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

Views: 71

Replies to This Discussion

I think that your second question is more important than the first, at least in regards to understanding each other on a more personal level. Without language, what would we be? It is widely understood that all societal animals communicate to some degree and I was fortunate to be born among the most conversational of them. I would be very upset if I could not communicate my thoughts and emotions. Understanding languages helps you understand people, indeed it is essential if you truly want to understand a foreign or ancient society.

I currently can only read, write, and speak English. I have studied some Spanish and French in the past. I have also logged many hours watching sub-titled anime, so I have learned some Japanese as a by-product. My wife and I are taking ASL this semester in college. She has a client who is deaf and she needed another course to maintain her full-time status. I am very interested in the psychology of humans who have deficient or absent senses. For instance, when I read, I hear myself or the characters voices, but how do those who have never heard voices interpret the same novel? Similarly, how would a blind person "vision" the same material?

I would like to be fluent in at least five languages before my death. I would enjoy it if Mandarin and Japanese were among them.
Well, Matt, you communicated your thoughts and impressions very well! I also have learned to recognize some Japanese words from watching Japanese films.

For instance, when I read, I hear myself or the characters voices, but how do those who have never heard voices interpret the same novel? Similarly, how would a blind person "vision" the same material?

That is a very intriguing question, and I have often wondered things like that myself. For example, all my thinking is done with words. So how does a baby who does not yet know any language, have thoughts? Do they have any, or do they just absorb impressions? Interesting questions.
Words are useful abstractions, but I don't think they're required for thinking. This is a wild guess, but I believe that the thoughts of infants are mostly triggered by sensations - like bodily needs (e.g. hunger), olfactive signals, sights and sounds, etc. They're also curious and very interested in everything that looks new to them. You don't need words for basic thoughts like "Hey, what's this? Looks funny and interesting."

On the other hand, I don't see how you could reflect on your own thoughts (meta-thinking) without words. Although I believe, albeit without solid evidence, that infants are able to reflect on their past memories.
I just love you guys! :)

This is what social networking is all about! The exchange of ideas and experiences, and having fun and being considerate and thoughtful while doing it.

Go atheists!
Spanish is my first language. I can also write and read English quite well. I am still working on my listening and speaking skills when in English.

Nevertheless, in English or Spanish, I always try to demonstrated appreciation and defense of the correct use of language.
Efrain, thanks for joining us here. Your English is very good. Much better than my Spanish, or Spenglish as we call it here.

But there are a few corrections I'd like to point out.

You wrote: I am still working on my listening and speaking skills when in English.
Correction: I think you meant "...when using English." Or you could have written, "...when I am around English speakers."

You wrote: ...I always try to demonstrated appreciation and defense of the correct use of language.
Correction: Perhaps this would be better written as, ...I always try to demonstrate an appreciation and defense of for the correct use of language.
Would the following also be grammatically and expressively correct? :
I always try to demonstrate an appreciation for, and defense of, proper usage of languages.

I may be wrong, but I think our friend,Efrain, wanted to express his resolve in defending good grammar as well as his appreciation in using it. Your revision is correct, but may not express his sentiments fully.

I find this entertaining and hilarious, but I had a random thought about my wife reading our discussion and revisions. I am constantly pointing out flaws with most subjects she discusses with me. It is not my intention to seem negative or pessimistic, I just prefer to imagine all the possible sides of a given scenario. I can see her eyes rolling as I am revising a revision,lol.
Would the following also be grammatically and expressively correct? :
I always try to demonstrate an appreciation for, and defense of, proper usage of languages.


Sounds perfect to me.

I may be wrong, but I think our friend,Efrain, wanted to express his resolve in defending good grammar as well as his appreciation in using it. Your revision is correct, but may not express his sentiments fully.

Quite possibly. I think I like your revision better than mine.

I can see her eyes rolling as I am revising a revision,lol.

No need for her to do so. Revising my revision is perfectly acceptable. I want all of us to learn. Now that I am thinking about it more, I find that I am more conscientous about what I write, and I question the correctness of my usage at times.
Huh? I don't get it.
You must be quoting a book or movie with which I am not familiar.
Yes.You see? Those things happen to me more frequently when speaking. Thanks.
Touch memory?

I enjoy audio books because they allow me to complete another task simultaneously. Since I read around 850 wpm currently, I can read faster than listen , but I like having both.
Speaking of which, Dallas, you need to accept my yahoo request so I can send you EyeQ!

King James English?

I am currently reading, " Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life in the Amazonian Jungle," a very fitting book considering the purpose of this group. It is very, very, very good and I am only on chapter 3.

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