How many here have a foreign language?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Baruch Menachem, Jan 4, 2010.

?

What did you learn

Poll closed Jan 7, 2010.
  1. I took classes, and I'm proficient

    45.5%
  2. I took classes, it was a waste of time

    18.2%
  3. I took classes, it was helpful but I can't do much with it

    36.4%
  4. i fynd englysh two hard

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. English was good enough for the bible, it is good enough for me.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    I took russian in college. I am miserable at foreign languages, (I also took a term of Hebrew, but cratered) and even now, conversation with a Russian 3 year old is beyond my capacity.

    But I think it was very useful. It was a huge education in the fact that other people really don't think the way we do. The grammar is different in so many ways, and the grammar enforces constructs that are the reverse of english. Russian requires double negatives, passive voice is not only acceptable, but required. In english, Passive voice seems rude. Russian like most languages keeps the thou form, and you use it incorrectly at your peril, while in english it vanished except for poetry in the time of Shakespeare. (I read somewhere that Korean has three second person conjugations, not just two, and you need to be very careful about all three of them)

    So I think Russian was very helpful to me. Even though I can't speak it at all.

    What is your experience?
     
  2. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    You could drop me off in a spanish speaking country and I could find my way home but I am far from conversationally fluent in spanish.
     
  3. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    When I originally enlisted in the Air Force I passed the DLAB (wicked hard test BTW) and was going to be a crypto linguist but then my civilian record caught up to me and I couldn't go into a career field that mandated a TS clearence. I was told in mid-basic training that I could go home if I wanted to because the Air Force guaranteed me a job that they couldn't give me. I decided to stick it out and took the communications job instead. I'm glad I did.
     
  4. JenyEliza
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    JenyEliza Princess of Rhetoric

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    I took 3 years of Spanish in High School. My teacher had spent many years in Spain, so his version of "Spanish" was Castillian (which is different than the Spanish Mexicans speak).

    I am Roman Catholic (and sadly I don't know a lick of Latin--which is the unspoken shame of the Roman Catholic Church, we are losing our language).

    For the last 10 years I have taught Catechism in a mostly Hispanic parish. Catechism (for those who don't know) is kind of like Sunday School for Catholic kids (only it isn't on Sunday usually). The last couple of years I have taught middle school aged kids. :eek:

    They laugh when I try to speak Spanish. They say my Spanish is more like Spanglish and that I sound like a baby when I am talking (my Spanish grammar and syntax is really bad apparently). :lol: :rofl:

    However, the kids *love* that I at least try to speak Spanish.....and they also know that I know enough Spanish to catch them talking about crap they shouldn't be talking about in Spanish in class. ;)
     
  5. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    I suppose Russian is a very interesting language grammarwise but it sounds awful.
     
  6. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    I think it is quite pretty.

    You want to talk about horrible sounding languages,.... Korean sounds like the worst parts of Vogon and Klingon combined. I am watching lots of Korean drama for some reason these days. The stories are great, but the sounds they make....
     
  7. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    Korean sounds like Japanese which I think is a lovely language to listen to.
    I have a German friend who grew up in the former East Germany and had to learn Russian in school. He thinks it's the most beautiful and poetic of all languages.
    To each his own, I guess.

    Mostly though, I think it's the voice speaking the language that makes the most difference.
     
  8. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    Anyone else think we should be teaching our kids a language at a much younger age in school?
     
  9. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    yes.
    si.
    oui.
    ja.
     
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  10. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    2 years of German long long ago in High school, 3 years of Spanish in 2nd- 4th grade, never learned a thing from that. And I tried to learn Japanese while I was there.

    German is kinda close to English in a way. I can still sorta figure out some written German but I can not speak it or understand it spoken to me.

    And I know a couple phrases in Japanese.
     

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