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Is English 'NOT' your first language?

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Posts

  • AydrAydr Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I can't really compare it to English, as I'm a native English speaker, but personally I find Japanese a bitch. Maybe I just have no talent at it, maybe it's just because it's the only subject I've ever been unable to pick up without doing any studying and therefore don't really know how, but it's always seemed like a really difficult language to me. I guess it's just because it's one of the farthest languages from English there is. I'm just glad it's not Chinese, though. Japanese may be pretty difficult, but at least it has a real alphabet.

    Aydr on
    DeMoN wrote: »
    I DIED IN THE ARMS OF A TOASTER WITH BREASTS
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso 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 awsome. It also has a number of annoying homonyms/homophones/etc.


    I don't know what I'd do if I weren't allowed to use all the wonderful synonyms in the English language. I think I'd cry.

    Regina Fong on
  • jpegjpeg Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I am disappointed with my school system in that they only start teaching a foreign language in your freshman year of highschool, and you only need 1 year to graduate (but more is recommended, and recently they started teaching it starting in 7th grade, so I guess they are catching on). I have been taking French for three years, and I read it alright, although my vocabulary is very poor. My writing suffers from the same problem. And speaking it is a trainwreck because I still have a lot of trouble making the soft "r" noise, so words like prendre come out as "PRAWN-DRUH".

    I really, really wish I had started to learn French earlier, I love the language, just wish I could understand it better.

    jpeg on
    so I just type in this box and it goes on the screen?
  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Aydr wrote: »
    I can't really compare it to English, as I'm a native English speaker, but personally I find Japanese a bitch. Maybe I just have no talent at it, maybe it's just because it's the only subject I've ever been unable to pick up without doing any studying and therefore don't really know how, but it's always seemed like a really difficult language to me. I guess it's just because it's one of the farthest languages from English there is. I'm just glad it's not Chinese, though. Japanese may be pretty difficult, but at least it has a real alphabet.

    Also if you can speak English you can already make and distinguish all the sounds needed to speak Japanese. Unfortunately this doesn't go both ways which is why Japanese have a problem distinguishing L from R and making the V and "th" sounds.

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • OrganichuOrganichu jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Does anyone know at what age the "maximum learning" thing they speak of begins to falter?

    Until I was 5 I was immersed in a country surrounded by my first two languages (neither of which is English). At age 5 I moved to a country where most people speak only English.

    Though I still "know" the first two languages I learned, and I was immersed in them in my "formative" years, I definitely consider myself "most fluent" in English.

    Organichu on
  • ALockslyALocksly Registered User
    edited May 2007
    A quick search says that the key period for learning language is before six and that jives with what I can recall from my psych classes.

    kids who haven't been exposed to any language until after age twelve have severe difficulty gaining full language skills so there's probably some sort of cut off there as well.

    do a search on "language acquisition device" for more stuff on this

    ALocksly on
    Yes,... yes, I agree. It's totally unfair that sober you gets into trouble for things that drunk you did.
  • OrganichuOrganichu jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Hmmm. It is interesting how resistant kids are to correction.

    I've observed that myself, though it hadn't occurred to me until I read it just now. I'll have to use my nephew as a guinea pig. :)

    Organichu on
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Chinese would be a more difficult world language than English because it is a tonal language. Tonal languages have different definitions of words based on changing the pitch of your voice when you say them. Most world languages, including Japanese, are not tonal, and it is a difficult thing to learn later in life.

    MentalExercise on
    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Aldo wrote: »
    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. :?

    It's true alas, I'm not saying all Nigerians are criminals, just that all their criminals seem to want to come here :(

    But for most crime being illegal immigrants? That's very true... you just have to look at the news here to see it, especially for towns and farms close to the borders of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. But this isn't a thread for griping about crime...

    I've wanted to learn Spanish for a while... can't even remember the original reason. I really should give it a shot, I've got one of those "Learn Spanish Easy" DVD's but I keep putting it off.

    Falx on
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Chinese would be a more difficult world language than English because it is a tonal language. Tonal languages have different definitions of words based on changing the pitch of your voice when you say them. Most world languages, including Japanese, are not tonal, and it is a difficult thing to learn later in life.

    Oh god yes. Changing the pronounciation of dog can turn the spoken word into 9, a piece, enough, old and even a curse word. I'd imagine that would be an insane concept for English speakers who are used to only raising the intonation when they're asking a question.

    Underdog on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    I don't know what I'd do if I weren't allowed to use all the wonderful synonyms in the English language. I think I'd cry.

    Ambiguity--another common bitching point--isn't bad either. If the language were completely unambiguous and had no homophones then we'd lose all our double entendre or word-play. Sometimes language students forget that a language's sole function isn't to be easy to study.

    MrMister on
  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    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.
    Finnish is like that...

    Ajoimme = (We) drove
    autollani = (with my) car
    kuuhun = (to) the moon

    Postpositions > Prepositions


    Also...

    avioero-oikeudenkäyntikulumaksuvelvollisuudettomuudellaansakaan
    not even with his lack of responsibility for divorce trial expense payment

    DeepQantas on
    m~
  • lazyboilazyboi Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Yes, I still bust out a little Afrikaans now and then, to my wife's immense frustration. She was lucky enough to go to an all-English school, so there was no pressure for her to learn it.

    @ Falx - don't go blaming the Nigerians, dude, there are plenty of home-grown crooks around too.

    lazyboi on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    jeepguy 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 awsome. It also has a number of annoying homonyms/homophones/etc.


    I don't know what I'd do if I weren't allowed to use all the wonderful synonyms in the English language. I think I'd cry.

    Synonyms are one thing, but English one of the few languages that has a number of perfect synonyms that mean the exact same thing, with no difference in connotation or implication or degree or whatever. It's nice for us, but confusing for new speakers.

    English is like a really fucked up mongrel dog that has nonetheless a bizarre aesthetic appeal.

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    jeepguy 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 awsome. It also has a number of annoying homonyms/homophones/etc.


    I don't know what I'd do if I weren't allowed to use all the wonderful synonyms in the English language. I think I'd cry.

    Synonyms are one thing, but English one of the few languages that has a number of perfect synonyms that mean the exact same thing, with no difference in connotation or implication or degree or whatever. It's nice for us, but confusing for new speakers.

    English is like a really fucked up mongrel dog that has nonetheless a bizarre aesthetic appeal.

    Example?

    Shinto on
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