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View Diary: How many Languages do you know? (129 comments)

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  •  How do you define "know"? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm pretty good with one other language, can muddle through in three others, and have limited vocabulary in several more. Most of them are Indo-European (because once you get hold of one, the rest are easier).

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 11:39:32 PM PST

    •  Most likely -- can you get by in it (4+ / 0-)

      I think the real test is whether you can "get by" in the language w/o the other person knowing yours.

      This is partially knowledge of the language, and partly your willingness to look stupid in a good cause.  Because if you don't speak a language well, yeah, you look stupid.

      You just have to be comfortable and even happy looking stupid, is all.

      That, or being able to read a language and understand enough to enjoy it.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 11:48:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are definitely degrees. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BFSkinner, Aunt Pat, RiveroftheWest

      First there is "getting by."

      Then the ability and comfort to make small talk.

      Then maybe to be able to be humorous - to make and appreciate jokes. (Making someone laugh in another language was a big triumph for me. I mean on purpose!)

      Next perhaps, to speak well enough to teach someone.

      Lastly would be to be able to follow the multiple simultaneous non-linear conversations at a dinner table. This I could never do.

      Which level equates to "fluency?"

      "You don't have to be smart to laugh at fart jokes, but you have to be stupid not to." - Louis CK

      by New Jersey Boy on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:50:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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