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12 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
JW
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/egw
Joined 4718 days ago

1802 posts - 2011 votes 
22 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Luxembourgish, Dutch, Greek, Italian

 
 Message 1 of 12
19 March 2008 at 1:12pm | IP Logged 
As I have been posting here for the past month, I figure it is time for me to introduce myself and supply a precis of my language skills. For me, languages are a hobby. I really don't need any of them professionally or in my personal life. I guess this is the curse of having English as your native language. I really enjoy languages and I feel the EU ideal of having skills in at least two languages besides your native language is prudent. I really don't feel a person can consider himself well-educated otherwise:

1.     English - my native language
2.     German - I have had contact with German for many years, high school, university, plus I spent two summers working in Heidelberg and living with a German family. I have a very good feel for the language and can communicate effectively and even throw in some slangy humorous expressions. I can read German well although I need to strengthen my vocabulary as there are still too many words I have to look up in my reading (although I can deduce many of them from context). I also have an affinity with the language and culture as part of my ancestry is Austrian (my Grandfather was born in Austria).
3.     French - I have also had contact with French for many years starting in university. I spent a summer working in the accounting department of a large company in Grenoble. I have a good feel for the language and can communicate effectively. I need to work on my vocabulary, especially building knowledge of idiomatic expressions (which French seems to have a ton of). I can read extremely well in French, I would say at the university level, without having to look up too many words.
4.     Italian - I have also had contact with Italian for many years starting in university. I spent a summer working in the accounting department of a large company in Milan. I understand Italian much better than I can speak it, probably due to my knowledge of Spanish and French. I also have an affinity with the language and culture as part of my ancestry is Italian (my Grandmother was born in Italy).
5.     Spanish - I live in Florida so Spanish is everywhere, signs in many stores are bilingual, I have 12 Spanish TV stations (which I watch a lot). I also hear the language spoken around me on a daily basis. To me, the language is fascinating and very analogous to English in that there are many countries where it is spoken, and thus many regional variations. My understanding of Spanish is very good and I can really watch and enjoy Spanish television. My reading ability is also very good. As with Italian, I understand and read Spanish much better than I can speak it. I find Spanish to be very logical and straightforward. Many of the difficulties of French and Italian are not present in Spanish but yet the beauty of the language is just as great. I spend more time on Spanish than my other languages.
6.     Dutch - I took two years of Dutch in university and I find it a fascinating language for people who speak English and German. With the possible exception of Spanish, it is the easiest language for me to acquire. I make very rapid progress whenever I study Dutch and I have passive understanding of many new words as they are similar to either English or German. I understand Dutch well and my reading ability is good.

1 person has voted this message useful



JW
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/egw
Joined 4718 days ago

1802 posts - 2011 votes 
22 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Luxembourgish, Dutch, Greek, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 12
11 April 2008 at 12:55pm | IP Logged 
I just updated my language profile so I figured i'd update this post. I moved up my German and French to Basic Fluency for two reasons. First, based on some posts on this forum, I determined that my concept of basic fluency was higher than the received view on this forum. Second, I have improved my skills considerably in the last month due to intensive study. I guess this means I need to stop being lazy and use the proper character sets when writing these languages..

With all these languages, I really need to figure out a way to get regular practice speaking.

German and French - I have gotten a lot of practice writing and reading in the multilingual lounge. I have been doing a lot of reading, listening to podcasts, and watching movies. I can now understand well some of the podcasts that I was having a bit of trouble with last month.

Spanish - My reading and understanding are really getting strong. Sometimes I can watch TV for several minutes and get every word. I'm at the point where I get frustrated when I don't understand something perfectly rather than getting excited when I do. I've also gotten some good practice writing in the multilingual lounge.

Italian - I'm making good progress. Also, I think I'm getting some synergy from my improved skills in French and Spanish. I've gotten some practice writing in the multilingual lounge.

Dutch - I've made huge progress with Dutch due to some really fun interactions with an advanced speaker in the multilingual lounge (others as well). Yesterday, I picked up a book that was definitely too hard for me last month and now it is at the right level.

Edited by JW on 11 April 2008 at 12:58pm

1 person has voted this message useful



JW
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/egw
Joined 4718 days ago

1802 posts - 2011 votes 
22 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Luxembourgish, Dutch, Greek, Italian

 
 Message 4 of 12
12 April 2008 at 3:41pm | IP Logged 
Pauline wrote:
Hi JW

I've discovered the same thing; I would expect basic fluency will be about C1 and intermediate B2, but it seems the most of people here are more quickly at this high levels , I mean , if a perosn is level B2 they would chose a self-description : basic fluency, and B1 would be intermediate. It's the difficulty of categorising so exactly somethign what doesn't fit categorisation so simply i think.



Yes, I am pretty sure that on this forum it is generally as follows:

C2 -    Advanced/Native Fluency
C1/B2 - Basic Fluency
B1    - Intermediate
A1/A2 - Beginner

Therefore, I think you need to move your German up to Basic Fluency.


Edited by JW on 12 April 2008 at 3:42pm

1 person has voted this message useful



JW
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/egw
Joined 4718 days ago

1802 posts - 2011 votes 
22 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Luxembourgish, Dutch, Greek, Italian

 
 Message 6 of 12
12 April 2008 at 7:27pm | IP Logged 
Pauline wrote:
Yes, I've changed it. there's a big difference between my Dutch and German so I've changed dutch also. Now they call me Triglot LOL!!! I don't know for sure this is correct becaue of my many mistakes with for exmaple den,des,der and endings e,er,en etc but i can read articles and don't look in a dictionnary, also I can understad the Youtube German TV programmes what Eichhörnchen and Icke put on our other forum.I'd prefer pre-intermeidate for my English and Spanish, but it's not in the list, unfortnatly.


I think you've got your Dutch and German at the right levels now. But, I disagree, I think your English is a solid B2, at least in reading and writing. I can always easily understand your thoughts, you just need a little work on your structure. I think you would reach C1 very quickly with very little work..
1 person has voted this message useful



JW
Hexaglot
Senior Member
United States
youtube.com/user/egw
Joined 4718 days ago

1802 posts - 2011 votes 
22 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek, French, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Luxembourgish, Dutch, Greek, Italian

 
 Message 8 of 12
13 April 2008 at 7:22am | IP Logged 
Pauline wrote:
.. in my new school, the lessons go more slowly and the English is more elementary level (my teacher has absolutly obsession with the present tense, although i write in all) so maybe I will have some more of precision because I learn the basic strcutres now, I hope.


You should also supplement your schoolwork with some reading. Since you are already fluent in French, Dutch, and German, English at an advanced fluency level should come very easily to you. English is the third major west Germanic language (German and Dutch are the other two) so you already have a sold grounding in the language family. Also, about one third of English vocabulary comes from French: Chart. Additionally, there are many French words that you can use in English and, when you use them, people think you sound very sophisticated: French Words and Expressions in English

As far as reading, try Ernest Hemmingway: The Old Man and the Sea It's a very short, easy read. Ernest Hemmingway uses the English language in a simple but powerful way and "The Old Man and the Sea" is one of his most famous works (and my favorite English language book).

Finally, all polygots should have their English at C2. It's the world lingua franca. You can go anywhere in the world and do everything with it. It significantly adds to your earning potential.

Edited by JW on 13 April 2008 at 7:23am



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