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Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:28 pm UTC
by Kalathalan
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Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:26 am UTC
by Cytoplasm
~ Two Trimesters of French

~ Two Trimesters of German

~ Around a little over three semesters of Spanish (which is made up of: two trimesters of Spanish- about 45 minutes per trimester, a school year of a 45 minute class 5 days a week, two semesters of 90 minutes for 5 days a week, and I just started Spanish 4 less than a month ago).

~ I've been on-and-off studing Dutch for about two years.

~ I tried a little Japanese but never really got anywhere.

~ I know a few signs, words, etc. in ASL. It's nothing special though.

I am fluent in American English though. ^^

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:09 am UTC
by vaguelyhumanoid
Latin, Koine Greek, Japanese, Lojban, Toki Pona, and Spanish I've all on-off seriously studied to some extent... you can add Arabic, Anglo-Saxon, Spokane Salish, Hebrew, & Esperanto if you wanna be generous, but it really depends how you define "studied".

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:08 pm UTC
by Aiwendil42
Latin - two years in high school, three semesters in college

Spanish - two years in high school

Old English - about five years, on and off, on my own.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:38 pm UTC
by Iulus Cofield
Four semesters of Japanese in high school, plus self-study in summers and visits to Japan. I'm actually highly competent in a communicative sense, but I can't read to save my life, even children's books with furigana.

Three quarters of Koine Greek. Pretty competent at reading and speaking.

Studied some Latin, but gave it up since taking the classes next year will count towards my degree.

Studied the grammars without intent to learn various invented languages and Ainu.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:33 am UTC
by stolid
I'm currently taking my 5th year of Spanish and 2nd year of French. I've studied basic German and Swedish on my own (Swedish ftw). I've done a small amount of Esperanto, and I'm currently learning the Russian alphabet (as of 2 days ago). I'll probably continue Spanish in college for a minor.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:22 pm UTC
by amans
eight (counting Old English) :shock:

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:42 pm UTC
by charolastra
8+ years Spanish, including going to AP Spanish lit, studying abroad in an immersion semester in Mexico, and work in a Spanish speaking environment.

3 years French

1 year Portuguese

1 summer Icelandic, plus on and off self study since

self study/family taught Yiddish. I mostly retain insults.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:43 pm UTC
by manictheatrefan
My first language was Cantonese. (14 years then, I suppose)

I learned to write (traditional) Chinese and speak Mandarin/Putonghua at age ~2 (12 years) My Putonghua word usage and pronunciation are all over the place, though, because I've had teachers from vastly different parts of China.

I started learning English at maybe... four? (10 years) I'm in the unique position of being able to understand British, American and Canadian English. British=I lived in Hong Kong until about two years ago—it used to be a British colony, and British English is still one of its official languages. Plus we do other Brit stuff like call elevators "lifts", and drive on the right-hand side of the road. American=it's so widespread. And I've had a few American teachers. Canadian=had some teachers from Canada in HK, and now that I've moved there (or here, I guess) I'm learning more slang and such.

I did one year of French (I can usually decipher simple written French since there's a lot of it where I live (Canada). But I get a bit lost when listening/speaking, because I find French pronunciation really irregular.)

I supposedly learnt ASL for a year (although I've forgotten everything and can only sign the alphabet at present). I do intend to continue learning ASL, because it's a language that fascinates me (being so different from all the other langs I've been exposed to). It would be immensely useful for communicating with hearing-impaired people, or just for whenever I want to speak without speaking.

And I just started studying Spanish at school (a month? lol). I know my greetings, and alphabet, and numbers up to thirty :) Going to learn the conjugations of "ser" next week!

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:26 am UTC
by vaguelyhumanoid
Right now, I'm studying Ilaksh (the more practical revision of Ithkuil).

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:58 pm UTC
by masakatsu
Manderin
Korean
Japanese
Russian

and of course English

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:36 pm UTC
by Spots
Other than English, I studied German (up until the end of highschool), Latin (only two years in highschool) and I also taught myself some Spanish, by means of a language learning software, though that didn't go very far. My native language is Croatian, which means I can also speak Serbian. I can understand, if not speak, Slovenian and can find my way around other slavic languages and a bit of Italian (thanks to latin). In fact, I found that knowing English and some Latin makes it fairly easy to understand common phrases in a lot of languages, especially if they're written down. I answered the poll with 3, I think that's the most accurate number.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:54 pm UTC
by nehpest
I'm feeling a bit generous, so I'm going to list myself as three: Spanish, French, and German.

Spanish I picked up because I live in a heavily Spanish-speaking environment (woo Los Angeles), and because my uncle's native language is Spanish; in fact, he barely spoke English when he arrived in America. (Amusing anecdote: when he was first interested in my aunt, he asked a friend how to say "Hi, beautiful" in English. He was told to say "Hey, bitch." Hilarity ensued, and my aunt decided against breaking his nose. The rest is history.)

I studied French in high school (two college courses over the summer, followed by "Honors French" my junior year). Regrettably, I wasn't able to pursue it much after my junior year, and I've forgotten quite a bit. My girlfriend also studied French extensively in high school and college, to the point that she will speak exclusively French while drunk.

My German was learned off the Berlitz software, in preparation for a trip to Germany that hasn't happened yet. Also, my family has a strong German heritage that I'm exploring; I'd love to be able to pass it on to my kids when the time comes.

I've dallied in the usual nerdy conlangs (Quenya/Sindarin, Klingon, Esperanto) but I have zero fluency in them.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:11 pm UTC
by Monika
Come visit us in the German practice thread :) .

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:11 pm UTC
by jano
German - 6 years (as a kid) - almost competely forgotten
French - 4 years at school - was fluent, but not practiced in the las 30 years, so....
English - 6 years at school - and afterwards, using it frequently
Latin - 2 years at school
Japanese - on and off for the last 35 years

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:44 am UTC
by MFitz13
Spanish - 4 years
Latin - 1 year. Would like to take more, but I'm busy.
Irish Gaelic - just started it

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:46 am UTC
by TessTennant
Hmmmmm, after I read the Lord of the Rings I got a bit obsessed with Sindarin :P (Elvish, for those poor people who don't already know) i learnt it for about a month before giving up...
Also Italian, French, and Japanese.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:08 am UTC
by Ghavrel
I stopped studying Latin last year, after studying it for nine years.

I miss it, now that I've forgotten what it was like. :(

I'm in my fifth semester of French, and I'm spending the next semester in Paris (contingent upon receipt of a visa).

I'm in my third semester of Ancient Greek; we've learned the Attic, Koine, and Ionic dialects. I hate Herodotos.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:18 am UTC
by Andvari
2 years of French/6 months living in France
1 semester of Finnish
1 semester of Russian
2 years of Norwegian

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:34 am UTC
by f1g2h311
5 years of Spanish - I usually remember more than I think I do, but no where near fluent
2 semesters of French - I'm told I have good pronunciation at least with a Quebecois accent (which is my heritage and my family is from the US/Canadian border so no surprise there) I cannot hear it well though as to me there is too much merging of words. J'ai, t'aime, Comment allez...

I have been trying to teach myself Korean for about two years now. There's a lot I can pick out but I don't keep up on learning new grammar and vocab enough so I haven't reached a conversational level. 화이팅!

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:10 am UTC
by Giant Speck
Сорок семь недель русского языка в институте иностранных языков [министерства оборона] в Монтерее, штат Калифорния.

Forty-seven weeks of Russian language at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

Re:

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:04 am UTC
by ohtobeagiant
Traisenau wrote:Hell, you just try learning Japanese, there are not 1, not 2, but 3 different alphabets(and a 4th, but it is just the english spellings of the sounds of the characters) all of which can be used in one sentence. They have a different grammer form for every single goddamn type of sentence that you could think of, different form for liking a book and like reading a book, etc. And the pronounciations can be a bitch too, because extending a sound sounds the same as just adding a new character... but they sound the same... shii (shi i) is different from shii (shi -)


Oh, don't be silly. Japanese isn't that crazy. Two of the alphabets (technically syllabaries) are totally phonetic, so it cuts down a lot on the ideographs, which are harder to learn because there are more of them.
A lot of the grammar is way less complex than other languages (for example, there aren't grammatical genders or singular forms). Even the plain and polite forms are pretty easy to handle. The worst grammatical part is probably the use of entirely different words for humble, respect, and plain verbs, but it's worth it for the rest of the language being awesome.
It's funny, because I've heard that Japanese grammar is very difficult and that it's very simple; I've come to the conclusion that it's very logical.
As for liking and reading a book, that difference is easy to understand when you think of liking a book in terms of saying the book is something that is liked.

As for pronunciation, you don't have to worry about tones or even sounds that are difficult to pronounce.

Anyway, sorry that was so long.
To summarize: Japanese isn't that bad.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:59 am UTC
by a neutral gray
I studied, vaguely, French, Spanish, Maori and Italian very poorly for some period of time up to a year (French). I remember very little of the above.
Hebrew, about 8 years, not that the teacher actually taught anything in that time. :(
Japanese 4+ years. [rant] I love the language, not incompetent teaching methods. The language is really sensible and for the most part makes a lot of sense, but teachers dissociate related grammar and teach with almost no immersion, making learning slow. Conversation is also almost completely ignored - and so language skills are weak. Really, this applies to almost all of the above, which says little for language teaching. [/rant]
And there are others I have flirted with the idea of learning. (Mainly Greek) Does creating a language count as studying one?

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:43 pm UTC
by Monika
a neutral gray wrote:Does creating a language count as studying one?

I would say so.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:28 pm UTC
by Mapar
Hey, I'm from Flanders (in Belgium) so my native language is Dutch. I'm fluent in French and English as well. I study Latin in high school, and I have done three years of ancient Greek in the past. I also know some Quenya. I can read Italian (did a course on that a few years back, but I lost interest), but that's mainly due to my knowledge of Latin and French. I'm currently trying to learn Japanese, although my parents don't seem to get why I prefer that language over Chinese :mrgreen:
I hope I'll be able to take Japanese at the CLT* in Leuven next year, but that will depend on my schedule.

* Centrum voor Levende Talen ("Centre for Living Languages")

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:39 pm UTC
by Fat Tony
I said five. Really, I've only ever studied/been able to speak two languages other than American (Spanish and Italian), but I have been learning various phrases of Russian, Turkish, and Chinese from my many friends from the respective countries, and I intend to study these languages at least somewhat-formally at some point in the future. I want to buy a book so I can start working on really teaching myself one of these languages over the next few months before I go to college. I can't decide which one, though. Then, of course, there is also the very difficult decision of "Which language do I study at college?".

What do you guys think? Any suggestions on how to decide what language to learn first, which one to study most formally, etc.?

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:57 pm UTC
by Monika
Well, would you rather like an easier language or a harder one? Do you want to use it on the job later or learning it for vacation or for the linguistic interest?

Turkish is pretty neat, very logical, as if it were invented by a mathematician.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:48 pm UTC
by Sir Novelty Fashion
French, Greek, Latin, Egyptian.

Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:15 pm UTC
by fənɑlədʒɪst
ohtobeagiant wrote:
Traisenau wrote:Hell, you just try learning Japanese, there are not 1, not 2, but 3 different alphabets(and a 4th, but it is just the english spellings of the sounds of the characters) all of which can be used in one sentence. They have a different grammer form for every single goddamn type of sentence that you could think of, different form for liking a book and like reading a book, etc. And the pronounciations can be a bitch too, because extending a sound sounds the same as just adding a new character... but they sound the same... shii (shi i) is different from shii (shi -)


Oh, don't be silly. Japanese isn't that crazy. Two of the alphabets (technically syllabaries) are totally phonetic, so it cuts down a lot on the ideographs, which are harder to learn because there are more of them.
A lot of the grammar is way less complex than other languages (for example, there aren't grammatical genders or singular forms). Even the plain and polite forms are pretty easy to handle. The worst grammatical part is probably the use of entirely different words for humble, respect, and plain verbs, but it's worth it for the rest of the language being awesome.
It's funny, because I've heard that Japanese grammar is very difficult and that it's very simple; I've come to the conclusion that it's very logical.
As for liking and reading a book, that difference is easy to understand when you think of liking a book in terms of saying the book is something that is liked.

As for pronunciation, you don't have to worry about tones or even sounds that are difficult to pronounce.

Anyway, sorry that was so long.
To summarize: Japanese isn't that bad.


As a phonetician, I must agree with you that Japanese pronunciation is moderately easy for native English speakers. However, there are several issues:

1. English speakers often have trouble with the following sounds in Japanese- [ɸ, ç, ts, ɴ, ɯ, ɽ]
2. Palatalized consonants, especially the [ɽ] series.
3. Japanese stops are moderately aspirated as opposed to English's larger amount of aspiration.
4. The Japanese syllabaries are not phonetic. Japanese, like all languages, has phonological processes that take place, such as the allophony of ん in various places to everything from a bilabial, to an alveolar, an alveo-palatal, a velar, and even the nasalization of the previous vowel and complete elision of the nasal preceding a fricative. Other examples are the variation in /h/ to [ɸ] before a high, back vowel, [ç] before a high, front vowel or yod, and [h] elsewhere.
5. Standard Japanese has vowel devoicing processes that native English speakers must acquire.
6. Although not tonal, as you've said, Japanese has a pitch accent system that varies based on region. As long as you pick up a pitch accent from a major city, you should be fine although most people might point out a non-Tokyo accent. For example, I speak with an Osakan accent /shrug
7. Japanese contrasts vowel length, which is something that sometimes blows English speakers' minds.

As for grammar, no language is logical. Languages are not logical constructs. I believe the word you're looking for is "regular," and even Japanese has a fair share of irregularities. Like all languages, you just memorize and move on. Hmm... I would comment on writing styles, but writing is not language and is irrelevant.

All in all, Japanese is easier than say... Russian, phonetically speaking, but don't dismiss the difficulties and make people think Japanese is a breeze.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:43 pm UTC
by Iulus Cofield
As always, you lay down excellence, Phonologist.
But I must, to some extent, defend the notion of Japanese being easy to pronounce for English speakers. A lot of the phonetics are tricky, but there's often no phonemic contrast between English and Japanese. In my experience, I had no trouble understanding or being understood (for most phonetic contrasts) despite some strong phonetic differences. For example:

[f] and [ɸ]
[h] and [ç]
[n] and [ɴ]
[u] and [ɯ]
[ʃ] and [ɕ] (and affricates with those)

There's no distinction in either language between each set of sounds (I'm simplifying the [n]- / -[ɴ] contrast, because it's also contrasted by syllable position), so it's pretty easy for a Japanese speaker to understand [fu] as [ɸɯ] or [ʃ] as [ɕ], and vice versa for an English speaker. [ɴ] can also be understood as an underspecified nasal, so mangling <せんぱい> as [senpai] isn't a huge problem either and regressive vowel nasalization is standard in English so it doesn't pose much trouble. Even vowel devoicing gets pretty easily simplified into consonant clusters by English speakers, without much apparent problem before.

As with any language learning, a native-like accent is difficult, but an understandable accent is much easier, and most of Japanese phonology can be accommodated fairly easily by English phonology. That said, there are things that are very hard. Infamously /ɾ/ and especially it's palatized variant (I still can't say りゃ, りゅ, or りょ), and as mentioned [ts] and contrastive vowel length.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:14 pm UTC
by klausok
Forreign languages I have studied:

English 5th through 9th grade plus first year of gymnasium
German 7th through 9th grade
Latin 9th grade
French all 3 years of gymnasium
Italian 30 hours at night school

And of course I studied my native Danish throughout primary school and gymnasium, 12 years total.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:42 pm UTC
by Monika
Gymnasium = years 10 to 12?

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:01 pm UTC
by klausok
Monika wrote:Gymnasium = years 10 to 12?


Yes, or 11 to 13 if you take the optional 10th year of primary school. It is a school that prepares you for university. If you are not going for an academic education, you would in principle not want to go there. In practise many choose the gymnasium because it gives them another three years to decide what they want, and leaves all possibilities open.

To return to the subject: English is the only forreign language where I can hold a conversation, or read any but the very simplest texts.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:20 pm UTC
by Maralais
I hadn't realized I've studied 5 languages so far until I counted them for this poll. With the list being Turkish as my native language, German, French, Italian and Latin. Though I can only speak Turkish and English properly, and though I take my science classes in French, I'd hardly call myself a speaker.

And yet I want to increase that number.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:56 am UTC
by stolid
Apparently I haven't posted here in a few years. Current status:

Spanish - Proficient, and I'm getting a minor in it (5 years high school, 1 in college so far)
French - Beginner, stopped learning (Je ne l'aime pas). Can kinda get by reading with some romance language crossover (2 years in high school)
German - Almost useless (half a summer of Rosetta Stone, probably taking this next semester :) )
Swedish - Extra almost useless (barely studied with Rosetta stone, but I want to learn more - I wish my university offered a Nordic language).

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:14 pm UTC
by Fire Brns
English, native. Expert.
Spanish, 2 years school and personal study. Intermediate, can have basic conversations.
Mandarin Chinese 1 year school and personal study. Beginner, can communicate needs and basic information.
German 1 year personal study. Beginner, can visit Germany without phrasebook.
Russian 1/2 year personal study. Useless, basic words and alphabet.

I know hello, goodbye, numbers ect in several other languages:
Timuquan, Japanese, Italian, Latin, and Portugese.

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:43 pm UTC
by AngrySquirrel
Norwegian - Native
German - can speak it, but not write it - family + 5 years of school
Spanish - can read it, but not speak it - night classes for about a year
French - mostly forgotten - helping friend with homework for 2 years
Dutch - can read, not speak - helping friend with homework for 2 years
Russian - mostly forgotten, know the polite phrases - summer camp classes for 3 years
Finnish - mostly forgotten, know the non-polite phrases - studied on my own for 3 years

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:12 am UTC
by lynx
I'm English, learned three years of French (I'm terrible), four years of Japanese (it's not as good as it once was) and nearly five now of Mandarin (passable nowadays and I can converse as well as get by). I learned Italian for a little while when I was working there for a summer but I'm not counting that!

Re: Other Languages You've Studied

Posted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:08 am UTC
by Mapar
Elaborating on an earlier post here:

Dutch: native

English: I like to think I'm fluent. I've got a CEFR C2 certificate from the British Council.
French: Fluent, but not as good as it once was.
Japanese: Been studying for a while now. I can get by in most basic situations, but not much more than that.
Latin: Sudied it for 6 years, I can still read simple texts like Caesar, but Tacitus would probably be wasted on me right now. Also, my mum's a classical philologist, so I hear more Latin than the average person :wink:
Ancient Greek: Forgot all of it
Italian: Studied it for 1.5 yrs, long ago. I forgot pretty much all of it, too.
German: Abysmal. Took it in high school for 2 years. The first year's teacher was horrible, and the second class was part of an opt-in* program without actual course credit, so there was little incentive to keep going. I can pretty much follow a conversation, but don't expect me to be able to utter a single coherent sentence.
Quenya: Nerd cred, that's it. Doesn't really count either. I stopped caring, partly because I couldn't find a decent word for 'to put', which annoyed me to no end.


*It's a little more complicated. Let's just say that German was the best among shittier options.

Re: Re:

Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:59 am UTC
by Daimon
ohtobeagiant wrote:
Traisenau wrote:They have a different grammer form for every single goddamn type of sentence that you could think of, different form for liking a book and like reading a book, etc.


As for liking and reading a book, that difference is easy to understand when you think of liking a book in terms of saying the book is something that is liked.


I'm sorry, where does this become a problem?


好きな本
好きな本を読んでいる。

The last one might be more of, reading a liked book. Hmm...Maybe I could slap 事 to something and try that, but it's too early to think. But, I mean, is there really that much of a difference between, "I like reading this book" and "I'm reading a liked book (book I like)"


Iulus Cofield wrote: Infamously /ɾ/ and especially it's palatized variant (I still can't say りゃ, りゅ, or りょ), and as mentioned [ts] and contrastive vowel length.


And I thought I could do that R fairly well. Those three examples nearly killed me when I attempted to say them. Usually, I can pronounce them better if there are a few sounds before it, but those three are nearly impossible for me.

Lastly, I can't tell you how many times I've gotton incorrect Kanji, or the words I wasn't looking for at all, simply because I only know the word by sound (Have never seen the Kana for it) and forget to put an extra い or leave out an う. For about three weeks, I could never get 本当 because I kept typing in ほんと.