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Author Topic: Learning Asian Languages :D  (Read 735 times)  Share 

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Learning Asian Languages :D
« on: 24 Apr 16 / 09:47 PM »
Ok, so since this is a chat where we can post some extra stuff, I might as well share my obsession with you.

I've never been the person who would spent nights awake watching korean dramas and japanese animes, but my obsession started when my aunt landed a job as a manager of some company that has benches (or whatever they are) in different countries. She started visiting China very kften, but she's bad with languages. I'm a fast learner and I speak about 5 european languages, so she asked me to help her out with some chinese phrases that she might have to use in everyday life while she's walking around.

In the end I got so interested in the simplicity of chinese (speaking only, chinese writing and characters are terrible), that I decided to study the language. After successfully learning basic conversational chinese, I got captivated by how korean language sounds, plus how easy the writing system is.

Has anyone had the same obsession with anything? I mean isn't it weird? I've never liked studying anything, but languages seem to be my weakness.. :/

P.S. If anyone else is learning korean, could you suggest some apps, books or just anything? Thanks 😂😂😂
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #1 on: 25 Apr 16 / 07:26 AM »
I love history in that way, but I'm hopeless academically so never studied it past age 13 in school.

I'm hopeless with learning other languages too. I've tried French, German and Japanese (shared a house with a Japanese girl) but my brain just gives up when it comes to grammar etc. But them I'm pretty hopeless in really understanding grammar in English too. It's taken me years of actively checking myself each time I write a post somewhere to get as far as I have and I still know it's not great. I would LOVE to be able to speak other languages. I envy you!

Which would you say is the hardest language. My Japanese friend, who could conversationally speak Korean and Chinese and was getting far better at English in all respects (though she never has fully emersed herself as she always works in places that have many Japanese speakers in London), says English by far. I suspect that's because it's a different form to Asian languages though.
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #2 on: 25 Apr 16 / 09:58 AM »
That's really fascinating! I love language and find it easy to work out what things mean in other languages and pick up words very quickly but like Janine said the grammar trips me up every time! I can understand French, some Spanish, some Russian (and can read the Cyrillic alphabet ) and a tiny bit of Japanese but I can't really speak any of them, forming sentences is just too much for me!
I've heard it said that Hungarian is very difficult to learn, their alphabet has 40+ letters for a start! I had a friend at school who traced his biological father and discovered he was Hungarian so he tried to learn the language and he said it was insane! (then again I don't know how good he was at learning languages in the first place!)
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #3 on: 26 Apr 16 / 03:58 PM »
I grew up being bilingual. I was born in Ukraine, so apart from my native language (georgian), I also spoke russian. I started learning english and german when I was 7 and 13 (respectively). Well, turkish is not really a european language, but it uses latin alphabet, so forgive me if I kinda lied 😃 Turkey is our neighbour country so it makes sence I had to learn the language.

If we put aside the fact that european languages are hard for asians and asian languages are hard for europeans, it's pretty obvious which language is hard and in what ways. The most gramatically complicated european languages could be german and russian, though in terms of speaking, none of them would come difficult for those who speak other european languages. The most gramatically hard asian language is known to be japanese, because it has a lot of tenses and structures (although I doubt native speakers would think it's hard in any way). In terms of writing, the most difficult language is chinese... I mean, why not? Have you tried learning over 8000 characters? I struggled learning korean hangul (which consists of about 26 characters), imagine my reaction when I heard chinese students learn 5000 characters throughout their school life 😂😂😂 As for speaking and pronounciation difficulties, I think this one will be personal for each human. It doesn't even matter what country or continent you are from. I and my friend are both from one town, both the same race and nationality, but she has never been able to pronounce english words right (I'm not even going to mention russian, it's terrible) 😂 On the other hand, she can perfectly pronounce turkish and arabic words, which gives me headache, because my vocal chords and mouth are just not suited for those languages 😂😂😂

As for hungarian, I was just talking about most popular languages to learn. My language has 33 letters and it's own alphabet (one of world's 14 writing systems). The grammar, even for me as a native speaker, ended up being a tough challenge. But obviously nobody is going to learn a language that's only spoken in 1 country, especially the one with no economic advantages. Polish is also a hard language, but would you really learn Polish even if you'll never travel there? 😂 That's the whole point. There are a lot of languages (over 800) in the world... I'm only trying to focus on some important ones. But obviously I also think about personal preferences. I'd never learn spanish, french or italian. Not because they are bad or I wouldn't ever visit France, but more because I don't like those languages. Also if I like a language, I wouldn't pay attention to where it's spoken (korean is only spoken in Korea and I might not even get a chance to visit the country). 😃😂😂

Actually one of my weirdest habits is getting deeply into culture while studing languages. This might sound like nothing to worry about, but my mom has been close to going crazy because of me 😂 When I was learning german, I studied german hystory, culture, cuizine, started drinking beer and speaking some random german words in everyday life. The same with chinese. I started cooking chinese food, watching hystorical dramas, telling my parents random facts about China and chinese language etc. Now I'm into korean, so obviously all I'm cooking is Kimchi, Bulgogi, Samgyeopsal and other dishes, watching some korean dramas and variety shows, reading things about korea and researching some history 😂

To cut this long story short, I'm just a freak who loves hystlry, cultures, languages, fashion, music and dying hair😂😂
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #4 on: 27 Apr 16 / 09:46 AM »
I think probably your learning different languages at a young age has given you a good skill set for learning more in later life too, but I do think it's possible to have just a 'talent' for these things. A big problem of mine is having the confidence to attempt to speak the language for fear of sounding silly, so although I can understand a lot of French I would never try to speak it out loud to someone!
Recently we were chatting with a young German guy on a train in Munich and his English was perfect (he'd asked if he could sit with us as he enjoys speaking English with English people so that he can improve his accent as he says he tries not to sound American from watching tv and films ) and we apologised for not speaking German and he said "don't worry, I'm sure you speak languages I can't speak" and I felt a bit embarrassed that a lot of English people don't speak any other languages - we just hope that other people speak ours!
I hope you will forgive my ignorance, but I didn't even know that there was a Georgian language, I had assumed that Russian would be the first language there. Is it a similar language to Russian?
I have a bit of an interest in language acquisition and I find it fascinating that if certain vocal sounds aren't learnt early in life (such as sounds needed for certain Asian or African languages) they can be difficult or even impossible to learn. My boyfriend can't do a rolled R so he can't say a lot of Spanish words that would pronounce the R that way, and he finds the 'kha' throat sound in certain languages and accents difficult too. I find is hard to say a hard S or Z so I sound hissy when I say words that require that sound (but that is more to do with me trying to hide my lisp more than anything else I think).

I totally understand the thing about getting really into the culture of the place you are learning the language of, and I think it's a really good thing, it'll make you much more open minded and able to relate to lots of different people in your life! I find it's a good feeling to be the one who knows what 'strange' items on a menu are, or knows how to greet someone they meet whilst travelling etc.
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #5 on: 27 Apr 16 / 10:32 AM »
Quote
I have a bit of an interest in language acquisition and I find it fascinating that if certain vocal sounds aren't learnt early in life (such as sounds needed for certain Asian or African languages) they can be difficult or even impossible to learn. My boyfriend can't do a rolled R so he can't say a lot of Spanish words that would pronounce the R that way, and he finds the 'kha' throat sound in certain languages and accents difficult too.

I was talking once with my Japanese friend about the difficulties people in Eastern Asian countries tend to have with L and R in English (European languages in general?) and I was asking her what the equivalent is in Japanese with Europeans (certainly English speakers). She said it was Tsu and Su. Very different meanings, but we have difficulty in pronouncing and hearing the difference.

I can't do a roller R either. I find the Welsh LL difficult, but the longer I lived there as a college student living in Llanelli I got there... I find it difficult again now!

I hate that I can't speak other languages as well. It's a source of embarrassment quite often when talking to non-native speakers.

I had a friend whose mother was born in Gibraltar. Her mother spoke English and Spanish perfectly, of course. She married an English man and moved here. When she had children she refused to teach her children to speak Spanish!! I've always found that baffling as it's so much more likely they'll find other languages easier if they're already bilingual. I was always so frustrated for her lol
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #6 on: 27 Apr 16 / 04:32 PM »
I can't imagine not bringing my children up bilingual if it was something that was available to me! I always remember visiting friends in Canada and them insisting that we only answer their 3 and a half year old kid if he spoke to us in English because they wanted him to learn that not everybody could speak both French and English! It felt a bit mean at times to make him repeat himself if he was just asking for a glass of water or something but it was fascinating to see such a small child speaking 2 languages fluently.
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #7 on: 27 Apr 16 / 04:59 PM »
Lauralei, ypu don't need to apologise. Georgia is a small country with a population of not more than 4 million people, so it's not surprising you wouldn't know details about this country and people. The photo attached shows georgian alphabet. Oh and it sounds nothing like russian. It probably doesnn't sound anything like any slavic language. Russian is soft, while georgian is said to be even harsher (in terms of how speaking language sounds) compared to german. A lot of ukranians told me every time they hear 2 georgians speak, they think we are fighting or arguing over something 😂😂 Georgia used to be part of soviet union, so obviously russian is spoken here and is taught in schools along with english as a foreign language. We don't have a choice to not learn it here, because it's a total 'must' (same with english). 😂 Of course as much as russian is softer, georgians tend to have problems with tussian pronounciation.
Although Georgia is really small, it has a huge culture and history. The first historical written facts about Georgia appear in 12th century BC, so that's a very long history I believe 😂😂😂 But that's the only pride we have. Everything else is messed up 😂😂😂 Like young people are too rude, ignorant, selfish and bullying issues are really bad in schools. 😂
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #8 on: 27 Apr 16 / 05:03 PM »
I would gladly bring my children up not just bilingual but trilingual. If I marry in my country, of course the 3 languages would be georgia, russian and english. But if I marry someone from other country, I will skip georgian. Its not really necessary and they will never need my native language. My parents both speak russian perfectly, so they won't have trouble with understanding grandchildren 😂😂😂 omg I'm still too young for marriage, what am I thinking 😂😂😂😂
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #9 on: 28 Apr 16 / 09:00 AM »
Wow that's a really pretty looking alphabet! I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere before, I just went on Youtube to listen to it spoken and it does have an unusual sound, I don't recall hearing anyone speak anything that sounds like that before either. I think young people are getting worse everywhere too to be honest, my niece already had to move schools once through bullying and she's only 14, kids now seem really obsessed with physical appearance and are really materialistic for the most part. I'd hate to be a teenager now!
Haha yes, you don't need to think about marriage and kids just yet I don't think! But you should definitely bring any future kids you might have to share your passion for language.
Where I live at the moment is a small Island between the UK and Ireland and it has it's own language. Nobody speaks it as their first language any more as everybody uses English, but it is on road signs and people use the greetings from it when you walk into a shop. My boyfriend went to school here so he understands it a little as it is taught as a second language - I think they are just trying to keep the culture alive. I may try to learn it, but it is a gaelic language so it's quite hard to know what the pronunciations are (even the names of streets and villages here are hard for me to say!)
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #10 on: 28 Apr 16 / 02:32 PM »
Oh I actually love gaelic. I heard one of Enya's songs sung in gaelic and it was beautiful 😍
Well, my childhood was pretty bad as we did have severe bullying, but now it went to another level. Back in my school days we didn't really have mobile phones. Now 12-year-olds compete whose iPhone is the newest and whose father is richest 😃😃😃😂😂😂
As for georgian, well it's still a first and main language over here, but writings on shops and cafes are mainly in english, that's why some organizations started campaigns to include georgian everywhere along with english. 😂 I actually do notice how our language sounds from a foreigners' perspective, because I've heard and come across a lot of languages in my short life. Some words are so harsh that even german sounds soft compared to georgian 😂 I don't think any other european language has a word that starts with 6 consonants stuck to each other and 1 miserable vowel in the end 😂😂😂 that word would be pronounced close to 'b-r-d-gh-v-n-a', 7 letters in total and the meaning is 'to rip something apart' 😂 if you add one more consonant at start ( 'v') and change 'a' to 'i', it would already mean 'I rip something apart'.  Well, as rough as the word is, nobody would expect any softer meaning. Although there are a lot of words with positive meaning, which sound like cursing words 😂😂😂 
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #11 on: 29 Apr 16 / 03:06 PM »
 Yeah I imagine bullying is much worse for kids now, I was in high school 20 years ago and it was really just about your shoes or hair then, but now kids are expected to look like film stars and be super well groomed and have all the expensive things - although I do remember the teachers at my school, if you reported bullying to them they would just say "we don't have a bulling problem at this school" and you couldn't mention it again! Not very helpful! I had a horrible time at school.
I think it is really important to preserve languages, even if nobody particularly wants to speak them any more! And I agree, Gaelic does sound lovely!

I like that word, it does sound very aggressive, but it sounds like what it means!  :laugh:
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #12 on: 02 May 16 / 04:17 PM »
Most of the words do sound agressive... 😂 Like the word 'love'. It sounds so rough compared to other languages, I wonder who the hell decided that word should totally stand for such tender feelings 😂😂😂😂
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #13 on: 03 May 16 / 09:23 AM »
 :laugh: Maybe somehow who had been heartbroken made that one up!
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Re: Learning Asian Languages :D
« Reply #14 on: 04 May 16 / 12:26 AM »
Certainly  *rofl* *rofl* *yay*
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