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Old 04-09-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
Bridget
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Language Thread

I think I made a thread similar to this one a long time, but times change and new people show up. This thread is about languages. Do you speak a second or secondary language(s)? What languages do you speak or are learning? How difficult are they for you? What do you like about them, what do you hate about them? How did you come about learning the language? What reason? For fun? For school? For work or business?

I tried my hand at learning German back when all my friends were entering high school and taking up languages on the side for extra credit. I had to teach myself the language considering I wasn't at school at the time, but my ignorance of languages ended up preventing that. I thought all languages followed the same logic and structure of English and that learning a new language meant just building up vocabulary. I gave up German once I realized how wrong I was.

Oddly enough, I became interested in Russian culture around this time through German culture, when I was trying to absorb it to find an incentive to get past the harsh grammar and continue learning the language. I probably fell for the stereotypes of Russia: The rugged and manly nature, the success through struggle, the kind Russian grandma and grandpa, and the general Russian soul, but they compelled me to learn the language. I have a beginner's understanding of Russian now. It's nothing great. I can communicate and do communicate with my Russian friends here and there.

It's odd that I ditched German for the grammar, when Russian is considered by some to be one of the worst languages for grammar. It doesn't matter to me that Russian is sometimes difficult; There's always an incentive to keep me learning. I actually enjoy the culture, the country, the people, everything of interest. This is something I can't say for German and the other considerations I had.

In terms of love and hate, Russian is a double edged sword. The pronunciation sounds awesome, but it proves difficult at times for a boring white guy who lives in the United States. The grammar can be painful, but sometimes it makes sense and prevents huge misunderstandings that English sometimes isn't protected against. (For example, the following sentence: 'The cop approached the suspect and he raised his gun.' Who raised the gun? The cop or the suspect? Russian fixes this by using a special pronoun that refers to the subject specifically no matter how you use it.)

I now have a general interest in languages. They're pretty fascinating. I am currently learning Russian actively while picking up a little Italian (My bloodline is Italian, so I guess I can pay it a visit, lol) and currently studying the Korean Alphabet (which has so far proven to be pretty bad ass. It's a very logical and easy to comprehend alphabet). My life goal is to actually take in as many languages as possible. Languages have actually improved my view of the world. Learning a language means learning its place of origin and being opened to parts of the world that use the language. A lot of negative stereotypes or misconceptions have been completely washed away in my mind from the benefits of language. What about you?
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