Foreign Languages

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Foreign Languages

#1 Post by Destiny » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:39 am

Well, I was on Youtube again and found a interesting channel (called AlexandJim) where two guys compare Germany and USA.
And they had the topic about foreign languages where it became obvious that germans learn at least two foreign languages while Americans MAYBE learn one (seemingly mainly spanish).

So I would love to know:
What languages do you speak (or had learned once at least)? And where do you live (just to compare) :3

I for myself live in Germany.
So my main language is german. But my early childhood (till I aged 6) was in Belgium, so I learned dutch as a child, too.
I started learning english in my 5th grade (and I know, they start now with between 3rd grade or even kindergarden), I learned french in 7th grade, spanish in 11th grade and I started to learn japanese when I began university.
Makes a total of 5 languages (even though I'm no longer able to even understand french and spanish since they never really caught my interest :'D) learned up till now (and I'm only 23 yet).
If time and possibilities allow it then I would love to learn french again. I also find Zulu a very interesting language (hint: it's the language the lion king opening is sung in xD)

Skill level:
german: 5/5
dutch 3/4 (hearing is perfect, reading 4/5, speaking 3-4/5 and writing...kinda hopeless xD)
English 3-4/5 (I understand it perfectly and about 90% of my freetime consists of listening, reading or speaking english [Thank you, internet. Thank you, exchange students :D], so I guess, I'm quite good for a non-native speaker)
french 0-1/5
spanish 0-1/5 (Me no hablo espanol :'D)
japanese 1-3/5 (reading/hearing is 3, the rest is 1)
Last edited by Destiny on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Foreign Languages

#2 Post by Sharm » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:56 am

I took a number of years of German in school but I never got to the point where I could speak it and I've forgotten most of it. I've been trying to learn Japanese on my own, I can't speak that one either. I live in the US. I don't think there's a lack of interest in other languages here (at least in the part where I grew up), but unless you study it on your own outside of the public school system you'll never learn anything. I should note that I grew up in Utah where knowing another language is much more common than the rest of the US.
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Re: Foreign Languages

#3 Post by PyTom » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:15 am

I took three years of Spanish in middle school, and then three more years in high school. Unfortunately, due to an early exposure to artificial language, natural languages didn't take - I only passed because I knew:

1) How to talk about the time and weather.
2) How to force any conversation to be about the time and weather.

The good news was that the teachers either didn't know I was gaming the test - or more likely, didn't care.

Right now, what Spanish remains in my brain is in a generic "Foreign Language" bucket that also includes the random bits of Japanese that I've picked up from a decade and a half of anime fandom - the result being that I know neither language.

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Re: Foreign Languages

#4 Post by Ziassan » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:20 am

Almost everybody around here have a really low level in English, and it's hard to have good English lessons seriously, even my "normal" level is enough to be in the top all the year even in the third year of a 5-year degree.

But out there on the internet or in business, even having a correct level in English isn't enough - for instance being a composer I often have issues/slowdown when it comes to talking about feels and technic of music in English.
Also impossible to write a VN since it'd not be the same to write in a non-native language (hindering creativity), and afterward-translation alters the writing.
Also a few typos or strange ways to word a sentence can damages the credibility in an argument, or in a presentation/a talk for professional/commercial deals with english natives.
That's not a little thing to handle but well, that's how it is, the best is to train and learn, again and again - talking on this forum is already a good training.
Hopefully learning language, learning about cultures, is something interesting enough and open the mind.

It's very hard to value how much is a language learned when non-native, because each time thinking it's at a good level, another level open.
I'd say..
French : 5/5
English : 4/5 (well, as a non-native language only, and weak when speaking/listening things extracted from English like American)
Spanish, Japanese, Latin : 2/5 (knowing the basis to deal with, but hardly more)
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Re: Foreign Languages

#5 Post by nyaatrap » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:30 am

I have learned the basics of many languages but most of them are halted to learn further. However I don't think it's useless, because I can image the perspective of Language with those experience.

Modern Japanese 5/5 (mother tongue)
Middle Japanese 3/5
English 3/5
French 1/5
German 1/5
Latin 1/5
Chinese 1/5
Mathematics 3/5
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Re: Foreign Languages

#6 Post by Tetiel » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:38 am

I took 3 years of before school Spanish classes in elementary school. I found them difficult as a child since the teacher never spoke in english to explain what the words actually meant. I knew what the phrases meant, but I couldn't break them down to form my own sentences. Living in America for most of my life and also taking private classes in Latin, I can understand Spanish pretty well, if it's written down. I just can't speak it. I did self-study in Japanese as well, mainly just learning to be able to read the characters... okay, by self-study, I mean translating the lyrics from my Sailor Moon 6 CD collection set :lol:

I took 3 years of Russian in high school and I can definitely understand that better. I really enjoy the language and I find most Russians really appreciate it if you make an effort with their language, since it's also very difficult for them to learn ours. I took a semester of French in University, but I hated the course. Little did I know I'd be moving to Canada the following year. My French is much, much better now despite living in quite possibly the least French area. I'm really good at reading food labels!! :D

So Spanish, Latin, minimal Japanese, Russian, French all probably at 1-2/5. I lived in Washington State, USA and now I live in Southeastern Ontario, Canada. I've traveled to about 6 Western European nations as well as Ukraine and Russia and picked up some of the language on the way. None of these I can speak fluently. At least I can kinda order food, enough so I don't accidentally order criadillas de cordero or tête de veau. That's the important thing, right? xD

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Re: Foreign Languages

#7 Post by Destiny » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:39 am

nyaatrap wrote: Mathematics 3/5
Math is now a language :mrgreen:
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Re: Foreign Languages

#8 Post by wyverngem » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:25 am

Native English speaker, I didn't have need for any another language that's why my French is rusty and my Japanese is nearly non-existent. My great-grandparents were German immigrants, though their language was snuffed out in the last World War so all I know is what it means when my grandfather would be nostalgic and say "Sweet dreams, love. Good night."

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Re: Foreign Languages

#9 Post by Ryouzanki » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:56 am

Hello, I'm french and I like foreign culture so, here's my score :
- French 5/5
- Vietnamese 4/5
- Japanese 3/5
- English 3/5
- Spanish 2/5
- Italian 2/5
- German 2/5
- Latin 1/5

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Re: Foreign Languages

#10 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:11 am

English: 6/5 - I sometimes teach other English teachers and professional interpreters. My online English may be misleading.

As for the Japanese, I need to break it down a little:

Hiragana/Katakana reading: 4/5 - Good, but I sometimes miss errors.

Hiragana/Katakana writing: 0/5 - I've never needed to write without a keyboard.

Kanji reading: 0.1/5 - Can only read about 80 kanji.

Kanji writing: 0.01/5 - I might be able to write a few in the correct stroke order. Maybe.

Japanese listening: 2/5 - I can generally follow conversations, except with unusual topics.

Japanese speaking: 0.5/5 - Surprisingly, I have very few opportunities to speak Japanese. I have quite a decent vocabulary, but lack the grammatical ability to form correct sentences.

Can also read Russian and Korean, but don't understand the meanings at all.

Oh, and I have never studied a language formally. I mostly learnt Japanese from talking to Japanese people before coming to Japan, and picking up the occasional words in day to day life. Korean and Russian I learnt from the internet.
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Re: Foreign Languages

#11 Post by Deji » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:21 am

My native language is Spanish (Latinamerican - Chile) (:

I started learning English in middle school and then expanded it by watching cable tv, internet and reading. My English is decent enough to understand other people talking, make conversation, read books and write.

I took some French in high school, but when we had to choose between French and English, I chose English, so my French is limited to a few words and phrases.

And I know a few words in Japanese from some learning books I borrowed year ago and from when I used to watch anime xD
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Re: Foreign Languages

#12 Post by Oddly Otter » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:28 am

5/5 English. It's my native language!

2 maybe 3/5 German. I took it in school and even visited. I was able to function but I couldn't carry on long conversations. That was back in 07 though so I've forgotten it mostly. Lately I've been trying to work on it again! I need to immerse myself in it again. I need a book or show or something! Or music!

1/5 Swedish. I know about 200 words? Heh such a bouncy language

1/5 My friend is a japanese major about to study abroad. I love that he's learning it because he likes languages and not cause of anime or whatever. He doesn't like anime so when he helps me it's not from a "you have to watch this show!" perspective but a "languages are awesome!" perspective. He's more enthusiastic about it cause he's more worried about syntax and such. He's been helping me a little bit. It's hard to learn a whole 'nother writing style.

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Re: Foreign Languages

#13 Post by Lumen_Astrum » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:47 am

Tagalog 5/5 (It's my native tongue)
English 4.5/5 (I'm not a native English speaker but I'm pretty fluent)
Greek 2/5 (Just learning, but they're SUPER basic. I'm still at lesson 2 of my online course XD I can read words but I can't understand lol)
Latin 0.5/5 (Hahahaha! I only know a couple of words.)
Japanese 1/5 (Same as above, but I know some basic sentences at least.)

I live in the Philippines if it isn't obvious, in a region near NCR. In some provincial regions, they teach dialects (near to Tagalog but totally not Tagalog). I've always wanted to learn those >_< [Kapampangan plz]

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Re: Foreign Languages

#14 Post by Hijiri » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Spanish 4/5 (My native language, despite living in the US all my life. I can read and speak spanish, but I can't write it and sometimes don't know certain words. But hey, I've gotten this far without formal spanish education)
English 4/5 (I can read, write, and speak English but sometimes I still have trouble with words.)
French 1/5 (I learned basic French, but lacking practice I've archived it away. It does sometimes pop back up when I hear French words though.)
Japanese 0.5/5 (I've got a grasp of a few words and sayings. Still bad at it though.)
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Re: Foreign Languages

#15 Post by chocojax » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:53 pm

English - 5/5
Vietnamese - 3/5 (I can listen well, can only attempt at speaking and reading, absolutely cannot write.)
Japanese - 2/5 (Took about 4 years of it in high school, but I'm still pretty bad at it, loool.)
French - 1/5 (Only 2 years of it, so I only know a few grammar points and can kinda read simple sentences, haha.)

I really like foreign languages too, so I'm planning on taking a few classes in college if I have enough room. :v!

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