If you could learn any language, what would it be?

@phyrre (2324)
United States
March 3, 2010 11:38am CST
Growing up, I was always alarmed by how little people seemed to care about learning about other languages and cultures. I thought that part of it may have been because it was a predominantly white town with very little cultural diversity, but it seems like that's the general consensus in most of the US. I've moved to an area where there are a lot more Hispanic people and I'm happy to see that a lot of people around me are trying to reach out to them. I work with a bunch of them and about 80% of the non-Hispanic employees speak Spanglish to them or at least are learning certain words to be able to communicate both ways (even though they all know English as well). I've always been in love with languages and so I've learned French, Spanish, and a little Sign Language, but I would love to learn German, Irish, and Arabic. I've always been particularly fond of those languages, but no where around here offers any of those. I really want to learn Irish because that's where my family is originally from, so I think it would be interesting to learn the language. So what language would you learn if you could learn any language (even a dead language)?
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23 responses
@mslena75 (562)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I would like to learn Spanish. It is used more here since all of the immigrants don't feel like they should take the time to learn the native language. We are dumb enough to cater to this ignorance, unfortunately. Now it is a valuable skill to have to be fluent in Spanish, I notice that some jobs ask for it.
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Technically, the United States does not have a "native language". There is no national language in the United States. And I don't necessarily think it's ignorant. A lot of people have trouble learning English, especially adults, and so they are slower at picking it up. Besides, how many people from the United States do you think go to another country and don't bother to learn the language there? A lot of citizens think that everyone in the world should speak English because it's convenient for them.
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@mslena75 (562)
• United States
3 Mar 10
While it is technically true that America does not have a 'native language', English is the predominant language. I'm not going to argue semantics, you know this to be true. Everything is done in English...newspapers, books, media, schools, etc. all utilize English FIRST. When I say it is ignorant, I guess I should clarify that I mean ignorance in the sense of many people who are here have no desire to learn or try to assimilate to our culture where English is primary. They want to be catered to...which is why we have "press 1" for English, which is crap. I do disagree with your last statement. I have traveled internationally and certainly did not expect those people to know English. The fact of the matter is that other countries are light years ahead of us when it comes to knowing more than one language. Many require more than one in schools. America has it wrong, we shouldn't be so quick to cater to them. Many other countries just don't do it, and I don't think we should either.
1 person likes this
@sk66rc (4262)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I don't mean to pick any fights here but if you guys really wanna get technical, there was a American Native language. It was called "Indian". Does a ship called, "mayflower" ring a bell to anyone? It wasn't until people came over on a mayflower ship that english came over to here in U.S. If we really wanna speak native language, we all should learn how to speak "native indian" since we are the people intruded on this country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower. People from England came over & they didn't have any jobs, they didn't know the native language, they ruined the land, drove native people out, etc, etc... U.S. as we know it was a result of land stealing thugs. but that's ancient history.
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• Malaysia
13 Mar 10
I like learning new language because in my country we have so many language. my father can speak a few dialects and this makes him popular among his friends. i remember once my dad told us, he was hanging out at a coffee shop with his friends and all of them are from different races. One of them are Kadazan, another is Sungei, two of them are Rungus and a Dusun. You might never heard of them but in Sabah (one of the state in Malaysia), these are just some of the races you can find and there are plenty more. So they start talking but my dad speaks using different languages according to the race, so he switch from one language to another. It was funny for some but i think it's cool. I too learn a few language like mandarin, thai and tagalog, i'm not good though but at least i know some. now i'm staying in Sarawak i want to learn the iban and melayu sarawak language.
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• Malaysia
16 Mar 10
i think you being able to learn different language is neat too; i guess when you have many friends to practice the language you can be fluent just like the native speaker...i'm just too shy to practice my mandarin so i'm stuck with listening and i can actually understand.
@eLsMarie (4148)
• Philippines
4 Mar 10
i wanted to excel more in English right before the Japanese language. ^_^ i have bought a Japanese book nut it seems that i already lost interest of it because i can't pronounce it well and aside from that, in our school, English language is very much important.
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Yeah, it's pretty hard teaching yourself a new language. I learned mine in school, so it was easier because I HAD to do the work. When it's just me learning it of my own accord I find that I procrastinate and lose interest quickly. I still want to learn the language just as much, but it's always so hard to find enough time to really devote to it to make it worth while.
@eLsMarie (4148)
• Philippines
5 Mar 10
There were instances when I open the dictionary and memorize the first phrase but after a minute or so, I got tired already. I can't concentrate well inside our house because there are a lot of distractions. In school, we are force to work because we know that we're paying for the ones teaching us... LOL...
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• Philippines
8 Mar 10
i wanted to learn french coz i want to visit france someday nor perhaps work and live there as i have cousins there, theres a lot of beautiful places in french that i want to visit. i tried to learn online with voice but i really cant copy what they'r saying, i find it very difficult, i only know the basic greetings but i still want to learn.
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
13 Mar 10
That sounds neat. If you ever need help with French, I can see what I could do to help. ^_^ I've always wanted to go to France. My husband and I actually want to take a late honeymoon and tour Italy and several places in France as well as a few places in some other countries. There are a lot of fascinating things to visit in France, though.
@jlamela (4909)
• Philippines
8 Mar 10
I hope to study French and Italian because I wish to travel to Europe and study in Switzerland which has three official languages: French, Italian and German. I will study German later on after learning French and Italian. I like these languages, both fascinating and gorgeous, hehehe.
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
13 Mar 10
That sounds like a good plan to me! I've heard that Switzerland is a really beautiful country and I'm sure it'd be worth it to study there for a while. I always wanted to study abroad, but I got married instead. I don't regret it for a moment, though, as I love my husband very much and I wouldn't do it any differently if I had the chance to redo it. ^_^
• Malaysia
7 Mar 10
Living in a multi racial country like malaysia give me a great exposure to learn and study most of wide spoken language in the region.me myself would like to learn mandarin and cantonese (part of chinese language) and also tamil and urdu(part of indian language).The hardest obstacle that im facing right now is time..i also love to learn latin and japanese because i have a plan to visit southern america and japan (not in the nearest time)
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
13 Mar 10
Sounds like you've got quite a bit you'd like to learn! Yes, time usually is the most difficult obstacle to overcome when it comes to learning. Learning another language takes a lot of time and effort and sometimes it's really hard to come up with all the time needed in order to really get good at it.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
4 Mar 10
i have always been really interested in languages and have tried to learn french for some time (no time, etc)and i really should learn Spanish for work. i tried to learn Mandarin at one point but had no one to practice on. i am really intersted in learning Hungarian becuase that is the language of my ancesters as well as yiddish. that language has always fascinated me!
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
13 Mar 10
I always thought yiddish was a pretty interesting language. There are a lot of neat languages to learn, and I think it's really great that you want to learn the language that your ancestor's spoke! that's why I want to learn Gaelic. ^_^
• Philippines
4 Mar 10
I would love to learn Japanese because most of the cartoons that I watch came from there.Spanish is also an interesting language because some of the words here in our country are derived from it.
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I assume you watch anime? I have to say, that would be one of the main reasons I would learn Japanese, too. I'm a big fan of anime and a lot of the things I would love to watch in their original language (plus English, too, because I love all the English voice actors). I'm watching Hunter x Hunter right now and it's really annoying having to follow along with the subtitles because it's the Japanese version. It'd be so much easier if I spoke the language!
@sachii315 (489)
• Japan
4 Mar 10
Hi phyrre! I came from a non-english speaking country. I really really love learning english since it is the universal language. By learning it, I could communicate to most people around the world. It's just sad that only few people here in my country speaks the language. It is hard learning it because of my accent but somehow I tried speaking it. I also want to learn chinese and french aside from english. Happy mylotting!
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I know what you mean about the accent. I stopped speaking Spanish because I had a really goofy American accent and it was VERY obvious. I never learned how to speak well with a Spanish accent, so I slowly spoke less and less of it. But accents are ok. I think they're neat and it's always nice to hear different accents once in a while!
@gi2h_san (162)
• Indonesia
4 Mar 10
hai.. im indonesian. so the languaage that i wanna learn most is english. because it is an international language. if i can speak english fluently, i will be able to talk to most of people in this planet. i have been learning english since i was child. but it cant be complete untill i can visit country with englishh is mother language.. since im still learning english, any mistakes in this response can't be guaranted.hehe
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
4 Mar 10
As funny as it may sound, you speak English better than a lot of people that I know who grew up speaking English! I think you're doing a great job. I'm not that fluent in any of my other languages, unfortunately. I'd like to learn, but the more I put it off the more parts of the language I lose, so it's really a never-ending cycle.
@sreesai (216)
• India
4 Mar 10
hi phyrre, I feel happy for your intrest in learning different languages. I like to learn kannada, tamil and master hindi language.
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
4 Mar 10
What exactly are kannada and tamil, if you don't mind me asking? I've never heard them before. How interesting. :)
@MrKennedy (1996)
3 Mar 10
I would love to learn Italian. Like properly be able to speak it and have full-on conversations in Italian I have always had an appreciation for this language in particular, and it just sounds so elegant and passionate
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I agree, Italian's a very interesting language. I started to teach myself Italian for a while, but I found that I just didn't have enough time to keep it up. I can only speak some phrases of it, but I can understand it pretty well. Well enough to listen to slower-paced conversations at the very least. ^_^
• United States
3 Mar 10
I would learn Ancient Egyptian. I've always been fascinated by the civilization and everything about it. I remember studying the history of the civilization when I was in middle school, and in our textbook, they had the Ancient Egyptian written letters and symbols. On my own time I taught myself how to read and write the language (I even attempted to teach my friends so we could pass notes that, if caught, no one else could read), but over the years as a result of little practice, I know only a few symbols and letters. I wouldn't know where to begin learning to speak it! I have a friend who has been in college for 11 years now for Bible History. In order to study from the oldest Bible text available, he had to learn two ancient languages...I believe Hebrew and Ancient Greek, if I'm not mistaken. It's amazing to hear him speak these ancient languages...it takes you back and makes you think of what early conversations sounded like.
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@phyrre (2324)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Oh, Ancient Egyptian's a good one! I've always wanted to learn that, too, but it seems like it'd be over my head a bit. xD I would love to be able to read/write it, though. That's interesting that he had to learn those languages. I wouldn't mind learning both of them either, but I don't think I'd be able to survive taking Bible history.
@dante_off (607)
• India
3 Mar 10
I too have a very keen interest in learning new languages, I know Sanskrit(mother of all languages) somewhat but want to master it. And I would also like to learn Japanese, since it is history's one of the oldest known language... I see them as a means to transfer your feelings to others. Just imagine yourself watching a French movie in French and English subtitles, all the emotion and feelings are lost. Learning languages helps us in effective communication purposes. ~cheerio~
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
3 Mar 10
Yes, I very much agree about translations and such. They really bug me. I think a lot of the sentiment is lost when something is translated because when I watch something in one language and then see the translation it just doesn't mean the same thing. Words have to be changed to fit and it doesn't always sound the same and whatnot. I would love to learn Japanese, but I don't think I would do so well with a pictograph system of writing. Too many characters and everything. I think my mind would explode. But it would definitely be something fun to try.
@Canellita (12059)
• United States
10 Mar 10
I have a list. Where I live French dominates the historical landscape so when I was a kid I was interested in it and took French in high school. Later I delved into other languages slightly through music and now I am working on Spanish with plans to venture into Italian and Portuguese.
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• Malaysia
4 Mar 10
for me, i like japanese language. they are full of spirit and i like the sound of thier language. it's beautiful.
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@rakesh_07 (684)
• India
4 Mar 10
As I am an Indian, I know my country's national language and my state's regional language. I would like to learn other states regional language as well. Learning languages help you/one in a great way, especially if you are a sales manager or you want to have a lot of friends. I have tried learning certain foreign languages which include german, japanese and korean but in vain. I have lost touch with them.
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@cupkitties (6721)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I'd like to learn Japanese but I hear its very difficult and also get better at Spanish as its kind of necessary to know that language here in this day and age and also Tagalog and all the other languages in the world.
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@bucklord (349)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Japanese for me. I've visited Tokyo before, and I am intrigued by the culture. I grew up in a predominantly Spanish speaking neighborhood, and I can usually take a quick refresher and speak bits and pieces. If it wasn't for that, I would have said Spanish.
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• Philippines
4 Mar 10
I would love to learn Chinese. I know it is quite difficult to learn but if you would want to venture into business, it helps if you know chinese language.
1 person likes this