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#21
TrueNeutral

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Know a very tiny amount of French, 8 years of it in school and lost it all. Do want to learn German or Dutch.

Why

Why Dutch? As a native Dutch speaker, I can tell you it's a terrible language. Half of the grammar is unneccesary and it has all the personality of a hospital. I sometimes go around pretending to be a tourist just so I can avoid speaking it.

P.S. Eddie Izzard quote for the occasion: "Two languages in the same head? No one can live at that speed!"
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#22
Malcador

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Well, mainly so I can understand their football TV coverage as I watch their streams mostly. Shame I didn't bother to learn other languages earlier in life though.

#23
Walsingham

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Well, mainly so I can understand their football TV coverage as I watch their streams mostly. Shame I didn't bother to learn other languages earlier in life though.


I thought you hated football? Or is it just footballers? Or do you just really love commentary - any commentary?

#24
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I know Swedish, English and Spanish. I have some understanding of Italian and German - I could probably read most news articles and perhaps novels in these languages if they don't use too many unfamiliar words.

#25
Malcador

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I thought you hated football? Or is it just footballers? Or do you just really love commentary - any commentary?


No, just football fans and pundits. Granted I look at Dutch, Romanian and Russian streams simply that I can ignore the commentators with greater ease. My team always gets the same yarn from them - need British steel, not won anything in 7 years, player X will leave, too many foreigners, etc.

#26
Humodour

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Know a very tiny amount of French, 8 years of it in school and lost it all. Do want to learn German or Dutch.

Why

Why Dutch? As a native Dutch speaker, I can tell you it's a terrible language. Half of the grammar is unneccesary and it has all the personality of a hospital. I sometimes go around pretending to be a tourist just so I can avoid speaking it.

P.S. Eddie Izzard quote for the occasion: "Two languages in the same head? No one can live at that speed!"


No way. Your language is cool, your women are babes, and their accent is adorable.

#27
213374U

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My goal is to read Don Quixote natively. I bought a Spanish copy in Costa Rica. Just got to build up the vocab.

Overrated. There are better things to read in Spanish than El Quijote, even from Cervantes himself (the Novelas Ejemplares comes to mind). May be apocryphal, but I remember reading that even the author himself wasn't particularly impressed with it - he dreamed of having Lope de Vega's talent for poetry or something. And building up your vocab won't help much as the lexicon of the book is the 16th century's... not exactly the kind of talk you'd hear today's casual or even business conversation.

Because of job demands, I have to speak English roughly half of the time, so I guess (hope!) that makes me at least proficient in the former. Used to have a semi-decent grasp of French but you know how it goes with fitness and lack of regular exercise. Tried learning Russian some time ago. It was fun, but hard. If I had to get back to learning a language, that would be it.

#28
TrueNeutral

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Know a very tiny amount of French, 8 years of it in school and lost it all. Do want to learn German or Dutch.

Why

Why Dutch? As a native Dutch speaker, I can tell you it's a terrible language. Half of the grammar is unneccesary and it has all the personality of a hospital. I sometimes go around pretending to be a tourist just so I can avoid speaking it.

P.S. Eddie Izzard quote for the occasion: "Two languages in the same head? No one can live at that speed!"


No way. Your language is cool, your women are babes, and their accent is adorable.


Maybe it's because I'm used to it, but women here seem pretty regular to me (although I have noticed that we have a higher ratio of attractive people than our neighbour germany), and people with dutch accents sound like they have brain damage, which is why I hate that my accent slips sometimes.

#29
Humanoid

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Well, mainly so I can understand their football TV coverage as I watch their streams mostly. Shame I didn't bother to learn other languages earlier in life though.


Tempted to do the same except for cycling instead of football. In the latter it tends to be a choice, but for the former it's usually the only language (well, Flemish that is) used for most "minor" races. To date being the cultural barbarian that I am, I haven't picked up any other languages though. If so inclined I'd probably pick up German reasonably easily given that my parents speak it, but I don't see any immediate utility in it. Same goes for Spanish which my sister speaks.

Edited by Humanoid, 24 February 2012 - 04:31 AM.


#30
obyknven

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The learning of many languages fills the memory with words instead of with facts and thoughts, and this is a vessel which, with every person, can only contain a certain limited amount of contents. Therefore the learning of many languages is injurious, inasmuch as it arouses a belief in possessing dexterity and, as a matter of fact, it lends a kind of delusive importance to social intercourse. It is also indirectly injurious in that it opposes the acquirement of solid knowledge and the intention to win the respect of men in an honest way. Finally, it is the axe which is laid to the root of a delicate sense of language in our mother tongue, which thereby is incurably injured and destroyed. The two nations which produced the greatest stylists, the Greeks and the French, learned no foreign languages.

#31
Gorth

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The two nations which produced the greatest stylists, the Greeks and the French, learned no foreign languages.

Which stylists?
Which Greeks? Mycenean Greeks? Archaic Greek? Classical Greek? Modern Greek?
French is just a bastardised hybrid of Roman (Latin) and the Germanic that the Franks spoke at the time of invading France.

#32
Gorgon

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You can't pick and chose what goes in your memory anyway. They call all that stuff life. Rejecting language because you are afraid you will run out of disk space is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Of course you can't do everythig and you have to chose what you want to do with your life, but that wasn't the point.

#33
HoonDing

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Regional Flemish* (trololol), Dutch, French, German, English.

Still know a bit of Latin from school; I've also succesfully communicated with people in Afrikaans in the past.

*http://upload.wikime...ges_Benelux.PNG

Edited by virumor, 24 February 2012 - 06:37 AM.


#34
obyknven

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Which stylists?
Which Greeks? Mycenean Greeks? Archaic Greek? Classical Greek? Modern Greek?

Classical

French is just a bastardised hybrid of Roman (Latin) and the Germanic that the Franks spoke at the time of invading France.

As of 2006, French literary people have been awarded more Nobel Prizes in Literature than novelists, poets and essayists of any other country. Writers in English (USA, UK, South Africa, Saint Lucia...) have won twice as many Nobels as the French.

#35
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Finally, it is the axe which is laid to the root of a delicate sense of language in our mother tongue, which thereby is incurably injured and destroyed.

Out of the unsupported pile of hogwash that is that post, this little gem left me scratching my head in bewilderment. What does gardening have to do with anything? Or did you just Googlepaste all that?

#36
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Don't feed the troll folks :p

#37
Orogun01

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Overrated. There are better things to read in Spanish than El Quijote, even from Cervantes himself (the Novelas Ejemplares comes to mind). May be apocryphal, but I remember reading that even the author himself wasn't particularly impressed with it - he dreamed of having Lope de Vega's talent for poetry or something. And building up your vocab won't help much as the lexicon of the book is the 16th century's... not exactly the kind of talk you'd hear today's casual or even business conversation.

Because of job demands, I have to speak English roughly half of the time, so I guess (hope!) that makes me at least proficient in the former. Used to have a semi-decent grasp of French but you know how it goes with fitness and lack of regular exercise. Tried learning Russian some time ago. It was fun, but hard. If I had to get back to learning a language, that would be it.

You do know that Cervantes is to the Spanish tongue what Shakespeare is to English, whom I assume you also think that it's overrated.

Anyways if you want a good read in Spanish I would recommend Lorca, Borges and Allende. You really can't go wrong with those guys, I'm particularly fond of Borges, from lunatic to lunatic.

#38
Humodour

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My goal is to read Don Quixote natively. I bought a Spanish copy in Costa Rica. Just got to build up the vocab.

Overrated. There are better things to read in Spanish than El Quijote


What do you recommend? I'm after a gradient of difficulty levels, so easy is fine.

And building up your vocab won't help much as the lexicon of the book is the 16th century's... not exactly the kind of talk you'd hear today's casual or even business conversation.


"Se respetan en esta edición los vocablos de la época, se moderniza la ortografía y se regulariza la puntuacion y el usa de las mayúsculas."

So that should help. Flicking through it the vocab looks pretty familiar, although that doesn't say much about things like idioms. I'm certainly going to give it a go. While I'm sure there are books out there you might prefer, I like what I've heard about this one. I can try Novelas Ejemplares after.

First of all, though, and it may sound dumb, I'm reading Harry Potter 1 in Spanish. I find that reading a book you already know in another language helps learn the language, since you can read the book without using a dictionary (given you already know the general theme at any one point), learning words based on their context instead, much like you learnt new words in your first language.

#39
213374U

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You do know that Cervantes is to the Spanish tongue what Shakespeare is to English, whom I assume you also think that it's overrated.

Anyways if you want a good read in Spanish I would recommend Lorca, Borges and Allende. You really can't go wrong with those guys, I'm particularly fond of Borges, from lunatic to lunatic.

I haven't actually read Shakespeare, so I wouldn't know. I have, however, tried getting into El Quijote. Several times, in fact. Found it unnecessarily dense and generally unenjoyable to read. Maybe the theme didn't really appeal to me or the narrative rythm was too slow. Whatever. I just didn't find it to be the timeless, universal masterpiece it's purported as.


What do you recommend? I'm after a gradient of difficulty levels, so easy is fine.

Thing is, I don't like Golden Age prose very much. I prefer drama better. El Burlador de Sevilla, for instance. Generally, I just like the Generación del 98 better. I remember liking Don Juan Tenorio quite a bit, and after watching the play, I actually came out of the theatre moved. I'm not much into poetry but my favorite piece is probably Manuel Machado's Castilla.

For lighter, more contemporary reading, you could give some of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's work a shot, though it's not for everyone.


Flicking through it the vocab looks pretty familiar, although that doesn't say much about things like idioms. I'm certainly going to give it a go. While I'm sure there are books out there you might prefer, I like what I've heard about this one. I can try Novelas Ejemplares after.

Modernized ortography and punctuation should help, no doubt. Still, phrasing and a good deal of the lexicon is going to be... unconventional. But by all means, give it a go. I wouldn't expect you to just take my word for it, anyway. Different tastes, and all. :)

And as for Harry Potter, whatever works for you. As long as it's not Twilight... D:




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