Ashley

Languages

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So this was talked about a fair bit in the Self-Improvement thread from a while ago but it deserves its own thread because I felt like it :heh:

 

Just a general place to talk about languages you speak (other than your mother tongue) and what you're learning.

 

I'm currently plowing through Italian. Starting to feel more confident in certain aspects, but I really need to at some point address grammatical issues. My vocab is at ~1800 words/phrases I have been through, although obviously not all of them come to mind easily. However, grammar is something I'm somewhat picking up through repetition but I know I need to really focus on it at some point.

 

I started primarily with Duolingo but find myself favouring Memrise more lately. I don't know why, I think it's in part the way they test your memory (Duolingo tests it on a per-category basis with a strengthometer whereas Memrise lumps together all words/phrases and tests 10 at a time). I just find it better for me personally, plus I like how there's a lot of different courses you can join. Obviously they vary in quality, but there seems to be a group of 'official' ones that are pretty decent (Italian appears to have 7, although the number of words/phrases between them seem to vary significantly).

 

I'm hoping to plod on with this for a little while longer and build a good base and then learn some more of the other romance languages.

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My Fiancé is a native Spanish speaker... so I'm trying to pick that up, but finding after work I am pretty much too exhausted to construct comprehensible phrases in English, yet alone having the energy to learn a language. using duo lingo sporadically to help a bit. I read French pretty much fluently, but was horrified by how bad I perceive my French to be, although it's finally clicking back into place now. It also helps a lot with reading Spanish. I can understand spoken Spanish if it is slow... I prefer latin american spanish to european though! as for speaking... I feel like my vocabulary is maybe 200 words :D

Duolingo tells me I am 43% fluent. I suspect the truth is much lower than that!

 

I'd like to learn other languages but it's finding the time (and use!)

I have/had small amounts of Polish, Finnish, German, luxembourg dialect (seemed a pretty useless language to learn to me though :P), Norwegian/Danish/Swedish (mainly get confused between the three.. like jag/jeg??? :s), Italian, Portugese, Romanian and Ukrainian. In a few of those I got good enough to have VERY simple conversations, but I don't think I would be able to replicate that anymore :(

 

My Fiancé is a native Spanish speaker... so I'm trying to pick that up, but finding after work I am pretty much too exhausted to construct comprehensible phrases in English, yet alone having the energy to learn a language. using duo lingo sporadically to help a bit. I read French pretty much fluently, but was horrified by how bad I perceive my French to be, although it's finally clicking back into place now. It also helps a lot with reading Spanish. I can understand spoken Spanish if it is slow... I prefer latin american spanish to european though! as for speaking... I feel like my vocabulary is maybe 200 words :D

Duolingo tells me I am 43% fluent. I suspect the truth is much lower than that!

 

I'd like to learn other languages but it's finding the time (and use!)

I have/had small amounts of Polish, Finnish, German, luxembourg dialect (seemed a pretty useless language to learn to me though :P), Norwegian/Danish/Swedish (mainly get confused between the three.. like jag/jeg??? :s), Italian, Portugese, Romanian and Ukrainian. In a few of those I got good enough to have VERY simple conversations, but I don't think I would be able to replicate that anymore :(

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Have been learning Japanese for well over 20 years now. I used to be a lot better a few years ago but then stopped using the language on a regular basis hence the decline. A think learning Japanese is just an ongoing thing for me. I'll never stop studying the language and will never be advanced in it but I'd like to be a lot better than I am right now.

 

There's a few other languages that I'd like to learn but at the moment no.

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I grew up playing videogames in english, and watching cartoons with their english voices [dutch subtitles included ofcourse].

 

I can understand english almost perfectly. When i hear an Irish person talking, that stops, but thats pure accent.

Also, when you start talking about rocket science, there may be some words i dont reckognize because im not a rocket scientist. :P

Writing english [as you guys can see] is far from perfect.

 

Can talk/understand German, just cant write it.

All i know in French is: "je ne comprands pas", "parles vouz anglais?" and ofcourse "voulez vou couchez avec moi se soir". :D

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I'm functionally proficient in Japanese following my time living there. It's more broken than I'd like but I wouldn't worry about being able to communicate whatever I need to in pretty much all normal everyday situations. Now I've left I hope I can keep up some level of this but I fear I'll not have enough time to properly keep it fresh enough to use.

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Duolingo tells me I am 43% fluent. I suspect the truth is much lower than that!

 

 

I question the fluency percentage of Duolingo. I've noticed it drops down if you don't learn new stuff. I understand it dropping down if you don't do anything, or maybe even dropping down slowly without new stuff, but it seems in the past I've gone for a few days without doing a new topic and it drops down.

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My Dutch has seriously improved over the last few months. The thing that I struggle with the most is the sentence structure, but I'm getting there slowly. However, I've not been keeping up with it for the last two weeks due to the big house move. I'll jump back in during February and will keep up with it daily.

 

I've not been keeping up with my Spanish at all and will try to get back on that with DuoLingo.

 

In a few years, I'd like to look at one of Italian, German or Japanese.

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We really need to get to the point where we can just download new languages into our brains. I'd love to learn a new one but I'm just so damn lazy!

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I know Portuguese (native), Spanish (Latin American family), English (from multiple media and sources since I was a child) and German (learning it frequently for the past few years. Not 100% fluent yet, but pretty close). I also know a few basics of French and Italian, but only that (though I can roughly understand the gist of what's being said in those languages).

 

After spending the last few years learning/improving my German, I think I'm ready to start learning yet another language. I might even go for a non-European one, like Japanese, Arabic or Farsi. Though as of right now, it's just an idea.

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I know Portuguese (native), Spanish (Latin American family), English (from multiple media and sources since I was a child) and German (learning it frequently for the past few years. Not 100% fluent yet, but pretty close). I also know a few basics of French and Italian, but only that (though I can roughly understand the gist of what's being said in those languages).

 

After spending the last few years learning/improving my German, I think I'm ready to start learning yet another language. I might even go for a non-European one, like Japanese, Arabic or Farsi. Though as of right now, it's just an idea.

 

Yeah knowing basic Italian but having some Portuguese friends they point out the similarities between the languages (which makes sense given the root, obviously). It's one of the things I'm enjoying about studying Italian, finding the shared roots/ideas that bridge the languages, although I know if I learn more I'll get muddled!

 

Portuguese is next on my list, in part because it would be nice to use it with my friend and also because I keep wistfully looking at Lisbon...

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Yeah knowing basic Italian but having some Portuguese friends they point out the similarities between the languages (which makes sense given the root, obviously). It's one of the things I'm enjoying about studying Italian, finding the shared roots/ideas that bridge the languages, although I know if I learn more I'll get muddled!

 

True enough. I grew up with the Spanish language as well, and I still manage to misuse words from time to time, simply because it's so similar to Portuguese.

 

Luckily, Italian is not as close to Portuguese as Spanish is, so the distinction is clearer.

(Well, it is to me, but then again, you're learning a romance language from the outside, so I understand if you see things differently)

 

Portuguese is next on my list, in part because it would be nice to use it with my friend and also because I keep wistfully looking at Lisbon...

 

English is enough to visit Lisbon for a short while, but the locals would certainly appreciate the effort to speak Portuguese :)

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True enough. I grew up with the Spanish language as well, and I still manage to misuse words from time to time, simply because it's so similar to Portuguese.

 

Luckily, Italian is not as close to Portuguese as Spanish is, so the distinction is clearer.

(Well, it is to me, but then again, you're learning a romance language from the outside, so I understand if you see things differently)

 

English is enough to visit Lisbon for a short while, but the locals would certainly appreciate the effort to speak Portuguese :)

 

Oh yeah I don't doubt Spanish and Portuguese is much more closely interlinked, but from the outside I do spot similarities between Portuguese and Italian. And with other languages actually. I looked up the word "obviously" in Spanish to say it to a Spanish friend the other day, which as you know is "obviamente" (as is the Portuguese looking at it) and very similar to the Italian "ovviamente". It's stuff like that I enjoy discovering.

 

And visit? I'm thinking about bloody emigrating at the moment :heh: I did visit last...June? Whenever dia da Portugal was. I did really like the city and I'm just craving sun and a non-Britain country right now ;)

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I started learning German the other day. My girlfriend and I are planning to move to Germany in Summer 2018 after she finishes her Master's here in Manchester, because after living abroad for 5 years I've finally realised just how much the UK sucks in comparison to Europe, and not just in terms of weather! I started with Duolingo and Memrise, but we are planning to start attending classes in the next few weeks. As someone who managed to get a 99% fluency rating in Russian after starting to study it in 2012 (thanks, Duolingo), I'm really surprised at how German seems to be a weird mish-mash of both English and Russian. Many words sound like their English counterparts and the grammar structure and casing system seems to be very close to Russian. My goal is to get to a B1/2 level by the end of the year.

 

I'd love to learn Italian and Polish, also Japanese, but time and energy restrict me. I can understand basic Polish (thanks to my Russian and a host of native Polish friends) and Italian (ex-girlfriend), but speaking is a different story. I studied Spanish for five years at school and while my productive skills have almost entirely disappeared with time, my receptive skills are still pretty good. I've seen a few Spanish movies and managed to understand a surprising amount without subtitles. After living in Estonia and Latvia for the best part of 2 years I became really interested in those languages and can speak enough to do basic stuff in a bar, shop or at the post office, but it seems utterly pointless studying either of them fully when they have 1 and 1.5 million speakers respectively between them.

 

Languages are fun though, and I'd love to be fluent in 3 or 4. My former lecturer at Glasgow University was fluent in 10 languages, including Latvian and Serbo-Croat, he is basically a demi-god who just happened to be born in Essex. Shows how incredible the human mind can be if you put it to good use.

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Finally started Portuguese in earnest. Unsure if the similarities/same words existing in Italian is going to help or hinder my brain.

 

The whole concept of different words for something that's temporary or permanent is blowing my mind though. WHHHHHHHYYYY??

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Finally started Portuguese in earnest. Unsure if the similarities/same words existing in Italian is going to help or hinder my brain.

 

The whole concept of different words for something that's temporary or permanent is blowing my mind though. WHHHHHHHYYYY??

 

is that for nouns, verbs or both??

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is that for nouns, verbs or both??

 

Verbs? Or at least a few I've found so far (I am/you are). Need to get a proper sense of the grammar soon.

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The whole concept of different words for something that's temporary or permanent is blowing my mind though. WHHHHHHHYYYY??

 

That's "ser" & "estar", right? I imagine that's a difficult concept for foreigners. I thought the distinction existed in Italian too, though? Or am I wrong?

 

To everyone else reading this, both words translate to "to be". "Ser" refers to things you infer to be "the status quo", that is, permanent, normal, or innate ("Ashley is funny/tall/studious"), whereas "estar" refers to immediate things happening right now, inferred to be temporary or unusual ("Ashley is stressed/angry/tired"). So, "O Ashley é gordo" = "Ashley is fat", and "O Ashley está gordo" = "Ashley gained a bit of weight".

 

On a fun note: "O Ashley está confuso" = "Ashley is confused", whereas "O Ashley é confuso" = "Ashley is confusing".

 

...

 

If it makes y'all feel any better, I used to have similar trouble with the difference between "make" and "do" (we use the same word for both in Portuguese). The difference between those two words does no sense :heh:

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If it makes y'all feel any better, I used to have similar trouble with the difference between "make" and "do" (we use the same word for both in Portuguese). The difference between those two words does no sense :heh:

 

Billy-D_Approves.gif

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To be honest Ashley, the way Jonnas explains it, it sounds easy. Not sure what you're struggling with or why you're so confusing?

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To be honest Ashley, the way Jonnas explains it, it sounds easy. Not sure what you're struggling with or why you're so confusing?

 

It's so simple. I don't know why he can't do sense of it.

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I quite want to learn Portuguese now.

 

My Japanese is really suffering, I haven't properly been speaking for the last 4 months and I'm having trouble speaking to people. Need to find a school here, but time is pretty lacking. Wish I could take another year off work to focus on it properly.

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If it makes y'all feel any better, I used to have similar trouble with the difference between "make" and "do" (we use the same word for both in Portuguese).

 

It's the same in German, too. While I never had any trouble with the distinction between "make" and "do" I remember a lot of my class mates struggling with it.

 

 

After passing that Japanese intro class I neglected the language completely...I've forgotten almost everything. Can't even read Hiragana and Katakana anymore...:nono:

 

Need to get back to learning Kana again.

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Billy-D_Approves.gif

 

What do you think you're making, doing fun of me?

 

It's the same in German, too. While I never had any trouble with the distinction between "make" and "do" I remember a lot of my class mates struggling with it.

 

I've noticed German also has the distinction between "machen" and "tun", but uses "machen" in a lot of situations that English would use "do" (Was machst du?). That has to be confused in a whole new way.

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That's "ser" & "estar", right? I imagine that's a difficult concept for foreigners. I thought the distinction existed in Italian too, though? Or am I wrong?

 

To everyone else reading this, both words translate to "to be". "Ser" refers to things you infer to be "the status quo", that is, permanent, normal, or innate ("Ashley is funny/tall/studious"), whereas "estar" refers to immediate things happening right now, inferred to be temporary or unusual ("Ashley is stressed/angry/tired"). So, "O Ashley é gordo" = "Ashley is fat", and "O Ashley está gordo" = "Ashley gained a bit of weight".

 

On a fun note: "O Ashley está confuso" = "Ashley is confused", whereas "O Ashley é confuso" = "Ashley is confusing".

 

...

 

If it makes y'all feel any better, I used to have similar trouble with the difference between "make" and "do" (we use the same word for both in Portuguese). The difference between those two words does no sense :heh:

 

Yeah. I've not come across it in Italian (and I'm certainly well past learning the verb "to be" in Italian).

 

I get how it works and how it's accurate (you are temporarily an emotion, you are permanently a gender) but still, seems unnecessary :heh:

 

I think the pronunciation is going to be difficult to grasp. Probably going to be sending a lot of WhatsApp voice notes to my friend! Could try it with a Brazilian person in my team, but I know there are differences there so unsure how successful it would prove.

 

Make and do, at least when it comes to Italian, I'm pretty much okay with. I think part of the problem (at least for me) is when make/do is used differently in the other language. For example, in Italian you say "I must do a piss" rather than "I must have a piss" (and technically you say "I have a need to do a wank of myself" if you transliterate if I recall correctly), but I just chalk that up to learning the nuances.

 

Picked up a grammar book though and will try and make some flashcards soon.

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I think the pronunciation is going to be difficult to grasp. Probably going to be sending a lot of WhatsApp voice notes to my friend! Could try it with a Brazilian person in my team, but I know there are differences there so unsure how successful it would prove.

 

Grammar and most vocabulary, your Brazilian co-owrker could help you with that. Pronunciation, though, that's definitely quite different ("Falar", which we pronounce "Fuh-larr", becomes "Fálá" in Brazillian. "Portugau" and "Tchibetche" (Tibete) are other quirks they have, but we don't).

 

Sorry to say, you're going to need an European or an African portuguese-speaker to help you power through our difficult vowels.

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