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The pros and cons of being bilingual



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  #81  
Old August 10th, 2009, 10:43 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Schlubalybub View Post
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
Where are you from, Schlubalybub? Welsh is my first language, but I'm also fluent in English, and can speak a little French. Don't see any problems with it at all!


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  #82  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:04 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I don't have a first language. English is compulsary for us, but Mandarin is supposedly my native language. So what IS my first language?


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  #83  
Old August 10th, 2009, 12:12 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I would call the native language the first language. If you learned two languages from first words on (eg because your mum is Italian and your dad is Spain), you had two first languages, but that hardly happens.

What do you think are the pros and cons of having English as compulsary language?


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  #84  
Old August 10th, 2009, 2:34 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I am actually quite confused about my first language as well.
I'm Indian, my parents are both Indian and I was born in India. I've studied in an English medium school throughout though, and my parents spoke to me equally in both languages. I've learnt both simultaneously and I can speak both equally fluently. I do prefer writing in English though. But on an everyday basis, I use Hindi a tad more than I use English, and I find that I (and everybody in my generation) tend to mix the two, more often than not.

I don't know which I would call my first language.

I would say though, that I am immeasurably glad that I speak English, because the educational possibilities are that much more. There are nowhere near as many universities where I could study a subject like say, Statistics or Lingusitics, in Hindi. I would think that this applies for most languages?

And I think there are virtually no Harry Potter fansites in Hindi


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  #85  
Old August 10th, 2009, 6:06 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by MC2456 View Post
If I'm not wrong, is it not compulsary for Americans to learn a second language?
It depends which schools you go to.

My elementary schools (I went to a few, because we moved a lot) didn't offer me any foreign language classes at all. [These were in Nebraska, California and Iowa.]

My junior high school (7th & 8th grade) had only one required foreign language class that only lasted for a trimester, concentrating mostly on Spanish (since that's what the teacher knew) and then doing some very basic stuff with German & Russian (and possibly French) at the very end of the trimester. [This was in Iowa.]

My high school (9th grade - 12th grade) had no foreign language requirements for graduation, but we were strongly encouraged to take a foreign language class. They offered Spanish, French, German, and briefly Russian (but the Russian teacher didn't stay with the school very long, so they had to drop that from the course offerings). So I took 4 years of Spanish and one year of German. Most of the other kids either took only one foreign language, or didn't take any foreign language at all, or took a language in freshman year and then dropped it when it got too hard for them. [This was in Iowa.]

My university did have a foreign language requirement for graduation, and had several options available. Unfortunately, those classes were mostly scheduled in ways that clashed with how the classes in my major were scheduled (the foreign language classes were mostly in one-hour blocks meeting 4 days a week, always at the same time every day, while the classes in my major were mostly in 2- to 4-hour blocks & meeting once or twice a week). Luckily, I nearly tested out of the requirement, and only had to take one semester of Spanish in my freshman year (1st year). If it hadn't been for the poor scheduling, I'd have taken some of the other language offerings as well. [This was in California.]


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  #86  
Old August 19th, 2009, 7:25 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
It depends which schools you go to.

My elementary schools (I went to a few, because we moved a lot) didn't offer me any foreign language classes at all. [These were in Nebraska, California and Iowa.]

My junior high school (7th & 8th grade) had only one required foreign language class that only lasted for a trimester, concentrating mostly on Spanish (since that's what the teacher knew) and then doing some very basic stuff with German & Russian (and possibly French) at the very end of the trimester. [This was in Iowa.]

My high school (9th grade - 12th grade) had no foreign language requirements for graduation, but we were strongly encouraged to take a foreign language class. They offered Spanish, French, German, and briefly Russian (but the Russian teacher didn't stay with the school very long, so they had to drop that from the course offerings). So I took 4 years of Spanish and one year of German. Most of the other kids either took only one foreign language, or didn't take any foreign language at all, or took a language in freshman year and then dropped it when it got too hard for them. [This was in Iowa.]

My university did have a foreign language requirement for graduation, and had several options available. Unfortunately, those classes were mostly scheduled in ways that clashed with how the classes in my major were scheduled (the foreign language classes were mostly in one-hour blocks meeting 4 days a week, always at the same time every day, while the classes in my major were mostly in 2- to 4-hour blocks & meeting once or twice a week). Luckily, I nearly tested out of the requirement, and only had to take one semester of Spanish in my freshman year (1st year). If it hadn't been for the poor scheduling, I'd have taken some of the other language offerings as well. [This was in California.]
OK thanks for the explanation. Hey, you are a genius, aren't you? I saw your post on the genius kid thread, but I didn't peruse it because I was just briefly scrolling. On TV the other day, there was this guy-not very much older than me-from China, who could speak TWELVE languages fluently. (He did a lot of things as well, but I won't elaborate, lest we go off-topic.) His main language is Chinese Mandarin, of course. He says the key to learning languages is practice. Which I agree, but TWELVE? And they aren't your normal languages, they're dead languages, some of them.


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  #87  
Old August 19th, 2009, 7:51 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I really wish I had time to read through this thread. Can there be any cons to being bilingual? If you learn a second (or more) language when you get older it can be hard to learn obvioulsy. But actually being bilingual I have a hard time seeing any cons with.

Am I bilingual? That's for you to decide but my native language isn't english. And since I use it a lot online my shortcomings often bother me. Not to mention when I actually have to speak it when I meet people.


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  #88  
Old August 19th, 2009, 3:14 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

^ You seem pretty fluent when writing.


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  #89  
Old August 20th, 2009, 12:50 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

Ditto. I wouldn't have guessed English wasn't your native language if you hadn't said so.


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  #90  
Old August 21st, 2009, 9:36 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
But you know what's the worst thing of all? When your parents who "accidently" speak Romanian as well, use this language to keep secrets from you. I feel like learning it without them knowing it to be able to eavesdrop on them.
If you could reproduce what they are saying I would be able to help you with that. By the way, what is the Transylvanian dialect that you are talking about?


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  #91  
Old August 31st, 2009, 8:32 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

It's annoying to switch between English and French because English is sooo flexible. You can do anything, cant you?
*struggling*


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  #92  
Old September 1st, 2009, 9:31 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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If you could reproduce what they are saying I would be able to help you with that. By the way, what is the Transylvanian dialect that you are talking about?
That was years ago and I hardly can remember what they are saying even a short moment after it.

It's a dialect that is spoken by the germanophon and of german descent minority in Romania. Most every town has it's own variety though.

The actual part starts at around 0:30.


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  #93  
Old September 16th, 2009, 3:22 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

Yeah, English is totally flexible. I like English.


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  #94  
Old December 9th, 2009, 5:00 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

I'm bilingual, I speak both finish and swedish...I don't really think there are any cons in being bilingual.


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  #95  
Old December 9th, 2009, 5:09 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
The actual part starts at around 0:30.
I was never before aware I could understand the spoken word quite good. Nice. Couldn't produce a Transylvanian word by myself, though.


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  #96  
Old December 20th, 2009, 7:17 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
I was never before aware I could understand the spoken word quite good. Nice. Couldn't produce a Transylvanian word by myself, though.
It derives from Older German (from the Mosel region) so it should be not that difficult for Germans to understand it.


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  #97  
Old December 20th, 2009, 7:37 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

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Originally Posted by captain Sparrow View Post
I'm bilingual, I speak both finish and swedish...I don't really think there are any cons in being bilingual.
I totally agree with that. And also mastering Swedish makes it easy to talk to Norwegians and to understand written Danish (The Danes have their own view on how to pronounce which makes the untrained listener feel like they are speaking Gobbledegook ).

But if the parents in mixed families don't keep their languages apart properly the kids sometimes become semilingual. Which means they don't master either language properly.


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  #98  
Old December 21st, 2009, 7:21 pm
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

Just the other day I was reading an article about learning forein languages. The expert said that people who are bilingual seem to develop diseases like alzheimers for example, much later in life than people who only speak one language. I don't really think there are any cons in being bilingual, or trilingual. In fact, I don't think there are any cons in knowing more of anything. I have read somewhere that the more languages a person knows, the easier it is to learn new ones, because your brain is familiar with structures.

I don't consider myself bilingual anyway, I have a really difficult time writing in english, I don't post much here because of that, I always have trouble saying what I want to say, and I often think my posts may be misunderstood because of that, I'm afraid that I might offend someone by using certain words or expressions that I may think are harmless.



Last edited by Lorena; December 22nd, 2009 at 8:42 pm.
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  #99  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 6:04 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

Your post, Lorena, shows that you are as good at English as anyone of us not native English speakers.

A very important part of learning languages is daring. Don't be afraid of making mistakes.


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  #100  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 7:08 am
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Re: The pros and cons of being bilingual

My best freind came here(to New Zealand) from Mossel Bay in South Africa about 10 years ago, i met her about 3yrs after and she was slightly wonky with English still but ok now.

She speak Afrikaans at home(though her parents speak in english to her near people they havent known long...that no longer includes me! lol) and she loves it...considering over the years i have picked up a majority of the language, so we can have conversations in public and no1 knows what we are say...!

She loves being bi-lingual!


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