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Off topic: What motivated you to study your current working language(s)?
Thread poster: RafaLee
Local time: 08:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 19, 2004

Dear all,

What motivated you to learn your current working language(s) at the first place?

I started learning Spanish because I was crazy about Ricky Martin's song and I wanted to be able to understand and sing his songs.

I am currently teaching myself Serbo-Croatian, Greek and Turkish because I am into Balkan pop.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Piet Bakker Jul 19, 2004

It was my French teacher Piet Bakker. I decided to study French during the long pause that followed after he had finished declaiming Recuillement.



Sois sage, ô ma Douleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille.
Tu réclamais le Soir; il descend; le voici :
Une atmosphère obscure enveloppe la ville,
Aux uns portant la paix, aux autres le souci.

Pendant que des mortels la multitude vile,
Sous le fouet du Plaisir, ce bourreau sans merci,
Va cueillir des remords dans la fête servile,
Ma Douleur, donne-moi la main; viens par ici,

Loin d'eux. Vois se pencher les défuntes Années,
Sur les blacons du ciel, en robes surrannées;
Surgir du fond des eaux le Regret souriant;

Le Soleil moribond s'endormir sous une arche,
Et, comme un long linceul traînant à l'Orient,
Entends, ma chère, entends la douce Nuit qui marche.

Charles Baudelaire

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
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I don't know Jul 19, 2004

I learned English because at that time most of the computer documentation was in English. I did not learn English to understand the documentation, I just needed to understand the documentation and learned English along the way (supported by 7 years of English as the most useful subject in school).

Later, when I was going to learn French, somebody asked me:
"Why on earth do you want to learn French?" and I answered:
"I do speak English already."

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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
German to Italian
+ ...
My 2 cents Jul 19, 2004

I studied English, German and French at high school and I still don't know why I decided to study German rather than French at the university (I took English for granted), as then my French was much better than my German. And when I had the opportunity to study another language at the university, I chose Spanish but then it seemed that the course wasn't going to take place that year, for some kind of problem in the organization. So my second choice was Portuguese: I found an excellent teacher who only spoke Portuguese since the first lesson (a bit traumatic at the beginning ), so I went on with Portuguese. I'm trying to teach myself Spanish now, just because I like the way it sounds.

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IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:34
English to Georgian
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Languages... Jul 19, 2004

Haven't posted on a board for a while... I guess it's good and bad (you know what I'm talking about).

Well, I had to study Russian because it was required in school, English because it was a necessity, Indonesian because I lived there for three years, German because I live there now and Spanish because I love the language and songs. But it has been fun and continutes to be fun. Even I get surprised at how many places I can use my languages and they always get me through


[Edited at 2004-07-19 19:01]

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Giacomo Camaiora  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to Italian
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Who Knows Why? Jul 19, 2004

I studied English when young because the school proposed me three alternatives: English, English or English. I hesitated a bit, and then decided on English. Later on, I improved my English when I went abroad to work for international companies. This led me to learn French too.

Some years ago I decided to teach myself some basic Russian; I still don't know the why of this decision, maybe it was because I'm curious about the Russian culture. I'm still learning about this language, and hope to improve my skills.


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to French
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Well well well... Jul 20, 2004

English was an obvious first choice, since I had it since elementary school!

Then came the need for Dutch, when I moved to Holland. Not being able to master the language of the country I live in sounded like a nightmare

And now, I'm learning Spanish.

As for other languages, I have learned bits of Swedish and Danish, because of two online boyfriends who spoke these languages

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Local time: 00:34
German to French
+ ...
Door to another world Jul 20, 2004

After having learnt languages nobody speaks (Latin, old Greek, even if I do no regret it!) and languages everbody speaks (English etc.) at school, I wanted to learn Spanish because it represented to be a door to another world which fascinated and still fascinates me until today: South America.

After getting in touch with some South American coutries, I work now with Spanish and I am now discovering parts of Spain I had never been before.

For one year or a bit longer, I began with Arabic for the same reason. After being in 2 Arabic speaking countries helping me with French and English, I was fascinated. I would like to see more, to understand what happens around me, to take a bus on my own, to buy vegetables on the market, to talk to the parents of our friends, to deal with the mentality... How could it be without speaking the language?

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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:34
Language learning Jul 20, 2004

In Ireland, you study Irish & English in primary (some primary schools do offer a 3rd language but it is not common). My parents are entirely monolingual (but my mum can recognise if I cuss in German!), but they like the idea of having a daughter who can eavesdrop on tourists or decipher menus!

For me, my mom sent me to after-school French classes for my last year in primary school so that i would have a headstart in secondary school the following year. Best thing she could have done.

When I then started secondary school, I was basically a year ahead of everyone in French class. The teachers soon came to the conclusion that I could handle another foreign language on top of French & Irish Gaelic (which is compulsary from your 1st day in primary school to the day you finish secondary school), which in our school was German. I then went on to study Applied Languages (French & German) in Dublin.

It is only now in the past couple of years that we getting more natural exposure to foreign languages here in Ireland... up til 10 years ago, English was enough. Not any more.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:34
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
See previous topic Jul 20, 2004

This topic was being discussed here in August-September last year. See

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