Full Version: What languages do you speak?
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I was toying with the idea of creating a poll for this one, but there are slightly too much languages in the world...

The languages I have dabbled in, in decreasing order of fluency, are:

Dutch - My native language, so obviously I'm quite fluent in it.

English - I manage to read, listen to, write and speak (in that order) this language quite well.

German - Simple phrases, but I'm no good for anything more complex than ordering food in a restaurant. And sometimes not even that.

French - Some words and phrases, but I'm pretty bad at it.

Latin and ancient Greek - I have studied these at school, but I won't pretend to be able to actually do anything with them.
In "chronological" learning order:

Finnish - my native language

German - my first foreign language. I love how it sounds but I'm not a good speaker. Unfortunately my teachers were much more interested in getting 100% correct grammar out of everyone and a lot of our reading material dealt with really obscure stuff, so even though this is the language I studied for longest in school (10 years!) I have no practical skills what so ever. I can understand it somewhat, but couldn't really have a proper conversation about anything.

English - my second language at school but I have to say I only really started to get enthusiastic about learning it when I got access to the Internet (and later found the courage to start reading books in English). I write better than I speak, because my pronunciation is terrible. P

Swedish - the second official language in Finland. I loved learning svenska in school but I'm afraid my skills are very very rusty. It's a fun language!

Spanish - I took some short courses in school, so I know the basics. I love the way it sounds but I sort of got frustrated with the more advanced grammar because at the time I had so many demanding subjects in school so I dropped it.

Welsh - it is an ongoing hobby project of mine to try to learn this language (I've chosen the Northern dialect). I don't even know why I find it so fascinating... maybe because it's so unlike any previous language I've learned. (A big part of my interest stems from my love for all things Welsh, so the language is naturally a part of the package.) I've been stuck with the basics for YEARS, but have made significant process since discovering Say Something In Welsh (and learned lots of really interesting things about learning languages and different approaches to the process) .
Mervi - you are learning Welsh for fun?! I take my hat off to you. I have lived in Wales for eight years and still have not made it past the basics. However, now that my daughter has arrived, I must become fluent in Welsh. Otherwise, the female members of my family will have a private language...

Otherwise, English is my native language and I speak a little French (learned at school) and a little Russian (I work there occasionally).
Wow, Mervi. That's impressive!

My languages. Let me list them.

Finnish - Mervi and I are compatriots.

Swedish - I'm a bilingual Finn, my father's first language was Swedish and I went to Swedish-speaking schools from kindergarten to university. I put Finnish first simply because it literally is my mother tongue. That said, I speak Swedish and my husband speaks Finnish to our son.

English - I've spoken it since I was 12, when my parents worked for a year in the UK. When I was about 20 and started going online more, I made the conscious decision to switch to American spelling, it's more consistent than the UK variety...

French - as a student I spent 6 months in the country, at an exclusively French-speaking university, i.e. they didn't offer any courses in English. I'm not as fluent anymore, lack of practice.

Spanish - I worked in a customer-service environment for 6 months as a student. I'm not very fluent currently, lack of practice.

German - very basic skills.

I can read Danish and Norwegian pretty fluently, but understanding the spoken languages, particularly Danish, is a different matter.
Maulkin, I seriously recommend the SSIW site I linked to in my post. I've only read the forums and downloaded the (free!) listening materials and followed their twitter, but they offer lots of other ways for learning Welsh as well - I believe there's some "real life" activity in the UK for the members as well, meetings and Skype learning partners and everything. And the listening material is nothing like I've ever encountered before: you're actually constructing your first very practical sentences at the end of the first lesson! No grammar, no spelling rules, no word lists to memorize - you just start using the language straight away. It's amazing, and I wish I had been taught these techniques before. I mean, I did well at languages in school, or at least better than average (except for the last 3 years of German which were a nightmare for me) but most of the stuff we were taught has no use in real life situations.
Thanks Mervi, I will have a look at the site. One of the problems for an English-speaker learning Welsh is that everyone in Wales speaks English fluently, so I am never forced to practice. I think that the only place where people speak Welsh but not English is Patagonia. Perhaps I should go there!
Patagonia!!! Wow there's so much about the world I don't know ..........
Yes that is one of the things that occurred to me when Mervi said about Welsh - I always think I should brush up my language skills for use when I visit countries where people don't speak English. So Welsh never cropped up for me!
What went wrong for you in the last 3 years of German Mervi?
Ooh it was a combination of a really terrifying teacher* and a lack of sensible course material. We had a new course book that was being tested before being made "official" and most of the articles made no sense even if the reader knew German perfectly. It was like someone had done a random cut&paste from the Internet or something. P The only thing I remember about it was an article about carsinogens in coffee!

* I usually get along with teachers very well, coming from a family of them, but this one scared me witless for some reason!
Wow I can't imagine there would have been much useful conversational material in that article on coffee !!!!!
I studied German for 4 years, but I can't remember a great deal now unfortunately..... umm...
"Ich spreche Deutsch" ....... (that should probably be the last thing learnt not one of the first, as I did !)

Yes some teachers make it hard to learn! Most of mine were fine, but some were much better and one or two weren't very good I'm afraid.
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