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Public vs Private Polyglots

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
11 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
robarb
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United States
languagenpluson
Joined 3253 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 1 of 11
20 July 2014 at 11:37pm | IP Logged 
Polyglot lurker here.

Those of you who have made the transition from privately studying languages for your own interest, entertainment,
and use, to publicly logging and demonstrating your abilities: What would you say are the biggest ways it affects
your life and your language journey?

I myself have been lurking on the Internet polyglot community for some time now. I have followed and learned from
many of the most well-known in that community, but know little of your real experience.

As you can see on my profile, I study a lot of languages. However, I'm a polyglot of the "spread-yourself-thin" and
"understanding-first" schools, so my current demonstration would not be one of the most impressive out there. I
really don't want to perpetuate the stereotype of a polyglot who "speaks" 50 languages, or does he? (the whole Ziad
Fazah brouhaha, etc, etc.) And I have little interest in Youtube monologuing.

I'd be interested in the possibilities of really efficient speaking practice by multilingual Skype with other polyglots,
though. Who knows, I might even consent to publish the results some time.

In any case, I think I'll start a log where I'll write about my experiences in massively simultaneous language learning.
Maybe something in the vein of Iversen's log, with little snippets of target languages. See you there, and thanks in
advance for the advice!
5 persons have voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 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 2 of 11
21 July 2014 at 10:52am | IP Logged 
I can definitely state that having a log where I decide what to write (within the rules of the forum) instead of waiting for others to come up with something has made me a much more stable contributor here.

The big question is: would you study more or less if you kept your efforts and results secret? Well, for one thing it would be more difficult to establish communications with others if you didn't make your intentions known in places where potential communication partners tend to congregate. And there are learners who probably wouldn't be able to keep up the steam without frequent encounters with others (including native speakers of their target languages). Luckily that isn't an absolute necessity for me, but having a place where I can write for instance in Low German or Italian or Swedish just for fun is one thing that makes it interesting to study those languages. I do write things which go directly into my dustbin, but even that activity becomes more interesting when at least some of the things I write are read by outsiders. Without that commitment to write in public I might be tempted to slacken off and stop caring about the level of my production. Or I might become lazy and stop writing altogether.   



Edited by Iversen on 21 July 2014 at 10:56am

4 persons have voted this message useful



robarb
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United States
languagenpluson
Joined 3253 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 3 of 11
27 July 2014 at 6:50am | IP Logged 
Of course, there are a lot of degrees in between secret and actively advertising on the Internet. My friends and
family know about my language learning, and when I meet new people I often find out if they're interested in
language. I also find exchange partners and write to my dustbin for practice, but aside from the languages that are
actually "useful" in my life, the ability to understand books/movies/radio in the target language is usually enough
motivation for me. That said, it seems worthwhile to participate in the community to communicate and trade advice
and support with others. That shouldn't come with a fear of accidentally showing off too soon or too much.

Also, I think at least some of us do need to occasionally show off. Otherwise, how would people know all polyglots
aren't frauds? But what is the proper place and time for that?
1 person has voted this message useful



luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5399 days ago

3133 posts - 4350 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 4 of 11
27 July 2014 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
Youtube is a good forum for demonstrating ability or perspective .
1 person has voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3022 days ago

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

 
 Message 5 of 11
31 July 2014 at 1:28pm | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
Youtube is a good forum for demonstrating ability or perspective .


And for those who don't want to appear before the camera, one could record to audio
only and put it on soundcloud.

I actually prefer audio only to video - perhaps because I was brought up on radio
rather than TV - but I often find the visuals on youtube videos distracting and
unhelpful.

What I'd like to see, or rather hear, is conversations between expert learners, or
better still a native speaker and an expert learner, although preferably not actually
about language-learning, and not about the weather, but about something substantive
which taxes the vocabulary of the expert learner, and maybe even the native speaker.



Edited by montmorency on 31 July 2014 at 5:46pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



robarb
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United States
languagenpluson
Joined 3253 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 6 of 11
04 August 2014 at 7:40am | IP Logged 
montmorency, that sounds like a great idea. I would love to see on polyglots' blogs links to audio recordings of
them conversing with a native speaker or expert learner about nontrivial, nonlanguage topics. Any friend or teacher
who'll consent to doing the recording would be all you need, and the technology to record and host is pretty simple.
Unlike a youtube monologue, faking that kind of thing would be a serious job. As long as someone can minimally
confirm the polyglot exists and is in good faith, we could stop worrying about how good X's Xese is, and
concentrate on the productive stuff.

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2901 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 7 of 11
05 August 2014 at 11:25pm | IP Logged 
robarb wrote:
Of course, there are a lot of degrees in between secret and actively
advertising on the Internet. My friends and
family know about my language learning, and when I meet new people I often find out if
they're interested in
language. I also find exchange partners and write to my dustbin for practice, but aside
from the languages that are
actually "useful" in my life, the ability to understand books/movies/radio in the
target language is usually enough
motivation for me. That said, it seems worthwhile to participate in the community to
communicate and trade advice
and support with others. That shouldn't come with a fear of accidentally showing off
too soon or too much.

Also, I think at least some of us do need to occasionally show off. Otherwise, how
would people know all polyglots
aren't frauds? But what is the proper place and time for that?


The polyglot games evening at the Polyglot Gathering.

Make sure you know the word for "bird" in Nahuatl.
1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 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 8 of 11
08 August 2014 at 4:01pm | IP Logged 
I remember that Torbyrne walked around with a sign in Berlin that simply said "Test me". Few people wopuld dare do that - and even fewer could live up to it. Last year in Budapest I just wrote "Romance and Germanic languages" on my badge - and got caught out on Romanian because I was speaking about my travels in Romania and didn't remember the town name Drobeta-Turnu-Severin, nor the word for travel "calatorie", which somehow got blocked by the word for 'life', "viata" (sorry, no diacritics today). And this year in Berlin I had been speaking in Spanish and turned around to speak in Romanian while those behind me continued their discussion in Spanish, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. With this I just want to say that speaking a medium level language in an extreme multilingual crocodilian chaos like the one you may hope for at a polyglot get-together actually is a harder test of your capabilities than making a video - or even having a videotaped discussion in a target language with a native speaker or very advanced learner. But I doubt that it would be stuff for an exhilarating video. It is much easier just to say something on video without outside interference.

And eavesdropping in noisy surroundings is of course the ultimate test of your listening capabilities, but it is definitely not something that LOOKS impressive on video.

Edited by Iversen on 08 August 2014 at 4:02pm



6 persons have voted this message useful



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