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Old 03-15-2012, 01:11 PM
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
15,902 posts, read 19,261,813 times
Reputation: 15594


Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I know that Portuguese is the 7th most spoken language in the world.

Question: how does Brazilian Portuguese differ from Continental Portuguese? I thought it was largely pronunciation and very few words like "apanhar/pegar um autocarro," "penso/acho" etc. The same could be said of Spanish. In Spain, a stamp is a "selo" and in Argentina it's a "stampilla," but what you learn in standard Castilian.

And is one a lunatic if they grew up speaking Italian to their parents, take French and Spanish in HS and college, and remember everything they learned, and then learn Portuguese for fun as an adult? I've been to Portugal between 5 and 10 times, so it's worth it to me. I'm NOT adding any more languages to my arsenal. Those are the only ones I care about...and they are all related to each other.

There are also differences in grammar between Brasilian and Continental Portuguese. They are quite different.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:34 PM
14,754 posts, read 21,547,741 times
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Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
There are also differences in grammar between Brasilian and Continental Portuguese. They are quite different.
Sounds like you speak Portuguese. Yes?
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:36 PM
Location: San Antonio/Houston
25,740 posts, read 36,310,981 times
Reputation: 64477
Originally Posted by almost3am View Post
Arabic or Mandarin are two good ones. I read about the severe lack of arabic speakers in the US, the government was paying extra to recruit them.
^^^ this!!
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:44 PM
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
15,902 posts, read 19,261,813 times
Reputation: 15594
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Sounds like you speak Portuguese. Yes?

Yeah, I do. Although I must admit my portuguese was much better a few years ago. I haven't had much opportunity to keep up with it lately.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:53 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,675 posts, read 55,928,058 times
Reputation: 34912
Since you are already there and have daily exposure to it, learn Pashto, and in particular, learn to read it. If you can easily sight-read the Arabic alphabet, it will become a lot easier to learn Arabic later on, which would certainly be on the short list of useful languages to learn. As soon as you become fairly fluent in a second language, adding more languages later on becomes easier, so go for the easiest one to learn in your present situation.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:12 PM
Location: American Expat
2,187 posts, read 3,551,313 times
Reputation: 1850
German is hard, so is French and Chinese. Chinese just sucks. Unless you just plan on getting to a basic level "Hello, my name is XXX", "How are you?", and so on. You're not gonna get fluent in any of those language by just grabbing a book. It's especially hard to English native speakers because there's almost no conjugation/genders in English. You should do what you enjoy doing. If it's Finnish, then try to tackle Finnish.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:24 PM
Location: Leeds, UK
18,563 posts, read 15,057,088 times
Reputation: 7405
I'm learning Swedish. Why? Well, I am going to Sweden this year, but I admire Sweden, and Swedish people, and Swedish culture, and I really like the language.

So, what languages are worth learning? Whatever you want. If you plan on moving to France, learn French, if you want to visit Japan, learn Japanese, if you want to learn Norwegian just because, then go ahead.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:25 PM
Location: Malaysia
319 posts, read 368,099 times
Reputation: 159
English, Mandarin, Indian. Spanish, Arabic.
By knowing these languages, you would be communicating with almost 99% in the world.
Of course the best language is still the $$$$$$$ language where it is been spoken In Cash We Trust whereas Crredit is just a dialect which is hard to be understood.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:42 PM
3,642 posts, read 6,874,874 times
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I'm learning Brazilian Portuguese right now. It's made my Spanish conversation skills worse, but I like it a lot more.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:43 PM
3,808 posts, read 3,803,836 times
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I am in a similar situation to you, and I am trying to learn Dari.

I think Dari has a few advantages over Pashto for native English speakers.

First, it is a much more widely spoken language. It seems likely that one way or another Iran will become more open to the West in the next few decades. When this happens, you will be able to read and write Farsi if you already know Dari since they are just different dialects of Persian. Similarly Tajikistan speaks a Persian dialect even if they use the Cyrillic alphabet to write it. If Afghanistan stabilizes as something other than a Taliban state, it seems likely it will slowly begin to reattain the economic status it had in the 1950s in which case there will be some money to be made in the country by foreign companies. Pashto meanwhile seems unlikely to ever be more than first among equals unless Pashtunistan becomes an independent nation-state. In Afghanistan while it may be spoken somewhat more widely spoken than Dari it will probably never be enough to matter since trade with Iran and Tajikistan will ensure that the movers and the shakers will speak at least some Persian. In Pakistan it will never surpass Urdu.

Second, Dari is more like English than Pashto in respect to gender. Word gender matters just as little in Dari as it does in English whereas in Pashto gender is just as critical as it is in Spanish if not moreso. This may be a personal problem, but as a native English speaker this has always been a major stumbling block for me in trying to learn Spanish. I would not want to add this difficulty to trying to learn a language even more distant from English. Moreover, I've had Pashtuns express to me their opinion that this makes Pashto a more difficult language to learn than Dari.

Third, while both seem to be more or less equidistant from English in the Indo-European language family, some of the Pashtuns I have talked to have seemed to indicate that there has been some conscious purging of foreign words from Pashto. I can only tell you what I have been told so this may not be the case, but if it is Pashto will likely lack some words that Dari has which are English cognates or were adopted in modern times from English (or another European language which English adopted these words from).

The alphabet is really a wash since the Arabic alphabet, Dari alphabet, and Pashto alphabet all differ from each other by a few letters. Once you get to where you can read one, you'll more or less be able to phonetically read the others without much additional work. Although since the alphabet size goes Pashto>Dari>Arabic, I suppose Pashto does have a slight advantage over Dari here since Pashto already has all the Dari letters while Dari does not have all the Pashto letters. I suspect that for an English speaker Pashto is as fiendishly hard to spell correctly as Dari is due to the missing vowels. Since Arabic has the least letters you will be able to read it (phonetically at least) once you know either Dari or Pashto although it makes common use of pronunciation marks that I don't think Dari or Pashto use much outside of some religious terms originally from Arabic. However, even then it should be noted that since Arabic is a Semitic language and not an Indo-European language it will be greatly distant from English, Dari, and Pashto outside of some religious terminology.

Overall though being able to talk with native speakers is an incredible to learning so if you are in a Pashtun area where no one speaks Dari that might be the best option.
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