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Poll: Do you speak languages other than your working languages?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 08:57
Sep 15, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you speak languages other than your working languages?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Sep 15, 2013

I burst into Kansai dialect whenever the need overcomes me. アホでんねん。パーでんねん icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

I also have a well-equipped arsenal of expletives when Crados doesn't do what I want it to do or Bill Gates decides I need to reboot after an update 1/2 way through a tricky project.

As Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) said to Milla Jovovich in the Fith Element "Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English."

Small edit

[Edited at 2013-09-16 02:12 GMT]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 15, 2013

..."but nobody understands me"...


Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 15, 2013

Just about. I'm learning German at the moment, which I may be able to add as a working language further down the line.


svenfrade  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
French to German
+ ...
Yes Sep 15, 2013

Yes, I speak Spanish, but not very well anymore since I have neglected in the past.

I am learning Swedish at the moment which I would love to add as a working language at some point.

I have also tried to teach myself some Finnish because I like the language but trying to teach oneself a language which is not exactly the easiest one in the world does get a bit difficult after a while when there are no taught courses to attend.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 16:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Sep 15, 2013

I translate from English, French, Italian and Spanish into European Portuguese. I tried learning Swedish and Greek, but unfortunately had to give up... As I have been living in the francophone part of Belgium for some 30 years, I speak French every day, but curiously enough (is it?) nowadays I translate much more English than French. My spoken Spanish and Italian are pretty rusty at the moment (it sounds like I need a long stay abroad...).


Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Speak Sep 15, 2013

...might be a very relative term...I "spoke" some Bahasa Indonesia after spending several months there. I learned it independently before going by memorizing the Swadesh list and a grammar book, then tried it out on the field so to speak, and learned in the process that there's a second learning phase due to the vast variety of dialects from Sumatra, across Java to the Moluccas. But it wasn't anything compared to the rigor of learning Russian or Japanese since standard Indonesian is extremely regular and morphology is quite simple (no conjugation, no declination) and there are numerous cognates between it and Tagalog which facilitates memorization.

One curious thing I noticed was that most of the Indonesian-speaking foreigners I met in the country were British: biologists, explorers, mountaineers.

Now biting into standard Swahili. East Africa in 3 months...

[Edited at 2013-09-15 10:34 GMT]


Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 15, 2013

I speak German reasonably well and am working on Chinese and Spanish, as I find language learning addictive. I only translate from French and Russian into English, though, because these are the languages I speak best.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Sep 15, 2013

neilmac wrote:

..."but nobody understands me"...

Neilmac's statement covers most of the languages I speak/am in the process of learning.

For example, less than 6,000 people speak Cheyenne, about 3 times that number speak Lakota, about the same number speaks Cherokee.

I'd like to fresh up my Swaheli, French, Italian and Greek...whenever I shall find the time to do so.icon_smile.gif


Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Frisian Sep 15, 2013

Although I'm not a "native" Frisian I do speak, read and write it pretty well.


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Sep 15, 2013

I have been trying to learn Hungarian since I met my wife 12 years ago, but over the past 6 years, having children, full tim efreelancer, I have not managed it at all. Whenever we go to Hungary, I pick up more and more, but I need to move there to speak it fluently. Can understand a heck of a lot though


Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:27
German to English
As many as three...but "speaking" doesn't include writing... Sep 15, 2013

At the time of writing I saw that as many as 60% of colleagues had answered in the affirmative. I personally "speak" three Indian languages - Hindi, Marathi and Tamil - but I don't think I'll ever be in a position to offer language services in any of these. As for the term "speaking" - being able to speak a language (even fairly fluently) doesn't necessarily mean that one can also read and write it as well


Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
English to Spanish
Kind of Sep 15, 2013

I can handle myself in German pretty decently, but I wouldn't claim to be fluent or even halfway there.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
Member (2018)
French to English
Three Sep 15, 2013

I did three years of German at school (over 30 years ago) and still remember a surprising amount of grammar despite most of the vocab having vanished. Any time I have tried speaking my faltering German in Germany or Austria I have received a supercilious answer in impeccable English. Message received, shan't bother any more!

I did a crash course in Spanish before travelling in Latin America, which just about helped me negotiate taxis and cafe con leche, and now all that's left is a smattering of isolated terms, none of which can be stringed together into anything resembling a sentence.

When in Italy or Portugal I speak Spanish, filling in the gaps with French, waving my hands a lot, and enjoy more or less the same level of success that I had in Latin America.

My life partner speaks Farsi and I have picked up just enough to be able to fill in the gaps between what he tells me and what he tells his friends, and to endear myself to the in-laws, although I wouldn't be able to get by at all were I to find myself footloose in Tehran.

I have never got anywhere near good enough with any of these languages to be able to translate from them, so I stick to French, which is a language I just love more and more with each translation I tackle.


Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't "speak" it... Sep 15, 2013

But I can defend myself with American Sign Language. My mother was an ASL interpreter for many years and she always encouraged us kids to learn it as well. It was very handy when we were kids and needed to communicate silently to each other in order to carry out our current scheme.

It was also very useful when I became, temporarily, deaf after a massive ear infection as a child.

I would like to study German, personally. I used to live there and spoke very well, but when my family moved back to the US after my father's military enlistment was over, I forgot nearly everything.

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