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darrenm
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Wondering if there are many bi or multi linguists here?

I've always wanted to learn a language and I've always admired the Nordic culture so started on Norwegian at the beginning of lockdown. I'm now on a 233 days streak on Duolingo and I've (apparently) learned almost 1500 words.

I could now probably get by slowly speaking bokmål type Norwegian but I'd be nowhere near fluent and every web site says Norwegians can all speak perfect English anyway so it almost seems a bit pointless outside of it being a hobby.

It's fascinating to see how west Germanic and Latin languages combined to become English. There's so much crossover.

Anyway, has anyone else decided to learn another language? Streak freaks on Duolingo? Anyone use anything else? Is anyone fluent in a number of languages?

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I did Spanish for a couple of years. Stopped when my Dad passed away but had the genuine intention of carrying on the following term but never picked it back up.

Annoyed with myself now because I was getting pretty good. Nowhere near fluent but was at the stage where, for example, I had a holiday in Madrid and spoke almost exclusively in Spanish when I was there (not many english speakers in Madrid compared to somewhere like Barcelona) and got on fine. Few hiccups here and there but for what you need on a city break I was fine.

Still have some of it, the basics, but obviously lost a lot as that was over 4 years ago.

 

I'd absolutely love to be Bilingual, especially in a language like Spanish which could be genuinely useful in loads of countries

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i was at the government ran school here before lockdown learning german, its weird because the teachers speak absolutely no english at all and i was the only english person in my class of 12 people, the others were from syria, thailand, japan, belgium etc so a real mix, it got cancelled cos of lockdown and ive got no real interest in going back

used duolingo for years and need to get back on it. my vocab is ok which means that my general understanding is ok but my grammar is **** terrible meaning that my confidence to talk etc is poor, my spelling is even worse

had a meeting in madrid in jan where the group enjoyed taking the piss out of how bad my english was, followed by talking about english people not learning new languages and it surprisingly moved past the "lazy" tag and one of the spanish guys intelligently gave a reasoning that english is the easiest grammar to learn in the world which makes everything hard for us

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definitely has its limits, duolingo is based on repetition, it drills the same thing in to you over and over again but at the same time it cant be fully expansive and cant always teach you the logic and patterns behind it all, which isnt necessarily a bad thing, i was taking german lessons in england before i moved and i just couldnt do it, the old fashion in which we teach foreign languages didnt work for me, my tutor was there saying "identify the prolongated pluplural in this sentence" or some such bollocks and one day i turned to her and said i cant do that in english, i havent got a clue what you're on about

i would say living abroad doesnt necessarily make it easier, far too many people talk english and have no real interest in talking pigeon with you but it does make the hearing and understanding better and that you have to be able to talk, the confidence in talking is the major stumbling block from my experience, there are so many times that im listening to my wife and family or friends having german conversations and it takes me 10 seconds to process it and get ready to jump in and then im english so i wait for the polite natural pause in conversation...and its gone

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I speak English (obvs) and I am conversational in Polish.

38 minutes ago, villa4europe said:

definitely has its limits, duolingo is based on repetition, it drills the same thing in to you over and over again but at the same time it cant be fully expansive and cant always teach you the logic and patterns behind it all, which isnt necessarily a bad thing, i was taking german lessons in england before i moved and i just couldnt do it, the old fashion in which we teach foreign languages didnt work for me, my tutor was there saying "identify the prolongated pluplural in this sentence" or some such bollocks and one day i turned to her and said i cant do that in english, i havent got a clue what you're on about

i would say living abroad doesnt necessarily make it easier, far too many people talk english and have no real interest in talking pigeon with you but it does make the hearing and understanding better and that you have to be able to talk, the confidence in talking is the major stumbling block from my experience, there are so many times that im listening to my wife and family or friends having german conversations and it takes me 10 seconds to process it and get ready to jump in and then im english so i wait for the polite natural pause in conversation...and its gone

My advice from experience, learn grammar rules first and then slowly add grammar as time goes on. The last 12 months I have been adding words to my vocab as well as tackling the (very awful) Polish grammar. This table, for example, shows 2 words 'who/which' (in terms of it as a connective) - cases are a bastard but once you nail them everything else comes easily.

 

28373215808cceaa01d05af2491f90c9.png

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2 hours ago, Zatman said:

I completed Swedish on Duolingo few years back and did basic classes. Wouldnt be able to have a conversation but can easily read a menu or understand some things

I like Duolingo but has limits

Its pretty good and they have updated it this week (Duolingo).

You can connect live to other people to do conversations and stuff.   To be fair to them,  it upgrades with new things quite regular.

I am 70% through the Dutch course.  I think it's 10 times more easier if you live in the country that you are learning.

But,  I can survive without speaking English now  and have done meetings / zooms that are in Dutch so I must be getting somewhere.

I now work at a Chinese company and I am the only English and 95% of the time they speak Mandarin. 

I plan to learn some of this soon but just the very basics.

 

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14 minutes ago, Amsterdam_Neil_D said:

Very similar to Dutch. 

It's all over the place,  there are rules but they are a bit loose. 

I would say the rules are very tight. It's an incredibly logical language, it's just insanely complicated. For me, it was easier to learn that various words always lead to a certain case. Learn those words and the case then it's ok.

With / z = instrumental. Banana = banan. With banana = Z bananem

Do / to = genitive. Katowice = nominative. To Katowice = Do Katowic.

Etc etc.

The worst thing is, is that the case changes the article, adjective and noun. So in English, This is a red bag. I have a red bag. Red and bag are the same. Polish, To jest czerwona torba / Mam czerwoną torbę. Again, makes sense when you learn it but baffling on the surface.

 

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3 minutes ago, Amsterdam_Neil_D said:

It's the exceptions,  do they have those where its for very specific words ?

There are a few in Dutch that are "Just are that way" type thing.

Off the top of my head I have two weird ones.

You have the verb - Brać / To take. it conjugates as 

Ja biorę

Ty bierzesz

On/ona/to biorze

This is weird, as other similar verbs have a totally different conjugation. The verb prać, however, follows the same as brać.

Grać / To play // Srać / to shit // Dać / to give // Dodać / To add // Podać / To pass (something) 

Ja gram / sram / dam / dodam / podam

Ty grasz / srasz / dasz / dodasz / podasz

On/ona/to gra / sra / da/ doda / poda

Second weird exception is the phrase 'I'm going for a shower'.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I learned various words knowing what case follows them.

In the word pod (under) you use instrumental after it, so the sentence I'm going for a shower, or in Polish - I go under shower (no a, an or the in Polish) would be 'Idę pod prysznicem'. But it isn't, it's 'Idę pod prysznic' because it's 'just the way it is'.

It's definitely made me more interested in languages anyway.

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Some of the spookily similar words or phrases in Norwegian and English:

Skitne (pronounced shitne) : dirty 

Barn : children (northern bairn?)

Kjøp (pronounced shop) : buy

There are loads of things that I can use to link words e.g.

Peng : money. People with bling are Peng

Redd : afraid. Like little redd riding hood

Unnskyld : sorry. If you're unskilled you have to be sorry

 

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I tried French on Duolingo for a while, I could do all the exercises fairly easily but then I tried watching the drama with Eric Cantona in it on Netflix and could barely understand a word he was saying.  I don't know whether it was just his accent (Paris I think it was set) and I'm used to more Normandy and Calais or people just generally speak slower to me in person.  Portuguese is supposed to be the easiest for English to learn as grammatically we're very similar, so I might give that a bash.

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On 26/11/2020 at 08:35, darrenm said:

Wondering if there are many bi or multi linguists here?

I've always wanted to learn a language and I've always admired the Nordic culture so started on Norwegian at the beginning of lockdown. I'm now on a 233 days streak on Duolingo and I've (apparently) learned almost 1500 words.

I could now probably get by slowly speaking bokmål type Norwegian but I'd be nowhere near fluent and every web site says Norwegians can all speak perfect English anyway so it almost seems a bit pointless outside of it being a hobby.

It's fascinating to see how west Germanic and Latin languages combined to become English. There's so much crossover.

Anyway, has anyone else decided to learn another language? Streak freaks on Duolingo? Anyone use anything else? Is anyone fluent in a number of languages?

A long time ago I was if not fluent in German, at least capable of conversing ordinarily - i.e. not having to think in English and then work out the German, but just speak in German without having to think. if that makes sense. I've lost it now, mind, though can still read and understand a reasonable amount.

Maybe 15 years ago or more, I did the same as you and had a go at Italian (as I used to go there with work frequently) using an internet gibbons - I think it was called "Memrise". It was OK, but I sort of tailed off, as I decided going for a walk at dinner time was better.

If this clampdown goes on much longer I might get back into the German stuff.

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3 hours ago, sharkyvilla said:

I tried French on Duolingo for a while, I could do all the exercises fairly easily but then I tried watching the drama with Eric Cantona in it on Netflix and could barely understand a word he was saying.  I don't know whether it was just his accent (Paris I think it was set) and I'm used to more Normandy and Calais or people just generally speak slower to me in person.  Portuguese is supposed to be the easiest for English to learn as grammatically we're very similar, so I might give that a bash.

I honestly think Norwegian is the easiest for an English speaker to learn because it's basically English spoken like Yoda with a Norwegian accent.

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Decided to join the duolingo club at the start of June, since I've been living in Wales for 18 years or so I figured it was time to get on board with learning the language (and to see how it compares to the 4 or so words of Cornish I know).  It's going slowly, I probably ought to spend more than the 10 mins or so first thing in the morning when I'm usually lacking in focus/coffee - have to echo the thoughts about the lack of understanding the "why" in duolingo (thankfully the good lady was kind enough to explain the rules for the various forms of "the").

Still at least I can now say "Dw i'n mwynhau bwyta selsig"; so if I ever join a Welsh language group with a similar predilection for Kenneth as this place does, I'll be alright.

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