Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:24 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Languages 
Author Message
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 1266
Post Languages
Besides English, what languages do you speak? And/or which do you want to learn? Which do you find most interesting?

I've been learning Chinese for two years or so, and I'm still horrible at tone recognition/reproducing :? Besides the tones and the characters, Chinese really isn't a hard language--no gender, no conjugation, etc. but the tones and characters are hard.

Now I'm working on Indonesian. Indonesian is a far easier language--no characters, no tone. No gender, no past/present/future. Many words are derived rather logically from other words (for instance, tidur is sleep; tertidur is fall asleep; senang 'be happy', senangkan is 'make happy'). One other cool thing about Indonesian is that word order doesn't really matter--you can change around the order of words depending on what you want to emphasize.

I thought about learning Turkish, which is a very well-behaving agglutinating language.

But I think that if I pick up another language (after Chinese and Indonesian), it will be Spanish.

_________________
I am a Leaf on the Wind. Watch Me Soar
---
http://www.leafontheweb.com


Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:35 am
Profile
Post Re: Languages
I speak German natively and did about 5 years of Spanish in High School. I was pretty good for a while, but I've forgotten a lot. These days I only remember the present tense and have forgotten the proper conjugation of several verbs.


Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:32 pm
Post Re: Languages
Recuerdo algunas palabras en espanol (perdon la carencia de accentos y tildes), pero es dificil a mantener una conversacion. I, like Ed, had five years in high school and got a 4 on the AP test.


Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:15 am
Post Re: Languages
I speak German, and can understand a bit of Italian, French and Spanish. Nowhere near able to speak them, though. Having had Latin in High School really helps with reading quite a few languages, though. much easier for me to work out written French, Italian, Spanish, etc. with my English and German plus the Latin base.

Good luck with Bahasa Indonesian, firefly. My wife and I traveled in Indonesia for six weeks and by the end, I was able to hold simple conversations. A very simple and logical language, which it has to be, considering Indonesia is pretty much a virtual construct made up of many different cultures. There are over 700 spoken languages in Indonesia, so they had to use a bastardized version of Malay so everyone could communicate.

My wife is German, and speaks perfect English, as well as very good French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. She's great to travel with!

I would love to speak Arabic, French and Italian.


Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:51 am
Post Re: Languages
MunichMan wrote:
I speak German, and can understand a bit of Italian, French and Spanish. Nowhere near able to speak them, though. Having had Latin in High School really helps with reading quite a few languages, though. much easier for me to work out written French, Italian, Spanish, etc. with my English and German plus the Latin base.


I don't know any Latin, but I was surprised by how much Dutch I could read with my English/German base. The words are spelled differently but pronouncing them phonetically leads to a similar English/German word most of the time.


Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:23 pm
Post Re: Languages
Well I am a native German speaker, my English kinda sucks as y'all know, and I speak Portuguese, since I live and work in that country for about 25 years now. The hardest thing perhaps is to really nail the accent. The funniest thing is: I speak Portuguese with a slight german accent (many can't tell that it's german, but I can't seem to get rid of that rest) and I speak German with a slight portuguese accent, which will almost vanish when I spend a few days in Germany, which is about twice a year.
I find it very hard to speak a language really well with a rich vocabulary, correct grammar and - most of all - accurate use and knowledge of all the metaphors, idioms, sayings and proverbs. They need to be learned one by one which can be painful. If you don't know the latter - you don't really speak the language. NOT because you talk in a simple, boring way, but you won't understand people most of the time.
I speak a little Spanish, but I can't maintain (like one poster above wrote in that language) a good conversation. The differences to Portuguese are huge with the added difficulty that many words are similar but they are used differently. Example: English: "of course it is." ; Portuguese "Claro que sim."; Spanish: "Seguro que si." - You can't switch "seguro and claro" in any of those languages. Yes you will be understood, but that is just a simple example. In many others, direct translation will lead to desaster.
Don't get me started on the accent. Spanish is pronounced very differently, especially the "melody of the sentence" is very different (the Spanish variation is well known through tons of movies).
I also speak a little Italian, but Portuguese and Spanish only help so much. It really IS a lot different.

Needless to say that you learn best when you are together with native speakers. That's why I believe that learning foreign languages (except dead languages like Latin - I learned Latin in Germany - and we pronounce it with a heavy German accent, that's why I laughed tears when I fist saw in an American movie a class conjugate in Latin with a thick American accent) at school is a waste of time as long as the teacher is not a native speaker. I remember how many badly wrong and misleading things and rules I learned in English lessons in Germany. Here's one: "In negative sentences and questions you must always use "any", never "some"! - This is utter B.S. "Did you say something?" actually is 100% correct, but it means something totally different from: "Did you say anything?" - especially when you emphasize "say" in the first phrase, and "any" in the second.
But as usual, I am rambling and probably boring people to tears..... oh well.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:51 am
Post Re: Languages
^ that didn't bore me at all, perfy. Your ruminations are one of the many things I enjoy on these boards. Keep 'em coming.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:33 pm
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 1266
Post Re: Languages
Threeperf35 wrote:
Well I am a native German speaker, my English kinda sucks as y'all know, and I speak Portuguese, since I live and work in that country for about 25 years now. The hardest thing perhaps is to really nail the accent. The funniest thing is: I speak Portuguese with a slight german accent (many can't tell that it's german, but I can't seem to get rid of that rest) and I speak German with a slight portuguese accent, which will almost vanish when I spend a few days in Germany, which is about twice a year.
I find it very hard to speak a language really well with a rich vocabulary, correct grammar and - most of all - accurate use and knowledge of all the metaphors, idioms, sayings and proverbs. They need to be learned one by one which can be painful. If you don't know the latter - you don't really speak the language. NOT because you talk in a simple, boring way, but you won't understand people most of the time.
I speak a little Spanish, but I can't maintain (like one poster above wrote in that language) a good conversation. The differences to Portuguese are huge with the added difficulty that many words are similar but they are used differently. Example: English: "of course it is." ; Portuguese "Claro que sim."; Spanish: "Seguro que si." - You can't switch "seguro and claro" in any of those languages. Yes you will be understood, but that is just a simple example. In many others, direct translation will lead to desaster.
Don't get me started on the accent. Spanish is pronounced very differently, especially the "melody of the sentence" is very different (the Spanish variation is well known through tons of movies).
I also speak a little Italian, but Portuguese and Spanish only help so much. It really IS a lot different.

Needless to say that you learn best when you are together with native speakers. That's why I believe that learning foreign languages (except dead languages like Latin - I learned Latin in Germany - and we pronounce it with a heavy German accent, that's why I laughed tears when I fist saw in an American movie a class conjugate in Latin with a thick American accent) at school is a waste of time as long as the teacher is not a native speaker. I remember how many badly wrong and misleading things and rules I learned in English lessons in Germany. Here's one: "In negative sentences and questions you must always use "any", never "some"! - This is utter B.S. "Did you say something?" actually is 100% correct, but it means something totally different from: "Did you say anything?" - especially when you emphasize "say" in the first phrase, and "any" in the second.
But as usual, I am rambling and probably boring people to tears..... oh well.


I helped a friend from China with English and those types of issues were among the biggest challenges. Here's another one:
"Where are you at now?
"I'm at the coffeeshop" or "I'm in the coffeeshop"
BUT
"I'm at home" works, while "I'm in home" does not in spoken English. Wtf?

_________________
I am a Leaf on the Wind. Watch Me Soar
---
http://www.leafontheweb.com


Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:47 pm
Profile
Post Re: Languages
English is a fucked up language. Completely illogical and let's not even get started on the spelling.

But what makes it great is it's malleability and ability to evolve and grow. Most other languages are not nearly as flexible and adaptable as English.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:31 pm
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 1266
Post Re: Languages
MunichMan wrote:
English is a fucked up language. Completely illogical and let's not even get started on the spelling.

But what makes it great is it's malleability and ability to evolve and grow. Most other languages are not nearly as flexible and adaptable as English.

Yeah, that's been one of the most frustrating things about Chinese. It's really quite a lovely language in many ways, but it is also a very limited language in some respects.

Indonesian, btw, is probably the most flexible language you'll ever find. The amount of loan words is crazy.

_________________
I am a Leaf on the Wind. Watch Me Soar
---
http://www.leafontheweb.com


Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:23 pm
Profile
Post Re: Languages
Yes, and I love that when you have to pluralize something, you just say it twice!

Anak = child. anak anak = children. etc.

Indonesia was great. I would love to go back there.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:04 pm
Post Re: Languages
ed_metal_head wrote:
^ that didn't bore me at all, perfy. Your ruminations are one of the many things I enjoy on these boards. Keep 'em coming.


Hey thanks a lot! You got it: I will keep 'em coming (be careful what you wish for, hahaha!). No, seriously: thanks. It's great to be among people where one does not have to keep the conversation shallow, because everyone (including myself) is here to say something with substance AND to listen and learn.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:30 pm
Post Re: Languages
MunichMan wrote:
English is a fucked up language. Completely illogical and let's not even get started on the spelling.


Agreed. For example why does "enough" sound like it was spelled: "enaff". That's because the spelling in many cases didn't change for centuries, but the way words are pronounced did. The English spelling (even more so UK-English) tells us a lot how words once were pronounced.

I find French even more problematic regarding spelling. Many letters are not even spoken and others seem totally out of place. For example "corps" (body): the "p" and "s" are both mute. Of course they are still there because the word comes from Latin: "corpus". Another example: "Eau" (water) would sound the exact same if I wrote it "Ô", so why three vowels which yield just one - which seemingly isn't even included?
My French is very weak, hardly worth mentioning, but I know that the spelling issues are way worse than in English.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:53 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 6492
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Languages
I took Latin in high school and college, which turned out to be an excellent decision because I met my wife in Latin 231 in the University of Michigan. She's much better at the language than I am. Which is a good thing, because she teaches it. She was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian and has studied Ancient Greek, German, Italian, and French in addition to Latin. By comparison, I suck.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:58 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 1266
Post Re: Languages
JamesKunz wrote:
I took Latin in high school and college, which turned out to be an excellent decision because I met my wife in Latin 231 in the University of Michigan. She's much better at the language than I am. Which is a good thing, because she teaches it. She was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian and has studied Ancient Greek, German, Italian, and French in addition to Latin. By comparison, I suck.


Well at least you can feel in good company in sucking vs. that linguistic resume ;)

I took Swahili with a professor who spoke (if I recall correctly) 3 or 4 African languages, English, Japanese, and I'm pretty sure one romance language.

_________________
I am a Leaf on the Wind. Watch Me Soar
---
http://www.leafontheweb.com


Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:03 pm
Profile
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 6492
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Languages
firefly wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I took Latin in high school and college, which turned out to be an excellent decision because I met my wife in Latin 231 in the University of Michigan. She's much better at the language than I am. Which is a good thing, because she teaches it. She was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian and has studied Ancient Greek, German, Italian, and French in addition to Latin. By comparison, I suck.


Well at least you can feel in good company in sucking vs. that linguistic resume ;)

I took Swahili with a professor who spoke (if I recall correctly) 3 or 4 African languages, English, Japanese, and I'm pretty sure one romance language.


Asante sana Firefly

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:15 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:54 pm
Posts: 1266
Post Re: Languages
JamesKunz wrote:
firefly wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I took Latin in high school and college, which turned out to be an excellent decision because I met my wife in Latin 231 in the University of Michigan. She's much better at the language than I am. Which is a good thing, because she teaches it. She was born in Moscow and is fluent in Russian and has studied Ancient Greek, German, Italian, and French in addition to Latin. By comparison, I suck.


Well at least you can feel in good company in sucking vs. that linguistic resume ;)

I took Swahili with a professor who spoke (if I recall correctly) 3 or 4 African languages, English, Japanese, and I'm pretty sure one romance language.


Asante sana Firefly


ninasema neno kiswahili chache :(

_________________
I am a Leaf on the Wind. Watch Me Soar
---
http://www.leafontheweb.com


Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:26 pm
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:26 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Languages
firefly wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
English is a fucked up language. Completely illogical and let's not even get started on the spelling.

But what makes it great is it's malleability and ability to evolve and grow. Most other languages are not nearly as flexible and adaptable as English.

Yeah, that's been one of the most frustrating things about Chinese. It's really quite a lovely language in many ways, but it is also a very limited language in some respects.

Indonesian, btw, is probably the most flexible language you'll ever find. The amount of loan words is crazy.


My wife's been trying to learn Mandarin for about a year, but just can't cope with the tones, whether to speak it or hear what's being said. Shame really because the structuring of the language is quite interesting. I bought an all-singing, all-dancing textbook on the grammar. It was fun trying to translate the technical English explanations into the kind of everyday English she could understand. Even I had to get my dictionary out every now and again. This "failure" leaves her only speaking three or four languages (including Malay/Indonesian) other than English. It puts me to shame. I studied Latin and classical Greek at school so can read the Latinate languages but, apart from French where I'm fluent, I find the speed of everyday speech in the other languages difficult to manage. Added to which, my brain cells are dying off now and my memory is shedding vocabulary and syntax. I'll soon be reduced to primitive mime for basic human interactions.


Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:48 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: Languages
Remember, mime is money!


Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:11 am
Post Re: Languages
You guys are some hardcore mothers...good lord.

As for me, I speak Spanish. Mexican Spanish. Yeah...there's big differences in Spanish when you travel to different Latin American countries. My wife is Costa Rican and, my god, the words they use...weird. Like if you were say someone is "salado" it means they're fucked, not salted, as it translates. My kids are growing up knowing three different names for the same thing.

Two languages I would absolutely love to learn, Italian (hand gestures and all) and Japanese.

Anyone know sign language?


Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:41 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr