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Old 04-14-2019, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
6,471 posts, read 3,599,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
French from 6th grade through high school then four years at college.


Am still quite good with reading and so forth; but conversational skills get rusty/die a bit when you don't speak the language often.
I donít get to use my French much unless I am talking to my mom, or when I am actually in France. I watch movies in French and watch French videos on line.
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Teach an Fhir Bholg
12,479 posts, read 13,799,654 times
Reputation: 34117
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
That's nice. I didn't have an international family at all, so the only language I ever heard around home and family was English. The only relatives from foreign countries that I ever knew were from Ireland - an English speaking country.
In regard to what I put in bold above, my grandmother spoke Irish and because of this I was aware that Ireland was not exclusively an English speaking country. Many years later I took a two year evening course, and got to the point where I could have simple conversations, but was much better with my passive vocabulary and was able to read novels for teens and simple ones for adults.

I took two years of Spanish in 8th gr., & freshman yr. in h.s. Did okay, but never used it. Then ten years later I lived in an Hispanic neighborhood in NYC and some of it came back under duress and was very helpful.

I took two years of French in college, but never used it.

Took Brazilian Portuguese as an adult because (believe it or not), I wanted to be able to read the record cover material on the LPs I bought, which were mostly imported at the time. Then my cousin came to NYC, and he had immigrated to Brasil. So, I got a lot of reinforcement from him and his girlfriends. Then I emigrated from the U.S. later and went to Portugal. (As a result of the proximity I can now muddle through simple instructions in Spanish.)

I took a quickie course in Greek when I lived in Cyprus. I wanted to be able to read street signs and store signs, and simple labels, etc. Remember none of it now, but the little bit I had was useful and a great ice-breaker with local people.

Languages are fascinating, and I even enjoy reading about particular languages even if I never have any interest in learning to speak and read. Cannot fathom how people find their time studying other languages wasted. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things by George Lakoff is a great book about how languages categorize and what that reveals about the people who use them.

Last edited by kevxu; 04-14-2019 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,111 posts, read 59,018,056 times
Reputation: 53345
Spanish from 7th grade through college - I have a minor. I use it quite often, both professionally and in everyday life. Reading and writing are easy; conversation I kind of stumble with.

I also took a year of French in high school. I can read French sort of well, but can't speak it other than routine greetings or to ask if there's any cheese.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:57 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,283 posts, read 12,764,930 times
Reputation: 30520
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefong123 View Post
Mine is English. It's been very useful in my life. Still, I have yet to master it. I don't think I will ever master the English language. I use it every day in my life since I live in the USA. My third language was French. The most useless language ever. I don't know why they even bother to teach it in HS and College. Honestly, Chinese should be the new foreign language that should be taught in HS and College.
mikefong, I wouldn't worry about it. I believe there are a lot of people born and raised in the United States, spoken English their entire lives, and still haven't mastered it! lol

When my step son in law was stationed in Germany in the Army for 3 years. When they came back to the states somebody asked him if he learned much German while he was there. Said he learned one word...Lager!
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,733 posts, read 8,473,336 times
Reputation: 6093
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
In regard to what I put in bold above, my grandmother spoke Irish and because of this I was aware that Ireland was not exclusively an English speaking country. Many years later I took a two year evening course, and got to the point where I could have simple conversations, but was much better with my passive vocabulary and was able to read novels for teens and simple ones for adults.

I took two years of Spanish in 8th gr., & freshman yr. in h.s. Did okay, but never used it. Then ten years later I lived in an Hispanic neighborhood in NYC and some of it came back under duress and was very helpful.

I took two years of French in college, but never used it.

Took Brazilian Portuguese as an adult because (believe it or not), I wanted to be able to read the record cover material on the LPs I bought, which were mostly imported at the time. Then my cousin came to NYC, and he had immigrated to Brasil. So, I got a lot of reinforcement from him and his girlfriends. Then I emigrated from the U.S. later and went to Portugal. (As a result of the proximity I can now muddle through simple instructions in Spanish.)

I took a quickie course in Greek when I lived in Cyprus. I wanted to be able to read street signs and store signs, and simple labels, etc. Remember none of it now, but the little bit I had was useful and a great ice-breaker with local people.

Languages are fascinating, and I even enjoy reading about particular languages even if I never have any interest in learning to speak and read. Cannot fathom how people find their time studying other languages wasted. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things by George Lakoff is a great book about how languages categorize and what that reveals about the people who use them.
I think my great grandmother might have spoken some Gaelic, but I never met her, and the relatives I met from Ireland only spoke English as far as I know.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:03 PM
 
2,309 posts, read 1,382,447 times
Reputation: 3036
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefong123 View Post
Honestly, Chinese should be the new foreign language that should be taught in HS and College.
In the schools around here, Mandarin is taught at some middle school levels and many high school levels. All three of my kids took/are taking Mandarin in high school. My oldest already did his 4 years, and the other two are in the middle of the 4-year plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
mikefong, I wouldn't worry about it. I believe there are a lot of people born and raised in the United States, spoken English their entire lives, and still haven't mastered it! lol
Most definitely. English grammar is difficult, even for native speakers (as evidenced on this board daily).
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,639 posts, read 12,432,698 times
Reputation: 16358
I took four years of Spanish and one year of French. Sure I can remember some Spanish words and phrases, but can I actually speak Spanish in any useful way? No.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,819 posts, read 6,186,647 times
Reputation: 12351
I took 4 years of German in high school and I had lived over there for 4 years as a kid when my dad was in the army so I was crazy good at it.

When I went to college I took a 5 hour first year class and the teacher told me right away that I was too knowledgeable to be in the class and I had to go to the German department office to take a placement test, so I went and spent 2 hours taking the test and really busted my butt and was unable to finish it. I went back to get my results and the receptionist told me the dean wanted to see me and I thought that it was not going to be good. Anyway I went in and he said he wanted to thank me for my honesty because most people do bad on purpose to take the easy class and that I was being placed in the third year class.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,152 posts, read 4,138,469 times
Reputation: 2683
It was a childhood goal of mine to become fluent in Spanish: I studied it in jr. high, high school, college, and beyond, and am fluent.

I also took three years of German and the equivalent of three years of French in high school. Now (decades later) I can do "tourist German," including very basic interactions in the language, but would like to return to it and develop greater proficiency. As for French, I took quite a few classes in college, and am very proficient in the language. Additionally, I took a year of Italian at community college while I was in high school, and now (also with the help of Spanish) I can navigate my way through basic conversations.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:28 PM
Status: "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Middle America
36,287 posts, read 41,110,518 times
Reputation: 49680
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
French from 6th grade through high school then four years at college.


Am still quite good with reading and so forth; but conversational skills get rusty/die a bit when you don't speak the language often.
Yep. My Spanish vocabulary remains very good. I can translate words in print quite well, and reasonably enough through listening to spoken word, though it's been decades since my classes.

My own fluency, conjugation skills, conversational ease, etc.? Nonexistent, at this point.
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