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RE: What languages do you speak? - Farseer - Oct-12-2010

(Oct-12-2010, 10:51 AM (UTC))Atthis Wrote:
(Oct-11-2010, 04:14 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: I remember having to read and translate articles about dangerous particles in coffee and what kinds of bugs people had to try to avoid after their aircraft landed in the middle of Amazonian rainforest.
Now that just sounds bizarre, Mervi!

Agreed...but it sure makes for a good story P !


RE: What languages do you speak? - redchild - Oct-16-2010

I grew up with Cantonese and English at the same time but my Cantonese has pretty much stunted as I started going to school so now it's reduced down to almost nothing as I speak almost exclusively in English. I can still understand basic conversations but forming sentences of my own is difficult. My pronunciation is slow and pretty watered down ("Americanized") but it's still understandable.

I learned some simplified Mandarin back in high school but my skills are horrendous as I don't practice. Stuff on tv goes by too fast for me to process. I can understand really (really really) basic conversations and maybe guess at a restaurant menu (an English translation helps but if there is none I just pick whatever I'm familiar with.) My pronunciation is terrible as I can't remember the correct tones with which word so I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing.


RE: What languages do you speak? - Atthis - Oct-17-2010

I know many people who speak Cantonese and/or Mandarin, but I'm ashamed to say I haven't even learned to tell them apart by sound. If your Cantonese pronunciation is Americanized, does that mean you live in America? Or somewhere else?

(Oct-16-2010, 05:45 AM (UTC))redchild Wrote: My pronunciation is terrible as I can't remember the correct tones with which word so I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing.

This is one of the problems I have with Swedish, but to a lesser extent. I'm not worried about saying the wrong thing (at least not because of the tone), just about sounding like a fool. Big Grin


RE: What languages do you speak? - redchild - Oct-17-2010

(Oct-17-2010, 04:43 AM (UTC))Atthis Wrote: I know many people who speak Cantonese and/or Mandarin, but I'm ashamed to say I haven't even learned to tell them apart by sound. If your Cantonese pronunciation is Americanized, does that mean you live in America? Or somewhere else?

It's quite easy to differentiate between Cantonese and Mandarin. Mandarin is more melodic while Cantonese is more rhythmic and just sounds funnier. If you want examples you can try looking up Mandarin videos on youtube. It's a bit harder to find decent examples of Cantonese so you can try Hong Kong movie trailers.

I'm a second generation American so like many other American-born I speak with a slight accent and splice it with English sometimes, too. But I know many other American-born who have a much better grasp of their mother language than I do and are even fluent in writing and speaking. Usually it's because they have parents who don't speak English and need them for translation or their parents made sure they retained the language by speaking it at home most of the time or enrolling in classes.

Quote:This is one of the problems I have with Swedish, but to a lesser extent. I'm not worried about saying the wrong thing (at least not because of the tone), just about sounding like a fool. Big Grin

That's one of the reasons why I don't speak Chinese that often. Also because I don't really have an urgent incentive to learn any more :rolleyes:


RE: What languages do you speak? - Nuytsia - Oct-20-2010

(Oct-17-2010, 04:43 AM (UTC))Atthis Wrote:
(Oct-16-2010, 05:45 AM (UTC))redchild Wrote: My pronunciation is terrible as I can't remember the correct tones with which word so I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing.
This is one of the problems I have with Swedish, but to a lesser extent. I'm not worried about saying the wrong thing (at least not because of the tone), just about sounding like a fool. Big Grin

In Chinese the tone REALLY matters! You might be saying a certain syllable but if you say it in different tones it means totally different things...... eg 'My hovercraft is full of eels'.......

Having said that I know nothing about Swedish so for all I know it could be the same! (but I do know German isn't so I'm just guessing!)


RE: What languages do you speak? - 'thul - Oct-21-2010

Swedish is just annoying. 'thul can understand it well enough, but writing it is hopeless.


RE: What languages do you speak? - londonlassie - Aug-20-2012

Oh my word, this is the perfect thread for me, since I'm a language nut and all I seem to do in my spare time (when I should be doing college work) is learn languages, and read Hobb.

OK so...

English: Native speaker. I don't like English much, because for me it's too easy and quite boring.

German: Been learning for seven years, and was fine up until the last year, when I took it at college and promptly ended up embroiled in half a ton of really complicated grammar and got totally lost. My understanding has now probably gone down about three years or so.

Spanish: I love Spanish, I started taking it at college and the grammar is just so uncomplicated and understandable.

Russian, Hungarian, Estonian & Polish: Very basic, I'm trying to teach myself off the internet with varying degrees of success. Blushing

Finnish: Also teaching myself off the internet, I don't know a whole lot but I listen to heaps of Finnish music and it's my favourite self-taught language and I spend the majority of my internet-language-teaching time learning Finnish. It's such a beautiful sounding language. <3


Also tried Egyptian Arabic at one point but gave it up while still only having a very basic understanding of it, because I would never go to Egypt since I don't get on with the heat or the food.

And I know how to say "My hovercraft is full of eels" in every language that Google Translate offers, because it's summer holidays and I've spent the last eight weeks with nothing to do. Big Grin


RE: What languages do you speak? - Farseer - Aug-21-2012

(Aug-20-2012, 11:06 PM (UTC))londonlassie Wrote: Finnish: Also teaching myself off the internet, I don't know a whole lot but I listen to heaps of Finnish music and it's my favourite self-taught language and I spend the majority of my internet-language-teaching time learning Finnish. It's such a beautiful sounding language. <3

You might like to head to the Finnish sub-forum hereabouts and see how you do. Our resident Fin, Mervi, is also our longtime Mod/Admin. Smiling

(Aug-20-2012, 11:06 PM (UTC))londonlassie Wrote: And I know how to say "My hovercraft is full of eels" in every language that Google Translate offers, because it's summer holidays and I've spent the last eight weeks with nothing to do. Big Grin

Big Grin Clapping




RE: What languages do you speak? - 'thul - Aug-21-2012

you should look into a few dead languages... they are quite fun... ('thul themselves tend to study old norse with the rare forays into latin...)


RE: What languages do you speak? - londonlassie - Aug-21-2012

(Aug-21-2012, 05:15 AM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: You might like to head to the Finnish sub-forum hereabouts and see how you do. Our resident Fin, Mervi, is also our longtime Mod/Admin. Smiling

Good idea, I might see how much I understand! Smiling

(Aug-21-2012, 08:06 AM (UTC))thul Wrote: you should look into a few dead languages... they are quite fun... ('thul themselves tend to study old norse with the rare forays into latin...)

I can understand some Latin words because of the similarity to Spanish, but I learn languages because I want to work with them, post-university. So I normally stick to modern ones which are widely used today ^^