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Armchair Cyclist

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Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
« Reply #30 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.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #31 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. ;)
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #32 on: November 02, 2014, 16:42 »
    Or learn the local tongue ... :P
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    Anthony Moan

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #33 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!
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    Kiwirider

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #34 on: November 02, 2014, 21:08 »
    English, and I'll hesitatingly say French (although I should probably say "Quebecoise").

    I hesitate to say fluent simply because, although I can live and work comfortably in French, so many of my francophone friends back home are so utterly and completely bilingual that I feel like a stuttering beginner in comparison ... Where I can swap between languages each sentence, many of them can practically do so each word!

    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) ...

    Trips to Montreal, L'Estrie, Quebec and France are a pleasure - much easier to converse than it is 40km down the road!!

    I do love the bilingualism in Quebec and the way that people will instinctively use whichever language is the best for their purposes. Best can be based on simple structure, how well the language expresses the point, context ... whatever ... But I'm assuming that similar things happen in other natively bilingual/multi-lingual cultures?

    Like others have said, being out of the environment is a challenge for maintaining language - as I'm finding with my work down in Oz. Much reading of La Presse and listening to tetes-a-claques in camp, plus watching all of the French movies on Air Canada help ...  :cool


    Oh, and thanks to working where I do, I do speak one other language ... Foul  :-x ... Really, flipping, filthy, flipping, obscene, flipping foul flipping language  :-x :-x... Not something to necessarily put on my resume, more a case of somewhere between occupational hazard and cultural norm ...   :angel
     ;)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #35 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
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #36 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?
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #37 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.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #38 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
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  • 42x16ss

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #39 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.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #40 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?
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    42x16ss

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #41 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
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  • Echoes

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #42 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.  :)
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  • l29205

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #43 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.  :)
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #44 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.
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  • cj2002

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #45 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
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    L'arri

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #46 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.
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #47 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.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #48 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
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #49 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.

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  • t-72

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #50 on: November 04, 2014, 22:50 »
    Foreign Languages? English and portuguese!
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #51 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.
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  • l29205

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #52 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.

     
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  • Anthony Moan

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #53 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!
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  • Kiwirider

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #54 on: November 08, 2014, 18:20 »
    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."

    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).

    On the other hand, approximately half of Quebec's population lives in Montreal. Until the late 1970's and the PQ government that passed the language laws and started the push for sovereignty, Montreal was Canada's largest city, home to all most of Canada's major corporations and a large number of international businesses and organisations, and well up towards 50% native anglos. While there was an exodus over the following few years, many of the language traditions have lasted there - so that approximately 95% of the population in Montreal consider themselves competent (if not fluent) in French and English. (Given the diverse ethnic backgrounds in the city, many also speak at least one other language as their native tongue.)

    Add to that the 300,000 or so who live in Gatineau - which is just over the river from Ottawa - and speak English because they either work for the federal government or have business/work dealings with Ottawa. Similarly, many in Quebec City who work for the provincial government also deal with anglos regularly.

    All of that adds up to something like 70% of the population who regularly speak or are exposed to English - and, as I say, will pick and choose words and phrases from each language as best suits the circumstances. As a result, there's a lot of "cross-pollination" of the two languages in Quebec.

    (Apologies if that's a ramble - only just got home yesterday, so still majorly jet lagged ...)

    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.

    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 ...


    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.

    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 ...  ;) ;)



    The main Quebec accent I love (although I will confess that it took a while to get to like it) and can understand well - just the local accent is a challenge ...


    French Canada is one of my favourite place on earth.  :)

    Me too ...  I get an amazing sense of relief and belonging every time I come home - even if it's only when I'm driving back across the river after a shopping trip or visiting friends in Ottawa ... :D
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  • Dim

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #55 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
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  • Dim

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #56 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
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  • just some guy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #57 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
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    pastronef

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #58 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
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #59 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
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