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Foreign Languages


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#16 Guest: Bb Clarinet_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 17:37

I'm not fluent in any language, but I'm doing French and Italian at A-level (ex-latin student too), and French and Russian at University next year. My mother speaks French all the time, that's where she's from and my dad speaks Russian, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portugese fluently, and is trying to learn Arabic and Japanese at the moment. It's a shame the culinary side of our house isn't so cultural!
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#17 Guest: stevensfo_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 17:52

QUOTE
I'm not fluent in any language, but I'm doing French and Italian at A-level (ex-latin student too), and French and Russian at University next year. My mother speaks French all the time, that's where she's from


How come you're not fluent if your mother is french and speaks french all the time?

Steve
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#18 Guest: Bb Clarinet_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 18:01

i don't live with my mum. was brought up by aunt and occasionaly visit my mum.
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#19 Guest: bohemian_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 18:10

English is my native, but I have lots of family living in France and we go there alllll the time (unfortunately) so I'm pretty confident, although I don't speak it if I can help it just to annoy French people because they all speak English...and I don't enjoy it. Except my stupid grandmother forces me to talk French to her so I can't get any food or drink without asking in French mad.gif
But yup, semi-fluent I suppose.
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#20 Guest: hellokitty_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 19:13

Dude this is so cool. My mother tongue is cantonese too! I can't write it very well though, its so difficult cause you can't pronounce it out like you can in english or frech if you get me. I'm learning Mandarin as well because then i can go to China and speak fluently! Because of the way i look they porbably expect me to understand what they're talking about! Obviously i speak English but I also going to be studing GCSE French and Italian next year. I plan to continue up to A level as well. I also speak a little Jerriais, which is Jersey french - a bit like Norman French i often get confused with normal French and Jerriais! I'm also considering taking up latin. I'm hoping to do law when I am older.
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#21 Guest: Choddy_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 19:42

My mothertongue is English, but I can also speak American, Australian and Canadian too! wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif

Erm... French and Spanish GCSE, and hopefully A-level too, teach-myself-Italian-and-Latin, and would love to learn Portuguese and German, but maybe not yet! laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
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#22 Guest: barry-clari_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 19:48

I can speak a reasonable amount of French (though not brilliantly, or terribly quickly), and could probably order food/drink, or ask for directions in German.

Of course, as the vast majority of us on these forums are musicians, we all know a few words in Italian!!!!!
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#23 Guest: cheeble_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 19:49

I speek Engleesh.

I learn it from a book.

I also speak German and Latin to GCSE level.

And a little French, and a little Norwegian and Danish.

And musical terms in Italian. hehe.
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#24 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 20:05

QUOTE(july @ Mar 13 2006, 03:41 PM)  
p.s. And I don't have a German accent when I speak English or an English one when I speak German. Have been told that this might have to do with being musical and hearing the nuances! No idea how true this is, but it's a flattering statement! laugh.gif

Cool biggrin.gif

Probably also has to do with learning it from a very young age. The nicest English accent I have ever heard (including English people's!) was a Norwegian girl's who'd been learning English from a very early age and had lived in London. To speak to her, one would not have known it was not her mother tongue - exquisite accent and idiomatically rich, too, quite sickening! laugh.gif

QUOTE(stevensfo @ Mar 13 2006, 02:45 PM)  
Wife is Polish and I can speak just enough to survive and chat with the in-laws, but I'll never be fluent. It's an incredibly hard language! The grammar was invented by a sadist. There are 3 genders, Masc, Fem and Neuter, but the masc. is divided into Inanimate/Animate, so in fact there are 4 to learn, each has its Sing. and plural, 7 cases to learn for each!

Then there are the adjectives which have to agree with the....... blink.gif

Even to say 'I go' isn't straightforward. It depends on how you go and whether it's something you do regularly or not. ohmy.gif

Ahhhh no, Slavonic grammar is WONDERFUL! Verbs of direction! Aspect! Cases! wub.gif

My mother tongue is English, I also speak (though it's rusty *sob*) Russian which I studied at Uni.

Those are the only two I could really claim to speak, and be fluent in, though Russian is a lot less fluent than it was. Give me an hour chatting in it though and it's amazing what comes back.

Other languages I have studied or learned bits of: it's a long list!

I'll do it chronologically:

Learned French from 2st year of secondary school up to 1st year of uni... can still get by/make myself understood, though I never got to grips with the grammar (much prefer the sadism of Russian to the vagueness of French!!) - I can understand spoken and written much better than I can speak or write it! Though I do tend to speak it with a Russian accent apparently...

Spanish I have some holiday Spanish and can get by when asking for prices or ordering food, (or I could, anyway, it's been a while since I tried!) I did a term of it in school in my first year and then was official family translator on holidays forever even though I wasn't very good at all. My grammar is totally non-existant and if people talk fast or about anything more than prices and food I'll be lost!

German I did for 2 years at school, another language I can understand more than I can produce, I have had several conversations with people where they have spoken German and I have understood but have not been able to contribute. It's a bit embarrassing! I can get by, count(!), order food, ask for (and sometimes even understand wink.gif) directions. My grammar is non-existent again!

Mingled in around school years are 3 words here and half a dozen there of anywhere I have gone on holiday - I collect bits! I can say the basic hello, please, thank you, bye, or some random collection of basic words like that with sometimes something completely mad thrown in, in quite a few languages where I can't understand a word else... Italian, Greek, Arabic, Polish... previously Estonian though I'd have to remind myself, ditto Maltese... There may be others... unsure.gif I forget. Oh and music terms - the usual! And I can make some sense of ecclesiastical latin having sung various Glorias, Masses, Pie Jesuses(!), Nunc Dimittuses and Magnificats.

Moving on to uni: Russian! Of course... Also studied beginners' Croatian, never had a chance to use it but probably better than my holiday Spanish and in some respects more comfortable than my rusty French. Given the chance I *think* I could get by - more so if I had a chance to refresh it before I went.

Japanese - a 6 month evening class in my 4th year - most of which I have forgotten save the odd word. Probably less fluent even than my terrible Spanish, and that is saying something. But I can introduce myself and ask how d'ye do, how are you, etc, basic politesse. If I revised I could probably have a simple conversation about my town, tell you what the time was, and that the train to Tokyo was due to leave soon laugh.gif

Polish, Ukrainian, generalised "UberSlavonic" - I went to Poland for 10 days a couple of weeks after the end of my degree, and ended up chatting with lots of people who *said* they spoke Russian but didn't really. (one old man spoke the equivalent of someone saying they spoke English and then talking to you in German with every 10th word said loudly and slowly in English....!!!) As a result I had a crash course in how to piece together the meaning of what someone might be saying in a language somewhat related to Russian or Croatian, and forever confused my poor brain. To say I could speak Polish or any other Slavonic language besides Russian and a bit of Croatian would be a big fat lie, but I can (or could - it's been a while since I had the chance) do a pretty fair job at understanding and can have a crack at making myself understood. I picked up a few words of Polish along the way, but my knowledge of real Polish is teeeeeny.

So yeah... I like languages a lot. But like my music, it's jack of all trades, master of none - I'll have a crack at any language someone may make the mistake of letting me know they speak, but only two are any good and I sometimes can't even speak English in a way that makes sense to anyone else laugh.gif.....

QUOTE(cheeble @ Mar 13 2006, 07:49 PM)  

I speek Engleesh.

I learn it from a book..

laugh.gif
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#25 Guest: anacrusis_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 20:20

QUOTE(july @ Mar 13 2006, 03:41 PM)  

I have two mothertongues! It's a little complicated, but I'm fluent in both German and English. I spoke English first and learnt German when I was 4 or 5. My parents are also fluent in both and I'm in mothertongue English and mothertongue German classes at school. Don't know which of the two I'm more confident in. As I'm living in Germany at the moment, I know more slang words and stuff in German than I do in English! smile.gif

p.s. And I don't have a German accent when I speak English or an English one when I speak German. Have been told that this might have to do with being musical and hearing the nuances! No idea how true this is, but it's a flattering statement! laugh.gif



Sarah-flute is right - linguists tell me that my lack of accent with each is because I'm a true bilingual, having learnt both from the beginning - and certainly before age 6. I'm told my whole demeanour becomes more germanic when I'm on the phone to a German person. I do start stammering once I've switched between the two a few times, though. Worst thing I've had to do is take a history from someone in German but write down what she was telling me in English at the same time.... blink.gif
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#26 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 20:26

QUOTE(anacrusis @ Mar 13 2006, 08:20 PM)  
I'm told my whole demeanour becomes more germanic when I'm on the phone to a German person.

I can easily believe it: I've spoken Russian for a relatively small proportion of my life, but even then, my tone of voice and even sometimes facial expression is completely different when speaking Russian in small but noticeable ways... I even speak in a different part of my mouth huh.gif all this more so when I've had practice or am speaking to a russophone, but I find it really quite weird! I can imagine that if you're truly billingual it would be more pronounced as you are sort of naturalised in both languages properly, if that makes sense.
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#27 Guest: BabyBanana_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 21:02

I can speak fluently in countonese, and haka. I can also talk in french fluently. and english too .
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#28 Guest: hellokitty_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 21:05

Im actaully quite surprised at how many people speak cantonese!
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#29 Guest: sarah-flute_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 21:14

QUOTE(BabyBanana @ Mar 13 2006, 09:02 PM)  

countonese

Do you mean Cantonese or is that a different language, or maybe just a variant spelling? *confused*














I really am going....
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#30 Guest: anakrron_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 21:56

QUOTE(sarah-flute @ Mar 13 2006, 09:14 PM)  

QUOTE(BabyBanana @ Mar 13 2006, 09:02 PM)  

countonese

Do you mean Cantonese or is that a different language, or maybe just a variant spelling? *confused*














I really am going....


Maybe it's a language that involves number counting... wink.gif

It's really cool to see how many people are bilingual/can speak several languages. Especially your extensive list, Sarah. biggrin.gif

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