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subcomhd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 07:55 PM
Original message
Poll question: Spanish is my second language
I'm thinking about a third. It should be.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-28-09 06:42 PM
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1. Learn French and insult RWers with it. nt
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-06-09 11:45 AM
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2. French is incredibly useful.
Edited on Sun Sep-06-09 11:47 AM by SheilaT
Spanish is far more local than you might realize, and of course it's highly dialectical, with serious differences in grammar and vocabulary from country to country.

French is far less dialectical, and I've used it when getting outside of the western hemisphere than I've ever used Spanish. I've come across French tourists who spoke no English while in Australia, as one example. Plus, if you go to Tahiti and speak French to the locals, they will really like you.

Added on edit:
While Italian is extremely easy, in my opinion, it's not all that useful other than in Italy. I actually laughed out loud when we got to irregular verbs in my Italian class, because their irregular verbs can't hold a candle to French ones, which are far easier than Spanish irregular verbs.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-13-09 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I had a lot of foreign patients in Boston hospitals
and found people from Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and other places could often speak French when they didn't know a word of English. It made things a lot simpler to be able to communicate, even though we both spoke pretty fractured French.

French was extremely useful in New England. It's even come in handy from time to time here in NM.

I've been adding Spanish to it for several years now. Spanish is remarkably logical compared to French, a much easier language if you're not too concerned with local dialect. French will drive you nuts because I think they borrowed a lot of quirkiness from English. However, having learned one romance language, adding another becomes relatively easy.

By the way, the French really do appreciate the effort. While they're impatient with poor speakers, they're less impatient than white bread suburbanites in this country are when confronted with someone who doesn't speak the language well.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 06:46 PM
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5. Actually, English borrowed a lot of quirkiness from French
thanks to the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Before that time, Old English was a purely Germanic language with some Celtic influence, but thanks to French influence beginning in 1066, it lost a lot of its inflections, and its word order, except for adjectives, is closer to French than to English.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-09-09 05:35 PM
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3. Portugus
Portugus Brasileiro :)

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 06:56 PM
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6. French is very useful
probably the second-most useful language worldwide.

My church in Portland sponsored a refugee from the Congo about ten years ago, and she spoke no English when she first came to this country, so those of us in the parish who had studied French became her lifelines.

When I traveled in China with a group from my college, visiting sister schools, the librarian in the group was delighted to discover that the head librarian at one of the universities spoke French. No English, just French and Chinese.

When I spent a summer session for language teachers at the University of Hawaii in 1991, the government of Vietnam sent a representative to a conference on Southeast Asian Linguistics. Oops, somehow they hadn't gotten the word that the conference was canceled. The young man had a non-refundable plane ticket for two weeks later, and he spoke no English, just Vietnamese, Indonesian, and a little bit of French.

One of the language teachers in our group was Belgian, so they asked if he would mind rooming with the Vietnamese man for two weeks. That's when we learned that the Vietnamese man didn't speak a LOT of French, but fortunately, there were some graduate students who were planning to teach Indonesian, and he became part of their group.

A lot of people in Arab countries such as Morroco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Lebanon speak French as their second language, too.

German is also useful if you're going to be dealing with Eastern Europeans. Almost everyone was required to take a foreign language plus Russian in those countries, and most of the people who didn't choose English chose German. Some of my relatives traveled to Eastern Europe, seeking out the formerly German areas that my ancestors came from (now belonging to Poland and Russia), and almost everyone they met spoke some of either English or German.
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whathehell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:44 PM
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7. How about Croatian...or Serbo-Croatian, as it recently was called.
I am studying that now, and it's not easy, but being a Slavic language, it can help you with Russian and Polish.
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