What languages can you speak, write, or read?

I only know English, though I did take a little French in junior high school, and some Spanish in high school. I can make some basic sentences in Spanish, understand some phrases, and can usually understand or guess the meaning of simple billboards or advertisements in Spanish. I consider myself moderately proficient at French pronunciation. For example, I can often pronounce wine names, types, or labels correctly.

Second question: Why do you have an interest in language?

I think I like language for the sound of it. Most of my language skills are in my ears. I know when something sounds right, even if I don’t know why. My biggest challenges with English are remembering certain rules of punctuation, and remembering the names and functions of the parts of speech. I suck at diagramming sentences. However, I know when something sounds confusing or poorly worded.

I love to listen to poems or audiobooks, too, especially if they are well read, and performed by a British person. I also memorize and recite poems all the time, and I think it must be for the pleasure of hearing them inside my own head once again.

I also appreciate language for its emotive qualities. I can read a sonnet by Shakespeare and be moved to tears, and I think how incredible it is that a man can write a short verse, and some 400 years later it can affect me—or anyone for that fact—to the point of tears. That is the magic of language.

Tags: bilingual, language, reading, speech, trilingual, words, writing

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Replies to This Discussion

I believe you can only edit your post within 15 minutes, counting from its first submission. Just click on the text body.
Thanks, but it's too late now. I'll remember that next time. (There should be a comma between "essays" and "novellas" as well)
I read and write Engilsh, just English. I know a little Latin and I'm interested in learning more. When I was younger I could read Braille, but now I've forgotten.

I discovered my interest in language after I started writing for a hobby. In fact you could almost say I'm infatuated with language. There are times I'm even lusty for language. Sadly, it's a clumsy kind of love. I didn't realize I loved language until high school. By then I had already daydreamed my way through all my grammar classes in middle school. Half the time I don't know what I'm doing. I'm trying to get a better grasp on language, I really am, so if you see me making grammar into gibberish, please correct me! It will help me learn. =D
Glad to have you aboard. One of the rules is that we correct one another. This will help all of us improve.
Here's a little snippet about me.

The icon for this group is what first drew me to it.

When sober I speak, listen, write and read English and French. When not so sober I dig into my vague fragmented memories of of German and Russian and translate a few words into English.

English is my mother tongue, but a memorable night for me was the night I had my first dream in french. That was the turning point in my life when I decided that I had become bilingual (at about 18.) I don't live in a french community any longer and my practice has dwindled along with my ability.

Being a military brat I grew up with books written in various languages around me including dictionaries and phrase books. When I was learning how to read I gravitated toward the bookcase and just started learning other languages. At about age six my family stared at me like a deer in headlights. I was asking questions in German. Although they understood German, I hadn't been exposed to it since I was about 2 (other than the handy books on the shelf.)

In university I took several courses in linguistics and felt like I had stepped into the shoes of a long lost relative. Although I didn't pursue this interest with any vigour, I'm thrilled that my daughter has been bitten by the language bug and has been learning both Spanish and French.

Nice to meet you all.
My parents would sometimes mix Slovak and English.
I can only speak english, but I have this weird fantasy of someday being fluent in every language! I don't really know why I'm interested in language, there's just something about it that appeals to me on many different levels.

Same here. I wish I had the time to learn more languages. Part of what is interesting about language is how it reflects a culture's world view--how they talk about and label the things and people around them. And of course, some of them are just beautiful the hear, too.
I speak Finnish as my mother tongue, and English at an almost native level (or so I'd like to think).
I have good skills in Spanish, French and Swedish, and basic knowledge of German.
I also understand a little bit of Russian and can read the Cyrillic alphabet.

I love learning new languages and am still working on getting better at the ones I already know. I cherish the ability to read things in their original languages, be it news or novels, poems or plays. Understanding a worldview that's different from one's own is, in my opinion, a very enriching experience.

I'm currently working on a Master's degree in (computational) linguistics, so I get to work with language(s) all day! It's amazing how many different languages there are, and how diverse they are in form.
I'm trying to learn Finnish at the moment. My wife is Finnish and my daughters are learning it, so I don't want to be left out. I can say, "Heidan aidinkieli on suomi mutta heidan isankieli on englanti." Too lazy to add in the umlauts. Luckily, I also know how to say, "Mina puhun vain vahan suomea." I have a language-learning cd, given to me by my wife's parents, both retired language teachers, but for right now, I only have time for passive learning (i.e. listening to my wife talk to my daughters or her parents on skype). I also studied venaja, but am not allowed to use any around the in-laws (I call them Finn-laws). Hauska tavata!
What languages can you speak, write, or read?
I know I'm coming late to this party, but just wanted to weigh in. A subtle amendment to your question, however: What languages can you speak, write, read, or sign?
Ah, now I can answer properly. :)

English is my native language, though for the majority of my extended family, it's German. I had French lessons starting when I was 4, so for most of my life, I've had some level of proficiency, ranging from conversational to fluent, in these three languages (speaking, reading/writing). Currently, for lack of practice, I would only claim fluency in English. I've lived in Southern CA for 15 years, and learned to read Spanish pretty quickly from billboards, ads and store-signs. (My first phrases were those like, "Llantas Usadas" [used tires], "Credito Facil y Rapido" [fast and easy financing], and "Se rentan una recamara limpia -- disponible ahora!" [clean room for rent -- available now!]) With its linguistic proximity to French, it didn't take me too long to become fairly proficient in Spanish, as well. My native-Spanish speaking friends tell me my accent is distinctly Mexican. Viva Los Angeles!

I studied a year each of Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian in college, and can remember a bit of each, speaking-wise, but nothing terribly useful. (For example, I can say, "I don't really speak Russian," with a near perfect Russian accent.) I've found that it doesn't take much to dig a lot of it back up, when desired, though. Writing, I can remember maybe 75 - 90% of the Cyrillic alphabet, and 5% of the Chinese characters, if I'm lucky, however.

Due to my inadvertent involvement with the Deaf community (professional and social), I am very proficient with American Sign Language (ASL), and can produce the alphabet and a few useful words in British Sign Language (BSL), which is, incidentally, mutually incomprehensible from ASL. I can get by with French Sign Language (LSF), as it is remarkably similar to ASL, and with my knowledge of French spoken language, I can spell out what I don't know. I know a couple of words in Japanese Sign Language and 1 or 2 words in German and Mexican Sign Language. It doesn't take me too long to pick up an alphabet, which allows me to then build a viable vocabulary.

I crash-studied Japanese for 3 months before traveling to Tokyo, where in 2 weeks, I learned more than the 3 months prior. I still retain enough to get by (read: find a bathroom, get directions, deal with time, money, etc.), but I'm rapidly losing the writing ability in the two syllabaries. The kanji, like Chinese, I can recognize maybe 3 or 4 characters.

Once upon a time, I knew the Arabic alphabet (written and spoken), and still retain a few phrases: (thank you, good morning, good afternoon, how are you, etc.) I know a few Hindi phrases and words, a couple of Hebrew, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Korean words/phrases, and even fewer in Eastern dialect Armenian (Hayastanci). I only know 2 or 3 words/phrases in Italian, but I've found I can have a full and rich conversation with someone speaking Italian, while I respond in French or Spanish, as appropriate. I've played around with Urdu, Farsi and Afrikaans, but know nothing of them. I also know a couple of rhymes or chants in other African languages -- but that's as far is it goes. :D

I'd kinda like to get into Latin and Sanskrit, when academic pursuits lighten up enough to allow me outside interests...

Why do you have an interest in language?
It's probably pretty obvious, I'm very obsessed with language and communication. It's my "thing." :)
For various reasons, despite my white-bread visage, I come from a VERY multicultural background -- both intranational and international, so multiculturalism has been a staple in my life, and language is one of the fundamental aspects of cultural identity. I got my first Bachelor's degree in a double-major of Music and English, and my first Master's in Communications. I'm currently working on a Doctorate in a field that allows me to explore psycholinguistics and other cognitive aspects of human communication throughout the course of my research.

I think it's amazing how many different ways there are to be human, and the variety of expressions of that humanity, which accompany the various cultures and populations. I have an insatiable desire to understand absolutely as much as I can from as many perspectives as possible. I even went through a phase of computer scripting, just from my fascination with language strings and successfully translating commands into such a mechanical set of instruction. Apparently, I tried to invent my own language when I was about 10 or 11, because my mother found my handwritten dictionary and language primer in some old books stored in her back room. I vaguely remember this, but really, how much communicating can one do in any language supported by a population of one?
I know I'm coming late to this party

There isn't such a thing as coming late to a 'Member Survey' or 'Introductions' discussion.
English, French, a bit of German, a smidgen of Russian. Does Latin count?


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