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The original post

Posted by on 18.08.2007 at 17:35
The idea is simple... Talk about the languages you speak, and the ones you would like to learn. What are they? Why do you like them? What is that you don't like about them? How and where did you learn them? What is your mother language?

Personally...

- (As you *might* have noticed) I speak English. Not really well, but I think I can say I know the basis. But it is not my first language: French is. I don't want to sound pretentious or anything, but I speak French really well. Yet, it is the third language I learnt.
- My mother language is Arabic, it was the first one I learnt as I am Moroccan and was born in Morocco. But my parents speak French more than Arabic, and I started going to a French school when I was 5, thus, I started forgetting Arabic. I was still as able to understand it as before, but I couldn't speak it anymore, past my 8th birthday. (Some other important factors were involded, but it is not necessary to mention them.)
- The second language I learnt was Spanish, because of/thanks to Spanish TV channels and my grandmother, who only spoke Spanish and Arabic. But when we left the city where we were living (Tanger, just in front of Spain), I stopped watching Spanish channels, and left my grandmother as well, and then, forgot Spanish too .
- That's when French comes. It became my first language around 8. As the French school system wants it, I started learning English at 11. And I unexpectedly didn't have any difficulty with it. I have always had the best mark in that subject, without making any effort for that. Unfortunately it is still not enough. I realised my level was not as good as I thought it was.
- The next year, (I was 12) I chose Latin, but I had to stop after a few months, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to start Spanish the following year. I started re-learning Spanish at 13.
- But since I took Spanish at 13, I couldn't take German at 15. I had too many subjects and the teachers wouldn't let me add German. Yet it is the language I really want to learn. I like the sonority of it, and I watch German TV channels just to hear it, even if I don't get a word of it .
- As a consequence, the two languages I can speak the best are French, and English.

As you see the topic is vast, there is a lot to say...



Page 25 of 25

Karlabos
<insert title>

Posts: 1368

Age: 26
From: Brazil

  07.08.2014 at 16:36
^That happens to me to. If I listen to someone speaking in Italian, for instance I can actually understand some things even though I never had contact with it
By the other hand I recall being like on the 2nd year of german studying and not being able to get anything at all on a conversation =(
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Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Fuck

Posts: 36419

Age: 46
From: The Netherlands

  07.08.2014 at 16:42
Written by Karlabos on 07.08.2014 at 16:36

^That happens to me to. If I listen to someone speaking in Italian, for instance I can actually understand some things even though I never had contact with it
By the other hand I recall being like on the 2nd year of german studying and not being able to get anything at all on a conversation =(



Quite logical... since your native language is Brazilian Portuguese which is a Romance (also referred to as a Romanic or a Latin or a Neo-Latin) language, just like Italian whereas German is a Germanic language and hence totally different to your ow language.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Ernis
狼獾

Posts: 6718

Age: 26
From: Estonia

  07.08.2014 at 21:20
Written by ANGEL REAPER on 07.08.2014 at 11:55

I have noticed a strange thing few days ago.I was watching some random Swedish channel on TV .And i shit you not,the language sounded familiar to me although i never learned a word of Swedish.I mean i could understand meaning of phrases and at least 1/3 of the words spoken .hell i might try to learn the damn language.


I've always heard that Swedish is really easy. I've never really dug into it because 99.99999999% of Swedes are 100% fluent in English, therefore, why would I want to torture them with my below-average Swedish if we can have flawless conversations in English... You will understand basic written Swedish if you know English and German...
----
Go ahead, make my day...
ANGEL REAPER

Posts: 3044

Age: 22
From: Serbia

  07.08.2014 at 22:33
Written by Ernis on 07.08.2014 at 21:20

Written by ANGEL REAPER on 07.08.2014 at 11:55

I have noticed a strange thing few days ago.I was watching some random Swedish channel on TV .And i shit you not,the language sounded familiar to me although i never learned a word of Swedish.I mean i could understand meaning of phrases and at least 1/3 of the words spoken .hell i might try to learn the damn language.


I've always heard that Swedish is really easy. I've never really dug into it because 99.99999999% of Swedes are 100% fluent in English, therefore, why would I want to torture them with my below-average Swedish if we can have flawless conversations in English... You will understand basic written Swedish if you know English and German...

not just Swedish,i also figured out written basic Spanish so i can understand texts in Spanish (well a quite large part of it).though i cant really get the spoken one (mostly cause Spanish is spoken quite fast).

on topic of Swedish language : yeah i know that Swedish is one of easier languages to learn if you know English but the fact that surprised me is that just by knowing english i could understand stuff (bear in mind that i suck in literature and languages-well kinda- ).It was interesting .
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Ernis
狼獾

Posts: 6718

Age: 26
From: Estonia

  08.08.2014 at 14:35
Written by ANGEL REAPER on 07.08.2014 at 22:33

not just Swedish,i also figured out written basic Spanish so i can understand texts in Spanish (well a quite large part of it).though i cant really get the spoken one (mostly cause Spanish is spoken quite fast).


Well... Spanish is also related to Swedish and English... they're all neighbouring sub-groups within the Indo-European family, and they also share a significant Latin/Greek-based vocabulary which has replaced several local words (for example the Latin prefix "trans-" used while the English version would be "through-", or the Greek word "holo" instead of its English counterpart "whole"...) ... Besides, Spanish is also relatively easy compared to English...

Here's a good one... whole-nut chocolate = holonuclear chocolate...

Either way... "Por favor/Please (literally "For favor"), use el disinfectante antes(before) de tocar(touching) al(literally "at the" bebe(baby)"... is there even a point to translate "disinfectante"?

Spanish and English (and Italian) are closer to each other than Estonian and Finnish...
----
Go ahead, make my day...
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist

Posts: 18320
From: Canada

  08.08.2014 at 17:32
I don't think Spanish or Italian are that close to English. English takes more influence from German, Latin, and French than it does from Spanish.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 37725

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  10.08.2014 at 15:24
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.08.2014 at 16:42

Written by Karlabos on 07.08.2014 at 16:36

^That happens to me to. If I listen to someone speaking in Italian, for instance I can actually understand some things even though I never had contact with it
By the other hand I recall being like on the 2nd year of german studying and not being able to get anything at all on a conversation =(



Quite logical... since your native language is Brazilian Portuguese which is a Romance (also referred to as a Romanic or a Latin or a Neo-Latin) language, just like Italian whereas German is a Germanic language and hence totally different to your ow language.


I think Romanic lang is easer to understand if you know one, base is latin....same goes german.
I did study it in the school, I had better grades as in eng in the beginning, knowing ger helped me easer to learned Swedish
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 37725

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  10.08.2014 at 15:27
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.08.2014 at 17:32

I don't think Spanish or Italian are that close to English. English takes more influence from German, Latin, and French than it does from Spanish.


English belongs to german lang group even they are more away from continent german as german, flaamish, but also Scandinavian as densish, Swedish, norvegian is farer also, same time icelandish is 12th century Norwegian, and fareo icelands 12 century denish IMO

English has easer grammer (harder spelling :p ) but same time English, scotish (some say its own lang, some say it accent) totally wipe out gealic and al celtic langs in the british islands
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Boxcar Willy
*sigh*

Posts: 7115

Age: 17
From: Canada

  10.08.2014 at 16:20
I speak English and am 60%-or-so fluent with Canadian French. Enough to avoid being stabbed if I ever heady montreal.


I would very much like to learn how to speak Russian.
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waste of space
Ernis
狼獾

Posts: 6718

Age: 26
From: Estonia

  10.08.2014 at 21:17
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.08.2014 at 17:32

I don't think Spanish or Italian are that close to English. English takes more influence from German, Latin, and French than it does from Spanish.


If we're talking about influence, then modern English has taken most influence from Norman French (which was neo-Latin with Norman influence)...
Spanish is also Neo-Latin... Latin took influence from Greek (besides being already related to Greek), the Romance and Germanic group already intermingled during late antiquity and the middle ages and that explains the common word-stock pretty well... Plus the fact that all of the aforementioned languages belonged to the same language family all along... so yes, English hasn't really taken anything from Spanish itself... it's more like English and Spanish having the same ancestor and having been influenced by the same source languages...

English itself is Germanic but it has more French vocabulary than other Germanic languages (such as German)... For example the original English word for "people" is "lede" ("Leute" in German, "lyudi" in Russian)... "people" was borrowed from French ("peuple") which derives from the Latin word "populus" (itself probably a borrowing from Etruscan)...
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Go ahead, make my day...
IronAngel

Posts: 4347

Age: 25
From: Finland

  11.08.2014 at 10:47
Written by Ernis on 10.08.2014 at 21:17


If we're talking about influence, then modern English has taken most influence from Norman French (which was neo-Latin with Norman influence)...


That is the received opinion, but I think modern scholarship is starting to recognize the previously-unrealized influence of Celtic languages on English. That could help explain the change that happens between the 9th century before the Norman Conquest and when the vernacular re-emerges as Middle English in the 13th. Caedmon's Hymn and the Ancrene Wisse - let alone Canterbury Tales - are very different, and the changes in the language do not systematically conform to the model of Norman French. Namely, English changed from an inflected language to an analytic one. It's been speculated, then, that the rapid change in English (and it really is a drastic change in just a few centuries) is due to the influence of Celtic languages which were still widely in use in Wales and Scotland.

Furthermore, the influence of Danish is pretty important. English is a Germanic language, that is true, but many of the similarities aren't actually signs of a common ancestry but rather recent (9th century and later) borrowings from the Danes.

So I wouldn't say it's as simple as Norman French being the greatest influence. A lot of the vocabulary related to learning and government are, for obvious reasons, related to French. But even then it's difficult to say whether the word was borrowed from French or Latin - the Norman vernacular was French, but Latin was the language of government and church in both England and France, so many of the seemingly French words might as well be derived from Latin.

Ultimately the question of what's the "biggest" influence is pretty arbitrary, anyway. To understand English, we just need to remember that it was brought to Britain as the Germanic Anglo-Saxon language, was influenced by Latin (as the lingua franca), Scandinavian (through Danelaw) and Celtic (as the previous native language still used locally), and then during the Norman Conquest it borrowed a lot of words and spelling from French (but, perhaps, not much grammar). And finally, for reasons I don't know, the Great Vowel Shift changed pronunciation around the 15th century, give or take a century and a half, so that we're left with the strange inconsistency of modern English spelling.
Ernis
狼獾

Posts: 6718

Age: 26
From: Estonia

  13.08.2014 at 21:09
Written by IronAngel on 11.08.2014 at 10:47

Written by Ernis on 10.08.2014 at 21:17


If we're talking about influence, then modern English has taken most influence from Norman French (which was neo-Latin with Norman influence)...


That is the received opinion


Thanks for pointing these things out. I might not have mentioned them in my previous post but it's rather logical to think that English was influenced by other contemporary languages spoken at the territory where it eventually developed (including the Celtic languages and Danish)... I was referring to Latin-derived vocabulary as a major prominent feature of modern English... Grammar-wise, all Indo-European have the almost identical rules and features... and I'm saying that because I studied historical linguistics (not that I can speak PIE) but every IE language I've studied besides English (Spanish/German/Persian) has been like going through the same set of rules over and over again... When I started learning German, I had a pretty good advantage compared to those for whom English was the only foreign language... Whenever they were struggling with grammar, I just implemented the rules I already knew from French and Italian and it worked... Languages like Chinese and Estonian obviously do not have this system... although the latter has intermingled with Germanic and Slavic languages (can't say just German and Russian because we're talking about long periods of time and different Germanic/Slavic languages during their respective stages of development...)
----
Go ahead, make my day...
deadone
Mainstream Poser

Posts: 3650
From: Australia

  14.08.2014 at 04:06
The problem with English is that it's an absolute mess of a language. There are no "hard and fast" rules unlike French or German. Part of the problem is they applied Latin grammar rules to a Germanic language. The other problem is influence of god knows how many other languages.

For example spelling is not phonetic or based on any sort of rules. And the few concrete rules have so many exceptions that they don't really apply in most cases. Then there's historical leftovers like the silent Ks in knife and knight which weren't silent originally.


It's why it is such a hard langauge to learn.

I've got a very good and somewhat humourous book at home on the absurdities of the English language.
IronAngel

Posts: 4347

Age: 25
From: Finland

  14.08.2014 at 10:14
English spelling isn't quite as lawless as it appears, it's just that the pronunciation changed dramatically after the orthography was mostly settled (by Caxton's time). The silent K is not the only historical leftover in 'knight' - the /ɪ/ has turned into the diphthong /aɪ/, and the gh, I think, would have been /ç/ (as in the German 'ich'). When you try to imagine how two similarly spelled but differently pronounced words would have been before the Great Vowel Shift, the changes usually make sense. (It is the difference between long and short vowels, typically.) But yeah, I reckon it's fair to say English spelling is difficult when you're first learning it - the notion of spelling competetitions at school, after the very first stages of learning to write, would be absurd for most any other language.

In general, I think English being a mess of a language is a bit of a myth - just like Finnish being hard, which is probably true for any language you try to learn from an entirely different language group. There are plenty of clear rules and internal logic in English, even if they're different from German. But that has a lot to do with it losing its inflected nature, so you don't have long lists of word forms to memorize. I remember being told by my high school teachers how commas and adverbs were difficult and how pretty much anything goes, but it turns out there are perfectly clear rules for where you place them (with wiggle-room, sure).

But yeah, it is easy to learn the basics of a new language if you know another one related to it. Romanic and Germanic languages are fairly easy to understand thanks to shared vocabulary and grammar. I wouldn't exaggerate the similarities of grammar, though: when you know the historical languages the moderns derive from, you can see the connections, but the same basic concepts aren't necessarily applied in the same way in different languages. I find that it can even cause problems: you'll confuse one language for another when something that looks similar actually has a different function.
toxx
Supreme being

Posts: 267

Age: 27
From: Norway

  14.08.2014 at 11:34
English and Norwegian. Speaking Norwegian, it's quite simple to understand both swedish and danish, as it is quite similar.

Would like to learn german. I know a bit, but not nearly enough to compose an understandable sentence Would be very useful in my line of work.
Bad English
nobody

Posts: 37725

Age: 29
From: Sweden

  14.08.2014 at 11:58
Written by toxx on 14.08.2014 at 11:34

English and Norwegian. Speaking Norwegian, it's quite simple to understand both swedish and danish, as it is quite similar.

Would like to learn german. I know a bit, but not nearly enough to compose an understandable sentence Would be very useful in my line of work.


I always have thought german is more important lang. more connected whit ur region history, more useful to know as Spanish, or even frernch.... let they learn English , who cares about L America anyway ---
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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