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: 66

Replies to This Discussion

Question 1:

English is my native tongue, and I speak, read, and write it fluently...

I speak proficient Spanish....not fluent, but enough to hold basic conversations (I took it in high school, but went through Spanish I-IV in two years--I used the Rosetta Stone program to fill in the gaps)....and my pronunciation (if I do say so myself ^_^) is very good. It can be irritating sometimes, because I know enough to start thinking in Spanish, but not enough to do all my thinking, so I'll get stuck, and have to switch back to English (which is annoying, because I like Spanish better).

I can read Latin (with a dictionary :P), and I can read just a tiny bit of Italian (mostly because it's so close to Spanish, I can make out the similar words). French, I only know a few words of, and I never got the hang of its pronunciation.


Question 2:

Why do I love languages? Wow....let me think for a minute...

I love languages because I love words, and a language is just another collection of words that you can use to further define your expressions. That's the thing that I love about words and languages, is no two words mean the same thing. The word 'pretty' and the word 'bonita' don't mean exactly the same thing, just like 'esperar' doesn't just mean 'to hope.' It conveys a slightly different meaning, that of anticipation, of waiting and hoping for something. Of course, it can be used as 'I'm waiting for you,' but there's still more to it than just that.

And languages themselves have different feels, different auras about them. English, I find, is more direct and to the point, maybe even a little aggressive, whereas Spanish is more roundabout, and not as to the point. Italian feels like a song, as if the language was designed to be sung. French, Spanish, and Italian are all well-deserving of the title Romance Languages, for they move naturally towards romantic expressions. I mean, just listen to the many ways to say 'I love you'....te quiero, je t'aime, ti amo, ti voglio bene, te amo.....the list goes on and on, each expression carrying the slightest difference in meaning.

I can't even begin to express all the reasons I love words, though....there's so many! A large part of it is simply how they allow us to communicate in such detail our exact feelings. That's something I never understood about the people I went to school with....they'd just use words like 'fine,' 'okay,' 'whatever,' and 'meh' instead of words like 'fatigued,' 'pensive,' 'thoughtful,' 'forlorn,' 'ecstatic'--the list goes on and on! There's so many words out there, why not use them!

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