Learning languages

Page 6 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Mar 18, 2009
745
0
0
RedheadDane said:
...Well, in Denmark on University level you're expected to speak English. Not only if you, like me, actually study English. Several of the books are in English.
Similar here I believe.

I'm preparing to take a Master's degree in business here. I've been told most, if not all, the text books are in english (which is good for me) but that most, if not all, conversation will be in Bokmål (the more common of the two Norwegian languages).

If true, it should make for an interesting curriculum :D
 
Feb 18, 2010
882
0
0
flyor64 said:
Similar here I believe.

I'm preparing to take a Master's degree in business here. I've been told most, if not all, the text books are in english (which is good for me) but that most, if not all, conversation will be in Bokmål (the more common of the two Norwegian languages).

If true, it should make for an interesting curriculum :D
Same in Belgium. Many books and texts are in English, sometimes in French and on occasion in German (which wasn't easy, considering I've never studied any German).
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Who doesn't love being asked about their field of expertise? I'm as pleased as you would be by Fabian Cancellara on a plate.
Even when the credit goes to a mockery of liberty seguros and an unidentifiable presumably portugese/ columbian rider?

Still i should have known you specialised in languages after you told acf he was tautologising when he wrote "more better". That was beautiful.
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
The Hitch said:
Even when the credit goes to a mockery of liberty seguros and an unidentifiable presumably portugese/ columbian rider?

Still i should have known you specialised in languages after you told acf he was tautologising when he wrote "more better". That was beautiful.
That is Emanuele Sella.
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
The Hitch said:
Well in my defence, he does have his face covered by his hands.
Trust me, it took a while for me to work who it was, only until Libertine mentioned who it was (I sort of suspected it was Sella to begin with).
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
Libertine might be the best one to answer this, or anybody who has some knowledge is welcome to answer as well :)

How do you pronounce Vilanova i la Geltrù (stage 10 finish) correctly? Also, how similar is Catalan to Spanish? I once went to Barcelona and had the directions of where I was staying, except it was the street signs in Spanish, only to arrive in Barcelona and find it all in Catalan. I must admit, it confused the hell out of me.

Also, what is the next best step when going to the country to learn the language you want to speak is out of the question? For example, the cheapest it would cost me to fly to Spain to learn Spanish is $2211 AUD (return), plus living costs, and somehow to support myself until I got a job of some sort.

To redheadeddane, I know you are fluent in Danish and English (or near enough), and you also speak German (not great), could you also understand Norwegian or Swedish if they were spoken to you, or is that no different if somebody walked up to you and started speaking Turkish to you? Perhaps some of our Scandinavian friends could also answer this.
 
I understand Norwegian and Swedish fairly okay (Norwegian (bokmål) better than Swedish.)

If a Norwegian came over and started speaking Norwegian to me I would probably answer in Danish... and our talk would simply be bi-languary like that. If a Swede came over I think I'd be more inclined to switch to English (Though I'd probably try just double-language-speaking at first)
 
RedheadDane said:
I understand Norwegian and Swedish fairly okay (Norwegian (bokmål) better than Swedish.)

If a Norwegian came over and started speaking Norwegian to me I would probably answer in Danish... and our talk would simply be bi-languary like that. If a Swede came over I think I'd be more inclined to switch to English (Though I'd probably try just double-language-speaking at first)
Damn, i need to get in on this Germanic family.

First things first though, and i need the romance family sorted.
 
craig1985 said:
Libertine might be the best one to answer this, or anybody who has some knowledge is welcome to answer as well :)

How do you pronounce Vilanova i la Geltrù (stage 10 finish) correctly? Also, how similar is Catalan to Spanish? I once went to Barcelona and had the directions of where I was staying, except it was the street signs in Spanish, only to arrive in Barcelona and find it all in Catalan. I must admit, it confused the hell out of me.

Also, what is the next best step when going to the country to learn the language you want to speak is out of the question? For example, the cheapest it would cost me to fly to Spain to learn Spanish is $2211 AUD (return), plus living costs, and somehow to support myself until I got a job of some sort.

To redheadeddane, I know you are fluent in Danish and English (or near enough), and you also speak German (not great), could you also understand Norwegian or Swedish if they were spoken to you, or is that no different if somebody walked up to you and started speaking Turkish to you? Perhaps some of our Scandinavian friends could also answer this.
Spain isnt the only country that speaks spanish;)

Nah im just joking. Im guessing it would probably be just as expensive to go to Latin America

But if you are learning Spanish feel free to pm me if you want to know the best language learning programmes (they are very effective). Ive tried them all at lentgh and can give you links to download them umm legaly :eek: + which ones do what (less expensive then going to Spain but requiring a lot more effort)

Spanish is a fun language to learn if you speak english, because from my experience its the easiest to learn from English. I know our resident language expert would disagree and obviously he knows more about it than me but for me the fact that Spain needs slightly less grammar than German and has many similar words makes it easier.
 
craig1985 said:
Libertine might be the best one to answer this, or anybody who has some knowledge is welcome to answer as well :)

How do you pronounce Vilanova i la Geltrù (stage 10 finish) correctly?
The Spanish/Catalan 'v' and 'b' are pronounced more or less the same and somewhere between the two (linguists denote it [β]). It ought to be something like "βee-la-NOH-va ee la zhel-TROO", but I may be barking up the wrong tree.
Also, how similar is Catalan to Spanish? I once went to Barcelona and had the directions of where I was staying, except it was the street signs in Spanish, only to arrive in Barcelona and find it all in Catalan. I must admit, it confused the hell out of me.
Catalan is a Gallo-Romance language (like French and Occitan), rather than an Ibero-Romance language (like Spanish, Galician and Portuguese). It's like a close cousin, because there has been a lot of interference from Castilian Spanish affecting it. You could think of it as a continuum from north to south, with French, then Occitan, then Catalan, then Spanish.

Also, what is the next best step when going to the country to learn the language you want to speak is out of the question? For example, the cheapest it would cost me to fly to Spain to learn Spanish is $2211 AUD (return), plus living costs, and somehow to support myself until I got a job of some sort.
There are plenty of things you can do for this, some better than others. You could take a course from a local college or school evening classes, which will help you to learn basics; you could advertise for a tandem partner, where you meet up with a native Spanish speaker living in Australia, and you then help each other develop your language knowledge by holding part of the conversation in English and part of it in Spanish. A lot of places have English-language schools for immigrants - if you go to one of these and say you'd like to work with some Spanish-speakers I'd imagine they'd be accommodating. Elsewise, I don't know what Spain's equivalent is, but you could do something like a course or meet at the Spanish version of the Goethe-Institut. I was lucky enough to do exchange programs, where you can be immersed. This gives you friends in multiple languages too - one of my friends over there was a Polish girl who I still talk to from time to time - we have to use German as it's the only language we share, but she often writes the same message in German and Polish for me, which allows me to pick up bits of the latter. Beyond that, this is the internet - I'm sure you can find a way to meet some Spanish-speakers online. I know we have some on this forum! PM or IM them and ask them about the language. Get them to write in Spanish and try to understand and follow them. Your local town may have a Spanish circle somewhere, a group of people, some native Spanish-speakers and some Aussies who speak the language, who will get together and speak Spanish together - ask if you can take part. Reading texts in a language can help. Subject matter that you're familiar with can also help - I know you can speak a little bit of French, and when you read texts you can use knowledge of French (and of the Latin vocab in English) to help you make educated guesswork. Over time your guesswork becomes more accurate and you become more confident with the vocab you're using - especially if the spoken element is being handled as well.

Overall, it's about finding a way to meet people for whom it's the native language. If they speak good English then they can correct you accurately and communication is eased, but it does have the potential trap of making it easier to switch to English. But don't be afraid of switching to English. You could schedule an hour long meeting and the first time only spend 5 or 6 minutes speaking Spanish. But over time you'll find that the need to recourse to English decreases.
 
RedheadDane said:
If a Norwegian came over and started speaking Norwegian to me I would probably answer in Danish... and our talk would simply be bi-languary like that.
I speak a little Spanish, and a tiny bit of French (mostly from cycling!). I had a friend who grew up in Paris but was fluent in French, Spanish and English. He was aware I knew some Spanish and bits of French so he would speak to me in a mish-mash of languages, usually all stuffed into one sentence! It was something to listen to. I once asked him to stop, and being being a true Parisian (think, Fignon-type personality), he bluntly responded, "Por qué? You understand what I am saying. Oui?"

As to learning a language, I crammed Spanish heavily before a month plus long trip to South America and learned way, way more when I was down there, in it, than anything I studied beforehand.

As an aside - do not go to Quebec and expect to learn French. That language is not the same. As a friend from Holland was fluent in French once told me, "the French sing their language, this is different." Most French I know also loathe the Quebec language, and find it a butchering of their native tongue.
 
May 20, 2010
801
0
0
Alpe d'Huez said:
I speak a little Spanish, and a tiny bit of French (mostly from cycling!). I had a friend who grew up in Paris but was fluent in French, Spanish and English. He was aware I knew some Spanish and bits of French so he would speak to me in a mish-mash of languages, usually all stuffed into one sentence! It was something to listen to. I once asked him to stop, and being being a true Parisian (think, Fignon-type personality), he bluntly responded, "Por qué? You understand what I am saying. Oui?"

As to learning a language, I crammed Spanish heavily before a month plus long trip to South America and learned way, way more when I was down there, in it, than anything I studied beforehand.

As an aside - do not go to Quebec and expect to learn French. That language is not the same. As a friend from Holland was fluent in French once told me, "the French sing their language, this is different." Most French I know also loathe the Quebec language, and find it a butchering of their native tongue.
Haha! The same thing has been said about American English vs. The Queen's English.
Have a look at The History of English for great insight on language development, be it English or French or Swahili.
After learning German, then Spanish, French came pretty easily. After living in Girona and buying a Catalan dictionary, I began to fumble through that as well. But, studying Arabic in grad school really threw me for a loop.
 
TexPat said:
Haha! The same thing has been said about American English vs. The Queen's English.
Have a look at The History of English for great insight on language development, be it English or French or Swahili.
After learning German, then Spanish, French came pretty easily. After living in Girona and buying a Catalan dictionary, I began to fumble through that as well. But, studying Arabic in grad school really threw me for a loop.
Mainly because Arabic is completely unrelated to your first language - it's much more easy to instinctively grasp that which has something familiar that allows you to recognise and formulate patterns - and it's much easier to recognise a pattern if it's similar to one you already know.

I'm having the same problem with Arabic; I'm starting to pick up the patterns and can make guesses at meanings based on the consonantal roots.
 
May 20, 2010
801
0
0
Libertine Seguros said:
Mainly because Arabic is completely unrelated to your first language - it's much more easy to instinctively grasp that which has something familiar that allows you to recognise and formulate patterns - and it's much easier to recognise a pattern if it's similar to one you already know.
I always found Mark Twain's view on German rather amusing. Due to its word order and declensions, it often befuddles native anglophones despite the common roots.
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/languages/german/the-awful-german-language.html
 
Something funny about about Danish, English and German. Many things are much more alike between Danish and German than between Danish and English but because we learn English first people tend to use the "English way" when learning German, probably from the reasoning "It's a foreign language so I should do like... a foreign language."

For example the number system. Both Danish and German have a system where we, instead of how it's done in English with, say, twenty-one, goes "one-and-twenty".
 
Libertine Seguros said:
This seems implausible - if you try to make up a language, the chances are it will hold a close similarity in structure and grammar to a language you know - even most auxiliary languages like Esperanto and Ido fall into this trap, and are essentially constructed indo-European languages.
Isn't that by design? An auxlang is ultimately intended to be a language to replace other languages so constructing the language to have a sense of familiarity only helps the chance of people switching to it.

I guess the point is still valid though if the person trying to construct the language isn't a linguist.
 
May 20, 2010
801
0
0
ingsve said:
Isn't that by design? An auxlang is ultimately intended to be a language to replace other languages so constructing the language to have a sense of familiarity only helps the chance of people switching to it.

I guess the point is still valid though if the person trying to construct the language isn't a linguist.
Wouldn't this support Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?
 
RedheadDane said:
I understand Norwegian and Swedish fairly okay (Norwegian (bokmål) better than Swedish.)

If a Norwegian came over and started speaking Norwegian to me I would probably answer in Danish... and our talk would simply be bi-languary like that. If a Swede came over I think I'd be more inclined to switch to English (Though I'd probably try just double-language-speaking at first)
For swedes it's much easier to understand written danish than spoken danish because danish is prone to assimilation of letters when spoken which is very uncommon and unlike most other germanic languages.
 
TexPat said:
Wouldn't this support Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?
Why do you think that? The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis has to do with whether language influences thought which isn't really what I was talking about. I was merely saying that if you want people to switch to a new primary language then it helps the learning process of parts of it is familiar to you.

There are other constructed languages that more directly relate to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Interlingua is one such language. My favourite is Toki Pona.
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
Libertine, I thought Occitan was more dialect then language, or does it fall in the same boat as the Romansch language?
 
ingsve said:
Isn't that by design? An auxlang is ultimately intended to be a language to replace other languages so constructing the language to have a sense of familiarity only helps the chance of people switching to it.

I guess the point is still valid though if the person trying to construct the language isn't a linguist.
The point was that they were taught that Japanese came from Chinese prisoners escaping to the islands, and creating their own language to avoid recapture. But the fact that there is no linguistic link other than the writing system between Chinese and Japanese - Japanese is not related to Chinese in the slightest, it's like saying that Russians escaped and invented Basque. Even for a linguist doing conlanging, if you're trying to create a language that you want to come into wider usage you have to use some kind of grammatical system that is uniform and intuitive, otherwise people won't bother learning it. The easiest way to do that is to use the system that the people already know - hence why all the European auxlangs like Esperanto, Ido, Latin sine Flexione, Volapük and Interlingua use a very clearly Indo-European (and usually Latin-derived) vocabulary and grammar base - because that's what the people they're creating it for know. If a group of Chinese fugitives were going to create a language, the chances are it would be an adapted wordstock over a grammar similar to that of their first languages, the same way as thieves' cants, jargons and socially limited languages have adapted over the years, with results of everything from carny-speak to legitimate languages like Yiddish. It would not result in completely uniform vocabulary and grammar that is nonetheless completely alien to the language that the speakers supposedly spoke prior to resettlement, hence why I consider the story to be utter propagandistic hogwash.

craig1985 said:
Libertine, I thought Occitan was more dialect then language, or does it fall in the same boat as the Romansch language?
Occitan used to be a language fully independent of French, and still is, but is in very rare use these days. People down there often speak a version of French highly influenced by Occitan rather than Occitan itself these days, since the standardisation of French and the uniting of the Republic.

A similar phenomenon can be found in Germany, where Low German is passing out of use in the North, in favour of "Missingsch". This name comes from "Meißnisch" after Meißen, the small town whose dialect was considered the most central to German and expanded into what we now call the New High German sandard language. However, north German "Missingsch" is not New High German but rather a dialect of it highly influenced by the sound shifts and vocabulary of Low German.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY