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.
I know Spanish (mother tongue) and english fluently (with a thick accent though), we are thought english since we set foot on school but it is so awful that almost anyone finishes high school speaking english. I went to private english schools and it was there where i finally learned something and i had immerse myself in the language ever since, to the point that i hate to look up things in spanish and feel out of place when reading anything online in spanish.
I studied some french, got a DELF A1 qualification by luck, i suck at it. I tried latin but did not get very far from the start, the same with japanese and esperanto. I have the desire but no the will and selfmotivation to keep going.
I think we should improve the current languages in my country. In DR people don't speak spanish very well, it improves when you go up in the social-economical ladder, and avoid newspapers. Unlike other LA countries we do not have everyday interactions with other languages and we have the worst reputation in language (among other things recently) in the region.
How come people don't speak Spanish well?
It's a combination of simplification and disregard of basic grammatical rules. For example,
it's common to omit s and r at the end of words, so words like somos (we are) becomes somo,
Phrases: "Vamos a correr" (Let's go to run)* it's said "Vamo a corré",
Bad conjugation "Nosotros haremos x" (we will do x) is "Nosotro hagamo x" when they mean the former instead of the latter.
Exchange of letter's phonetics (some of them can be found in all of LA), z=c=s, all words with z or c sound like s. Cesar is said as Sesar. Some localisms, in the east side of the island is common to switch the ending R sound with an L sound, which i have. Instead of Doctor, i say Doctol. In the south west, the silent h is given a j pronunciation (as in jalapeño). Among others.
Non standard simplifications, the proper simplification of "Que es eso?" (what is that?) is "(long e) Ques eso"? however it is simplified as "(longer e) Que e' eso"?.
Non standard sentence format (I don't remember any from the top of my head), any given object can be called "vaina", non use/bad use of accents in words. All this happening at the same time in a given conversation, very fast plus slangs.
*I know it's wrong, but it shows better the wording in spanish.
As I was reading over this, I couldn't help but connect it to the general theme of change when it comes to language.
The Arabic spoken in my city vs. the Arabic spoken in my hometown is slightly different. Then if those two are taken and compared to standard Arabic, they're even more different. Now if I could go back a bit more, I have a feeling that standard Arabic is probably a disfigured version of the Arabic before it...
What I'm trying to say is, the essence of a language is arbitrary. Perhaps a few hundred years from now, the Spanish of now will feel alienating to the future native speakers of Spanish.
I have a feeling that standard Arabic is probably a disfigured version of the Arabic before it
I don't need to know a THING about Arabic to confidently say: Yes. Because I lied, I do know one very important thing about Arabic: It's a human language.
That made me smile.
Wikipedia explains it best.
I learned Spanish in high school and college, and spoke it some functionally when I worked with a lot of people from Puerto Rico.in the U.S. Years later, I went to Spain, and realized I did not know how to speak it at all, really, and it was days before I figured out they were speaking Catalan, which is something else entirely. How dare they not speak my textbook Spanish!
What I liked about learning another language was learning about the many Spanish-speaking peoples of the world. It is a beautiful language. I can't remember who said it, but I donce heard this quote: Learn a new language, and gain another soul.
I stumbled upon this -
❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞
❝One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.❞
❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞
❝Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.❞
❝Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.❞
❝You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.❞
❝To have another language is to possess a second soul.❞
❝Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.❞
‒Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
❝Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.❞
‒Rita Mae Brown
❝Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
‒Oliver Wendell Holmes
Yeah, Reg, that was it.
First language was spanish. On the Island that's all they spoke in 1964. That same year I flew into New York City and was tossed directly into the first grade. Didn't know a word of english. Learned really fast.
Now, when I speak spanish I formulate the words in english and say them in spanish. My mother still lives on the island of Puerto Rico and speaks only spanish. She claims that I'm not a Puerto Rican because my grasp of the language is not 100 percent. I tend to think that I don't do too bad as NewyorRican speaking, what we think of as, spanish. We've completely destroyed the language with our dialect but so have most of latino america.
I tried to teach myself Italian, with Rosetta Stone. Great idea but you really do have to be motivated to open up your laptop and spend time with the program. I learned a little. Enough to communicate with my daughter who can speak italian, french, and english. She picked up Italian and French in school and is now attempting to learn German. The life of an opera singer I guess.
I agree that most latin americans butcher the spanish language. We Mexicans do a good job of it but I think Puerto Ricans are the worst. I can barely understand you guys sometimes. I like the way Columbians speak spanish. I think they have the best sounding spanish of us all. Now that I think about it Dominicans are the worst. I just don't like the way you guys call each other Mami and Papi in terms of endearment. It really creeps me out. We like to use Mija and Mijo and that seems to make more sense because it's a contraction for Mi ija and Mi ijo so it's like the mexican version of "babe".