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Author Topic: Linguistic Mastery Thread  (Read 7764 times)
IvanDrugostrov
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« on: May 21, 2008, 05:14:27 pm »


Mastery of a tongue is composed of four things;
The ability vocally mimic its spoken form (with or without accent),
The ability to comprehend its spoken form,
The ability to write in the hand associated with the language,
The ability to read same.

This is a very lengthy way to ask, but think of these when you answer,
"What languages do You know"?

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Sir Nikolas Vendigroth
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 05:59:52 pm »

I can only lay claim to Egnlish, i'm afraid. My preliminary forays into French turned me off learning new languages altogether, really, due to the attitude of the teachers...




Yes, i KNOW I spelled "English" wrong, but i've decided to leave it there. For the hell of it.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 06:06:18 pm »

Having been born in Quebec, I grew up to be bilingual, English/French, however, after having moved out of Quebec many years ago due to job transfers (being an Anglophone in that province has no future), my French has suffered to the pint where I can no longer switch between languages without having to think about it. I can still follow written and spoken French, but my own spoken French is not what it used to be.

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akumabito
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 06:24:02 pm »

I speak English and Dutch. Some French, some German, a little bit of Spanish, I've forgotten almost all Japanese I once knew and I am struggling with Thai. I'm horrible with learning languages. I have no patience, it bores me to no end and I can not get myself to enjoy studying them. Sad
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WisconsinPlatt
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 06:25:38 pm »

I fear I must fall back on the ol' chestnut...

What do call someone who speaks THREE languages...Trilingual.
What do call someone who speaks TWO languages...Bilingual.
What do call someone who speaks ONE language...American.

(That said, I do know enough Spanish to get by I believe if I had to)
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Alisma
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008, 07:39:26 pm »

German, English, French, some Welsh and the bits that are left of a year of Spanish at school. I also had five years of Latin but apart from what is used on a daily basis in life sciences it's almost gone.
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Hikaro Takayama
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008, 09:30:04 pm »

I can speak English and Japanese (can even READ Japanese well enough to know what I'm buying in most stores and how much I'm paying for it, as well as what train station I want to get off at).

I can also follow written Spanish pretty well, as well as written German (took both those languages in school)
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rogue_designer
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2008, 09:33:51 pm »

English only by those standards.

But I can survive in several others  (french, romany, some italian)

And I can get arrested or beaten up in an impressive array of others.

I should really buckle down and learn spanish.
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2008, 09:48:38 pm »

    By those standards, I only know English. However, languages happen to be a hobby of mine, and I can read in Dutch and some French. My spoken French is terrible, while my Dutch is quite decent. I could survive with it, if need be. And since I took four years of Latin, I can pretty much read it and understand it without thought, but writing it, I'm a little shaky with.

    Additionally, I know bits and pieces of:
  • Russian
  • Gaelic
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Norwegian
  • Arabic
  • Hindi
All of which I throw into my daily speech, so it's common for my sentences (while speaking) to end up in at least two languages. Counting, as well. I will begin counting, often in German or Spanish, then switch to Hindi, then at nineteen I switch into French (dix-neuf! I love that word for some reason) then I follow that with Latin, or if I don't care, English.


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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2008, 09:58:08 pm »

OK...
German and English both on a native speaker level.
French (needs practice, but I won't starve in France, I used to be better).
Japanese (on the upward slope. I've started learning the Kanji)
Latin (what remains of it...)

I also know bits and pieces (or words and phrases) of:

Mandarin Chinese
Dutch (which is not too far from German in any case, even if neither Dutch nor Germans want to accept it)
Klingon
Russian
Finish
Dansk
Euskeria (Basque)

Languages are a leisure time interest of mine.  Cheesy
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akumabito
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2008, 10:21:16 pm »

Klingon

Neeeeeeeeeerd! (hahah, sorry... it had to be done! Tongue
*goes back to listening to DarkMateria's Worf Song*
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Der Tinkermann
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 10:25:39 pm »

According to those standards only English(and Dutch of course)
but I'm very good at slaughtering German......
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akumabito
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 10:27:23 pm »

According to those standards only English(and Dutch of course)
but I'm very good at slaughtering German......


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von Corax
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 11:09:00 pm »

Only English, despite seven years of French in Elementary and High School. I never used it, y'see.

I have been toying with the idea of learning Spanish, which would be much more useful in the London area. (We have a rather large expat Colombian community.)

I have a cousin who works for Foreign Affairs, and is the only person on the Thai mission who speaks Thai. Not an easy language, apparently.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2008, 11:58:12 pm »

Currently only English but I have dabbled in Anglo Saxon specifically Beowulf.
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Derranged-Gadgeteer
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2008, 12:50:31 am »

Mastery of only english,
Had two semesters of latin, (totally forgotten all of it)
Currently studying German on my own
Current interest in learning Japanese
Future interest in learning Russian.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2008, 01:12:26 am »

I have mastered the English language, and squid... I'm a geek, so I speek geek [sic]; I am an electronics mechanic, and that has its own specialized language.

I created a few 'alien' languages in years passed, but I couldn't tell you anything about them without my extensive set of notes, filed in some dark corner somewhere.

I took a semester of Spanish, didn't really learn much.  I would love to learn Latin, Italian, German, et al, but I am old and not likely to find the time/patience to attempt such.
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J.F.Dawson
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2008, 01:39:46 am »

After many years of reading english books, comics  Tongue , magazines & internet-forums, accompanied by watching movies and TV shows I dare to claim that I am pretty good at handling this language. (AaarRRR, if it weren´t for Zzzees terrribble german aKcent when I speak!).  Wink
And although I think french is a wonderful poetic language, I now only speak fragments of what I once learned at school.
Oh, und deutsch spreche ich auch noch.  Smiley


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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2008, 04:32:23 am »

I speak both American and English.  I'm fairly literate in Internet, but I prefer not to use it myself.  I could survive in a Spanish-speaking country if I had to, I have ten years of Spanish under my belt, but the last time I took a Spanish class was way back in 2003.  I have enough Japanese to greet and thank people, acknowledge that, yes, I am rather tall, and ask for a receipt.  I can greet and thank in Russian, and can ask "How are you?" but couldn't for the life of me understand what is said in reply except what I might infer from intonation.  I can say both "I am hungry," and "I have women" in French.  I can say a variety of useless things in German thanks to all the industrial music I listen to, combined with babelfish; also I can tell people that I am hungry (it's important to know things like this).

I would like to learn Latvian, my father's native language, so that I might confuse my chums when conversing with him over the phone, but I think that may be a slightly lofty goal.
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2008, 07:26:33 am »

According to those standards only English(and Dutch of course)
but I'm very good at slaughtering German......


Cue De Vliegende Panters - Er loopt een Duitse lul in de weg

*clears throat*
*reaches for duelling pistols*

Well, as I said before, I can handle Dutch...
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Hieronimous Stonebender
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2008, 08:17:12 am »

"Mastery" of Danish, Swedish, English and German. Can communicate on a tourist level in Spanish and less so in French. Know a lot of Japanese, but all of it related to Martial Arts... Have an ambition to learn Finnish!
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2008, 08:46:13 am »

Dutch, English, can make myself understandable pretty well in German and can follow conversations, a little French, however reading it is easier, I can read Danish and most of Swedish (used to be able to speak some Danish, but that's half a life time ago). I've had a little bit of Latin in high school, but that's pretty much gone.
Trying to learn some Gaelic.
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2008, 09:20:19 am »

Japanese. I will live there, just you wait.
And English.
Future: Spanish
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2008, 11:26:47 am »

I mangle German grammar  at degree level, I know a fair bit of French, i can guess alot of spanish and italian, i can read cyrillic and know a few basic Russian phrases, the plan is to brush up my French and make a start on Arabic once i have graduated.
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IvanDrugostrov
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2008, 03:00:02 pm »

I haven't gone myself.

I hold mastery (and cruel dominion) over but Swedish and English. I have three semesters of Japanese, including the dreaded hand, but I have forgotten most of it.
I can say at least one word in more languages than I can remember of the top of my head, and a couple of things in an additional number of tongues.
I also, much by default, can read and somewhat understand Norwegian and Danish, but cannot speak or write it.
I can also often make out the gist of text written in a Latin or Germanic language.
I have trouble understanding the spoken form of ANY language, including my native tongue.
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