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What language would you like to learn ?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


GHeather Report 20 May 2013 19:39

I'm interested in learning: Italian, Chinese, French, German etc... Do you find learning another language easy ? Please share your thoughts/views about anything to do with learning a language, thanks, grazie, takk, I think 'takk' is thanks in Icelandic. I wonder how many languages it is possible to learn... ? We don't seem to bother that much about learning another language in this country, shame really.


eRRolSheep Report 20 May 2013 19:45

I love languages and have found over the years that as I learn more it becomes easier and easier because so many have the same root.
Although my natural tongue is gibberish, I now speak to a greater or lesser degree about seven languages and I love the dynamics of each individual one.
GHeather how do you think martians would cope with our many diverse languages and dialects? lol
I think if there was other life out there they would have to send a scout party out just to unravel the intricacies of the human race from language to history lol


GHeather Report 20 May 2013 19:47

They would probably find out many different languages rather strange, but they probably have some strange ones too! :-D


eRRolSheep Report 20 May 2013 19:51

They could well do and of course they may not even speak in the same way in which we do - maybe they speak through their ears and use strange sounds or even use thought waves - who knows?


Mayfield Report 20 May 2013 19:55

I would like to speak or at least understand the strange tongue "Woman".

I have great trouble understanding the exact meaning of this language, sometimes it seems to involve a degree of mind reading and the need to know what the speaker is thinking whilst giving somewhat cryptic verbal communication. ;-)

Oh dear I've gone and done it now! :-D


Mersey Report 20 May 2013 19:59

Mayfield....its so easy to learn such a language just do as your told :-D ;-)


GHeather Report 20 May 2013 20:01

Russian must be hard to learn!


Mayfield Report 20 May 2013 20:03

Not if you are born in Russia :-D


DazedConfused Report 20 May 2013 20:04

Always fancied Latin - just for the fun of it and as a lot of our word etymology derives from this I would just enjoy the whole experience

And Old English for the same reasons (Saxon, Norman etc.)

I find the English language truly fascinating as it evolves all the time, taking in words from all new cultures


Mersey Report 20 May 2013 20:04

:-D ;-) @ Mayfield


eRRolSheep Report 20 May 2013 20:09

I am trying to get to grips with a woman's strange tongue. Latin is quite easy in some ways and once you master that you can understand so many languages

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 20 May 2013 20:24

We had to learn Latin in school and although we didn't see much use for it at the time, it has indeed helped to understand the roots of many words.
I only studied it for about 2 years though and because I chose other subjects then and didn't continue with Latin, I didn't have the chance to learn German in our school. We all studied French.
Our French teacher implored us to 'think in French'...something which I could never do. I always wanted to fathom out in English what I wanted to say, then translate it.

I should have tried harder to learn German, when we lived in Germany for a year. I managed to cope with many of the written words in grocery stores etc. ,but didn't venture to speak it much as I can't take in the spoken word quickly enough to work out what is being said..... I have the same trouble with French on day-trips, but can manage that slightly better as it is used more often.

My husband enjoys learning languages and seems to manage them quite well. He is probably a bit rusty now, but can cope well with Russian and German and took himself off to Polish classes more recently.



George Report 20 May 2013 20:41

Well, I want to learn Klingon :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

George :-) :-)


Dermot Report 20 May 2013 20:58

Language, any language, is a great resource & humans have managed to communicate for some little while now.

What surprised me somewhat was the content of an article in one of the national newspapers not too long ago. In short, it reported that English pupils are bottom in language classes because they are regarded as the worst in learning foreign languages. There were some other items highlighted in the same piece but, as far as I can deduce, the writer wanted to emphasise that good English is not enough nowadays.

Monolingualism is a distinct disadvantage in a global market although Foreign Language Translators might prefer the status quo to maintain their own lucrative livelihood. Just watch these multilingual translating experts hard at work in the many EU conferences & debates. It is a marvel to observe them in full flow.

Personally, I would hate to have to teach English language to foreign students. That would be my worst nightmare!

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 20 May 2013 21:36

When I went to high school ...many moons ago.....if you showed university potential you had to have Latin to go.
I did Latin and French,but never went to Uni as was needed to go to work
What Latin has done is a big help in understanding other languages..a lot of the Latin ones,but also English derivatives .
I did go to evening classes for Spanish in London, before going to live partly in Spain in late 80's 90's in Cadiz Jerez area.
What I found was that classes taught a lot of grammar and could be confusing, there ,not necessarily using the correct tense etc was a much better way of learning conversational Spanish..and the dialects of the different regions.
Locals love it when you at least try to speak their tongue.


Mayfield Report 20 May 2013 22:29

Well me native tongue is saff London nuffink like wot them BBC geezers speak, can’t understand a blinking word!
I do have a little French and I can understand a bit of Call Centre English, I have to get them to repeat it several times though.
Of course the British do have the one universal way of making ourselves understood by shouting loudly and slowly in English. ;-)


RolloTheRed Report 20 May 2013 23:04

Gwynn's French teacher was quite right you'll get nowhere with any language thinking in English and translating back and forth a bit at a time. Impossible. You just have to think in it. You do this by ONLY using words and phrases which have stuck in the target language and edging forward from there, just like a child. Watching foreign soaps without subtitles works well.

It is also a good idea to pronounce foreign languages properly and sad to say very few secondary school language teachers make much effort in that direction. It is a sad fact that it is best to devote 90% of the time to the spoken language and 10% to the written. Schools tend to reverse this proportion 'cos it is cheaper. That's why people with GCSE and A levels in foreign languages cannot, for the most part, actually speak them lol.

Most obviously unless you have a parent who is a native speaker of a foreign language then you'll never become fluent without living and working there. English retired expats get by living in sad English ghettos with broken French, Spanish, Italian etc.

English is a very hard language because it is a rag bag language made up from Anglo-Saxon (low German) and Old French. Other such languages are Urdu and Tagalog. It does not help that there was a huge change in pronunciation between 1500 and 1700 so that spelling has scant connection to sound.

Latin languages are all much of a muchness with French being the furthest from Latin. Spanish has a dollop of Arabic. Any Latin you may have picked up at school is a big help.
Most useful word: non

German is a really tough ask, I have enough to work there but that's about it. Luckily most of them speak good English.
Most useful word: danka shen

Unlike the Russians who by and large dislike foreign languages (and foreign anything else - the World Cup is going to be interesting ) as much as the English do. The cyrillic script is a gift 'cos most of the pronunciation is exactly as spelt. Russian handwriting is very different to print though. The Russians think in a deep and colorful way and their language reflects it - a big feature is that they have two verbs for most things, one definite and the other a sense of change such as hodeetz (to go) and eedtee ( getting there ).
Unlike the Germans the Russians are excellent cooks and the language reflects this.
Most useful word: kvass

Sticking to languages I can speak Arabic is another written in squiggle though not so bad as it looks as like Russian it is phonetic. Beyond that it is another planet with sun and moon verbs, no future perfect tense ( indeed not much idea of the definite at all) and different rules depending on whether you are speaking to a man or a woman. The poetry is terrific.
The Egyptians believe that they speak Arabic, an idea which is always good for a giggle in Baghdad.
Most useful word: Allah akbar

I dabbled a bit in Chinese when I was working in the far east. Unlike western languages word meaning is based on pitch rather than just the flat sound. Getting the hang of this is really tough. Another problem is that there are two major and very different versions of Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese. Either way the written language is the same as it is all pictogram symbols which gives no clue to the pronunciation. One option is to use pin-yin.When the Chinese speak English they tend to use pitch and thus be unintelligible. As Kipling said, East is east ...
Most useful words:
Duìbùqi, wo bù chi gouròu ( I don't eat dog )

Women are universally unintelligible to men though different cultures have very different ways of dealing with the problem. It is also universally true that whatever the men do or say the women are in charge.

enjoy your travels



GHeather Report 20 May 2013 23:12

Interesting replies, thanks! :-D


Elizabethofseasons Report 20 May 2013 23:31

Dear GHeather


Its a great pity that youngsters at school are not learning languages
to a more advanced level.

I would like to learn more latin to help with research and some italian because
I simply like the language.

Its much more easier to study with the books available now as they are more user friendly.

Take gentle care
Best wishes


GHeather Report 20 May 2013 23:44

Ciao Elizabethofseasons! Grazie per info! Molto interessante! Si, Italiano e' molto bello language! :-D Buonanotte... ciao... x