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Languages #1645153
13/10/2020 16:26
13/10/2020 16:26
Joined: Mar 2007
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Auld Reekie
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You all know the feeling, holiday abroad (remember that?) and the majority of 'em speak English of a sort.

Some embarrassingly well, e.g. the Dutchies and Germans closer to home, then in all parts of the world there's always someone nearby. As if that wasn't enough they'll probably speak another couple on top of that (Belgians)

Who feels confident enough to get by in another lingo or even converse on another forum like our honoured international guests who come on here? And where did you learn it?

For me, a tad of Spanish but it's Latin-American dialect and non P.C., including a lot of slang, picked up from public transport, shops and girlfriends laugh Long time ago though and a lot forgotten.

Italian is definitely on my bucket list cool


(Jim Clennell isn't allowed as he's fluent in about 8 laugh )

Last edited by Edinburgh; 13/10/2020 16:43.

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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645155
13/10/2020 17:41
13/10/2020 17:41
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I used to be OK at French (thanks to numerous holidays in France as a kid and my brother farming there as an adult). I once knew a little Italian. I tried to learn Mandarin when I worked in China but my Chinese colleagues suggested I give up...

Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645157
13/10/2020 18:02
13/10/2020 18:02
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Lightwater, Surrey, UK
DaveG Offline
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Fuer mich, Deutsch.

At school I did French, German and Latin at O level, good grades, and at A level I wanted to do German along with Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I wasn't allowed to do 4 x A levels so I said I'd do Physical Chemistry, Maths and German...oh no you can't do that, you'll be the only one doing Physical Chemistry. OK then, Maths, Physics and Chemistry plus AO level German (in between O and A level, 1 year). I was allowed to do that, even though I was the only one in the German AO class.

At Uni I joined a scheme sponsored by Engineering Employers Federation to take German language classes, spend a month at a Goethe Institut and spend my industrial year in Germany. It didn't work out perfectly, but I did visit the Oktoberfest and the Reeperbahn smile

It's been handy when buying parts for my old 124 Spider and even the Coupe, and at work when dealing with German suppliers or clients I'll practise speaking and sending emails in German (albeit with help from Google Translate).

My immediate boss is a French lady and I'll often chat in French, whilst sharing as many obscure English idioms and slang as I can laugh

Last edited by DaveG; 13/10/2020 18:43. Reason: no umlauts

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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645160
13/10/2020 18:29
13/10/2020 18:29
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I’m ashamed to say that I’ve lived in parts of Europe where Dutch/Flemish is the lingo and I know all of about 3 words - mostly because the locals speak such amazing English

Re: Languages [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1645167
13/10/2020 19:05
13/10/2020 19:05
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Auld Reekie
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Originally Posted by MeanRedSpider
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve lived in parts of Europe where Dutch/Flemish is the lingo and I know all of about 3 words - mostly because the locals speak such amazing English


My daughter and partner both live in Holland and I feel that very fact has considerably slowed their progress in learning/speaking Dutch


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645168
13/10/2020 19:14
13/10/2020 19:14
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Aldershot
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I used to speak fluent French, I lived near Paris in the late 1960s then in the Dordogne during the 1970's,

In the 90's when working in the UK I frequently dealt with the company's French subsidiary as well as queries from Francophone countries.

Then in the 2000s I used to organise the SpaItalia weekends for the club and European owners. Gone a bit rusty now though I do still think in French sometimes.

I learnt German at school and used it once or twice when I was at sea when in German ports but never really kept it up but was pleasantly surprised how much came back when needed years later.

I learnt Spanish to GCSE level at the local tech in around 2004 - 6 , useful as we had property on the south coast, but most of the people I know down there are from northern Europe


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645174
14/10/2020 06:44
14/10/2020 06:44
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8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.

Re: Languages [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1645175
14/10/2020 07:40
14/10/2020 07:40
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Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.


Tant pis coffee


I'd be curious to know if our international forum guests can get by in other languages apart from their own and making themselves understood on here.

There was a time when the main emphasis in education was to offer French or German as presumably they were the closest to the UK even though Spanish was more universally used. In recent years I've heard of school pupils studying such exotica as Mandarin....

So much to learn and so little time to do it!


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645182
14/10/2020 13:38
14/10/2020 13:38
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I'm not bad at French and being able to speak French has given me confidance to have a crack at other languages.
Nothing special but reading Spanish and Italian is easier now than before I lived in France.

Flemish is the one I would like to learn due to family and friends being from Belgium.



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Re: Languages [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1645186
14/10/2020 15:21
14/10/2020 15:21
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Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.


Well, added to your technology skills and your eye for a bargain quality used car, I can understand why people would believe you were fluent in 8 languages wink

Re: Languages [Re: MeanRedSpider] #1645188
14/10/2020 16:33
14/10/2020 16:33
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Originally Posted by MeanRedSpider
Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.


Well, added to your technology skills and your eye for a bargain quality used car, I can understand why people would believe you were fluent in 8 languages wink



rofl


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645196
14/10/2020 20:35
14/10/2020 20:35
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Originally Posted by Edinburgh
Originally Posted by MeanRedSpider
Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.


Well, added to your technology skills and your eye for a bargain quality used car, I can understand why people would believe you were fluent in 8 languages wink



rofl




Jeez, you f#*k one goat...!

Re: Languages [Re: Jim_Clennell] #1645197
14/10/2020 20:56
14/10/2020 20:56
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Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
Originally Posted by Edinburgh
Originally Posted by MeanRedSpider
Originally Posted by Jim_Clennell
8?! Not me! I speak French, but really that's it.


Well, added to your technology skills and your eye for a bargain quality used car, I can understand why people would believe you were fluent in 8 languages wink



rofl




Jeez, you f#*k one goat...!




Had to look that one up!

Wasn't expecting the Urban dictionary to come up in the language thread laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645228
15/10/2020 19:25
15/10/2020 19:25
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I got as far as a grade 3 GCE in French and was thrown out of the German classes after three months for being basically crap at it. Being at school in the sixties and seventies, I benefited from the first 'let's not actually teach them their native language' fad and failed English Lit - though I did scrape through English Language O-levels. Now I have a Master's basically about the mechanics of English spelling.

And yet I managed to hook a Brazilian/German wife... and I'm moving to Berlin tomorrow.

I can stagger through a conversation in Brasil (provided they speak with a Rio accent) and in Germany (if there's not too much other noise going on). Half a dozen words in other languages including Gaelic, but that's it; in the modern world I am functionally illiterate.

Anita can manage English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, some French, some Italian, bit of Hebrew... she doesn't know where to stop. My mother only has to brush past someone in the street to speak their language - in the past she's learned Icelandic and Japanese, and currently speaks English, Scots Gaelic, and German. Well, she doesn't speak a lot of German, as she's in her eighties and stuck in the house in the middle of a swamp for the past six months - but she reads a lot of it.

Duolingo just rejigged its basic language courses, and I think they've improved it hugely - though there is still no differentiation between UK and US English, which means that sometimes what they're looking for as an answer doesn't bear a lot of resemblance to anything an Englishman might say. Nonetheless I'd recommend it.


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Re: Languages [Re: barnacle] #1645236
16/10/2020 09:33
16/10/2020 09:33
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Japanese, I lived and worked there for 2.5 years and subsequently worked for a Japanese company back here for the best part of 20 years. Much as that was in the knuckle dragging anti-cosmopolitan hellhole that is Newton Aycliffe, I sat next to at least one Japanese person for most of that time and had daily telephone/email exchanges with Japan. I also used to go back for business fairly regularly throughout that time so I was pretty fluent. It took about a year to get properly going to the point I could happily have a crack on in the pub. The main turning point was having enough of a vocabulary to be able to learn a new word from a purely verbal description of it.

Obviously I'm a bit rusty now as I left 10 years ago but a couple of days of immersion and I'm sure I'd be back up to speed. My vocabulary will have reduced since leaving and is probably comically focused around what I needed to say. I don't think I'll ever forget the words for crystal oscillator and decoupling capacitor but I couldn't tell you what garden spade is unless I looked it up. My writing will be awful now due to lack of use and also the advent of email didn't help as I was no longer having to write faxes by hand.

Originally Posted by barnacle
provided they speak with a Rio accent

I hear this! After a year in Japan I moved from Tokyo to Toyama, over the other side of the country and a tad more rural. I remember being really proud of myself just before leaving as I had my first real full speed conversation with the department boss. To put this into perspective, he was from Hokkaido and spoke with an accent that I can only describe as trying to break the world records for "speed speaking" and "how many balls of cotton wool can I fit in mouth" simultaneously. With this new found confidence I got on a short flight to be absolutely flummoxed by someone saying good morning to me! Beyond the accent and different slang, the entire set of verb endings differs in different parts of the country. It was then that I realised how much my Toyama colleagues used to temper their accents and vocabulary when in Tokyo so they could be understood by other Japanese. It probably took another 6 months to get my head round the way they spoke, natives who always lived there were the most difficult to understand as they'd never had to tone down their dialect to be understood.

Last edited by Wishy; 16/10/2020 09:33. Reason: Preef roading

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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645237
16/10/2020 10:27
16/10/2020 10:27
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^^^

This gave me a good laugh laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645238
16/10/2020 11:10
16/10/2020 11:10
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highlands
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How many on here can understand the Doric laugh I’ve lost that up here. Years ago I had to change and start sounding words properly so people could understand, but slipping back every time I’m back in Aberdeen. laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645239
16/10/2020 11:25
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I had to look up "Doric" but yes, exactly like that.


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645240
16/10/2020 11:40
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Copy n' paste from slickypedia...a cracking example penned probably in the early 20th century

Doric

GIN I was God, sittin' up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo a' my darg was deen,
Deaved wi' the harps an' hymns oonendin' ringin',
Tired o' the flockin' angels hairse wi' singin',
To some clood-edge I'd daunder furth an', feth,
Look ower an' watch hoo things were gyaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I'd made mysel'
Had startit in to pooshan, sheet an' fell,
To reive an' rape, an' fairly mak' a hell
O' my braw birlin' Earth,—a hale week's wark—
I'd cast my coat again, rowe up my sark,
An' or they'd time to lench a second ark,
Tak' back my word an' sen' anither spate,
Droon oot the hale hypothec, dicht the sklate,
Own my mistak', an, aince I cleared the brod,
Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God.

Translation

IF I were God, sitting up there above,
Wearied no doubt, now all my work was done,
Deafened by the harps and hymns unending ringing,
Tired of the flocking angels hoarse with singing,
To some cloud edge I'd saunter forth and, faith,
Look over and watch how things were going beneath.
Then if I saw how men I'd made myself
Had started out to poison, shoot and kill [fell],
To steal and rape and fairly make a hell
Of my fine spinning Earth—a whole week's work—
I'd drop my coat again, roll up my shirt,
And, ere they'd time to launch a second ark,
Take back my word and send another flood [spate],
Drown out the whole shebang, wipe the slate,
Admit my mistake, and once I'd cleared the board,
Start everything ["all-thing"] over again, if I were God.


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645242
16/10/2020 12:10
16/10/2020 12:10
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And another more up-to-date...

"In 2006 an Aberdeen hotel decided to use a Doric voice for their lift. Phrases said by the lift include "Gyaun Up" (Going up), "Gyaun Doun" (Going down), "atween fleers een an fower" (between floors one and four)."


Love it laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645243
16/10/2020 12:17
16/10/2020 12:17
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Aye, I ken fit yer spikin aboot laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: jimboy] #1645244
16/10/2020 12:37
16/10/2020 12:37
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Originally Posted by jimboy
Aye, I ken fit yer spikin aboot laugh


Brings back days of looking after Scottish Citylink express services at Victoria Coach Station in the 80's, the Aberdeen MCW Metroliner was double-manned by pretty much two steady crews and you still needed to have someone eavesdropping on the conversation tae see fit they waur sayin' laugh


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Re: Languages [Re: Edinburgh] #1645247
16/10/2020 14:20
16/10/2020 14:20
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Aye Simon. It does take a wee while to get up to speed at hearing the English in its under ware as named sometimes. laugh The last time my wife and I stayed in Aberdeen for a short City break, it was hard to spot the local. I’m a social person as you know, but speaking to people we met most had foreign accents or English. Funny on hearing the broad Doric accent when we came across a true local after years away.


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