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Foreign Languages


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#1 Guest: Philharmonica_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 09:40

I was just kind of wondering what everyone can speak around the board. And also, what do you think is a pretty useful language to pick up?

My mothertongue is actually Cantonese, although I think it's a pretty useless language (seeing that only a tiny part of China actually speaks the dialect). So I also know a bit of Mandarin, but I usually have to translate from Cantonese then to Mandarin to speak/understand it.
My most fluent language is English though, so my Chinese has really deteriorated over the years. And seeing that I live in Canada, it's mandatory for all children to start learning French at the age of 7/8. I've also been studying Japanese since I was 12 or so.

I'm not sure, but even with 4 languages, I think it'll be pretty fun to start learning German or Italian as well. rolleyes.gif
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#2 Guest: Deborah_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 09:46

You'll probably find that most people round here speak another language to a greater or lesser extent. I did French and Spanish at A-level (but have forgotten most of it now ph34r.gif), and through music have picked up enough Italian and German to order a glass of wine.

One day I'll learn Welsh, but at current rate of progress this won't happen until I retire.
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#3 Guest: katyjay_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:20

My mother tongue is English.

I studied French and German at school, and then went on to use them a fair bit in my work as an accountant - I specialised in international reporting. I also, through work, picked up a smattering of Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Polish - enough to understand invoices, the text of tax returns and sets of accounts, and deal with simple letters or queries.

As a singer I've performed in French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Welsh as well as Latin and English, of course.

I'm not fluent in anything other than English, though.
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#4 Guest: sbhoa_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:27

QUOTE
and through music have picked up enough Italian and German to order a glass of wine.


Never seen that performance direction, Deborah, you must play more interesting stuff than I do.... biggrin.gif
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#5 Guest: Deborah_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 11:30

QUOTE(sbhoa @ Mar 13 2006, 11:27 AM) View Post

QUOTE
and through music have picked up enough Italian and German to order a glass of wine.


Never seen that performance direction, Deborah, you must play more interesting stuff than I do.... biggrin.gif

No, just spent too much pocket money at Covent Garden smile.gif
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#6 Guest: jod_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 13:47

I can speak French and German to a good holiday level.

Ive sung in numerous languages, but as of yet never Spanish. I have a spanish song I want to teach a pupil, so would welcome a spanish speaker to give me a phoenetic transcription.

I know my International Phoenetic Alphabet reasonably well, and thats how I get by learning songs in other languages, then I find a translation (pref word for word) and get on with it.
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#7 Guest: meerkat_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 13:52

My home language is English. I speak very fluent Afrikaans, some Dutch, a spattering of Zulu and Sotho. I studied German at school, and first year uni, but it is quite hesitant (gets better when I'm around Germans. I can read it much better than I can hear it too). I did Latin in school, and can still remember most of it.
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#8 Guest: another crazy pianist_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 14:28

We've been talking about languages in the past (see below)

http://forums.abrsm....wtopic=9430&hl=
Languages
http://forums.abrsm....wtopic=9385&hl=
Languages 2

My mother tongue is Dutch, French being my second language and English my third. I also studied some German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. I particularly like getting acquainted with the principles of grammar, but vocabulary is a never ending story.
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#9 Guest: stevensfo_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 14:45

Fluent in french (worked there for 10 years) and love the language.

Four years in Italy and I can get by, but still not fluent. Most people at work can speak excellent english or french so I've got a bit lazy.

Wife is Polish and I can speak just enough to survive and chat with the in-laws, but I'll never be fluent. It's an incredibly hard language! The grammar was invented by a sadist. There are 3 genders, Masc, Fem and Neuter, but the masc. is divided into Inanimate/Animate, so in fact there are 4 to learn, each has its Sing. and plural, 7 cases to learn for each!

Then there are the adjectives which have to agree with the....... blink.gif

Even to say 'I go' isn't straightforward. It depends on how you go and whether it's something you do regularly or not. ohmy.gif

Fortunately, they're all very friendly - oh, and I like vodka! wink.gif

Steve


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#10 Guest: anacrusis_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 15:02

fluent in English and German. Learnt French and Latin in school. Can understand snippets of written Dutch and the Scandiwegian languages as a result, but haven't a clue how to pronounce a thing. Can sing two songs in Icelandic! (though the singing isn't up to much. biggrin.gif )
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#11 Guest: elmo_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 15:20

First language is English. I can speak quite a lot of french, since I'm doing a degree, and I did A-level German. I can speak a bit of spanish, enough to talk to my cousins anyway! I used to be pretty good in portuguese coz I spent a month in Brazil and learnt a bit before I went, but that was 3 years ago so I've forgotten it all!
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#12 Guest: july_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 15:41

I have two mothertongues! It's a little complicated, but I'm fluent in both German and English. I spoke English first and learnt German when I was 4 or 5. My parents are also fluent in both and I'm in mothertongue English and mothertongue German classes at school. Don't know which of the two I'm more confident in. As I'm living in Germany at the moment, I know more slang words and stuff in German than I do in English! smile.gif

p.s. And I don't have a German accent when I speak English or an English one when I speak German. Have been told that this might have to do with being musical and hearing the nuances! No idea how true this is, but it's a flattering statement! laugh.gif
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#13 Guest: anakrron_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 16:54

My first language is technically Japanese. I learnt English when we moved to Boston, when I was 6. Now I can probably manipulate English just as well as my mother tongue, although depending on the situation, one language is easier than the other. For example, I could not talk to my family in English (just feels really weird); I can insult/yell better in Japanese (tongue.gif) and sometimes I have difficulty explaining subtle emotions in English.

On the other hand, I find it hard to write essays in Japanese, because I haven't had much practice with it. It seems easier to organise ideas in a logical way when it's in English. Plus, I read slightly more English books than Japanese, so I know more idioms and vocabs in English.

Apart from those two, I currently learn German and Spanish at GCSE level, which is way far from fluent. I'm planning to take German up to A2 level though, and possibly continue it as a side option when at university. Then, if I have enough money, I want to study at Germany! Hopefully after all that, I'd be more or less fluent in everyday speech. I still want to keep up Spanish though, and in the future would like to pick up French (but maybe I'm too ambitious!).
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#14 Guest: Rainbow_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 16:59

Well, my mother tongue is English. I am taking French and Spanish GCSEs this year and I'd like to take A levels in them and then study languages at university. My Chinese friend is also teaching me a bit of Mandarin.
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#15 Guest: Noodelz_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 17:21

My mother tongue is cantonese, I find it really hard to write it, reading it is easier but I hardly know any anyway:P. I can only understand a little mandarin and speak basic french. Ummm.... apart from English and 'orange' in spanish, that's about it.
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