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  1. #51
    Sniffles
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    Every forum needs its contingent of Balkanoids.

  2. #52
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Native language: German
    Foreign languages: English, Spanish, French (+ passive Catalan and a semester each of Dutch and Finnish, sadly I forgot almost all of that)

    English and at least one further language were mandatory at school. I started with French as a second foreign language (English almost always being the first foreign language at German schools), struggled with French spelling and a horrible teacher and switched to Spanish during an exchange year in the US. So I learned a somewhat mexicanized Spanish that I had to work on later after returning to Europe.

    I enjoyed languages so much that I decided to become a professional translator and interpreter and now work from English and Spanish into German. At some point I started collecting teach-yourself-X-books for a few dozent languages, but never went through with any of that (lack of discipline and incentive). My ex and many of our friends are from Barcelona, so I got used to Catalan, which looks like a funny mix between Spanish and French.

    Respekt to all those who worked their way through German. It has its own beauty, but I can definitely see how the grammar can be discouraging.

    I am currently wondering which language to tackle next, any suggestions?
    Something more "exotic" (meaning a different alphabet/writing system) outside the germanic or roman family would be more interesting but also much more work. A close friend (INTP) who is fascinated by the structure of languages and very good at that but too lazy to learn vocabulary threw the towel after experimenting with Mandarin. So I try to be realistic, because I would want to be able to hold up my end of a simple conversation within a reasonable time frame. Any Ideas?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Reflection's Avatar
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    I love German, it has a beautiful structure and its very powerful. But the grammar is daunting.

    Try Russian, if you really want to switch writing modes. I'm tackling Quenya (Tolkien's elves' language) myself, but that might be a bit too geeky for you (not to mention it has no practical application, and I'm only studying it because the grammar is beautiful and the sentences are stunning - sure wish more people would speak it).

    Sanskrit is very interesting as well, lots of etymology - and pretty letters!
    Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.

  4. #54
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    I am currently wondering which language to tackle next, any suggestions?
    Something more "exotic" (meaning a different alphabet/writing system) outside the germanic or roman family would be more interesting but also much more work. A close friend (INTP) who is fascinated by the structure of languages and very good at that but too lazy to learn vocabulary threw the towel after experimenting with Mandarin. So I try to be realistic, because I would want to be able to hold up my end of a simple conversation within a reasonable time frame. Any Ideas?
    Turkish? I am fascinated by Turkish because it's one of the few non-indoeuropean languages that, except mandarin, has been able to survive for such a long time. Plus, Turkey's going to be an economic powerhouse in the next century, so it might be professionally useful, too. I currently have postponed its learning until I graduate, but I'll surely take it up once I have more free time.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #55
    Aquaria mrcockburn'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)?
    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?

    Please sate my curiosity.
    1. English. Booorrring.

    2.
    * Spanish - necessity/practicality in the U.S.
    * Russian - challenge/needed a language class in uni & bored of Spanish
    * German - currently studying, bored of Russian, rather useful, like the language

    3.
    * For Spanish, all the irregular verbs. I also had trouble with idioms, indirect/direct pronouns or whatever the differences between "lo" "le" "la" etc were. Also, I can't roll my r's. Also I'm terrible at understanding native spoken Spanish. I must be slow, because they seem to speak so fast. (Learned at school)

    * For Russian, I'd say it was the cases... BLAH. It's like verb conjugation to the second power. (Learned at school)

    * For German, I don't know. I'm not learning in a classroom, I'm conducting an experiment - listen ONLY to German for a few hours a day, and try to learn it as a baby would. LISTENING ONLY for now. NO speaking, NO writing, NO reading, NO studying grammar. (Yet). It's completely bonkershit crazy, but that's the kind of nonsense ENTPs do , and I'm actually learning a LOT, and it comes much more naturally than the Spanish does. I spoke a few phrases I had in my head to a German friend on the phone and he was completely shocked because according to him, I had a native Munich accent. But I'm trying not to speak too much (a real challenge for an Extrovert LOL) until I've "absorbed" the language for another few months.
    3w4-9w1-?w6 (nearly headless nick)
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcockburn View Post
    I spoke a few phrases I had in my head to a German friend on the phone and he was completely shocked because according to him, I had a native Munich accent.
    That is not a compliment.

  7. #57
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    What is/are your native language(s)? English
    What language(s) did you learn? Why? French, Spanish, Russian, and Irish, to various degrees. French I speak well, and I learned it because I was fascinated with France when I was young and I think it is a beautiful language. Spanish I speak a little bit, and I learned (a bit of) it because it's practical. Russian I spoke fairly well at one time, but it has faded a lot. I learned it because I'm fascinated with Russia and it's an interesting and difficult language. Irish I only know a little of, still currently learning it, because it's my heritage.

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis? I use French most days at my job or for my side work as a translator. I actually don't use Spanish much anymore, although I used it a lot when I was dating a Mexican. Russian and Irish I almost never use.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    French and Spanish, to be honest, were easy. The only reason I don't speak them better is for lack of use. Russian.. the cases are really really difficult. Irish... the spelling and pronunciation are super difficult.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language? French... it took awhile. It helped, I think, that I was exposed to it at an early age (probably 8 or so). Then I took a couple years in middle school, 4 years in high school. At that point I think I spoke it pretty well. Then I majored in it in college, including studying in France for a semester. I spoke it somewhat fluently at the end of my time in France. I've lost a fair amount of it since then.

    The other three.... I'll let you know when I do feel comfortable!

    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly? Yes, frequently. But I do that even in English. Writing is a different story, though.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  8. #58
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcockburn View Post
    I spoke a few phrases I had in my head to a German friend on the phone and he was completely shocked because according to him, I had a native Munich accent.
    Hmm that's intresting and worth further studies.

    When Obama speaks it sounds like swabian, hmmm

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTYMqVe-MMM"].[/YOUTUBE]
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  9. #59
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    What is/are your native language(s)?
    Norwegian Bokmål (Swedish, Danish)

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    (Swedish, Danish) English, German, Latin.

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    I use English every day. More often than Norwegian. So if I ever were to go to the US or the UK I would have to fake a Norwegian accent to get attention.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    English comes naturally to me. I learned it before we had English studies in school (Think we began at the age of 8 or 9, and I was 5 when I learned how to count to ten in English. 7 when I learned how to count to one hundred). German, not so much... mein deutsche sprache ist nicht gut. Latin is difficult because it's not a spoken language, but it was quite easy once I repeated the lines, and compared the words with Scandinavian languages and English.

    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    Always had better English grades than Norwegian grades. In fact I have to translate from English to Norwegian most of the time... really weird.

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

  10. #60
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    What is/are your native language(s)?

    English. Although the official first language is Irish, I live relatively far from the gaeltacht areas where it is spoken as a first language (and is currently in decline )

    What language(s) did you learn? Why?
    Irish and French. Irish is compulsory in schools here and I embraced the chance to learn my native language and get more involved in the culture (by helping organise Seachtain na Gaeilge in my school, going to a gaeltacht in the Summer, etc).
    Also, for admission to certain universities you have to do another European language and French was all my secondary school offered. I fell in love with the language straight away and was delighted to be able to use in while in Paris a few years back. I still have a vague chance of being able to study law and French law next year and if I do, I'll be fluent in a few years.

    How useful is a second/third/whatever language to you generally? On a daily basis?
    Irish isn't particularly useful, nobody I know speaks it to a very high standard. Came in handy in the Leaving Cert exam though, aha. I do use it daily, by either talking to myself or watching the Irish language channel/news, read some literature or an Irish language newspaper or Irish versions of English songs.
    French is only useful when I'm in France, and I've only been there once. It's going to be very handy in the future though. And yeah, I use it daily too, there are more resources for French than Irish. I'm lucky that the two of 'em are official EU languages because now I can speak three of them aha.

    What aspects of the language did you find difficult? What did you find easy?
    I found the Tuiseal Ginideach difficult enough to grasp, but it's relatively simple. Don't get the stigma with the Modh Coinniollach, I personally thought it was a straightforward tense. Oral Irish I find easy enough, as well as reading and vocab rarely provides a problem.

    As for French, I didn't find any of it particularly hard to get to terms with. Syntax was a little confusing at first but I got the hang of it soon enough.
    About how long did it take for you to feel comfortable speaking in that language?
    For Irish, I only feel comfortable with it recently. After 14 years of learning it....that said though, the standard of teaching at primary level is appalling.

    Been learning French for six years now, was comfortable enough to use it in PAris after 2 and a half.
    Was there ever a time you 'chickened out' because you were not confident in your ability to speak properly?
    Tried to do that at the gaeltacht but would've been sent home for speaking English so I butchered some Irish instead. I was fairly confident with my French and knew that even if I made some mistakes my efforts would be appreciated so went ahead with it anyway.

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