learning languages

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by emma-louise, 5 November 2010 Social URL.

  1. emma-louise

    emma-louise Silver Member

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    ok so i know this is very off topic, but just wanting some opinions on learning different languages? does anyone speak any other languages than english?

    i am at uni studying spanish and catalan and everytime i tell someone what i study i seem to get a funny response, like people see it as a waste of time/money :confused: especially when i tell them about catalan as it is spoken in such a (relatively!) small area...

    so do you think learning about another culture/language is a worthwhile thing to do or not?

    i also speak french to A level standard, german to GCSE and also a bit of very basic conversational polish :)

    opinions welcome xx
     
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  3. IreneH

    IreneH Gold Member

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    I have always loved learning languages and over the years have studied French, German, Spanish and Italian. I also did GCSE Latin about 5 years ago at night class and enjoyed that.

    Learning languages has changed over the years. When I did my first 'O' level back in the 60s the emphasis was on written but now it seems to be on speaking and listening.

    Irene xx
     
  4. biggysmalls

    biggysmalls Too big to fail

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    I am a French and Spanish teacher so I'm obviously an advocate! Also, languages helped me meet my OH. They have changed my life, enriched my experiences abroad and opened my eyes to totally new worlds.
     
  5. -Laura-

    -Laura- Silver Member

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    I'd love to be able to speak another language. I did GCSE Russian at school, and started A Level but the jump was too much for me to cope with! Can barely remember any now, but I can still read and write the alphabet! Didn't do any more language learning then until last year when I went to Kenya for a month. Picked up a fair bit of Swahili, and really enjoyed it. I obviously needed the whole 'immersion in language' thing to get anywhere, because within a couple of weeks of coming back, I'd forgotten the lot!

    I do think language learning is really valuable though. And would imagine it opens a fair few doors employment-wise?
     
  6. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    Very impressive. You obviously have a talent for languages.

    How could speaking another language be considered a waste of time ???

    Catalan and Valencian are very similar. The Catalans says the Valencians stole it from them and the Valencians say the same about the Catalans.

    I agree with you about the opening your eyes.

    Having lived here for almost 30 years I can not understand the expats who do not speak the language. I could not bear not to understand what is going on around me and would have missed so much of the wonderful culture here.

    Our Spanish friends are so important to us and we love being involved.

    We are selling up and coming home to the U.K. It has nothing to do with Spain and everything to do with wanting to be closer to my family.

    We have had a brilliant 30 years here, enriched by speaking the language.
     
  7. Maximus

    Maximus Gold Member

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    I learned French to a decent standard at school, but as a youngster, i never really loved the language. I then started falling in love with Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein etc. and learned German via a combination of books, night class, visiting and friends.

    I always wanted to learn Italian too, but I have so many other interests and so little time - or so it seems:p

    Steve
     
  8. emma-louise

    emma-louise Silver Member

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    aww i would love to do latin! at my uni we do all 4 equally; reading, writing, speaking and listening, but i think for me being able to speak and understand what is being said back to me is more important than all the spelling and grammar stuff (which i also love i have to admit :p) xx

    yeah exactly, i love my languages and thats why i chose to do them at sixth form and why i chose to carry them on at uni and i hate having to explain myself to people all the time! frelsh sounds very interesting ;) xx

    yayyy!! :D i wish i carried french on now, dropped it halfway through first year of uni, mainly because of a teacher i really didnt get on with and i really regret it now :rolleyes: what level do you teach at? xx

    wow russian and swahili?! check you out :p definitely being imersed helps i think, im sure you would pick it back up again if you went back! im not sure about the jobs thing, we've always been told it does but i guess i wont know until i graduate! xx

    thanks Sue :) i would love to live in Valencia, you are soooo lucky! i too cannot understand expats who make no attempt at even learning a few bits of the language, it just seems really ignorant to me like "oh well everyone can speak english i wont even bother" definitely not the right attitude in my eyes!

    my catalan teacher (from mallorca so biased i guess :p) has always taught us that from a linguistic point of view, catalan and valenciano are the same language, but with a few dialect differences in the spoken forms, and that they're only called seperate languages from a political point of view... not sure how accurate that is though ;) xx

    thats the thing i think, once you develop an interest in one language it just spreads and you end up being able to converse with half of europe :p xx


    thank you all for your input guys and girls xxx
     
  9. Stefanie

    Stefanie Silver Member

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    I lived in Brussels for a year and a half and picked up French and Dutch pretty easily (enough to get by)....but to be honest it's German I absolutely love. Spent time in Switzerland and Germany and am desperate to attend some night classes. So in response, it is a great thing to learn languages and anyone who wonders why, you should always say, "well why not?" :) x
     
  10. Lonestitcher

    Lonestitcher Silver Member

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    I love the thought of learning 'wench'.... would probably stand me in good stead for 'international talk like a pirate day'!!!!
     
  11. biggysmalls

    biggysmalls Too big to fail

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    confused! Ex SW, ex CC, now on FAST 5:2
    I teach 11-18 and i love it. For the first time this yr though i am seriously worried about the future of languages in the u.k. There are many subjects competing for time on the curriculum and i am no longer happy yhat the govt snd headteachers are sending out the messsge that languages are highly valuable! Sone pupils love them and see the value. Others (and their parents) think 'what's the point? Everyone speaks English'.
    There was an excellent piece on radio 4 over the summer about languages- it's still available on their website. One man makes the point that if you're buying, English is fine. But if you're selling, and don't speak the language, you are at a real disadvantage.
    I think languages are useful in business and also in their own right- they improve brain power and give you the keys to access a whole new world
     
  12. Cloggy

    Cloggy Mostly Harmless

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    Well languages aren't my thing, French was my only real failure at school and that was mainly because I didn't see the point in it (and it wasnt a strong point).

    Having said that I totally agree with Sue (Filly mum) if you live somewhere or go somewhere on holiday you should always make an effort, people respect you for doing so. It took me 3 years of evening classes to get to secondary school leavers standard of Dutch, and it was a bit of a struggle but I am really glad I did it now.

    I know 2 people who studied languages at uni and they both went on to follow other careers, one going into management and one going into IT (after working on an international help desk for a while).

    I agree if you're passionate about something then you should definately do it and you can probably find a good job in teaching. It's great to learn other cultures as well.


    I would love to learn "pirate" for the Talk like a pirate day as well :D
     
  13. sarah83

    sarah83 I will be a yummy mummy!

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    I studied Spanish to GCSE, French to A Level and although I didn't go on to do languages in uni, I did Cultural Studies and was able to embrace how different cultures live.
    I'm lucky though really - I lived in Italy for 3.5 years when I was a child so learnt Italian fluently when I was very young - this meant that learning languages came quite naturally to me when I was back in the UK.

    I think languages are an amazing thing to study - it's amazing to be able to go to a completely different culture and understand the people there. At the end of the day English is learnt as a second language in many other countries across the world - I personally think it's a bit arrogant of us as a nation to assume that we can go anywhere and be understood - how many people honestly try to learn a bit of the local language before they go on holiday?
     
  14. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    Apart from English I'm a fluent Welsh speaker and I have a GCSE in French (which is actually quite similar to Welsh!).

    I'm living down in Pembrokeshire at the moment which has the nickname 'little England beyond Wales', and it constantly annoys me that so many of my pupils refuse to speak Welsh because they 'don't see the point'!! I usually tell them that being prepared to learn and speak the language of our country shows to everyone that we are proud of our country and our heritage, and that if everyone had the same attitude then the language would die out! Or words to that effect, haha!

    Personally I've always liked languages, but I'm not the best at learning new languages (too much of a scientific brain!) :)

    Hmmm, that was a bit waffly! Sorry! :eek: xxx
     
  15. IslandBreeze

    IslandBreeze Castaway

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    I don't think they're ever a waste of time or money. I've learnt languages mainly because I enjoy it but they are useful too. Holidays are always more fun if you speak at least some of the local language. Workwise I'm a chartered accountant and finance director and being able to put languages on my CV has certainly opened up better jobs for me. My last job involved some fabulous travel round Europe, US, Africa and Asia and language skills helped me get it. I have fluent French, Russian and German, good Croatian and Spanish and some Polish. Latin GCSE too, can't say that's helped me get any job but it helped my enthusiasm for languages and is a handy basis for learning others. I'll certainly be learning others once I'm back in the real world.
     
  16. Maximus

    Maximus Gold Member

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    I find this quite disturbing! - I truly believe we should be teaching our children/youngsters european languages. I believe French, German, Spanish & Italian studies (culture & language) should be compulsary. Much better than so-called I.T. studies where they sit playing games on a PC/Laptop:rolleyes: Advanced pupils can then branch out into Scandinavian languages etc.

    Wish I could turn the clock back.
     
  17. Shabba

    Shabba Loves the Nom Nom!!!

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    I would love my 3yr old to learn another language, im interested in learning spanish myself but not for a few years, im busy with other studies :giggle:
    A friend at work is studying German and loves it, i never got on with German, was more of a French girl and i wasnt great at that lol Now im older i appreciate other languages a bit more i guess :)
     
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  19. Stefanie

    Stefanie Silver Member

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    I agree that languages should be compulsory, but in what IT class are you allowed to sit and play games....? Also IT is very relevant these days, just about every job requires some level of pc skills, how many jobs can you say that about languages?

    Not knocking languages, think they are very important, but don't think IT should be stereo-typed in this way.
     
  20. Leapfrog

    Leapfrog Champion actifryer

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    I love languages. I would say that knowledge of other cultures and their languages enhances our lives. After getting my degree in English language, I worked in France, having studied both French & German to A Level. I have now lived in France for 10 years and my OH is French. We have the same interest in languages, their roots, wordplay etc. and both love learning French/English idioms and expressions. For instance, I was delighted to learn from the radio last week that a slang French term for the tight drainpipe trousers worn by men in the 1960's is "poutres apparentes" or "exposed beams" - usually used in the architectural sense for a house with exposed beams! My OH was puzzled by some English friends who called an acquaintance of theirs "Bungalow" (because there's nothing up top!). He said the French equivalent was "he didn't invent the wire to cut butter" - not quite as succinct!
     
  21. Shabba

    Shabba Loves the Nom Nom!!!

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    Thats mostly what we did in our classes. Found loopholes around the systems to get on games. I raced through my coursework so i could sit and play :giggle: I then went onto computer science at college and again all we ended up doing was finding ways around the system to play online :giggle:
     
  22. jaylou

    jaylou Gold Member

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    To the OP - it depends what you intend to do with the degree in Spanish and Catalan (in my opinion). I've seen so many people do degrees in languages and humanities to go on and work in a shop or call centre because they can't get a job or don't know what they want to do with their degree.

    I have a bit of an issue with languages in secondary school - my daughter is doing French and German currently, both of which she would drop like a ton of bricks given half a chance. As it is, she'll have to take one language at GSCE so she'll take French as she does struggle with German (probably because it's newer)

    I think more time should be spent on science, maths and English (ie the core subjects) and less on drama, art and DT but then that's just my opinion of course!
     
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