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Flo

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Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
« Reply #90 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
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #91 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."
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  • « Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 15:05 by Drummer Boy »

    L'arri

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #92 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
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #93 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
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    L'arri

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #94 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. ;)
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #95 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). ;)
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  • « Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 21:35 by Fus87 »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #96 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

     :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
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #97 on: November 23, 2014, 21:14 »
    Another one of my all-time favorites.  :D

    :D
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #98 on: November 23, 2014, 21:18 »
    I've since spent several days in Norn Iron, having a lot of craic.
    ¿Qué? No entiendo.
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  • « Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 21:35 by Fus87 »

    Leadbelly

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #99 on: November 23, 2014, 21:24 »
    I presume he means craic, unless Craig is some friend of his in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland).  :P
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #100 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. :)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #101 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
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #102 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
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  • Kiwirider

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #103 on: December 07, 2014, 04:41 »

    And American English is the triangle in the orchestra.


    Perhaps because it's an annoying jingle that, despite its frequency of use and pitch making it inherently noticeable and hard to blot from the collective consciousness of the listener, is actually superfluous to the overall theme of global communication and otherwise interrupts a harmonious melody?  (With apologies to all percussionists out there - your music should never be compared to the American bastardisation of English!) :shh

    Ok, so perhaps that opinion right now is influenced by trying to turn an overly wordy and poorly written piece of wok by my Scottish colleague into something that can be understood at first pass. One of his habits is to use a mangled mess of English and American spelling. The document is only three pages long, but it has already taken me four hours ... which is about three hours longer than if I had started with a blank piece of paper ...   :angry :angry :angry :angry :angry :angry

    So, it's either that episode clouding my judgment or my absolute hatred for stupid American words like "irregardless" (double negative, so the word actually means "having regard to" ... even though it's never used as such) and "drug" (as a past tense form of the verb "to drag") ...

    ... and like, of course, like, I, like, get, like, really, like, peeed off, like at, like, the, like, over-use, like, of the word like ... like, you know what I, like, mean??   :-x :-x :-x :-x :-x

     :cool
     
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #104 on: December 07, 2014, 12:24 »
    Trombones and Tuba


    Percussion


     :lol
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #105 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
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  • barrus

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #106 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
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #107 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. :)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #108 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.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #109 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
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  • phebeM

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #110 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
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    DJW

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #111 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!
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  • AG

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #112 on: January 20, 2015, 23:44 »
    if you follow cycling, either French or Spanish would be more useful   :cool
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  • Havetts

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #113 on: January 20, 2015, 23:57 »
    Dutch so you can watch Sporza. (there is no other use for it :P)
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  • mew

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #114 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:
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #115 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
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  • mew

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #116 on: January 21, 2015, 01:52 »
    jokester ^^^^ :dizzy
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  • phebeM

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #117 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
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #118 on: March 28, 2015, 17:54 »
    Speaking of old English Kings...

    What the English of Shakespeare, Beowulf, and 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.


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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: How many languages are you fluent in?
    « Reply #119 on: March 28, 2015, 21:19 »
    Speaking of old English Kings...

    What the English of Shakespeare, Beowulf, and King Arthur actually sounded like


    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
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