What languages do you know?

Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
English (of course) and a smattering of German. Actually I lived in Germany for 5 years but it was a long time ago and I haven't used that language since. I wasn't very good then and I wouldn't even try now. By the way, I loved Germany and especially the Bavarian part of that country.
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
666
Location
Thousand Oaks
English,French and Italian (lived in all three places at one time or another). Have degree in Latin and Attic Greek - but being as how the languages are dead, I dont know if I can speak them or not. The roots are very useful tho. Languages come hard - no natural talent for them. Had to work (literally) to get the ones I have.
My only claim to fame is that my accent is still noticably english after 25 years living in the US.
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
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Location
Orlando, FL
I'm bilingual. English English (born and raised in UK) and American English (lived in the US for almost 12 years) :biggrin:
 
J

jkamphof

Guest
I am pathetically monolingual. I do not have the gift of language. I studied like 7 years of French in school but I barely can speak a sentence, I can speak a little Dutch and I can read very well (but not fully understand) Korean - Hanguel - as it is a phonetic language. I also speak enough Korean to get by not not to string a sentence together.


Joel.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
68
Location
Netherlands
Discusion

This thread reminds me of a discussion I had 17 years ago. At that time I lived in Geneva and did part of my studies at CERN. CERN is a very international organisation and there are always many students from many countries working in the different departments. We noticed that many of us students were tri-langual. English (1) was the default language among the students. We all had our native language (2) and many at least spoke French (3) being the language used in that part of the world (France/Switzerland).

Some students were bi-langual. It was possible to live in France without knowing the language.

And somehow the student that did not fit the above categories were English.

So you were either tri-langual, bi-langual or English.


Now, 17 years on, I went from bi-langual (I never did learn French) to tri-langual. Approx. 5 days into my new job after I finished my studies I met my German wife. I had to learn not only German but also Schwaebisch which is either a dialect or a seperate language similar to German depending how you look at it.

The first contact I had with Schwaebisch was terrible. I did understand German at that time but was new to the South-German dialects. My in-laws threw a small party and I was invited. My father-in-law, the local fire chief, had visiters from Eastern Austria, also firemen, and we all had some good food and some lovely German wine. Before I arrived at the party I was fairly confident I could say at least a few sentences that were a little intelligent. But after I heard these people talk to each other, I thought they might just have well spoken Swahili because I did not recognize one word with some speaking Schwaebisch and the others some dialect from Austria I do not even know a name for. I did manage to get them to speak some words of German. But half a sentence later they fell back to their local dialect. Remarkably they understood each other very well.

So languages I speak: Dutch (native), German (including Schwaebisch) and English.
 
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Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
1,827
Location
Israel
Real Name
Heiko
MaCo said:
The first contact I had with Schwaebisch was terrible. I did understand German at that time but was new to the South-German accents. My in-laws threw a small party and I was invited. My father-in-law, the local fire chief, had visiters from Eastern Austria, also firemen, and we all had some good food and some lovely German wine. Before I arrived at the party I was fairly confident I could say at least a few sentences that were a little intelligent. But after I heard these people talk to each other, I thought they might just have well spoken Swahili because I did not recognize one word with some speaking Schwaebisch and the others some accent from Austria I do not even know a name for. I did manage to get them to speak some words of German. But half a sentence later they fell back to their local accent. Remarkably they understood each other very well.

So languages I speak: Dutch (native), German (including Schwaebisch) and English.
Hi Marc, I can very well sympathise with what you describe here. Although I'm from the Schwaebisch part of Germany (near Heilbronn - that's the northern part of where this dialect is spoken), I once travelled with some folks from deep down the Schwaebische Alp. Well, I didn't get a single word :frown: . It definitely was like Swahili to me, too. I wonder if you understand them now, after you've been living there (I guess)?
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
957
Location
Montreal, QC, Canada
I was born in Montréal, Québec and my mothertongue is French and this is the language I use in my daily life : work, family, friends and leisure. The predominance of English worldwilde and through most of the rest of Canada has soaked me enough to make me at ease in its use. While I usually write "couleur", my tattooed British identity stubbornly writes "colour" instead of "color".
I also speak Spanish fluently, actually better than English. This is from my many stays and travels in South and Central America. I even tried to learn Quechua at one time, a native language from the Andes.
Finally, because of its proximity with Spanish and French, I can also read and speak a little Portuguese.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
In contrast to most Yankees, my extensive business experience abroad have allowed me to master many languages :Smart: .

I'm fluent in 3 varieties of English (American, British, and Jinglish)

and speak Business Travellers level (BTL) * in French, German, and Japanese.

* Qualified BTL speakers must master the vocabulary for yes, no, excuse me, and how much
 
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N

nfoto

Guest
I'm Norwegian and there aren't many of us around speaking the world's most beautiful language :biggrin: . We even have our own extended alphabet to play with (you have all seen one of the additional characters (ø) in my given name and hearing an English person pronouncing that name makes my ear cringe). So having command of additional language(s) is a necessity to us. Since my mother is Swedish I might be called bilingual by birth and in fact first learned reading in Swedish.

Besides Norwegian and Swedish, I have a firm grasp of Danish and German, and might be able to read a little Icelandic too. And of course I try to make myself understood using English as most other people have to these days, more or less voluntarily as the case might be. I prefer the British variety, however.
 
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Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
68
Location
Netherlands
Schwaebisch

heiko said:
I wonder if you understand them now, after you've been living there (I guess)?
Hya Heiko,

I have to. Although we now live in the Netherlands even my son (6 years old) picks up enough of this rather beautiful dialect. He picks it up from my in-laws we regularly visit (800 km one-way) and of course my wife.

heiko said:
Although I'm from the Schwaebisch part of Germany <...> I once travelled with some folks from deep down the Schwaebische Alp. Well, I didn't get a single word.
That is funny, I had a different experience. I noticed I understand many of the South German dialects much much better now that I understand Schwaebisch.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Messages
208
I speak English and French fluently (English with a strong French accent, of course).

Know a bit of Spanish and Hebrew, but these are getting very rusty.

I wish I could speak many more languages. There is not better way to understand another people's culture.

For the record, I've learned Latin for 6 years, but remember very little of it.

Thierry
 
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
663
Location
Madison, AL
I speak Southern English.
I had a couple of years of German in high school, but have forgotten most of it. I also learned a few Swahili phrases for a trip to Kenya in college.

And, to follow Paul's lead - FORTRAN, C, C++, C#, HDL, Bacchi
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
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4,741
Location
SE Florida
Lately, my 2 teenaged sons have been giving me a lot of exposure to Ebonics! :biggrin: Fo Shizzle Ma Nizzle! :cool: (does that count?)
 
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K

Ken-L

Guest
American English and barely enough Spanish for street or travel use (I know vocabulary, but can't conjugate)....
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
22
Location
Miami
^^Conjugating spanish verbs is probably the hardest about learning the language.

Spanish is my native language; I learned English here.
 
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