second language) and Germany (~10.000 native speakers in North Friesland plus 2000 in the Saterland). It appears on signs at city limits, public institutions etc. (in both countries), and may be used for official communication with authorities, who are obliged to answer in the same language.
How much more sanctioned can it be?
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 18, 2014, 01:17
For all you linguists... :cool

23 maps and charts on language

http://www.vox.com/2014/11/17/7082317/language-maps-charts (http://www.vox.com/2014/11/17/7082317/language-maps-charts)

(http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2455670/196.0.jpg)

(http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/assets/4596925/english-eu.jpg)

(http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2455668/median-of-languages.0.jpg)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: pastronef on November 18, 2014, 05:11
For all you linguists... :cool

(http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2455668/median-of-languages.0.jpg)

so Finland: Finnish Swedish and English, while the 3 baltic: own language, English and Russian.
Nice one for Luxembourg: Letzeburgisch, German, French, English.

Letzeburgish is one of the 6-7 languages spoken by Bjarne Riis  ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 19, 2014, 17:42
Frisian is officially sanctioned by both the Netherlands (350.000 native speakers in Fryslân, with more learning it as a second language) and Germany (~10.000 native speakers in North Friesland plus 2000 in the Saterland). It appears on signs at city limits, public institutions etc. (in both countries), and may be used for official communication with authorities, who are obliged to answer in the same language.
How much more sanctioned can it be?

Only Dutch has the "official language" status in the Netherlands. In Belgium a dozen dialect are recognised as such by the state but only Dutch, French and German are official languages. I'm not sure that Frisian is the language of education and justice. With regards to traffic boards, it's just like Breton in Brittany. Not really the kind of things I approve of.  :-x

Quote from: Kiwirider
[About Quebec]


Apologies for the small inaccuracies but I was in a hurry and typed too fast, lol.

So the reforms on societal issues that you mentioned are not restricted to Quebec but to most countries and regions which are traditionally Catholic with the exception of Ireland, I guess. In the meantime, you had the Vatican II Council, which changed everything. I guess on societal issues, the Protestants are more conservative than the Vatican II sect (which I don't label Catholic).


About Lévesque, well I hadn't checked but during the Kitchen Meeting, he was humiliated. The other PM made the agreement while he was sleeping in another hotel. Then, by 1984, he believed in Mulroney's federalization promises and hence abandoned his independence project. The Lake Meech agreement showed how Lévesque was fooled because Mulroney just gave up his promise. Though you are right he did not negotiate with Lévesque.

Lévesque could gave declared independence straightway after he's been elected but first he decided make it a matter for a referendum and then for a vote in the Parliament. I'm convinced that in hindsight he didn't really wish independence.

By the way, the reason I think he was really stupid is the way he analysed the De Gaullle speech (a great speech if I ever heard one!) as some sort of an order. "He came to tell us what we had to do!" No way! In his speech De Gaulle only said, "if you dare to do it, we'll be siding you." Which is not the same thing of course.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l1EYNoHY1A


oh English is not an official language? Well at least there has always been Anglophone Quebeckers, I guess. Still have Hitchcock's I Confess in mind, in which Montgomery Clift plays an Anglophone priest in Quebec City.  :cool

(http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/inside_out/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/I-Confess-Anne-Baxter-and-Montgomery-Clift.jpg)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: barrus on November 19, 2014, 18:08
Frisian has the official language status in the Netherlands. In Frysland it is allowed for schools and public institutes to be in Frisian
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 21, 2014, 22:57
Only Dutch has the "official language" status in the Netherlands. In Belgium a dozen dialect are recognised as such by the state but only Dutch, French and German are official languages. I'm not sure that Frisian is the language of education and justice. With regards to traffic boards, it's just like Breton in Brittany. Not really the kind of things I approve of.  :-x

barrus puts it as well as it can be said:
Frisian has the official language status in the Netherlands. In Frysland it is allowed for schools and public institutes to be in Frisian
In Schleswig-Holstein Frisian, and Danish and Plattdütsch (Low German), are recognised as official languages by the state. In Fryslân, some kindergardens and schools are entirely Frisian-language (at least for the lower classes), and the same is true on the North Frisian islands & Halligen[1] and for Risum-Lindholm and other towns on the mainland where North Frisian is still spoken.

There are 9 mutually intelligible dialects of Frisian (basically, one for every island or Harde[2] on the mainland), and there used to be even more. Although very similar, slight differences in spelling and pronounciation make each of them distinctive.

West Frisian and North Frisian are not mutually intelligible - although people will understand some words, you won't be able to strike up a full conversation. Comparable to the relation between Russian and Czech. Therefore Frisian is, in fact, not one language, but several languages.

Like I said before, Frisian (and Danish and Plattdütsch) may be used for official communication with governmental authorities who are obliged to answer in the same language. This status is enshrined in the constitution and further confirmed with a separate law.

With regards to the traffic signs: It's not about whether or not you, or anybody else from outside, approve of it.
It's about what the people living in the area want, approve of, and are proud of. Unlike in the Bretagne, we don't have double-language traffic signs. Directional signs are in German. Only the signs showing the limits of a city/town/village have the German name at the top, and the Frisian (or Danish) name in a smaller font below that:
(http://www.oke-klingenberg.de/dorfschild1-1-1.jpg) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/5/57/Flensburg_Ortsschild.jpg)


I wouldn't attempt to lecture you on details of the situation in Belgium, because I don't have knowledge of the intricacies. So please do not pretend you know more about the languages in the area that I've grown up in, lived in for twenty years, return back to for regular visits, fondly consider my home and am proud to belong to.

Ik ban stult en Frasche tu san! :)
(http://www.fahnenversand.de/shop/images/artikel/278.jpg)
 1. islands that have no winter dykes and are therefore submerged during storm floods, with the exception of the Warften[1]
 1. artificial mounds on which the houses are built
 2. ancient subdivision, approximately the same as an English 'hundred'
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Echoes on November 23, 2014, 11:39
Echoes, please tell me that you're just trolling with your posts on this thread ...


He ho, I haven't insulted anybody on this thread, right?

So now that's enough. I'm fed up. Never expected such rudeness. You've all kept annoying me, this conversation is over now.

 :angry
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 23, 2014, 11:54
For all you linguists... :cool

23 maps and charts on language

http://www.vox.com/2014/11/17/7082317/language-maps-charts (http://www.vox.com/2014/11/17/7082317/language-maps-charts)

(http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2455670/196.0.jpg)

(http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/assets/4596925/english-eu.jpg)

(http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2455668/median-of-languages.0.jpg)

NL win :win

but seriously, most Dutch people think their English is pretty good, while in reality it's horrific. Yes, they could hold their own in a conversation, but the accent... the accent.. argh
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 23, 2014, 12:05
Wait a minute, I would pronounce those both exactly the same (like "skool"). :slow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrI2-bZ7wpc

ggggg :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Slow Rider on November 23, 2014, 13:25
NL win :win

but seriously, most Dutch people think their English is pretty good, while in reality it's horrific. Yes, they could hold their own in a conversation, but the accent... the accent.. argh

Not sure I agree. The Dutch accent in English is bad, sure. But it's perfectly understandable for native and non-native English speakers alike. Sure we sound like uneducated barbarians when we speak English - which often isn't far from the truth to be fair - but everyone who speaks English can understand us.

Something similar applies to Germans who speak English: it sounds awful, but you can easily understand it.

Compare that to French, Italians or Japanese trying to speak English. Even if their vocabulary is perfect, I just can't make sense out of it. And neither can many native English speakers.

Anyone who speaks another language that is not their native one will have an accent - unless perhaps the languages are really closely related - but that doesn't mean their English is bad. In fact, most native speakers probably won't care about our accent: they are used to English spoken with American, British, Australian, Irish, Indian accents. It's mostly us Dutch who recognise the Dutch accent in English as something terribly bad.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Flo on November 23, 2014, 13:26
Not sure I agree. The Dutch accent in English is bad, sure. But it's perfectly understandable for native and non-native English speakers alike. Sure we sound like uneducated barbarians when we speak English - which often isn't far from the truth to be fair - but everyone who speaks English can understand us.

Something similar applies to Germans who speak English: it sounds awful, but you can easily understand it.


that is exactly what I meant
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 23, 2014, 14:36
Compare that to French, Italians or Japanese trying to speak English. Even if their vocabulary is perfect, I just can't make sense out of it. And neither can many native English speakers.
The Japanese "accent"...:fp

My experience has been that it is many times an insurmountable barrier. In the music manufacturing world, Japan is a huge player on the scene. When at trades show, trying to communicate with individuals who are actually designated as the "translator" can be most daunting. There is just such chasm between our languages that sometimes it becomes a bridge too far.
Though I would imagine that the feelings are mutual.  :P


Indians present a different problem, in my experience. I have worked quite extensively with many Indian musicians and dancers. They were all very well versed and educated in English, with a very obvious British influence. But there always seemed to come a point where comprehension just simply stopped. Finer, more subtle concepts could never be adequately explained—and that seemed to go both ways. The people I worked with all spoke Hindi and Bengali, and would often fluctuate between those and English when conversing with one another. But with me, there would always be point, beyond which, our mutual language would not cover. We would hit a wall. But I'm not entirely sure that they understood that this was happening. They were all extremely articulate, and had a very good grasp of English, but some things just don't translate. Since I was usually the only American in these circles, there was little I could do to convince them that their English wasn't quite what they believed it to be.

I suppose this may be the difference between "words" and "language."
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 23, 2014, 17:11
Not sure I agree. The Dutch accent in English is bad, sure. But it's perfectly understandable for native and non-native English speakers alike. Sure we sound like uneducated barbarians when we speak English - which often isn't far from the truth to be fair - but everyone who speaks English can understand us.

Something similar applies to Germans who speak English: it sounds awful, but you can easily understand it.

Compare that to French, Italians or Japanese trying to speak English. Even if their vocabulary is perfect, I just can't make sense out of it. And neither can many native English speakers.

Anyone who speaks another language that is not their native one will have an accent - unless perhaps the languages are really closely related - but that doesn't mean their English is bad. In fact, most native speakers probably won't care about our accent: they are used to English spoken with American, British, Australian, Irish, Indian accents. It's mostly us Dutch who recognise the Dutch accent in English as something terribly bad.

The Dutch are the best non-native English speakers in Europe. So flame me. In terms of ubiquity and adaptability, Flol was right: NL win indeed. :lol

And here's why: as far as I am concerned, accent is completely irrelevant. In this world, it matters only to understand and be understood. And besides, accent is a matter of generalisation anyway: how do you distinguish two Dutch people, one who spends twenty years in England and the other twenty years in Enschede?

In this way, I have met a German whose accent was perfect like cut glass, a Finn who was indistinguishable from a posh Brit and, less attractively, a Greek who sounded like he was from Staines instead of Athens.

It's really not important. I would like to hug all of you simply for developing your English and thereby empowering yourselves to post here, to share something of yourselves in a way that wasn't possible not so long ago. Who cares what your accent sounds like? When you really think about it, it is amazing what you have all been able to do. :hug
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 23, 2014, 17:28
The Dutch are the best non-native English speakers in Europe. So flame me. In terms of ubiquity and adaptability, Flol was right: NL win indeed. :lol
Danes are good English speakers as well. But I agree with Flo and SR: Like the Dutch, the Danes think they're better at English than they actually are. They're very, very good, but not as flawless as they think.

When you really think about it, it is amazing what you have all been able to do. :hug
Yep. Especially when compared with the level of fluency many native English speakers have in any other language ... :P

About a year ago, I was asked by an Icelander (another people with great English skills) if I had lived in England because my English was so good and with no accent at all. At that point, I had spent a grand total of 10 hours in the UK. :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on November 23, 2014, 17:37
Danes are good English speakers as well. But I agree with Flo and SR: Like the Dutch, the Danes think they're better at English than they actually are. They're very, very good, but not as flawless as they think.
Yep. Especially when compared with the level of fluency many native English speakers have in any other language ... :P

About a year ago, I was asked by an Icelander (another people with great English skills) if I had lived in England because my English was so good and with no accent at all. At that point, I had spent a grand total of 10 hours in the UK. :D

I bet 10 hours was quite enough ... Not to perfect the accent, just to get the hell out as soon as possible. ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 23, 2014, 17:42
I bet 10 hours was quite enough ...
I've since spent several days in Norn Iron, having a lot of craic.
And I've been to Malta twice for spring/autumn holidays.

But exposure to native speakers isn't where my proficiency comes from - it's watching English-language TV (including cycling at times), using it as lingua franca when travelling (whether that is in Spain, Prague, Romania or just Sweden), and, not to be underestimated, the internet.

I'm far better at expressing myself in writing than I am at actual face-to-face conversation; but that's true for the other languages I know too (with the exception of Czech). ;)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 23, 2014, 21:04
Yep. Especially when compared with the level of fluency many native English speakers have in any other language ...
I've no idea what you're talking about.  :P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdT-4Yrt6Yc&spfreload=10
 :lol

About a year ago, I was asked by an Icelander (another people with great English skills) if I had lived in England because my English was so good and with no accent at all. At that point, I had spent a grand total of 10 hours in the UK. :D
I spent a few weeks in Korea some years ago, it was part of a tour that took the band I was with to Okinawa and Japan as well. Shortly after returning, I visited to a local Tae Kwan Do school. When the master instructor appeared (who was Korean), without thinking about it, I greeted him in Korean. He told me afterward that he suspected that I had lived in Korea for at least a few years, so convincing was my take on his native language.
My accent, according to him, was "perfect."  :P

If so, I would attribute that to the fact that while there, I did pay close attention to the nuances of the language when listening to causal exchanges in shops and restaurants. The cadence and unique melodic emphasis were things that I paid particular attention to. I suppose that would be the logical  extension of my musical background. But I also have enough respect for any language not to butcher it as badly as New York City's Mayor Bloomberg does in the above clip.
I mean FFS!  :angry  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 23, 2014, 21:14
Another one of my all-time favorites.  :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efStUG6Qnso :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 23, 2014, 21:18
I've since spent several days in Norn Iron, having a lot of craic.
¿Qué? No entiendo.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Leadbelly on November 23, 2014, 21:24
I presume he means craic, unless Craig is some friend of his in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland).  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on November 23, 2014, 21:36
I presume he means craic, unless Craig is some friend of his in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland).  :P
I have no idea what you're talking about ... :s :P

My friend in Norn Iron isn't called Craig, he's called James. :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on November 23, 2014, 21:47
This is all Greek to me.  :P

New things learned today!

Norn Iron = Northern Ireland

And this:
http://www.ireland-fun-facts.com/craic.html
 :cool
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on December 06, 2014, 15:28
From this morning's 'cross race


https://twitter.com/nyvelocity/status/541235181731184641

https://twitter.com/nyvelocity/status/541235361859792896


Although I'm not entirely sure that I even understand it myself.  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on December 07, 2014, 12:24
Trombones and Tuba
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyWWg6O_bE&spfreload=10

Percussion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjdo9N9BZmE&spfreload=10

 :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on January 19, 2015, 21:33
Here's a question for all you Babylonians:

If I were make a study of one European language, which one would you suggest, and why?

I'm a bit curious to see if there's a consensus on which language would prove to be the most useful to someone such as myself.

Dankjewel, in advance.  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: barrus on January 19, 2015, 21:38
Here's a question for all you Babylonians:

If I were make a study of one European language, which one would you suggest, and why?

I'm a bit curious to see if there's a consensus on which language would prove to be the most useful to someone such as myself.

Dankjewel, in advance.  :P


Depends on what you want it for, but seeing as you're an American I would say Spanish, esp in New York or one of the southern states, or when you might want to go to South America
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on January 19, 2015, 21:53
What barrus said:
Depends on what you want it for
*it Italian is beautiful. *de German is ... German, *cz Czech is a challenge. :)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on January 19, 2015, 21:56
I would say Spanish, esp in New York or one of the southern states, or when you might want to go to South America

I probably should have said, besides Spanish, because that's the one language I "studied" in school, and I'm around it, to some extent, on a nearly daily basis. But the language doesn't really appeal to me, and, I suppose, like many Americans, I have a certain resentment in regards to that language being forced on me at times.

That's not to say that I wouldn't prefer to have a much better grasp of Spanish, but if I chose to, there are plenty of avenues available to me to improve my skills in that area.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: L'arri on January 19, 2015, 22:11
Here's a question for all you Babylonians:

If I were make a study of one European language, which one would you suggest, and why?

I'm a bit curious to see if there's a consensus on which language would prove to be the most useful to someone such as myself.

Dankjewel, in advance.  :P

Latin. In addition to the history and culture, you get basic automatic recognition of Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, ... Worked for me, anyway.

I don't know. I write that and I sigh about it.

I suppose the other guys have covered utility, so let's look at it as a question of fun instead: consider which culture you most want to study, enjoy and visit and go with that one.

For me that was always French, for the cycling, the vin and the extraordinary variety of landscapes. Italian colleague of mine once said that he was learning French because it sounded like exquisite music when whispered in bed. Good a reason as any, I say...
:P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: phebeM on January 20, 2015, 03:37
There are a lot of masters of a lot of language really. Then it is a great chance for you to give me a piece of advice as well. i would like to grab this chance. I would like to learn a new language, but could not decided among Spanish, French and Russia by self learning.

Native in Chinese, Fluent in English and basic in Japanese.

Your advice would be appreciated.  :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: DJW on January 20, 2015, 12:57
There are a lot of masters of a lot of language really. Then it is a great chance for you to give me a piece of advice as well. i would like to grab this chance. I would like to learn a new language, but could not decided among Spanish, French and Russia by self learning.

Native in Chinese, Fluent in English and basic in Japanese.

Your advice would be appreciated.  :D

I'm a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish and currently learning a little Russian. It depends entirely on why you want to learn a new language really, but Spanish is certainly easier to learn as I've found getting to grips with the Cyrillic alphabet quite difficult. Of course there are also great benefits in terms of opportunities to travel around Latin America.

Having said that, once you understand the Russian alphabet it is relatively simple to pronounce words, insofar as the letters read semi phonetically. I've also found it incredibly rewarding to learn, so would recommend Russian too!
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: AG on January 20, 2015, 23:44
if you follow cycling, either French or Spanish would be more useful   :cool
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Havetts on January 20, 2015, 23:57
Dutch so you can watch Sporza. (there is no other use for it :P)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: mew on January 21, 2015, 01:36
I am not fluent..but studied Spanish for several years and can read..if I immersed would become pretty comfortable.
I speak enough Nepali to get by..
and as per L'arri I took Latin..so can fake a little bit in Italian.  :P
languages fascinate me and I try hard to pick up as much as I can when I travel...my mouth has a difficult time doing French though.. :Sleepy:
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on January 21, 2015, 01:47
...my mouth has a difficult time doing French though.

And Mr. Mew is OK with that?  :P

 :-x

 :lol
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: mew on January 21, 2015, 01:52
jokester ^^^^ :dizzy
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: phebeM on January 21, 2015, 02:14
I'm a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish and currently learning a little Russian. It depends entirely on why you want to learn a new language really, but Spanish is certainly easier to learn as I've found getting to grips with the Cyrillic alphabet quite difficult. Of course there are also great benefits in terms of opportunities to travel around Latin America.

Having said that, once you understand the Russian alphabet it is relatively simple to pronounce words, insofar as the letters read semi phonetically. I've also found it incredibly rewarding to learn, so would recommend Russian too!

Thank you so much for the tips. As we have sponsored Spanish cycling teams, communicating with the agents and teams with Spanish would  close the gap. And the cycling market in the Russia is not so bright compared with Spain, I guess I would choose Spanish then. But personally I really like Russian President Putin very much.  :cool

And thank you for your analysis. :D
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 28, 2015, 17:54
Speaking of old English Kings...

What the English of Shakespeare, Beowulf, and King Arthur actually sounded like (http://theweek.com/articles/545166/what-english-shakespeare-beowulf-king-arthur-actually-sounded-like)

Quote
Old English is a bit of a misleading name. It's not understandable at all to modern English speakers; you'd have an easier time learning Dutch or Danish. Some people prefer to call it Anglo-Saxon, since it's the language that was brought over by the Angles and Saxons, invaders from northern Germany who took over Britain in the 600s.

Quote
What Arthur and his knights of the round table, and all the other people around then and there, would have been speaking was something we now call Brythonic or Brittonic: a Celtic language. Completely unlike modern English.

(http://api.theweek.com/sites/default/files/styles/tw_image_9_4/public/42-26405640.jpg?itok=VS0RBFNx&resize=1260x560)
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on March 28, 2015, 21:19
Speaking of old English Kings...

What the English of Shakespeare, Beowulf, and King Arthur actually sounded like (http://theweek.com/articles/545166/what-english-shakespeare-beowulf-king-arthur-actually-sounded-like)

(http://api.theweek.com/sites/default/files/styles/tw_image_9_4/public/42-26405640.jpg?itok=VS0RBFNx&resize=1260x560)
Of course Old English is a different language!

I didn't have much difficulty understanding Shakespeare's or Chaucer's English. Beowulf ... well. :D
But at that time, what is now Danish sounded much like Icelandic does today - and I wouldn't understand spoken Icelandic either.

I always found languages, and how they evolve over time, interesting. So thanks for the link! :cool
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 28, 2015, 21:31
what is now Danish sounded much like Icelandic does today - and I wouldn't understand spoken Icelandic either.

Give it a week or so.  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMz3gjl9x-M&spfreload=10

Quote
Daniel is now flying to Iceland for his ultimate challenge: We've given him a week to learn a totally new language from scratch, and then go live on national television.

Even the locals say that Icelandic is confusing and unpronounceable.  :S
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on March 28, 2015, 21:45
Give it a week or so.  :P
Ha! With subtitles, I have zero difficulty understanding Icelandic! :win
Even without subtitles, I can understand part of it.

Give me, well, maybe a year in Iceland, and I'll have learned the language.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on April 22, 2019, 02:40
A friend of mine (a piano player), who I used to perform with quite a bit, met a Spanish girl here who was working as an au pair. She didn't speak English, nor he Spanish. But they fell in love, and eventually got married. She would attend most of our concerts, and we all got along with her quite well, although her English improved only incrementally over the course of many months. But still, they had found their bond.

I believe the strain did take a toll on her, and after a couple of years they decided to relocate to Spain. That was well over a decade ago, and as far as know they are both still living there, and I can only presume that they are still together. Knowing this guy as I had, it is easy for me to imagine that his Spanish—even after all these years—is probably no better than her English ever was. So if he loses her, I would expect to see him back here with little more than the clothes on his back, speaking some form of barely recognizable Spanglish.


I was just casually perusing this thread and realized that it needs a bump.

Reason being? The highlighted above has since come to pass, as predicted. :fp  :P
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on April 22, 2019, 07:26
Been sent to Singapore for 9 months ... so figure that i may as well use the location and the fact that my partner couldn't come with me for that time (so I need something to fill in evenings and weekends!) to learn Mandarin. Start in a week or so ... will be interesting to see how far I get in the fluency department.
Good luck with the gazillion characters! :lol

On a related but separate note ...

... what is it with people who visit another country/culture and then spend all of their time doing their best not to experience it??

...

I mean, if my boss is kind enough to pay for me to come here, why wouldn't I take advantage and get out and explore and try new experiences???
Beats me. It's like going on holiday and only eating at McDonalds, only worse. :slow
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on April 22, 2019, 13:47
Been sent to Singapore for 9 months ...

Not making it to Singapore is still one of my great regrets. As I mentioned upthread, I had the opportunity to tour and perform in Korea, Okinawa and Japan for a couple of months in the mid '90s. The last leg of the tour was supposed to take us to Singapore for five days, but that all fell through at the last minute. Such a shame, considering that, IIRC, Singapore is a seven hour flight just from Japan, and one of the farthest points on the globe away from my home in the Northeast U.S., with the exception of maybe Australia. I'm just not sure when I'll find myself on that side of the planet again, but it's always been a point of curiosity to me since.

Personally, I can't imagine not wanting to immerse myself in the culture of whatever country I happen to find myself in (or even different parts of the U.S., for that matter). Some people tend to circle the wagons and only reinforce the walls of their bubble, but I can only surmise that that stems from either insecurities or pure ignorance. I just don't get it.

In days-gone-by, it would've been nearly impossible not to experience the local culture of wherever one found one's self. But with globalization, and the spread of western influence, it's all too easy to escape to the familiar for many travelers. It's a shame, really.
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: LukasCPH on April 23, 2019, 12:41
And I hear you about eating McDonalds. One of the guys told me (somewhat proudly) that he has 3 dishes that he eats at the restaurant ... and that is the sum extent of his dietary range ...   :S :S :S
And I thought I was a picky eater! :o
Title: Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
Post by: Drummer Boy on April 28, 2019, 03:16
Totally random, but I'm curious...

Had they lost their native accents? This is so interesting to me.

Van Halen brothers 1996 on Dutch Veronica TV (RARE)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nul26_lKpYk

Eddie and Alex Van Halen speaking their native language (Dutch)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg9WFskPV4Y


And here's an interesting perspective:
Eddie Van Halen's First Day of School in America
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIZoE3awQMY