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The pros and cons of being bilingual



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  #61  
Old April 10th, 2009, 6:58 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I've heard it said that a person's true native language is the one they use when they hit themselves with a hammer. So, that'd be swearing, but not the onversational type.

As for cons, I can't see any cons with being bilingual.


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  #62  
Old April 10th, 2009, 7:13 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I'm tempted to put this experience on the bad side of being multilingual:
I make beds in a hostel room and a guy and girl enter and start to talk in German about their latest sex adventure, thinking that I am not able to understand them.
Honestly, I don't want to know such things.


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  #63  
Old April 11th, 2009, 3:17 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
I'm tempted to put this experience on the bad side of being multilingual:
I make beds in a hostel room and a guy and girl enter and start to talk in German about their latest sex adventure, thinking that I am not able to understand them.
Honestly, I don't want to know such things.
Nice.

I've had this happen all the time, but usually it benefited me. When I first started at my current job, people would talk bad about me behind my back in Spanish. It amused me greatly as I speak Spanish. It was great to see their reactions when they found out.


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  #64  
Old April 13th, 2009, 3:33 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
I'm tempted to put this experience on the bad side of being multilingual:
I make beds in a hostel room and a guy and girl enter and start to talk in German about their latest sex adventure, thinking that I am not able to understand them.
Honestly, I don't want to know such things.


Oh your poor ears!

I haven't really had a chance to be able to experience firsthand the cons of being multilingual...... I'm waiting to travel to Europe so I can finally see whats its like!


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  #65  
Old April 28th, 2009, 6:43 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I'm not completely bilingual, but a lot of Welsh slips into my speech when I am talking...but that all depends on who I'm talking to and what I'm talking about. For instance, I always ask my mum if she wants a drink in Welsh, but if I ask anyone else it's in English


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  #66  
Old May 1st, 2009, 3:00 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I speak five languages so technically I am multi-lingual and in a country as diverse as India this is a necessity. Even then I may not be able to manage language-wise in all the places.

The languages I know are:

English, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit and Tamil.


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  #67  
Old May 1st, 2009, 5:02 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

^ wow that's impressive- I can only manage one fluently


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  #68  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 4:39 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by vigneshnimbus View Post
I speak five languages so technically I am multi-lingual and in a country as diverse as India this is a necessity. Even then I may not be able to manage language-wise in all the places.

The languages I know are:

English, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit and Tamil.
Where did you learn Sanskrit? What's learning a dead language like?


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  #69  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 4:45 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Where did you learn Sanskrit? What's learning a dead language like?
Well most of the 'Hindu' religious work is based on Sanskrit, for one.
Also, Sanskrit is what you can call a foundation from which other languages have been developed. So, once you have learned Sanskrit, learning other Indian languages is comparatively easier.

And anyways, Sanskrit is far from being a dead language. Though it is not used much in conversations, it is deeply entwined with the culture of Indian and most of South-East Asia.


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  #70  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 4:48 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by vigneshnimbus View Post
Well most of the 'Hindu' religious work is based on Sanskrit, for one.
Also, Sanskrit is what you can call a foundation from which other languages have been developed. So, once you have learned Sanskrit, learning other Indian languages is comparatively easier.

And anyways, Sanskrit is far from being a dead language. Though it is not used much in conversations, it is deeply entwined with the culture of Indian and most of South-East Asia.
I see.

I know Farsi, and I'm aware that there's a relation between Sanskrit and Farsi. How easy would it be to bridge the gap from Farsi to Sanskrit?


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  #71  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 8:48 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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I see.

I know Farsi, and I'm aware that there's a relation between Sanskrit and Farsi. How easy would it be to bridge the gap from Farsi to Sanskrit?
I don't much about Farsi language and it's origins so I am not sure whether it would help you or not. It definitely is a big help in learning both Hindi and Marathi though.

But if there is a connection, then you will find that lot of the verbs and there forms are easier to understand.


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  #72  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 5:07 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

According to Wikipedia (article on Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European family of langauges), Sanskrit and Farsi hypothetically share a common predecessor language. However, they are classed into different subgroups of the Indo-Iranian branch. (Sanskrit is Indo-Aryan, and as vigneshnimbus comments, is the source of a lot of the other languages in that subgroup), whereas Farsi is in the Iranian subgroup.

Speaking from my own experience with other Indo-European languages - this is (in terms of their relative positions on a tree describing interrelationships) similar to the relationship between my native Lithuanian, and Russian. (Both in the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages, but in the separate Baltic and Slavic subgroups). If that means there is a comparable level of similarity (and it may not), I feel my Lithuanian put me at a distinct advantage over native speakers of English in my class when I studied Russian.

On the other hand, I am sure speakers of Slavic languages would find Russian that much easier, so I am guessing Farsi would be less useful than another Indo-Aryan language, when learning Sanskrit.


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  #73  
Old August 3rd, 2009, 4:14 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I've always wished I'd grown up bilingual. I have Italian roots, but somewhere along the road it got lost and my grandparents never taught my mum how to speak it, and so I grew up speaking only German.

I've been fluent in English for a couple of years now and especially since I spent six months as a foreign exchange students it even seems more natural to me now than German does; but it's not the same I guess Plus, everyone in Europe pretty much knows how to speak English, so it's not special or anything.

My boyfriend, for example, has a Slovakian mum, and even though he grew up here in Austria, he has always known how to speak and think in Slovakian, too.


I've been learning French since I was thirteen, too, and last year after I spent some time in France I kept thinking in French, but since I haven't had the chance to speak any French since I left for the US I lost a lot of it
I also take Spanish at school, but yeah.


Anyways, ever since I realized how people in the US thought it was so super cool how I knew four different languages, I really appreciate how I have the possibilities to learn all that here in Europe. I actually feel bad for most Americans, because the language offerings over there are REALLY bad. I think it just broadens the horizon to learn and live more than one language.


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  #74  
Old August 9th, 2009, 12:17 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I'm bilingual. I can speak both English and Mandarin Chinese-and can switch easily between both languages. I can understand Malay as well, but can't speak it. But if you ask me which language I'm more comfortable in, it's definitely English. I know Mandarin is my mother tongue (Though my mother speaks Mandarin like a foreigner), but English is what we spoke when I grew up. But that, of course, doesn't mean I do not like Chinese. I love Chinese, I am, after all a Chinese. You could say Chinese is the language of my heart, while English is the language of my mind.

If I had the chance, I would love to learn every language available in the world. Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish and German are my top five.


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  #75  
Old August 9th, 2009, 1:10 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

In my job, everyone takes a huge advantage over the fact that I can speak Spanish. Being a nurse, having that ability enables me to be able to save lives. However, it can be rather tiresome when I'm extremely busy with my patients and all of a sudden, one of the other nurses or a doctor needs me right away for translation. Sometimes it's difficult because there have been times when I've been pulled away from my patients and I've been in the middle of performing a procedure and have had to stop because someone needs me to translate. From what I understand, and this is from one of my boss's own mouth, I could get in serious trouble if I refused to translate for someone who needs. So, basically, disregard that I have to do my job, too. Lately, it's been a double-edged sword this ability I have.


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  #76  
Old August 9th, 2009, 1:19 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

There are people who don't believe that you can speak more than one language and when I tell them what languages and dialects you can speak and mostly understand, then they look at you as if you are lying to them.


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  #77  
Old August 9th, 2009, 1:26 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
There are people who don't believe that you can speak more than one language and when I tell them what languages and dialects you can speak and mostly understand, then they look at you as if you are lying to them.
That sounds like something Americans would say.
No offense to anyone, but that's how they were when I tried to explain to them that I knew German, English, French and Spanish.



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  #78  
Old August 9th, 2009, 4:41 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I'm not denying your experience, but actually it is pretty offensive if you word it this way. I know many Americans (some of them posted right above you) who know more than one language.
It is surely possible that people which mother tongue is one of the world languages - there's no need to limit that to English, if we try to look at it without borders we might live in ourselves - never saw much sense in learning another language, but I wouldn't generalize here.


The question leads us back to topic, though. For now I could have lived my life without ever learning a different language, but I'm very glad I did. It brought me further at work and made me met wonderful people both 'offline' and online.
I understand that it can be a problem when almost misused at situations such as work (like MHPFAN described above), but it seems to me that this is rather a problem of work organisation than because of the knowledge itself.


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  #79  
Old August 9th, 2009, 5:44 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
I'm not denying your experience, but actually it is pretty offensive if you word it this way. I know many Americans (some of them posted right above you) who know more than one language.
It is surely possible that people which mother tongue is one of the world languages - there's no need to limit that to English, if we try to look at it without borders we might live in ourselves - never saw much sense in learning another language, but I wouldn't generalize here.


The question leads us back to topic, though. For now I could have lived my life without ever learning a different language, but I'm very glad I did. It brought me further at work and made me met wonderful people both 'offline' and online.
I understand that it can be a problem when almost misused at situations such as work (like MHPFAN described above), but it seems to me that this is rather a problem of work organisation than because of the knowledge itself.
If I'm not wrong, is it not compulsary for Americans to learn a second language?


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  #80  
Old August 10th, 2009, 2:58 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

The cons of being bilingual..? Well, let's see, for one, I fail at writing in Filipino, which is my native language, which has also never improved to boot. D8 I've got the grammar skills of a second-grader, which makes it really difficult for me when it comes to writing papers and stuff.

English, on the other hand, is something I love to use when it comes to writing and I love it so much I'm thinking of majoring that in college, lol.

I can understand Japanese as well, but my kanji's been getting worse since I haven't been practicing it for a long time.


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