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MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
I wonder how many HOPers were raised speaking two languages.



My parents were much older (43 and 56) when I was born and had a housekeeper who lived with us. She was from Spain. Tina is a part of our family, although no money has exchanged hands in decades. Her birthday is tomorrow.



She gave me the greatest gift you can ever give a child: a language. On my mother's request, Tina never used a word of English with me. I speak Spanish as a first language. But I was raised and educated in English. I love English as a language and I love its fluidity and its elegance. Maybe this is why I love listening to people speaking foreign languages.



But even though I love English, I think Spanish is among the most beautiful, elegantly simple, poetic, musical languages in the world. And I love listening to it, using it, and thinking in it. It's as good for love poetry as it is for the bible as it is for screaming curses at someone as fast as you can. It is so...complete as a lanuage.



Stand near me when I'm counting and you'll hear una, doh, trh.. (I have a variant Extremeo accent; I don't pronounce my final s). It catches other Spanish-speakers completely off-guard because I don't look remotely the type. Imagine an older indian man in indian garb busting out in a perfect Somerset accent. It just doesn't fit the appearance.



I woke up this morning and ordered coffee from the Mexican lady at the bakery, asked after her kids, cooed over her latest baby pictures (I'm trying to get her to start bringing her kids to me). And then I spent the day among Spanish-speakers, A Colombian, three Spaniards, three or four Puerto Ricans, and two Dominicans. I used Spanish with reckless abandon, I used it with cashiers knowing that they'd never accuse me of being a racist gringo for presuming they couldn't speak English, I laughed in Spanish, joked in Spanish, flirted in Spanish, and let's just say that I have a soft-spot for men who speak Spanish as a first language. redface



Are there other bilingual HOPers? What languages do you speak? How did you learn them? What language do you use to think? Which is your favorite language? I don't know if non-bilingual HOPers get this passion for language that I do...or if other bilingual ones do.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


RaveRepresentSILVER Member
addict
567 posts
Location: USA


Posted:
I find spanish to be one of the most mature and formal languages out there. Unfortunatly, i can hardly comprehend a paragraph. Thus the reason that i am taking Spanish class. Spanish is so very beautiful, their romantic songs are much better than the english romantic songs ubblove Of course there is french, it is very beautiful, but the passion for spanish is amazing. They way you roll your tongue or exaggerate a letter. Doc, i agree with you. I do know some spanish, dont get me wrong. Its just hard for me to speak and write it. Thanks Doc for sharing your opinion, means alot.

"I don't know what you are talking about"

"Cardinal!!! Poke her... with the SOFT CUSIONS!!!!"

"Its not working my lord!"

"Have you got all of the stuffing on one end?!"


BirgitBRONZE Member
had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
4,145 posts
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)


Posted:
I don't think I strictly count as bilingual, but by now I sometimes think and mostly dream in English. First learned it in school from age 10, then went to Canada for 3 months (where I had my first English dream, which was quite scary really!), and then followed some English boyfriends. 1 of them really was quite an idiot, but also a writer, and always instantly corrected any mistake in choice of words or pronunciation that I made, which probably helped.

First language is German.

I also learned French, Italian and Latin in school, though the last 2 only at after-school things and for a year, but I've been in Italy often enough to get along fine.

Knowing English and German, it's not too difficult to read Dutch, Danish and sometimes Norwegian, which is nice.

Favourite language? Oh, that's difficult, I don't think I have one. I'm more into accents than languages!

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


MedusaSILVER Member
veteran
1,433 posts
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Perth, Australia


Posted:
Yeah I am multilingual....

I speak English, Indonesian (I also speak Malay but they are very similar so I don't think that counts as being another language), French and I can also do Australian Sign Language....

I lived in Indonesia for almost a year hence the reason I had to learn how to speak it, I also went to uni and studied it for a while as well as Malay.

I have done a French course and a Sign Language course.

I think in English mostly but sometimes my Indonesian invades my mind...sometimes I have problems thinking in anything but Indonesian...very strange really.

Indonesian is my favourite language by far....

jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
I'd love to be bilingual, but hence, no. I learnt a bit of french and german at school. Perhaps I should go to a class?

Anyway, I read alot of Paulo Coehlo whose work is translated from Spanish to English, and it's so beautifully poetic, i love it! smile

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
i'm not bilingual, altough i'd like to be..

its always made me wonder what its like to think in different languages, i know a guy thats about 95% literate in Japanese and he says when he gets really drunk he sometimes forgets how to speak english ubblol bilingual is a crazy interesting concept to me.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


BirgitBRONZE Member
had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
4,145 posts
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)


Posted:
the worst thing I get is when I'm at work reading a German email and someone starts speaking to me. It means that for about half an hour I screw up everything I write and say in both languages wink

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


BirdGOLD Member
now available in "advanced"
6,086 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom


Posted:
I went to college with a guy who was fluent in English, French and German (his mum taught the latter two at school), he was also ambidextrous and could be dictated something in one language and he could translate into one with his left hand, and the other with his right!

It was incredible to watch!

My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
eek thats madness! *brain s'plodes* eek

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
he sounds like a real smart alecky know it all!! tongue

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Rouge DragonBRONZE Member
Insert Champagne Here
13,215 posts
Location: without class distinction, Australia


Posted:
I'm not multilingual, but one day I hope to be.

I speak English as my native language, have studied Japanese since I was 7, and speak spatterings of French, Spanish and Romanian.

Because of the nature I learnt Romanian, I sometimes think in it, and I occasionally forget words in English and will say them in Romanian and not realise (although this is becoming less and less frequent). My test for how drunk I was used to be how much I spoke in Romanian and not English.

I have had dreams involving mixtures of all of the above languages, including one dream I remember where I was speaking French as someone was speaking Japanese to me. It was quite bizarre.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


animatEdBRONZE Member
1 + 1 = 3
3,540 posts
Location: Bristol UK


Posted:
I`m working on becoming Multi lingual.

Obviously, English is solid Apart from the odd typo wink )...

I`m studying Spanish at university,

I speak a bit of french, and since visiting the continent My french is improving dramatically... Even to the extent of being able to use a Belgian Keyboard... I can now understand about 75 per cent of what is said to me here...

Jea9 is gonna teach me German...

And I have limited italian.

The more languages I learn, the better. I love feeling that I can communicate with people almost anywhere I am.

As for the thinking in a foreign language thing, I often think in Spanish, and without realising, I always slip into it. When I`m out and about, if I hear a spanish accent, I switch to spanish without realising...and often get mistaken for a spaniard... which for me is cool, Because I`m no a huge fan of English...

Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.


TinklePantsGOLD Member
Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
4,219 posts
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, United Kingdom


Posted:
I speak english, welsh, bollox and nonsense biggrin



also learned a bit of french in school, but that never stuck. I can speak a form of pig latin too, using aga (a hard G not j sound) instead - Tammie would therefore be tagammagie biggrin

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible


Neon_ShaolinGOLD Member
hehe, 'Member' huhuh
6,120 posts
Location: Behind you. With Jam


Posted:
I don't think anyone will be surprised to say that I'm bilingual in both English and to a lesser extent Chinese. I wouldn't say I was a great speaker of chinese. I would say I'm still at the level of a 10 year old but I can make myself understood and the more complicated phrases don't sound like goobledegook to me (I just don't understand them.

My written Chinese has completely deserted me barring a few simple words.

I am VERY good at speaking Gibberish too. So proficient at it that I managed to convince someone it was an actual language... biggrin

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
i can speak total s**t, does that make me bilingual? tongue

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


_Aime_SILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
4,172 posts
Location: Hastings, United Kingdom


Posted:
French has got to be my favourite langauge. I just love it ubblove

I used to holiday in france all the time when I was little. One time we spent 2 weeks in a barn conversion in the south of france, half of it was a holiday house, the other half belonged to the lady renting it out. She was about 50 and used to come around every morning with fresh bread for us, and usually stayed and chatted a while. I'm not a fluent speaker, but at that time when I was taking it at school and loved listening to her speak to my mum. She could speak english too, would tell mum stuff about her life in french, and mum would reply in English.

That same holiday I walked down to the local bakery all by myself and ask for and bought 3 baguettes, 3 rolls and some pano chocolat(sp?).
I was well proud biggrin

Unfortunatly a college career in art means out of sight out of mind. But I plan to do some travelling either next year or the year after back to france over the summer. It's a beautiful country, the people are friendly, the food is lovely, and the language is beautiful!

NoveSILVER Member
Unremarkable
277 posts
Location: Cochrane, Canada


Posted:
I was in French immersion at school-- for ten years, all my classes were in French. We had to have an 'English class' to teach proper grammar that we'd've otherwise picked up naturally. And 'cause I'm fluent in French, I understand bits and pieces of Spanish and Portuguese, which is nice.

And just this past year I went on exchange to the Netherlands-- and picked up Dutch. This time, it was a full immersion in the language, meaning I had to pick it up to be able to function in the outside world. I'd say my French is better than my Dutch, but I can still passably hold a conversation in the latter... I guess that makes me trilingual. Or bilingual with Dutch tendancies? shrug

I still catch myself switching back to Dutch when I'm counting, which I find odd... biggrin

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."


yuhuumember
74 posts
Location: France (Paris) // USA (California)


Posted:
I wish I was bilingual in English and French... but I'm only fluent in French which is my native language and I'm desperately trying to speak a good English...



I've been learning Japanese, Italian and English at school for 4 years, my level of Japanese is pretty bad though...I actually only remember the Japanese culture lessons which was very interesting!



my favourite language is by far Italian, I love the culture, the food and everything in Italy...When I'm there, it makes me so happy to hear people talking italian around me, it's such a musical and pretty language!!!



I also speak a little bit of Irish, and as I speak two latin languages, French and Italian, I can easily understand a bit of spanish and portughese...



oh and Aimee, the right spelling is "Pain au chocolat" !! biggrin

KyrianDreamer
4,308 posts
Location: York, England


Posted:
I'm not really bilingual, altho I used to be able to/could pick up again quickly some basic japanese... I also used to be able to make myself understood in spanish, these days I can't but I will often read signs in spanish and not realize that they wern't in english until awhile later (and presumably, sometimes I don't!).

I love languages but they are a huge struggle for me, even my english, my first language, is very problematic for me at times, altho people have mistaken it for an eccentric eloquence and I cultivate that idea as much as possible.

American Sign Language has always come naturally for me tho, I started learning it when I was five and even though I always forget it again I can usually relearn it fairly quickly, and it doesn't cause me the same problems spoken languages do. And my alphabet, which is all that my mother could remember consistently besides a few simple signs, is rock solid. Sign Language was the only way I could communicate in public when I was young, so we did our best! I'm looking forward to learning BSL even tho its about as related to ASl as japanese and french!

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....


GnorBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
5,814 posts
Location: Perth, Australia


Posted:
I love accents and listening to otehr languages.
I like that I can opely listen to other people conversations witn no hope of understanding but can enjoy the speech. Im always asking where people are from.

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
American-english is my first, it is how I was raised.



Spanish, of two dialects, Andalucian and Dominican (exchange students). However, I do not have the opportunity to use them often so I fear they are slipping. I used to dream in Spanish.



Grandpa taught me Canadian French. His parents spoke no English.



Grandma taught me Euro Romani, the language of *some* of the Gypsy Rasas (races).



School made me take Latin. I loved it though.



These stay with me in bits and pieces and I can get by. And if someone speaks proper French to me, it is completely foreign.



I also do two forms of American Sign Language (interchangably), Fingerspell and American Sign (one of which was invented here in Rochester, we have something of a deaf community hot seat here).





I can swear in several languages, and I can say small phrases in Japanese, German, Mohawk and Iroquois but not enough to count as lingual. These I have picked up from several people in my life who are/were friends.



I don't have much of an opportunity to use any of these as often as I would like, sadly, and so I do think they are failing me. Gypsy is my favorite and the one I am working on saving.



I have dreamed and thought in several of these, and even when I visit a country with a dialect I will come home dreaming in that dialect.
EDITED_BY: Pele (1153710306)

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


RioneBRONZE Member
member
43 posts
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA


Posted:
Well, I speak fluent American English, and spent the past year in France so I speak some French as well. Although I'm certainly not as fluent in speaking French as I'd like to be, my comprehension is fairly decent. And at least I'm not immediately pinned as being an American when I speak French biggrin yay accents!

Bilingual? not quite. But I wouldn't call myself monolingual, either smile

DragosaniGOLD Member
sunset seadragon
679 posts
Location: some little fluffy clouds, Belgium


Posted:
Here goes:

- My native dialect (Ostendisch)
- Dutch (Both Belgian and Dutch pronounciation and vocabulary)
- French (near perfect)
- British English (you can judge better if I'm good at it or not ubblol)
- German (in school and been travelling to Austria for the last 12 years)
- Spanish (I understand most of it and I speak some)
- Italian (I understand it, when they speak slowly -- had Latin in school)

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. - Oscar Wilde
Jointly owned by FreyaJ, Birgit and Aurinko


Rouge DragonBRONZE Member
Insert Champagne Here
13,215 posts
Location: without class distinction, Australia


Posted:
You see now, people like you just make me want to cry, dammit! spank

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


DragosaniGOLD Member
sunset seadragon
679 posts
Location: some little fluffy clouds, Belgium


Posted:
AWWW, multi hug hug
You should know I live on the Belgian coast and becaus noone (tourists) speaks Dutch, we need to adapt, especially when you work as a waiter (speaking to the tourists is great for tips). When I worked as a lifeguard, it was a must to speak French and English.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. - Oscar Wilde
Jointly owned by FreyaJ, Birgit and Aurinko


PK_BRONZE Member
Lambretta Fanatic
4,996 posts
Location: United Kingdom


Posted:
i was educated in english
studied french for 5 years but dont remember a thing!
been living in italy for a year and a half now so partially fluent in italian.


I speak only in english to my son where as his mother speaks only initalian... i think that it is better that way as he will have a good understanding of both languages.
I just hope that i will be able to assist him through out his school life with english aslong as im not having to work as much to pay the bills... and all depending on how his mother will cope with terminal illness.

nice thread Doc!

PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.


blu_valleySILVER Member
fluffy mess
197 posts
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom


Posted:
I speak English and Afrikaans fluently, which means that I can understand and am comprehensive in Dutch. I used to be quite good at italian when I lived in Italy,but I'm a bit out of practice to be honest. My German is slowly fading too as I used to go to a German school but I finished school years ago ubblol

I love being able to speak other languages. I was brought up English speaking to my parents and afrikaans to my Grandparents, but went to a multi lingual school and took both Afrikaans and German as subjects. Our teachers would speak to us in all of these languages so we were expected to understand them all. We used to play games where someone would ask a question in one language and you had to answer in a diferent language, it used to get very confusing ubblol

"I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer


pineapple peteSILVER Member
water based
5,125 posts
Location: melbourne, Australia


Posted:
i was born and still live in australia, so of course i speak fluent english. i do however love speaking in other languages. ive been learning german at school now for 4 and a half years, and i find it great to be able to bridge certain barriers that you find when trying to comunicate with people i meet from day to day.

cheers, pete hug

"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*


envienewbie
8 posts
Location: London


Posted:
hiya,

i speak french and english, been brought up with both languages!! its fun biggrin altho sometimes i forget which language im speaking or start a sentance in one and finish in another!! Do you all do that too? And im on a mission to learn spanish.

x

on va danser?


MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Envie, I do that. Especially when I'm tired and I've been speaking both languages, I'll start yammering away in Spanish and then get a blank look and say "Um...was I speaking English?" ubblol

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


BansheeCatBRONZE Member
veteran
1,247 posts
Location: lost, Canada


Posted:
I speak english, and Thai. I recently decided I can safely say I am fluent , after being in some pretty complicated situations well out of the normal conversational ranges- managing relief work after the tsunami- , and doing just fine.

I dream in Thai often, and if my emotional experiences manifest in words it is usually in Thai. There are some things expressable in that language that I just can not find in English. I love learning new expressions. For me Thai is still a growing language, as I understand more. Not just gain vocabulary, but really get a feel for it. The last year was an epiphany as I finally realized the base root of some words that form the center of thai culture- been using them accurately enough for years, but never realized all the connections. Now the language goes much deeper for me. I often speak in Thai without realizing it, and miss the sound of the language hugely when I am in Canada.

I understand French, but can barely speak it-- when I try to get a french word my brain just gives me the thai one, and that is frustrating.But I can get by when I have too. Apparently the way I say I dont speak french, in french, is not very convincing!! I took two years of chinese in university,and travelled there, but never got beyond basic introductory conversational stage. Russian, well, I know all the food, and the important bits of conversation for a good party!

One of the things I love best about travelling is all the languages I encounter. Always wanting to learn more...

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


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