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What impresses you?

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
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 Message 57 of 73
18 November 2011 at 11:17am | IP Logged 
I love pun making and puns when I'm in the right mood (why don't people check reactions when they shoot the first one?) but making them doesn't necessarily require extremely advanced linguistic skills. All of my immigrant friends -or maybe all the immigrants I've made friends with- make quite some regularly and are at 'medium level' or worse.

That's why in my list I included that I'm impressed by your linguistic skills only when you can make/get linguistic stunts that others in the same situation as you can't (not just won't).
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 Message 58 of 73
18 November 2011 at 1:21pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
let us get on topic or at least off the snide remarks.

SNAP! But I have to agree with Bao et al. It's easy for a punster to make puns early on in learning languages. For
example, a Kazakhstani friend(K) with better Japanese than me tried a pun with a Japanese man(J). It was in
Japanese, but let me try to explain with romaji and English.

J - "mama desu" (english - "I'm just so-so")
K - "really? I took you for more of a papa"
J - ?

K tried to explain the pun to J, but failed. Then I explained it, using correct intonation, and it worked, but I could
it wasn't very funny to him any way. Now to be fair, the Japanese are supposed to hate puns. You get called a
old grandpa if you tell one, or something like that, so I learned long ago not to. So J was a hard sell. But K is a
whipper snapper with excellent vocabulary and grammar, who still needs to work on her intonation and cultural
knowledge. I succeeded only because I had a few tricks up my sleeve, not because I'm a master. Plus, I can and
made puns on the first day of learning a new language. They suck, but at least I laugh:)

Edited by leosmith on 20 November 2011 at 8:57am

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Solfrid Cristin
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 Message 59 of 73
18 November 2011 at 9:10pm | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
let us get on topic or at least off the snide remarks.


Even nice kitties have claws ...
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 Message 60 of 73
18 November 2011 at 9:52pm | IP Logged 
I'm impressed by people who learn languages to a high standard very quickly
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 Message 61 of 73
19 November 2011 at 1:00am | IP Logged 
I'm impressed by beginners who speak their new language with confidence.    
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 Message 62 of 73
19 November 2011 at 1:29am | IP Logged 
I am impressed by a profound knowledge not only of a language but of its culture, society and history.

I am most impressed by such knowledge extending across multiple civilizations.

And I am unimpressed by either petty modesty or untenable claims.
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 Message 63 of 73
19 November 2011 at 3:13pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
DesEsseintes wrote:

Now, what doesn't impress me at all :

Someone who, say, was born in a country, but can speak one or two other languages because her / his
parents are foreigners.

If they can speak and write both or all languages to a native level I am still impressed. I have seen so many
examples of people not mastering both languages. I spoke yesterday with two Pakistani men and one Tamil
girl, all born in Norway. The girl spoke perfect Norwegian, no trace of an accent. The men spoke with a
slight accent and a simplified vocabulary, and admitted to not being able to write a letter in their parents's
mother tongue. Growing up with two languages does not mean you know both well. You need either talent
or effort or both to do that.

Just on a minor issue, and because I enjoy reading Solfrid Cristin, don't you think that since these three individuals were born in Norway they should be considered Norwegians of Pakistani and Tamil origin? I know it's a bit more cumbersome to say, but it is important to make the distinction between people who are natives of other countries, i.e. born in Pakistan, and natives of Norway. I doubt that someone born in Norway of Swedish parents would be referred to as Swedish.
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 Message 64 of 73
20 November 2011 at 3:38pm | IP Logged 
I'm impressed with those that don't stop. Like, they don't switch to another language when they find it more fun - they study both, perhaps just maintaining the one they picked originally. I'm like that and I often expected others not to drop languages they've not reached fluency in - and it's always disappointing when they do.

As for specific languages, Finnish and Portuguese make me think highly of people. I know just one other person who's studying both. With Portuguese, it's obviously because most choose the more mainstream Spanish.

Edited by Serpent on 20 November 2011 at 3:47pm

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