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February 15th, 2009 - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal

February 15th, 2009

Levels of Liberal Linguistic Logic & Lunacy

1) Refusing ever to leave the UK because the water tastes funny elsewhere (distinct, on various axes, from holidaying in the UK for financial, environmental or other reasons)

2) Travelling overseas, but TALKING ENGLISH IN A VERY LOUD AND CLEAR VOICE, 'cos the locals should speak english and are just being stubborn, damnit.

3) Holidaying strictly in anglophonic (yes I made that up, I think) countries because you only speak english and feel guilty that you can't speak local anywhere else.

4) Holidaying only in various Western European countries because you happened to learn a bit of the language at school.

5) Sticking to Western Europe but venturing into a few more countries where the languages kinda sound a bit like the ones you already learned, possibly also picking up the "$newLanguage in 24 hours" audiobook.

6) Venturing further afield, possibly to Greece or Russia where the alphabet's a bit different and the language family's quite distinct.

7) Trying to learn an ideographic language with new cultural references & up to three new alphabets to get your head around, with the vague idea you might go there sometime. This level may also just qualify as nuts.

So, yeah... I've been wandering around these levels over most of my life, with a current linguistic score somewhere as follows:

English (UK): Mother tongue, give or take my ability to get my tongue in a complete knot.

French: Fluent; studied since I was about 8; numerous holidays, exchanges, and a year of my degree spent in Paris.

Spanish: Learned as a regular GCSE and used on occasional holiday.

Latin: Studied at school to a fairly low level.

Norwegian: Learned a few words when I went on holiday at about 9? Forgotten all, I think.

Welsh: Used to be able to pronounce most of it right and sing the national anthem. Never knew what much of it meant.

German: Fluent. Studied in my final year at school and during my Uni degree; studied a year of my degree in Karlsruhe.

Irish: Fascinated by the language and mythology, utterly baffled by the pronunciation, got nowhere reasonably fast.

Italian: Learned a few words for recent holidays. Still have a habit of speaking Spanish instead.

Japanese: Learned a little specialist vocab for Aikido and food. Learning more recently after getting fascinated and deciding to make it this year's hobby (not intended as an insult). webcowgirl's ability to speak Mandarin & Japanese in restaurants is also quite inspiring.

Portuguese: Learned a little prior to a recent holiday. Still bemused by the fact that weekdays don't have names.

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