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Now this is some language skills!

PatentLawyer

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My grandmother spoke English, Italian, Spanish, French, Farsi, and Yiddish. She picked up Yiddish from living in Brooklyn for a few years, and learned Farsi from my grandfather (his native tongue). She was amazing and I miss her....
 

mansr

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I hate software in my native language. I always have everything set to English. In general, that makes for far fewer translation errors and is the language that is mostly available anyway.
I agree. Most software is written in English, anything else being a translation. I'll make an exception for software actually written in some other language that I understand well enough. A particularly annoying one is the DB phone app. I'd prefer to have it display in German, but it insists on following the system language setting, so I end up with a partial and at times bizarre translation.
 

pseudoid

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I just stole this paragraph from today's newspaper:
"Mr. [Gavin] Newsom, 55 years old, has said he has "subzero" interest in running for president, a phrase he jokes he can now say in five languages."
Wow!
He deserves to stay as GovAwesome with such accomplishments! ;)
 

dlaloum

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And that's why English is the lingua franca of the world. I suspect part of the the underlying reason here is that the structure of English is more forgiving of mistakes.
Note: Lingua Franca
 

pseudoid

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Note: Lingua Franca
When the Brexit occurred, France 'requested' that the EU' lingua franca be made French. :confused:
(Connaissez-vous le ministère de DGLFLF? )
If you are persnickety about most common American-English (A-E) usage errors that we all seem to commit… but only because there are more exceptions to the rules than there are rules.
"Common Errors in English Usage" by Paul Brians >> why buy the book when you can browse his site?
[imo: A-E seems to be a very burdensome language.]

Could the expression "pfft" be an offshoot of the word 'piffle'.
 

dlaloum

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When the Brexit occurred, France 'requested' that the EU' lingua franca be made French. :confused:
(Connaissez-vous le ministère de DGLFLF? )
If you are persnickety about most common American-English (A-E) usage errors that we all seem to commit… but only because there are more exceptions to the rules than there are rules.
"Common Errors in English Usage" by Paul Brians >> why buy the book when you can browse his site?
[imo: A-E seems to be a very burdensome language.]

Could the expression "pfft" be an offshoot of the word 'piffle'.
As I recall - the french have a specific category for "irregular verbs".... on the topic of "more exceptions to the rules than there are rules"

And then of course, there are the anglo-welsh pronunciations:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

This apparently translates as : 'St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the fierce whirlpool of St Tysilio of the red cave'

 

movehome

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His Chinese seems to still be at beginner level.. he's mostly saying easy basic stuff that people learning Chinese in China will pick up pretty quick. His pronunciation isn't great either.

These kinds of "polyglot" videos mostly impress people who aren't really into learning languages themselves.

Something that is impressive is a guy who's kind of famous in online language communities for passing the JLPT N1 with a perfect score after only studying Japanese for 8.5 months. That's really insane. The way he did it is pretty interesting (he never even studied grammar or did any specific preparation for the test) - detailed by himself here
 
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OP
amirm

amirm

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I would have loved to fully learn Japanese. When I worked for Sony, was going to Japan all the time and was younger :), I was making good progress with that immersion learning. I stopped and years later tried to pick it up again when working for Microsoft. Boy, it became *much* harder to learn. Actually I would learn but quickly forget what I had learned.
 

pseudoid

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Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
This apparently translates as : 'St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the fierce whirlpool of St Tysilio of the red cave'
I will not ask you to prove that... let alone, ask you to try to pronounce it!:D

A Welsh... walks into the bar... asks the bartender for a ... WhiteHazel in a RedCave...
There must a be a good punchline for this...

I would have loved to fully learn Japanese. When I worked for Sony, was going to Japan all the time and was younger :), I was making good progress with that immersion learning. I stopped and years later tried to pick it up again when working for Microsoft. Boy, it became *much* harder to learn. Actually I would learn but quickly forget what I had learned.
"When I worked for Sony"... we requested management to provide us Japanese lessons.
Five weeks into the provided course, I realized that my brain was incapable of learning it and gave up!:(
 
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Waxx

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In Belgium, like said, multilingual is almost normal. Our country has 3 official languages (Dutch, French and German) and a few non-official languages that are mostly local languages that are considered dialects. But my mothertongue (Westflemish, the language of the coastside province West Vlaanderen and border regions in Oost Vlaanderen) is so different from standard dutch (it's closest relative) that people from other dutch speaking regions don't understand it, even if it's considered a dialect officially. And we got several like that. Limburgs (the local language of the north-eastern part of Belgium) is closer to German than to standard Dutch and for non Limburgs or German speaking people also hard to understand. In the French speaking parts we got Chti (traditionally spoken in Tournai, Moucron, ... in Belgium and in a big part of the region arround Lille in France) that is very similar ununderstandable by french speakers from other regions. Those local dialects are under heavy pressure of the official languages, but still survive.

But that makes that we are very used to learn other languages and most belgians speak at least 2 or 3 languages a bit, and often very good. I speak (relative) fluent Westflemish (my mothertongue), Dutch, French and English and understand German and Lombardian dialect of Italian (the language of my ex) quiet well but don't speak it. I als know some Spanish and a lot of Morrocon and central African Bantu (= big etnic supergroup) words that i learned from immigrants from that region in our country. Those words from immigrant culture sneak into our street languages so many young people know them. (I'm not that young anymore altough).

I also learned classical latin and greek at high school (it's a part of the curriculum for the smarter ones), but lost a big part of it by not using it for the last 25 years. But i still understand a lot.

For me, monolingual people is something very strange. I know people like that, but they miss a lot i think. The more languages you can understand and speak, the more you can experience in this world.
 

pseudoid

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...I also learned classical latin and greek at high school (it's a part of the curriculum for the smarter ones)...
That's harsh... real harsh! In High School; no less.
What? The educators thought that by the 21st Century, we will be able to time travel back to the Roman Empire days or something?:cool:
 

Sokel

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Two from my parents,one from the country we lived and some (as you can see) English.
Need is a great teacher!
 

Willem

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Apart from Latin and classical Greek (and a smattering of biblical Hebrew that I forgot) that I learned in school, I also learned what were the compulsory school languages in the Netherlands at the time: German, French and English. My English is near native, and the other two are pretty decent. I later also learned some Italian, but not to the same level as the other three modern foreign languages - it does indeed get harder when you are older. However, these days, Dutch school kids learn fewer foreign languages, supposedly to a higher standard.
I think of it as part of my European identity that I try to know quite a few languages, and use them. I don't buy into the populist argument that the EU endangers our national identities. If we treasure cultural diversity as an alternative to a completely anglophone world, we just have to learn more than our own language. I have just come back from Paris where I gave a public lecture in French. That was appreciated, just as it was appreciated in restaurants and the hotel that I spoke French, and I don't kid myself that they could not hear that I was foreign.
 

Waxx

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Apart from Latin and classical Greek (and a smattering of biblical Hebrew that I forgot) that I learned in school, I also learned what were the compulsory school languages in the Netherlands at the time: German, French and English. My English is near native, and the other two are pretty decent. I later also learned some Italian, but not to the same level as the other three modern foreign languages - it does indeed get harder when you are older. However, these days, Dutch school kids learn fewer foreign languages, supposedly to a higher standard.
I think of it as part of my European identity that I try to know quite a few languages, and use them. I don't buy into the populist argument that the EU endangers our national identities. If we treasure cultural diversity as an alternative to a completely anglophone world, we just have to learn more than our own language. I have just come back from Paris where I gave a public lecture in French. That was appreciated, just as it was appreciated in restaurants and the hotel that I spoke French, and I don't kid myself that they could not hear that I was foreign.
They surely do, but appriciate that you learn their language (wich is rare for Dutch people, most don't speak french at all). But even I, who lives for years in the french speaking part of Belgium as native westflemish speaker, and is fluent in french still got a "flemish accent" says the locals here... And the Dutch got mostly a very strong accent when speaking french or english, even when they speak it fluently.
 

Willem

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Many of my generation knew pretty decent French, but this has indeed declined although it is still taught. My spoken English is good enough for me to pass for a Brit for at least a few hours, but the same is by no means true for my French, although it too sounds pretty decent, or so they say. Younger people mostly only speak English, but their pronunciation is rather better than was common in my generation.
Listening to many Dutch politicians is enough to confirm that their English sounds pretty awful. The remarkable exception is Frans Timmermans, the Dutch EU vice chair with special responsibility for climate and the energy transition. Not only does he speak excellent British English, but also similarly good French, German, Italian and Russian.
 

pseudoid

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I am beginning to realize that being able to speak/write in multiple languages does not mean one is not ignorant about languages.:facepalm:
@Andretti60, wikipedia link to lingua franca etymology made me spend over an hour (re: world languages) to make me realize my ignorance.:(
202308_Esparanto.jpg

In 1993, I thought of this to become a hot item, which even featured Esperanto [another dead language].:mad:
202308_DreyfussSymbolSourceBook.jpg

The “Symbol Source-book: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols” (1972), is by author Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) who was one of the era’s most accomplished industrial designers. Dreyfuss’s ambition was to create an international language of signs that could accomplish what artificial world languages like Esperanto could not.
A single symbol can instantly cross cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols”: An exhibition at the Smithsonian Design Museum (NY) examines the legacy of designer Henry Dreyfuss and the symbols that connect us.
 

pseudoid

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Hey, pssst, wanna delay the onset of cognitive decline (and possible dementia) by about 4-6 years?
Send me 0.0034 BTC and I will tell you how. :D

Or, just start learning a new language (Duolingo/Babbel/et al?)... according to John Grundy (prof. @ IowaStateU) in his 2020 published research analysis.
His research has been contested but his findings are still believed to support that bilingual people have stronger white-matter connections...
 
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