Languages (other than English) you speak & how you learnt them

por_please_ya

Keep Khan and Carry On
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
6,984
Likes
9,002
Location
Hogwarts
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
East Side Hawks, Strikers, NMFC
Thread starter #1
I'm sure threads like this have been done before - last real topic on it was in 2014 so thought that was long enough ago to start a new thread.

Curious as to what other languages people speak apart from English (and yes, Auslan counts of course!). How did you learn/why did you learn etc, assuming for some it will be a first or second language learnt at home.

For me, I only know English fluently. However I know some Turkish, only at a beginner's level. I can say common sentences and am familiar with the grammar and pronunciation, and know a shit load of random vocab. Why Turkish?! Long story short, I've always loved foreign films and learning about the world. I met an Uzbek guy once and became interested in the music from his country. Uzbek is in the Turkic language group and therefore it led me to other parts of Central Asia and of course, Turkey! I have an online friend from Turkey and he introduced me to a whole heap of Turkish music which I listen to regularly. I also did half of a Turkish Duolingo course which was pretty fun.

Presently, I am going to try and learn Italian. My boyfriend's parents are Italian and his dad's English isn't great. It would be nice to converse or at least understand what they are saying when they speak it. They bought me the Total Italian course with Michel Thomas end of last year which was really sweet. I actually started the first CD last night and his technique is amazing and interesting. Voglio sapere l'italiano (I want to know Italian).

Anyway, enough about me :p Over to you!
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

raskolnikov

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Apr 1, 2002
Posts
26,017
Likes
17,057
Location
Central Queensland
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Lions
#2
I speak Russian pretty fluently. I have always had an interest in Russia and did my Masters in Russian Literature, Crime and Punishment in particular, hence my username.

After I finished uni I moved to Moscow teaching English and to learn the language. I lived with a Russian family for the first year I was there.

After that I moved into my own apartment but had lessons three times a week. I was in Moscow for four years.

I don't get a chance to speak it much these days but watch the Russian news on SBS and read in Russian.
 

por_please_ya

Keep Khan and Carry On
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
6,984
Likes
9,002
Location
Hogwarts
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
East Side Hawks, Strikers, NMFC
Thread starter #3
I speak Russian pretty fluently. I have always had an interest in Russia and did my Masters in Russian Literature, Crime and Punishment in particular, hence my username.

After I finished uni I moved to Moscow teaching English and to learn the language. I lived with a Russian family for the first year I was there.

After that I moved into my own apartment but had lessons three times a week. I was in Moscow for four years.

I don't get a chance to speak it much these days but watch the Russian news on SBS and read in Russian.
That's really cool, raskol. It must have been an amazing experience. One thing I found out was that no matter where in Russia you are from, people don't tend to have accents?! It's such a large country with a wide variety of landscapes and people groups so it was a surprise. Is this true?

Through dabbling in Uzbek I learnt how to read a little Cyrillic. Whilst officially they write Uzbek in Latin letters, people still write in Cyrillic due to the Soviet influence. I can easily tell when a piece of text is written in Russian as opposed to Uzbek, but the more difficult part is transcribing it in my head haha. :p
 

Run n Spread

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Posts
7,050
Likes
4,895
AFL Club
Collingwood
#6
None. Picked up some words from extended family was still alive and learnt a bit of French and Italian at school but haven't been to either country so didn't practice. Any of the Asian countries have been to not a clue and barely picked up any.

Easier with countries that use the same alphabet Asian dialects tend to use a totally different alphabet and pronunciation.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Posts
2,598
Likes
4,362
Location
South Australia
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Sheffield Wednesday
#9
Some German: started with the basics at high-school and have been on-and-off self-teaching recently. Have gotten to the stage where I can read quite well as long as the vocabulary isn't too specialised, but am still hopeless at speaking with any fluency or confidence.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

the_interloper

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Posts
13,786
Likes
12,274
Location
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
#13
Lol it’s a English speaking country.
I'm being facetious, I've worked with a lot of different nationalities and gone overseas, language has never been an issue cause everyone else learns English. Everyone else seems to know at least one other language, we don't seem to need to bother.

I even sat in Mandarin classes with some Germans I used to work with, they were learning Mandarin translating to English translating to German, still blows my mind.
 

Shell

Premium Platinum
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Posts
80,570
Likes
45,326
Location
Melbourne
AFL Club
Geelong
#14
My 13 year old daughter speaks fluent Spanish and she was self taught. I'm currently in the process (not by choice) of learning it too. :p
Have you see "Fun with Dick and Jane"

Absolute pisser, their young child being able to speak fluent Spanish better than English, due to his nanny/house keeper.
 

Gigantic

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Posts
7,077
Likes
6,898
Location
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Rabbitohs, Liverpool, Phoenix Suns
#15
Dutch - studied and lived over there for a bit. Probably basic conversational proficiency - although I learnt most by reading newspapers, so more proficient at reading than speaking the language.
 

peternorth

Facts Machine
Joined
May 6, 2005
Posts
80,540
Likes
36,883
AFL Club
Richmond
Moderator #17
I'm being facetious, I've worked with a lot of different nationalities and gone overseas, language has never been an issue cause everyone else learns English. Everyone else seems to know at least one other language, we don't seem to need to bother.

I even sat in Mandarin classes with some Germans I used to work with, they were learning Mandarin translating to English translating to German, still blows my mind.
Your not normal
 

Bomberboyokay

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Posts
23,334
Likes
20,373
Location
The Temple, Boyle Heights
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
West Ham, New York Rangers
#20
Presently, I am going to try and learn Italian. My boyfriend's parents are Italian and his dad's English isn't great. It would be nice to converse or at least understand what they are saying when they speak it. They bought me the Total Italian course with Michel Thomas end of last year which was really sweet. I actually started the first CD last night and his technique is amazing and interesting. Voglio sapere l'italiano (I want to know Italian).
If he's lived in Australia long enough to have an adult kid he can probably speak English fine but prefers to talk shit about people in Italian #cynicism
 

por_please_ya

Keep Khan and Carry On
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
6,984
Likes
9,002
Location
Hogwarts
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
East Side Hawks, Strikers, NMFC
Thread starter #21
If he's lived in Australia long enough to have an adult kid he can probably speak English fine but prefers to talk shit about people in Italian #cynicism
LOL! Maybe :p He came to Australia when he was in his early 30s, and grew up on a farm in Basilicata (one of the poorest regions) and I don't think he knew much English at all when he got here. My boyfriend's mum in contrast, arrived when she was 5 years old so she has an Aussie accent but speaks Italian fluently. He speaks with a thick accent, and you can tell he's not comfortable speaking in English.
 

MWPP

Magical Eagle
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Posts
12,091
Likes
10,748
Location
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Scorchers, Black Caps
#23
You know all of this and more already por_please_ya but it's your thread so posting anyway :)
-I can speak a couple of Indian languages due to my Indian family background . Unfortunately , I never lived in India or attended language school so I can’t read or write them . I am also not as fluent as native speakers (or even some of my friends , whose parents either couldn’t speak English , pretended they couldn't and then enforced a *no English allowed* rule at home or had the privilege of contact with non-English speaking extended family members) . I also speak them with a non-native accent. I speak them to my parents maybe 50% of the time, and elsewhere eg if I'm out or on the phone if I want a more private conversation :p . I have been known to codeswitch between these languages and English without even realising it. When the topic becomes highbrow or philosophical, I go back to English . I've noticed that my parents do too :p .
-I learnt French until year 12. It was one of my best and favourite subjects. I still make the most of opportunities to use it at work /whilst travelling and every few months, I practice with friends who also learnt it . Despite my best efforts though, I'm still rusty because I don't know any native speakers and haven't been to France or another French-speaking country in many years :( . Again, I tend to use it when I want a more private conversation ;)
-I grew up in New Zealand so I still know basic Maori due to songs/signs/ learning it from an early age at school :) . It's worse than conversational, unlike the aforementioned 3 languages, but I do know greetings/colours/numbers/months/days of the week etc
-I spent 6 months in Qatar (where Arabic was a compulsory subject at school) so I know a fair few Arabic words (helps that many are similar to one of the Indian languages I speak) as well as the Arabic alphabet.
(I also moved around a lot so had brief tastes of Spanish/German/Mandarin /Japanese at different schools, but don't remember more than the greetings and 1-10 in each of those)
 
Last edited:

Doss

Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Posts
70,521
Likes
95,364
AFL Club
Essendon
Admin #24
Knowing one language helps enormously in picking some others. My French base made picking up Spanish numbers very easy, for example; a lot of the bases are very similar (for example dix/diez, vingt/veinte, trente/treinta, quarante/cuarenta, cinqante/cincuenta, soixante/sesenta), but then Spanish also doesn't do the crazy thing that French does with 70, 80 and 90.
 

por_please_ya

Keep Khan and Carry On
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Posts
6,984
Likes
9,002
Location
Hogwarts
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
East Side Hawks, Strikers, NMFC
Thread starter #25
Knowing one language helps enormously in picking some others. My French base made picking up Spanish numbers very easy, for example; a lot of the bases are very similar (for example dix/diez, vingt/viente, trente/treinta, quarante/cuarenta, cinqante/cincuenta, soixante/sesenta), but then Spanish also doesn't do the crazy thing that French does with 70, 80 and 90.
Similar things with Spanish and Italian. Makes sense as they're Romance languages. I also think Romanian and Italian share some similarities too.

Amigo / amico (friend)
Pescado / pesce (fish, noun)
Sol / sole (sun)
 
Top Bottom