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On languages and stuff

Do you speak more than one language? How did you learn the additional languages?, asks today's NaBloPoMo prompt.

I do. Or I did. I was brought up bilingual, learning French from my parents and English from my grandparents. At some point though I stopped actually speaking in French, even though that's the only language my parents have ever used in the house... They'd ask me something in French, I'd reply in English. Over time, I sort of lost the ability to speak French, though I still understand it. That was made worse when I moved out of my parents' house and stopped hearing French around me every day :(

I try and keep things as refreshed as I can by keeping up to date with French news sites, forums and other sites, but I really must do more - how will D be able to learn French from me if I don't speak it to him? :P I really enjoyed having two languages to work with, so to speak, so I'd really like it if he can have that too. Learning from birth is far easier than learning at school... Never did get very far with my German, hah!

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Comments (1)

  1. I envy you - my mother, though raised in the US, never spoke English with me. I grew up speaking only German, and now I sound like a proper kraut. I'm studying English and Linguistics now, so I'm doing my best to get rid of the phonological constraints of my mother -er- father tongue.

    Aside from English and German, I can also get along quite ok in Swedish, which I mostly taught myself. In school I had to learn French, not so successfully. For a while I tried to learn Spanish, but never got further than lesson 5 (I'm now freshening up my Spanish by watching Breaking Bad). Then I started teaching myself Serbian and failed at the endless paradigma (paradigmata?). Right now I'm giving Chinese a shot, which gives me a whole new perspective. It's my first non-Indo-European language and very interesting from a linguistic point of view (it's my new nerd thing).

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