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 prefer to read as it helps my retention rate. I have a more difficult time trying to retain information from an audio source. I down load transcripts of documentary programs, so I can better understand what I hear, or watch with subtitles on if they have them.

These days however despite that I actually use audio books and regular ones simultaneously. I have discovered that if I listen with just one ear, I retain the information at a much better rate. Frankly I like the audio books because they are much easier to carry around, then a book or two everywhere I go. I now will read at home to chapter ends and swap off to the audio book version when I am out at work, out on the weekend, or working around the house.

Edit (spelling, structure)
Jaybarti, I like fiction and poetry on audiobook as I can remember it better. Non-fiction is harder to soak-in when it is on audiobook.

As far as editing your response:

I am tempted to put a comma here: I prefer to read, as it helps my retention rate. Otherwise the flow (without a comma) is more appropriate for a sentence like this: I prefer to read while in bed or on the couch. See the difference?

You wrote: I down load...
Correction: Isn't download a single word now? I believe it is.

You wrote: I down load transcripts of documentary programs, so I can better understand what I hear...
Suggestion: I don't think you need the first comma. Should read: I down load transcripts of documentary programs so I can better understand what I hear..., because "so I can better" is a simple continuation of "documentary programs." There is no need for a pause there.

You wrote: ...or watch with subtitles on if they have them.
Clarification: We're talking about audiobooks, but now you are switching to TV. We all know exactly what you mean. It's not confusing. However, I think that the rules of clarity (if there are any) would indicate that you should add the word TV in there. Ex: ...or watch with subtitles on the TV if they have them.

You wrote: These days however despite that I actually use audio books and regular ones simultaneously.
Correction: Read that out loud to yourself. These - days - however - despite - that... That sounds confusing. Perhaps it would be better as: However, despite the fact that I use both audiobooks and regular ones, I have discovered that if I listen with just one ear, I actually retain the information at a much better rate. What do you think of that sentence?

You wrote: Frankly I like the audio books because they are much easier to carry around, then a book or two everywhere I go.
Suggestion: Frankly, I like the audiobooks because they are much easier to carry around with me than a couple of books [are].

You wrote: I now will read at home to chapter ends and swap off to...
Suggestion: Now, I will read at home all the way to a chapter's end, and swap off to the...
Alt sugg: Now, I read at home to where a chapter ends, and then swap off to...
Yeah, I really struggled with that entry, I even hesitated when it came to posting. I knew that a lot of the grammar was rough and not exactly correct.

Thank you as always Dallas, this is why I am here.

The second to last one about the audio books was pretty close to my first draft, I changed it and I am now wondering why.
Don't thank me. That's why I'm here, too. I wish I was as smart as Don.

You wrote: The second to last one about the audio books was pretty close to my first draft, I changed it and I am now wondering why.
Suggestion: The second to the last one about the audiobooks was pretty close to my first draft, but I changed it and now I am wondering why.

I'm fairly certain that you should not separate the words am wondering with another word, like now. I don't think I can recall the name of the rule, but I believe it is not correct.
I could read up to 1,200 wpm in my 20's and 30's when I was fully concentrated, and I could "diagonally read" newspaper articles (printed in narrow columns) at least twice as fast while retaining a good enough comprehension of them.

I can't do that anymore. When I try speed reading today, I am so often distracted by my own mental digressions, that I often 'wake up' to realize my eyes continued to scan the text while my thoughts were wandering in another direction.

Paused to check. Around 660 wpm. Not as bad as I feared.
Jaume said: ...when I was fully concentrated...
Correction: You mean: ...when I was fully concentrating...

But to me, fully seems to be a poor word choice, though not an incorrect one by any means. I might be inclinded to say "completely concentrating" instead.
Back in the bad old publishing paste-up days (it wasn't that long ago for some places) you had to learn to read backwards and upside down. I thankfully didn't have to do it for very long, I was hired to setup the computers at my first job in publishing. I was asked to help out during deadline, it was a lot of paste-up, it used to twist my brain a bit though. I got used to reading that way after a few hours, swapping back was an effort.
What languages can you speak, write, or read?

I can speak only English; Australian English is my particular dialect. I can also read and write English.

I can read, with only a little diffuculty, languages using the Cyrillic alphabet, but have no idea what the words mean.

I studied Italian in high school for two years, but have forgotten pretty much all I did learn.

Why do you have an interest in language?

I don't know, not ever really having thought about the why of it all: I just love language. Idly flipping through a dictionary, going where-ever the words take me, has been an interest of mine since my teens. And no dictionary is worth its salt unless it has etymologies included in the definitions.

I like learning about the history of the English language. Indeed, I would like to be able to read Beowulf in the original Old English (Englisc), and understand it.

There are a few languages I would like to learn, just for the pleasure of learning them: Englisc; Gaeilge; Cymraeg; French; Russian; and a passing interest in Latin.
Can you tell us more about the Cyrillic alphabet, and about Cymraeg? I don't know anything about them.
Cymraeg is Welsh for the Welsh language. The Cyrillic alphabet is the one the Russian use.
What languages can you speak, write, or read?

Languages that I'm fluent in: Darija (mother tongue), French (first tongue), English (started at 15), and Arabic.

I can write moderately well in German, read German novels (like "Die Verwandlung" by Franz Kafka) with the help of a dictionary, but I still have some difficulty with speech because I have no one to practice with.

I can read a manga with a dictionary, and have been part of a manga translating team for sometime (Japanese --> English), but I'm not that strong in writing, and my speaking abilities are so lame.

I've studied Dutch for 3 months, and can understand anything written provided I have a dictionary, but while I can compose more or less simple and coherent sentences, I cannot write a full paragraph or a text yet. It's the only language that I speak with an non native accent (a French accent), not that I can say much in fact.

I've studied Spanish for a year, very long ago, and can understand it spoken or written somewhat, but in no way can I count it as a language that I speak.

If you were wondering about the distinction I made between a mother tongue and a first tongue, well, even though Darija is supposed to be the language I grew up with, I mostly use French to think, to write my short essays novellas and such, etc... French is also the language that I love the most and which I instinctively turn to for counting.

Darija, which is the daily spoken dialect/language of the majority of the population in Morocco, is a hybrid of French, Berber, Arabic and Spanish, the percentages of each depending on geographical location, education, social cast, family background, etc... although I guess everyone can speak a standard form of Darija that anybody can understand, but the variations of topics you can discuss with it would be limited. In many references you will find that Darija (also called Moroccan dialect or Moroccan Arabic) is viewed as a mere variation of Arabic spoken with a Berber accent. That's a very old classification in my own estimation, and would only be approximately true for the Moroccan dialects that existed before the French and Spanish colonizations. They has rapidly evolved ever since, incorporating new vocabulary from the languages noted above, and creating new expressions. Two linguistics professors I've met considered it as a "baby language", a language in the stage of formation, with a distinct phonetic print, grammar, but having a limited proper lexicon so far, quickly expanding nonetheless.



Why do you have an interest in language?


My interest in languages is part of my general interest in formal systems, and the logic inherent to their construction. I like to make comparisons between languages in all aspects, and, even though I'm not all that knowledgeable about linguistics, I intend to do a major in general linguistics or French literature once I get the opportunity. There are still many languages on my list to study, which I hope to start once I come to a satisfying level in the above cited ones. They are, in the order of priority, so far: Russian, Chinese Mandarin, Latin, Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, and Occitan.
But I'm also interested in world literature, and I would like to be able to read original works by great writers from all over the world.
How do you edit a post by the way? I can't see any Edit button anywhere. I just wanted to correct that mistake in my above post: "They have" instead of "They has".

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