I was just looking over the thread welcoming our new member from Germany, and noticed there were a couple of responses written in German.
I wonder what other languages our members may be conversant in...
Enough Spanish to get the gist of news and weather, but not quite enough to follow the soaps. At least I can order dinner and ask where the restroom is. Those are the vital questions when traveling. After almost fifty years I still remember a few Korean phrases, but most of it is gone. I'd throw in a sample here, but the forum software won't print Hangul.
I speak English, America's OTHER language these days!
Does Fortran count?
English and just enough Italian to cuss when needed.
If Fortran counts, then I speak assembler,cobal,HTML and pascal! English and enough of a host of other languages to order beer and wine (thats all I had time to learn in port)
iway eakspay igpay atinlay, I speak pig latin
English, then Dutch, then enough French to cobble together responses to Olivier's posts...
Many years ago, I had a boss who was from New Zealand. Someone commented once, "I can say 'I love you' in 13 languages." Graeme answered, "That's nothing. I can say 'My friend will pick up the check' in 19!"
English and like others, I have forgotten German and Japanese except for a few phrases.
Steve "dos Cervezas negras por favor"
In our case it would be dos almuerzos por favor
Claro que sí. ¡Que lástima que Tres Equis ya no hay!
For sure. What a shame that XXX is no more!
Yeah, what Henry said. Sometimes when people see or hear my last name, they'll say "Spaziano, is that Italian?"
When I say "Yes it is." they usually ask if I speak any Italian. I just say "Yes, but only the dirty words my dad taught me on Saturdays when he was working on the car."
I can speak American, and English, and was educated in French through college and have rarely used it. I can ask for an extra room key in German and can count and order enough food to be able to gain weight in Japan. I can only say "thanks" in Chinese.
The biggest obstacle to speaking a foreign language in a foreign land is that everyone wants to reply to me in American to demonstrate their abilities. I say "American" because it quickly becomes obvious as to whether their instructor taught them the Queen's English or American.
I now know what gudgeons, bonnets, and boots are. I now realise they're not selling boots (wellies) at a boot sale. I can also understand "Stop rabbitting, grab your kit, take the apples and bung it in my boot".
Steve, when Anja and I were on a road trip once, we stopped at a motel that had a Mexican restaurant next door. At dinner, we each decided on beer with our meal, so I ordered "Cuatro Equis." The waiter didn't appreciate the blinding brilliance of my wit, however. I had to explain what we wanted....
Cajun French, which is, as I understand, an archaic provincial French dialect.
Languages are not much of a barrier now, the current computer translators are really better than many human translators. I have had more trouble communicating in a common language than between two different ones. The more languages that you study, the better you can understand in any language. Google translate is so much better than just a few years ago
But you have to remember that what you enter to be translated must be understandable to begin with, with languages that I have no knowledge of, I always translate into the language of the recipient and then translate back into English, if the message is still understandable, then there is a good chance the recipient will be able to understand, if it is not what you wanted to say after the second translation, then you need to make adjustments to your original message, because that is where the problem lies. When using a translator, remember that punctuation is important, as is spelling. and keeping sentences short and avoiding compound sentences is a very good plan.
I sell a lot on Ebay and it's not unusual to get questions from overseas in some other language. Google translate may not be perfect, but it's more than adequate for anything I've run into so far, so I send answers back in whatever language the questioner used. So online I can speak whatever language needed (not counting awkward grammar). HIja', tlhIngan chIm'e' (yes, even Klingon)
My mother and her sisters and brother could speak to each other in fluent Finnish. None of them taught the language to their children. My Uncle was married to a Mexican woman and she could speak to her brothers and sisters and mother in fluent Spanish. She did not teach any of her 4 children the language. In those days Americans spoke English!
I know enough Spanish to order in a Mexican restaurant. I know a little more German than that, but not much more. I can do a better job of reading or speaking some phrases in those languages than I can understanding someone speaking them to me.
"...the current computer translators are really better than many human translators."
Gus, on behalf of my approximately 11,000 fellow members of the American Translators Association, I take gentle issue with that.
There is a big difference between someone who happens to be bilingual and someone who is a translator. Many companies have lost a lot of money because they didn't know that. "Pablo in the mailroom speaks Spanish. Let's get him to translate our marketing brochure...."
I learned a lot of ghettospeak in AFG.
I b puttin a cap in yo ass, u mess wit my homeboyz. No wut om sain, muthafukka ? YO !
I dont b thinkin them dogs b thinkin no T iz a fly whip tho.
I'll back Dick up on that one. A few years back we shipped a machine down to Mexico that had a switch labeled AUTO/MAN. We translated the switch tags and MAN. became HOMBRE (you may need to speak a little Spanish to get the funny part there).
Good one Jeff.
There was a voter pamphlet in the L.A. area some years ago that translated a small business owner in English to shop keeping dwarf in Spanish.
So what I see as the language list is:
Reminds me of the TV commercial about Fraud vs. Frog protection.
Apart from my native US English, I get along well in Spanish. Many hours spent dabbling in French, Italian, German and Portuguese have left their mark, but they've pretty much fallen into disuse.
In this part of Spain I'm expected to speak Catalan as well as Spanish but I would rather spend my time working on my car than studying another language! :D
Funny thing, Jeff, that AUTO/MAN label would have been perfect in Mexico.
A Mexico biggie was in 1961. Ford rebadged the Falcon as the 200. GM didn't rebadge the Chevy NOVA. . NO VA means NO GO.
I didn't speak six words of Spanish when I moved from San Diego to Mexico City in 1961. When I got there, I enrolled in the National University of Mexico school of foreigners, where I had 5 hours a day of Spanish and Mexico subjects. When my money ran out after six months and had to come back, I could get by in Spanish.
I followed a girl to the U of Ill, where I took Portugues. I didn't absorb much of that, but it helped my Spanish skills.
1966-7 wifey and I lived in an apt in a little village in Germany, where we learned some German while I was being a soldier working on Nike Hercules. Our older son was born there.
1977: The two Field Service Engineer territories opened at the same time. Instead of Hawaii, I volunteered for Mexico, as nobody would question my trips there. I made four trips a year, mostly for four days at a time, for the next 24 years. My Spanish improved, and all my dealings were in Spanish. I even taught classes in soldering, etc.
Even with hearing aids, I have trouble understanding even English today. Seems like people run their words together.
Her Majesty's English and a touch of French
I speak Arkie. I learned it from my mom who was born in Black Oak.
I have a dog who can bark at burglars in 6 different languages
Eugene, My dog can do that plus spit wooden nickels out between barks....top that!
I speak english and 10110010.
English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Does Pig Latin count? I speak in that language to my dog daily.
Ein bischen Deutsch hier!
Phillip, I heard there are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those who don't.
That's mean Hal!
I speak the Queen's English and when I'm in the US of A I try to speak American. I've lived in France for the last eight years and now I speak Franglaise Which is a bit of both. In my village many of the older French don't speak their own language, they speak Patoise and that makes for interesting conversations!
English, French (fluent), and enough Japanese to get around a normal conversation.
English, German (can read much better than speak)
German and Russian, college majors. Kept up steadily with the German in the last 43 years, even lived in Munich for a year in the mid-1970's. I can probably hold my own in a light Russian conversation because I studied it again at home nightly during this past horrible LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG winter. It's amazing how it all comes back with a little effort, practice and concentration.
French, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese
I can add strine to the list.
Allan from down under.
I have only one comment to make. I am very lucky that almost all airports in a lot of foreign countries speak some English. If they did not I might still be lost in some foreign country in this large world.
I took two years of Spanish in high school but have learned enough to order from a menu in a taco shop. Unless one knows someone to communicate with an a language, it is very hard to learn.
Here is my understanding on the "American" English language. We were isolated from the continent until about 100 years ago, so we kept the true English language. However, England was influenced by the other European languages, so it is actually the English version of the language which has changed. Also, with television and the modern media, I also notice the regional dialects are fading away.
"Australian" is my best language. Many words and phrases unheard of and not understood in many countries! Alan
Fair dinkum, Alan?
I understand Aussie Cobber
I speak (New Zealand) English and can make myself understood in French and Maori -Kia Kaha -Karl
When my wife, Elsa, and I first met, she didn't speak any English, and I didn't speak any Spanish.
She was fresh from Colombia.
I was just fresh.
We were able to communicate without any particular language - mostly, motions, facial expressions, and caresses.
It's been 12 great years now. Shes speaks fair English. I speak no Spanish....The caresses say all that needs be said.
Afrikaans,Enlish & Dutch
I am fluent in this:
But only the American version. I don't recognize "Circle-E"
I consider all this acceptable, its that north of the Mason-Dixon line stuff that gets me like: dizzy, tranny, patatoe, diffie, turtle and other wierd names for Ford parts, especially v8's.
Dick as anecdotal evidence of your postulation about translators PEPSI lost a lot of business in China due to the translation of their slogan in the 60's (I think) when "Come alive, You're in the PEPSI generation!" translated to something like "Bring your ancestors to life in the PEPSI generation!"
G.R., coincidentally, a friend of mine posted this link on Facebook today:
She also posted another link that includes this line: "Even Google doesn't use Google Translate for their business documents."
For English....please type "1".....
Norwegian is my native language, so I am fluent there. My first wife, and mother of my two children, was Danish, so having Danish in-laws, helped me understand Danish pretty well. My Daughter and three of my grand children live in Sweden, so I am good with all three Scandinavian languages. I started learning English in sixth grade, and after 52 years in the U. S., I count English as my second language. Three years of German and two of French in high school has faded for lack of use, especially French.
Dick Lodge -
May I add my favorite mis-translation to your link that has become a classic among students of the German language? It was an understandable mistake on the part of the American translator, but it has created a host of guffaws and snickers among Germanic linguists ever since.
When JFK visited Berlin at the height of the Cold War in the early 1960's, his encouraging speech to the hundreds of thousands of Berliners in the streets was in English. I don't recall if the prepared speech was translated verbally line-by-line over a PA system or a written crawl in German was shown on a large screen. At the climax of his speech, JFK switched to a very short German sentence to say that the proudest thing anyone could say in the era of Cold War tensions was: "I am a citizen of Berlin." However, the clearly American translator with a high school level of language proficiency in German translating that simple sentence for Kennedy made the very common beginning student's mistake of inserting "a" ("ein") before the proper noun "Berliner". The sentence Kennedy spoke was: "Ich bin ein Berliner." Germans don't express their adherence to a city or country that way. They literally say: "I am Berliner." ("Ich bin Berliner.") instead of the very American "I am a Berliner". By adding the "ein" before "Berliner", Kennedy was actually saying that he was a jelly donut, which in German is "ein Berliner". I still smile every time I see that film clip shown in Kennedy biographies.
By the way, not surprisingly, the adoring Germans in the Berlin streets roared their approval anyway at Kennedy's little sentence in German - but secretly must have been snickering to themselves at the mis-translation that the jelly donut President of the United States had called himself. Political cartoons of the time were unrelenting, showing JFK as a jelly donut with his characteristic thick waxen hair and mouth full of teeth, accompanied invariably by the caption: "Ich bin ein Berliner."
Marshall, for some reason your post reminded me of another story, this one a personal one. A friend of mine from my Little Rock AFB days in the mid-sixties finished his graduate work in mathematics (PhD, I think) and took a job teaching math in a German high school. (He had studied German and certainly knew the math.) He was teaching a unit on relative velocity, and as an example talked about firing a rifle bullet from a moving train in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the train's movement. This meant that there were three forces acting on the bullet: the forward motion of the train, the projected motion of the bullet as it left the rifle barrel, and gravity which was drawing the bullet toward the ground.
It would have been a great lesson if he had not gotten tangled up in the principal parts of German verbs. Instead of shiessen, schoss, geschossen, he stumbled into scheissen, schiess, geschiessen. As I told him when he told me the story, the math of the example remained valid, but the velocities were slower....
Well, Dick, a couple of us in this thread will understand the not-so-subtle difference between the verbs "schiessen" and "scheissen". Let's let the others ponder on it for a while before letting them in on the joke. .
One is brown.
Speaking in terms of the brown language, in all my worldly travels, I have noted that all cultures (so far experienced) seem to understand brown in the same relative terms.
Marshall, I should add that he was very puzzled by the fact that his class was roaring with laughter during his example....
Throw Mama from the train a kiss.
Does Morse Code count?
English, German, French
Reads Swedish, Norwegian.
Codes: APL, Fortran, CSP, Algol, COBOL
Lets see, fluent in Manx and Welsh
some Russian, Lithuanian and a wee bit of Hawaiian
and enough Spanish and Romanian to order dinner, lol.
I can speak English and yooper...aye?
Marshall.... I have German relatives, I know that word!!! LOL
I speak a California version of 'Depression' English and I sill have remembrances of Integer Basic which was the language of my first computer, which my son still uses to control his Christmas lites.
Jim Weir, Class of '28.
OK - just for fun - I'll bet no one can read this !!
(If you can, don't post the answer or the "language" yet, just post a "got it" and lets see who else can figure it out !!
When I first opened this thread I thought it was because people were using profanity in their posts. lol
The blobs at the corners are just from ink soaking into the paper. I'll give one clue: Hangul.
Bud, Sherlock Holmes says your message is:
Model Ts Forever
Shucks Mark - you weren't supposed to tell!
I was hoping to find out how many Holmes fans were on the forum !
Oops, sorry Bud, I'll PM you next time.
Schiessen is to shoot scheissen to number two.
The confusion arises when you begin moving among the different tenses of the verb....
oops, not "thank you", my mistake.... It's been a few years
Yes, Rob, but what does it say?
Sherlock Holmes movie from 1942, "Secret Weapon", based upon the original story "The Dancing Men". Correct, Bud? I thought the symbols looked familiar. Did you spill water on them, as Dr. Moriarty did in the movie, which unlocked the key to de-cyphering?
Spanish, Catalan, and this will be my 2nd year Ingés learning in school, I read better than I speak it but since I'm in this forum Google Translate smokes, could be considered another language, with its free translations.
I don't recall many phrases. I could order beer, soju, and a few other delicacies, and hopefully not offend anyone while doing so.
Who can drive Ts?
SOJU! really...I'd rather drink gasoline!
I'm sure gas was more expensive....
Oops! The correct title of the short story by A.C. Doyle that employed the dancing little figures is "The Adventure of the Dancing Men".
Let's keep the record straight.
Dr. Watson: "How far did you get in school, Holmes?"
Sherlock Holmes: "Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary."
N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk!!!