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Poll: How well do you speak the local language?
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How well do you speak the local language?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:07 am
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Default How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Do you speak the language of the country you're in? If so, how well?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:13 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

i'm still trying to learn my own language...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:31 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I spent a good deal of time studying in the beginning and then took a well deserved short break and since have had a hard time getting back into the study groove.

(The short break was 4 years ago.)
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Unread Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:46 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

im glad there's the "read the menu, order a beer and ask where the bathroom is." option. that's it for me. i can't go no further!
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Unread Feb 4th, 2006, 01:24 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Well I can speak Greek well, with a slight foreign accent but fluently. I learnt a lot of abstract words from the students I was preparing for the Cambridge exams. I fell in love and got married to a Greek man while speaking English and despite my heredity( my dad's Greek) I was raised in a different country, culture, language. So when I came to live in Greece, everything was literally Greek to me. I learnt fast however. I found similarities in vocabulary and syntax between Greek and other languages I could speak. I learnt to read by reading syllable by syllable some cheap western books translated into Greek. After I finished the first one I could read, after I finished the fifth one I could speak intelligiblly. This is what extensive reading does to a language student
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Unread Feb 8th, 2006, 08:21 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

manuela,

i think it so useful for language teachers to go through the process of learning a language. it really helps them understand what their students are going through.

and congrats to you for tackling greek so enthusiastically!
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Unread Jun 22nd, 2006, 06:25 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I can order stuff, understand the money and general stuff like that here in Korea. The funny thing is that the majority of the time when I use Korean, I get a REPLY in English so it has turned me off learning it more.

I'm going back to French 'cas I spent 6 years in school learning it and it's more useful than Korean I think I got a Beginner's Book with cassettes yesterday so I am recording them onto my Minidisk at school as I don't have a tape player.

(p.s. don't tell the Koreans what I said)
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Unread Aug 18th, 2006, 07:46 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I'm in China, but I know more japanese than I do Chinese...
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Unread Aug 19th, 2006, 08:35 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Quote:
Quote simplyesl
I'm in China, but I know more japanese than I do Chinese...
Did you stay in Japan or study Japanese? Do Japanese use some Chinese characters?
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 20th, 2006, 04:54 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I'm studying Japanese. Japanese has hirigana, katakana and kanji. Hirigana and katakana are way easier to learn, as there are less of them and they are fairly simple to write. Kanji characters are the Chinese ones.
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Unread Aug 23rd, 2006, 06:53 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

All this talk about learning another language has pushed me to start back at French again! I did study Korean for a while and eventhough I speak Korean to shop keepers / bar attendants / waiters etc, they still try to speak English to me so what's the point?

My wife has said that it would be useful to learn Korean only so that you can understand what the students are saying in the class but other than that you really don't need it. Also outside of Korea is it really useful?

A friend of mine tried to study Japanese because he was big into Manga and comics so he's able to understand some stuff so if you try you can do it!

I spent about 6 years learning French in school so it would be a waste if I forgot it all. We plan to live in France for a while in a few years as it's easier to bring our dog there and then to my home country then directly to my home country.
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Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I'm teaching in Italy, just starting my seventh year. I thought I'd only be here for a year so for the first twelve months I learnt enough to reinforce the stereotype that English people can't \ don't \ refuse to learn languages. Then I decided to stay by which time I'd picked up vocab from students always asking the same questions, 'How do you say . . in English?' Therefore vocab great, structure a little better than awful. Sadly, six years on the grammar hasn't improved much but I now have an Italian wife and baby daughter to help when I get in a muddle.
Incidentally, is it a good thing or a bad thing to be able to speak the language of the country you're teaching in? Is anyone tempted to slip out of English to explain something, or is it acceptable to do this anyway? What do you think?
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 28th, 2006, 05:25 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Quote:
Quote clivehawkins
I'm teaching in Italy, just starting my seventh year. I thought I'd only be here for a year so for the first twelve months I learnt enough to reinforce the stereotype that English people can't \ don't \ refuse to learn languages. Then I decided to stay by which time I'd picked up vocab from students always asking the same questions, 'How do you say . . in English?' Therefore vocab great, structure a little better than awful. Sadly, six years on the grammar hasn't improved much but I now have an Italian wife and baby daughter to help when I get in a muddle.
Incidentally, is it a good thing or a bad thing to be able to speak the language of the country you're teaching in? Is anyone tempted to slip out of English to explain something, or is it acceptable to do this anyway? What do you think?
I guess that a lot of people are afraid of losing their English if they focus too much on another language. I had to study Irish and French on top of English when I was in school and if that wasn't hard enough I tried to learn Korean for a while when I came here until I realised that everybody speaks to me in English anyway, even when I talk to them in Korean!

Also I met this guy before who was in Korea for like 6 or 7 years and his English was shocking! He spoke a lot of Konglish (Korean+English e.g. hand phone) and he was teaching kids all the time so I guess that he actually started to lose his English at some stage. Of course the kids wouldn't have noticed but the adults sure did. Be careful everyboy!!
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 02:18 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Yep, that's easily done. When your daily life is conducted in another language it's all too easy to 'lose' your English. As much as I try, I still get a few strange looks from friends when I go 'home' speaking English translated from Italian.

Seven years of hearing 'we are six' instead of 'there are six of us' and 'my sister she has nine years' etc etc takes its toll.

I guess listening, reading and, if possible, speaking to other mother tongues helps to keep the language doctor away :-)
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Unread Aug 29th, 2006, 06:52 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Generally I read a lot and try to watch as many t.v. shows as possible on the weekends. I don't want to lose it!!

Quote:
Quote clivehawkins
Yep, that's easily done. When your daily life is conducted in another language it's all too easy to 'lose' your English. As much as I try, I still get a few strange looks from friends when I go 'home' speaking English translated from Italian.

Seven years of hearing 'we are six' instead of 'there are six of us' and 'my sister she has nine years' etc etc takes its toll.

I guess listening, reading and, if possible, speaking to other mother tongues helps to keep the language doctor away :-)
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Unread Sep 12th, 2006, 10:25 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I'm in Japan. I can get by but I kind of lost motivation to study because I speak English at home to my kids (jpn wife) and teach English all day at school. Not so many opportunities to speak now but my understanding is not bad.
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Unread Sep 18th, 2006, 06:44 am
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

Funny thing... I'm Polish and I live in Poland so I'm supposed to speak Polish very well..but... It often happens that I can't find a polish word but I know the english equivalent
And after being two months in Canada this summer my polish was really bad for a while It's mainly because my family in Canada used some kind of Polglish -I mean they mixed english with polish so often that it stuck in my head...
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Unread Oct 3rd, 2006, 11:10 pm
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Thumbs up Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

i've been here in indonesia for a year now but still can't make a sentence or two in bahasa. well, i can in simple sentences but can't start conversation or argument in bahasa. i am trying to learn. really. as in trying really hard to know the language
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Unread Oct 7th, 2006, 04:56 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

It's hilarious how many people don't speak English in America. I know "it's the melting pot of the world", but, it's a shame. I am Cuban/Jamaican (Spanish/English). I met a few women who live here for 40 years and don't speak English. Wow!
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Unread Oct 19th, 2006, 02:35 pm
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Default Re: How many people actually speak the language of the country their in?

I always went to a lot of trouble to learn the rudiments of any language before visiting a country as I find that the most rewarding part of any visit is usually in the conversations that one has with the local people, to understand their culture and the way they think.

For example in Libya I learned from a man about how he was going to take two wives. To a westerner the man would be decried as a sexist pig or whatever. However in the context he was a good and charitable man.

If he divorced his first wife, who he had married out of family duty, she would be cast out into the street, be shamed, and no one would take her in. By keeping her and taking a second wife, he ensured his first wife kept her pride and status, and a roof over her head.

As well as Leptis Magna, that conversation was one of the highlights of my stay.
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