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Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby john2 » Thu 02.19.2009 9:21 pm

I do but I’m pretty bad. :roll:
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby furrykef » Fri 02.20.2009 12:07 am

BTW, as for Latin, I forgot to mention that Latin is, of course, the basis of all the Romance languages as well as the source of a great many English words, so by understanding Latin, you understand those languages better -- not in the sense of helping you learn them, but in the sense of understanding where they come from. It's great for being able to see sound shifts and things like that, like how "speculum" became "espejo" in Spanish and "specchio" in Italian (the latter of which is in turn the source of the name "Spekkio", a character in Chrono Trigger!). I love knowing where words come from -- though of course Latin words also had to come somewhere, but I'm content with stopping at Latin. Did you know "dormitory" literally means "place for sleeping", and "auditorium" literally means "place for hearing"? They come from the verbs "dormīre" and "audīre". There's tons of little things like that you learn when you study Latin, and you learn even more of 'em if you also study the Romance languages. :)

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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby richvh » Fri 02.20.2009 12:35 am

Well, prior to Latin (save for some loan words from Greek, and possibly other languages with a longer written history), you're in the realm of speculation and reconstructed languages - proto-Italic and proto-IndoEuropean.
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby astaroth » Fri 02.20.2009 12:48 am

furrykef wrote:Did you know "dormitory" literally means "place for sleeping", and "auditorium" literally means "place for hearing"? They come from the verbs "dormīre" and "audīre".

Sorry, but isn't that obvious? ... ;)
Also natatorium a fancy word for swimming pool ... not to mention cv, or tort, ...

That -- I mean the origin of words -- is often listed as one of the reasons to study Latin and Greek, since those two languages are the (main) foundations upon which European languages are built. I once read an article about English spelling, in particular about mute consonants: according to that article in original words coming from Germanic languages consonants were added to make them resemble more the corresponding Latin word, like "s" in island (isola).
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby monkeykoder » Mon 03.09.2009 1:49 am

The real question is who would study another language for any OTHER reason??? Once I'm at least at the intermediate level in Japanese I plan on taking on at least one other language probably German or Russian. I guess I could go with Spanish not only do I live in America but in CALIFORNIA (I think our population is over 50% from countries speaking Spanish or Portuguese...) but it just doesn't interest me.
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby tara333 » Tue 03.10.2009 4:38 am

I am new to TJP but not so new to studying languages. Coming from Finland, Swedish is a must, and so is English, and later on I took up all of the other Nordic languages as well, Icelandic being my favorite, being so exotic. But Japanese is for me by far the most exotic and interesting language. Having started to study it on university level in Sweden, and getting really into it, I completely cast it aside for years when my kids were small. But now that my youngest son is a big fan of Bleach and wants to learn Japanese, we are both studying it! It has been great fun, and these pages are a big help. My eldest son on the other hand wants to learn Mandarin Chinese.

But why study? Any foreign language? We have an expression here in Finland about people who are keen on languages - we call them "kielihullu" which literally means language crazy. Another language is a code you want to break so you can both comprehend and converse, and no barrier is too high. So far I have gone through Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Estonian, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Russian, Japanese and starting with Swahili. Not making any money on any of them - yet, though I do have a fine 17-language on-line dictionary, non-functional at the moment - but, like said, I´m studying them all just for the hell of it!

For a Finn, it is easier to learn Japanese than most other languages - except for the writing system, of course. Most of the sounds are familiar, and even in grammar there are more similarities with Finnish than in any of the other languages. Still, it is the differences that made it interesting and appealing, not to speak of all the wonderful kanji!
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby ILuvEire » Wed 03.18.2009 4:29 am

tara333 wrote:I am new to TJP but not so new to studying languages. Coming from Finland, Swedish is a must, and so is English, and later on I took up all of the other Nordic languages as well, Icelandic being my favorite, being so exotic. But Japanese is for me by far the most exotic and interesting language. Having started to study it on university level in Sweden, and getting really into it, I completely cast it aside for years when my kids were small. But now that my youngest son is a big fan of Bleach and wants to learn Japanese, we are both studying it! It has been great fun, and these pages are a big help. My eldest son on the other hand wants to learn Mandarin Chinese.

I'm very envious. Icelandic sounds so beautiful. I wonder, why does your son want to learn Mandarin? I'm not sure how many Chinese immigrants there are in Finland, but here in the US, everyone I've ever talked to speaks Cantonese. I think Mandarin is much more useful actually, in China, but elsewhere Cantonese is more useful.

But why study? Any foreign language? We have an expression here in Finland about people who are keen on languages - we call them "kielihullu" which literally means language crazy. Another language is a code you want to break so you can both comprehend and converse, and no barrier is too high. So far I have gone through Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Estonian, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Russian, Japanese and starting with Swahili. Not making any money on any of them - yet, though I do have a fine 17-language on-line dictionary, non-functional at the moment - but, like said, I´m studying them all just for the hell of it!

Mä oon kielihullu. :)

Also, Danish, Russian,and Swahili? You are a better kielihullu than I. (I wanted to say "man" but that doesn't really apply here. :P)

Oh, and welcome to TJP!
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby astaroth » Wed 03.18.2009 11:39 am

ILuvEire wrote:I think Mandarin is much more useful actually, in China, but elsewhere Cantonese is more useful.

I don't know about this. I met more Mandarin-speaking Chinese than Cantonese-speaking ones. Also if they're Taiwanese they are likely to understand and speak Mandarin and not Cantonese.
Maybe Cantonese-speaking immigrants were the first wave, but now in Universities especially Mandarin is the norm.
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby somenube » Thu 03.19.2009 5:57 pm

*raises hand* I didn't even know about Anime, or anything about Japan, when I chose Japan. I chose something, "extremely different and challenging". :D
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby furrykef » Thu 03.19.2009 8:22 pm

somenube wrote:I didn't even know about Anime, or anything about Japan, when I chose Japan.


And I thought I lived under a rock... :mrgreen:
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby wccrawford » Mon 03.23.2009 6:56 am

I started learning Japanese with a purpose: Read manga, watch anime, and play games in their original languages.

Somewhere along the way I realized that there wasn't -that- much difference in translation and an English translation of all the good stuff (or at least more good stuff than I can consume) is produced almost immediately upon release.

So now my reason is gone, but my learning remains. I also plan to re-learn Spanish (took it in Highschool but didn't keep up with it) but it has some good utility to it here. Then I want to learn German, Gaelic, Russian, and Norwegian. Among others. And not necessarily in that order. I have absolutely no 'use' for those, I just want to learn them.
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby furrykef » Mon 03.23.2009 11:22 am

Well, recently I've started studying Latin again -- for the hell of it, of course -- because I found a book called Lingua Latina that's written entirely in Latin. It starts with very easy Latin that's perfectly readable to any English speaker with no help, and progressing to pretty advanced stuff, and the whole idea intrigued me. So I ordered it online and I'm currently on the 10th chapter or so out of 35. Does the book live up to its promise? Well... almost. Much of the time you can figure out new words from the context, but now I do need the aid of a dictionary for the occasional word. Also, a couple of times I made a reasonable guess and it turned out that I'd guessed wrong. If the book had more illustrations and perhaps more notes in the margin, it might have been more successful at this. Still, it's pretty cool to be reading a book entirely in Latin and actually understanding what it says, even if I do need a dictionary on occasion.

I'm also going through Wheelock's Latin at the same time, putting all the example sentences into Anki (using an answer key I downloaded online to ensure I understand the sentences properly). I'm on chapter 6 out of 40 on that one. I got set up for a bit of a disappointment, though. There was a passage in the book that it claimed was directly from Cicero (it cites the source of every quotation and puts an asterisk next to the author if the text had to be adapted, and there was no asterisk) -- it detailed a couple of exchanges at the Battle of Thermopylae, in particular, the famous "Then we will fight in the shade!" and "Tonight we dine in hell!" lines. I looked up the original source online and it turned out that, in fact, Cicero's words were completely different from what was in the book. At least the line "Then we will fight in the shade" was in fact the original quote: "In umbrā, igitur, pugnābimus!"

I rather doubt that I'll keep studying Latin all that much after I finish these two books, except I might buy Part II of Lingua Latina if I still like it after finishing Part I. I just want to get through these books quickly and then study more Italian and Japanese. :)

wccrawford wrote:Somewhere along the way I realized that there wasn't -that- much difference in translation and an English translation of all the good stuff (or at least more good stuff than I can consume) is produced almost immediately upon release.


I guess we differ on this, 'cause there's probably always going to be plenty of stuff I'll be interested in that is still only in Japanese. For instance, I'm a fan of the RPG Shadowrun, and the Sega Mega-CD adaptation of that game has never been translated into English. I guess I'm a fan of the obscure, really.

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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby furrykef » Wed 03.25.2009 8:02 pm

I've also started flirting with Esperanto, too. I found this Complete Grammar of Esperanto online and I'm adding all the example sentences to Anki, since it's quick and easy -- I could easily progress at a rate of about five to ten chapters a day (most likely five... I'd do ten, but I get distracted too easily).

So I guess I'm experiencing considerable wanderlust right now, vacillating constantly among Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Latin, and now Esperanto. However, I do have a couple of fairly clear goals at the moment: 1) finish this Esperanto grammar book, adding all the interesting example sentences (this should only take a few days), then finish Lingua Latina without necessarily adding any sentences into Anki, as I'm mostly reading it for fun. For the sake of having some semblance of focus, I'm not going to do too much other than those things, meaning little to no Spanish, Japanese, or Italian until I finish those things.

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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby AkiKaza-chan » Sat 03.28.2009 1:01 am

My first foreign language (like most Americans I know) was of course Spanish. :D Extremely easy for me. I've been learning since Kindergarten. In sixth grade I got into manga a little bit, and noticing the katakana (which I had no idea what it was called back than) in the background made me want to find out what they were, and that shot off my Japanese interest.

My seventh and eighth grade schools (I went to 3 different middle schools) did not have Spanish so I had that two year break and used it to get ahead in Japanese. Then I went to high school, took PE over the summer because I didn't want to take it during school, and had an extra elective open. Of course I took Spanish for one because I needed two years of foreign languages to graduate (and because you have to speak Spanish to get most jobs, or that's what I heard), so for the other elective I decided to take French just because. I LOVE it. I'm in my second year of both, and I'm going to skip ahead for Spanish so I can take AP in 12th grade, and continue French all the way out. At school I'm one of the multilingual students. =D

Recently I've decided that I want to go into translation and interpreting as a career, majoring in Japanese and French, and Spanish as a backup. I'm also interested in learning Arabic, Urdu (Pakistan) and Dari or Pashto (Afghanistan) because the Iraq situation is not ending any time soon, and that could be beneficial for me (if not for the people actually living there D:). Though that was a fairly recent decision, and I haven't started learning those languages intensively yet. Also, African economies are becoming big as well, and I'd like to learn Swahili, as well as Amharic (Ethiopia) and possibly other recognized languages in Nigeria (though the official is English, so...). So while I learn most languages for leisure, others I want to learn for economic benefits. Though even if there was no money involved I swear I'd still do it. ^^

I've also flirted with Latin, Chinese, Korean, and Russian, and I could speak German when I was 10. I might return to these just for the heckuvit.

I also found an Esperanto website and that looked very interesting to me...I thought no one used it (silly me! =P) so I wasn't going to do it as hard, but seeing so many people on this one site who are learning....shows how much I know!
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Re: Who here studies languages just for the hell of it?

Postby furrykef » Sat 03.28.2009 1:21 am

OK, I promise not to turn this into my miniature language blog, but I came here to say I've already given up on Esperanto. (That didn't last long, did it?) Not because it's hard... it's not. But I find I just don't like it. I don't like the way it looks, I don't like the way it sounds, I don't like the way it "feels"... so I asked myself, "Why am I learning this, again?" And I think if you have to ask that, something's wrong. So I deleted my flash cards. I suppose the whole affair wasn't a total waste... I did at least get to see for myself once and for all that I wouldn't like it, so now I won't have to keep thinking to myself, "I really ought to learn Esperanto sometime."

To greener pastures! :)

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P.S. Don't let this post discourage you from trying Esperanto, AkiKaza-chan! Just 'cause I don't really like it doesn't mean it's bad. Heck, I don't like French, and you love French, so, well, dē gustibus nōn est disputandum ("There's no accounting for taste"). :)
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