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  1. #1

    Default Do you speak a foreign language?

    Am wondering how many on here speak a foreign language and if so...what would you consider your second language, or mos dominant language other than English?

    I'm wanting to learn a new language..but, wonder if I can hack it.
    (Russian)
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

  2. #2
    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    Pidgin
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Senior Member BigFatMeanie's Avatar
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    Esperanto

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    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    I speak 3 additional languages, all very poorly. Just well enough buy tomatoes at the market.

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    Known Heterosexual RC Vikings's Avatar
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    Nyet

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    My mission German, though once very good, is a tad rusty. And yet I still get asked occasionally to "Say something in German!" I'm not proud of this, but my go-to response is the opening minute or so of "Eine Stimme Aus Dem Staube", the Church's 60s video "A Voice From the Dust."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC Vikings View Post
    Nyet
    Really?

    Katy - How may languages does it take to buy tomatoes?
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking. Yes, I actually speak Cantonese, which usually impresses people until they find out I learned it by being one of those obnoxious young men who tries to get them to talk about Joseph Smith.

    I also speak a little Mandarin, with its laughably easy four tones.

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    Known Heterosexual RC Vikings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    Really?
    I struggle with English. I listen to Spanish tapes, my wife speaks Spanish, my youngest speaks Spanish, the other two guys in the office speak Spanish and I work at a potato warehouse where 99% of the employees speak Spanish yet about all I've learned over the years are various body parts and "me siento como mierda".

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    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    Clark, I suspect that Chinese is easier for people with perfect or near perfect pitch. Perhaps you could prove me correct?

    Borgey, it's easy to buy a tomato, it's harder to say "I don't care that I look like a rich American-- I'm not paying more than X roubles/lei/francs/yen."

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    Outsider looking in Blueintheface's Avatar
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    Spanish and currently I am able to use it everyday which is nice. Our company bought some real estate in Puerto Rico and for six months now I've been nearly completely immersed in it.

    On a related topic, I had a co-worker tell me today that he is putting his 5 year old into a French immersion school which will require they speak only in French to him for the entire first year. Neither of them speak French.
    "Either evolution or intelligent design can account for the athlete, but neither can account for the sports fan." - Robert Brault

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    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueintheface View Post
    Spanish and currently I am able to use it everyday which is nice. Our company bought some real estate in Puerto Rico and for six months now I've been nearly completely immersed in it.

    On a related topic, I had a co-worker tell me today that he is putting his 5 year old into a French immersion school which will require they speak only in French to him for the entire first year. Neither of them speak French.
    As in the school will only speak to him in French for a year, or the parents have to? Gonna be kind of hard in their case. But most of the immersion programs I've heard about don't require anything from the parents.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

  13. #13
    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    I kind of speak French. Enough to make people in France think I am Quebecois, although people in Quebec think I am another awkward anglais who hates them. In fact, I am just somebody who lived in Belgium for a couple of years as a kid and served a mission in Quebec. I can, however, decline high-priced tomatoes with ease.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    I kind of speak French. Enough to make people in France think I am Quebecois, although people in Quebec think I am another awkward anglais who hates them. In fact, I am just somebody who lived in Belgium for a couple of years as a kid and served a mission in Quebec. I can, however, decline high-priced tomatoes with ease.
    Your comment reminds me of a story.

    A guy I knew at school told me his father served a mission in Quebec. The father attended BYU after his mission, and he took some French classes for credit. The professor and all of his classmates learned in France. Apparently, the professor took no small delight in asking "When are you going to learn to speak French?" every time this guy's father participated in class discussion.

    Is there some kind of cultural dynamic in play there? I assumed this guy's father was just a poor French speaker.
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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Public View Post
    Your comment reminds me of a story.

    A guy I knew at school told me his father served a mission in Quebec. The father attended BYU after his mission, and he took some French classes for credit. The professor and all of his classmates learned in France. Apparently, the professor took no small delight in asking "When are you going to learn to speak French?" every time this guy's father participated in class discussion.

    Is there some kind of cultural dynamic in play there? I assumed this guy's father was just a poor French speaker.
    You're asking me if the French take a chance to look down their noses at bad accents? Is the pope Argentinian?

    But seriously, the difference between Québecois and French is sort of like the difference between upper class British English and American. I was once told by a Belgian that my Québécois-like-French sound like "French spoken by a Dutch camel" which made me wonder just how pervasive the problem of French speaking Dutch camels is. Of course most French think the Belgians speak Walloon, which is not French. The Belgians don't even get their numbers right!
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Public View Post
    Your comment reminds me of a story.

    A guy I knew at school told me his father served a mission in Quebec. The father attended BYU after his mission, and he took some French classes for credit. The professor and all of his classmates learned in France. Apparently, the professor took no small delight in asking "When are you going to learn to speak French?" every time this guy's father participated in class discussion.

    Is there some kind of cultural dynamic in play there? I assumed this guy's father was just a poor French speaker.
    Doesn't this happen in most languages? Those who learned in the originating country look down on everyone else? Spanish, English, French, etc.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    The first time I heard a Quebecois speak, I thought they were American. The accent sounds like an american not even trying to put a French accent on it at all. That is not exactly it, but it is weird. I had been on my mission for 22 months at the time and I did not realize they were speaking french.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueintheface View Post
    Spanish and currently I am able to use it everyday which is nice. Our company bought some real estate in Puerto Rico and for six months now I've been nearly completely immersed in it.

    On a related topic, I had a co-worker tell me today that he is putting his 5 year old into a French immersion school which will require they speak only in French to him for the entire first year. Neither of them speak French.
    I have a co-worker who's son is in a Chinese immersion program. Half of the day they are in class with a Chinese speaking teacher who only speaks Chinese to them. The other half they are in with an English speaking teacher. From what I remember her telling it - they do a lot of the hard sciences in Chinese and then have English, spelling, writing, etc. in English. He's been in this classroom for 2-3 years now and actually does pretty well. Well...well enough that he can carry on a conversation with friends from the class while playing and without his Mom having a clue what they are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGrace View Post
    Doesn't this happen in most languages? Those who learned in the originating country look down on everyone else? Spanish, English, French, etc.
    Yeah. I was on the phone with someone who spoke with a heavy Spanish accent once. She stopped me to clarify that she speaks Spanish from Spain. She isn't Hispanic or Latino. She told me that at least three times to make sure I got it.

  19. #19

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    Spanish.

    It's been quite useful. I continue to use it every day at work.
    Will donate kidney for B12 membership.

  20. #20
    вот так штука CardiacCoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    Am wondering how many on here speak a foreign language and if so...what would you consider your second language, or mos dominant language other than English?

    I'm wanting to learn a new language..but, wonder if I can hack it.
    (Russian)
    Russian is tough. Probably not gonna happen unless you can work on it 2 hours per day for the next year.

    Sorry, just being honest.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Lied View Post
    Clark, I suspect that Chinese is easier for people with perfect or near perfect pitch. Perhaps you could prove me correct?

    Borgey, it's easy to buy a tomato, it's harder to say "I don't care that I look like a rich American-- I'm not paying more than X roubles/lei/francs/yen."
    I'm no expert, but based on my two years in HK and two and a half years teaching in the MTC, I would say that perfect pitch is not incredibly helpful; however, tone-deafness can be a definite hindrance.

    One of the reasons perfect pitch may not be that helpful is that the tones are not set at absolute pitches. A high risking tone isn't always an F-sharp rising to a A-flat, or something like that. Even with the same person, the tones will vary based on many factors. I did know a few missionaries, though, who were so tone-deaf that they had a hard time forming a rising or falling tone, or telling the difference between a mid level tone and a high or low tone. These folks definitely struggled.

    All of this applies to people learning to speak as a second language. Native speakers don't really have problems regardless of their level of tone-deafness.

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    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    Bad Japanese and even worse German

    One of my brothers speaks 6 other than english - French, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbo Croatian, and Arabic. He was rated at 3 or better on a scale of 1-5 three being fluent, in four of them by the Army

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Castellano. Don't have much occasion to use it now.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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    Where's Wallace? Surfah's Avatar
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    Spanish. I hardly use it anymore. When I was in the construction business it was helpful, but also a pain in the ass because everyone asked me to tell so and so this or that. I did a lot of translation and interpretation which sucked because it just added to my work with no compensation. But I have had little use for it over the last 6-7 years. It's a shame because I know I have lost a lot, especially in conversation. I am sure I could bang out all the charlas if I needed to, but my vocabulary has dwindled. I find myself saying como se dice more than I should.
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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    French, although I only use it when I swear and when I make crepes for breakfast and my kids make me say the prayer.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    Russian is tough. Probably not gonna happen unless you can work on it 2 hours per day for the next year.
    Sorry, just being honest.
    That's pretty much what I heard as well. AND...if there is no one to speak to or use it with...it's gotta be next to impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Lied View Post
    Clark, I suspect that Chinese is easier for people with perfect or near perfect pitch. Perhaps you could prove me correct?
    Borgey, it's easy to buy a tomato, it's harder to say "I don't care that I look like a rich American-- I'm not paying more than X roubles/lei/francs/yen."
    That made me laugh! Yup..ya gotta know how to handle yourself when you're a rich, American hottie!
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post
    Bad Japanese and even worse German

    One of my brothers speaks 6 other than english - French, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbo Croatian, and Arabic. He was rated at 3 or better on a scale of 1-5 three being fluent, in four of them by the Army
    Did your brother study at Monteray?

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    Outsider looking in Blueintheface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Castellano. Don't have much occasion to use it now.
    I even learned a little Catalan. Wow, what a weird language.
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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    I was reading about syntactic pleonasms* tonight, and I had the following thought, which I thought I'd share with yall.

    Every language I have ever studied, observed, or read about defaults to the affirmative, meaning that all sentences indicate that an action or a state happens, exists, or is, and requires a negation to say that it does not, is not, or did not. If I say..."It rains in Iowa" we all understand it to mean that rain falls in Iowa. If I want to convey the meaning that it does not rain there, I have to negate the verb, "It does not rain in Iowa." All languages seem to default to the positive, to an affirmation of a statement. If I say something, it is understood to be a statement that it happened, unless negated.


    I wonder if there is, or ever has been, a language that defaults to the negative, and requires an affirmative to cancel out the negative.


    * I know [that] I can do it.
    * I know I can do it.

    Since [that] as a function word is optional, it's a syntactic pleonasm if you use it. A pleonasm is any word that is unnecessary, the favored term of linguists to avoid confusion with tautology or redundancy.
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  30. #30
    Princeps Inter Pares
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    It's racist to call it foreign. Racist.
    τὸν ἥλιον ἀνατέλλοντα πλείονες ἢ δυόμενον προσκυνοῦσιν

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