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What languages do you know?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AFS, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Hi there.
    I started thinking, after reading the what do you do for a living thread... it is a good and fun idea to learn things about each other. I find it makes us all a bit closer every day.
    So how about...
    What Languages do you Know?

    This can be speak or read/write.

    Let's start with me.
    I speak English- surprise surprise.
    I also am becoming rather fluent in Italian, and I am a brilliant Latin scholar, according to my teacher of many years, who has studied in Rome with the Pope's own Latin translator.
    I truly love both of those languages, but I must say the passion of my linguistic life is Latin. Ever since my principal at elementary school gave us an etymology presentation, and we began learning about latin roots, I had wanted to take it. When I graduated from that school and moved on to my current school, Gulliver, in 7th grade, I could finally take that class.
    And so, in 2001, I began Latin I-A, with Mr. Juan Carlos Garcia.
    I didn't realize I was to learn from a master with such a deep passion for Latin. He instilled in me that passion, and under his tutelage I have mastered the language.
    I had him as a teacher for Latin I-A, I-B (8th grade), III (summer class, between 9th and 10th), IV-Honors (10th), and now AP Latin Vergil in my junior year. Our class is small, the two of us, plus my best friend. We have always been his top students, and both of us do not waver in our duty.
    In fact, as soon as I finish this post, I'm right off to my room to translate up to line 380 of Book I of the Aeneid.
    Italian I have also become very good at. The similarities to latin made it an easy transition at first, and by getting a good grasp early on I have been able to maintain my firm hold on it. I am now in Italian IV Honors. They are offering now an AP Italian Exam. We will either take it at the end of this year, or establish a new AP Italian class for next year.
    I understand a fair amount of Spanish, can write it down, but I can't compose, I can't speak it properly....most ofwhat I know are simple commands, statements, and a few bad words :redface:
    Kinda odd considering that my mother's side of the family is from Cuba (prior to that, from Spain). They came over permanently just after World War II...my mother and grandmother speak spanish to each other quite often...I just never got good at it despite good teachers at my old school.
    Likewise I can also understand (to a far more limited degree) French. I'm hopeless at speaking it though.
    I can read and write Hebrew (it is a bit rusty) but since I only needed to read it and had pre-done translations for my bar mitzvah, I never learned the language itself.
    I know a few phrases in several other language....a very small number in japanese, a few things in german, several more words and phrases in Russian, I just wish I had time to learn them all.
    I realize i've probably bored you a bit with my long tirade about my languages...I don't even know if anyone will even care abut this thread. But its worth a shot.

    So what about you? Tell us about your languages and maybe a bit of how you got to know them.
  2. Can understand spanish but no hablo. My cantonese is good enough that I don't get into trouble with it. Of course all I have to do when I'm shooting is wave the camera around - photography is universal.
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. Just English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin). Nothing exciting.
  5. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2005
  6. Apart from my native Greek, I can speak Français, Deutsch, Italiano, Español and of course English... Also, I'm kinda learning some Pусско (Russian)...
  7. I envy those that are multi-lingual.

    I speak English and buried very deep in my skull is some French and German.

    I am studying Korean. Wonderful language.

    My wife speaks Spanish quite well and a touch of Chinese of one sort or another. And a bit of Hebrew.

    Programming wise, I speak 6502, 68000, x386, c, c++, Objective c. I can generally pick up and use the many "scripting" languages as I need them. Us old timer machine language heads consider anything more complicated than c as "not quite" programming. :wink: :rolleyes: 
  8. There's other languages besides English? Sheesh, could of fooled me! :tongue: :biggrin:

    I understand and can converse in various dialects of English: American English, Brit English, Pigeon English and Ghetto English. :wink:

    I sort of understand my parents language and a couple words of Spanish to get me by in LA. :biggrin:
  9. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    I'm always been rather slow at learning a language (go figure how I came to be a translator at one time of my life?). Mother tounge is German. At school I had the obligatory English, which was always a pain in the @ss. I was good at chemistry and natural sciences (all long forgotten now), and I preferred reading a math book from picking up some outlandish books.

    Quite early on, during school vacations, I travelled through Europe, with friends or alone. So in most parts it was English that helped me through. At some time in school I had a one year course in French - don't remember anything. After school, I stayed nearly a year in Greece, specifically Crete. I picked up some Greek, enough to do simple conversation and read the menu in a restaurant. Again, my bad memory and lack of practice has made me forget this language, whatever little I knew.

    I met my wife - who's Israeli - there in Greece, and later on we decided to give it a try and move to Israel. That's where I am now, living here for 21 years. My spoken Hebrew is OK, but I still have a hard time reading and my writing skills are terrible. Never really had the time to learn Hebrew properly, and I'm still real slow in learning languages. The only language I could think of studying on my own initiative would be Italian, and I probably will take a course in the not too far future. In the meantime my English improved a little, at least something.

    Ah, strangely enough I once took a programmers course in Cobol, and found that rather easy. Go figure.
  10. That's a fun thread. Kinda reminds me that I have tried to learn a lot of languages with more or less success (like Kisuaheli :smile: ).

    O.k., my mother tongue is German (incl. various Viennese and other Austrian dialects - I am also quite good at mimicking several German dialects); thus, I also understand the written Dutch quite well (when they speak it rather sounds like a sore throat to my ears :smile: )

    I am fluent in English;

    My school education included 6 years of Latin (which is a big help in understanding French and Italian) and 4 years of Russian (made my abiture in Russian);
    Russian language has become quite en vogue recently (I am married to a Byelorussian), and I had to sadly recognize that I forgot quite a lot in those 25 post-school years, but it is constantly improving now. I understand at least 30% when Russians are talking, but it will take some time again until I am able to do a reasonable conversation myself. No problems with the Cyrillic letters, though.

    I taught myself French because I had to deal with a lot of French scientific literature. I understand the written French quite well and (as someone told me) talk almost accent free, but I never had any conversation practice so this is beyond my capabilities.

    Otherwise, I have a passion for Asian languages. A while ago I spoke Indonesian quite fluently (surely have to refresh that in case I go to Indonesia again) and I am close to getting a smattering in Chinese and Burmese.

    At any rate, our baby will be raised bilingually (Russian and German).

  11. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi harrison-

    it's always good to know a second language. i grew up in the philippines, but oddly enough my native language is english (i think in english and we spoke -mostly- english at home). my family's a bit weird, my great-grandfather was german, great-grandmother's japanese, and their common language was spanish. my grandfather's generation used spanish as their primary language, then english, then pilipino (or tagalog as it was called then). my mom juggles two and a half languages, and two dialects.

    despite some eleven-odd years of taking government-mandated classes in pilipino, i can only do it conversationally. i hated having to read anything in pilipino; i'd hunt for an english translation :)  i lucked out in my senior year in hs and had a teacher for my pilipino class who didn't care which language you used. he was more interested in what you had to say. that was probably the only time i got straight A's in the subject, whereas i always got A's in my english classes :tongue:

    i'm glad that i have a second language. it helps when you don't want others to understand what you're saying :biggrin: my skills are getting rusty though, you need to use a second language regularly to stay fluent in it.

    it's a bit sad though, my niece and nephew aren't learning a second language. they'll be left out at family gatherings where we pepper our sentences with the random word in pilipino :frown:

  12. English: as in Canadian city English, can understand Canadian east-coat English, UK English, Irish English, most of Scottish English *LMAO* and of course NewYahkCity English... studied French in school for 12 years (forced upon me by new rules) but still can only get by with rudimentary nouns and verbs ("glass of red wine", and "no I want a double bed"), language is something you must practice to reinforce. Haven't had much interest in learning other languages; brain too full of all sorts of other stuff: weird and varied hobbies, tons of biz knowledge for international clients, construction knowledge, and now photography information.
    Have all the tapes, CDs and books to learn German, French better, Italian and Spanish - one day, one day.....
  13. For me, dutch, english, french and german - all fluently (spoken and written). Also, my spanish is OK for daily use.

    So, let's see...
    I was born and raised in Holland during the time that 4 languages were compulsory in highschool: dutch, english, french and german.
    At the time I was convinced that it was a plot to keep us off the streets by overloading us with homework :biggrin: :biggrin:
    Since then:
    I moved to Canada, the french part of it. Since I am married to a french-canadian wife, french is our home language and the language I use most.
    In business, english is the overriding language by far, so I use it daily.
    Also in business, I have had a number of german contacts and have made several business trips to Germany. When there, I am amazed that I can still flip over to the german language instantly.
    We like to vacation in the Caribbean, so I have acquired a pretty good mouthful of spanish.

    Maybe this language deal was not so bad after all, it certainly ended up being very useful for me....
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2005
  14. English is my native language, but I studied German in college and am now half way through Pimsleur's Italian preparing for next spring's trip to Rome and Tuscany. After that, it's French for a return trip to Quebec to impress Frits and Yves. Then it's Spanish so I can order at McDonalds and Burger King here in the Washington D.C. area. :rolleyes: 

  15. English. And English with a Pennsylvania Dutch accent. My driving habits have taught me some interesting sign language! :eek:  I have been cursed out in many different languages. Although I didn't really understand the words, I understood the meanings!

    The greatest language that I have learned and am trying to master is children-speak. My world has opened up considerably when I learned to communicate with my daughter and other children!
  16. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    French, Spanish, Basic Italian, Australian, some American and emergency Mandarin. Short sentences such as "I have Control!" "The other way!" and when being really facetious, "You have control!"
  17. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  18. rbsmith


    Apr 13, 2005
    Saltillo, Ms
    Most of my Northern friends question if what I speak is even English. So I guess you could call it North Mississippiish. Thats the only language that I know. I really envy those of you ( really I would have said "Y'all" )who can speak several languages.
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