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BillieTheBotBillieTheBot 🤖Posts: 8,657 Automated Account
I know this has been done before, but, how many languages do you speak? What's your proficiency in them?

Are you learning any new languages at the moment? If you are then how are you learning them? What do you think's the best way to learn a new language?

What language would you most like to learn [next]?

I know most of you aren't parents but I was wondering people's opinions on bringing up children bi-lingually or with a bit of a second language.

This isn't market research or anything, I'm just nosy as hell and looking for inspiration :razz:

To answer my own questions, I speak fluent English, good French and German and a basic/conversational level of Dutch, Swedish and Irish.

At the moment I am learning Farsi and continuing with my Swedish. My boyfriend speaks fluent Swedish and Italian and I've been seriously looking into the idea of bringing up our kids bi-lingually. I would quite like us to move abroad as soon as humanly possible so it makes good sense, really. I know I am planning waaay ahead! :thumb:

As for my next language, I am considering learning a Bantu language. Especially as our next door neighbour is a native Kiswahili speaker and I think I can persuade him to help me out. Anyone ever tried their hand at one of those?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's a great idea to bring children up bi-lingually. With twins perhaps you can teach them a language each? ;)

    I was raised with mixes of English and Italian. I'm fluent in Italian, but I haven't spoken it for a number of years, but I can still understand it if the news is on.

    French GSCE, but I don't think it counts :lol: I was fine getting by in France for a short time though.

    I loooooove the way Spanish sounds. I took a short course in business language with some basics, I loved it.

    My boyfriend speaks English and Afrikaans, so if we breed, I'd like our kids to be able to speak those two languages and Italian.

    The language I'd most like to learn? Tough one. I like the way Arabic sounds, maybe that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    English and Spanish for me :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bringing your kids up bilingually is a great idea :yes:

    I speak english, and german (to A-level standard) although to be honest, my german's not been used in years so it's likely to be terrible. but I know enough to get home if I got lost in germany, so that's good enough for me :)


    I really wana learn japanese. and russian :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep, I agree, bringing up bi-lingual children is a really good idea. I would love to be able to speak more than one language.

    I'm trying to learn Norwegian at the moment (I have a few friends who are Norwegian) but I'm sadly not any good :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did French at school, so have basic knowledge of that. I also learned Spanish privately as I worked there for a summer when I was 15 and have family there.

    I did learn Arabic but have struggled to find any classes anywhere near where I live now so that has tailed off for now, but I really enjoyed learning it.

    My ex, was Kurdish, so after 3 years I understood a lot of that (it's quite similar to Farsi) and could speak a fair amount. But there's not much use for that now.

    My Dad speaks Japanese, that looks really difficult.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Um, fluent in english, speak basic german, french and spanish (enough to get by in each country!)... and i understand some welsh but don't really speak it.

    I'd like to learn welsh, even though it is probably a dead language.

    I wish i'd been bought up bi-lingually. My mum was (english and welsh, even though she grew up in london), and i do think it's the best way to learn a language.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im learnng French. Nowhere near good enough yet - I understand loads, vocab is pretty good, but grammar is useless and this means imreally really bad at joining in with conversations because its the Am going to hire a personal tutor to teach me once baby is here so she can come to my home.
    This baby will be brought up bilingually. I will speak to him in English, and Gilles will speak to him only in French.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really speak any other languages apart from English but I think it's a great idea. Can only work to their advantage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm fluent in French, I can speak a little bit of Gaelic and sometimes I slip back into my original dialect.

    I'd like to learn more, but it's effort isn't it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Learning Chinese is the way to go ... :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Children who are brought up bi-lingually will be slower developing language wise because they are obviously learning two languages but in the long term their english will be as good as everyone elses and they will have the extra language too. Very good idea, if I was good at languages I would teach my kid languages from a very young age. It has been proven the absorb languages so easily when they are young.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    how are you learning all these languages briggi?
    i did german GCSE but tbh, i couldn't really speak it. I'd love to be fluent in french.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im learnng French. Nowhere near good enough yet - I understand loads, vocab is pretty good, but grammar is useless and this means imreally really bad at joining in with conversations because its the Am going to hire a personal tutor to teach me once baby is here so she can come to my home.
    This baby will be brought up bilingually. I will speak to him in English, and Gilles will speak to him only in French.


    I think thats a really cool idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    german is my mother's tongue.
    I'm rather fluent in english (even tho I am constantly dissatisfied with myself)
    I had spanish for four years in school. If I took it more serious, which I unfortunately haven't done at all, I'd have more than just rudimentary knowledge about it.

    As a chemistry student, it's hard to make languages besides, but it would be cool if I could pick up spanish again.

    With german, english and spanish I think you have quite a good basis for career. Japanese would be fine too, but I have no intention to learn it...

    /e: bringing up children bi-lingually is a sound idea, especially kids haven an ENORMOUS potential of learning different languages very quick, very well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    how are you learning all these languages briggi?
    i did german GCSE but tbh, i couldn't really speak it. I'd love to be fluent in french.

    Do you mean Farsi and Swedish? I have tutored a young Iranian guy in English for the last year or so, and more recently he's been teaching me in return. I find languages absolutely fascinating and find it a pleasure. As for Swedish, my fella's half-Swedish so we speak it fairly often and I've been reading books, listening to tapes, reading Swedish newspapers etc.

    I learned German when I lived in Germany and Austria, French at school and Dutch from an ex-boyfriend who was... er, Dutch. I learned Irish as a child from my mother but I only really speak it when I'm over there, just for the craic like ;)

    I've got a lot of time on my hands at the minute so I may as well be improving myself!

    Strubbs - you speak (or type, at least!) better English than a lot of English people. Good man! :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it is perhaps a good idea, but not until they reach a certain age. There is alot of evidence from educational psychology that bi-lingual children demonstrate slower learning or have particular difficulties at school. However this is usually because they are speaking one language at home and another at school so it clearly delays their learning. However if you're purely teaching them it as an extra language on the side, I think that's a positive thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pink Soda wrote: »
    I think it is perhaps a good idea, but not until they reach a certain age. There is alot of evidence from educational psychology that bi-lingual children demonstrate slower learning or have particular difficulties at school. However this is usually because they are speaking one language at home and another at school so it clearly delays their learning. However if you're purely teaching them it as an extra language on the side, I think that's a positive thing.

    Thanks, that's an interesting point :)

    It's obviously a while in the future anyway, so there's plenty of time to think. I don't want to stunt their learning in school though by going OTT with crazed language learning at home :p

    Abbie I didn't know you were going to raise the bebe bilingually but of course that makes perfect sense, how lovely! How are you finding French? It actually the language I struggled the most with, strangely enough, it just didn't come naturally for some reason :grump:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I only speak Englsh. However, I know a few words in at least 4 other languages; but not enough to hold a conversation with anyone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I speak English (well duh lol) and I did A Level German for a while but then dropped it, I got an A at GCSE German. I got a C at GCSE French. That's about the extent of my language speaking.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pink Soda wrote: »
    I think it is perhaps a good idea, but not until they reach a certain age. There is alot of evidence from educational psychology that bi-lingual children demonstrate slower learning or have particular difficulties at school. However this is usually because they are speaking one language at home and another at school so it clearly delays their learning. However if you're purely teaching them it as an extra language on the side, I think that's a positive thing.

    Thats crap actually.
    Sometimes it means they are slower to initially start speaking either language, but thats pretty short lived, and the benefits of being bilingual far outweigh anything else. All children learn to speak at different rates for different reasons. My son didnt say a word till he was 3 and that was just speaking English. Most kids start talking around age 12-18mths.

    http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/talktoyourbaby/Bilingual.html
    http://www.linguistlist.org/ask-ling/biling2.html
    http://humanities.byu.edu/bilingua/faq.html
    http://www.babyworld.co.uk/information/baby/bilingual_babies.asp
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Replicant wrote: »
    bringing your kids up bilingually is a great idea :yes:

    I'm sorry if this has already been said but I can't be arsed to read this thread through properly. Bringing up kids bilingually is a really good idea but sometimes it can cause problems. I remember someone discussing it at work. Sometimes kids get confused about the two languages and so end up speaking some strange patois (I'm not sure that's the words I'm looking for) of their very own, which then affects them throughout the rest of their life. Apparently, to avoid this, you have one parent always speak to them in English and then the other parent speaks to them in the second language .... but only when the first parent isn't around. That way it's clear that English (or whatever you choose) is the main language that they talk all of the time .... and the other one if separate. I'm not sure how true any of this is but it did all seem to make sense when we were discussing it.

    As for what I speak, erm, English, very basic German (the little that I remember from my GCSEs), the odd bit of French and Dutch, and some Spanish, which I am presently recapping and building on ready to move there in September.

    ETA: a huge apology for the fact that the post above mine seems to say exactly the same as what I said about children becoming bilingual!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    Thanks, that's an interesting point :)

    It's obviously a while in the future anyway, so there's plenty of time to think. I don't want to stunt their learning in school though by going OTT with crazed language learning at home :p

    Abbie I didn't know you were going to raise the bebe bilingually but of course that makes perfect sense, how lovely! How are you finding French? It actually the language I struggled the most with, strangely enough, it just didn't come naturally for some reason :grump:

    Well I seem to have a really good memory for learning the names of things, so, as I said, I find it really easy to get what people are talking about, and when Gilles is on the phone to his family, I pretty much can get most of what hes saying, and they say understanding is the first step. I do find it hard though when im over there, because vocabulary isnt enough to help me string a sentance together. Gilles is a rubbish teacher, due to him having learnt over here, and pretty much speaking it almost as a native, ie when in England he thinks in English rather than thinks in French and then translating it in his head. he gets annoyed when I ask him to translate everything :lol:
    Im hoping it will come easier as he speaks it more around the house when the baby is here, and that will definitely help Lenny.
    I know the woman who im going to get to teach me, she is French but a qualified teacher but at least she will be able to tailor my learning to what i already know and what I need - ie not just formal french like I learnt in school. Might be better for learning collqualisms too.
    Itll be expensive, but I guess you cant put a price on a second language, and I really cant go much longer not being able to communicate properly with Gilles family. that will be even more of an issue when the baby is here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I speak/can read/understand perfectly reasonable french, am less skilled when it comes to writing.

    I did Beginners industrial German at uni last year (although at beginners level there's not much industry in it) and now have a reasonable comprehension of German. I can get by in German speaking countries but I wouldn't like to have to hold a long conversation in it. I've also got some very bad habits from the amount of time I've spent in Switzerland where they speak swiss-german.

    Other than that I learnt Latin and Classical Greek at school. The latin has been surprisingly useful, I can often get the jist of most western modern european languages.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    Strubbs - you speak (or type, at least!) better English than a lot of English people. Good man! :thumb:

    Oh, thank you for the compliment. I have to add tho, that my written english is a lot better than my spoken. I hardly speak english and words constantly escape me.

    We should talk german some time, add me on some kind of instant messaging, gogo :]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I speak patriarchal, assinine, American-grade English... blah.

    and Italian, some German, some Romanian, Mandarin, fluent Spanish, and tex-mex (yes, that is a totally different language), and some kind of bohemian patois that my grandma spoke in Poland that really isn't Polish at all.

    Oh, and pig latin, lol.

    Umm, and I can also read Greek and Latin, and most romance language, I just can't seem to form sentances in them for the life of me... lol
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I speak English and I would be capable with German if I just polished it up a bit.

    I love German. It's such a mechanical and efficient lanaguage. I speak a bit of French but again, it needs polishing up. My German is much better.

    I intend to touch up my German in future and I want to learn Spanish. I agree with Strubs that English, German and Spanish would be a good base of languages to speak.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    German is the best language in the world as far as I'm concerned :thumb:

    I'm a bit confused now as to these conflicting opinions about whether it's detrimental to learn two languages from the outset. My Godson has an Austrian father and British mother (is being brought up in Austria) and now at the age of 4 is bi-lingual. This is obviously my inspiration for bringing my own children up as such. It hasn't affected his progress in learning anything else and he was speaking both proficiently last time I saw him. Isn't it better to learn the two languages as a "first language" rather than one being the main and one on the side, and being able to switch fluidly between the two - or is that too challenging? Surely they can learn both in tandem while it's just speaking and listening and then maybe one needs to take higher focus when they get into the school system, or at least when they start to read and write? I'm confused now. Maybe this little sod's just a genius :razz:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My dads friend married a german woman and had 2 boys, they've now separated and he's remarried and moved back over here, and the boys are both fluent in english and german (they still live in germany). The eldest who is my age has a perfect english accent when he speaks too. The youngest has a really strong german accent though.
    And i knew a pair of twins last year who's mother was german and they lived there untill they were about 7 and then moved over here, they could speak fluent english and german. I suppose it helps having family from 2 different countries though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    German is the best language in the world as far as I'm concerned :thumb:

    I'm a bit confused now as to these conflicting opinions about whether it's detrimental to learn two languages from the outset. My Godson has an Austrian father and British mother (is being brought up in Austria) and now at the age of 4 is bi-lingual. This is obviously my inspiration for bringing my own children up as such. It hasn't affected his progress in learning anything else and he was speaking both proficiently last time I saw him. Isn't it better to learn the two languages as a "first language" rather than one being the main and one on the side, and being able to switch fluidly between the two - or is that too challenging? Surely they can learn both in tandem while it's just speaking and listening and then maybe one needs to take higher focus when they get into the school system, or at least when they start to read and write? I'm confused now. Maybe this little sod's just a genius :razz:

    Briggi, it absolutely IS a great idea to bring your children up bilingually if you can. Its SUCH a gift. Just do a little research on it even just online and you will see the benefits.
    I have no choice really if i want my L/O to be able to communicate with that side of the family at all, as they dont speak English, plus this is his heritage, but tbh if you and S both speak another language then youd be dong them a disservice IMO if you didnt.
    Ok maybe thats a bit harsh, but if you have family with a different language then they need to be able to communicate surely?
    I have a friend whos indonesian and he just speaks to his kids in English and I just think its a shame really because when they go back to Bali the kids have a language barrier with their grandparents.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bringing children up bilingually is a very good idea. You only have the ability to learn your first language/native speech for a short amount of time (ie, when you are a child) and after that although you may be fluent in a language you will never be able to speak it as a native language almost, if you see what I mean. Definitely worth it, it will be such an advantage to them to be genuinely bilingual.

    My only experience of a bilingual child however is the kid across the road here - his mum is German but fluent in English and his dad is English. When he was about 4 or 5, about the time he started school I think he kind of rejected German and would only speak or respond to English but he's fine now (must be about 7 or 8 I think) and can speak both.

    Briggi if you fancy an hour's train journey, York uni do LFA - Languages for All courses in different levels of quite a few languages that's open to the public as well as students :)

    As for me, I'm fluent in English. I did French GCSE so I can pick out a few words/read the back of foreign Kit Kats and spot basic etymological similarities with words in English. The same with Latin - I took basic Latin last year which helped me with my Uni course and with my Old English. Think Beowulf. Yep, I can kind of read that.

    I'd love to learn Finnish, and also German because I would happily emigrate to either of those countries. Finnish is so cool, it's really vowelly and sometimes uses an ingressive airflow in addition to the egressive one.

    I can talk about the sounds of different languages far more than I can speak them but that's fun and you get to make the funny noises too :D
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