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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2005 (January-February) » Archive through January 29, 2005 » Favourite languages to speak/learn « Previous Next »

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 576
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 03:40 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A chairde,

tá suim againn go léir i dteangacha, agus chnuc ceist ana-shuimiúil aréir.

What languages would you like to be able to speak?

Obviously we are all interested in Irish, but I thought it would be fun to see which other languaes we are interested in and for what reasons. It might be useful to mention the languages we speak as well, perhaps someone who wants to learn a certain language finds someone here who has learnt it and can give some pieces of advice.

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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 770
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Laidin!
Agus ceann de na teangacha slabhacha - Seicis nó Polainnís.

Laidin toisc go bhfuil mór chuid sean léann ar fáil innti.

An dís eile toisc go bhfuil suim agam sna tíortha úd.

Ach táim ró fhalsa chun rud ar bith a dhéanamh faoi!

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 577
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 04:12 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I can start myself. Knowing many rather small languages, I wouldn't mind learning some big ones. Of the six official languages of the UN, I can get by in four (English, French, Spanish and Russian) so it would be nice to learn the two remaining ones. Thus, I would like to learn these languages (in no particular order)

- Chinese Mostly because I think it would be useful and also because I find Chinese cultural and the country of China interesting. As for the language itself, I don't fancy it that much. Don't ask me why, but I've never cared much for languages that make extensive use of tones to distinguish between words.

- Arabic I'm fascinated by Arabic culture and history. I'm especially interested in the Levant, Lebanon and Syria in particular. I've done a very little bit of Arabic and know the grammar (of the spoken language as used in the Levantine, not the standard one) in principle. When it comes to pronunciation and absolutely out... At least three consonants that I will never be able to pronounce even roughly. I'm not able to read it either but it would still be very interesting to know it.

- Persian Another very old culture and one that has changed many times. Some of the world's finest poetry is of course written in Persian and it would be great to be able to read it. Although I don't speak it, I know the basics of Persian. As you may know, it too is an Indo-European language related to English and to Irish and not related to Arabic. What is more, it is often considered the easiest of all the Indo-European languages.



The languages I have learned (at least to some degree) and why are (in the order I studied them):

1. Swedish Had no choice :-) My native language.

2. Finnish No choice there either. At the age of 9 we are all introduced to Finnish in school.

3. English Also compulsory, we had to start learning English at the age of 11.

4. German Our favourite language when we were kids, it represented freedom. We all spoke Swedish and we all had to do Finnish and English so none of those were particularly well liked. It was up to us ourselves to decide whether we wanted to learn German and we certainly liked it much more than the compulsory languages. These days I don't get to speak it as often as I would want to, though.

5. Welsh Welsh was the first language I learned by myself, outside school. I got interested in it when I was an exchange student in England and started to learn it. A beautiful, interesting and * language. Until quite recently I spoke it better than most other languages (including Irish) but it has begun to fade away somewhat. Reading and understanding is easy but I would need to go back to Wales for a month or so to really practice the spoken language.

6. Irish The reason I'm here ;-) The sixth language I started to learn but the one I love the most (Swedish not counted). In my opinion the most beautiful and interesting language in the world. Now that I know it still manages to sound as entrancing as the first time I heard it, though now it also feels familiar. Like seeing a beautiful girl for the first time, marrying her and each day of each year finding her as magnificent and sweet as the first time you saw her. ;-)

7. French I finally felt I had to learn some French, some of my ancestors came from France. I do like the language and find it melodious but I don't have the same feelings for it as for Irish or Welsh. I like French about as much as I like English or German. My reading and comprehension skills are not bad but I should really have to practice both spoken and written French.

8. Russian I have papers from the university saying that I've completed some very advanced courses in Russian with the highest grade possible. The problem is (as is often the case) that my actual knowledge of Russian is far below that. I do get by in Russian but I'm certainly not that good at it. I do like the language, though.

9. Croatian Neck-and-neck with Welsh as my favourite learned language after Irish. I only started to learn it for real less than a year ago, but I really like it. I managed to stay eight days in Croatia without having to speak English (and no, I wasn't quiet either...) In my opinion it sounds a lot nicer than all the other Slavic languages and the many speakers I know are all very friendly. Having a native speaker of Croatian as my closest colleague means that I get every opportunity to pracitce it so I hope to speak it fluently in a year or so.

10 Spanish I get by in Spanish quite well, I'm doing a rather advanced course this spring so I also get to practice it a lot. Many friends in and from Spain.

I know there are some eminent linguists and/or language learners here so I'm very much looking forward to replies from them. Of our regular contributors I'm thinking in particular of James, Ó Diocháin and Peadar Ó Gríofa

(Message edited by jonas on January 19, 2005)

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 578
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 04:16 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Bail ó Dhia ort, a Aonguis, bhís ana-thapaidh! Aontaím leat, tá laidin ana-shuimiúil leis ach tá suim agam sna daoine atá ag caint na teangan atáim á foghlaim... :-) Ní féidir liom teanga marbh a chuir im cheann.

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 354
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 04:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

French, it sounds all sensual and stuff.

I think it's because so many consonants just seem to fade away into raspy vowel sounds. . . ?

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 159.134.220.231
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 09:41 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

I speak:

Belarusian, Greek, Armenian, Thai, Portuguese, Dutch, Baltic, Azeri, Cyrillic, Arabic, Bulgaria, Hebrew, Afrikaans,Basque, Georgian, Czech, Korean, Catalan, Swedish, Indic, Croatian, Japanese, Serbian, Turkic, Vietnamese, Albanian, Slovak, Danish, Chinese, Kazakh, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, and not to mention Swahili,

but I don’t like to boast…

This week I’m learning Kyrgyz as it happens. Beautiful, beautiful language…contains many words for boasting. Best practiced in front of a full length mirror…

Jax

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Antaine
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Username: Antaine

Post Number: 158
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 01:15 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

the more languages you learn, the easier the next becomes

for me

0 English - by default and under duress
1 Music - TOTALLY a language...betcha didn't think of that one
2 French - a smattering growing up, four years in HS and two semesters in college
3 Irish - The best language out there...you know they keep arguing over making a global language and whether it should be English or French or Chinese - screw it, make the whole world learn Gaeilge
4 Dutch - only can read a bit and am now rusty...had a penpal in Groningen
5 Lithuanian - penpals in Vilnius and Kaunas...knew even less than Dutch, but I really enjoyed this one....(still not as much as Irish, tho)
6 my brother is making me learn a little Russian. speaking of which...he called his girlfriend in Moscow twice over xmas break - $950.00 - would have been twice that if not for direct dialing...harumph...

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Antaine
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Username: Antaine

Post Number: 159
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 01:21 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

if I had my choice of being fluent in only one second language that would be Irish hands down....French would be a close second...

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Breacban
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Username: Breacban

Post Number: 38
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 05:32 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

seomra folca, ni folair dom a ra nach bhfuil neart eolas i dtaobh teanga agat. is amhlaidh mar sin, cen cineall craoibh chin a bhi tu ag caint faoi. is e mo bharruail go mbeadh nios mo teangacha chin ata ann na ceann amahain. mar sin, cen ceann acu a bhi tu ag labart faoi? sf. feach ar seoladh seo leannas; www.glossika.com/en/dict/faq.htm

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Diarmo
Member
Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 83
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 06:21 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Hi!
I speak the following langauges!

1.English-native-langauge of the Coloniser! Native language of Tesco,Boots,David Beckham, Jorge Arbusto and Simon Cowell! Also langauge of The Guardian,BBC,James Joyce, Muhammed Ali and U2!! And Michael Moore!

2.French-learnt it in school got to love it while on Erasmus in Belgium-came back with a mad determination to know it fluently-after listening to much France Inter on MediumWave, looking at TV5, reading about obscure writers and finally discovering French ghetto chic I mastered it! See La Haine!

3. Spanish.Got made redundant, took myself off to Spain with some money to support me! Blew it all on great food in Bilbao and Madrid in first 3 months there! Met the love of my life and stayed in Madrid teaching Ingleesh to the natives..Great language especially with a Latin American twang with the Argentinian and Uruguayan accent especially lovely! See Nine Queens!

4.Portuguese.A language I love and am continuing to learn.Got interested in it while on a trip to Lisbon -noticing how similar it is to Spanish I decided to get some tapes and learning material-being in Madrid wasn't a help! There are no Portuguese materials to be got there! Listen to Madredeus

5.Irish-learnt in school.Left school with little regard for it.Have learnt to love it again! Dying to practise it more here in Dublin! Read poetry as Gaeilge do O Riordain, O Direain agus ar uile! Listen to Altan. Listen to the old people speak in any of the Gaeltacht areas-the langauge as it should be spoken

6.Romanian-my latest venture as my best mate is from Transylvania! Beautiful sounding language.Interestingly has much French and Italian words! Also sounds Slavic but is Romance.Difficult grammar!! Beautiful women!

7.Italian.Rusty in this one! Another great langauge.Beautiful women and most corrupt Prime Minister in Western Europe!

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Ó_diocháin
Member
Username: Ó_diocháin

Post Number: 79
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 07:24 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A chairde,
I've never encountered a language that I wouldn't like to be able to speak - with the possible exception of confected languages like Esperanto or "Klingon".
The three languages that I have which I never set out to learn are English, Italian and Scots. I was exposed to all three of these through my childhood. I'm formally educated in both English and Italian, however, and I can claim educated native speaker proficiency in both. I've no formal training in Scots but I grew up surrounded by the Lallans dialect and can function fluently in diglossic contexts: I have never encountered any difficulty in understanding spoken Lallans - although with the Doric dialect of Scots I occasionally have problems - and I would categorise my own speech as a Scots/English inter-language that I'm sure many experts would categorise as either "bad Scots" or "bad English".
I have no absolute preference between these three languages - although I will at times find myself in situations in which I am more comfortable in one rather than the others.
Languages I have learned, in order of fluency, with a brief comment on reasons for learning and feelings about the language:
Spanish - I took up this language as a beginner at university, thinking it would be an easy option for an Italian speaker and it proved to be both straightforward and enjoyable. After two years of study and a year's residence in Spain, I had achieved sufficient fluency to function professionally through the medium of Spanish. That was twenty years ago and I've spent most of the intervening years as a Spanish teacher in universities in Ireland and Scotland. I really like Spanish as a language.
Catalan - I took up this language because of a woman... an Italian woman! (Well, a Sardinian woman whose mother's first language was Catalan.) When I finished university I had become interested in Catalan in Sardinia and got a scholarship to go to Catalonia and learn the language - with a view to then doing post-graduate research on this. Catalan is very close to some of the northern Italian dialects that I grew up with and within three months in a Catalan speaking environment, I was being taken for a native speaker. I taught Catalan in the university and was involved in various research projects to do with Catalonia for about ten years. Catalan is my favourite of the languages which I have learned.
French - I did seven years of French at school and three years at university. I always enjoyed the language, but the French department at university was so huge - and a lot of the literature and background studies that we did was so obscure - that when it came to choosing an Honours course I combined Spanish with Italian and so I gave up the formal study of French 25 year ago! I've often had to use the language though and can still read it fluently and speak it whenever the need arises.
Portuguese - was a compulsory language for Honours Spanish students in the university where I studied. I did three years of Portuguese at university and spent six weeks in Portugal. I had a reasonable degree of fluency by the end of that time but that's nearly twenty years ago now and. although I can still read the language no problem, my speaking and listening skills are decidedly rusty. I was always a conscript rather than a volunteer for Portuguese and so never particularly enjoyed the language.
Latin - I started Church Latin at school at the age of seven. The Mass was still in Latin in those days so it was complusory to learn the responses and, to be an altar boy, you had to do an extra class after school as well. All in all, I did three years of Church Latin and four further years of Classical Latin at school, with one year of Latin at university for good measure. In addition to this, my PhD research lead me to read quite a lot of medieval Latin. I've always really enjoyed Latin, but as it's really only a reading language for me, I don't have the same sort of feelings about it as the other languages which I speak.
Romanian - a language in which I am self-taught for purely academic interest. I read the language quite well, struggle a bit with listening, and lack confidence in speaking. I've never attempted to write any Romanian in anything other than a learning context. I know a great deal about Romanian grammar - particularly in relation to the grammars of other Romance languages. I find it a fascinating language.
Irish - the language of my maternal grandparents (a fluent learner and a native speaker). I had early exposure to a few phrases in Irish from my grandmother, took a one year course in Irish when I was teaching in Cork fifteen years ago, and have, in the last couple of years renewed my study of the language, making the big push last year. My Irish is improving all the time and I'm probably at (or just beyond) Council of Europe threshold level in all four skills. I have a serious academic interest in language policy issues as these relate to Irish (especially in the North) and in the Belfast variety of the language. Both of these derive from reasearch that I have been involved in relating to langauges in contact issues for Spanish and Catalan. Irish is my second favourite (after Catalan) of the languages that I have learned.
German - I took a one year course at the Goethe Institute while I was doing my PhD. I thought that it would be interesting to develop a reading knowledge of the language for my research, but I never really followed through on it. I enjoyed the course that I did and can get by in German in a wide range of "tourist-type" situations.
Scots Gaelic - I've done a bit of Scots Gaelic on a self-taught basis over the last five years, during which I've been involved in language policy research in Scotland. I like the language well enough, and may do some more work on it if I ever reach the stage where I'm happy to deflect some of my attention from Irish - but not at the moment as it's difficult enough to disentangle the Munster Irish I learned in Cork from the Ulster Irish that I'm studying at the moment without throwing Scots Gaelic into the mix as well!
Lakota - In 1991 I became involved in inter-disciplinary research around the 500th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage; this lead me to become involved with the American Indian College Fund movement and, through this, I've been out to a number of the colleges and done a little bit of work on some of the languages (Niimipu/Nez Perce, Omisista/Northern Cheyenne and Lakota/Sioux). Lakota is the only one that I've made any real progress with, and ironically my reasons for doing more work on this one relate to an interest in the Irish in the American West. I can read ledger art inscriptions in Lakota, can follow enough of the language in bilingual texts to have an informed opinion on the accuracy of translations, and understand the language reasonably well when I hear it spoken (especially the Sicangu and Oglala dialects). I have never been in a situation where it would have been culturally appropriate for me to speak the language myself. I find it a fascinating language.
Final piece of information... once upon a time I could say the Rosary and do the responses for the Mass in Cantonese, but that was many years ago and now I could manage the Sign of the Cross, "Thanks be to God", "And also with you" and the start of the Hail Mary... the rest has faded with the mists of time.
Beir bua agus beannacht!
Chris

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Diarmo
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Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 84
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 08:42 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Wow!

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Chinita
Member
Username: Chinita

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2005


Posted on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 09:02 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Wow, you are very blessed to know that many languages and fluently, Chris. I think it's great. As for me:

1. English - My native language, had absolutely no choice in that. Sometimes I wish it wasn't my first language.

2. Spanish - Pretty fluent, except I think I am starting to lose the grammar aspects because I haven't spoken or written it in over 3 years. I grew up in Miami, Florida with many cubans and puertoricans. I had very little choice in learning this language. It was mandatory in my school, so I started learning spanish at age 7/8. I continued with it throughout high school and university where I received a Minors Certificate in the Spanish language. I also studied abroad in Madrid for a month. I absolutely love Spain, and if I could, I would move there one day. I can still understand, and speak, but my grammar is not as good as it used to be. I need more practice to get it back.

3. Irish - Beginning Irish. Just started learning :) about 6 months ago. Is fearr liom é! It is a difficult language, but I love it so far. I practice daily with online friends. I am obsessed with this beautiful and mystical language. I hope to visit Ireland one day, thanks to the map I received today! Go raibh míle maith agat a Dhiarmuid!

4. French - Very little. I took one semester of this language at the university, and I didn't really like it. I can't say why, I just have no interest in learning it.

5. Chinese Mandarin - Very very little. I took also one semester of Mandarin at the university, and I had trouble understanding tones. I was recently told that I am tone deaf. Maybe that is why I have trouble with Mandarin! I still would like to learn it one day, but right now... Irish is my focus!

6. Dutch - Very little. I was forced into learning this by one of my online friends. He chats to me in Dutch, which I don't understand, so I write back to him in Irish. We go back and forth for about 10 min, when we finally decide to type in English. It's fun, and I learn a lot from him. He is slowly teaching me dutch words by doing this. I can say basics, such as: Hoi, Hallo, Hoe gaat het?, Spreekt u Nederlands?, Ik spreek geen Nederlands, Ik heet Christine, alstublieft, goedenacht, tot ziens, doei! Eventually, I will learn more. Maybe after Irish.

7. Polish - A few words. My friend is determined to teach me Polish, even though I have no interest in it at the moment. He speaks to me in Polish, slowly teaching me a few words. I help him with English pronunciation, and he is trying to get me to learn Polish. So far, I can say: Dzień dobry, jak się masz?, dzięnkuję, do zobaczenia, do widenia.

8. Romanian - Only a few words. Another one of my online friends types to me in Romanian, and I type back to her in Irish. We are just having fun, but slowly learning each other's language. She is learning Romanian, and teaches me what she knows. I do that same.

9. Italian - Can only speak a few words, but I can understand quite a bit. I just started learning Italian, while I prepare for my trip to Europe in May. I can understand a lot, which I think comes from my Spanish background. They are both very similar, but I can only speak a few words in Italian. I hope to learn more of this beautiful language.

Sin é! That´s it for me. I have a lot I want to learn, and I feel like there is not enough time to learn them all. But I can always try :P

Criostín

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Natalie
Member
Username: Natalie

Post Number: 107
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 06:15 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

This is a very interesting thread and you people are all my heros! I wish I could speak that many languages! I was reading off the lists of them that everyone can speak to a couple of my friends, and they were very impressed. Sadly my list is much shorter in what I know, and much larger in what I want to know!

1. English - That really shouldn't be that surprising. All my family speaks English and they can't speak any other language except my mother, who can speak a few words in French and that's only because she spent a year in Québec. (I just realized that was a run-on sentence so maybe I should attempt brushing up on my native language before I go on fooling you with the others I "know")

2. French - I live in New Brunswick, Canada where we're the only bilingual province so I had to start learning that language when I was about 6. Sadly, I don't think I learned anything until I was 11. At around that age I took Immersion and I learnt all the subjcts (except English) in French so I know enough to know what people are saying, whether they are talking about an imaginary trip to France or history of math!

3. Irish - This is where the "knowing of languages" begins to fail. I'm learning, and I'm hoping that maybe before I die, I will have accomplished something.

4. German - I really should learn German. Or at least I should learn a couple of phrases. I'm going to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany this summer so it would be a nice touch but I will probably give up and make my friends learn it! They need something productive to do anyway!

5. Spanish - We have the option at our school to take a class of Spanish in Grade 12 so I might take it since its the only other language I can learn in High School besides French. I doubt I'll learn much, but maybe finally I'll be able to read what those posters say outside that room!

I'm really interested in all languages so I'm hoping through sheer ambition, I won't only be bilingual in one (or two if I'm lucky). I don't have any specific language that I want to learn (except Irish, it's the only one) and in fact, to be sadly truthful, I haven't heard of several of the languages you mentioned above! So I guess we'll take it one step at a time!

Natalie

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Peadar_Ó_gríofa
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Username: Peadar_Ó_gríofa

Post Number: 41
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 03:36 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Well, there's Catalan:

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PeterKGriffin1/

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PeterKGriffin1/Review.htm

...and Irish:

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PeterKGriffin1/tomasbui.htm

...among others.

Began studying Spanish in 1972, Catalan in 1976, Serbo-Croatian in 1980 and Romanian in 1983. Formerly married to a native of Mexico, raised a bilingual son (who now speaks Japanese in addition to English and Spanish). Began free-lance translation business in 1995. Well acquainted with the traditional Romanian dialect spoken in the Serbian Banat, as well as standard Romanian. Also familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet and orthography in which "Moldavian" or Romanian was written in Soviet Moldavia until 1989. Received Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Domínguez Hills in 1982: English major, Spanish minor. Served as sole reader in taping of the full text of Mícheál Ó Siadhail’s "Learning Irish" at Recording for the Blind, Los Angeles, 1984 (theoretically, I shouldn't have, but at least I knew what I was doing with my articulatory organs). Resumed study of the various dialects of Irish and Scottish Gaelic in 1997. Attended conferences of the North American Catalan Society, the American Literary Translators Association, the American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Formerly worked in inspection of machined parts and related materials and processes (fourteen years), machining and drafting. Now employed as computer guy in the office of a Romanian friend's plumbing and fire-protection company. Still doing some translation work, but more interested in having time for leisurely reading and study, fiddling, bagpiping, that sort of thing.

I took French and German in school, and got introduced to Old Norse and Old English at the university, and I've studied a number of other languages intermittently over the years: Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Persian, Hindi and Urdu. Tagalog, for a little while. Polish, many years ago. Bulgarian and Slovene, a few years ago. Started on Welsh in 1998, was doing well but didn't keep it up. Started on Macedonian too. Started on Basque and Turkish a couple of years ago, but had to interrupt those efforts to concentrate on eking out a living...

I was impressed by the simplicity of Persian. The Arabic influence has messed it up, but it fights back by regularizing things, assimilating them. Simplification is all right if it's natural and spontaneous, especially when it helps to preserve the native character of a language. Hungarian is also very simple and regular. It's just different. I'm certainly not going to start a "pressure group" to "modernise" it.

Sardinian is interesting. There's some dialectal diversity for you! I'd like to see a "Colloquial Sardinian" or "Teach Yourself Sardinian" or "Sardinian in Three Months" one of these days. In a good, conservative, natural Logudorese dialect of some sort, I reckon; or a blend of such a dialect and a cultivated standard based thereon, with a little Sassarese and some Campidanese thrown in for good measure, or something.

Peadar Ó Gríofa

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Peadar_Ó_gríofa
Member
Username: Peadar_Ó_gríofa

Post Number: 42
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 02:45 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Oh, and when I'd been taking courses in Old Norse for a while, namely in Old Icelandic for the most part, I breezed through the Teach Yourself book on (Modern) Icelandic, which confirmed what I'd been told: that the language had hardly changed since the days of the Vikings. That was over twenty years ago and I don't (consciously) remember much of it now; the only obvious differences I do remember seeing, other than some intelligently formed neologisms such as are necessary for modern technological inventions and the like, were a couple of words and morphemes in which a former voiceless consonant had become voiced. In fact, the only one I specifically remember is the old conjunction "ok" and its modern form "og," meaning "and." I've seen that Routledge now has a "Colloquial Icelandic" course, which I shall have to get.

Peadar Ó Gríofa

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James
Member
Username: James

Post Number: 93
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 03:44 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Wow!!! No wonder I feel inferior!!

My language list pales in comparison to most of you on this site. But, in the interest of keeping this thread going...

Spanish: Learned it in High School, never spoke a word of it until my mid-twenties when Uncle Sam required it of me. Spent the next nine years bouncing in and out of Latin America and fell in love with the culture and the language. I especially love the Argentinian "twist" on the language. The irreverent and grammatically incorrect use of "vos", the Italian/Portuguese sound of "zhuh" they place on the "y" and "ll"...just love the whole Argentinian thing...language, attitude, culture....

Russian: 1 year of it in college. Never used it until I went to Korea (of all places). Have forgotten most of what was really useful but would love to spend 6 months or more immersed.

Korean: Tried this one while stationed in Korea. Dismal failure. I can phonetically read Hangul but I cannot form a sentence beyond that needed in a restaurant or on a train. Truthfully, I didn't give it the effort it requires.

Swahili: Picked this up while running around east Africa. Again, just a few words here and there but I find it to be a relatively "sensical" language...in other words, it has a grammar and a structure that flows with my native english speaking mind quite easily.

Somali: Don't ask. It's hard and gutteral with many nuances to words and accent. Very easy to get yourself in trouble!!! Very friendly people though and thrilled when a white guy at least tries to speak with them.

French: Tried to get this one under control while working in a former French colony. I can actually read a fair amount based on my familiarity with Spanish but my pronunciation stinks. The French citizens where I was weren't too thrilled with our presence there so they weren't what I would call the most enthusiastic speaking partners...Oh well.

The summary:

English...native speaker

Spanish..."functionally fluent" (or so the Department of Defense said at one time.)

Irish...dismally inadequate, but enthusiastically dedicated! Would LOVE to spend a year or so completely immersed west of Galway.

The rest...just enough to eat and break the ice in a tense situation.

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Alice (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 219.42.166.135
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 08:10 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Do you think there are some languages that easy to forget? One of my parent is Japanese and I used to speak Japanese when I was little but surprisingly, I can't speak it now. Japanese is a contexual language maybe that's why. At the same time, I was speaking French. Although I don't usually speak it, but when I need it, I can still speak it fluently.

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Lughaidh
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Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 11:21 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Jonas, sin a scríobh tú thuas, thiocfadh liom é a scríobh fosta ! (ie. "6. Irish The reason I'm here ;-) The sixth language I started to learn but the one I love the most (Swedish not counted). In my opinion the most beautiful and interesting language in the world. Now that I know it still manages to sound as entrancing as the first time I heard it, though now it also feels familiar. Like seeing a beautiful girl for the first time, marrying her and each day of each year finding her as magnificent and sweet as the first time you saw her. ;-) ") > An rud céanna maidir liomsa. Tá mé i ngrá leis a’ Ghaeilg ón tús agus beidh go deo!

Why does everybody like French ? It’s not sensual at all :-)
About me :

1 : French, my native language. I don’t like it much, especially because there’s not music in the way we speak, unlike almost every other languages.

2 : Breton, began to learn it when i was sixteen maybe. Fluent, but i need to learn more idioms, proverbs etc. Breton is my grand-grandmother language but she died before i was born. I’m trying to meet old people from her region in order to learn the very same dialect she spoke.

3 : Irish : fallen in love with it a couple of months before Breton. When i first heard the album Crann Úll by Clannad. Fluent as well, in Gweedore dialect, Co. Donegal. I went to spend one year there to be more fluent. And I am now ;-) . I agree with u, Irish is the most beautiful language ever.

4 : English : no choice, i learnt it at school but i’m not so fluent because idon’t have the opportunity to speak it. I’ve a strong Northern Ireland accent and i make mistakes because i’m influenced by irish… I don’t like English, but I have to use it in order to learn other languages (for learning books…)

5 : German : i’ve been studying it at school during 7 years. I’m not fluent because i never had the opportunity so speak it, and till recently i didn’t like it.

6 : Latin : i’ve been studying it during 6 years at school and university.

With a dictionary i can write Welsh, Swedish, German… some others. I like Czech, Russian, Berber languages, Persian (once i was quite good at it), Mandarin Chinese, Lithuanian, Nordic languages (especially Swedish and Icelandic), Finnish, Hungarian, all Celtic languages (i know all of them more or less, but the ones i know best are Irish, Breton and Scots gaelic. I know Welsh grammar and how the language words but i’ve not much vocabulary.) I can read Italian and a bit of Spanish because i speak French and i know Latin.

I’d like to know Old Greek and Vedic Sanskrit, and many other languages like Tibetan, and to be fluent in Czech but i don’t have time to, because I work on Breton and Irish, and if I spend time on another language i’ll forget Irish and Breton.

Languages are my only hobby :). I've handbooks of 30 languages here, maybe, and more than 60 dictionaries at home. Almost all my money I spend in such books :)

(Message edited by Lughaidh on January 23, 2005)

(Message edited by Lughaidh on January 23, 2005)

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 373
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 07:37 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

quote:

1 : French, my native language. I don’t like it much, especially because there’s not music in the way we speak, unlike almost every other languages.

A Lughaidh,

Could you help me out with a translation please? There's a certain song in the English language that ends with one verse in French. Anyway, I've ran it through the Google translator but it hasn't given me anything intelligible. Here it is:

(apologies if there's anything explicit)

La fille danse
Quand elle joue avec moi
Et je pense que je l'aime des fois
Le silence, n'ose pas dis-donc
Quand on est ensemble
Mettre les mots
Sur la petite dodo

La fille danse
Quand elle joue avec moi et la pluie
Elle me manque
Pourquoi?
Non,non
C'est la chanson, la nuit, le vent
L'amour , le son
De la petite Dodo

--

As for there being no "music" in French, perhaps you can't "hear" it 'cause it's your native tongue? I myself can't see anything esquisite, muscial or beautiful about English, but maybe that's simply because it's my native tongue and that over the years I've paid less and less attention to it. I wonder if native speakers of Irish see the beauty in the language that many people here do? I even find myself paying less attention to the elaborate grammatical rules in Irish every day. When I first saw the likes of:

Singular: bád
Singular possessive: báid
Plural: báid
Plural possessive: bád

I thought it was almost audacious how it switched things around mirror image and got away with it. Now though I don't pay a blind bit of notice. I even find my opinion of Irish becoming more and more indifferent and ambivalent as I become more proficient. I just see it as another way of expressing something. You can say "automobile" or "vehicle", just as you can say "I went" or "Chuaigh mé" -- that's how it is in my head in anyway!

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Lughaidh
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Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 14
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 07:54 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

La fille danse > the girl dances
Quand elle joue avec moi > when she plays with me
Et je pense que je l'aime des fois > And I think I love her sometimes
Le silence, n'ose pas dis-donc > The silence, don't dare, well really (? not sure about the way to translate "dis donc", it seems strange here)
Quand on est ensemble > when we are together
Mettre les mots > to express
Sur la petite dodo > the little ? (dodo is a child word for "sleep", but it's masculine, here it's feminine so... ?)

La fille danse > the girl dances
Quand elle joue avec moi et la pluie > when she plays with me and the rain
Elle me manque > i miss her
Pourquoi? >why?
Non,non > no, no
C'est la chanson, la nuit, le vent > it is the song, night, the wind
L'amour , le son > love, the sound
De la petite Dodo > of Little Dodo (it seems to be a nickname now)

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 374
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 08:12 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Go raibh míle maith agat!

Maybe there's a few typos in it, that'd explain the masculine/feminine issue...

By "child word", do you mean used by young children, as in "doody" instead of "pacifier", or "go a beeps" instead of "go asleep"?

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Ó_diocháin
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Username: Ó_diocháin

Post Number: 82
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 09:34 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A Fhir na Mbróg, a chara,
In French, "faire dodo" is the sort of expression you might use to a child when talking about going for a nap in the afternoon.
There are some obscurities in the text you provide, which the lyrics of the English song might throw some light on - for example is there any reason why the girl referred to could be nicknamed something like "little sleepy head"?
The "dis-donc" is also something a translator would have to make a guess at, - unless when you hear the song it is a "vocable" (like "lah, lah lah") to make the line scan or a typo for "dire donc" - and it would be useful to have as much context from the English as possible to come up with a decent translation.
Nevertheless, my best guess at producing something that reads like a joined up text in English without any further information would be along the lines of:

"The girl dances as she plays with me,
And I sometimes think I love her,
But when we are together the silence doesn't dare
To have words for my little Dodo.
The girl dances as she plays with me and the rain.
Why do I miss her so?
No. It's not that...
It's the song, the night, the wind,
Love, the sound of my little Dodo".

Slán beo!
Chris

(Message edited by Ó_diocháin on January 24, 2005)

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Lughaidh
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Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 16
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 02:32 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"By "child word", do you mean used by young children, as in "doody" instead of "pacifier", or "go a beeps" instead of "go asleep"?"

As Ó Díocháin said above, "faire dodo" means to sleep in children speech, ie. when children are talking they use "faire dodo" instead of "dormir" (normal French verb for "to sleep"), and their parents use it when talking to children as well.

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Paul_h
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Username: Paul_h

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"dis-donc", or sometimes you hear "bah dis-donc"
a very useful and difficult to translate phrase expressing a kind of mocking surprise or disbelief at something somebody has just said:
e.g."I just saw Jacques talking to Josephine" response "eh bah dis-donc!" - "oh reeeaally" or "you don't say..."

any equivalent as Gaeilge?

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 379
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 04:28 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Apologies for going off topic here a bit, but in a way we're talking about language here and how context can affect translation, so here goes. . .

Sé an t-amhrán atá i gceist ná "The Professor" le "Damien Rice". Siad seo na focail:

The Professor

Well I don't know if I'm wrong
Cause she's only just gone
Here's to another relationship
Bombed by excellent breed of gamete disease
I'm sure when I'm older I'll know what that means
Cried when she should and she laughed when she could
Here's to the man with his face in the mud
And an overcast play just taken away
From the lovers in love at the centre of stage yeah
Loving is fine if you've plenty of time
For walking on stilts at the edge of your mind
Loving is good if your d*ck's made of wood
But the d*ck left inside only half understood her
What makes her come and what makes her stay?
What makes the animal run, run away yeah
What makes him stall, what makes him stand
And what shakes the elephant now
And what makes a man?
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
No I don't know you any more
No, no, no, no...

I don't know if I'm wrong
'Cause shes only just gone
Why the f*ck is this day taking so long
I was a lover of time and once she was mine
I was a lover indeed, I was covered in weed
Cried when she should and she laughed when she could
Well closer to god is the one who's in love
And I walk away 'cause I can
Too many options may kill a man
Loving is fine if it's not in your mind
But I've f*cked it up now, too many times
Loving is good if it's not understood
Yeah, but I'm the professor
And feel that I should know
What makes her come and what makes her stay?
What makes the animal run, run away and
What makes him tick apart from his pr*ck
And the lonelier side of the jealousy stick
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
No I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
No I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
Hell I don't know you any more
No, no, no no...

Well I don't know if I'm wrong
'Cause she's only just gone
Here's to another relationship
Bombed by my excellent breed of gamete disease
I finished it off with some French wine and cheese

La fille danse
Quand elle joue avec moi
Et je pense que je l'aime des fois
Le silence, n'ose pas dis-donc
Quand on est ensemble
Mettre les mots
Sur la petite dodo

La fille danse
Quand elle joue avec moi et la pluie
Elle me manque
Pourquoi?
Non, non
C'est la chanson, la nuit, le vent
L'amour , le son
De la petite Dodo

--

Does that offer any context at all?

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Peadar_Ó_gríofa
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Username: Peadar_Ó_gríofa

Post Number: 49
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"but I don’t like to boast…"--Unregistered Jax

We're only boashtin', the lot of us. Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta. But...the more learners of Irish know as many other languages as possible as well as possible, the more successful the "movement" will be; and a more or less thorough knowledge of a few languages is enhanced and enriched even by a rudimentary smattering of a whole bunch of others. If everything in "Irish" has to be based on English and processed by brains that are only accustomed to functioning in English, forget it.

Peadar Ó Gríofa

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Alix (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 64.231.38.213
Posted on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Well, I agree with Lughaidh, I don't like french. I'm trying to learn it now, and it's the most frustrating experience. It doesn't help that I live in Canada. When you take a french course here, they assume you are already familiar with the language and they don't bother trying to teach it to you...they just make you do oral tests and then wonder why you aren't very good.

I also think I would like learning french better if they taught a bit more french-canadian french. There is a considerable difference, and it's because of my french-canadian friends that I want to learn. I have no plans of travelling to Paris anytime soon. Depending where you are in Canada, french can either be musical, or like nails on a chalkboard. It just depends on the dialect.

Besides my lame attempt at learning french:

English - My native language. It's boring.

German - I've been studying German for about 8 years now, and I lived in German for a year as well.

Irish - Not counting a beginners course I took back in '98, I've only just started learning. Which is why I've never posted here before...I've only just read unbeknownst to anyone.

Swedish - I took a course in Swedish while I was in Germany. Unfortunately I've forgotten what little I learned, but given a dictionary, I could at least still write it.

Chinese (Manderin) - I only know a couple of words. My best friend is currently learning the language.

That's it for me. Not much to boost about, but I'm still young. Someday I wouldn't mind trying my hand at Finnish, and refreshing my memory for Swedish...but first I'm just concentrating on Irish...and passing that french course.

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 583
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 06:38 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

A chairde,

I'm really pleased to read all the interesting answers.

Scríobh Peadar:
I was impressed by the simplicity of Persian.

I couldn't agree more. For the last three weeks I've been reading a course in Persian and I've even had the opportunity to try what I've learnt on native speakers. Being a total beginner I can't say much about Persian yet, but I've been fascinated by its simplicity as well. It really shows how easy a language can be, and still being equally functional, lyrical etc. as any other language. I guess that Persian must be one of the easiest languages to learn (not counting Spanish for an Italian, Slovenian for a Croat, Norwegian for myself etc).

Began studying Spanish in 1972, Catalan in 1976, Serbo-Croatian in 1980 and Romanian in 1983.
I took French and German in school, and got introduced to Old Norse and Old English at the university, and I've studied a number of other languages intermittently over the years: Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Persian, Hindi and Urdu. Tagalog, for a little while. Polish, many years ago. Bulgarian and Slovene, a few years ago. Started on Welsh in 1998, was doing well but didn't keep it up. Started on Macedonian too. Started on Basque and Turkish a couple of years ago,


Mhuise, a chara, our areas of interest really coincide. I have to admit that I've never studied Romanian at all, and my attempts at Hindi and Urdu are best forgotten, but otherwise those are languages that I've studied at times. Being 12 years when Yugoslavia broke up, I never got to study the language when it was called Serbo-Croatian but I've studied Croatian and acquainted myself with the Serbian form as well. I cannot claim any fluency but at least I get by in everyday life without having to resort to English. Having parents living in Spain has meant that I've tried to learn both Spanish and Catalan. My Spanish is much stronger but I always try to use Catalan in the areas in which it's spoken. Living in city where Russian is a language you hear every day has of course made me learn it.

Scríobh Lughaidh:
2 : Breton, began to learn it when i was sixteen maybe. Fluent, but i need to learn more idioms, proverbs etc. Breton is my grand-grandmother language but she died before i was born. I’m trying to meet old people from her region in order to learn the very same dialect she spoke.

The same is true for me, but then we're talking about my great-great-great-great-grandmother :-) As far as I know, some of my ancestors who came to Finland from France were originally Breton speakers. They came in the 17th-18th centuries, though, and French quickly became the language of the "French"-community of Finland, only to be replaced by Swedish in the 19th century and then by Finnish in the 1950s.

Languages are my only hobby :). I've handbooks of 30 languages here, maybe, and more than 60 dictionaries at home. Almost all my money I spend in such books :)

How familiar it sounds... :-) Well, I've "only" bought about 15-20 language courses (including Lakota, Navajo, Tibetan and Quechua) but I have many, many more at home. Luckily enough, I'm living five minutes from one of the largest university libraries for languages in all of Europe, so I can pop in whenever I'm curious about a new language.

Scríobh Fear na mbròg:
I myself can't see anything esquisite, muscial or beautiful about English

As a non-native speaker of English, I have to agree. Of course beautiful things can be written in English, as in any other language, but I don't find the language as such particularly beautiful. Then again, I once did find English to be a very "cool" language and a language of great prestige. Only when I started to use English daily (and I speak it at least a couple of hours each day due to my office environment) did its lure fade away.

By the way, it's interesting to see that quite a few of us has been learning, or is learning, Persian. :-) I'm even more surprised that quite a number of Daltaí posters have studied Swedish. As a native speaker I can tell you that we're not exactly used to foreigners learning it unless they live here. In the case of Finnish, not even foreigners who do live here seem to learn it and I don't think I've ever met a foreigner who does not live in Finland that could carry out a conversation in Finnish... ;-) (Well, excepting the whole population of Estonia, of course.)

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Lughaidh
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Username: Lughaidh

Post Number: 21
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 03:37 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

There is one thing in Persian taht's difficult though: it's impossible to know how to conjugate a verb in the past tense without learning its root because the present root of the verb is very different from the past one... And the bokks i have got on persian only give the present root...
ex: miKONam = i do / KARDam = i did (if i remember well!)

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Peadar_Ó_gríofa
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Username: Peadar_Ó_gríofa

Post Number: 51
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

"...Slovenian for a Croat..."--Jonas

I imagine they have their problems with such things as the dual number, though.

"...in Persian...miKONam = i do / KARDam = i did (if i remember well!)"--Lughaidh

Right. Every tongue has its twists.

Peadar Ó Gríofa

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 383
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 04:47 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Are you saying that certain languages have sort-of two faces to a verb. Like the following:

Chuaigh sé
Téann sé
Rachaidh sé

and that you simply have to know all the forms?

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 584
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 06:26 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

There is one thing in Persian taht's difficult though: it's impossible to know how to conjugate a verb in the past tense without learning its root because the present root of the verb is very different from the past one... And the bokks i have got on persian only give the present root...
ex: miKONam = i do / KARDam = i did (if i remember well!)


You do indeed. However, there is a reason that books don't give the past root for Persian verbs - it is always regular for every verb.
In Persian every single verb ends in either
1. -dan : didan to see, âmadan to come, kardan to do, xordan to eat.
2. -tan: raftan to go, dâneshtan to know, goftan to say, gereftan to say.

For regular verbes, you form the present root by removing the -dan / -tan. In other words:
xordan to eat -> present root=xord -> mixoram I eat.

For irregular verbs, you just has to learn the present root by heart. Not that easy, but not harder than learning the hundreds of irregular English verbs I guess :-)
didan to see -> present root=bin -> mibinam I see.
raftan to go -> present root=rav -> miravam I go.
dâneshtan to know -> present root=dân -> midânam I know.

Now for the good news: every Persian verb forms the past tense root simple by removing the two final letters -an. This is true for every single Persian verb!!
xordan to eat -> past root=xor -> xoram I ate.
didan to see -> past root=did -> didam I saw.
raftan to go -> past root=raft -> raftam I went.
dâneshtan to know -> past root=dânesh -> dâneshtam I knew.

(By the way, note that all these verbs are irregular in English as well. Indo-Europeans obviously had a common idea about which verbs should be irregular :-) )

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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 813
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 06:27 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

The ones that see most use. Overuse makes irregular!

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Celtoid
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Username: Celtoid

Post Number: 73
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 06:55 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Cymric.

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 586
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 01:56 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Do you mean Welsh (Cymraeg) or the old Cumbric language that died out in the 11th century?

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Peadar_Ó_gríofa
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Username: Peadar_Ó_gríofa

Post Number: 64
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 05:28 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

>âmadan<

Colloquially pronounced umadan. Cf. Mayo Irish...

Peadar Ó Gríofa

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 587
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 04:47 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

:-) That was my reaction the first time I came across the word as well.

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Celtoid
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Username: Celtoid

Post Number: 74
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 07:32 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Cymraeg, ar ndóigh.



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