Saturday, September 01, 2007

No spreken ze deutch

I have lots of blogging friends outside the United States who speak and understand English. Most are from Great Britain...or England...or the British Isles...oh my. I'm not sure what to call it, so I found a diagram and a Wikipedia article (click here for the article).

I have lots of blogging friends in Canada and Australia and Astrid is originally from The Netherlands but now lives in London. For a couple of years now, I've had a blogging friend in France who posts in French but leaves her comments here in English. I can't read most of her posts and I leave my comments to her in English which I'm not sure she understands.

In the past week, I've acquired an Italian blogging friend and a blogging friend from Monterrey, Mexico. I'm pretty sure my new Italian friend is using a translator to leave her comments but my friend from Monterrey seems to be fluent in English.

Other than a couple of years of French language studies in high school and being raised by and around Cajuns, some of whom spoke only French, I am ridiculously ignorant in the foreign language department. As the world grows smaller, it is suddenly quite clear to me that I need to get off my lazy ass and acquire a passable knowledge of, at the very least, French, Spanish, Italian and German. I wonder if it would be overly ambitious to attempt a couple of Asian languages. Also, wouldn't life be much easier if we all knew a little Hindi?

As you know, I'm overly sensitive to obvious and not so obvious coincidences. Off we go:

  • In the spring of this year, I finally got my first passport.
  • A few weeks ago, I joined NetFlix and have been peppering my movie queue with lots of foreign movies. Watching the movies while reading the subtitles is frustrating. I know I'm missing so much, not only visually by having to look back and forth between the subtitles and the film, but also because I'm not experiencing the subtleties of the languages in which the films were made.
  • Out of the blue, I've been stumbled upon by folks whose blogs are written in languages I cannot understand and to not be able to read their posts as they intend them to be read drives me absolutely nuts.

So, I suppose I'll start by learning French since it should be the easiest to pick up at first having been raised around a lot of French speaking folks. Since I live in Texas, Spanish should be my obvious next choice because we have a lot of Spanish speaking people here in the area. I work with a girl from Germany, so after Spanish I'll move on to German and finally Italian. Eventually, I'll attempt Japanese, Chinese and Hindi.

That should keep me busy for a couple of weeks.

Nomad's Blog

Lina's Blog

Leon's Blog

11 comments:

Leon J. de la Garza said...

Well hey there!

That's a whole bunch of languages you're thinking of learning... you make me feel like I should start learning some other languages as well...

I speak spanish and english.. and that's it.. hehe
:)
Very nice of you to consider me as your "blogging" friend. OH! and by the way.. i was thinking about the subtitle issue you were talking about, hehe that's how i felt before i learned (learnt?) english.. hehe :)

Fortunately i've known english for a while now... anyway... hehe i still feel that way when watching movies from other countries.. for example "Crouching tiger, hidden dragon" absolutely very cool movie, but with subtitles.. i think i lose something.. i dont know.. hehe

anyway.. umm... well i hope you can acomplish your goal for all those languages.. if you need help with spanish, feel free to ask me.

Beguile_Me said...

We like the Rosetta Stone program http://www.rosettastone.com/index/, but nothing beats being able to practice with someone who can speak fluently!

PS Sorry... I have no clue how to make that address a hot link.

Sophmom said...

I have a friend, the father of 5, who taught himself Russian driving carpool. Eventually, he needed some actual lessons before going on to write articles in Russian, and service, as an attorney, Russian clients. He's become an expert in certain aspects of post-Soviet Russian law (primarily discovery). I'm sitting on the back porch of his farm listening to him feed the horses while his grandson squeals inside right now. I applaud your ambition. I would also like to learn French. Then I would like to learn Vietnamese so that I could know what the women in the nail salon were saying to each other while they're working. ;)

Laurie said...

Leon - I guess I should start with French but Spanish will be second.

Beguile Me - I knew you would know the best way to do it. Thanks!

Sophmom - I guess I'll add Vietnamese to my list. We have lots of Vietnamese people here in Southeast Texas.

C.J Hixon said...

Was? Deutsch ist derjenigen der meisten unterrichteten Sprachen in Vereinigtem Königreich ähnlich? Ich bin britisch und ein Idiot, und ich kann German sprechen.... et le français je veux dire qui sur les besoins de terre à speack le français baisant à ce jour et l'âge sauf le français eux-mêmes???
Para ser realmente honesto a única razão sei como falar portugese é porque trabalhei com cargas deles. Eles ensinaram-me jurar.
You see my dear the real kicker is the fact that i'm a musician and i can't read sodding classical notation....just the basics up to grade 5!
Реальная угнетающая вещь - то, что я не имею никого, чтобы говорить русского с.....

C.J Hixon- The Russian Guyovich (maybe.)

Zina said...

I thought the same thing about French...but I've been able to pick up Spanish much easier. But I work with a ton of hispanic people.

GOOD LUCK!


check out AMELIE a french foreign film and one of my all time favorite movies ever.

TexasGal said...

Boy you are going to be busy. I can relate though. I just bought the Rosetta Stone software for French Level 1 & 2 (for daughter no. 2) as she is in her 3rd year of French. And, I thought I could use it too. I also bought Spanish, level 1 and 2. Now being over here in Singapore you might think it would have been smarter to buy Madarin. However I have a friend here that has been taking Mandarin lessons and the Chinese seem to get a little "peeved" when she would try to converse with them in the stores and such. I don't plan on being here long enough for it to make any sense. I fully intend on getting my butt back in Texas as soon as I can.

TexasGal said...

Oh! And thanks for the info on the UK, Great Britan and such. Hubbie and I had a "discussion" about that one day. We work with so many people from over there and I tend to just lump them all into one category and say they are from the UK. Doesn't appear that I was too far off.

Laurie said...

C. J. - I know! ;)

Zina - Amelie is in my NetFlix queque. Maybe I'll move it up.

Texas Gal - The Rosetta Stone software is so expensive, I'll probably buy it for myself for Christmas. I'm much more generous to me at Christmas.

Texas Gal (part 2) - You're welcome. I've actually had occasion to look at that little diagram a couple of times since I posted it.

Laura said...

I think Russian is easier than French! And I can speak German and some Latin, and sing in Latin, Italian, Spanish, German, and a little Russian. I like a language I can pronounce phonetically, but I could never figure out the French rules. Might as well be Greek or Chinese.

Laurie said...

Laura - Russian! Great, I hadn't even thought about Russian.