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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:30 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:58 pm
Posts: 172
1) (Mandarin) Chinese. I am a marginally fluent speaker and can read a few hundred characters. That took a lot of effort!
2) Latin. I had several years of it in elementary school. I certainly don’t have much command of it, but I often surprise myself by remembering vocabulary and conjugations.
3) German. Slightly fewer years in high school and college, plus some stop-and-start private study. But for some reason, I’ve found it harder to retain German than Latin.
4) Sanskrit. I made a few attempts over the years to teach myself out of book and ended up with a passing familiarity with the grammar. Plus, I’ve picked up a lot of Buddhist jargon terms.
5) Lojban. I used to be a Lojbanist, years ago, in my reckless youth.
6) Ojibwe. Pimsleur’s Ojibwe program is surprisingly very solid and the language seemed to fit my vocal chords like a glove.
7) Swedish. I had a semester’s worth in college, but I put in very little effort, flunked the class, and remember only this: “inte så brå.” (the answer to the question, “how’s it going?”)
8) tie, Tibetan/Japanese/Pali. I’ve picked up an estimable supply of Buddhist jargon terms & other culturally relevant vocabulary. Plus, some of the broad outlines of the grammar just by osmosis from other people’s interest in it.
11) Russian. The language that I dreamed of learning when I was but a child. I’ve never made a legit attempt to learn it, but I ask my Russophone coworker how to say things, or say something to her that I learned from Google translate, like every day. Sometimes I retain one of these sayings after saying it, usually not, chto ty mozhesh zdelat’?

Over the last several years, as I’ve become more and more deeply interested in linguistics in general, I feel my motivation to learn a specific language declining. I love ‘em all so much, it’s hard to settle down with just one!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:16 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:25 pm
Posts: 2261
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Šọ̈́gala wrote:
Sometimes I retain one of these sayings after saying it, usually not, chto ty mozhesh zdelat’?

Over the last several years, as I’ve become more and more deeply interested in linguistics in general, I feel my motivation to learn a specific language declining. I love ‘em all so much, it’s hard to settle down with just one!

I think all of this is true for me, too.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:24 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:55 pm
Posts: 26
Spanish. I started learning 10 years ago, and thanks to a handful of peculiar job situations where I was asked to interpret, and living with a boyfriend for 2 years who is bilingual and whose family speaks only Spanish, I am basically fluent. I say basically because passively (listening, reading) I really am fluent, but actively (speaking and writing) I can express myself and say what I mean to say, but not as elegently as intended and with many pauses, fillers, and awkward phrasings that I realize are dumb as soon as they come out of my mouth but that's what happens when you don't speak enough.

I also speak rudimentary German and French, know way more Russian colloquialisms and grammar factoids than I care to, and study Finnish, Hungarian, and middle Eastern languages and random proto-languages simply because I want to know more about how they work and sound but with no serious intentions... Well, except maybe Hungarian... I would love to dedicate myself to that more but between maintaining my other language proficiencies and conlanging and yknow, life... Yeah.

I wish I could force myself to enjoy French because my goal is to become a translator and maybe one day an interpreter and it would open a lot of doors to have that as a language pair... But two years of high school in French and a dozen false attempts merely solidified my indifference. I noticed a lot of people on this board really dislike Romance languages. I see that the grammar and excessive cognates and loan words may not tickle your linguistic fancy as much as (insert ergative agglutinative marginalized endangered language), but they have rich literary and cultural histories attached to them, as well as great usefulness depending on your location... And although its not my top pick aesthetically, Spanish can be truly beautiful, give or take your dialect preferences. Mostly it bores me now because it is so ingrained in my mind and truly rhe grammar is veey simplistic compared to other pet languages outside its language family, the word s and grammar are almost predictable at this point, but when you really delve into and immerse yourself in it, you find its a lot more expressive and nuanced than the stereotype suggests, and quite beautiful... Which I think is true for most every language. Especially when sung. Any language can be pretty with the right melody.
Oh I digress. A lot. Oops


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:00 am 
Sumerul
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:03 am
Posts: 2633
Location: Netherlands
Haha, thanks for that digression :). I like the sound of Spanish myself, though if I had to pick a romance language to study it'd be Portuguese. I visited Lisbon this week (work-related), and I like the sound of it. Plus I know a lot of Portuguese (also work-related), and I'd love to be able to converse with them in something else but English. However, given my hearing problems, I don't think I'll ever learn another new language.


JAL


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:59 am 
Sanno
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 9:02 pm
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Missed this thread the first time round.

In terms of years and actual usage, the foreign language I've put most effort into is French. Started learning when I was eight or nine, did it at school, got a degree in it and now I teach it for a living. After that, probably Latin, surprisingly. I started learning it at 11, did a GCSE in it and then promptly didn't really touch it again until university level, and then only really in the context of Romance historical linguistics. However, when I did my PGCE the school I initially trained in taught Latin, and I was roped into teaching it based on my knowledge from school. This basically clinched me the job: teachers qualified in French and/or Spanish are ten a penny, but those who are qualified to teach French, Spanish, German, Italian and Latin are pretty rare I discovered.

Interestingly, on the nous/on thing in French, the textbook my school uses to teach introductory French explicitly introduces on as the normal French way of saying "we", long before introducing nous. I remember that the textbook I used to study French at the same age was the other way around: on was introduced fairly late, and then only as an impersonal pronoun.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 5:07 am 
Smeric
Smeric

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:46 am
Posts: 1035
Location: Réunion
Interesting difference. But what about the objective form? 'nous' is used there, even in highly colloquial French.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:49 am 
Sanno
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Object pronouns aren't introduced until year 8 (12-13 years old), by which time they've encountered the full range of subject pronouns and (supposedly!) aren't going to be nonplussed by this.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 3:41 pm 
Avisaru
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Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:34 am
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Dewrad wrote:
Interestingly, on the nous/on thing in French, the textbook my school uses to teach introductory French explicitly introduces on as the normal French way of saying "we", long before introducing nous. I remember that the textbook I used to study French at the same age was the other way around: on was introduced fairly late, and then only as an impersonal pronoun.


Yeah, when I was learning French we were introduced to them at about the same time (because they had to get the basic grammar in our head when we came up to secondary school), but I hardly ever (and wouldn't, if necessary) used "on".

On the other hand, I think I've dedicated more effort to German, partly because my mother's sister lives in Germany and her children married Germans, so I have good reason for it. I'm still picking up the odd word every now and then (and refreshing the old ones).

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