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Language poll

What languages other than English do you know, or want to learn, and why? I don't expect answers as long as what I type below.

For me, I used to know enough Latin to barely pass the Catullus/Horace Advanced Placement Exam, plus a big of Greek, but have forgotten nearly all. This was due to my parents, especially my mother, trying to replicate their own classics training and interests. She never did really teach me how to read and pronounce French words, which might have been more useful.

I've been desultorily self-studying Spanish and Japanese for embarrassingly long. Spanish, starting back in California, as I figured it was an obvious second language in the US, especially with Spanish radio stations. Now, the facts that I have friends in Chile, and Latin American seems to be up-and-coming in social democracy and economic growth, help too. Japanese, because of all that anime, though less because I specifically wanted to understand the anime, and more because I thought "you have to listen to a language a lot to really learn it, and my enthusiasm for foreign (or any) movies is generally low, but I'm voluntarily watching 6 hours of subbed anime a week..." Also, trying a non-Indo-European language was appealing. F*ck grammatical gender.

If I wanted more, Chinese, French, and German would probably be the next tier, in no particular order. Population and economic strength, utility for possible Canadian or French immigration, Germany's economic strength, plus the strong cultural weights of all three. Absent any actual migratory need, Chinese and French would probably make the most sense, leveraging my kanji and Latin/Spanish knowledge.

Sign language has a bit of interest, for being weird in making use of space.

Not a language, but I've taught myself Morse code, largely so I might have a post-stroke communication channel.



Feb. 8th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
The wacky thing about anime is the skewed vocabulary I did pick up just from watching. Anna and Amy seemed to do a lot better, maybe with some actual study. Most of my pickup was greetings, and words common in opening songs where fansubbers tend to give both romanized transliteration and translation. So some early words were "yume", dream, "sora", sky, "aoi", blue, "mirai", future, "hoshi", star. Amy and I bonded early over OP drinking game ideas, "take a shot every time you hear yume".

Higurashi taught me "yubi", finger. Frigging Higurashi.

They speak lots of languages in India, not all of them Indo-European (cf. Dravidian). But Standard Hindi is the main official language (English has secondary official status.) But I dabbled in Italian for a similar motivation, wanting to eavesdrop on Hofstadter and his kids, especially with them calling him during class.

Edited at 2011-02-08 07:12 pm (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
I mused to my friend who likes Rosetta Stone about using it so that I could watch anime without subtitles. He said it probably wouldn't work that well (because of slang and accents and dialects?). *sigh*
Feb. 8th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
No idea. I just assume that as I learn more grammar and vocabulary it'll start to make sense. And my god, subtitles! Free annotated immersion! You can listen over and over until you've picked out how what they said maps to the subtitle. (Sometimes there's slack, but still.) And the fansubbed songs usually help you identify the Japanese words.


Damien Sullivan

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