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Do you speak any other languages?

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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:11 pm

I was taught French from the age of 7 but I can't say it did me any good. I'm not able to speak it, but if I look at the written word, I can get the gist of it usually! I was taught German from about the age of 12, but I really can't remember much of it.
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Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Post by Leyland » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:14 pm

[quote=""Julianne Douglas""]For some reason, I've always wanted to learn Norweigian or the Celtic tongue. Maybe someday....[/quote]

I'm with you on learning a Celtic language. The best way to learn would be to relocate to western Ireland for a year or so. Oh, the castles and the music ... and the pints and pubs. ;)

Scotland would work just fine for me, too. How much Scots-Gaelic is still spoken there?
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Post by Ariadne » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:26 pm

I was a French major in college and remember a fair bit, though not nearly as much as I'd like. Also took courses in German, Russian, Old English and Spanish but couldn't likely get by in anything but German now, and that only on a basic level.

It was cool to read Beowulf in the original, though. The prof brought the class to a pond in the campus arboretum for that session, and we took turns reciting from it.

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Post by tsjmom » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 7:27 pm

A little French.

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Post by princess garnet » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 8:26 pm

Working knowledge of French and some oral Cantonese Chinese
I've had to use both while on the job at the reference desk.

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Post by Julianne Douglas » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 9:06 pm

Have you ever heard Gaelic spoken? I did once--the Irish priest in our parish said the Our Father in Gaelic. I was very surprised at how harsh it sounded--lots of throaty r's and h's and hard consonants like German. I had always imagined Gaelic to be soft and mellifluous (how's that for a vocabulary word? ;) ), but I was very, very wrong.

Perhaps after a few pints it sounds prettier...
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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Post by donroc » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 10:04 pm

I have forgotten school Latin and much Italian. My German is rusy, but I could get up to speed in several weeks. My Portuguese is better because my wife is from Brazil. For German and Portuguese, it is a matter of synchronizing my hearing to my brain in conversation.

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

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Post by Ash » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:20 am

[quote=""MLE""]I read and write Spanish pretty well, but speaking and listening are atill problems. 'Despacio, por favor," (slower, please) is a stock phrase of mine. When they are speaking fast, I can't tell if it was three one-syllable words or one three-syllable word.
Unfortunately, my Mexican accent is perfect, which makes Spanish-speakers assume I am more fluent than I am. But raised in Los Angeles, where you hear it all the time, of course it would be.[/quote]

Hee, I also have a good accent, esp since my dad's deli hired many Hispanics and I was surrounded by it (but for some reason didn't pick up the language itself, go figure) And so people do think I am fluent, until they see my 'deer in the headlights ' look. I often add 'palabra de palabra' word for word, after despacio, and that seems to help

I think its interesting that many people who took a language in HS can read or write it, but can't speak or listen. This is why I really recommend language conversation groups. The one I am in is a mixture of levels and you learn from everyone, in normal conversations. Its been working for me, slowly, very slowly.

I am envious of people who know several language, and seem to learn new ones quickly. I remember how embarrassed I was volunteering on a Kibbutz in Israel, being the only one who didn't know a language besides English and Hebrew. I remember the Dutch volunteers who knew 8. Granted, I suspect its easier to learn multiple languages if you are from Europe since there are more surrounding countries and more chances to hear other languages being spoken. At least thats my theory (or excuse :)
Last edited by Ash on Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by xiaotien » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:34 am

spanish and mandarin.

i can read more spanish than mandarin.
i can speak and understand more mandarin
than spanish.
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Post by michellemoran » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:46 am

Enough French to get by (and ask where the nearest castle is!)
Serbo-Croatian (my mother's first language)
a little Hebrew...

I have to admit, languages are difficult for me. It's like music. Although I play the harp, it takes desperate concentration. Julianne, I wish I had your talent!

But if I could wave a magic wand and speak anything with fluency, I would probably pick Gaelic or Welsh.
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