Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DancingKitty on Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:28 pm

If learning one new one wasn't a chore, you're probably "brain-wired" right for a facility with languages.

With the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Portugese) knowing one actually aids learning the next. You quickly learn to 'sort out' which language as you're using it, and in most social interactions, speakers sort of run a list to find a 'common' language. Spanish and Italian speakers can generally communicate easily enough, and French speakers can communicate with them...if they will. (Oops, dig at the snooty attitude of French speakers.)

Of course, if you're really good with languages, then moving beyond one 'group' won't be a problem. (Mr. D.Kitty was a language specialist. Although he know German, Russian, Polish and ummm, something else, the US Government decided he needed to learn Spanish and French as well...and he picked up Italian and Romanian on his own.) Try it. If you're hard-wired to do it, piece of cake! I'm not, and just staying in Spanish/Portugese/Italian I'm OK. What you hear (accents and inflections) that makes the languages different will trigger your brain to go to that language file. The human brain is a very powerful computer, and ya don't even have to have a mouse!
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:28 am

i beg to disagree with DK. I am bilingual in German and know quite a lot of the Low German dialect. As a result I can read Dutch easily but can never learn to speak it well. Every time I try I get answered in German! On the other hand it made it easy to read Old English (=Anglo-Saxon).
My reasonably good French is, of course, not affected.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DancingKitty on Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:10 am

Is it your speech, or the attempts of the Dutch speakers to accommodate you in a language in which they feel you'd be more comfortable?

Many Europeans are multilingual enough to be able to sort out your accent and go for that language. Belgian innkeepers, for example, must be fluent in at least 5 languages, many of them 'similar'. They seem to do it quite readily.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:49 am

DancingKitty wrote:Is it your speech, or the attempts of the Dutch speakers to accommodate you in a language in which they feel you'd be more comfortable?

Many Europeans are multilingual enough to be able to sort out your accent and go for that language. Belgian innkeepers, for example, must be fluent in at least 5 languages, many of them 'similar'. They seem to do it quite readily.

Yes, they are being helpful, and so many are brilliantly multilingual, it's true. But the thing is, they always take me for a German, because that's the way I approach trying to speak Dutch. 40 years ago, when I used to go there a lot, Germans were by no means popular, so I gave up trying.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby black bart on Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:51 am

I am trying to learn French by posting on the French part of this topic...but it is a very slow process as there don't seem to be many French pastafarians.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:50 am

black bart wrote:I am trying to learn French by posting on the French part of this topic...but it is a very slow process as there don't seem to be many French pastafarians.

Yup. Ten days back I posted in the main German thread which had previously been deserted since last August. No reply.
Trouble with French is, I can't figure out how to do those accents on this keyboard.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby Zankou 2.0 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:10 am

DavidH wrote:
black bart wrote:I am trying to learn French by posting on the French part of this topic...but it is a very slow process as there don't seem to be many French pastafarians.

Yup. Ten days back I posted in the main German thread which had previously been deserted since last August. No reply.
Trouble with French is, I can't figure out how to do those accents on this keyboard.

http://www.usefulshortcuts.com/downloads/ALT-Codes.pdf
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:03 am

Thank you, oh awesome one. That is dead handy. May you be ever bathed in His noodly sauce. :D
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby black bart on Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:57 am

Zankou 2.0 wrote:
DavidH wrote:
black bart wrote:I am trying to learn French by posting on the French part of this topic...but it is a very slow process as there don't seem to be many French pastafarians.

Yup. Ten days back I posted in the main German thread which had previously been deserted since last August. No reply.
Trouble with French is, I can't figure out how to do those accents on this keyboard.

http://www.usefulshortcuts.com/downloads/ALT-Codes.pdf


That link doesn't seem to work.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:41 am

black bart wrote:That link doesn't seem to work.

It did for me. My problem is, my laptop doesn't have a numerical keypad and the ALT+number trick doesn't work with the numbers on the top row. But it works on my desktop keyboard.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby tehgrisp on Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:13 pm

Here's a tip for some of you. Windows, btw.
Control Panel --> Regional and Language Options
Languages tab --> Text services and input languages box --> Details...
Installed services box --> Add...
Input language: English or whatever language you are using. It only puts categories in "installed services."
Keyboard Layout/IME: Whatever language you are using. Or, see below.
Click OK.

Now, you can do a few things here, and none of these are mutually exclusive or inclusive.
1. Change the default input language to the layout you chose.
2. Put the language bar on the desktop.
3. Establish key settings to change between inputs.

Choice 1 is good if you use the layout more than the normal layout.
Choice 2 is very handy because switching between input is easy.
Choice 3 is for those who don't want a language bar and/or those who prefer key combinations.

Note that if you change the layout, the little characters on your physical keyboard may not match up with what you will type: the brackets and such won't be there, but pre-accented characters will. For this reason, the keyboard layout I recommend is United States-International because the layout is the same (at least as mine), but you can add accents by using the ` ~ ' " keys, which are typed before the letter. See: ÁÀÄÃÇÉÈËÍÌÏÑÓÒÖÕÚÙÜ. However, the downside is that if you want to type a quotation, you'll need to hit the space bar after the quotation marks, to avoid accenting characters.

This, IMO, is better than Alt-Numbering because there are no combinations to remember, and should work on any keyboard or computer, at least with Windows XP. I'm sure that even without XP, you could find a way to edit some files to change the layout, though that's not the best idea.
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Re: Learning two languages would be a help or a hindrance?

Postby DavidH on Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:24 am

Thanks, I'll try it, though I think it'll take a bit of getting used to. I'm also going to try making a .txt file of all these symbols which I can cut'n'paste into posts.
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