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Poll: Have you ever been forced/obligated to learn or speak a language you didn’t want to?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:29
SITE STAFF
Dec 29, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been forced/obligated to learn or speak a language you didn’t want to?".

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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:29
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
yes Dec 29, 2015

Latin and German at school.

 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:29
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Not really Dec 29, 2015

But my choices were definitely dependant on the language offer. At school, I learnt German, English and Italian - if you add Spanish to that, that's about what you generally can learn in a French school. Some schools offer more languages, like Chinese, Russian, Arabic, but there are not many such schools, and they're usually only in larger cities. And that's still a limited choice of languages. Having learnt German as a first foreign language, I had to pick English as a second. I can't say I was "forced" in the sense that I didn't really have anything against it, but there was no choice anyway. Had there been a broader offer, maybe my choice would have been different.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Dec 29, 2015

I’ve never been forced or obligated to learn a language I didn’t want to. I’ve always been very interested in learning different languages, maybe because I started learning English and French in kindergarten at a very early age (I was 4!). Learning a new language is quite fun and motivating as long as you are in for it. I had to give up learning Swedish and Greek, because my time was very limited and I do regret it…

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Dec 29, 2015

I can't imagine not wanting to learn a language.

 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:29
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Yes, as a child Dec 29, 2015

My step grandmother tried to teach me German - I resisted very hard, as I hated the woman and everything associated with her. Recently, I have been spending some time in Germany and Austria and was surprised at how much of it came back. And my parents used to speak English between them when they didn't want me to understand, which put me off that language for many years, and my mother's attempt to teach me were equally disastrous. I only learned the language out of necessity in my 30s, and I still don't like it very much.

 

Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, thank goodness Dec 29, 2015

I didn't really want to learn Latin at school but looking back, I'm so glad I did.

 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:29
Member
German to English
+ ...
Latin Dec 29, 2015

I wasn't forced to learn Latin but was advised to take it to school exam level as I wanted to continue French and German to degree level. I wish I'd done something else, because Latin lacked interest for me as a dead language - kudos to those who like and appreciate it, but it's not for me.

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:29
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, at school Dec 29, 2015

Like Mike, I was forced to learn Latin. In the first year of secondary school we learned French.
Those who did best at it were "rewarded" by being taught Latin from the second year, while the rest learned German. At the time I would much have preferred German, but like Mike, I am glad I was taught some Latin. I went on to learn German in the RAF in Germany a few years later.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Me too Dec 29, 2015

Mike Sadler wrote:

I didn't really want to learn Latin at school but looking back, I'm so glad I did.


I made the mistake of coming top of the class the first year, which I never did otherwise, in any subject! I couldn't keep the standard up afterwards. Fifty years later, sometimes I can still see the teacher's neat, characteristic writing at the bottom of my work, when I am not too confident about it:
You can do better!
-- when in fact I couldn't!

Our Latin teacher had a very sophisticated, sarcastic sense of humour, which I was simply not mature enough to appreciate, and it hurt. All the same, I have been quite grateful for her Latin along the way, especially when it came to medical Latin.

I was quite happy about French and actually wanted to learn German.

I was more or less forced to learn Danish when I married a Dane. But people do the most amazing things when they are in love. icon_biggrin.gif It was a struggle at times, and it still is! But now it is like a second native language.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:29
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Thank you Dec 29, 2015

Ian Jones wrote:
Latin lacked interest for me as a dead language - kudos to those who like and appreciate it, but it's not for me.


7 years of Latin and 4 years of Greek both of which I loved immensely stood me in good stead for learning Japanese which I love much more. icon_smile.gif


 

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:29
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes... Dec 29, 2015

...Flemish at school... then Latin... then Swiss German. Gee !
(Didn't learn them, of course)


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:29
Member
Italian to English
That wasn't really the question Dec 29, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I can't imagine not wanting to learn a language.


Not wanting to learn a particular language isn't the same as not wanting to learn any language.
Unless I misunderstood you? But I don't think there are many people who are attracted by the idea of learning any language, regardless...

My choices at university, for example, having studied German at high school, were between Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Italian, and only the latter really interested me. I think there are so many components to learning a language - such as a love of its culture and history, together with a desire to spend time in the country or countries where it is spoken - that actually make it quite a complex issue. For me at least!icon_biggrin.gif


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:29
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The question is not well devised Dec 29, 2015

Forced/obligated? This gives a bad impression. Perhaps we're talking about being forced to lear Latin or Greek in school? That doesn't exist anymore, since the early 1900's, I think.
And as Muriel said, not wanting to learn a language does not apply to translators.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Latin learning Dec 29, 2015

Mike Sadler wrote:

I didn't really want to learn Latin at school but looking back, I'm so glad I did.


I wish I had Latin and/or Greek in high school or college.

Did you know that there's an academy for the advancement of Latin, in the Vatican? Since 2012.


 
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