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The Welcome Center Discussion :: Languages - Parseltongue, Mermish and Giant, oh my!



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"Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going." - Rita Mae Brown, American author

Language is essential to our everyday lives. We use words to express our opinions, emotions, questions, and to relate to one another. Going beyond our own native tongue, some of us learn foreign languages, too. Communicating in a language that is not your own has its benefits and its challenges. Come discuss them here!

Do you speak another language other than your native language? Have you tried to study another language on your own for fun, for the functionality of traveling, or because you were required to take a class in school or university? What are some other reasons for learning another language? What is the hardest thing about learning a new language? What do you appreciate the most about languages other than your own? Do you have any favorite words?


[color=white]Edited by Oakley
 

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I heard languages so I had to come

Sooo... Portuguese is my first language and English is my second language. I then understand Spanish (because it's close to Portuguese and we had lots of spanish cartoons growing up), French (I had to take 5 years during high school) and just a bit of Italian (because, again, similar roots - it's not like I can hold a conversation). I've also started learning German this Fall - mostly because I'm passionate about languages in general and would love to learn all the languages

I like learning new languages because I like being able to understand and communicate in different languages. I guess the hardest part about learning any language is how different the grammar can be. English can be very easy compared to my mother tongue but I'm finding German can be very tricky. This is because Portuguese gives things genders. And when we switch to another language we need to think of things with different genders (German has an additional one, the neutral one, which doesn't exist in Portuguese).

I don'thave any favourite words per se but I'm enjoying how big and obvious Germans can make their words
 

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English is my native language. I also speak French and Spanish. Foreign languages were required in school starting in the 4th grade through high school. I took French for 5 years and Spanish the rest of the time.
I love trying to learn languages. Although on my own I tried to learn Russian and failed miserably. I know a few words, but not many. I also tried to learn Hebrew on my own, with even worse results. It's so different from the languages I know.
The hardest thing depends on the language. I think grammar is different from English. Words are either masculine or feminine. Hebrew is completely different. It is written from right to left and the characters are different.
I don't really have any favorite words...not even in my native language.
 

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To be honest that's the genders are probably the easiest thing I find about English. No need to worry, everything is genderless
 

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I speak Spanish and English. When I was a teenager I never wanted to speak Spanish. One day my mom decided she wanted to visit Cuba. We went to visit and it was the greatest experience in my life. I got to see how different the culture was and how different they lived, but most of all, no one spoke English. So, I have to forcefully speak Spanish and though it came out mangled my Spanish has improved a lot over the years because of the visits I do there. I do not have a favorite word, but I do think it is a beautiful language when spoken properly and without slang and obscurities.

I would like to learn Italian, I have learned a little of it and understand it most of the time but I think that language is very romantic.

 

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Do you speak another language other than your native language?
No. I'm sad about it, and plan to change that.

Have you tried to study another language on your own for fun, for the functionality of traveling, or because you were required to take a class in school or university?
I learned Spanish for a semester in uni, but the next paper clashed with my major. I started Japanese on duolingo but life got in the way.

What are some other reasons for learning another language?
Fun, feeling of achievement, communication, travel, business.

What is the hardest thing about learning a new language?
Not being able to use it in enough contexts.

What do you appreciate the most about languages other than your own?
Their beauty, and the words or concepts they contain that English doesn't have.
 

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English is my native language and I learnt French and German at school. I lived in Italy for a while and picked up a few words. Now I live in South Africa and have picked up a few words of Zulu. The most challenging parts of this language are 'q', 'x', 'c' which are all different clicks, but after a while one gets used to them)

Edited by DominicanSr
 

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My native language is English, but I have studied French and German at school. I wouldn't say that I can really speak either though. I can mostly understand what is being said (or written) in both, but I lack the confidence to actually speak them. If I had to I could probably make myself understood. I think that the main reason for this is a lack of practice- it is really hard to actually speak it with native speakers if you don't travel and if you don't do this then it is really hard to understand why the real language.
I would love to be better at languages but I don't have the time to do it properly. I think if I could learn to speak another language it would be Welsh. I know some odd words but I don't know enough.
 

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Ooh yay, a languages thread! Just going to casually tag @Travellers .

Alongside English, I speak French, and I’m doing a degree in it and Japanese at the moment. I also lived in China for a little while, so I speak some Mandarin.

Anyone who’s thinking about learning a language: you definitely should! It’s great for your memory, and it makes you extremely employable. Plus, you can travel and interact with people from different cultures. My absolutely favourite thing is that, like in my seminars, I can sit in a room with a people who speak two completely different native languages, and we can all talk to each other in a common language, when otherwise we might never have met. It’s an amazing experience.

In French, I like the word “un chouchou”, which means like a teacher’s pet. In China, I also loved that they answered the phone with “wei” – I don’t know why, but it just sounded so cool.

Quote: Isla Phantasm
I think if I could learn to speak another language it would be Welsh. I know some odd words but I don't know enough.


That would be so cool! I know that the language has been increasing in popularity recently, too.
 

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Oh ho ho, more language threads! Excellent. Salut Sophie 😉

I speak English, French, and am trying to learn Irish. Like Sohpie said above the Celtic languages are making a comeback! Irish, Welsh, and now Scottish Gaelic are offered on Duolingo! I have heard that they are not super accurate but they are better than nothing

I absolutely love language and language learning. Linguistics is passion of mine and being able to pick apart languages and see how that work is fascinating! I love being able to talk with people from other places and learn new words.
 

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I took Spanish in high school, and I took ASL in college. I'm currently learning both more in depth.
 

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Quote: Travellers
Oh ho ho, more language threads! Excellent. Salut Sophie 😉

Irish, Welsh, and now Scottish Gaelic are offered on Duolingo! I have heard that they are not super accurate but they are better than nothing


Salut to you, too, Kai. I bet you’re probably tired of running into me all the time!

Oh wow, they’re offering Gaelic on Duolingo? That’s so awesome! It’s upgraded so much since I last used it.

Quote: Omens
I took Spanish in high school, and I took ASL in college. I'm currently learning both more in depth.


ASL is super impressive! My university has a BSL society that I’m thinking of checking out next week, and I find it really impressive when I meet people can are adept at it.

(Also unrelated, but I love your avvie. )
 

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Quote:
ASL is super impressive! My university has a BSL society that I’m thinking of checking out next week, and I find it really impressive when I meet people can are adept at it.

(Also unrelated, but I love your avvie. )



I'm not very good at ASL, but I'm trying. Currently, I can carry myself in conversations as long as it's not too fast paced.

(Thanks! I love yours too!)
 

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That is awesome! Language learning takes time, just keep at it 😉 But being conversational is a really big accomplishment

Not at all, Sophie! It just means I always have someone I know in here
 

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I had a wonderful French teacher in high school, and I took French for four years. By the last year we were expected to speak in French during the class. We had gone through studying different aspects of life and the associated French vocabulary, conjugating French verbs and diagramming sentences in French, and were now reading novels in French and discussing complex ideas in French.
When I went to college I signed up for a French class but found it so boring that I never took it again. I lost almost everything I'd learned of French in high school and I regret it.
I think I took to a foreign language because I am quite musical and I have read that people who play music are also often very good at foreign languages (and math)...
 

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Quote: Omens
I'm not very good at ASL, but I'm trying. Currently, I can carry myself in conversations as long as it's not too fast paced.

(Thanks! I love yours too!)


That’s a great start, though! All languages are difficult, but you sound like you’re doing really well already. What made you want to learn ASL?

Quote: Travellers
Not at all, Sophie! It just means I always have someone I know in here


I guess we're just language buddies.

Quote: Mahogany Wild
When I went to college I signed up for a French class but found it so boring that I never took it again. I lost almost everything I'd learned of French in high school and I regret it.
I think I took to a foreign language because I am quite musical and I have read that people who play music are also often very good at foreign languages (and math)...


I’ve heard that, as well. I can’t say I’m great at maths, but I enjoyed music lessons in high school. I agree on the teacher part – having a great teacher can make or break a language. At the moment, I like my French lecturers, but sometimes I miss my old high school teachers and I worry that I’m losing enthusiasm for the subject.
 

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I have heard that too- I have been in band for over ten years now (!!!) and I definitely see aspects of that. Learning to read music is almost like learning a new language in of itself; you have to learn note values, pitches, accidentals, key signatures, Italian phrases, etc...

Teachers make or break any subject. But it is especially hard for language when you know you have to dedicate a large amount of time to it
 

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Quote: snowleetah

That’s a great start, though! All languages are difficult, but you sound like you’re doing really well already. What made you want to learn ASL?



When I was in college, I was originally studying to become a special education teacher so I thought ASL would be great to learn. Now, I actually have significant hearing loss due to autoimmune disease and I likely will lose my hearing altogether someday so I wanna be prepared.
 

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You are prepared! That is really cool that you wanted to be a special ed teacher
 

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Quote: Travellers
You are prepared! That is really cool that you wanted to be a special ed teacher



I've always been good with kids with special needs. In elementary, middle and high school I always volunteered to help out with the special education class. Then, I worked as a school bus aide for four years. Unfortunately, I got sick so I wasn't able to become a teacher. But I'm hoping I still can someday.
 

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