Human Language Learning

Anyone here interested in learning human languages? Which languages have you learned, which are you interested in learning, and why? What level are you at the aforementioned languages? Does the study of linguistics interest any of you?

Thank you for your responses.
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Yes! I've taken a couple of years of Japanese and I can read it decently. My speaking sucks though since I don't have anyone to talk to. I learned it so I could play Japanese video games.

I am not very interested in linguistics in general, but things like grammar or word choice can be interesting to me.
Absolutely.

I was studying Japanese years ago, but didn’t get far before I was redirected to learn Spanish. Honestly, I don’t remember much Japanese at all any more (not that I knew much to begin with) — I could probably order food and get home, but that’s about it. Oh, and a plethora of random martial-arts terms.

In Spanish, though, I’m fluent. My only lack is that I didn’t grow up speaking it from infancy, so there are still a lot of things that aren’t part of my cultural vocabulary.

Right now I’m studying Irish (Gaelic), which is the language of my ancestry. Beautiful language. Very different than most others. Modern Gaelic has a lot of English mixed in, though. For example, “chicken” is sicín, which is pronounced very much like the English. Definitely a loan word.

I also want to learn French, German, and Arabic, and maybe Hebrew and Russian, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get there.


BTW, dúthomhas is Gaelic for “enigma”. I wrote a story years ago with a character given the name as a title, and reused it for my username.
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I have enough trouble with English...
I've studied a bit of Japanese a while back. I really didn't know much about languages and language learning (rather, how to actually teach myself a language), so it ended up a somewhat failed endeavor. I've started again casually a couple months ago. I'd say I'm pretty good with basic grammar and pronunciation, but I have barely any vocabulary. It's not my main focus right now, though, so I don't really care about my level.

I'm semi-fluent in French; a solid B1-B2. I can participate in a conversation with some previous context. I'm not quite at the level where I can speak completely spontaneously or listen without putting in effort, but I'm inching closer and closer. I'm thinking of going to either France or Quebec sometime soon for a month or two to break that hurdle and advance to late B2/C1.

I'm not really sure what to tackle next. Maybe Spanish? It'd be pretty helpful here in the US and I'd have plenty of opportunities to practice it, but I don't know. I kind of want to study something other than a romance language. I'm interested in Japanese, but flights to Japan are expensive, the culture is quite xenophobic according to others, and I'd have limited use for it other than consuming Japanese media. I find German, Dutch, and Swedish pretty interesting given their germanic relations to English! Dutch interests me quite a bit as it's the closest majority language to English, and the grammar isn't too different.

Duthomhas wrote:
In Spanish, though, I’m fluent. My only lack is that I didn’t grow up speaking it from infancy, so there are still a lot of things that aren’t part of my cultural vocabulary.
Can us tell me more about your journey to fluency? When did you start? What were your biggest hurdles? How did you cross the intermediate -> fluent barrier? Did you partake on any immersion trips?

Right now I’m studying Irish (Gaelic), which is the language of my ancestry. Beautiful language. Very different than most others. Modern Gaelic has a lot of English mixed in, though. For example, “chicken” is sicín, which is pronounced very much like the English. Definitely a loan word.
Yes, Celtic languages are quite interesting in their own right. I eventually want to learn one of them. It's a shame they're somewhat endangered.

Interesting username. I've always wondered what it meant and how you thought it up. Neat!

Grey Wolf wrote:
I have enough trouble with English...
Bah, you're no fun ;-)

Seriously though, try language learning out, you might like it! Keeps your mind sharp!

Thank you for your responses!
JagerDesu wrote:
Seriously though, try language learning out, you might like it! Keeps your mind sharp!

There are a few languages that I wouldn't mind learning. They include Welsh and Japanese. Japanese because I'm would like to learn Japanese Calligraphy (and ink wash painting) along with seal (hanko) carving.
Immersion + active study: reading, writing, hearing, speaking.

There really is no substitute. It especially helps when you cannot fall back on English or “escape” out of the culture you are learning. Live, eat, sleep, and breathe it.

That is something most people cannot do without giving up a couple years of their lives to live in a foreign country.

That, and having close friends who are highly literate and willing to correct your grammar and pronunciation really helps too.


Sorry, more specifics cause holy wars here. If that doesn’t satisfy your curiosity, PM me. Honestly, though, there isn’t much to know beyond what I have already said.
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