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Do you speak any other languages?

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Alaric
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Location: Adelaide, Australia.
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Postby Alaric » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 4:10 am

"Leyland" wrote:Scotland would work just fine for me, too. How much Scots-Gaelic is still spoken there?


Not much I believe. My grandpa comes from near Greenock (my nanna is from Stirling) and he only has limited Scots Gaelic.

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cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
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Postby cw gortner » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 4:48 am

I speak and write Spanish fluently; have a little French and a smidgen of Italian. I love languages; if I had to choose a language I'd like to know as fluently as I do Spanish, it would definitely be French. Italian is pretty sexy, too ;)

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 8:34 pm

Took french 10, 20 and 30 in highschool, cause Canada is supposed to be a bi-lingual country. I also know very rudimentary spanish. Just found a long lost auntie 10 years ago (who was accidentally adopted out at birth to a couple from Costa Rica. She was supposed to be placed in a foster care program, but her mom didn't speak enough english to understand at the time) So now finally being reunited, our families visit back and forth, them with their broken english and ours with our broken spanish and we get along just swell! Would love to be more fluent though!
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

Mara
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Location: Scotland
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Postby Mara » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 9:19 pm

"Alaric" wrote:Not much I believe. My grandpa comes from near Greenock (my nanna is from Stirling) and he only has limited Scots Gaelic.


Those are lowland areas in which Gaelic was never spoken much.

Road signs in the Highlands & Western Isles are in both languages (like in Ireland) but it's spoken very little. I think only several 1,000s still speak Gaelic in Scotland. But in order to get more people back into it they are launching a new Gaelic Sky TV channel. I'll look out for it, as I did 2 years of evening classes in Aberdeen 8 years ago and am curious how much I can still understand. Yes, Julianne, it's a very throaty, rough language, similar to German (much to my surprise) not soft at all. ;) The terminology is a mixture of old Norse, German and many words are derived from Latin.

Talking of Celtic languages, I tried learning Welsh when I lived in South Wales - and I had to give up! My tongue was in twists! :D

As for other languages, my mother tongue's German, I had English at school from the age of 11 (and gained a Translator's certificate at college), Latin for 4 years, French for 2.

I also did Italian at school for a year, and 3 years ago (20 years later) took classes again as we were thinking of relocating. Last year, I found my school French still useful when we went to Normandy in October for a holiday. I love the romantic languages and still find Latin a very useful basis for learning them.

As we're going on our honeymoon in Sweden next May, I've just ordered a language course CD. OMG! What an altogether different language! :eek: Looking forward to it...

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Thu September 4th, 2008, 12:12 am

>(who was accidentally adopted out at birth to a couple from Costa Rica. She was supposed to be placed in a foster care program, but her mom didn't speak enough english to understand at the time)

Oh my god. Someone needs to write a book about that poor woman's life!

Here, we have some bilingual signs, but if some people had their way they would make such a think illegal. I hate how provincial my state is. (tho I know its not just my state, its just some people but still... Yes expect them to learn English, but have these folks ever tried to learn to read another language? Esp one like English?)

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu September 4th, 2008, 12:47 am

English is the most difficult language to learn because it has words from so many other languages, complete with the spellings that came with that vocabulary system. But since the British Empire ruled the world a century ago, it has become the de facto international language. Several reasons:

The latin alphabet is used by more computer users, as is the QWERTY keyboard. Chinese characters make for a very unwieldy computing experience. Other alphabets, while less unwieldy, lack the aggregate common-users that the latin alphabet has. And of the languages that use the latin alphabet, English is the most common.

The aviation community uses English as a common language. A russian pilot, flying a Russian-made jet, landing at a Russian airport, speaks to the control tower in English. That is because everybody in the sky has got to be able to know what the other pilots are speaking, and the greatest number of pilots, early in the game, spoke English. (Although the terms for parts of planes, like Ailerons and the like, are Frence, as is the disaster call 'mayday', which is a bastardization of the French call for aid.)

Thanks to the British Empire, many countries, like Ethiopia, have made English their official language to keep peace between tribal communities who each have their own tribal language.

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Alaric
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Location: Adelaide, Australia.
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Postby Alaric » Thu September 4th, 2008, 9:06 am

"Mara" wrote:Those are lowland areas in which Gaelic was never spoken much.


Ah, that would explain it then. :)

I'm fairly sure my grandpa's family were from Ireland originally too, as his surname (Murrin) has Irish origins. Nanna's family have a loch named after them though!

Mara
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Location: Scotland
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Postby Mara » Thu September 4th, 2008, 9:31 am

"Alaric" wrote:Ah, that would explain it then. :)

I'm fairly sure my grandpa's family were from Ireland originally too, as his surname (Murrin) has Irish origins. Nanna's family have a loch named after them though!


Ah that would explain why he had some Gaelic. Lots of Irish immigrants in Glasgow. A loch? How very nice! ;)

Mara
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Location: Scotland
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Postby Mara » Thu September 4th, 2008, 9:35 am

"MLE" wrote:English is the most difficult language to learn because it has words from so many other languages, complete with the spellings that came with that vocabulary system.


Thanks for all your details there, MLE. Very interesting.

Funnily enough, I found English to be the easiest language to learn. The grammar is fairly simple, compared to the Romantic and Germanic languages, but I agree that fellow pupils struggled with the pronunciation. I think it must be one of the few languages where a similarly spelt word has different pronunciations (e.g. though, tough, through...).

I'm always intrigued when while learning a new language I find similar word stems. You can see the influences, for example, in the Gaelic, English or even Swedish. Fascinating!

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sweetpotatoboy
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Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Thu September 4th, 2008, 10:03 am

"Mara" wrote:As we're going on our honeymoon in Sweden next May, I've just ordered a language course CD. OMG! What an altogether different language! :eek: Looking forward to it...


I'm told that Swedish is relatively easy for an English speaker to learn as the syntax is very similar, i.e. you can pretty much translate word for word as you go through a sentence, rather than worrying about word order etc. Though the vocabulary is quite different. (I've picked up a bit of Swedish, mainly through pop songs.)


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