Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

General discussion about learning languages
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Beosweyne
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby Beosweyne » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:00 pm

The language of genies, surely? For then we could summon any number of genies to grant us all the languages we actually wanted to speak.

Hang on... :shock: so that's why so many have given Arabic as their answer.
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby dampingwire » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:55 pm

Eliza wrote:Do programming languages count


If you need a genie for a programming language (or at least, for anything other than your first programming language) then you're doing it wrong! Either that or I can count C, C++, Ruby, Python, BASIC and FORTRAN and start making polyglot videos :-)

Eliza wrote:and if yes, what does B2/C1 in C look like? So many questions :)


A failed FAANG interview, I presume :-)
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby tangleweeds » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:41 pm

SCMT wrote:Wait... aren't genies supposed to grant 3 wishes?

And from there:
Wish 1: infinite wishes please
Wish 2: and none of that monkey's paw BS
Wish 3: now we're down to business... Japanese, please
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby BalancingAct » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:35 pm

I think to this fun question, the answer should be spontaneous - with the first one that springs to mind to be the right one.

My answer is Russian.
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby Iversen » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:06 pm

Well, maybe not be too spontaneous ... Let's assume you are in the company of a genie with no special interest in languages and your back is itching - and then you first thought is "Gee, I wish that somebody would scratch my back - just for a moment". And then you get 1 minut and 17 seconds of back scratching where you could have had the whole of the Russian language for free...

I went for Etruscan because this was a special purpose linguistic genie, but if it were an all-round superpowerful supergenie, then I might have asked for total ownership of Amazon or something like that. Then I could have free books for the rest of my life...

And then I would have read Tangleweed's ingenuous proposal and realized that I could have asked for infinite wishes, and then I could have had both corona eradicated AND possessed Amazon .. and I could have bragged about it in Etruscan.
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby lowsocks » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:15 pm

If I could choose only one, it would have to be the language that my parents, grandparents, and so on could speak, but I cannot. In my particular case, that would be German. Even though it is not really of much practical use here in Canada, where I was born and where I live, it would still be my first choice. (French would be a more practical answer, and would be my second choice if we had one. But if there can only be one, then it is a contest between heart and head. And the heart usually wins.)

I suspect that many people in Canada and the U.S. would have a similar answer. The particular language would, of course, depend on their ancestry. And depending on their ancestry, they might even have more than one such language they would like to know.

This would probably also be true for many indigenous communities. Many have largely lost their original languages, and would dearly love to recover them. Indeed, I wonder if would be better to ask the genie to transfer the wish to someone in this situation, who is trying to learn the native language of their ancestors. After all, German and French and many others will probably be around for a long time to come, whether or not I manage to learn them. But many of the original languages in this part of the world are at the point of disappearing, if they have not already done so.
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby tarvos » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:21 pm

Neurotip wrote:
tarvos wrote:Finnish

I was going to say Finnish too! I just can't see myself ever learning it; I'm drawn to it for its phonaesthetic beauty but not for any other reason, so I don't think it would ever reach the top of the list. But it is so beautiful that years ago when I used to work on a ward with several Finnish nurses, I would literally hide behind doors just to listen to them talk to each other.

I am a little bit disturbed by how often Icelandic (one of my current langs) and Arabic (next year's project) are appearing in this thread :shock:


I'm studying it right now, but it would simplify some future plans I have :o :shock: :shock: :geek: :ugeek:
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby Lemus » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:39 pm

Proto-Indo-European for sure.

Even if I'm not taken seriously and immediately acclaimed the world's greatest linguist the thought of some future grad student going mad trying to figure out how the "discoveries" of an obvious fraud like myself somehow all make perfect sense would be reward enough. :D
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby vegantraveller » Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:22 pm

Japanese at C1, for sure :lol:
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Re: Genie grants you a language, which would you choose?

Postby JohannaNYC » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:25 am

My first instinct was to say Arabic. I'm already learning it but it's going so slowly and the diglossia is so annoying. But I haven't taken a break in over a year, which is quite an accomplishment for me, so chances are I'll keep learning it to minimum a high B1/low B2.

Instead I would ask the genie for classical Athenian Greek. I haven't started it yet and once I do I don't know if I can stick with it long enough to reach such a high level
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