Suscipe Domine Traditional Catholic Forum

The Parish Hall => The Alps => Topic started by: Matamoros on May 30, 2017, 02:44:13 PM

Title: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Matamoros on May 30, 2017, 02:44:13 PM
I was pleasantly surprised to find this subforum devoted to languages! There must be a lot of language enthusiasts here at Suscipe Domine. So, what languages do you speak and/or read, what languages are you studying, and what would you like to learn in the future? I'll share my own experiences, but it might take me a while to get around to posting it all.  :)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Matamoros on May 30, 2017, 02:52:39 PM
To begin with, I'm a native speaker of English and a heritage speaker of Spanish. That means that I grew up in a community where Spanish was spoken, but I didn't study it formally. The result is that I sometimes sound very fluent and at other times make horrible mistakes.  :)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: MilesChristi on May 30, 2017, 03:36:01 PM
It's been a while since I've done any work in my languages. Probably will try to go back to Latin first.

I am right now fluent in English and Spanish, can conversate (or did conversate) in French and Italian, and can read Latin every once in a while.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Jayne on May 30, 2017, 03:48:11 PM
I read French fairly well, but my spoken accent is not good.  This is typical for anglophone Canadians who studied French in high school and university.

I can manage a very simple level of Lithuanian, my husband's native language, but I do not use it much. I need to brush up, since I have a 2 year old grandson in Lithuania and that is the language for communicating with him.

I did Hebrew and Greek courses as part of my theology degree, but have forgotten most of it now.  My Latin is much better since I use it in Mass and for prayers.  I can read Latin far better than I can compose or speak in it.

I am currently studying Korean because I like Korean TV shows.

I majored in Linguistics as an undergrad and am interested in phonology, morphology, and syntax of languages even when I do not speak them. For example, I know that Turkish has the feature of vowel harmony, although I do not know any Turkish. I also like learning about historical development of languages.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Matamoros on May 30, 2017, 04:03:51 PM
I was fortunate to go to schools that taught foreign languages early and offered a lot of languages to choose from. I took as many as I could - French, German, Russian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.

In college I studied Italian and Portuguese. I attempted Japanese but became frustrated by the complexity of the writing system. On the other hand, I began Arabic, and found the writing system far easier than the rest of the class did, and so I became bored when we spent the entire semester on it. I decided not to continue, which I now regret.

I studied linguistics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and in the course of doing that, I learned some Hindi, Urdu, and Persian, but the classes went by so quickly, I'm left with only a general impression of how the languages are structured. I'd like to go back and learn them communicatively.

Along the way I've also had some exposure to Chinese, the Scandinavian languages, and quite a few others that I don't really know but can throw out some random phrases in on occasion.  :)

I'm now preparing to enter a graduate program in global studies in preparation for a career in diplomacy, so I'm trying to decide which languages to focus on for the next few years.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Michael Wilson on May 30, 2017, 06:03:11 PM
I grew up in a bi-lingual environment; my schooling  and the family maids were in Spanish, as we lived in El Salvador. When I was a child my parents insisted that we speak English at home (it was tough); then we moved to the U.S. We mostly spoke English but used Spanish a lot at school and outside as we lived in Miami for 25 years (again: English/Spanish); We moved to Spain when I was an adult and lived there for 14 years; mostly Spanish all the time, except at home where we spoke English. I also taught myself to read French (pretty good); I don't speak it very well. I was also learning to read Italian when we moved back to the U.S. I regret not having any time to keep up with it, as I think it is one of the most beautiful languages there is. I also studied Latin before entering the Seminary; I got to be pretty good at reading it, but stopped after leaving the seminary.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Heinrich on May 30, 2017, 06:51:08 PM
I have a fairly good command of German, and as was indirectly pointed out by a wise and perfectly unscathed poster here, I have a very low self esteem and therefore I will break the forum rules by addressing other German speakers outside of the Alps sub forum.

I can get around Spanish speaking areas(I live in the SW) fairly well if I had to. I am mulling over the idea of getting my master's in German with a focus on Idealism, which would include an emphasis on the German labor movement of the 19th Century and economic morality. Note to Louis IX and James03, be prepared to be cited. Although not in the passive voice. If not Idealism, then a study in the various dialects, entailing a linguistic focus in lieu of a philosophical one.

If we move to northern New England, Mrs. Heinrich and I are very much interested in taking French classes. This is the language of her maternal grandparents, but was never really used when she was growing up in New Hampshire.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Matamoros on May 30, 2017, 07:56:42 PM
I really am in good company here!

At the graduate level I focused on historical linguistics and philology. I was particularly interested in how the modern Romance languages developed from Latin and how we see those changes attested in written texts from the Middle Ages.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Michael Wilson on May 30, 2017, 09:02:24 PM
By the way, I don't want to give people the wrong impression, that I was in the seminary for a long time and did a lot of deep studies, essentially I was there for about 24 hours and left!  :laugh:
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Jayne on May 31, 2017, 09:56:44 AM
I really am in good company here!

At the graduate level I focused on historical linguistics and philology. I was particularly interested in how the modern Romance languages developed from Latin and how we see those changes attested in written texts from the Middle Ages.

I did a medieval Latin course once and really enjoyed seeing the changes from classical. In most cases, one could see how they were leading to Romance languages.  This sort of thing is one of my favourite aspects of linguistics.

Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Graham on June 06, 2017, 11:43:05 AM
... fluent in English ... can conversate ...

lol
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: LuxVera on July 02, 2017, 10:10:06 PM
I am fluent in English and have studied Koine Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and French at an elementary level.

I really want to get back into Latin and French, but I'm finding it very difficult to have any set schedule or time learning a language. Right now I'm giving French a go-despite the fact I don't like French culture all that much (especially post-French Revolution); I'd much prefer to learn Occitan, but there are no real English-languages resources for learning Occitan. So I decided to try French again, since I studied it for 2 years in high school.

I'm reviewing my elementary French with the "Teach Yourself: Complete French (Beginner to Intermediate Course)" workbook and CDs. I was blessed enough to find a bilingual English-French Bible at the religious goods store (because I accidentally sold mine a year ago) for cheap (instead of the ridiculous $50+ out-of-print price online), though sadly it doesn't contain the deuterocanonical books. I try to read short sections of the Bible in French daily, regardless of how wrong my pronunciation is.

If anyone knows of any good online/interactive French-learning resources feel free to recommend them to me.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Heinrich on July 03, 2017, 12:16:20 AM
Google: Yabla
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: aquinas138 on July 03, 2017, 10:00:15 AM
English speaker, have done graduate work in Syriac, Coptic, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic (though the last two are a bit rusty), comfortable reading in Latin (undergraduate degree), reasonable reading knowledge in German and French (all those grad school articles!). I took a semester of classical Armenian in grad school, but don't remember much beyond the alphabet and the beginning of the Our Father. As a side project when taking a break from my dissertation, I am trying to learn a bit of Church Slavonic and Russian.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Daniel on July 20, 2017, 07:55:19 PM
I am a native English speaker, and I know a small amount of Latin and Spanish, and an even smaller amount of Japanese, and pretty much know no ancient Egyptian apart from the very basics.

I do know a few programming languages though. I really like this one language called Shakespeare Programming Language (http://shakespearelang.sourceforge.net/report/shakespeare/) (SPL). Very interesting language...
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: misericonfit on August 01, 2017, 07:16:43 AM
I was pleasantly surprised to find this subforum devoted to languages! There must be a lot of language enthusiasts here at Suscipe Domine. So, what languages do you speak and/or read, what languages are you studying, and what would you like to learn in the future? I'll share my own experiences, but it might take me a while to get around to posting it all.  :)
My first language is British English.
I cannot speak any other fluently.
I have some knowledge of Akkadian AKA Babylonian-Assyrian. The single biggest difficulty is the (fiendishly complicated) verb system - it makes Latin verbs look childishly easy.
Would like to learn Ancient Egyptian, and Quranic Arabic. Probably never will. Biblical Hebrew ditto.
Old English is a more realistic prospect. If I could find some Old Gothic, I would give it a look.
Find Scots Gaelic fascinating
Reading Harry Potter has helped my French. The frequency with which "baguettes" are used by the pupils of "Poudlard" is apt to be confusing.
What little Italian I have is mostly derived from Dante's Commedia - so, not exactly up to date.
I think my favourite language is Greek - mostly NT - or Latin.
I have recently taken up reading Vergil in Latin - there are some very good videos on the Aeneid in Latin on YTube; to appreciate Vergil's skill as a poet, one must read him in Latin; too much evaporates when he is translated.
A friend from Brazil gave me a book on the Rosary, in Portuguese. It is simple enough for me to understood most of it.
A language I would like very much to know is German. Not to speak, so much as to read. A lot of the  things I'm interested in are partly a closed book without at least a working knowledge of German.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Regina Caeli on September 11, 2017, 11:53:52 AM
I've studied ten languages. I speak French and Spanish fluently, and I can read Latin at an advanced level. I've also had some German, Greek, and Hebrew, but I didn't make it very far. Maybe someday I'll get back to them. I'm still learning Italian, Portuguese, and Norwegian, and I just started Swedish. I might have to put Swedish on hold until my Norwegian is stronger (or I might have to put Norwegian on hold...) because they are very similar and, though it hasn't happened yet, I could easily see myself confusing them. I haven't decided yet whether to give Danish a try. That might be next.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Lynne on September 11, 2017, 11:57:25 AM
I've studied ten languages. I speak French and Spanish fluently, and I can read Latin at an advanced level. I've also had some German, Greek, and Hebrew, but I didn't make it very far. Maybe someday I'll get back to them. I'm still learning Italian, Portuguese, and Norwegian, and I just started Swedish. I might have to put Swedish on hold until my Norwegian is stronger (or I might have to put Norwegian on hold...) because they are very similar and, though it hasn't happened yet, I could easily see myself confusing them. I haven't decided yet whether to give Danish a try. That might be next.

Ooo, a polyglot! I'd love to learn Italian...
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Kephapaulos on September 11, 2017, 06:07:44 PM
I know Spanish. Yo tenia que hablar espaŮol en mi trabajo especialmente. I learned it in school mostly, but I still remembered how to count to ten and make the Sign of the Cross in Spanish from when I was very young.

I know some Italian as well. I especially used it when I had traveled to Italy several years ago. I also can understand and know a lot of Latin more or less from learning it on my own as well from assisting at Mass and praying the Divine Office. I would like to continue reading Scanlon and Scanlon's Latin Grammar to get a better more sort of formal training in it.

Spanish and Italian are important to me because of my Mexican and Italian heritage.

I also know or can understand some French, German, and Portuguese. I would like to learn those more as well as Dutch.

I did learn some Chinese in my university and learned some Japanese. I don't know much though but would like to learn more as well. I used to have the Korean alphabet memorized as well as the Hebrew and Greek alphabets.

Here is famous hyperpolyglot cardinal from days of old: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Caspar_Mezzofanti.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Kephapaulos on September 12, 2017, 01:40:01 AM
I've studied ten languages. I speak French and Spanish fluently, and I can read Latin at an advanced level. I've also had some German, Greek, and Hebrew, but I didn't make it very far. Maybe someday I'll get back to them. I'm still learning Italian, Portuguese, and Norwegian, and I just started Swedish. I might have to put Swedish on hold until my Norwegian is stronger (or I might have to put Norwegian on hold...) because they are very similar and, though it hasn't happened yet, I could easily see myself confusing them. I haven't decided yet whether to give Danish a try. That might be next.

°Quť bueno! Had you also thought of learning Icelandic to cover all of Scandinavia?

Quelles livres sont les meilleur pour apprendre franÁais? Pardonnez-moi, my French is not the best. :P
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Regina Caeli on September 12, 2017, 01:51:59 AM
°Quť bueno! Had you also thought of learning Icelandic to cover all of Scandinavia?

I would love to know Icelandic, if only to be able to read the Norse sagas. But it is spoken by so few people, and it has a complex grammar. I don't really see myself doing that.  :D

Quote
Quelles livres sont les meilleur pour apprendre franÁais? Pardonnez-moi, my French is not the best. :P

Dťsolťe, j'en sais rien. Je l'ai appris comme enfant.  :)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Kephapaulos on September 12, 2017, 02:03:03 AM
C'est bien.

Do you know Spanish from youth as well?
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Regina Caeli on September 12, 2017, 02:12:22 AM
C'est bien.

Do you know Spanish from youth as well?

AsŪ es.  :)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: ServusMariae on October 07, 2017, 12:04:21 AM
Hi everyone, I know it's pretty late for me to jump in the bandwagon, but I just saw this thread & so wanna jump in right now. Pardon me! ^-^"

The main language that I use & speak on a daliy basis is obviously English, though I have Mandarin for my mother tongue (aka the 2nd language that I had to learn in school since my kiddy days, aka I-suck-at-it.) For me, it's easy to comprehend Mandarin when I listens to others, but it's crazily difficult to utilize in terms of writing & speaking. I do know the very basics ones, but if I have speak or write anything more complicated, I tediously struggle. haha.

Anyways, I also have a grasp on ecclesiastical Latin (thanks to the traditional Latin Mass) & elementary Japanese (thanks to my love for Japanese culture, albeit has little to no practical usage here in Singapore expect if I were to land a job in a Japanese restaurant/bakery or head to natsu-matsuri). Pax vobis & こんにちは to all!! ^_^
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Regina Caeli on October 24, 2017, 12:22:57 PM
Hi everyone, I know it's pretty late for me to jump in the bandwagon, but I just saw this thread & so wanna jump in right now. Pardon me! ^-^"

The main language that I use & speak on a daliy basis is obviously English, though I have Mandarin for my mother tongue (aka the 2nd language that I had to learn in school since my kiddy days, aka I-suck-at-it.) For me, it's easy to comprehend Mandarin when I listens to others, but it's crazily difficult to utilize in terms of writing & speaking. I do know the very basics ones, but if I have speak or write anything more complicated, I tediously struggle. haha.

Anyways, I also have a grasp on ecclesiastical Latin (thanks to the traditional Latin Mass) & elementary Japanese (thanks to my love for Japanese culture, albeit has little to no practical usage here in Singapore expect if I were to land a job in a Japanese restaurant/bakery or head to natsu-matsuri). Pax vobis & こんにちは to all!! ^_^

I would love to learn Mandarin. I hear itís very difficult.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Kephapaulos on October 24, 2017, 12:38:32 PM
Hi everyone, I know it's pretty late for me to jump in the bandwagon, but I just saw this thread & so wanna jump in right now. Pardon me! ^-^"

The main language that I use & speak on a daliy basis is obviously English, though I have Mandarin for my mother tongue (aka the 2nd language that I had to learn in school since my kiddy days, aka I-suck-at-it.) For me, it's easy to comprehend Mandarin when I listens to others, but it's crazily difficult to utilize in terms of writing & speaking. I do know the very basics ones, but if I have speak or write anything more complicated, I tediously struggle. haha.

Anyways, I also have a grasp on ecclesiastical Latin (thanks to the traditional Latin Mass) & elementary Japanese (thanks to my love for Japanese culture, albeit has little to no practical usage here in Singapore expect if I were to land a job in a Japanese restaurant/bakery or head to natsu-matsuri). Pax vobis & こんにちは to all!! ^_^

I would love to learn Mandarin. I hear itís very difficult.

I had learned it myself in college, and it's not as hard after learning the pronunciations, characters, and tones. At least for me as far as what learned anyway. I forgot most of it though since I wasn't being the best student of it at the time.

The language has four tones that denote differences between words aside from pronunciation. That's why there are those familiar up and down sounds we hear when it is spoken. It's also not as hard as Cantonese I would guess since that has seven tones, if I'm not mistaken. Mandarin and Cantonese are only among several dialects or variations of Chinese.

The characters are pretty interesting and neat to learn. I prefer the traditional characters myself, but the simplified versions came around with the advent of communism in China sadly. I tried to write the story of salvation in traditional Chinese characters several years ago. I only wrote so much though.

I would like to learn Japanese too. Aside from the borrowed Chinese characters, it has the hiragana and katakana Japanese phonetic characters.

I remember also learning the Korean alphabet, but I didn't really know much if any Korean.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Regina Caeli on October 24, 2017, 12:53:09 PM
One of my best friends is Chinese, so I know some basic phrases. I love the sound of the language, especially the tones. The grammar seems very simple, but the writing system is daunting. I find the characters fascinating, but I canít imagine being able to remember thousands of them.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: ServusMariae on October 24, 2017, 01:19:09 PM
One of my best friends is Chinese, so I know some basic phrases. I love the sound of the language, especially the tones. The grammar seems very simple, but the writing system is daunting. I find the characters fascinating, but I canít imagine being able to remember thousands of them.

I feel you Regina ... the vast treasury of the different characters was one of the many reasons why I have failed Mandarin over & over during my primary & secondary school days lol .. I was so bad, that I had to be put in a special class during Mandarin lessons, haha.

I would love to learn Mandarin. I hear itís very difficult.

it's not as difficult as Japanese, to be honest. I mean, conversational Japanese that you find in phrasebooks are easy to pick up as cheesecake, but when it comes to mastering katakana & hiragana ... (*faints*)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: ServusMariae on October 24, 2017, 01:20:30 PM
One of my best friends is Chinese, so I know some basic phrases. I love the sound of the language, especially the tones. The grammar seems very simple, but the writing system is daunting. I find the characters fascinating, but I canít imagine being able to remember thousands of them.

I feel you Regina ... the vast treasury of the different characters was one of the many reasons why I have failed Mandarin over & over during my primary & secondary school days lol .. I was so bad, that I had to be put in a special class during Mandarin lessons, haha.

(P.S: I'm Chinese too. :) )

I would love to learn Mandarin. I hear itís very difficult.

it's not as difficult as Japanese, to be honest. I mean, conversational Japanese that you find in phrasebooks are easy to pick up as cheesecake, but when it comes to mastering katakana & hiragana ... (*faints*)
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: ServusMariae on October 24, 2017, 01:21:18 PM
ok I double-posted ... yikes.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: ServusMariae on October 24, 2017, 01:24:00 PM
The language has four tones that denote differences between words aside from pronunciation. That's why there are those familiar up and down sounds we hear when it is spoken. It's also not as hard as Cantonese I would guess since that has seven tones, if I'm not mistaken. Mandarin and Cantonese are only among several dialects or variations of Chinese.

The characters are pretty interesting and neat to learn. I prefer the traditional characters myself, but the simplified versions came around with the advent of communism in China sadly. I tried to write the story of salvation in traditional Chinese characters several years ago. I only wrote so much though.

^Kepha is 100% right on the Chinese language in general.

(P.S: I'm Chinese too. :) )
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on October 30, 2017, 03:29:17 PM
Iíve been thinking about studying Chinese. When I was younger I could speak it at a very basic level, but I could never be bothered to learn to read or write. But now I find myself interested in the calligraphy. It seems to have a very meditative quality. If only I could get over my impatience to progress quickly, I think I might enjoy it.

Servus, do you think thereís room for me in that ďspecialĒ class you were in?  :D
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on November 15, 2017, 12:01:44 PM
My Chinese books were completely destroyed in shipping. Iím taking it as a sign.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on September 02, 2019, 07:00:25 PM
I spent some time recently studying Arabic. It was an interesting experience, but I donít think Iíll pursue it further.

Iím looking forward to the Scottish Gaelic course that is in development on Duolingo.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on September 09, 2019, 04:27:21 PM
I started studying Hindi just because I really like the way the Devanagari script looks. Itís challenging though. There are a lot of subtle sounds that we donít have in English. And itís hard to learn the symbol for a sound, when you canít quite identify the sound itself or distinguish it from others that are similar! Iíll sort it out eventually, Deo volente.
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Daniel on September 09, 2019, 09:30:08 PM
I started studying Hindi just because I really like the way the Devanagari script looks. Itís challenging though. There are a lot of subtle sounds that we donít have in English. And itís hard to learn the symbol for a sound, when you canít quite identify the sound itself or distinguish it from others that are similar! Iíll sort it out eventually, Deo volente.
Why not learn Sanskrit instead? That's what I'd choose if I wanted to use the Devanagari script for something...


Anyway, I am back to learning Japanese. Because I am in need of a language in order to graduate next semester... and Latin won't do, due to schedule conflicts. Plus, Japanese is probably something I'd get more benefit out of. (Latin seems relatively easy to pick up through self-study, if I ever need to learn it more than I already do. But Japanese is so different from what I'm accustomed to that I wouldn't even know where to start... and I'm probably going to need to learn it for my job in the near future...)

I'd tried (Mandarin) Chinese in the past but never made any progress. The tones were just too difficult for me, and I never made it to the grammar. I don't mind the writing system though. I'm currently having a fun time learning the thousands of Chinese characters (but for Japanese).
Title: Re: Adventures in Language Learning
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on September 09, 2019, 09:53:51 PM
I started studying Hindi just because I really like the way the Devanagari script looks. Itís challenging though. There are a lot of subtle sounds that we donít have in English. And itís hard to learn the symbol for a sound, when you canít quite identify the sound itself or distinguish it from others that are similar! Iíll sort it out eventually, Deo volente.

Why not learn Sanskrit instead? That's what I'd choose if I wanted to use the Devanagari script for something...

You are the second person who has said that to me!  :lol: