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About My Fascination With Languages

 

02-28-17 02:05 PM
TheBWoods15 is Offline
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   Do you any of you guys know a language other than English? When you start learning a language,  everything just looks like someone ancient hieroglyphics even if it uses roman letters and shares Latin roots. But then, once you learn a few words and phrases, it all of a sudden becomes part of your every day vocabulary (supposedly). You kind of lose that sense of being lost, and when you talk to someone who does not know the language, you are put in the shoes of a foreigner in your own country. It's amazing how that works.
   Foreign languages have been a part of my life for the longest time. I started out being home-schooled through 5th grade. And my mother felt it was important to learn a second language. So she taught us some Spanish. And when she taught us all she knew, she sent us to a professional Spanish teacher for children. Learning languages was very easy for me. Although it's not my career aspiration, (that's computer science) I've made a goal to try to learn all of the languages that I have an interest in. And that's a lot. My interest spans from Spanish to Arabic to Japanese and several more. I guess I'll be like the human C-3P0 if I master them all. I have already learned some German in High School. I have a Basic Russian book. I am currently teaching myself to read, write, and speak the Japanese Hiragana, which is taking forever. And I still have a bunch more I want to learn in the future. If any of you guys know a foreign language, it would be cool to have a few friends that I can practice with.
   Do you any of you guys know a language other than English? When you start learning a language,  everything just looks like someone ancient hieroglyphics even if it uses roman letters and shares Latin roots. But then, once you learn a few words and phrases, it all of a sudden becomes part of your every day vocabulary (supposedly). You kind of lose that sense of being lost, and when you talk to someone who does not know the language, you are put in the shoes of a foreigner in your own country. It's amazing how that works.
   Foreign languages have been a part of my life for the longest time. I started out being home-schooled through 5th grade. And my mother felt it was important to learn a second language. So she taught us some Spanish. And when she taught us all she knew, she sent us to a professional Spanish teacher for children. Learning languages was very easy for me. Although it's not my career aspiration, (that's computer science) I've made a goal to try to learn all of the languages that I have an interest in. And that's a lot. My interest spans from Spanish to Arabic to Japanese and several more. I guess I'll be like the human C-3P0 if I master them all. I have already learned some German in High School. I have a Basic Russian book. I am currently teaching myself to read, write, and speak the Japanese Hiragana, which is taking forever. And I still have a bunch more I want to learn in the future. If any of you guys know a foreign language, it would be cool to have a few friends that I can practice with.
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02-28-17 02:26 PM
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Wow, either you're lucky or you have some kind of gift with languages, because I am the exact opposite. I find it incredibly difficult to understand any language other than English. I'm taking German in high school right now and I'm having a difficult time. So tell me, how do you do it? Does it just come naturally to you or is there some thought process that you use to learn different languages? 
Wow, either you're lucky or you have some kind of gift with languages, because I am the exact opposite. I find it incredibly difficult to understand any language other than English. I'm taking German in high school right now and I'm having a difficult time. So tell me, how do you do it? Does it just come naturally to you or is there some thought process that you use to learn different languages? 
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I'm also fascinated with language. Being raised in a region with two official languages, learning English since my early childhood and our proximity to another country that uses another language is only common I've grown to like learning languages (even if they are complicated as hell).

I'm Spanish, so if you think you've mastered that language you can come at me anytime I'm also fluent in Catalan just if you're interested.

I'm willing to learn German, French and probably Italian as well (the latter one should be fairly easy for me because of my mother language). I'm right now in a group course to learn Japanese with our great sensei Eirinn, though I had considered for a while teaching myself to it thanks to a couple websites I've seen promoting themselves in our annual manga convention. I could get to Russian if I ever have time, and maybe something else as well because I'm a curious guy.
I'm also fascinated with language. Being raised in a region with two official languages, learning English since my early childhood and our proximity to another country that uses another language is only common I've grown to like learning languages (even if they are complicated as hell).

I'm Spanish, so if you think you've mastered that language you can come at me anytime I'm also fluent in Catalan just if you're interested.

I'm willing to learn German, French and probably Italian as well (the latter one should be fairly easy for me because of my mother language). I'm right now in a group course to learn Japanese with our great sensei Eirinn, though I had considered for a while teaching myself to it thanks to a couple websites I've seen promoting themselves in our annual manga convention. I could get to Russian if I ever have time, and maybe something else as well because I'm a curious guy.
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02-28-17 06:11 PM
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I grew up bilingual and can speak English and Dutch fluently.

I'm decent at French (as in, I wouldn't die if you dropped me somewhere in France). I learned that one in school for like, 8 years? Something crazy like that. I also studied Latin for a full course of 6 years and while I can't have a conversation in Latin, it's a fascinating language that helped me a ton when confronted with other languages. I don't know if I want to learn another language. I'd say Japanese but I know that I'm too lazy to keep it going. Spanish maybe.



Oh and technically I had German for 1 year but I ditched that as soon as possible because it was ruining my overall grades lol.
I grew up bilingual and can speak English and Dutch fluently.

I'm decent at French (as in, I wouldn't die if you dropped me somewhere in France). I learned that one in school for like, 8 years? Something crazy like that. I also studied Latin for a full course of 6 years and while I can't have a conversation in Latin, it's a fascinating language that helped me a ton when confronted with other languages. I don't know if I want to learn another language. I'd say Japanese but I know that I'm too lazy to keep it going. Spanish maybe.



Oh and technically I had German for 1 year but I ditched that as soon as possible because it was ruining my overall grades lol.
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03-02-17 09:49 PM
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Baritron : Good question. I've always had a way of creating a mental image of what I'm thinking about. Let's say I'm trying to learn the word for "Cow" in Spanish. That what is "Vaca" by the way. I don't really think of it straight as Vaca equals cow. I kind of think of a cow and there are two names for that cow. English "Cow" and Spanish "Vaca". So it's like I think this animal (the cow) is a cow, but is also a Vaca.
   Think of one of your friends that you have a nickname for. In certain situations his real name is what you call him, and in others his nickname is what you call him. For you, both names are his "name". I don't know if I'm making sense. If you looked at a picture of this friend, and attached a name to it, you could use his real name or his nickname, and you would still know it's him. Because both names are referring to him. For verbs and stuff, I would just imagine the action that's being done, and there are two ways to describe that action: the English verb, and the foreign verb.
Baritron : Good question. I've always had a way of creating a mental image of what I'm thinking about. Let's say I'm trying to learn the word for "Cow" in Spanish. That what is "Vaca" by the way. I don't really think of it straight as Vaca equals cow. I kind of think of a cow and there are two names for that cow. English "Cow" and Spanish "Vaca". So it's like I think this animal (the cow) is a cow, but is also a Vaca.
   Think of one of your friends that you have a nickname for. In certain situations his real name is what you call him, and in others his nickname is what you call him. For you, both names are his "name". I don't know if I'm making sense. If you looked at a picture of this friend, and attached a name to it, you could use his real name or his nickname, and you would still know it's him. Because both names are referring to him. For verbs and stuff, I would just imagine the action that's being done, and there are two ways to describe that action: the English verb, and the foreign verb.
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03-28-17 02:56 PM
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You know, I never had too big of a fascination with learning other languages, but since starting to learn Japanese, I'm really enjoying it. The only downside is that I find myself using Japanese words to describe things at random and no one around me understands. lol The same thing happens in my thoughts as well. I look at my television and, in my thoughts about it (turning it on, off, up, etc), I say terebi, or neko instead of cat, and so on.

I currently only know English and about 200 words in Japanese (including reading, writing, hearing, and speaking). After I finish with it, which, since I want to achieve real fluency, will likely take a few years at best, I'll probably move on to Spanish. I'd like to learn Irish Gaelic as well, but that might as well be a dead language around here, since even in Ireland most people don't know it.


So are you fluent in Spanish then? How long did it take you to achieve your current level of fluency in it?
You know, I never had too big of a fascination with learning other languages, but since starting to learn Japanese, I'm really enjoying it. The only downside is that I find myself using Japanese words to describe things at random and no one around me understands. lol The same thing happens in my thoughts as well. I look at my television and, in my thoughts about it (turning it on, off, up, etc), I say terebi, or neko instead of cat, and so on.

I currently only know English and about 200 words in Japanese (including reading, writing, hearing, and speaking). After I finish with it, which, since I want to achieve real fluency, will likely take a few years at best, I'll probably move on to Spanish. I'd like to learn Irish Gaelic as well, but that might as well be a dead language around here, since even in Ireland most people don't know it.


So are you fluent in Spanish then? How long did it take you to achieve your current level of fluency in it?
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03-28-17 10:23 PM
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Language is so interesting! One of my favorite things about it is learning the roots of words; you mentioned Japanese, so I'll use that as an example. When you look at certain kanji, you can really start to see the sort of logic or cultural connections that are applied to each word. My favorite illustration of this is the word "konki," which means "perseverance." It looks like this in kanji: 根気  At first glance, you see the two characters are 根, 'root,' and 気, 'spirit.' But if you look even closer at 'root,' you can see radicals for 'good' and 'tree.' So all together, it paints a picture of a 'good tree root' and a 'spirit.' Kind of like a strong-rooted tree that doesn't bend in a storm wind.

In Romanian, too, we have expressions that sound odd to English speakers but paint a vivid picture. For example, when we're in trouble, our parents will say something like "it'll be like a train's hit you!" or "I'll grab you by the hair by your ears!" to mark not physical punishment, but tell us just how harsh they're going to be. (Then we lose Internet privileges or something)

So to me, language is like another way of seeing a culture, and understanding a worldview; these expressions and character combinations contribute to that understanding. For that reason, I believe learning more languages is like learning more about people around you, and I applaud your goal of learning as many as you can; I have the same goal! I'd like to learn more Romance languages like Spanish, and the sound of Italian really appeals to me, probably because it's so similar to Romanian...
Language is so interesting! One of my favorite things about it is learning the roots of words; you mentioned Japanese, so I'll use that as an example. When you look at certain kanji, you can really start to see the sort of logic or cultural connections that are applied to each word. My favorite illustration of this is the word "konki," which means "perseverance." It looks like this in kanji: 根気  At first glance, you see the two characters are 根, 'root,' and 気, 'spirit.' But if you look even closer at 'root,' you can see radicals for 'good' and 'tree.' So all together, it paints a picture of a 'good tree root' and a 'spirit.' Kind of like a strong-rooted tree that doesn't bend in a storm wind.

In Romanian, too, we have expressions that sound odd to English speakers but paint a vivid picture. For example, when we're in trouble, our parents will say something like "it'll be like a train's hit you!" or "I'll grab you by the hair by your ears!" to mark not physical punishment, but tell us just how harsh they're going to be. (Then we lose Internet privileges or something)

So to me, language is like another way of seeing a culture, and understanding a worldview; these expressions and character combinations contribute to that understanding. For that reason, I believe learning more languages is like learning more about people around you, and I applaud your goal of learning as many as you can; I have the same goal! I'd like to learn more Romance languages like Spanish, and the sound of Italian really appeals to me, probably because it's so similar to Romanian...
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04-02-17 06:34 PM
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That's a funny story about the Romanian sayings. I have two great-grandparents who came to America from Russia/Eastern Europe, and taught a bunch of words and phrases to their kids. I can relate to parents using scary phrases. My grandma used to tell her kids that she would rip their arms off and beat them with it. So yeah.
Also, Kanji is still kind of like hieroglyphics to me.
That's a funny story about the Romanian sayings. I have two great-grandparents who came to America from Russia/Eastern Europe, and taught a bunch of words and phrases to their kids. I can relate to parents using scary phrases. My grandma used to tell her kids that she would rip their arms off and beat them with it. So yeah.
Also, Kanji is still kind of like hieroglyphics to me.
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04-09-17 10:59 PM
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Yes, I know a few languages other than English. =) Ever since I was little, I've wanted to learn as many languages as I could to try to understand as many people as I could around me. To me, one of the most fascinating things about languages is how you can see what it was that the people that made them were thinking at the time that they started making a language, their thought processes and flow of logic, what kinds of things in the environment influenced them a lot or at least affected them greatly, and other things like that. For instance, in other cultures, sometimes you have words that describe things or feelings and emotions for which there are no direct translations into English. The word, "kimochi" in Japanese happens to be one of those words.

Also, languages change over time as the culture of the people using it changes (more words are added to a language as it evolves, or some words stop being used altogether, becoming obsolete). As we know, the Internet only came into being within the last century so only now do we have words and phrases in our languages that have something to do with the Internet. Phrases like "browsing" and "surfing the net" came into being, and since that technology spread across the world, expressions similar to "surfing the net" and "browsing" popped up in numerous countries around the world, albeit they may vary a bit depending on the country and their own local expressions.

Even in class, I've never thought of grammar as boring because syntax often shows the thought processes and logic behind a language. Personally, I think that whatever languages you start off learning may affect your reasoning abilities to some extent and also the way you perceive the world and think about everything in general (even if its influence is minimal), because of the differences in language structures.

Yes, we can say that we can "read" and "write" a language, but the way we actually "read" or view a language could be completely different from someone else when they are "reading" or "thinking" in their own language. How one types on a keyboard and gets words to appear is another way in which we can see how incredibly different languages can be at a certain level.

For people that are typing in English, we are used to just pressing one button to obtain one letter, and the order in which those letters appear DO matter when one inputs the letters (that's how we spell out a recognizable word after all). For other languages like Chinese though, I know of at least one typing keyboard that ignores the order in which you input the information because there are set places where you can input the info (every word requires at least 2 or 3 symbols that always show up in the same places when one types, along with one accent which changes how the word "sounds," and the order in which  you input all of these elements doesn't matter as long as you locate all of the symbols that correspond to the "sounds" of the character/word that you are looking for. It is only after you type those "sounds" out that a drop down list appears which allows you to view and select the characters/words that correspond to the sound you just typed out. There could be dozens of words to select from though, so that input method is a bit more tedious and requires you to be a bit more patient because you actually have to know the word you are looking for in order to select it from the list.

Other input methods can appear to be more precise than the one I described above but they require you to know exactly what a certain word is made up of. In English, we have 26 letters in the alphabet and we can arrange them in different ways to form the words we want. Well, for Chinese and Japanese, they view their words more or less as pictures and to get one of those pictures/characters to appear, one would need to somehow call up all of the parts that make up that picture.

For example, some words in Chinese like 明 are made up of several parts like sun 日 (the radical) and moon 月.



Using one of their more precise input methods (which requires one to know all of the parts of a character/word and where they're located in the word, or one wouldn't even be able to find the word), they can choose the parts of the word that they want and then the actual character/word they were trying to type will automatically appear. However, this is contingent on the word that they want being in the "vocabulary" list already. This input method can be pretty fast if it's combined with suggested characters/words, in which the system tries to guess what the next word you would like to type is, and then shows you a list accordingly.


Since some characters/words only have one or 2 parts to it, typing in Chinese could arguably be much faster than typing in English sometimes, as long as one knows what each character/word looks like and knows where to find those parts on the keyboard. If one doesn't remember what the word looks like visually, however, then they will be stuck. lol

Anyways, sorry if I went off on a tangent. I'm fascinated by languages too. XD
Yes, I know a few languages other than English. =) Ever since I was little, I've wanted to learn as many languages as I could to try to understand as many people as I could around me. To me, one of the most fascinating things about languages is how you can see what it was that the people that made them were thinking at the time that they started making a language, their thought processes and flow of logic, what kinds of things in the environment influenced them a lot or at least affected them greatly, and other things like that. For instance, in other cultures, sometimes you have words that describe things or feelings and emotions for which there are no direct translations into English. The word, "kimochi" in Japanese happens to be one of those words.

Also, languages change over time as the culture of the people using it changes (more words are added to a language as it evolves, or some words stop being used altogether, becoming obsolete). As we know, the Internet only came into being within the last century so only now do we have words and phrases in our languages that have something to do with the Internet. Phrases like "browsing" and "surfing the net" came into being, and since that technology spread across the world, expressions similar to "surfing the net" and "browsing" popped up in numerous countries around the world, albeit they may vary a bit depending on the country and their own local expressions.

Even in class, I've never thought of grammar as boring because syntax often shows the thought processes and logic behind a language. Personally, I think that whatever languages you start off learning may affect your reasoning abilities to some extent and also the way you perceive the world and think about everything in general (even if its influence is minimal), because of the differences in language structures.

Yes, we can say that we can "read" and "write" a language, but the way we actually "read" or view a language could be completely different from someone else when they are "reading" or "thinking" in their own language. How one types on a keyboard and gets words to appear is another way in which we can see how incredibly different languages can be at a certain level.

For people that are typing in English, we are used to just pressing one button to obtain one letter, and the order in which those letters appear DO matter when one inputs the letters (that's how we spell out a recognizable word after all). For other languages like Chinese though, I know of at least one typing keyboard that ignores the order in which you input the information because there are set places where you can input the info (every word requires at least 2 or 3 symbols that always show up in the same places when one types, along with one accent which changes how the word "sounds," and the order in which  you input all of these elements doesn't matter as long as you locate all of the symbols that correspond to the "sounds" of the character/word that you are looking for. It is only after you type those "sounds" out that a drop down list appears which allows you to view and select the characters/words that correspond to the sound you just typed out. There could be dozens of words to select from though, so that input method is a bit more tedious and requires you to be a bit more patient because you actually have to know the word you are looking for in order to select it from the list.

Other input methods can appear to be more precise than the one I described above but they require you to know exactly what a certain word is made up of. In English, we have 26 letters in the alphabet and we can arrange them in different ways to form the words we want. Well, for Chinese and Japanese, they view their words more or less as pictures and to get one of those pictures/characters to appear, one would need to somehow call up all of the parts that make up that picture.

For example, some words in Chinese like 明 are made up of several parts like sun 日 (the radical) and moon 月.



Using one of their more precise input methods (which requires one to know all of the parts of a character/word and where they're located in the word, or one wouldn't even be able to find the word), they can choose the parts of the word that they want and then the actual character/word they were trying to type will automatically appear. However, this is contingent on the word that they want being in the "vocabulary" list already. This input method can be pretty fast if it's combined with suggested characters/words, in which the system tries to guess what the next word you would like to type is, and then shows you a list accordingly.


Since some characters/words only have one or 2 parts to it, typing in Chinese could arguably be much faster than typing in English sometimes, as long as one knows what each character/word looks like and knows where to find those parts on the keyboard. If one doesn't remember what the word looks like visually, however, then they will be stuck. lol

Anyways, sorry if I went off on a tangent. I'm fascinated by languages too. XD
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