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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
13,926 posts, read 44,239,230 times
Reputation: 12342


Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
On the Latin thing, I just assumed English was spoken the natural way, and English grammar was school's diabolical way to learn names for what we already knew. Exposure to Latin taught is that grammar is, in all languages, the hidden skeleton supporting the tangible language,

True. I never understood what a "split infinitive" was until I started studying Russian (informal seminars at work) in my 40's.

I had like one year of French as a high school kid. I remember a little of it. I could probably pick it back up, if I needed it. Spanish is more useful. Just having a substantial Mexican/Central American population around, I have picked up a little Spanish just by osmosis - words for "Open", "Closed", simple greetings, "just a little chili", etc. Spanish is easy to pick up for native English speakers.

Started studying Russian in informal lunch time seminars in 1995. Have used it some on the job, have taken trips to Russia and Ukraine for work. I'm at the point where I do Russian to English (written) translations on the job, but my ability to speak extemporaneously is not that good, I can write an intelligible email, but no one would mistake my writing for a native speaker. I can hold a social conversation, I can talk OK about nuclear subjects, but I still speak with a rather heavy accent.

Knowing the language, has really helped me socially with Russian counterparts. There are all sorts of things they want to say, questions they want to ask, that they don't want to run through the interpreter.
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Old Yesterday, 01:32 PM
14,746 posts, read 13,078,504 times
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Took Spanish, one year, not remember any of it, and live in Miami, lol.
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Old Yesterday, 01:36 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,256 posts, read 53,238,453 times
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I took Spanish in grades 6-8, then again in High school but already knew their curriculum so acted as a teacher's aid and corrected papers, and got all As. In college I minored in Spanish, and in my first job after graduate school, was asked by my employer to do some radio and TV interviews on Spanish stations in San Francisco. That was in the 1970s, and I really haven't used it since.
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Old Yesterday, 05:16 PM
Status: "My life has suddenly changed. Hopefully for the better." (set 22 days ago)
Location: San Jose, CA
226 posts, read 247,241 times
Reputation: 273
French for three years back in high school, and I did quite well academically. I was in the National French Contest in my sophomore and junior years. I have a French first and last name. My father spoke French fluently, but spoke to me only in English. Therefore, my knowledge was limited to what I learned in school. I can say a few words, and know some words on sight, but otherwise, I'm monolingual.
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Old Today, 11:08 AM
Location: Florida
5,377 posts, read 3,503,981 times
Reputation: 10294
Two years of Latin in high school, two years of Italian in high school, one semester of Spanish in college. Picked up some German as an adult.

Latin isn't a spoken language, I speak no Italian at all, no Spanish to speak of, and very little German. Immersion is really the key to language learning and continuing to use it is the key to retention.
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