I just had few days ago some important language exams (in English and Spanish), and since then I’ve been thinking about the possibility of learning a new language at home on my own (probably German, Chinese would be too hard I think).

I’d like to know about you guys; what’s your relation with languages? I’ll throw some questions, feel free to answer the ones you want.

 

  • Did/Do you learn languages other than your mother tongue? If so, was it in school or by yourself?
  • Which one do you speak? How long have you been learning/practicing them?
  • Do you enjoy learning languages or does that bother you?
  • Is/Was your language knowledge useful for your job/studies/other?
  • Do you think that we should teach more languages in school?

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Ok, thank you Teri !

I have been learning Italian for a few years from CD's and internet news channels. I love how it sounds and I tend to vacation there. I am not fully conversational yet, but I can express myself and get the general idea. The Italians really enjoy helping me learn- when I attempt to engage them.

I also love how italian sound!

And I think they're happy to see someone taking the time to learn their language, that's always pleasant :)

I had a college girlfriend who had quite a talent for languages. She could speak Spanish and French fluently. Although she couldn't speak Italian, she liked the sound of it saying it was very musical. 

Me? I like Brazilian Portuguese.

I agree with you. The Italian language is ear-gasmic (pun intended). Unlike you, I haven't been fortunate enough to hear it in real life.

Wǒ liǎng nián xué le zhòng wén

Tengo dos años de español.

I speak English natively. Languages are cool, but difficult.

I learned in school, as electives. I would agree we should teach more to our students. I would also suggest starting earlier than high school.

This is a bit of an aside, but I think most of you will find it interesting. 

When I was in high school in the 1960's, the language choices were German, French, and Spanish. Students in the sciences were encouraged to learn German because (we were told) it's a language of technology. Students in the arts were gently guided toward French because "it's such a beautiful language." Spanish wasn't really encouraged because "What are you going to do with it? Talk to Mexicans?" That was the gist or subtext anyway.

Now, I wish I'd taken Spanish instead of French. For most Americans, Spanish is a very practical choice. Even moreso as we move into a future when the US might very well become a primarily Spanish-speaking country.

Thanks for sharing. It was truly interesting :).

On a scale of 1 to 10, how useful would you say it is to take Spanish as a US citizen?

That's going to depend heavily on where you live and who you interact with.

I've recently begun interacting more with Hispanics, some of whom speak very little English, others whose families were here before it was US soil.  I maybe have a vocabulary of 50 words that I know well enough to use them spontaneously, maybe another 100 I will hear and go "oh yeah, I recognize that one."

I respect anyone who learns a second, or third,  language and then incorporates it's use into their daily life. Where I live Spanish would be handy on a very infrequent basis. When employed at the state prison in my area we always appreciated the rare officer who could speak Spanish. That segment of the population is rising steadily, unfortunately, and often it was necessary to rely on another convict to interpret.

Being bilingual and beyond definitely opens doors to opportunities in the employment world, whether here in the U.S. or abroad. 

I would think that nowadays any school that doesn't offer Chinese in addition to the other choices is incompetent. Also, if they offer French because it's beautiful, they should look into Portuguese, which is like Spanish with a lot of the hard edges taken off. I think Brazilian Portuguese may be the most beautiful language on earth.

It is really pretty!  I always get scared away from it though after spending so long on Spanish.  It just feels wrong in my mouth.  (dirtier than I meant to get)

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