View Full Version : Languages

16-03-2009, 09:36 AM
Which languages do you speak? Which do you want to learn? How do they affect your thought?

My mother tongue is Icelandic, think its wonderful and beautiful and am saddened and delighted at the same time that only about 300.000 people speak it.

Speak English and Danish fluently. I guess English is beautiful in its omnipresence and its huuuuge vocabulary but I think its status as lingua franca of the world is impoverishing it. Learned Danish as a kid when I lived in Denmark for a couple of years, am glad to know a Nordic language (enables me to understand and read Swedish and Norwegian kind of). Danish evolves and changes really quickly I think, it gets so many words raw from other languages that its kind of scary.

Know some German and a tiny bit of Spanish. Think German can be beautiful in its hardness, good for philosophizing and writing poetry in!

Currently living in the Netherlands, but my financial situation prohibited me from taking any Dutch courses and as I'm mostly doing my work from home (girlfriend is doing exchange studies here) I'm not learning much at all. Sadly. Think once I go back home my ten months here will have taught me how to order a beer in Dutch and not much else. My Danish and German kind of allow me to read Dutch tho, but the pronounciation is killer!

Have set myself the goal of learning a new language for every decade of my life, German is the one for my twenties (25 at the mo), thinking Spanish for my 30s. Other languages I'd like to learn are Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese. My efforts untill now have really cemented how hard it is to properly become a native speaker, i.e. getting the nuances and nooks of a language, understanding jokes and so on. It takes years doesn't it?

16-03-2009, 01:36 PM
I speak Spanish and Russian, both to a decent level. By British standards, ie totally embarrassing to the non English speaking world.

I prefer Spanish, I think, cos the grammar's easier and the pronunciation is simpler. You just put on a funny accent and away you go.

And my Russian is almost entirely spoken - my spelling in the written form is an absolute disaster, reflecting the fact that basically I learned it through conversation rather than classes. Because I don't see daily reminders of the alphabet, it sometimes takes me a while to read stuff, too, and that's not the case in Spanish.

16-03-2009, 09:26 PM
well, my mother tongue is Croatian...and I speak/write English pretty well I suppose...and that's it...there are some other languages I understand, but don't speak such as Italian (only written Italian though, spoken Italian is a bit too fast for me) and Spanish (because of its similarities with Italian mostly)...and thanks to my 'South Slavic' connection, I understand pretty much all languages in this region (Bulgarian, Macedonian...I'd say Serbian as well, but Serbian and Croatian are only slightly different so I don't know if that counts)...and if I stretch it a bit, I could say I can make out some Russian...

that's about it...as you can see my knowledge of languages is mostly passive unfortunately...and among the languages I'd like to learn (but probably won't) are: Turkish, German and Portuguese...