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RE: What languages do you speak? - joost - May-16-2010

I went to gymnasium, the highest pre-university education there is in the Netherlands. It is 4 years general, and 2 years specialisation (languages, science or general). I chose science. During those years I had the following languages:
  • Dutch, English, French and German in the first year
  • Dutch, English, French, German, ancient Greek, ancient Latin 2nd to 4th year
  • Dutch, English and ancient Greek for the last 2 years. [My other subjects for graduation were practical mathematics, theoretical mathematics, physics and chemistry)

For other levels, at least in the first two or three years all three modern foreign languages (English, French and German) are compulsory.

Why Greek/Latin? It helps you understand languages better, it helps your analytical abilities, and it's just fun Big Grin. Besides the language there was a lot of (art) history in those classes too.


RE: What languages do you speak? - Farseer - May-16-2010

(May-16-2010, 02:57 PM (UTC))RZ Wrote: Spanish was for a long trip I took to Peru when I was 15.

I've always wanted to learn Spanish, RZ ! My youngest is almost nine now and we recently made a promise to each other that we are going to begin learning the fundamentals before the year is out (though I have a feeling that she will be the only one to learn anything!).

(May-16-2010, 03:58 PM (UTC))joost Wrote: I went to gymnasium, the highest pre-university education there is in the Netherlands.

Lightbulb Well, that explains A LOT Smiling ! Oh, how funny, joost...where you had 'gymnasium' I thought you meant it as in 'gym', as in what we call physical education, in Australia. I was like Uhhuh Blink ...why do the students taking part in gym need to know anything about ancient Latin and ancient Greek?! I'm going to get chuckles out of this for years Big Grin ...*sigh*...and I thought I was at least a little intelligent prior to registering on thePlenty :rolleyes:! C'mon Nuytsia, help me out here...you thought the same thing when you first read it, didn't you ?!

Given all of the languages you've learned, and the education you've received, joost, I am hardly surprised that I am lagging behind in the cerebral stakes! I may also have studied Physics, Chemistry and Maths B & C, but that's where our similarities end...three compulsory languages on top of that (not to mention all the rest!)? I am suitably impressed Happyballoon !!


RE: What languages do you speak? - joost - May-16-2010

I thought gymnasium was a global term, but apparently it's mainly European: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Gymnasium_%28school%29


RE: What languages do you speak? - Nuytsia - May-17-2010

Hehehe Farseer , well I could try to help you, but Stirring........ I knew what it was (maybe because I studied German at school? I actually don't remember WHERE I learned what 'gymnasium' means in Europe..... )
When I read you asking why latin I thought you just meant what use is it .... teeee heeee then I read you thought it was for gym students.... yeah that would be bizarre!!!!
On that note, latin and ancient greek would be kind of fun for me to know as I like learning botanical names of plants and there's all sorts of secrets I'm not privy to! (I just learn the name to be able to accurately refer to the plant, but I don't know it's meaning unless I go out of my way to find out!)
When I was at school in Victoria it was compulsory at our school for us to learn Chinese, and I also learnt German (but I can't remember if that was optional or required! I suspect optional). The school later changed to Japanese and French. So your list of commonly learned languages in Australia gels with me (also a guy I went to Uni with had learned Indonesian, which I found a bit different, but is also on your list, so I guess not!)
I can sort of see both sides as to whether it's really that beneficial to learn other languages at school. Maybe if I'd learned in primary school I'd have it for life (I'm pretty sure that's the case? I'm not Googling it), but having learned languages in high school I've really just forgotten most of them through disuse. Whether it benefitted my brain or not I cannot say though!!

Oh re Miffy - kids shows are the best!


RE: What languages do you speak? - Lord Punctual - May-18-2010

I also misunderstood "gymnasium." Ah, the folly of being a North American.

I speak English and French, as my mom's from Quebec, our French-speaking province.

I studied German in university, but I don't remember very much of it. (I can often read German, but I can't usually understand what people are saying unless they speak very slowly.)

I studied Japanese a few years back, but I put it aside in favour of learning Spanish, because I'm planning an extended trip to South America. So, I can count in Japanese and introduce myself, and that's about all. My Spanish is coming along pertty well, though. I find it confusing how similar it is to French, but with key grammatical differences.

Hola! Me llamo "Lord Punctual." Que tal? (Yeah, I don't have my keyboard set to international right now.)


RE: What languages do you speak? - Farseer - May-19-2010

(May-18-2010, 03:35 PM (UTC))Lord Punctual Wrote: I also misunderstood "gymnasium."

Glad to see I wasn't completely alone Clapping!

Thanks for the link, joost!


RE: What languages do you speak? - FoolMoon - May-31-2010

Hebrew-My mother's tongue. Isreal born and bred. Don't like it though, not the place or the language, it has a very annoying sound to it. Still, i'm in a very good level for native, in writing and such.

English-my second language. my Irish grandparents drove me to excel in it, but my real motivation was that i really really wanted to read my favorite authors in their original language because hebrew translation is really not very good and i got tired of it. now i can read and write in a very high level, and also speak and understand in a good level. i've taken English-to-Hebrew translation class this year and Dragon Keeper will be my project once i finish reading it.

Arab-little more than the few phrases they forced me to learn in junior high. not interested to learn more of it

Spanish-able to understand basic conversations and movies, but unable to write, read or speak.

Japanese-very basic, can speak basic phrases and understand a little. the writing can't and won't understand until i study it properly. much too difficult

German-can count to 12 P but i'd really like to learn it once i have the time.


RE: What languages do you speak? - Lord Punctual - May-31-2010

I wonder how many people don't like the sound of their native languages? Because I find English unpleasant to the ear, and it is my native language.


RE: What languages do you speak? - FoolMoon - May-31-2010

(May-31-2010, 01:59 AM (UTC))Lord Punctual Wrote: I wonder how many people don't like the sound of their native languages? Because I find English unpleasant to the ear, and it is my native language.

As they say, the grass is always greener at somebody else's yard.


RE: What languages do you speak? - Nuytsia - May-31-2010

Guten Abend FoolMoon.

Willkommen im theplenty.net!

Wow I never imagined anyone thinking their native language sounded unpleasant. I just assumed everyone would use it as the yardstick to measure others by. I mean I think some other languages sound nice or harsh or whatever, but I always think of mine as 'neutral' I guess.