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You know you’re a language nerd when...

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 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
3735 messages over 467 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 385 ... 466 467 Next >>
simonov
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 3775 days ago

222 posts - 438 votes 
Speaks: English

 
 Message 3073 of 3735
16 September 2013 at 11:24pm | IP Logged 
Tsopivo wrote:
Iversen wrote:
It may be awkward in a concrete situation, but if you have paid a lot to travel to a far-away country and only have a few days there then it would be idiotic to waste your precious time on some local jerk who refuse to speak his/her language to you just because you don't speak exactly like him/her. There must be more friendly, patient and mature individuals around.


No need to call them a jerk either.

Especially when you're the jerk who slaughters their language mercilessly.
P.S. By 'you' I mean 'one', nothing personal really.

Edited by simonov on 16 September 2013 at 11:27pm

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2893 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 3074 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 12:53am | IP Logged 
simonov wrote:
Tsopivo wrote:
Iversen wrote:
It may be awkward in a concrete
situation, but if you have paid a lot to travel to a far-away country and only have a few
days there then it would be idiotic to waste your precious time on some local jerk who
refuse to speak his/her language to you just because you don't speak exactly like
him/her. There must be more friendly, patient and mature individuals around.


No need to call them a jerk either.

Especially when you're the jerk who slaughters their language mercilessly.
P.S. By 'you' I mean 'one', nothing personal really.


I hope you don't ever teach me a language.
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4889 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3075 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 9:54am | IP Logged 
OK, if you slaughter their language merciless they may be entitled to switch to some other language in selfdefence. But the guy in a certain aquarium in Southern France who kept on speaking to me in broken English "because I had an accent" was a jerk.

And in his eyes I may have been a jerk for not just behaving like any other foreigner who can be bullied into submission, but that's part of MY identity as a stubborn language nerd.

Edited by Iversen on 17 September 2013 at 11:28am

5 persons have voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3014 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 3076 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 1:44pm | IP Logged 
They can control what language they speak in, but they can't control what language you
speak in. So one could just carry on regardless. Good practice for switching (mentally),
I'd think.
2 persons have voted this message useful



simonov
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 3775 days ago

222 posts - 438 votes 
Speaks: English

 
 Message 3077 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
simonov wrote:

Especially when you're the jerk who slaughters their language mercilessly.
P.S. By 'you' I mean 'one', nothing personal really.

I hope you don't ever teach me a language.

I wouldn't even dream of it! But we're not talking about "teaching", where one is paid to try and get someone to not slaughter a language. Being used as an unpaid tutor and having broken language inflicted on us is not everybody's cup of tea.
Iversen's French guy in the aquarium obviously was insensitive, and had an inflated opinion of his own prowess as a speaker of English. Not very interesting as a conversation partner anyway.

Edited by simonov on 17 September 2013 at 5:47pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Teango
Triglot
Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
United States
teango.wordpress.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3742 days ago

2210 posts - 3734 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Russian
Studies: Hawaiian, French, Toki Pona

 
 Message 3078 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 9:57pm | IP Logged 
I suffered a similar experience as Iversen in Marseilles and Paris on several occasions, and usually in the company of older generations who focused far less on English at school and were exposed to considerably less English media than younger generations in their formative years. I can't really say that I've had the same type of trouble speaking any other language elsewhere in the world.

Sure, everyone wants to practise their English these days (try living in Germany for a couple of years - so many people have amazing English!), but usually this gives way to the more fluent common language after a few minutes of social negotiation (or at least both speakers settle on communicating at a basic level in the language that wins that battle).

I'll readily admit my French speaking is intermediate and certainly nothing compared to the advanced and fluent posters here in this thread, but surely it would be more fun to have a basic flowing conversation in a café over a glass of pastis, than fish for a few elementary phrases plucked from schoolday obscurity, and rely on growing gestures of frustration, furrowed brows, and pouting lips...all ultimately leading to the death of what could have been a potentially interesting dialogue.

Am I murdering the French language really so badly? Do I have no right to speak the language unless it's near-native perfect? And even if I do eventually speak French like a near-native one fine day, will it make any difference? I just don't get it; maybe someone can help explain this bizarre phenomenon. I wonder if even native French speakers from other parts of the world have similar trouble in Paris, for example, and end up having to speak English too (lol).

I certainly don't have the same experience in countries like Russia, Spain, Japan, or even Sweden (where many people have a very advanced level in English). On the contrary, in an age where English is so ubiquitous, local people usually seem very impressed that a foreigner took the time and effort to attempt to speak in their language and show respect for their culture.

This speaking French issue is so confusing. Maybe other people have had similar experiences in other languages, and I've just been lucky so far in other countries. Well, whatever it is, at least I feel a little better to read that even advanced speakers in this Forum have to endure the same fate from time to time. Maybe the best tip (if you know your second language level is already quite good enough for basic conversation, the other person is really struggling just to find a few phrases in your native language, and you're in the target language country anyway) is to do what montmorency and The Beautiful South suggest, and just "carry on regardless". Rant over; I feel better now. :)


Edited by Teango on 17 September 2013 at 10:11pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2893 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 3079 of 3735
17 September 2013 at 10:28pm | IP Logged 
simonov wrote:
tarvos wrote:
simonov wrote:

Especially when you're the jerk who slaughters their language mercilessly.
P.S. By 'you' I mean 'one', nothing personal really.

I hope you don't ever teach me a language.

I wouldn't even dream of it! But we're not talking about "teaching", where one is paid
to try and get someone to not slaughter a language. Being used as an unpaid
tutor and having broken language inflicted on us is not everybody's cup of tea.
Iversen's French guy in the aquarium obviously was insensitive, and had an inflated
opinion of his own prowess as a speaker of English. Not very interesting as a
conversation partner anyway.


It's also poor customer service. Customer is king, if he wants to do business in your
language...
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4889 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3080 of 3735
19 September 2013 at 10:30am | IP Logged 
Maybe I should add that I haven't had any trouble with other Frenchmen, only that lamentable case, so I wouldn't judge a whole nation on such a limited basis. But of course you can be so bad at a language that you can't expect local people to do their business with you in the local language.


Edited by Iversen on 19 September 2013 at 11:18am



1 person has voted this message useful



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