A Conversation for Talking Point: Learning Languages
aka Bel - A87832164 Started conversation Jun 28, 2007
I used to be a bit of a language freak. I started learning English (as my second language) at the age of ten, then French (as my third language) two years later. Back then, I never wondered what it was good for or if I'd ever have any use for it (hardly anybody talked English then, and nobody talked French - yes, I'm that old ). I just happened to be good at languages, hence I was motivated to learn them. Later on, I started learning Latin, Russian and Italian (all in school). Studied English and French at Uni and started learning Spanish there.
I've never regretted any of it, especially knowing English and French enabled me to read books in the original. That was
a) cheaper, because I could buy the brand new books as paperbacks
b) quicker, because I didn't have to wait for a translation
c) better, because often, most of the jokes and comic get lost during translation.
I'd encourage everybody to go and learn foreign languages, at least one. I mean, I wouldn't post here if I hadn't learnt a foreign language, would I?
I'm not sure whether I just made people think: "Good grief, now THAT's what happens if you allow people to learn foreign languages", though.
helga danielsen Posted Jun 30, 2007
I agree with you! I started English in school in Germany when I was nine or ten, I forgot, two years later I opted for Spanish in high school and some more years later I started to live in Brasil and learned Portuguese. In Brasil I went to French classes. But once you know a latin language, you get along in all the others too. I understand Italian and Spanish very well because they are so like Portuguese and once you know at least two languages you notice how related they all are from Latin or Greek and your vocabulary starts growing even in your own language. Yes, I am all for language learning. Now Esperanto was far too limited to express oneself well in, that is why it did not catch on, I think. I had a look into it, but was disappointed.
aka Bel - A87832164 Posted Jun 30, 2007
You're right, once you know the grammar of one Romanic language, you don't have to learn it all over again when you learn the next Romanic language, as it's pretty much the same in all those languages. Here, they advise you to learn Latin as the basis, but as I started with French, I found that I didn't need Latin to learn Italian or Spanish, French is close enough to do the same trick.
And I agree with you on the vocabulary thing. I now know so many English words - and there isn't always a translation (i.e. equivalent) in German, resulting in the fact that I can only explain the word, but not translate it.
helga danielsen Posted Jul 3, 2007
Hello again! Have you ever had good conversation with someone who spoke the same languages you do? I have and it can be real fun, because we used the languages mixed up so as to express ourselves perfectly. If one language did not have the exact word we wanted, we used the one from another. That can be such fun and one feels sooo intellectual!
aka Bel - A87832164 Posted Jul 3, 2007
Well, there is a friend here on hootoo who speaks French as his first language, then German as his second and English as his third language, so when talking here we do sometimes drop in a French or German word or two, but not much because of the house rules.
I've just had proof again for how useful it is to know more than one language: while researching for a guide entry I found some absolutely fascinating material in French, which isn't available in any other language and which helped my immensely.
Linus...42, i guess that makes me the answer... Posted Jul 4, 2007
Living in Australia, learning another language seemed like a bit of a waste of time, given that the nearest places you could actually use the thing was still a few thousand kilometres away, not like Europe where you could potential use two or three languages in a short( by oz standards) drive.
Mind you, i might be going to work in Oslo soon for 12 months so i will have to pick up at least some Norwegian and am starting to wish i payed more attention in French classes all those years ago...
aka Bel - A87832164 Posted Jul 5, 2007
Linus...42, i guess that makes me the answer... Posted Jul 6, 2007
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: aka Bel - A87832164 (Jun 28, 2007)
- 2: helga danielsen (Jun 30, 2007)
- 3: aka Bel - A87832164 (Jun 30, 2007)
- 4: helga danielsen (Jul 3, 2007)
- 5: aka Bel - A87832164 (Jul 3, 2007)
- 6: Linus...42, i guess that makes me the answer... (Jul 4, 2007)
- 7: aka Bel - A87832164 (Jul 5, 2007)
- 8: Linus...42, i guess that makes me the answer... (Jul 6, 2007)