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03-22-2015, 01:51 AM   #16
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As a child in India I learned Hindi, and a bit of Bengali and Urdu all long forgotten, I passed exams at school in French also now a distant memory apart from odd words and phrases , in Africa I learned Africans , and Zulu to a conversational level but left there sadly 15 years ago and now now much comes to mind.
I find with out constant practice they fade away, I don't even talk to English speakers here much any more nothing worth talking about to most of them, so perhaps my English will one day wither and die as well?
Certainly my verbal command of English words has already diminished.

03-22-2015, 09:46 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
What happened to Esperanto?
I think it got cancelled due to lack of interest, I believe more folk speak Klingon than Esperanto.
03-22-2015, 07:05 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I think it got cancelled due to lack of interest, I believe more folk speak Klingon than Esperanto.
I think you are right. Coincidentally, Shatner supposedly speaks....Esperanto.
03-22-2015, 10:22 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I think you are right. Coincidentally, Shatner supposedly speaks....Esperanto.
I love his stilted delivery, too.

He ... was ... in ... an ... Esperanto ... film ... he's ... never ... watched ...


Last edited by clackers; 03-23-2015 at 02:57 AM.
03-23-2015, 01:25 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I don't even talk to English speakers here much any more nothing worth talking about to most of them, so perhaps my English will one day wither and die as well?
Certainly my verbal command of English words has already diminished.
And you live in Bristol! What ethnic group has taken over since I was in Bristol last August?
03-23-2015, 05:35 AM   #21
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I speak fluent Squirrel, some raccoon, and a little possum......all in my Texas dialect. See if you can speak it?

CMPIGS
M8PIGS
OSAR
LIB
MRPIGS

Regards!
03-25-2015, 11:34 AM   #22
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How many failed languages? Ah... 4 years of German at school. I didn't fail, but most Germans I've met speak better English than I do German. Which means I never got to practise it. I still prefer reading German over what Google translates it into, though...

I did start learning Portuguese, but never followed it up. Sort of a fail.

English I didn't fail. Not completely, anyway I understand both Danish and Swedish without too much trouble since they are both close to Norwegian - of which there are two varieties, of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Problem is that the people immediately think that you speak the language and start a high speed conversation. When I was a kid, our family often went to France for the yearly holiday. After my dad said "hello" and asked e.g. for directions, he always had to slow them down with the phrase "Voulez vous parler lentement, s'il vous plait".
Ah, yes, that's where I'm at with Portuguese, French, and Spanish. I usually just say hello and then quickly follow up with asking them if they speak English. Asking further questions I have mostly given up as it leads people to think I speak their language better than I do.
03-25-2015, 12:23 PM   #23
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I just can't do languages, I had four years of high school Latin and four years of high school French... I might be able to make myself understood, barely, in French in the right circumstances, but probably not. When I was in school, you had to have two languages or art's type courses to grade 12 to get into university. I failed Grade 12 french, up until grade 12 all my French teachers were francophones. In Grade 12 my teacher was Irish. That just didn't work for me. I got my grade 12 because I played in the school band for 4 years and was granted the grade 12 equivalent in music. I always thought it odd that we had to take an write exams for band, which was lunch hours and after school and not really on the timetable, but it sure came in handy when it was time to graduate.

03-26-2015, 03:36 PM   #24
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If one wants to learn a language, one needs to first create the proper environment. There's no point in starting a language if there is no one around to talk to and if one is not going to use the language in the future.

I'm a native German speaker and learnt English, Italian and Latin (kind of, it's never taught to be spoken, just to translate texts and read ancient literature) in secondary school. I was always among the best in class and picked these languages up quite easily, but the results as of my proficiency right now are mixed. I'm fluent in English because after leaving school I never stopped using the language - I lived in three countries where English is the official language and am currently studying an undergraduate degree in the UK.

With Italian it's different. I only learnt it for three years but was quite proficient at it when I finished school. Then I never used it again (except for on vacation to Italy) and as a result it declined to the point where I wouldn't be able to have even a basic conversation right now (apart from the usual who I am, where I'm from etc.).

The only way to learn a language and become moderately proficient is by exposure to native speakers, by endurance in keeping it up and regular usage afterwards. The easiest way is by moving to another country for at least half a year, ideally a year or more. I'd really like to refresh my Italian (having learnt it once it's quite easy to get it back), but I just can't see myself moving to Italy any time soon - plus the Italians were pretty bad at building and keeping a colonial empire, so unlike those learning English, French or Spanish there is no other place where it's the official language
03-26-2015, 04:13 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote

The only way to learn a language and become moderately proficient is by exposure to native speakers, by endurance in keeping it up and regular usage afterwards.
Yep, my four years of high school French really didn't prepare me for Europe. From the textbooks, I can read a fair bit of it, but it's not like immersing yourself in a culture for even a couple of weeks.

In Paris, a very kind receptionist didn't even blink when I said it was great there was a cow on the fourth floor. I meant laundry.
03-26-2015, 05:02 PM   #26
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I tried to learn Inuktitut for a while but gave it up . Each community has virtually it's own dialect and many people laugh at the efforts of outsiders. In some towns, there might even be differences in the way different families say things. And I live in a house where I'm the only one with English as the first language.
03-26-2015, 05:26 PM   #27
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In the order that I failed to learn them:

French
Spanish
Latin
German
Russian
Portuguese
French (again)
Spanish (again)

and currently, Polish, since I will be in Warsaw and Katowice next week. As it stands now, I can order food in a restaurant and ask where the WC is in any of these, but that is about it. Oh, and I can curse in all of these, too!

-Robin
03-26-2015, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yep, my four years of high school French really didn't prepare me for Europe. From the textbooks, I can read a fair bit of it, but it's not like immersing yourself in a culture for even a couple of weeks.

In Paris, a very kind receptionist didn't even blink when I said it was great there was a cow on the fourth floor. I meant laundry.
If you'd told that to a receptionist in Texas it probably could of been possible.
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