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  1. #41
    Senior Member Ming's Avatar
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    What is/are your native language(s)?
    Chinese

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    English (I live in Australia now), German (I chose it as an elective at school)

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    Useful. I'm usually the interpreter of my family. I use it everyday to communicate to my family. Except the ones who know English.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    I found learning English easy, since the people around me all speak it. German was a bit harder (usually sentence structure). Chinese is the hardest.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    English around 1 year. German I don't speak much. I only study it at school.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?
    No, not that I remember.

  2. #42
    L'anima non dimora Donna Cecilia's Avatar
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    What is/are your native language(s)? Spanish

    What language(s) did you learn? Why? German (I attended a German school for both Elementary and Higschool studies), English (you can´t work anywhere without it) and Portuguese (I live next to Brazil).

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis? Highly useful. I work in Tourism. Foreign people every day.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy? I can learn languages easily. So, no difficulties.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language? Until the first time I got the chance to talk to a native speaker of each of the languages I know. I don´t remember how long.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly? No.

    "An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise."
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  3. #43
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    What is/are your native language(s)?

    Norwegian

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?

    English, it's obligatoric

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?

    Extremly useful, internet and tv-shows are usually english.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?

    I find to it hard to be creative with the english language, I'm not that good at english and therefor feel restrained. I mainly use english as an information-gathering language, while I use norwegian as an artistic outlet.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?

    I'm still not, I rarely get abroad so I lack experience.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?

    Some times. Like on forums like this, I sometimes avoid answering on threads since I don't know how to get the idea throught.


    Also, I find it hard to be fluid and alive when writing english. I think I come across as more formal, more to-the-fact and more boring, to be honest, on english forums then when I write on norwegian forums.

  4. #44

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    What is/are your native language(s)?
    English

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    Spanish. It was essential to living/surviving in Mexico

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? Essential
    On a daily basis? Essential

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? Gaining enough confidence to speak it.
    What did you find easy? Nothing

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    I had 6 months to achieve basic proficiency, and used every last second.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?
    Countless times.

  5. #45
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    I'm sure we have a few or more on here...

    What is/are your native language(s)?
    English


    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    French, was required in school. Technically I can read the greek alphabet fluently as well, but I don't actually understand the greek LANGUAGE, so anything written in greek i wouldn't understand... don't ask me why, i was bored and learned the alphabet in like an hour since I thought it was neat XD Not really a language, but it's language related =3

    Also know bits of japenese(katakana and hiragana), and swedish, but not enough to do anything with past a few sentances.

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    I'll only count french since it's the only one I know well enough to speak any amount in. And honestly, it's more or less useless as a whole and on a daily basis. The french locations in canada are primarily in quebec, and in a very specific region of nova scotia, and parts of new brunswick which's pretty much pure bilingual there.

    So either they know english as well as french, meaning no issue for me, or I've never been to an area I needed french, so once again, no big deal.

    Overall I haven't found any real point to knowing the second one; english is the language of commerce of the world... everyone in every country who wants to do much of anything internationally pretty much needs to know english, so there's no real "NEED" to learn a second language for me. Honestly, I don't actually LIKE english though, the language irritates me, don't like the way it sounds, the mess of rules and exceptions that don't have any consistency, etc etc.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    French's biggest problem was I was living in an area with VERY little french for awhile... if yeu wanted to learn french, yeu actually went to a french immersion school which had most of their classes in french. If yeu didn't do that, then yeu got pretty much zero french. When I was in grade 5, apparently we were using the grade 2 french textbooks... I didn't realize they were ranked by grade until I moved and was jumped from grade 2 stuff to grade 6 with nothing in between...

    As such, my biggest problem with learning french, was actually skipping 4 years of classes, essentially. This left me really confused and made no sense for several years, then... suddenly in grade 10... it all just 'clicked' and I could think fluently in french and suddenly understood everything. But that was the last year I was FORCED to use french, and since in my entire LIFE I had never, not once, EVER had to use french for anything, I didn't bother to take the next courses and promptly forgot most of whot I'd learned.

    It was of zero benefit to me, I never used it, so when I finally understood it, I was given the chance to drop it, and I did. Oh well, no big loss, really.

    To be honest, I think I had more problems learning english, than french. French at least is fairly consistent, other than the whole gender-specific crap which gets confusing since they don't have that stressed nearly as much in english. English, however, wanders all over the place and is not consistent at all, there's rules to the rules to the exceptions of the exception to the rule's exceptions >.<

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    Roughly 10 years? Aaaaaand then I stopped taking it after that year since it was no longer mandatory, and am not really comfortable speaking it at all anymore XD

    So I was comfortable for about 6 months XD

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?
    Never needed it in conversation. Ever. As such, I haven't had any problems with it. I 'chickened out' in the manner that I don't write bilingual when applying for a job, however. Since really, I don't remember enough anymore to claim that >.>

    Please sate my curiosity.
    Yeurs, and everyone else's I'm sure XD

    But yeah, there yeu go, I "was" bilingual for a few months. As strange as that sounds O.o;

    Fortunately, from whot I learned of french, it does have *ONE* use to me... I can read about 1/3rd to 1/2 of any latin based language using context, key words, and so on. For example, english uses 'death' as a word, french uses 'morte', most latin based languages use morte or a variation thereof though. By having two points of reference, the chances are much higher to notice a correlation when used in context.

    I may not understand the subtle intricacies of a phrase, but I can at least get the general meaning most of the time without issue due to having learned a scattering of many languages from swedish to german to latin, none of which I can speak at all, really, but it's enough that I can read them.

    When spoken, however, generally people speak too fast to keep up with. French especially people talk like literally 2-3 times faster than english people it seems... makes it very difficult to keep track of whot's being said. And I don't mean it just SEEMS that way, but any time I've heard french spoken, they literally say many, many more words in the same space of time. Probably because french has the irritating quality that it adds redundant extra words for no real reason alot of the time... where certain words will be added to others every single time so that there's no reason for the second word to exist at all, but they put it there anyway O.o And of course in writing where a ton of french words are just english words with an "e" or an "aux" or several other erroneous "silent" letters on the end... so that it's actually pronounced the same, it just takes longer to write out for no apparent reason.

    In any case, I'm disappointed english is the world's primary language, swedish is creepy because it SOUNDS like english except none of the words make sense, welsh makes me want to slap whoever came up with it, and ANYTHING can be said in german as an insult from tone alone, and ANYTHING can be said in swedish as sarcastic XD

  6. #46
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    You'll regret asking, but I will answer anyway cos languages are my THING

    What is/are your native language(s)?
    It's even between French and English

    What language(s) did you learn?
    Quite a lot, beginning (apart from my parental languages, above) with dead ones like Old and Middle English, Old French and Latin. Moved onto smatterings of many other European ones including Russian, then Arabic, Chinese and a little bit of passive Urdu and Bengali (from exposure in the mosques). For several years now though I've been concentrating more on linguistics (the patterns and things that govern language itself) as opposed to learning individual languages.

    Why?
    My brother taught me German and Latin in order to make me able to do his homework for him, when I was too young to know any different. My uncle taught me the older forms of English, again, when I was very young (under 12). Those things developed an early sense of fascination with language and an appreciation of the horizon-widening experience that is NOT being monolingual. Encapsulated in a language at any given period of its development is a very detailed and full snapshot of the culture of the people that speak/spoke it, and it's extremely satisfying to unlock it and learn to think in ways you wouldn't have encountered otherwise. In a way, it's like you're "living history" when you speak a dead language. You get closer to time travel that way than dressing up in costumes and visiting castles - this way you're in the minds of the people that lived there, not just wearing their clothes but with a 21st century mindset

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    For me personally, English and French are indispensible as not only do I live and travel in England and France, but my family speak these languages. The older/dead languages are useful in, as I mentioned, a general opening of the mind and wider mental horizons. I really honestly cannot overstate how, many times in my life, I've been struck by how "small" and limited the world of the monoglot must be - a world I don't remember ever having lived in. I've always known how to think at least two completely culturally different ways.

    As well as that, they act as a sort of "master key" that enables me to "unlock" the languages that descended from them. So, for example, knowing Latin, I'm able to understand French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and bits of the many other languages that borrow from it, without having to learn those languages individually. So although I've never studied Portuguese, I can manage to navigate an online store based in Brazil without any difficulty. Same goes for Dutch, German and Danish, due to my knowledge of the older Germanic root languages, and I can understand Serbo-Croat, Polish and Czech through Russian and Church Slavonic. Through Arabic, I'm able to understand Hebrew, which is similar.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult?
    Coming from my two native languages being uninflected, initially as a child I found inflection hard to deal with, when learning Latin. But that was a very long time ago and, having mastered it, I now find it easier in some ways to think in an "inflected way", and learning other inflected languages is just a case of learning how they "do" what I already understand as a system.

    Also, progressing from a passive comprehension (such as I have for a lot of languages: can read, understand and listen) to being able to quickly make your own sentences and speak in live conversations at speed, is a big jump.

    What did you find easy?
    Remembering vocab. I guess because I don't tend to need to remember it, cos I can sort of engineer/re-engineer/back-engineer most of it through the ancient cognates that come very naturally to me thanks to early exposure. If I'm in Italy and can't remember the Italian word for something, I'll find another Latin based language where I do know the word, and Italianise it according to how I know sound shifts etc have happened. So again, dead languages acting as a master key with linguistics as the support band

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    To take any given language that I feel comfortable speaking in, I'd say it varies considerably, depending on the regularity and quality of opportunities I have to practice, and also how at home I can feel with the culture that it's from. It's all very well knowing how to make a sentence that means what I think it means in English, but it's another thing to know whether or not saying "that" is acceptable in their culture, when it's a very alien one such as Arab speaking ones.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?

    Yes. Many, many times. I still do it now, ALL The time. My strength is in comprehension and written composition. Live speaking is my weakest point, but I find that with travel and exposure in the relevant countries, it starts to flow.

    You come to realise that nobody minds you making the odd mistakes, that the native speakers can always understand you (almost always), however bad your accent/grammar etc is, and they'd rather you concentrated on getting your point across than hesitating for fear of making mistakes. They'll correct you as you go if it's necessary, and you learn pretty quickly that way.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  7. #47
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    What is/are your native language(s)?
    English

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    Spanish. Thought it would be more useful in high school than the alternative French.

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    It helps at work sometimes. There isn't a big Spanish-speaking community where I live, but it's full of tourists, many of them include those who barely know English. They tend to just ask questions about where to find stuff, so it's not like I'm really saying anything except 'Son alli'

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    Tenses and verb conjugations. Typing in accents for essays was also a pain in the ass.
    A lot of words are very similar to English, especially nouns, which I guess made it really easy to learn.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    Meh, it's on and off. Sometimes it'll click on, sometimes it won't. If it doesn't come to me quickly, then I get uncomfortable.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?
    Once or twice, recently. I just forget sometimes.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Reflection's Avatar
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    What is/are your native language(s)?
    Croatian (and on that note, am I the only one here?)

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    English, German, Italian and recently Spanish. Because I love languages. Okay, I have been speaking English for as long as I can actually remember, so that's one love I developed over the years. German I learnt by watching cartoons in German (and later studied it for two years at the university), Italian as obligatory during high school and Spanish recently at the university (I was bored).

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?

    English is extremely useful, of course. German a bit less so, but still useful, especially considering how many German tourists we get over here. Italian isn't so useful, but they have decent music.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    I don't have much difficulty with English. German, now that's problematic - generally, I find grammar very difficult in German, because I've been speaking 'street' German ever since I started learning it, and proper grammar just wasn't important to me then. Italian prepositions are horrible. Spanish is fairly easy (except for past tense - I simply can't get over that silly last syllable accent, when in Italian it's used for future tense).

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    I can't remember a time when I wasn't comfortable speaking English. I find it much easier to speak in English than my native language. Same for German. It took me a while for Italian, as well as Spanish.

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?

    I'll always try. I don't really care if people laugh at me as long as I can convey my message.
    Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.

  9. #49
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    Zdravo. No we have plenty of Croatians here.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Reflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Zdravo. No we have plenty of Croatians here.
    Cool. We might get a few more, though.
    Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.

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