A question for native English speakers!LEARN a 2nd LANGUAGE

u2u   Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:04 am GMT
<<I really have to thank those English native speakers here>>
me too
Guest   Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:11 am GMT

"YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE !" you write even after I so kindly pointed out that one does not leave a space before an exclamation mark. Who's looking the moron now?
Guest   Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:13 am GMT
>>just DON'T NEED a second language! They don't need it to do business, to travel, to communicate with other nations - first, America is so big, you can live here your whole life without going abroad<

1. You sound like a redneck
2. Don't you people have any intellectual challenge, an invitation to engage in a learning contest? Are you so dumb and boring? Learning a language is not always a necessity! It’s a PASSION, HOBBY, Intellectual inclination, Linguistic passion, but most of all is EDUCATION. Don’t you have any of this?

YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE ! (unless you're a working class sub mediocre with an IQ of 96 ) <<

You may be corect is good education to learn language, because we learn in school languges, and many educated people spek many languges, but you have no right to tell people this if they want to learn they learn if not they not. You cant force them to learn.
Uriel   Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:08 am GMT
Well, if anyone truly cares, I was bilingual in German and English until I was five. Now I have lost my German. As for Spanish, I only know a little -- not enough to have much of a conversation. I took Spanish, French, and Mandarin in high school and only remember a little bit of each. I was first attracted to the site because of its discussions on accents, and just started answering grammar and vocab questions out of politeness -- I've asked the same kinds of questions on other sites aboput Spanish, and been grateful for any help I got. So I'm returning the favor. But mostly I stick around because it's interesting to talk to people from all over the world. Even if it's only in English.

Happy now?
Guest   Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:29 am GMT
You can't just "lose" a language that you were native or fluent in. It's not like taking a hammer to something that's hard-wired.
Uriel   Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:12 am GMT
Sure you can. I was fluent in German -- I spoke it better than I spoke English -- and now I barely remember a handful of words. Children are quick to learn languages, but they are also quick to discard them -- it's part of their great adaptability. My mother, who had to learn German as a teenager, in a school setting, is still conversational thirty years later. Conversely, my father, who spoke nothing but Portuguese until he was old enough to enter school, and remained bilingual into adulthood, now finds he can no longer understand a lot of Portuguese when he goes back to Massachusetts -- he's been away for too long. So there's probably an individual element to it, as well.
Guest   Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:12 am GMT
Not really, since 5 is too young anyway to have developed sufficient skills to be considered fluent in any language. In the developing stages, you don't have much to "lose" compared to say a 13 year old native speaker. Said 13 year old who spends the next 40 years speaking a different language, wouldn't lose his original native tongue which has been sufficiently developed and inculcated.

But then people will throw the word "bilingual" or "fluency" around willy-nilly.
Uriel   Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:12 pm GMT
My dad lost his, and he didn't leave Mass. until he was 28. And yes, he was fluent as in he spoke Portuguese like a native -- he was raised by grandparents who spoke no English at all, in an area with a huge Portuguese population. And a five-year-old is plenty fluent -- they have most of the vocab of an adult, already grasp grammar and syntax, etc.
Guest   Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:57 pm GMT
Not a credible story. Otherwise it's all in his head (psychological) or he suffers from a mental condition.

You couldn't have a raised a child as a 5 year-old hardly has any of the vocab of an adult and his/her grammar is woeful.
Steve   Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:24 pm GMT
You'd be very, very surprised at the ability a 5 year-old has to express him/herself in a language - mostly through having a larger vocabulary than you'd imagine. More to the point, 5 year-olds know the difference between break and brake.
Steve   Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:39 pm GMT
And polyglot, you've gone out of your way to learn Spanish, have you? Not a common language in America, is it? It must have been an uphill battle for you to find material and native speakers! Just how did you manage it?
Benjamin   Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:34 pm GMT
Hey Uriel — if you were to start learning German again now, do you think that a lot of it might end up coming back to you?

I know a man (my cousins' great uncle) originally from England who went to Germany when he was 16 with the army, speaking no German at all. Now, about 50 years later, he speaks much better German than English, and even speaks English with a German accent.
j   Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:10 pm GMT
<Guest:You can't just "lose" a language that you were native or fluent in.>

How do you know? What's your circumstances?

You say 'native or fluent' - but it's a huge difference between them. If you are not a child, you usually can't lose your mother tongue, at least the ability to speak and comprehend. But it's not the same with your second language, even if you were fluent in it before. Your second language can be replaced by your third language pretty easily if you change the country of residence along with your second language. It's another matter, if you're eager to save your second language CONSCIOUSLY, against all the odds - your keep reading, listening (but here is a question - where? if nobody talks your second language in your circle of contacts, it will be tricky to find a needed source) - in this case you definitely will be able to save it. But it not goes automatically, believe me!
polyglot   Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:11 pm GMT
"And polyglot, you've gone out of your way to learn Spanish, have you? Not a common language in America, is it? It must have been an uphill battle for you to find material and native speakers! Just how did you manage it?"


- I appreciate your subtle irony; however it is tragic to live in the US and ignore a language like Spanish, the second spoken language in America (the continent of) overwhelmingly present in the US and spoken by the LARGEST minority (Hispanics and Brazilians) legally or illegally residing in the US.

- How many times has anyone called a business in the US and heard:

"For English press one, Para Español oprima el dos"? Statistically 87%. Unless you live in IDAHO.

”Have you studied Mathematics? Music? Chemistry? Kinesiology? Engineering? Have you ever run a marathon? Played baseball at a professional level? Written a novel?”

- I have studied Mathematics, Music, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, etc, at school and also at the university, except maybe Kinesiology (I did biology instead). Didn’t you people?

But the fact of the matter is that our conversation revolves around linguistics, the end of the day we are posting on a linguistic inclined forum and not conversing about Kinesiology, Neurology, etc, hence my inherent questions and my impellent curiosity about your intellectual passivity.

Your linguistic philanthropy is rather a camouflage concealing the insecurity of being monolingual, while still seeking approval and gratifying in a hedonistic manner the only ability you posses. Or is it just plain inter-socializing because there are more native English speakers on this forum than pupils? Strange paradox indeed!
j   Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:12 pm GMT
mistake: if you change the country of residence along with your THIRD language.