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Danish. Well actually the term "Danish" may have quite a lot of meanings.
I write a rather clean version of "rigsdansk", the official or authorized kind of Danish, which AFAIK actually is a dialect from Roskilde near Copenhagen.
I speak a regional variant of Danish, that is typical of towns in Jutland, the peninsula in the western part of Denmark.
But my real native language is a local variant of Jutlandish, the old rural dialect, that is now disappearing. I do not speak it very well any more, but I understand it perfectly.
I read Danglish though I certainly do not like to. This *** of poorly handled Danish and poorly handled English is written and spoken by a very large part of Danish web and computer techies.
Norwegian and Swedish. I hardly write or speak these two other Scandinavian languages, but like most Danes I understand them fairly well.
English. I read and understand better than I write and speak.
German. My level here is somewhat lower than in English.
French and Spanish. I am able to read uncomplicated texts. (The dialect sung on the flamenco record that I am hearing right now is certainly beyond my comprehention!)
[edited by: eelixduppy at 9:28 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2009]
German. Most people who hear me speak that think I'm German, but can't really place what region, most think about Hamburg or Bremen. I'm quite proud of that :), not the region particularly, but being mistaken for a native is always nice.
English. Obviously, else I wouldn't be here. I read and write it better than I speak it.
Swiss German. If anyone doesn't count this as a full language, just come to Switzerland and try understanding what people say if you just speak school German. I understand it, but try to avoid speaking it, since I than am mistaken for a German.
Italian. Lived in the italian-speaking part of Switzerland for a while, so I had to learn some of the language.
Romanian. Learned that just for fun and just enough to be able to read, understand and say the basics.
Spanish. Same as romanian.
That's about it, although I'm able to order beer in a couple additional languages :).
Urdu, spoken in Pakistan and India...speak, read and write
English....same as above
Japanese....spoken advanced intermediate, read and write elementary grade 2 (dont have the energy to practice 2 hours a day to read and write. It will take me 500 years to master it).
I can struggle through some Middle-English, (dat's not Shakespeare's English my friends nor is Old English the English of Shakespeare). I want to be J.R.R. Tolkien when I grow up, or a helicopter, haven't decided which. :)
2) Hindi - National Language of India (Hindustani)
3) Gujarati - State language, lol each state (we have 26 major ones) has a seperate language, almost unique from the other...so gujarati is my mother tongue , can read and write though not so well :( , talking in it is simple
4) Marathi- Snother state language, forced to learn it when we shifted from one place to another...hated it but can understand and get the other person to understand what I am trying to say.
My sisters learning French and trying to teach me as well, but she tells me I m a hopeless case. I think it may have to do with the fact that shes a hopeless teacher :) anyway I have realised that I certainly am not a linguist , new languages are not easy for me.
Redneck - my native tongue, though it's not usually written. Also helped me learn related languages of Country and Mountain.
Jive - one of my favs to speak, but difficulty with reading/writing. Also fluent in Shizzle and Hood.
I learned Spanish in junior high, high school, and even a bit in college. My mother teaches it. I went to Spain and found they don't speak anything sounding remotely like what I learned from my (Colombian) teacher, but I tried bravely anyway and the bums thought I was very cute. I do all right with Spanish, but the talk radio I listen to in the morning (I live near NYC) defeats me utterly. Still, it sounds great...
I learned Latin in high school, and it was my favorite. It was taught as though it were a spoken language (my teacher was nuts), and I had a blast in the class. I can still decline a noun and conjugate a verb when needed, and knowing a bit of Latin is a fabulous help with linguistics in Europe and America.
I studied Gaelic in high school, Irish Gaelic, and I can say two or three things merely for amusement. Sadly, I cannot find anywhere to continue the study.
I studied modern Greek in high school, for a trip to Greece. I found that my ability to say "where is the bathroom" and "I am a tourist" was entirely useless, as there were clear signs for the W. C. and they all knew fine well I was a tourist, and they all tried speaking German to me because apparently I look German.
I studied Japanese in college, and I worked damned hard at it and in the end, can't say much more than my name. I could write many of the characters but they fell out of my head and I can't remember more than three kanji, though I can still amuse people by struggling phonetically through English words spelled phonetically in katakana. "Nyuu Yoku. Ha-mu-ba-gaa. Ho-tu do-gu. Te-ri-ya-ki baa-gaa." (I sound like a tortoise with a speech impediment when I do try.) So, Japanese is mostly a party trick for me. Sadly. I sweat blood over that course and am sad I never managed to make anything of it.
I also studied Middle English, and learned tons of great swear words that have fallen out of use since Middle English went extinct. Why don't we swyve our wyves anymore?
And then I studied Middle Welsh, which was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but has proven to be sadly useless in my daily life. More words should be written entirely without vowels. Sadly, I cannot say anything of use in either Middle language.
And then I studied Middle Welsh, which was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but has proven to be sadly useless in my daily life. More words should be written entirely without vowels.
Every language has its own spelling system. When you say 'words without vowels', that isn't the case in a language where not only a, e, i, o, and u are vowels but also w and y. Hence words like 'llyn' (lake) and 'cwt' (tail) DO have vowels in Welsh.
Placename in Anglesey, North Wales
English: Kinda my "new" native language and the language I'm most familiar with. Strangely, I learned all my gramatic and formal langauge stuff in german, so I don't know any of that in english. But since I read A LOT in english, I tend to even correct Englöish native master degrees on their grammar, out of a "strong gut-feeling" for the language.
Spanish: Learned it, and it does sound familiar, but I won't "understand" any of it.
French: Painfull experience learning it, forgot it all blissfully.
Italian: If spoken by a beautiful italian woman I understand everything, strange.
Otherwise, living in a country that speaks a language related to arabic, and having NO intention of learning it, I've developed a kind of emphatic understanding. I sort of stare at hte speaker, and sort of know exactly what they mean, without understanding a single word in particular.
So, sure, the consonants act as vowels, but it's more fun to keep them named as consonants.
More words should be written entirely without vowels
In my native Jutlandish dialect it is possible to construct sentences entirely without consonants! Here is one:
A æ å u' o æ ø i æ o, æ a æ å?
I am also (out) on the island in the brook, am I not (too)?
So, sure, the consonants act as vowels, but it's more fun to keep them named as consonants.
Must look really weird to someone who doesn't speak Welsh.
I started learning English about the age of 5. Still remember trying to get my head (and tongue) around words like:
And best of all:
At least Welsh is phonetic.
Japanese Now living a few years in Japan, and no problem with an easy conversation. Through Webmasterworld I met johnafrid (message 8) and his conversation skills are much better. However my reading skills are better. So when we were preparing for climbing mount Fuji some 2 months ago, it turned out together we can be a good team.
English Not fluent, but most people here in Tokyo think I'm an English teacher, so who cares.
German Reading and listening no problem at all. I forgot most of the German grammar I learned at school (5 years) so writing is a problem. And recently when I want to speak it, Japanese words pop up. Yeah, I really should practice it more.
French Studied it for 4 years when I was a student. After that I could use it during the 6 months I lived in Brussels. So at some period in my live I was rather good at it, but not anymore.
Esperanto I got my 'elementa diplomo' some 6 years ago, after that I hardly used it. Last weekend I met some Esperanto speaking Japanese and it was hard for my to express myself. When I tried to remember a word in Esperanto, the Japanese one popped up.
Latin Teachers focused on reading it & translating it into Dutch. Studied it for 2 years, now that knowledge is almost gone.
and a little pidgin english - picked up a little in the solomon islands and is one of the most charming and literal languages I have ever heard spoken:
- sindaun antap long two bum wheelie wheelie
- crucifix blong Jesus Christ
are two amusing examples :)
I used to come home from school late and Dad would ask, "Jeet?"
My sister and I stumbled through Spain with her dictionary and my pronunciation and basic grasp of grammar. If we had a minute to rehearse, she'd feed me the vocab words and I'd conjugate the verbs and form a sentence which I could then pronounce impeccably. The Spaniards thought it was funny. I had no idea what I was saying, but I sounded good. Then they'd answer, and we'd both be lost.
English English: the only one I can write acceptably in.
German: speak fine but write awfully.
Spanish: getting better all the time but limited.
French: quite limited but can get by ok in france.
Jagon speak: aka BS very good when required but its contagious as you know :-)
Ok a Question .... if you were the only one of your British team in a meeting with a chinese team who was fluent in chinese, would you let them know that early in the meeting or keep it to yourself for a while?