Any polyglots in the house?

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Any polyglots in the house?

Post by parakkafaith on Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:06 am
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Learning new languages can be a fun thing to do in your spare time. I don't know how many of you share that sentiment, but I'm curious enough to find out.

What languages can y'all speak? And do you have an interest in learning any others?
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by cyberdrain on Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:41 pm
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At one time I could speak more than a few sentences in about 8 natural languages, as of now I think I can do about 4 or 5 actively. That said, I know people who know over 20 languages with about 10 actively used. Natural languages are a pain to learn though, there's no logic involved and it was always (except for 2 or 3) education that required me to learn them. Two languages I might consider learning would be sign language and Japanese, just because both are symbolic and way different from others.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by parakkafaith on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:34 pm
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That's quite a significant number of languages to be required to learn throughout your education. Why so many?

Sign language is definitely on my list, although I can't imagine having many opportunities to actually use it. I haven't touched on Japanese yet, but I definitely would. I'd like to be fluent in Arabic, Korean, and Portuguese mostly.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by cyberdrain on Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:18 pm
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parakkafaith wrote:That's quite a significant number of languages to be required to learn throughout your education. Why so many?

Two reasons: tradition and usefulness. My country thrived on trading back in the day, requiring knowledge of multiple languages and that mentality (apparently) never left us. The reason it never stopped being taught is because of the second reason, even in today's world understanding multiple languages (especially English) is very useful. As mentioned I know more languages than required by education, the reasons of which vary.

parakkafaith wrote:I'd like to be fluent in Arabic, Korean, and Portuguese mostly.

That's an odd combination, why those three? Also, you didn't mention which or how many languages you currently speak.

Edit; the usefulness of knowing these languages is sometimes underestimated. For example, I did not know the word 'polyglot' before reading the title, but knew directly what was meant.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by tripbeam on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:06 pm
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Japanese would be intersting to learn, and easier than others maybe because it's symbols. i may take the time to learn another.

All languages currently spoken: english :roll:
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by parakkafaith on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:08 pm
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cyberdrain wrote:Two reasons: tradition and usefulness. My country thrived on trading back in the day, requiring knowledge of multiple languages and that mentality (apparently) never left us.


Now that's neat. I wish that mentality was more prevalent in other places around the world.

cyberdrain wrote:That's an odd combination, why those three? Also, you didn't mention which or how many languages you currently speak.


Right now, French is the only other language I can confidently construct a sentence in. That's a product of my education growing up, and I was never required to learn any others.

The three I would like to learn each have their own fairly unique reason, some more exciting than others. I first wanted to learn Arabic so that I could read and write using the Arabic alphabet. I basically just thought it looked so nice that I wanted to learn it, and I've learned to read and write using the Arabic alphabet because of that. Only problem is I don't understand the language well enough to make use of that yet.

Korean is a bit similar. I read that the Korean alphabet (Hangul) was actually designed to be very quick and easy to learn. The characters were made to represent the mouth when speaking it, and I thought that was so neat I went and learned it. Like Arabic, I can read and write it fairly well, but I don't know the language well enough to communicate with it.

I chose Portuguese just because I actually know a couple people I could practice that with. Part of why I posted here about language learning was to see if there was anybody I could speak other languages with just to stay fresh.

cyberdrain wrote:Edit; the usefulness of knowing these languages is sometimes underestimated. For example, I did not know the word 'polyglot' before reading the title, but knew directly what was meant.


That's something not enough people understand. Also, and I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, it's really cool to see things you learned in some languages become useful in learning other languages. When you understand etymology well enough to understand words you've never heard before, it can shine a whole new light on the nature of language, and I love that.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by pretentious on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:27 pm
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I've given German a crack since it's part of my herrtage uber iche furchte nior ien bischen deuch.
I also only learned it by speech and don't remotely know how it's written.
cyberdrain wrote:Natural languages are a pain to learn though, there's no logic involved

yeah I suck at spelling and grammar and barely pass as literate but will always stand by the claim that language, at least spelling is pretty arbitrary. I before E except after C, except for a whole bunch of times where fuck you, we're using french or something now.

I've also looked into sign language except qu(q is always followed by a u, don't ask me why)ickly realized that auslan, which i like more than the american one, is used by like 3000 people. I'm guessing american deaf ppl can't really communicate with brazillan deaf people.

-- Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:38 am --

On the same topic, to those who have more than one language under their belts, how has that affected the way you think? I like to discuss this with foreign friends, like do you think logically with a different one that your native toung and which language do you dream in?
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IF you feel like exchanging ASCII arrays, let me know ;)
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by parakkafaith on Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:15 pm
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tripbeam wrote:Japanese would be intersting to learn, and easier than others maybe because it's symbols. i may take the time to learn another.


If you want easy symbols, try Korean.

pretentious wrote:On the same topic, to those who have more than one language under their belts, how has that affected the way you think? I like to discuss this with foreign friends, like do you think logically with a different one that your native toung and which language do you dream in?


I've read a few neat things about this. It's not uncommon to have thoughts in other languages you're comfortable speaking. Also, if you're speaking a second language and don't know a word, you're more likely to substitute a word from your third language than your first.

I would think that dreams stay just as chaotic, with a mix of all languages.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by cyberdrain on Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:17 pm
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pretentious wrote:On the same topic, to those who have more than one language under their belts, how has that affected the way you think? I like to discuss this with foreign friends, like do you think logically with a different one that your native tongue and which language do you dream in?

When I've been around here and on IRC long enough, I'll usually think or sometimes dream in English, even though that's not my mother tongue. That's the only (other) language I think/dream in however. I can pretty much switch between my active languages at will, the rest require getting into. I guess in that way it's not that different from knowing multiple programming languages.

Things I learned from languages are hard to explain, but if I had to choose, I'd say Latin effected change the most. It changed my whole way of viewing languages, requires attention to detail/grammatic structure/grammatical cases etc. and is very useful to understand other languages. Sometimes I pity the loss of my ability to translate it on the fly due to years of not using it.

parakkafaith wrote:Also, if you're speaking a second language and don't know a word, you're more likely to substitute a word from your third language than your first.

This is very true and very annoying. 'Oh, I know this word ... IN ENGLISH' seems to happen more and more in my native language. I'd guess the reason you want to learn those specific languages is similar to my own: just because they are fun and (very) different from what you know.

pretentious wrote:uber iche furchte nior ien bischen deuch.

Ouch.
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Re: Any polyglots in the house?

Post by Randoph on Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:43 am
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Currently I speak 4 languages (2 fluently, 1 a bit less, and another one is kinda meh) and read another 2 (Ancient Greek and Latin, as they are not spoken anymore). The main reason is that school requires us to learn all of these. The most useful obviously is English, but out of all these languages, Ancient Greek is by far my favorite. As Cyberdrain mentioned, but with Latin, it changed my way of viewing certain things. Besides, Ancient Greek is like a puzzle. The characters are diffrent, and just to give you an example; a verb can have up to 400 forms. This can make thing look like there is no logic involved, while in fact, there is nothing but logic.
cyberdrain wrote:This is very true and very annoying. 'Oh, I know this word ... IN ENGLISH' seems to happen more and more in my native language.

I can certainly relate to this problem, and it sound retarded as fuck when there is a random English word in your sentence.
parakkafaith wrote:And do you have an interest in learning any others?

Italian for sure. I don't know why but it just sounds so good.
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