Do you speak a second language?
37.9% (105)
37.9% (105)
8.3% (23)
8.3% (23)
I speak more than 2
28.2% (78)
28.2% (78)
In the process of learning too
13.4% (37)
13.4% (37)
No, but I want to
11.9% (33)
11.9% (33)
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Poll: A Second Language

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So I recently started learning the basics of Japanese for fun and the potential benefits it could bring me in the future, career wise, which got me to thinking;

How many of you folks speak a second language other than your native tongue?

Do you have any tips that you found helpful when learning?

Are you studying, or looking to study, a second language? If so, which one and why?

I speak a bit of French. And by "a bit," I mean that I took it for 6 years in high school and am doing a couple of courses in university. But I'm nowhere near proficient, as I'm not very good at learning it.

I learned Spanish and German in school, and Mandarin Chinese in the army. I can also understand Pennsylvania Dutch, though I can't really speak it. Same with Spanish, due to the shitty way they taught it in high school.

I'm probably terrible at all of these now, as my life offers pretty much no opportunities to practice or use them on a regular basis. Understanding a language, like reading and listening are generally a little easier than speaking and writing across most languages, due to being a passive versus an active skill, so it's important to practice all of these things.

I'd like to learn more languages, but I don't think I would bother with a language like Japanese or something that I rarely hear or would get the opportunity to speak and practice, just because realistically I know I likely wouldn't ever get past the intermediate stage.

Well my native language is Spanish, so obviously I do, I also know a little bit of French, but very very little, my mother does speak it though, and German too.

For me, English is a second language (french is first).

I learnt a bit of german so I can talk to people sometimes, it's hard now though 'cause its been years since I did anything with it and I'm just one of those people who forgets things they don't use.
I do want to learn Japanese and work over there for awhile sometime, just waiting for an oppertunity.

I can speak both English and French. I've been interested in learning a third language but have never gotten around to it.

My native languages are both Spanish and Portuguese, because I came from an Spanish speaking country, but grew up on Brazil. After that I learned English when I was around 12.

I also studied some German and Italian, but I couldn't say I know much about those languages. I'd love to learn more languages though.

Being the resident otaku I know some Japanese but just what I picked up from anime. Which is quite a bit because I pay attention to what they are saying, but I only know a handful of kanji so I can't write anything unless it's in hiragana/katakana.

Not really, but I'm trying to getting around to learning some French. For some reason, although I remember bugger-all from French lessons at school, they do enable me to pronounce French rather well.

I speak Urdu and English fluently. I can read Arabic.

But yeah, I'm bilingual and it's awesome.

I speak English, Swedish, and French. French is so-so, but I used to be fluent. Haven't spoken it in years though, would probably need a month or so of use before I could speak it fluently again.
Other than that, im interested in learning Portugese, Japanese, and Spanish. Maybe Swahili.

Native English, can speak French & Spanish (did A-levels & a year and half at university... showing my age)

I found it helpful to just tune in & watch TV in the said language. Any old tosh will do as long as you can follow what's going on.
French is harder to speak IMO, lots of irregularities & pronunciation isn't exactly the same as the written like with Spanish, if you get me.

I know someone who is learning a little Japanese, too. Would be awesome. I have recently devoted my studies towards IT though, different strokes for different folks.

Where is the option "I'm thinking about a fourth!" for average Europeans?

I'm currently learning Japanese at university, and am thinking of doing a study year in Japan to get good. I find it really interesting and the most fun of the things I am studying, and should fit really well with my degree in Mechatronics engineering that I am in the second year of. Maybe I could get a job at Sony and work on the next consoles, that would be awesome!

I've taken a little German, but I can't speak fluently or even one one-hundredth as good as that.

I never got into it because I saw no use.

Really, I don't see a use unless people plan to travel to a country that speaks a different language or if they plan on taking a job that will require them to go to foreign countries.

I plan to do neither, so I don't see a point for me.

It really pissed me off that I had to take a degree path I didn't want to escape a foreign language requirement.

I wanted to major in creative writing because I want to be a professional creative writer, but since such a degree is only slated as a BA, and all BAs have a four semester foreign language requirement, I had to go the route of a BS with an English degree in Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis, and was only able to take a couple creative writing classes on the side as true electives.

If I had any power in the college curriculum makeup process, I would force a change where a BS in creative writing is offered that takes out the foreign language requirement of the BA, and replaces it with four writing and literature electives.

I actually had a professor at my university tell me it was a great idea/observation, considering the proof I brought to the table that at least half of the people that I encountered that took the Rhetoric and Writing degree path, were people that wanted to take the Creative Writing degree path, but couldn't because of the stupid foreign language requirement.

In one of my required writing classes, the professor was puzzled when he found out that half of his class was Rhetoric students. Normally the way the class worked, one semester of the class was taught by a Rhetoric style professor, while the other semester was taught by a Creative style professor. He wanted to know why the seven of us hadn't taken the class when the Rhetoric professor taught it. When we explained, he of course spouted off the load of bull-crap that if we wanted to be creative writers we should have taken that degree path, because taking a foreign language would enlighten us and make us more cultured.

I for one plan on writing creatively in English, not German, French, Spanish, etc, etc. If I am offered a job to work in another country, I will turn it down.

So, I say that colleges and universities should only make foreign languages a requirement if it is actually needed, and not by choice, in the profession people are going into. Foreign languages aren't needed for creative writing, so creative writing students shouldn't have to take it.

Edit: A tip I have is that you actually want to learn said language. Everybody I know that was forced to take another language, forgot 99.99% of it after they left or completed the classes, and never used it for anything important. If you can't escape the being forced to do so, then do just enough to get by and forget about it later.

Learned some French when I was younger, but I've gotten rather rusty on it. If I tried to I could probably get a lot better at it again, just need to refresh my memory.

Being European: Dutch, English, German, French. In order of mastery.

This is normal in Europe. I am not special. :'(

I am from Sweden, whose native language sometimes feels neglected due to the presence of my second language, English. Used to study French in school but I couldn't speak it even if my life depended on it.

I have started to study Mandarin too, but the course was put on hold because the teacher had to take a break from it due to exhaustion.

I speak Spanish fairly well. Been taking it for 6 years. According to the STAMP exam, I count as fluent.

like people have said, in Europe it isn't anything special to speak a couple of languages.

I speak Polish and English fluently, Spanish - not so bad, I speak like a retarded German and plan to take French and Russian in uni.

My way of learning is listening and reading. Watch movies with subtitles (both ways, eg. English with Spanish as well as Spanish with English). and books are great for learning tongues. Don kichot for Spanish, three musketeers for French, LotR for English etc

America has the worst language education system of all the language education systems. There's no excuse for learning Spanish for ten years and not being able to hold a conversation. I wish I could explain what I mean by that better, but it's just... it just is!

Well, anyway, I know enough Japanese grammar/syntax to translate with a dictionary, which I actually learned quite recently from a certain infamous imageboard. I'll probably have conversational level down by the start of next summer. As for languages past that, I'll probably keep going until my brain can't take it any more. I intend to travel the world eventually, with priority on Belgium, France, Norway, and Japan, but there are so many reasons even besides that for being multilingual. Think about how healthy it is for your brain to do something like that, for example, and how regular higher thinking's been linked to decreased risk of Alzheimer's.

Not only do I only speak a single language, some people would say that I don't even speak that proficiently. I have completely dedicated my brain functions to applications which do not involve learning other human languages, as I find the endeavour almost completely useless for me; I also have close to no ability to understand or comprehend any language but the one I was natively taught, one which I learnt how to read at an astonishingly early age.

Nearly my entire thought process is conducted using English, particularly those thought processes involved with computer programming. Only a very small subset of computer languages use any language except English as a base, and therefore my inability or my unwillingness to think in another language means that I will never learn any human language except English. Ever.

My first language is a dialect of Dutch. My second language is English and I also speak a little French and German.

I learned English by watching a lot of TV as a kid. I live in one of those countries where fiction is subtitled and it helped a lot. I also played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis at the age of seven, and at the time I only knew the basics of English.

I used to be able to speak German, but by now I'm way out of practice.

This is my second language. My first being Swedish.

I'm also slowly working on learning Japanese.

I'm Dutch, but I could already speak a good word of english in kindergarden because of all the movies I was watching.

I'm not very versed in german, but I can understand it pretty good.

I speak Swedish, English and German

And a few sentenses French and Spanish

I speak English (obviously), German (my first language), French and a bit of Spanish.

I am also aspiring to learn Latin and especially ancient Greek - it will be useful for studying philosophy.

Dutchman here. You get several languages at school here. Dutch obviously, English is compulsory for everyone, as are introductory-level Germand and French. I expanded on that by choosing the rest of both subjects too. I've been to France quite a few times and managed some practise there, but it's since grown rusty. German however got pretty good since I did a research project and have most of my recent vacations there.

And of course everybody who speaks Dutch, can also get quite far with Afrikaans, reading it for certain. Afrikaans is basically the Dutch of 2 centuries ago, written the exact way it's pronounced.

English is a second language to me. I used horrible at learning new languages, but I've gotten better since I started reading, playing games and watching movies in English. Wouldn't know if that'd work for other languages too, since my main motivation comes from the fact that German dubs/translation usually suck arse. Big time.

My first language is Dutch and the second one speaks for itself.

I speak English, Australian and American.
In all seriousness I used to be fluent in French, but would probably only just be able to hold a conversation now, so I put; No, but I want to.

I'm considering either German, Italian or Japanese. I learned the latter two throughout highschool and Italian in primary school, but I just wasn't interested.

I did 3 years of Japanese in high school.
I can understand and write a bit, but not much.
I can't really speak it.
Most of what I learned is from anime.

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