10/05/2006

Just Out Of Curiosity...


Does anyone here speak a foreign language and, if so, what is your level of fluency.

I speak Spanish pretty well. I'm nowhere near fluent, but my vocabulary is broad and I have been able to understand and be understood in Spanish-speaking countries.

My French is awful despite living there for nine months. I do remember various words from time to time.

My German is worse than my French. I took a couple weeks of it in college, but I didn't need the credits to graduate, so I dropped it to focus on more important academic pusuits (beer).

14 comments:

Big Orange said...

I "speak" American Sign Language, though I'm rusty. I used to be pretty fluent, but now... ::sigh::

Grant Miller said...

I can watch Telemundo for hours.

My wife, however, is fluent in Chinese. I shit you not.

Valerie (Bunso) said...

In Junior High I studied French.
In High School I studied Latin.
In College I studied German and lived in Germany for one summer.

What do I remember? pretty much next to nothing.

And my parents speak a Filipino dialect that I don't understand unless their talking about farting or pooping.

That's pretty sad.

Amy said...

Does Valley Girl or Pig-Latin count?

Otherwise, I'm not fluent in anything other than English. And maybe I'm not even fluent in that.

dirty said...

I speak toddler...is that a language?

Anonymous said...

I'm fluent in teenager. Other than that, nothing. I used to speak Spanish but have totally forgotten it with lack of use.

One of my students asked me this same question last week. "Hey, what other languages do you speak?" the kid asked, as if multilingualism were a given. "Uh, street?" I offered, which got a few laughs but wasn't really the answer he was looking for.

It's sad, actually. Americans are practically the only people on the planet who speak only their own language.

lulu said...

I'm with Megan, I speak fluent teenager. I speak enough Spanish to know when one of my students is calling me a rude name, and I can order beer in a couple of languages.

I took French in jr high and high school, and remember almost nothing. Of course my French teacher in high school is the woman who told my mother on parent-teacher night, "I understand from other teachers that your children are very intelligent, however I have never seen any signs of this in my classroom."

Chris said...

The thing that burns me when I'm travelling is when I see an American asking for directions or information immediately in English, assuming everyone speaks it. Imagine if an Italian person came up to you in an American city and did the same thing. You'd think they were nuts!

Frank Sirmarco said...

I speak the international language...

...LOVE! The language of love!

Beth said...

German beer, I hope.

Very green here in my chair after reading that you lived in France for several months. Tell us more!

And I speak Spanish — pero un poco solamente — but it has come in handy in Italy.

Flannery Alden said...

I speak some German and I can read and write Latin.

Chris said...

Beth- I talked a little about it in the "sea urchins" post down the page a bit.

I went to school there through University Of Illinois. We had a crash course in French when we got there, but our classes were all in English. I loved France as well as the rest of Europe that I saw. Being steps away from the gardens of Versailles was pretty incredible. People have a negative perception of the French, but my experience was a positive one.

The Boob Lady said...

I am fluently bilingual in French. I was raised speaking both.

Chris said...

Anyone called "The Boob Lady" is welcome on my blog anytime! Glad to have you aboard.