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View Full Version : How many languages do you speak?


GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:44 AM
Looks like there are many multilingual people on this board as it is so international.
I'm curious how many languages you do or can speak n what languages they are.


I speak only Japanese and English. Right now I'm trying to learn Korean.

Maajken
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:46 AM
Dutch
French
English
German

nasty nick#2
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:46 AM
Swedish, Italian, English and French, understand Spanish pretty well too.

irma
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:49 AM
dutch
german (well in my own way)
english (even more in my own way)

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:53 AM
Could you please mention your mother toungue?

King Satan
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:55 AM
i speak english and spanish

ghosts
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:57 AM
English, German, Russian and Bulgarian of course :D

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:03 AM
ghosts I'm interested in East European languages. I took a russian courst at my uni but gave up in a month since i found it too hard. How much different is bulgarian from English?

Vincent
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:20 AM
i speak Cantonese, Mandarin, English.
and i can understand a little german and french too.:)

White Stripes
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:21 AM
german
english
french

i learned the basic things you should know in dutch at school.
I'll do an italian cours soon. i'm thinking about studying anglistic and romanistic or languanges from eastern europe like russian and so

Doris Loeffel
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:45 AM
german (mt)
french
english

get along with italian and spanish

kr003
Feb 18th, 2003, 10:11 AM
Dutch (mother language)
German
English
French
Spanish

schris
Feb 18th, 2003, 10:15 AM
Polish
German
English (not very well)

SM
Feb 18th, 2003, 10:37 AM
English - primary
Macedonian - secondary
Serb/Cro/Bos (not purely, i mix it with Macedonian)

propi
Feb 18th, 2003, 10:49 AM
Im supposed to speak English, French, Italian, little German. little Russian.
LOL maybe its Spanish the language I speak worse!!!

DutchieGirl
Feb 18th, 2003, 12:32 PM
I speak English, a little bit of Dutch (but I can understand it well), and I understand some German too! I'm really interested in languages, but never got the chace to learn one at school! pff

fresh2flash
Feb 18th, 2003, 12:44 PM
Native Russian.
Speak fluently Bulgarian, English and French.
Also studied Italian and Serbian but it was a long time ago.
Try to learn Sindarin. ;)

King Aaron
Feb 18th, 2003, 01:09 PM
English
Malay
Dialects are Cantonese and Hakka

brickhousesupporter
Feb 18th, 2003, 01:26 PM
I speak English(native) and Spanish (my moms family).

Monica_Rules
Feb 18th, 2003, 01:31 PM
I'm completely fluent in Welsh and English and i can speak and understand french quite well!

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 01:50 PM
err... mother tongue is Chinese Mandarin (but also a bunch of other chinese dialects, like Shanghai dialect and She Chuan dialect, fu jiang hua) understand some Cantonese
Norwegian (is much much more fluent than my chinese :o)
English :angel:

i don't speak more than that......... :o
but i wanna list that i can some crappy french and german :angel:

LeonHart
Feb 18th, 2003, 02:02 PM
Learned Chinese when i was small, but its not as good as my English now...I also knoe Taiwanese and Spanish!

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 03:40 PM
did you pick up your secondary languages naturally from the environment or learn them at school? I mean if the language is smilar to your 1st language, can you understand it without learning it at school?
Korean and Japanese are similar in many ways but my undestanding of the Korean language is pre much zero.

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 03:42 PM
i picked up norwegian rather easy, from both the enviroment and the school. and lemme just say taht norwegian and chinese has nothing, nada, zip, in common!

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 04:05 PM
Right. but i think in your case, you happened to be in an environment where you could pick up two totally different languages both naturally as they were both spoken around on a daily basis.
What about the kind of environment where only one language is spoken and you still can understand a language which is not used in it? It s rather natural that you pick up two languages if your parents speak a language different from the official one in the country. Like chinese americans whose parents are immigrants of course speak english and chinese (including dialects) well.
I think in europe, you can watch tv programs of different languages and my question is if watching them is enough to learn to understand the lanuages used in them if you watch them since you are little.

E. Blackadder
Feb 18th, 2003, 04:07 PM
Dutch & Flemish dialect
French
English
German

Mazza
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:11 PM
Mother tongue is English but I can speak quite a bit in German and Thai and also a tiny bit of French.

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by gogomaggie
Right. but i think in your case, you happened to be in an environment where you could pick up two totally different languages both naturally as they were both spoken around on a daily basis.
What about the kind of environment where only one language is spoken and you still can understand a language which is not used in it? It s rather natural that you pick up two languages if your parents speak a language different from the official one in the country. Like chinese americans whose parents are immigrants of course speak english and chinese (including dialects) well.
I think in europe, you can watch tv programs of different languages and my question is if watching them is enough to learn to understand the lanuages used in them if you watch them since you are little.

this is a very interesting question! and i have no idea how to answer it... lol
When it comes to languages, i've always learned them in school (except chinese) - norwegian, english, german and french. So i really can't answer that.
There was a couple of years i used to watch cantonese movies, and it's a good way of learning a dialect/language imo.

and about that Europe thing, i've learned both german and french, so i guess i can be excluded, coz we only have french and german as foreign channels.

i must sound so confusing right now.. sorry. I do think that when a language is similar to one you know well, it's a lot easier to learn it! Like the Scandinavian languages. Most of us don't have problems with understanding each others languages, both written and spoken, unless you have a crazy dialect.

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:29 PM
Thanks Martian Marri. In fact your answer is quite interesting.
I'm asking these questions because I'm a linguistics major and really into 2nd language acquisition. thus, I thought this board is a great place to do some of my surveys.
I have another question for you, Marri. you said you LEARNED Norwegian, but you were still in a environment where you got full exposure to the language. so my question to what extent your "classroom" and "textbook" study helped you pick up the language.

Warrior
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:34 PM
Russian, Ukranian and English.

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:46 PM
of course i had to learn the language... i was 5 when i moved to norway. In the area we lived, the majority of the ppl were foreigners. i spent a year in a pre-school where there were 3-4 norwegian kids, before i transferred to a elementry school when i was 7. There, there was a chinese class, and i got help with learning the grammar, vocabulary etc, and after 3 months, i could attend a regular class. So i guess textbook and classroom played huge roles getting me started to be able make conversations with norwegians, and in that way, i could learn norwegian in a even better way.
In my opinion, reading, writing and occasioanly speaking it in class (when learning a language) isn't enough. You'll have to listen to the language on regular basis and use it regulary too to achieve the whole concept of knowing a language.
I'll use Taiwan as an example. Many children already start to learn English words while in kindergarden, and the knowledge develope during elementry school, middle school and high school. --> they get the same textbook learning like e.g. a norwegian student. but, the average norwegian student will know more English both written and spoken than an average Taiwanese student. and the reason is becoz the ppl here are much more exposed to the English language than the Taiwanese ppl, and therefor have a much better chance at really being able to learn a language :)

So i mean that textbook/classroom is only a fundation.

Kiwi_Boy
Feb 18th, 2003, 05:48 PM
English and French(but its bad- mais c'est mouvais :sad: )
i can kinda understand afrikaans too.

GoGoMaggie
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Martian Marri
of course i had to learn the language... i was 5 when i moved to norway. In the area we lived, the majority of the ppl were foreigners. i spent a year in a pre-school where there were 3-4 norwegian kids, before i transferred to a elementry school when i was 7. There, there was a chinese class, and i got help with learning the grammar, vocabulary etc, and after 3 months, i could attend a regular class. So i guess textbook and classroom played huge roles getting me started to be able make conversations with norwegians, and in that way, i could learn norwegian in a even better way.
In my opinion, reading, writing and occasioanly speaking it in class (when learning a language) isn't enough. You'll have to listen to the language on regular basis and use it regulary too to achieve the whole concept of knowing a language.
I'll use Taiwan as an example. Many children already start to learn English words while in kindergarden, and the knowledge develope during elementry school, middle school and high school. --> they get the same textbook learning like e.g. a norwegian student. but, the average norwegian student will know more English both written and spoken than an average Taiwanese student. and the reason is becoz the ppl here are much more exposed to the English language than the Taiwanese ppl, and therefor have a much better chance at really being able to learn a language :)

So i mean that textbook/classroom is only a fundation.

Exactly!! We have the same problem here in Japan. We spend hours and hours studying English in classroom but never have the chance to use it on a regular basis or even on an occasional basis. There are a lot of private English schools where you can get lessons from native English speakers like Britons, Americans, Aussies, etc. but it seems that's not enough. I mean I know a lot of ppl who go to such schools but they may be better than the average but never get to the level where they can communicate fluently. I just feel sorry for those who spend damn money to get those private lessons cuz there could have been many other n better ways if there were more exposure..
I had never spoken English up until I got in college and I was really fortunate cuz there were a lot of exchange students in my univerisity n that gave me so much opportunites to practice my speaking n listening. I also studied in the u.s. a while as an exchange student as well.. but my case isnt so common yet... I mean a lot of people here wish to improve their english proficiency, mainly communication skills but it s just the environment never allows them to realize what they want...
anyways, it's very interesting that every country has different circumstances for foreign language learning.

spiceboy
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:08 PM
Catalan
Spanish
English
Italian
French (though decreasing while in Italy)

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:17 PM
your studies sound very interesting! I'm enrolled at the faculty of Arts at the University of Oslo, and we can chose between language studies, litterature, history or Media and communications (lol, don't even ask my why my faculty is called the fac. of arts.. kinda weird..) I really wanted to chose the language department, but i've change my mind, coz by studying languages, i'll probably end up as a teacher, and i really don't want to do that coz the educational system (not higher learings)here isn't taht good. so i will start the media studies.

haha, i know what you mean. some of my cousins have also spent lots of money getting private english lessons, and studie programs like TOEFL (or something like that). One of my cousins went to US to errr study some kind of Hotel managment, she's been there for 4-5 years atleast, and from what i've heard, her english isn't even "all that", but her Cantonese is very good! lmao :o that's what i call a waste!

Do you think exchange programs will be more appealing and popular in japan?

salima
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:21 PM
What do you mean with "speak"? Perfectly, none, but to a certain degree: Norwegian, nynorsk, English, Swedish,Danish, German and ya gavarjo nimnova pa- russkij :angel:

only the last one are learned by book, even if my teachers at school made some attempt:rolleyes:

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:25 PM
but salmia... nynorsk isn't a spoken language.... ;) but i know what you mean, with all the pronouciations and stuff :angel:

bliss
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:34 PM
I only speak perfectly Spanish:o but i can speak a bad english and understand a bit of italian

salima
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Martian Marri
but salmia... nynorsk isn't a spoken language.... ;) but i know what you mean, with all the pronouciations and stuff :angel:

Oh, sorry, i only wanted to impress those who didn`t knew what it was:o :angel:
I add to the list, I know aaaaa, well at least 20 words in Uzbek:p

Bероника
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:37 PM
spanish (mother tongue),french,english,catalan,learning russian

Lleyki
Feb 18th, 2003, 06:54 PM
Dutch
English
French
German (little bit)
Spanish (well, some words :p)

lemon
Feb 18th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Lets see here,
I'm a native English Speaker
I picked up Slovak when I was little
I am fairly fluent in Spanish
I'm trying to pick up one more language. Maybe Chinese or Korean Because this would help alot for my job.

lemon

cyberix
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:01 PM
native dutch/flemish
french
german
english
spanish
used also to speak many years ago portuguese, mandarin and swahili :)

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Feb 18th, 2003, 09:20 PM
Cyb - impressive all that ;) where did you learn the Mandarin?:D

TammysBigSis
Feb 18th, 2003, 10:30 PM
Native English
California Thai
Shimane Japanese (thankfully not Izumo dialect)
Dim Sum Cantonese (my mom is from Macau)
Studied Latin for 5 years (4 in high school and 1 in college)

Hingiswinsthis
Feb 19th, 2003, 12:45 AM
Tagalog(Filipino), English, Spanish

GoGoMaggie
Feb 19th, 2003, 04:19 AM
Does anyone speak korean here?

toreador
Feb 19th, 2003, 05:03 AM
i only speak greek and english :o

i understand some french though

Candy946
Feb 19th, 2003, 08:18 AM
Fluently, 2 at the most.

Could understand some French and Spanish.

Mitzi
Feb 19th, 2003, 08:33 AM
Hebrew and English (native) and some French