How many languages have you dabbled in?

General discussion about learning languages

How many languages have you dabbled in?

zero
3
4%
1-10
39
55%
11-20
16
23%
21-30
3
4%
31-40
8
11%
41-50
1
1%
51-60
1
1%
61-70
0
No votes
71-80
0
No votes
more than 80
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 71

Cenwalh
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby Cenwalh » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:44 pm

alaart wrote:Let me ask a couple counter question to you dabbles. Is it worth dabbling? Can you get something really valuable just by investing a bit? When you stop - why do you stop? Is the curiosity satisfied? Or did you just try several languages to see which language was the right one for you? - do you feel guilty when you stop?

I'm not much of a dabbler, although I have dabbled in the various languages of the British Isles as well as those of the Iberian peninsula, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Latin, Occitan (as I'm writing this I'm thinking maybe I am a dabbler, but it doesn't take up much of my time).

Anyway, a language like Welsh was fun for me to dabble in. I do not live in Wales and I don't know anyone who speaks Welsh as far as I know, but I do go to Wales sometimes. It's nice that I now have some sense of the pronunciation and the orthography now because in Wales almost all 'official' signs are bilingual. I take up enough of my time learning two languages, so I didn't keep Welsh up and I have no regrets about that. I now know how to say Llandudno, and I know why hills in England have similar names to hills in Wales. Curiosity satisfied.
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lysi
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby lysi » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:53 pm

Le Baron wrote:Let me just get this clear... you had (have?) Mexican room mates but couldn't find anyone to speak Spanish with?!


This doesn't surprise me though. Most people don't have the perspective on languages that we do, typically not even thinking about them at all. Hell, some people even consider English proficiency as a mark of intelligence. I've seen native speakers of smaller European languages laugh at the idea of people learning their language as if it was useless (for languages like Greek and Czech...). Native Spanish speakers not wanting to speak Spanish with a roommate trying to learn it isn't that far of a stretch, since in a sense you're lowering the communication level for no reason (at least that's what they think) by communicating in Spanish.
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby lichtrausch » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:49 pm

alaart wrote:Let me ask a couple counter question to you dabbles. Is it worth dabbling? Can you get something really valuable just by investing a bit? When you stop - why do you stop? Is the curiosity satisfied? Or did you just try several languages to see which language was the right one for you? - do you feel guilty when you stop? (for example I feel guilty when I have a friend in a language and I neglect his language :D).

I do it mostly for fun, but also because I think it's worth something to become familiar with a language, especially if you are planning to study it seriously in the future. I stop dabbling in a language when my curiosity is satisfied or when I reach any sort of major obstacle that would require sustained effort such as learning some complex grammar, because that energy reserved for my serious languages. I try to spend no more than half an hour a week dabbling.
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EGP
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby EGP » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:59 am

German is the one I tried my hardest to learn. It was so frustrating living in Germany, finding that the majority of situations meant their English was better than my German.... so, therefore, let's get the communication done more efficiently. There were some that did entertain me though! And just a few times I'd ask do you speak English and they said no, and I'd be so happy!

As for the other 5 languages, I bought books, looked in the front pages and gave up especially Asian languages where there was so little to hook onto. Main scenario:

Come home after teaching English all day in a foreign country, look at the book on the bed. Nope. Look to the fridge for a beer or go out to the nightclubs. Most of what I learnt was by asking locals 'how do you say this in ....'

I am even married to a Thai, and it was more important to get her English level up than for me to learn her language. I did start pretty well, especially wanting to talk to her family, only to discover when I went to their village they spoke a 'weird' version of Cambodian/Thai.
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alaart
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby alaart » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:39 am

Le Baron wrote:Let me just get this clear... you had (have?) Mexican room mates but couldn't find anyone to speak Spanish with?!


I lived with 4 Mexicans. Yes, me learning Spanish was annoying to them (also they didn't want me to barge into their conversation or listen to their "secrets"). They taught me a little, but soon lost patience (for example when I pronounced words Portuguese). We were on bad terms while I was learning Spanish but once I dropped the idea we became friends after all.
Maybe it is a Spanish thing, since everybody under the sky tries talking in Spanish? I have also some experience spending time with other groups where everybody but me is native like Brazilians and Chinese. But my level there is much higher. I would say it is never easy in groups, even if you are intermediate. Talking with a single person they slow down and explain things you don't get, but in groups there is just no space for that and you will slow everybody down and kill conversations if you overdo it. I mean who can blame them, they just wanted to talk in their native language and make jokes where they just get each other. I know they missed home.
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Lisa
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby Lisa » Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:33 am

alaart wrote:Let me ask a couple counter question to you dabbles. Is it worth dabbling? Can you get something really valuable just by investing a bit? When you stop - why do you stop? Is the curiosity satisfied? Or did you just try several languages to see which language was the right one for you? - do you feel guilty when you stop?


I dabbled and stopped several times when I was living in, then left a country... it hasn't seemed important to keep on studying when I didn't have the pressing need to buy soap or tell a taxi driver where to stop. I have regrets that I didn't keep it up, I'd like to study both further and maybe I will someday.

And I gave up on a couple of others when I realized that I just wasn't committed enough/have enough need to work on a difficult language; in both cases at the time I had roommates who were native in that language, which wasn't a need for the language (and come to think of it, in neither case where they any help in learning, other than a mild approval... it's probably difficult to help someone at A0). It's good to have tried, so it was an informed decision to give it up. Guilty? Not really, except in the sense of an unmet dream.

If you are going to a country, dabbling can get you a long way! The difference between zero and a very little is huge.
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sporedandroid
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:03 am

It depends on what you mean by dabbling. I’d say I’m definitely in the 1-10 range. I can’t really list the languages I’ve dabbled in, since they’re often not important enough for me to even stick with. I’d say the main language I’ve dabbled in is Finnish. I think Finnish is a good dabbling language for me because I love how it sounds, but I’m not sure I want to put full effort into studying it. I kind of have a feeling I might want to study it more seriously in about six years.
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IronMike
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby IronMike » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:45 pm

In the spirit of the OP's questions, I will answer the question by defining "dabbled" as having gone through a textbook, even just halfway, and/or sat in a class. And not have dabbled enough to feel comfortable taking a DLPT (or equivalent test) and get a 2/2 or higher, so I've removed a handful from the below list.

Czech, Irish, Cornish, German, Old English, Danish, Norwegian, Latin, Meadow Mari, Sanskrit, Dari, Sinhalese, French, Spanish, Italian, Lakota, Choctaw.

That's all I can think of right now. So 11-20.
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jmar257
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby jmar257 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:02 am

Uhhh lets see...I'm seriously studying Spanish and French, I've dabbled in German, Esperanto, Latin, Dutch, Italian, and Mandarin, in terms of actually completing lessons of various courses. I've gotten better about committing to a language in recent years (instead of spinning my wheels)...I say, as I'm preparing to start German (for real) soon.
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Pegasusangel
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Re: How many languages have you dabbled in?

Postby Pegasusangel » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:17 am

I've dabbled in Under 10 because I do want to learn them but I like to know how to introduce myself and say please and thank you the most. Dabbling is a good thing because there are so many ways to learn so many new languages and so if one strikes your interest you should definitely try it.

Some I've dabbled in that I had to put on the backburner:
French-My mouth/speech can't pronounce the words right.
Korean-Its really hard to learn a new alphabet in a language that has symbols (I'm wanting to eventually learn korean though).
Chinese-My issue with Chinese is I've done so much Japanese that when I see the Chinese Kanji pronouncing it right is really hard (I see it and automatically think the Japanese sounds) I'm hoping one day to overcome this obstacle but as of now learning Chinese is out of the question.
Norwegian-Too similar to Icelandic and so I had to stop learning it for now as I put my focus on learning Icelandic.

Ones I know that I maintain or continue to learn more fluently.
German
Spanish
Japanese
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