View Full Version : The Foreign Language Thread!

2014-Mar-07, 11:53 PM
This thread is for people learning another language where hopefully someone that knows/learning that language will post as well; it was going to be a, "Spanish-thread", but it can be any language (even English if you want to improve your grammer).

O miércoles despues fui a mi clase, fui comer a una comida principal para desayuna. Comí dos heuvos, dos chorizos americana, y papas fritas llama en íngles, “Hash-browns“, y dos panes tostados con dulces,

Eso fue malo por q. mi clases es nadar. Y antes eso, fui a mi otro clase para computadores en la officina de ley.

2014-Mar-08, 03:09 AM
El viernes, comí dos huevos con pan tostado para la cena. Yo comí granola para el desayuno y el almuerzo.

No utilizado español en mi trabajo. Mis alumnos hablan el árabe y el Inglés.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Mar-08, 06:37 PM
I did consider learning Spanish at the same time as Italian, but quickly learnt that it ain't easy to learn two languages when you're an adult. (When you're a child there's no problem with interference, apparently.) So I'm sticking with Italian. I went to my class at Havant Library this morning. It's a lovely language but the lessons are a little slow and not as immersive as I'd like.

2014-Mar-08, 07:11 PM
Italian, for arguing
Spanish, for soliloquies
French, for love--and treaties
Russian, for displays of fatalism
English, (the Ciardi translation) for The Inferno

2014-Mar-08, 09:03 PM
but it can be any language (even English if you want to improve your grammer).

Grammar. :)

I did consider learning Spanish at the same time as Italian, but quickly learnt that it ain't easy to learn two languages when you're an adult.

Spanish and Italian would be very confusing, as they are so similar. Italian and, say, Japanese at the same time might be easier. (They are phonetically similar but grammatically completely different.)

2014-Mar-08, 09:11 PM
I learned Italian as a child and then Spanish in high school and again in college. There is a significant amount of "jamming" between the two languages, often I can't identify what I am looking at until I try to read it aloud.

Between the two, I can get a gist of Portuguese but fail horribly on nouns. One memorable mistranslated line from a comic book was "The Popsicles went to the store and died." It was actually a sentence about bodies being placed in a morgue freezer. The speaker was apparently being sarcastic and I even missed the facial expressions.

2014-Mar-09, 01:13 AM
Swahili is interesting, and simple. "I, you, he/she" is just "ni, u, a". Then you need a tense. na is present, ta is future, li ("lee") is past, me ("may") is, I guess, past participle. Then you need a verb. To forget - kusahau (sahau is the root). So "I have forgotten" is "nimesahau." :cool:

2014-Mar-10, 04:55 AM
Esa manaña no tengo tiempo comer desayuna. Anoche, fui a el bar. Bebí muchas cervesas. Yo muy escrabié. ¡Me desperté a las doce! Es claro. Monté mi bicicleta a la playa hoy. Muchos gentes estuvieron allí. El sol, no fue bien a me.

2014-Mar-10, 12:10 PM
Ich bin mir sicher, dass ihr sehr interessante Sachen schreibt, aber leider kann ich kein Spanisch. Ich kann Deutsch anbieten? (eller så kan jag skriva på svenska också...)


2014-Mar-10, 06:15 PM

2014-Mar-10, 11:27 PM
They thought they could teach me French when I was in the 7th grade. They learned otherwise.

Ivan Viehoff
2014-Mar-11, 05:18 PM
O miércoles despues fui a mi clase,
The first two words are "Oh Wednesday", so next I look for what it is you wish to address to Wednesday. I expect in reality you have mixed it up with Portuguese, where "o" means "the". But you don't need "the". "El miércoles" means "on Wednesdays", not on a specific Wednesday.

Your third word means "after" so I look beyond it for after what. You can't use depués as an adjective to mean "last". To say "(on) last Wednesday", you just write "miércoles pasado".

Do you teach this class you went to? That is what I would understand from "mi clase". If you are going to a class someone else teaches, that isn't your class in many languages. Somehow I expect when you wrote "I went to (my) class" you actually meant "I went to school", fui al escuela, because it would be odd to eat a fried breakfast in class. They don't use class to refer to a classroom or a school like you might in America. Or indeed even to refer to the class room. Clase is literally the class that is taught.

The next bit is rather garbled too. "I went to eat" would be "fui a comer". But if it was breakfast you went to eat, that would better be "fui a desayunar", I went to eat breakfast. I suspect when you wrote "comida principal", which means "main meal", it was actually a room you had in mind, maybe the main dining room, the comedor principal. You can't write fui a comer al comedor principal, as that means I went to eat to the room which you can't say in English either. You have to choose between going to eat in the room, "fui a desayunar en el comedor principal, or going to the room in order to eat "fui al comedor principal para desayunar".

Does that help?

2014-Mar-11, 08:13 PM
Сначала, я решил учиться русскому языку, потому что я был без ума от одной трёхъязычной украинской женщины. В то время, выбор русского или украинского языка совсем так не был политическим. :(

2014-Mar-13, 12:55 PM
Холодно. Очень холодно.

I wouldn't have realized that русскому языку should be in dative case. I do try to keep learning.

2014-Mar-13, 07:17 PM
I make no guarantees for the grammatical correctness of anything I may write in any language. :p

I think учиться takes the dative case here because it's the reflexive of учить, 'to teach', where the person being taught is in the accusative and the subject taught is in the dative (it's not a true reflexive verb, however, since it doesn't mean 'to teach ones self').

2014-Mar-21, 04:55 AM
This isn't about learning to speak a foreign language, but it is about the history & evolution of languages, and I didn't want to create a new thread just for something sort of obscure, but I've got a couple of little mysteries to try to explain here...

I've been collecting info on the major modern alphabets that (mostly) trace back to the Phoenician alphabet: first it fairly directly led to the Greek and Aramaic alphabets, then the Greek one led to the Latin and Cyrillic ones while the Aramaic one led to the Hebrew and Arabic ones. They mostly stick to the original Phoenician order, from the analog of A through the analog of T, which I represented in my image with the colors.

As you can see, on the Greek side, there's more complication: several get duplicated with modification, dropped, or bumped out of order, and additional letters get piled onto the end after T or its analog, including a few that aren't even Phoenician in origin (white letters in dark gray boxes). But on the Aramaic side, it's generally more straightforward, with fewer exceptions calling for fewer arrows. Wikipedia doesn't even have separate entries for analogous letters in this group of alphabets, but has one page treating, for example, aleph, `alp, `alaph, and alif as different visual forms of, and different languages' names for, the same letter. The only explicit exceptions are some duplicates (with a single dot added) piled onto the end of the Arabic alphabet, and one Arabic substitution, where a derivative of of sin/shin takes the place of samekh/simketh (and its name).

But that leaves a couple of oddities on the Aramaic side where any evolutionary shift to a letter in one of the major modern alphabets is pretty hard to see and makes me think there might have been substitutions or other exceptions that I'm missing. I've made those arrows white for now.

Most Hebrew letters are just shape-shifts from Aramaic, but Hebrew simketh is practically just a loop, where Aramaic had a set of mostly straight lines meeting at jagged angles. I can imagine the whole zigzag across the top blending into a single line, and the mildly curved descender on the right getting curvier and coming back up on the left, but it seems like a stretch compared to how little change happened in other Hebrew letters. Do any of you know of another explanation for modern simketh, like that it's more closely related to something else that looks more similar from earlier or later in the alphabet, like ayin (right after it) or tet (six spots earlier, in the green box, analogous to Greek theta (Θ))?

Arabic is a bit more complicated, which makes it more interesting. :) It's mostly a cursive version of Aramaic, with the same kinds of modifications from Aramaic that our own letters get in their cursive forms, plus often some clockwise or counterclockwise rotation, to get them to flow along a constant horizontal line. Another result of this cursivization is that the same letter can have up to four forms: one when it's the first letter in a word, one when it's the last, one when it's anywhere between, and one when it's alone, not in a word at all. Sometimes all four look the same, and if not, usually the initial & medial forms look like each other and the final & isolated forms look like each other, which is usually simply the initial/medial form with a big curvy tail added. For the sake of keeping the relationships to other alphabets relatively visible, I used the tailless initial/medial form in most cases, which usually seems to be the original from which others are derived, but included the final/isolated forms when the difference is more than just the addition of a tail (or when two letters with similar i/m forms have more distinct f/i forms).

The Arabic letter that I'm having trouble fitting into that pattern is ha', analogous to he' and (h)epsilon (E). It's the only one where all four Arabic forms are different enough to need to be shown because none can be inferred from the others, but also, they're all pretty different from the Aramaic letter they're supposed to come from. As with Hebrew simketh, they're loopy, while the original was a pile of sticks at angles. Substitution would make sense here not just because all modern forms look so different from Aramaic but also because the Aramaic counterpart would have been pretty hard to cursivize. The Arabic initial form does look like it could be a loopy version of Aramaic's set of angled intersecting lines, but that explanation requires Arabic's other three forms to be derived from the initial by separating the intersecting loops from each other or dropping one, and I don't like adding steps that I haven't seen an authority comment on. It seems to be treated as if it had come straight from Aramaic he' with little or no change. Does anyone know of another explanation, like that it's actually a substitution derived from qaf/qoph/qoppa (equivalent to our Q)?

2014-Mar-21, 05:53 AM
中文之优,在其结构(汉字);而汉字亦为双刃剑;因汉字之故,中文无需如字母文一般,新事物必须以新字称之 ,乃致英语有过百万生词(虽常用者不过一万到十万,但仍让所学者望而生叹。)

2014-Mar-21, 07:28 AM
中文之优,在其结构(汉字);而汉字亦为双刃剑;因汉字之故,中文无需如字母文一般,新事物必须以新字称之 ,乃致英语有过百万生词(虽常用者不过一万到十万,但仍让所学者望而生叹。)

You're clearly more advanced than I am.

2014-Mar-22, 06:13 AM
Grammar. :)

Spanish and Italian would be very confusing, as they are so similar. Italian and, say, Japanese at the same time might be easier. (They are phonetically similar but grammatically completely different.)

Probably P.B. found convenient learning 2 languages together just because 80% of lexicon is similar...

Some manga nerds in my town learn japanese written in latin characters, so they can speak to people and maybe can watch movies but cannot read mangas... it's nonsense for me...

2014-Mar-22, 07:25 AM
on the good side there are few "false friends" between it and es... "platano" is a tree in italian and an unrelated fruit (the banana to cook) in spanish...

2014-Sep-19, 06:22 PM
Dusting this thread off to note that I just (and finally!) ordered the Rosetta Stone course in German. I'm looking forward refreshing and improving what I learned while living there. It's been...dang...almost 16 years since I left there to move here.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Sep-19, 09:17 PM
My ex-girlfriend Jane* was asking my advice this week about which audio to use to learn Greek. I think she's very ambitious taking that on as it's not got much in common with English except for those words in English which are derived from Greek. And of course those English words which get shipped out everywhere.

Jane is blind, so her learning will probably be entirely audio. I know the Greek alphabet (as most astronomers should) and I know grade one Braille (Jane taught it to me in the late 1980s) but I don't know what the Greek alphabet is in Braille.

*Not to be confused with my ex-friend Lauren, who speaks five languages fluently.

2014-Sep-20, 09:13 AM
A little awkward.. this entire thread is in a foreign language..

2014-Sep-20, 01:32 PM
Xhosa, anyone?