Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Is English 'NOT' your first language?

2

Posts

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    english seems like it would be hard to learn just because every verb conjugation is irregular.

    australian though, that can be tough!

    75trafim7bi2.png
  • mantidormantidor Registered User
    edited May 2007
    My first language is spanish. Here everyone studies english since primary school, but is very basic. I was lucky my school had good english classes, I didn't had to take any additional studies after I graduate like most other people have to.

    Grammar is easy and simple, the only somewhat difficult thing for me is pronunciation, the "th" different sounds are hard, as the "sh"/"ch" difference, since "sh" isn't used in spanish, but I guess you could understand me well, and with most TV and movies in english anyone has an easy access to practice material. It surprises me though that english speakers don't get the spanish pronunciation easily, I think is pretty simple and straightforward, every letter has the same pronunciation always no matter where is located in the word, however I can see the grammar difficulty, with the huge amount of crazy conjugations and the ser/estar difference.

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    I was confused by you having trouble with "th", but then I noticed you were from South America and not Spain.

  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited May 2007
    enc0re wrote: »
    Local Deviations
    Some native speakers could be more considerate in their use of slang/region-specific English

    Fat chance. Even we don't understand what some of us are talking about.

    We cha' bare slang, geez.

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    That cockney rhyming slang thing is fun.

  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Echo wrote: »
    It's always fun to tell Americans that they have a thick American accent. :P

    "Whar d'yall keep the ranch dressun'?"

  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Meiz wrote: »
    French is my first language and I still don't know half the rules on grammar and verb conjugation.

    It's overcomplicated and there's a word for everything.

    French has a word for everything; English has twelve words for everything, many of which have the exact same meaning and connotation. English has different words for the same thing, for the sake of having different words. It's kind of stupid. It also has a number of annoying homonyms/homophones/etc.

    I like French because it has come up with rules for everything. You may find the rules excessive, but it's better than not having the rules. An example of the problems such things can generate: where I work, French speaking students can use a program called Antidote that can evaluate sentence structure, word usage, etc, according to French rules of grammar. No such program existed for English until very recently, and the ones that have come out are mostly inadequate, because there are no rules for them to program into the language. In order to make the program effective, they would have to come up with new rules for the language, or discover and transcribe every single unspoken but accepted rule for the language - most of which vary wildly by region.

    That's the thing though, I don't want a program to tell me if I made a boo boo in the fabric of the French language. I want teachers who are supposed to be teaching the fucking language not to say "you should know this" and continue their lesson plan like a bunch of mindless twits. I guess I'll consider it if I ever decide to write a book/thesis/study in French. I didn't for the simple reason that there's a cloud hovering the language around here that's as old as the English occupation and people forgot that it's supposed to be a means of communication first and foremost. "Plus-que-parfait" is a great example of shit we need to get rid of.

    Now the guillotine, there's a practical French invention.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Meiz wrote: »
    Meiz wrote: »
    French is my first language and I still don't know half the rules on grammar and verb conjugation.

    It's overcomplicated and there's a word for everything.

    French has a word for everything; English has twelve words for everything, many of which have the exact same meaning and connotation. English has different words for the same thing, for the sake of having different words. It's kind of stupid. It also has a number of annoying homonyms/homophones/etc.

    I like French because it has come up with rules for everything. You may find the rules excessive, but it's better than not having the rules. An example of the problems such things can generate: where I work, French speaking students can use a program called Antidote that can evaluate sentence structure, word usage, etc, according to French rules of grammar. No such program existed for English until very recently, and the ones that have come out are mostly inadequate, because there are no rules for them to program into the language. In order to make the program effective, they would have to come up with new rules for the language, or discover and transcribe every single unspoken but accepted rule for the language - most of which vary wildly by region.

    That's the thing though, I don't want a program to tell me if I made a boo boo in the fabric of the French language. I want teachers who are supposed to be teaching the fucking language not to say "you should know this" and continue their lesson plan like a bunch of mindless twits. I guess I'll consider it if I ever decide to write a book/thesis/study in French. I didn't for the simple reason that there's a cloud hovering the language around here that's as old as the English occupation and people forgot that it's supposed to be a means of communication first and foremost. "Plus-que-parfait" is a great example of shit we need to get rid of.

    Now the guillotine, there's a practical French invention.

    The thing is that English, and a number of other languages, have an equivalent to the "plus-que-parfait" tense, IIRC, they just call it something different. When I was in grade school we weren't even taught the English tenses, and that's idiotic. I was taught every tense, and the function of every tense, in my French classes. I was taught grammar, and every time I had a question, I could find the answer to it in a book of French grammar. That is fantastic. It is truly fantastic.

    I have extensively researched English grammar for ESL teaching and a great deal of the most basic and essential elements of English have yet to be codified or even standardized. It's a real pain in the ass when I'm trying to teach a Chinese person why some words take definite articles and some don't. It is also much harder to find a good book of English grammar that isn't chock full of errors or colloquial grammar. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a bescherelle or a guide to French grammar though.

    French conjugation isn't any worse than other romance languages; they have simply codified the rules more extensively. French, Spanish and English have almost identical tenses.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well I got a lot more out of my 12th grade French class then I did out of all the others combined. My school was terrible other then a select few teachers that would be able to actually teach.

    I have to say though, one of my favorite books is Cyrano de Bergerak. French literature is delicious.

  • Joe Camacho MKIIJoe Camacho MKII Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Here in México you have 4 main methods of learning english.

    Public Schooling.
    Private Schooling.
    Bilingual Private Schooling.
    English Teaching Schools.

    I studied at a Bilingual Private school, so I will leave that until the end of the descriptions.

    Public Schools have "english programs" that have been integrated to the school programs in the last couple of years, at least 6-8 years ago. Sadly, most of these classes are taught by "massed produced" mexican teachers, so while kids can have a grasp of the english language, they suck in pronounciation (having a mexican speaking english is horrible), reading and vocabulary. They are supposedly getting better, but they get only an hour of class 4-5 days of the week. They only spend time teaching vocabulary, grammar and spelling.

    Private Schools have better english teachers, but they still only have few hours dedicated for english classes. They have the advantage of being able to do student exchanges with American schools, which help a lot in the pronounciation and conversation. They also have english books in their libraries, which help with vocabulary. Still, they don't dedicate as much time as I think it's needed to teach english efficiently. They also base their classes on vocabulary, grammar and spelling.

    English teaching schools are a current "fad" around here, there are the "old school" ones that teach you good english but you need to go for several hours a week, after regular school or the new "LEARN ENGLISH IN SIX MONTHS" ones. Obviously the old school ones are better, but now that most jobs are requiring people to know english, lots of people get into those fast schools, which only teach conversation. As a result, you have a lot of mexicans that say that they know english, but they can't read or write it.

    As for bilingual private school, I spent 8 years in an elementary bilingual school. From the 5 hours I spent at classes in school, 2 1/2 of them of them were spent on english classes. I had Health, Science, Grammar, Reading Vocabulary, Spelling, Language, Reading Comprehension and other classes during those 2 1/2 hours. You were also required to read an english book each week, and hand-in a report about it. We also had americans as english teachers, which gave us a good accent.

    After that, when I got into Junior High and High School, I didn't need to take the english courses, because I studied at Regular Private Schools.

    We also get a lot of english channels and tv shows, so we have a nice way of practicing.

    But seriously, it's easier for a spanish speaking person to learn english, than the other way around. Or at least, that's what my teachers said. I have showed how to conjugate the "amar" verb to english speaking people and they get all scared. It's easy to learn vocabulary and all that, but conjugating verbs is the worst thing in spanish.

    As part of my job, I help my dad with American clients, working as a translator for both. And while the Americans try their best to speak in spanish, they can't conjugate.

    I still have a long way to go though, I'm studying on my own english legal and economic terms, which are useful in my job as a translator. Eventually I would like to go study a course in legal english in the University of Arizona's Law School.

    steam_sig.png I edit my posts a lot.
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited May 2007
    English is my first and only language. Back in 7th grade (13 years old) I had to take a foreign language. I think 90% of the people in my class wanted to take Spanish (me included), so we had to do a lottery to see who got the limited spots. I ended up taking French for three years, and I really don't remember any of it. It didn't seem horrendously difficult, but it was a long time ago now and I didn't put as much effort into it as I should have. I probably have the same problem with German, which I've taken for the last two years at my university.

    I've never had problems with English spelling or pronunciation, so German is a breeze in those regards. It's just that I don't sit down with the vocabulary and get it into my brain. I mean, I've done pretty well, but I can get confused with stuff like plurals (-e, -en, -er, -s!? is there an umlaut!?) or just what the hell the word is for whatever. If I lived in Germany for a year I'm sure I'd be fairly strong in the language, but as it is now, I can't read children's books without running into words I don't know.

    sky.JPG
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I wish foreign language was required to be taught and a lot sooner than it is currently. Here there is no set standard for taking foreign languages in school, so for the first 3 years I went to a school where foreign language wasn't required to graduate but it was suggested. Then my last year I went to a neighboring school district where 2 years of foreign language were required. Had I not taken the french classes I would have been required to take a 5th year of high school.

    I've always been told that learning english is easy, but mastering it is impossible.

    steam_sig.png
  • TheBogTheBog Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I grew up in Ukraine and lived there for 10 years before moving to the US. Most Ukranians know how to speak Ukranian and Russian fluently, since there are many Russians there and the languages are so similar. So I know both (starting to become a lot less fluent in Russian due to about 10 years of no exposure lol)

    Before coming to the US mom encouraged us to pick up a Russian to English dictionary and learn words. I don't think that got me very far, but who knows. Maybe it helped. I remembered the word "between" because it looked a lot like "batman" to me. When we moved there we stayed with our aunt. I started going to elementary school (3rd grade, even though I was suppose to be in 4th or 5th or something. It's this thing in Ukranian school systems where you skip the 4th grade unless you're a retard. I guess the US school system didn't approve because they stuck me back in 3rd grade. I am smart, though. Going into Pharmacy school. Haha.) Anyway... I started going to elementary school and my aunt taught me how to say a few phrases in case of emergency... something like "I need to go home. My head hurts." I dont' really remember, but I didn't understand squat. I had to point to everything and kind of make up my own sign language while I was taking English classes. All the kids were really nice to me, though. I remember desperately wanting to make a Brontosaurus out of clay but I didn't know what "clay" was called. It was pretty hard to get that across with my hands, but the kids eventually got it. We all had a good laugh.

    Oh.. and I ended up learning the language pretty much perfectly in a year or two. Nobody can tell I'm foreign without knowing my name now. So yeah, if you start young, it's a breeze. I guess it helps to be forced to speak it and learn it by living in that country lol.

    10170-1.png
  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Meiz wrote: »
    Well I got a lot more out of my 12th grade French class then I did out of all the others combined. My school was terrible other then a select few teachers that would be able to actually teach.

    I have to say though, one of my favorite books is Cyrano de Bergerak. French literature is delicious.

    Yes...it's like wiping your arse with silk.

    tmpphp0si07o.jpg
    Available for weddings, bar-mitzvahs and risings of the people against oppressive states.
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Also, if you learn French, you're opening the doors to a lot of other latin based languages. I'm not sure how true that is for other languages.

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Spanish is increasingly useful inside the U.S.

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    English is my second language.

    I'm from Finland. All finns are taught English from 3rd grade and Swedish from 7th, so every finn is at least moderately fluent in three languages. I am in four because I took german from 5th grade and forward. From all the foreign languages I am easly best in English though.

  • JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I studied French since I was 8, and yet my language skills probably couldn't even be considered passable. I got an A in high school (aged 15, which is when high school ended for me) but that meant nothing when I actually went to France and attempted to speak with the natives.

    So although I'd learnt it for so long, and although I did better than most of the people in my school, I was still not able to communicate at all effectively (which says a lot about how well most other people would've been able to communicate, too!).

    So was it that there was not enough immersion, that standards were too low, that there were not enough speaking exercises (my reading and writing was much better); was it a combination of all of those factors? I'm always awed by someone who is bilingual or at least able to effectively communicate in other languages. My experience with French has meant that I now have this feeling that no matter how long I learn for, I'm never going to able to know what it's like to speak another language.

    sharasugar_80.png sharanomsugar_80.png
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Another thing.

    I don't think that learning languages is more difficult when you get older for the simple reason that a friend's parents were able to do just that. The trick is that you can't really go it alone. They took the time and agreed that all they could do to communicate to each other was to speak say, Chinese. They did this because his father was going to be working in China. They're there right now, speaking the language rather fluently. So it can be done.

    If you're in a class and try to look at the technical and never put it into practice, you lose it. It's a phenomenon that happens to French speaking people here in Ontario and, until I was working in a bilingual environment, I was losing my first language as well. Now people are like: "You don't have an accent in either French or English". But that comes with time and practical application.

  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Do we have any people from Belgium here?

    tmpphp0si07o.jpg
    Available for weddings, bar-mitzvahs and risings of the people against oppressive states.
  • MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    Do we have any people from Belgium here?

    I had a physics teacher from there, does that count?

    We called him big bird because he was large and trying to get his pilot license with no success.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    Do we have any people from Belgium here?
    Not that I know of...

    I think I know where you're getting at.

    They speak French in the Walloon provinces and Dutch in Flanders. Everyone has to learn both languages and usually English as well. However, the Flemish people refuse to speak French and the Wallonians refuse to speak Dutch. Nationalism is quite a big thing over there, or so it seems.

    You can see this back in their politics, they have three governments; one for Flanders, one for the Walloon Provinces and one for Brussel/Bruxelles. It's kind of a miracle the country even exists.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • OtakuD00DOtakuD00D Too stupid to feel pain. San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    My first language was Spanish. Not many people can tell.

    makosig.jpg
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    One thing that always impressed me about spanish is how economical it is. The verb conjugations are a pain but they give you information that takes 3 or 4 words in english. Likewise Spanish let's tons of articles and little words simply get implied.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Janson wrote: »
    I studied French since I was 8, and yet my language skills probably couldn't even be considered passable. I got an A in high school (aged 15, which is when high school ended for me) but that meant nothing when I actually went to France and attempted to speak with the natives.

    So although I'd learnt it for so long, and although I did better than most of the people in my school, I was still not able to communicate at all effectively (which says a lot about how well most other people would've been able to communicate, too!).

    So was it that there was not enough immersion, that standards were too low, that there were not enough speaking exercises (my reading and writing was much better); was it a combination of all of those factors? I'm always awed by someone who is bilingual or at least able to effectively communicate in other languages. My experience with French has meant that I now have this feeling that no matter how long I learn for, I'm never going to able to know what it's like to speak another language.

    I was mostly bilingual in English and French when I lived in a tiny french village called Bourget, but after moving to Ottawa I simply stopped speaking it, and due to lack of exposure I have lost most of my vocabulary and I have to struggle to construct a sentence. However, my French accent is near perfect, so I just sound like a retarded French person when I speak French, for the most part.

    On the flip side, a couple of months living in France, forced to speak only French and only to French people, and you would definitely become much better at speaking it, much more quickly. It's all about immersion in a language, and after that, regular and consistent application. I'm fairly confident that I can regain my bilingualism, but I haven't bothered yet.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • mantidormantidor Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Meiz wrote: »
    Also, if you learn French, you're opening the doors to a lot of other latin based languages. I'm not sure how true that is for other languages.

    From my experience as a spanish speaker french is the weird one of the romance languages, while I can understand portuguese and italian fairly well I have a harder time understanding french.
    One thing that always impressed me about spanish is how economical it is. The verb conjugations are a pain but they give you information that takes 3 or 4 words in english. Likewise Spanish let's tons of articles and little words simply get implied.

    japanese is similar omitting a lot of words, but without the conjugations, so everything must be deduced from "context", which makes it really hard. That reminded me about this hilarious warning to people who want to learn japanese.

  • Joe Camacho MKIIJoe Camacho MKII Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mantidor wrote: »
    Meiz wrote: »
    Also, if you learn French, you're opening the doors to a lot of other latin based languages. I'm not sure how true that is for other languages.

    From my experience as a spanish speaker french is the weird one of the romance languages, while I can understand portuguese and italian fairly well I have a harder time understanding french.

    From what I can tell, from a friend who is american and studies french, french is a mix of english words and latin words, maybe that's why it's easier for americans to learn french than spanish, conjugations aside.

    steam_sig.png I edit my posts a lot.
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mantidor wrote: »
    Meiz wrote: »
    japanese is similar omitting a lot of words, but without the conjugations, so everything must be deduced from "context", which makes it really hard. That reminded me about this hilarious warning to people who want to learn japanese.

    It is one thing trying to learn a language derived from the same Latin roots as English.

    It is entirely something else to try and learn a language that not only doesn't have any common roots with English unless you back to proto-humans living in Africa, but also requires you to learn not one, not two, but three different alphabets. And that third alphabet, the kanji? Yeah, good luck memorizing all the 5000 or so that the average Japanese citizen knows in a fraction of the time that they had to have to learn it all.

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • 12gauge12gauge Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Aldo wrote: »
    I started to learn English words really early (I was 7 or something), we had to learn it in school around the age of 10, but I was way ahead of most people. Thank you videogames. I'm still ahead of most people in college. Thank you webforums and Ventrilo.

    I see we have some other people here who studied or are studying in the Netherlands, if I may ask, do your teachers suck at English? I almost filed a complaint against the teachers of one course for sucking so much that the complete class thought they were joking at first.

    (For the Dutchies: Hij sprak "poor" uit als "poer". :( )

    Haha, yes. Especially the 'th' sounds were great. They were still understandable though and I did not mind because I was there for computer science and not english lessons anyway.

    Aldo wrote: »
    Not that I know of...

    I think I know where you're getting at.

    They speak French in the Walloon provinces and Dutch in Flanders. Everyone has to learn both languages and usually English as well. However, the Flemish people refuse to speak French and the Wallonians refuse to speak Dutch. Nationalism is quite a big thing over there, or so it seems.

    You can see this back in their politics, they have three governments; one for Flanders, one for the Walloon Provinces and one for Brussel/Bruxelles. It's kind of a miracle the country even exists.


    I love how the Dutch subtitle the Belgiums speaking Dutch on TV.

    davidoc0.jpg
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User
    edited May 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    mantidor wrote: »
    Meiz wrote: »
    japanese is similar omitting a lot of words, but without the conjugations, so everything must be deduced from "context", which makes it really hard. That reminded me about this hilarious warning to people who want to learn japanese.

    It is one thing trying to learn a language derived from the same Latin roots as English.

    It is entirely something else to try and learn a language that not only doesn't have any common roots with English unless you back to proto-humans living in Africa, but also requires you to learn not one, not two, but three different alphabets. And that third alphabet, the kanji? Yeah, good luck memorizing all the 5000 or so that the average Japanese citizen knows in a fraction of the time that they had to have to learn it all.

    It's not that hard. For a start, learning hiragana and katakana takes about a fortnight, so that's two of the three alphabets gone already. Kanji are tough, sure, but Japanese people have to learn them too - it can be done; just be prepared to get seriously stuck in with the memorisation. Personally I find that part of language-learning - getting vocab down - a lot easier than understanding grammar rules. Which incidentally, are very straight-forward in Japanese!

    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    James wrote: »
    Apparently english is a hard language to learn because of the combinations of letters than sound differently. For instance, though and thought.

    Though really, the more different a language is from the native language, the more difficult it will be to learn. For instance, english will be easier to learn for a Frenchman than a Chinese person, simply because of language similarities.

    English is also pretty incosistent with their 'rules'. They should just call them 'general guidelines' instead. I before E except after C with the exception of a billion other words.

    There's also a difference in tenses. When Cantonese is spoken, tense is conferred by simply adding another word. Now I'm not entirely sure about how the writing of it works because I've always been too stupid/lazy to learn to write Chinese but I'm assuming it's much of the same.

    I think English is more widespread than Chinese, even if the latter outnumbers the former in a purely statistical fashion. Meaning that the majority of Chinese speakers are found in the country of China but English can be found in all of North America, good chunks of South America and chunks of Europe. I'm actually basing this on what seems reasonable to me so it's possible I'm all wrong.

    By Chinese, do you mean Mandarin? Or would knowing any one of the many, many dialects of Chinese qualify you as being able to speak "Chinese"?

    159.jpg
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    No, don't get me wrong. I learned how to read and write Japanese just fine.

    But having a conversation in Japanese is something else.

    You know how some people mentioned in this thread how watching English television helped them? Yeah, well, no one I ever talked to in Japan talked like they do in anime.

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well, since I am currently in the Hong Kong airport, I feel compelled to respond. First of all while 'Chinese' might be spoken by everyone in China, there are different dialects... for example here in Hong Kong people speak Cantonese... in Beijing, they speak Mandarin. My Chinese girlfriend speaks Mandarin, and has a hard time understanding the Cantonese here (thankfully she's a fan of Hong Kong media, so that helps). They do use the same written language though, so I think that has to count for something. Anyways, there's other dialects as well, I recently read that somewhere around 60% of the country speaks Mandarin, so we're already well under a billion people.

    Actually, I'm not even sure dialect is the right word... they can't understand each other for the most part... In fact we're better off with me speaking English to people than with her speaking mandarin to them. Even though I understand that the teaching of English here has decreased dramatically since the handover to Beijing. Also I'd like to point out that when I was in Beijing people spoke only rudimentary English. Most restaurants I went to didn't even have English menus. I'm sure its better in the southern, more prosperous parts of China though, like Shanghai.

    Also I think it would be pitiful if you could only learn 150 characters a year, that's only about one every two days. not to mention that new 'words' don't necessarily mean completely new characters. For example 狗 means 'dog' while 狗熊 means 'bear'. As you can see the ‘word' bear contains the character for 'dog' so even if you didn't know the second character for 'bear' you'd still know that it was an animal similar in some way to a dog... there's lots of things like that. It's similar to how in English we can sometimes figure out what a word means by the parts of the word.

    It is a different system of doing things though, and I'll admit I'm not comfortable with it. I find it neat that they've adapted their written language to use the pinyin based on their oral language for things like typing and dictionaries though.

    on a slightly related note I was reading that in Malay to make a word plural you just say it twice... I like that system.

  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Cauld wrote: »
    on a slightly related note I was reading that in Malay to make a word plural you just say it twice... I like that system.

    Japanese does that on occasion. It's with their famous lack of pronouns; to say "we" you can repeat "I" twice. 'Tis cute.

    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Having lived in Germany and Japan, both places that emphasize learning English in public schools I would say it is definitely easier for a European (or at least a German) to pick it up than a Japanese. In Germany pretty much everyone under 60 spoke excellent English, many with no accent (or even a slight British one)

    In Japan everyone (in theory) has had at least six years of English in public school and the government annually imports thousands of native English speakers (of which I am one) to assist in the classrooms. Private lessons are a huge business also. A decent sized train station might have two different companies offering lessons. Despite this the vast majority of Japanese are limited to single words and short phrases spoken with a heavy accent. Even among the English teachers the only ones who speak it fluidly (that I have met) are those who spent a portion of their childhood in an English speaking country.

    In trying to teach it to folks I think English's biggest handicap is the ungodly number of irregular verbs that must be individually memorized in all forms (shrink, shrank, shrunk) rather than learning a simple set of rules for the conjugation all verbs. (Japanese has only two irregular verbs)

    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I agree about Japanese being easy, I just watched a fansubbed anime series and I already picked up some phrases. (Blood+ btw, it's damn good)

    The situation here regarding English is complicated, we have 11 official languages after all. But it goes something like this:

    First Grade you are taught mainly in one of the languages (depends on where you are in the country) but start learning English right away as well. English is mandatory up until 8th Grade, after which you can choose between either focusing on English or Afrikaans plus one of the languages or take both with one as the primary.

    Almost everyone except foreigners can at least understand English, if not speak it, same with Afrikaans.

    I went to a Afrikaans school, but I always found English much easier.

    A friend of mine always says, to his Afrikaans wife's annoyance, that Afrikaans is a heavenly language; it serves no earthly purpose.

    Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
    .

    STEAM
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Falx wrote: »
    I agree about Japanese being easy, I just watched a fansubbed anime series and I already picked up some phrases. (Blood+ btw, it's damn good)

    The situation here regarding English is complicated, we have 11 official languages after all. But it goes something like this:

    First Grade you are taught mainly in one of the languages (depends on where you are in the country) but start learning English right away as well. English is mandatory up until 8th Grade, after which you can choose between either focusing on English or Afrikaans plus one of the languages or take both with one as the primary.

    Almost everyone except foreigners can at least understand English, if not speak it, same with Afrikaans.

    I went to a Afrikaans school, but I always found English much easier.

    A friend of mine always says, to his Afrikaans wife's annoyance, that Afrikaans is a heavenly language; it serves no earthly purpose.
    There's a lot of immigrants in your country, do most of them speak English, or is there a language barrier as well? (French is probably the only language not represented there, huh?)

    And Afrikaans is a really fun language to read for a Dutchman, it's somehow a lot more creative than Dutch. :)

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yeah most of them can speak english, but everynow and then I have the 'pleasure' of dealing with one who is under the impression that by saying "Yes!" to every single question I can somehow figure out what he wants.

    Actually, there's a mini invasion of Nigerians going on, and they speak French. I could do without them though... in the last five years I've only ever met two who weren't involved in some sort of illegal dealings. Most of the serious crime is really from illegal immigrants, if they all upped and left I think people would be shocked by how the crime rate falls.

    Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
    .

    STEAM
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Falx wrote: »
    Yeah most of them can speak english, but everynow and then I have the 'pleasure' of dealing with one who is under the impression that by saying "Yes!" to every single question I can somehow figure out what he wants.

    Actually, there's a mini invasion of Nigerians going on, and they speak French. I could do without them though... in the last five years I've only ever met two who weren't involved in some sort of illegal dealings. Most of the serious crime is really from illegal immigrants, if they all upped and left I think people would be shocked by how the crime rate falls.
    That's uh...quite a claim to make. :?

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • Katchem_ashKatchem_ash __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    I am currently taking Japanese and I have to say it, I find it easier to learn and read Japanese than English. It way more simpler and the sounds of the words are pretty cool.

    Technically English would be my first language but I learnt a variety of different lanuages before English was tought to me (Since I was born in a non- western country.)

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2
Sign In or Register to comment.