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View Poll Results: How many languages do you speak
English only (or with baby skill in another language) 33 45.21%
English plus a passable second language 22 30.14%
English and truly fluent or native in another language 14 19.18%
Truly fluent in more than two languages 4 5.48%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Are you bilingual (or more)?
Old 12-18-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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Are you bilingual (or more)?

I lived in France while younger and am truly bilingual in French. I speak Spanish in a very basic way after years in Arizona and Florida.

I know we have some polyglots on the board, but I was curious as to how many of us speak more than good ole American.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:36 PM   #2
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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Yeah, now we see where all the high scores on the vocabulary quiz come from.

bpp3 has Japanese and probably more. I have just enough Latin and French to get me a 46 on that damn quiz.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:39 PM   #4
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Give me ten more years and I'll be fluent in pidgen, but I don't think that counts.

If I wasn't retired I'd learn Mandarian in order to speak to my future employeers.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:59 PM   #5
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Heck, I'm not even that fluent in English!
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:27 PM   #6
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I have English and other-than-English, having had occasion to use (at widely spaced times) limited German, Russian, French, and Spanish. I never know which one will come out if I'm trying to speak other than English.
In the middle of the night on a French train, trying to explain the seat next to me was taken because my traveling companion would return, I pointed to the seat and told a Frenchman, "Ici ist mein amigo."
Isn't there some other thread about how the French can be rude? Maybe I'm part of the reason.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:27 AM   #7
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What do you mean by "truly fluent"?
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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- Fluent in English and Pilipino (grew up in RP)

- Some Spanish (RP was colonized by Spain so lots of Spanish words used there, plus 4 semesters in college, plus recent refresher class)
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Bi-Lingual?
Old 12-19-2007, 10:40 AM   #9
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Bi-Lingual?

Nope, I only like gurlz.

Mike D.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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What do you call someone who can speak three languages? Trilingual

What do you call someone who can speak two languages? Bilingual

What do you call someone who can speak one language? American


I'm an American.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #11
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i can only speak english and i feel absolutely inadequate about my language skills. even with five or six years of hebrew school they only taught us the letters, how to read and write in print and in script but they never taught conversation. i can read the bible in hebrew but i have no idea what i'm saying. stupid stupid stupid.

i don't know if that bad training harmed my ability to learn other languages. i had two years of spanish in high school and one year in college. i got an "a" but only because it was not conversational spanish and we could use a dictionary on tests.

i have always greatly admired the multilingual. i had friends (a father & son), one spoke 5 the other 6 languages. they played scrabble in five of them at one time. there was a young girl in my town where i grew up who spoke 5 languages and i was so impressed with her.

i'm a little afraid of my plan to travel because of my lack of language skills. just last week i was checking out local classes and will be signing up for beginning conversational spanish at the local adult education facility. wish me luck.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
just last week i was checking out local classes and will be signing up for beginning conversational spanish at the local adult education facility. wish me luck.
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Concentrate on please, thank you, pardon me, and I'm sorry.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:05 PM   #13
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i can only speak english and i feel absolutely inadequate about my language skills. .....i'm a little afraid of my plan to travel because of my lack of language skills. .....
No worries: There is a deaf cabinetmaker here in town who is a really funny guy and does just fine comunicating without speech. When staying in an Italian owned all-inclusive down soth of Cancun, populated with mostly Italians, I found that my mind pulled up all the old Sophia Loren flicks - between her phrases and pantomime and the mutual desire to communicate we did just fine. When we took the busses down to Belize it all worked out, even with my Spanglish. People are people.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:51 PM   #14
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bpp3 has Japanese and probably more.
I put down "passable": functional, but would never be mistaken for a native speaker in lengthy conversation. I suspect that would require childhood immersion, such as Rich and Flipstress experienced.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:06 PM   #15
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I struggle with the immersion thing for my kid. She is such a sponge, it'd be great to take her to France or China for a year or three. But we just can't overcome the logistical hurdles of pets, family, friends, real estate, etc. I envy you expats.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
I have English and other-than-English, having had occasion to use (at widely spaced times) limited German, Russian, French, and Spanish. I never know which one will come out if I'm trying to speak other than English.
In the middle of the night on a French train, trying to explain the seat next to me was taken because my traveling companion would return, I pointed to the seat and told a Frenchman, "Ici ist mein amigo."
Isn't there some other thread about how the French can be rude? Maybe I'm part of the reason.
LOL!! What a terrific story.

I have been known to do similar things when programming. I'm going along just fine in one computer language and then somehow another sneaks in. It's pretty easy to catch since I know I do it.

Growing up back in Hawaii, one becomes fluent in Pidgeon English, which has words and phrases from several different languages intentionally thrown in resulting in a very colorful and expressive dialect. (Is the above paragraph an example of "Pidgeon Fortran"?)

Here in Louisiana, the "French" that is spoken is very similar. They don't call it Pidgeon French, but they should! It's got all kinds of words in it, not just French, and the pronunciation is very characteristic of the area. I can understand this bastardized French, but could not and would not attempt to speak that way.

I put one other language, passable (conventional French). I also took a year of Japanese in school. Although I learned Spanish via total immersion as a toddler while abroad, I do not remember much any more. I knew a little Hawaiian when I lived there. Guess that is about it.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:27 PM   #17
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Functional French and...
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
And, as a consequence of my misspent youth as a sailor, I can ask for a beer and locate the bathroom in many other languages.
... me too.

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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
Give me ten more years and I'll be fluent in pidgen, but I don't think that counts.
Fo' real, brah! I get one Primo after the lua, eh?

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If I wasn't retired I'd learn Mandarian in order to speak to my future employeers.
I've enjoyed watching our kid learn Spanish, IMO a much more useful second language than French, but it hasn't inspired any desire to learn another language. Even when spouse wants to spend a month in Thailand and I bring up the subject of cooking classes, language school, and muay thai she counters with eating, shopping, and Thai massages. I guess I can live with that... as long as we surf Kata Beach.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:44 PM   #18
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1 year of French
3 years of Latin
1 year of Spanish
1 year of Russian

After 20 30 40 years, most fades away.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:46 PM   #19
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Et tu, Khan? Agricolae et puelae sont pulchrae, n'est pas?
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:26 AM   #20
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Fan, kan ingen tala svenska har?
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