Poll How many languages do you speak?

How many languages do you speak?

  • 1

    Votes: 21 26.3%
  • 2

    Votes: 27 33.8%
  • 3

    Votes: 27 33.8%
  • 4+ (Please, tell how many!)

    Votes: 5 6.3%

  • Total voters
    80

fireballs619

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I've recently become very interested in language and linguistics, so I thought I would make a thread here to discuss it.

I only fluently speak English, although I am getting there with my Spanish (not quite conversationally fluent though, at least orally). I am also working on my French, but I still struggle to string sentences together. Anyway, a few questions to get the ball rolling.

1) If you speak more than 1 language, do you find yourself having any advantages over the average monoglot?

2) Do you think western languages will remain the 'international' languages, even with Asian countries (such as China) rising in prominence? Keep in mind that their foreign scripts and tonal languages often make it extremely difficult for westerners to attain fluency, while vice versa the skill required for fluency is not quite as much.

3) What is your opinion of conlangs, such as Esperanto and lojban? Could they ever be useful on an international scale, or do you think they will remain an interest only for enthusiasts or learners?

If anyone else has some questions regarding anything about language (etymology, phonology, orthography, etc) feel free to ask!
 
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FADEC

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1) Yes. My second language is English. Without it I would be literally lost these days, equally to not know anything about computers.

2) Yes. English and French are the most spoken languages I think, or at least spoken in more areas of the the world than Chinese or Russian for example.

3) Never heard of Esperanto or Lojban.
 

Eli13

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1) Yes. My second language is English. Without it I would be literally lost these days, equally to not know anything about computers.

2) Yes. English and French are the most spoken languages I think, or at least spoken in more areas of the the world than Chinese or Russian for example.

3) Never heard of Esperanto or Lojban.

Spanish is spoken by many more people than French.
 

fireballs619

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3) Never heard of Esperanto or Lojban.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto"]Esperanto[/ame] is a language the was constructed in the early 20th century, with the goal of making a 'universal' second language for all people. It was made to be extremely easy to learn, only requiring about 500 hours of study to attain fluency. In comparison with other languages that require thousands of hours, this is very quick.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lojban"]Lojban[/ame] is a language that was constructed in order to have a method to easily explain logical statements. It's grammar is supposed to reflect the principles of logic.

---------- Post added at 04:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------

Spanish is spoken by many more people than French.

This is true, but it really does depend on where you are traveling. While worldwide more people speak Spanish, I would argue that if you intend to travel to Europe, French is much more useful than Spanish.
 

Hlynkacg

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I am fluent in English and reasonably profficient (not fluent but can speak well enough to manage) in Ukrainian and Spanish.

The Ukrainian is a result of being the child of immigrants and the Spanish is a by product of living less than a few miles from the Mexican border :lol:.

As far as adavantaged being a polyglot does occasionally open up opprotunities or get me a better deal than I had spoken only english but I'm not sure how much of an actual advantage that is.

Generally I have a low opinion of conlangs as in my opinion they tend to be a product of the biases of thier constructors and will lack the expression and nuance of something that evolved naturally.
 

Eli13

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Esperanto is a language the was constructed in the early 20th century, with the goal of making a 'universal' second language for all people. It was made to be extremely easy to learn, only requiring about 500 hours of study to attain fluency. In comparison with other languages that require thousands of hours, this is very quick.

Lojban is a language that was constructed in order to have a method to easily explain logical statements. It's grammar is supposed to reflect the principles of logic.

---------- Post added at 04:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:50 PM ----------



This is true, but it really does depend on where you are traveling. While worldwide more people speak Spanish, I would argue that if you intend to travel to Europe, French is much more useful than Spanish.

If I travel to Europe, I think the best would be English, because many there know at least the basics of it. Unless of course you are traveling to one country and you know the official language there.
 

SolarLiner

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My native language, le Français, and English. But I know a little bit of Spanish.
 

FADEC

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Spanish is spoken by many more people than French.

Might be due to Southern and Middle American population size. If we count people then Chinese is the most spoken language on the planet. If we count the number of countries then Arabian might be on the first place. English is spoken by people around the world I think, which is what I actually meant. Except in France of course :lol: :p ;)
 
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fireballs619

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If I travel to Europe, I think the best would be English, because many there know at least the basics of it. Unless of course you are traveling to one country and you know the official language there.

Valid point, although I was thinking mainly in terms of a second language (aside from English). Your statement is definitely correct though. Although, I would still argue that French is more useful in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg.

Overall, you are right.
 

DanM

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I was raised with English, I've studied German for three years now in High School and going for my fourth. I'm well on my way to becoming fluent.

On the side I'm trying to learn French and Japanese and might give Russian a try.

I might try to master the Swiss dialects of French and German because I want to live in Switzerland.
 

4throck

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Regionally Spanish and Portuguese are important. Just think Latin America. With those 2 languages you can speak with everybody. In Africa it's Arabic, French and Portuguese (besides regional dialects).

It really depends on what you consider important.

But for international language, I'd stick to English.
 

Eli13

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Valid point, although I was thinking mainly in terms of a second language (aside from English). Your statement is definitely correct though. Although, I would still argue that French is more useful in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg.

Overall, you are right.

You're definitely right here also. But I don't speak French, so I have to hope that someone nearby speaks English. ;)

I only said Spanish is spoken much more due to most of South America, Mexico, Central America and there are plenty of Spanish speakers in the US.
 

Fabri91

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1) If you speak more than 1 language, do you find yourself having any advantages over the average monoglot?

I speak Italian, German and English all reasonably good. Sometimes I've got the feeling not to be as good at speaking Italian as someone who learnt it as the only language, but this might be due to me not being the best at conversations in general. :)
For the most part, however, I think that knowing these three languages good is a huge advantage, and...fun.

2) Do you think western languages will remain the 'international' languages, even with Asian countries (such as China) rising in prominence? Keep in mind that their foreign scripts and tonal languages often make it extremely difficult for westerners to attain fluency, while vice versa the skill required for fluency is not quite as much.
I believe it will stay like this for a while: while the number of people speaking English or French is smaller than the number of those who speak any Chinese language, those are more concentrated in China, it seems to me.

3) What is your opinion of conlangs, such as Esperanto and lojban? Could they ever be useful on an international scale, or do you think they will remain an interest only for enthusiasts or learners?
At least for the forseeable future they'll remain only relevant to enthusiasts, I think.
 

fireballs619

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I speak Italian, German and English all reasonably good. Sometimes I've got the feeling not to be as good at speaking Italian as someone who learnt it as the only language, but this might be due to me not being the best at conversations in general. :)
For the most part, however, I think that knowing these three languages good is a huge advantage, and...fun.

Interesting! If you don't mind me asking, what made you chose German and English as the other languages you would study? I only ask because Italian is a Romance language while German and English are both Germanic.
 

Loru

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Polish (Polski) as native, English, and little Russian and Spanish
 

marooder86

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I've encountered three other languages than my native one during my educational process: Russian, German and English(UK), all of them mandatory at that particular time. It started in primary school with English which I always found not that hard to grasp and Russian which seem to be easy as well. Then after two years if I recollect correctly, Russian was withdrawn from teaching program and was replaced by German and so I sticked to it(had to :p, there was an option to switch it for French later on, but doing so didn't seem as a good idea) until high school graduation. Now I forgot it almost completely due to not using it which is just stupid of me to let that happened but it's not lost case yet I think. I would just have to force myself to revision it and recollect vocabulary and i guess I'd be able to communicate in it again. As for Russian now it's only a faint memory, well surprisingly I still remeber a few word and Cyrillic alphabet but that's not much of a use so currently I can speak two languages.
Now answering fireballs questions:
1) yes
2) yes, well at least in nearest future and as long as Chinese won't plan to conquer the rest of the world ;)
3) I'm still thinking about give Esperanto a try just out of curiosity and to see if it's really that simple to learn
 
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APDAF

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My language native is English I have learnt Spanish at school but I am learning German slowly.
 

C3PO

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I'm not sure if people consider the scandinavian language as one. Danish, swedish, norwegian, icelandic and faroese. Most scandinavians can't understand any of the other unless it's spoken very "deliberately".
 
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