What Languages do you Know?

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Hamalas

whippersnapper
I'm constantly impressed by the breadth of interest, experience, and ability that is represented on this board (just a small foretaste of the wonderful diversity of heaven I guess!) I've been wondering how many languages are represented here? What languages have you studied? How many can you speak? What level are you in your knowledge of them? What languages do you hope to learn one day?

I'll start:

Languages Studied

1) English (I'm a native speaker)

2) Koine Greek (for one semester in high school almost none of which has stuck)

3) Latin (I've done two semesters so far and will hopefully continue until I gain a basic proficiency in working with Latin texts)

4) Spanish (two years in high school/college)

5) Scots Gaelic (only picked up a few words and phrases here and there but I do find it interesting!)

6) S.E.E. or Signing Exact English (my sisters are all close to fluent in this form of Sign Language and I've learned a bit to try and keep up!)

Languages I want to Learn

1) Latin - as I said I'm currently studying this in college and will hopefully continue that study at PRTS when I go to seminary. I don't have any illusions of being able to read Virgil in the original, but I do hope to be able to translate basic words, phrases, and quotations as I come across them (particularly in theological writing), to work with original Latin texts for research purposes (with lots of help from reference materials), and to help teach Latin to my kids as part of their basic education.

2) Greek - Obviously as a minister I want to be able to work with the original texts. I know a lot of guys don't keep up on the languages and I know it will be tough, but I hope to be able to work with whatever text I'll be preaching on in the original Hebrew or Greek. It would be ideal if I could do a rough translation of whatever text I would be preaching on as part of my preparation. For the Pastors out there, does that sound doable?

3) Hebrew - See above.

4) Spanish - I've grown up hearing it a lot (my family lived in Florida for seven years and we had international students from Chile stay with us for a year and a half). I've studied it some and actually stayed with our friends in Chile for one month when I was 12/13. I'd love to be conversationally proficient and try to raise my kids to be bilingual.

Well that's all I have! I love languages, but am not particularly good at them. How about you?
 

Ephrata

Puritan Board Freshman
Dang, impressive list!

Studied:

English-- native speaker; a beautiful language in itself.

Chinese-- intermediate. Unfortunately, I've been lax in studying it lately, so edging towards "conversational".

Spanish-- I grew up hearing a lot of it, a lot of my co-workers speak it, and I also studied briefly in school. Not impossibly hard to understand, read, or write, but not easy to speak! Verb conjugation is a bit difficult.

Korean-- pretty much every master and instructor I ever studied martial arts under spoke Chinese or Korean, so I picked up greetings, numbers, words for kicks, and how to run a sparring match.

ASL: 10-20 signs or so, along with the alphabet.


Want to Learn:

More Chinese, More Spanish: Why not continue? The more I can communicate, the better Christ's truth and love can be shown.

Koine Greek and Hebrew: Ministry and study can't be divorced from each other, including ministry to women and family, so it seems important for me to look into the original source of the truths we base our lives on. Also, as I look into models of Christian education, classical languages seem integral to some of the best programs, so they seem even more important to study.

---
Still, though, as wonderful as some of these languages are, English is still my personal favorite. Blame John Donne. :eek:
 
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hammondjones

Puritan Board Sophomore
Languages Studied
English
I pass for native

Spanish
I'm fluentish. At least I no longer get "sé un siervo" mixed up with "(yo) sé un ciervo". (true story)

Hebrew
Let's just say I know when to Holem.

Music
Treble and Bass clef. Forgot all my Tenor.

Languages I Want to Learn
Greek
It is up next.

Latin
May get to this in 10 years.

Syriac
When I imagine having the time and money to do a PhD, it is studying the Church in Syriac. I don't know why. I don't know much about it. Just seems interesting.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Latin - eccesial domain expert
Biblical Greek - expert
Biblical Hebrew - expert
Spanish - conversational
Japanese - elementary conversational
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
This has been a growing passion of mine the past couple of years. It's become quite an obsessive hobby. Language learning easier to fit in time wise and ultimately more practical than star-gazing. Not to mention the costs of a nice cassegrain telescope. If you see a man walking or sitting in Starbucks with earbuds in his ears stammering to himself in a foreign language then it probably is me. I've gotten a few strange looks while driving too.

English: Native

Spanish: I would consider myself an advanced-intermediate reader, an intermediate writer, speaker and and lower-intermediate listener. Typical high school and college stuff...remembered very little. Ive done some pretty aggressive self-study the pass year or two. Will likely hire a tutor by the end of the year. I want to take and pass the C1 CEFR exam by the end of next year. The reasons are many for learning Spanish...communicating with my neighbors, people at church with poor English skills and employment opportunities. If we home-school, I want to teach Spanish to my child(ren). It has obvious utility in the US but Spanish is a great gateway language to Latin, French or any other Romance language for that matter.

Ancient Greek: Had three semesters in college and will continue again someday with self-study to study Scripture more closely as well as Patristics and the Pagan classics.

Latin: One semester in college. At this time, I don't see going into it that much. Who knows...

French: I just started self-study yesterday!! Mrs F. had four years in high school and has retained a lot. It is going to be "our language." Besides French opens a lot of doors culturally, historically and even career wise. Goal is passing C1 exam in 2016. If my wife and I ever do foreign missionary work it will likely be in French. France, Quebec, Haiti and many African countries are all parched for lack of the Gospel.

German: Have not started. Want to learn for cultural and employment reasons. Goal is passing C1 exam by 2017.

Russian: Have not started yet. My goals for this language are more modest, B1 exam by 2019 but higher in proficiency for reading. I've enjoyed the Russian literature that I've read in translation. I think it is a beautiful language to hear.

Great question Ben. I drive my wife crazy talking about Spanish and other languages.
 
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Hamalas

whippersnapper
This has been a growing passion of mine the past couple of years. It's become quite an obsessive hobby. Language learning easier to fit in time wise and ultimately more practical than star-gazing. Not to mention the costs of a nice cassegrain telescope. If you see a man walking or sitting in Starbucks with earbuds in his ears stammering to himself in a foreign language then it probably is me. I've gotten a few strange looks while driving too.

English: Native

Spanish: I would consider myself an advanced-intermediate reader, an intermediate writer, speaker and and lower-intermediate listener. Typical high school and college stuff...remembered very little. Ive done some pretty aggressive self-study the pass year or two. Will likely hire a tutor by the end of the year. I want to take and pass the C1 CEFR exam by the end of next year. The reasons are many for learning Spanish...communicating with my neighbors, people at church with poor English skills and employment opportunities. If we home-school, I want to teach Spanish to my child(ren). It has obvious utility in the US but Spanish is a great gateway language to Latin, French or any other Romance language for that matter.

Ancient Greek: Had three semesters in college and will continue again someday with self-study to study Scripture more closely as well as Patristics and the Pagan classics.

Latin: One semester in college. At this time, I don't see going into it that much. Who knows...

French: I just started self-study yesterday!! Mrs F. had four years in high school and has retained a lot. It is going to be "our language." Besides French opens a lot of doors culturally, historically and even career wise. Goal is passing C1 exam in 2016. If my wife and I ever do foreign missionary work it will likely be in French. France, Quebec, Haiti and many African countries are all parched for lack of the Gospel.

German: Have not started. Want to learn for cultural and employment reasons. Goal is passing C1 exam by 2017.

Russian: Have not started yet. My goals for this language are more modest, B1 exam by 2019 but higher in proficiency for reading. I've enjoyed the Russian literature that I've read in translation. I think it is a beautiful language to hear.

Great question Ben. I drive my wife crazy talking about Spanish and other languages.
How inspiring!

As far as learning Spanish and Russian are concerned we have a lady in our church (Heartland) who is from Guatemala who offers Spanish tutoring. If you'd be interested in getting her contact info just let me know and I can pass that on. Also, Brad Hansen (one of our elders) was a Russian major in college and lived in Eastern Europe for some time. I was actually just talking to him the other day and he mentioned how hard it was to find people in Wichita whom he could talk with. So if you do start Russian and are looking for a conversation partner I could always put you in touch with him as well. :)

Thanks everyone for your answers. I'm once again impressed! Keep 'em coming!
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Tori, do you also know any old or middle English with your interest in English poetry? (Are you studying anything related to that?)

I don't consider that I know anything but English and even that not very well. But in my many rereadings of 'George and Martha', I have picked up a single phrase of French, and I can follow sermons in Spanish. :) I would like to be able to read so many languages: I play at learning Latin and hope to play at learning Greek (both languages I care about because of people I care about). But I come more and more against the reality that life is short and my ability is very limited, and there are many labors of love more related to my sphere.

(Edit: I have this odd panicked feeling that Joshua will turn up knowing how to say 'bacon' in every tongue.)
 
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Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Languages I know pretty well: Python, Java, JavaScript, PHP, VisualBasic
Languages I would like to learn: C#, Ruby

:D
 

Somerset

Puritan Board Junior
Native English - with a fairly broad Somerset accent (So - Zumerrrrzet)

Passable Esperanto

Few words Polish

Would like to learn Hungarian
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
I studied Spanish for 2 years in school, Latin for several years in elementary and middle school, Greek and Hebrew in high school, college, and seminary. I'm functionally fluent in Arabic, the spoken dialect anyway, though a bit less in written.

I'd like to revamp my Hebrew, as Arabic pushed some of it out. I'd like to do theological Dutch and German, but doubt I ever will.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Ephrata

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi, Heidi! Unfortunately, Old English is totally off my radar. The only Middle English I've read is Chaucer. If you're interested in learning, take heart; it actually gets fairly easy to read (both silent and aloud) after a bit of practice. It sounds somewhat like English with a Scottish/German accent. Canterbury Tales has a good rhythm to start with. My heart is with Elizabethan English, though.
 

CJW

Puritan Board Freshman
English - American as my mother tongue, but can now manage to at least understand Aussie and Kiwi varieties (mostly!) :)

Classical Latin and Greek - studied at Masters level, my Latin is still decent, but my Greek is rusty from lack of use

German - semi-fluent, I can manage well enough conversationally, but don't have the vocabulary for technical or theological work without a dictionary handy

I know enough Spanish, French, and Turkish to find the toilets, ask prices, be polite, and say "I don't speak this language!"

I would like to be more fluent in Spanish and Turkish, and have had Biblical Hebrew on my list to learn for ages, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to any of those projects. I'd also love to learn Klingon, because ya never know when that might come in handy! :)
 

Hemustincrease

Puritan Board Freshman
I studied German and French at school (but remember virtually nothing).
I studied Mandarin Chinese for a year at night school when I was considering missionary work out there. I remember virtually nothing from that either. I can say ‘cheers’, ‘thankyou’, ‘goodbye’ and that’s about it. (It impresses the local children. :))

I have studied Latin for about a year now and would very much like to gain a post graduate degree in this at some point. I am primarily using the Oxford Latin Course (as this is what I am using to teach my children) and also Wheelocks. I really enjoy Latin and would like to become proficient enough to tutor in it.

I have started Classical Greek and Biblical Greek, but these are having to take second place to Latin. Greek is so much easier after learning Latin for a while.

My goal is to learn the above thoroughly and then attempt Hebrew. Not quite sure when I will find the time to do the latter, but I’m not giving up on it.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
I feel as if I am not qualified to even post in this thread, but since that has never stopped me in the past .... :eek: .... At 65 I have learned the Koine alphabet and pronunciation. I am reading aloud, sounding out words with flash cards, copying words to memorize them. In an older thread, seen here, DMcFadden recommended Mounce's "Greek For The Rest Of Us", and I am working through it. I am a native English speaker with a smattering of Spanish that I've picked up from many years of living in Florida.

Thanks again to DMcFadden for that exceptionally useful post. :up:

BTW, (by the way) a great App for practicing memorization/pronunciation is https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snappages.FlashGreek.Pro.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Aw, Ben, I've studied a few European languages and have figured out enough Greek not to panic when it pops into my reading. But knowing the difference between "tacky" and "sorry" is pretty useful, really :)
 

DeniseM

Puritan Board Freshman
English-native tongue.
A few semesters worth of Spanish.
Currently learning Latin and Koine Greek as I teach the children.
I also picked up a few sayings in Hangul from when I was stationed in South Korea.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
English: at least I think I know it.

Spanish: A little bit in high school but not enough to pass muster

Latin: two semesters. Surprisingly proficient (ie: I can still make my way through passages in the Vulgate)

German: two semesters, not much of which rubbed off (I will most likely take this up again during PhD studies).

Koine: Currently studying.

Languages I Would Like to Learn

Hebrew
Arabic
Welsh
Gaelic
Sindarin
Quenya
 

Justified

Puritan Board Sophomore
Expert

1. English (native)

Languages I've Studied

1. Spanish- Four years in high school. Functional and can hold a short conversation.

2. French- One year in high school. Basic phrases.

3. German- Currently self-studying.

Languages I Want to Learn

1. Latin- It will be apart of my major.

2. Greek- See number one, and hopeful seminarian.

3. Hebrew- See number two.

3. French- I still have virtually no knowledge.

4. German- Still a novice, but have some slight, yet extremely minuscule, reading ability.

5. Dutch- Will be a useful research language in addition to German and French, if I decide to ever pursue a doctoral degree.

6. Spanish- I would actually like to be fluent someday.

Languages That I'd Perhaps Learn If I Mastered The Others

1. Aramaic- Although if I learn Hebrew, this probably wouldn't really be a long-shot.

2. Arabic- Could read the Koran in the original language, which could be useful in apologetic.
 
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chatwithstumac

Puritan Board Freshman
I am currently studying Biblical Greek and Hebrew. I know both alphabets but I'm just getting started (three years in the making for Greek). Diphthongs are a challenge for me with Greek. I am currently working on remembering vowel sounds and the way they look on a page in Hebrew.

I find when I get frustrated with Greek after studying it long hours, I turn to Hebrew studies and vice versa.

My wife grew up in South America, which means I have the perfect teacher for Spanish. I understand some when it is spoken but can not speak it (yet). I have a Spanish/English NT side-by-side that is helpful for vocabulary.

I have found that the best way to learn a new language is buying a foreign language translation of the Bible. I plan on taking on Arabic, in that same fashion, later (since some of the letters are similar to Hebrew and both are read right to left).

In Christ,
Stu
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
US English, western, eastern, and Texas--native (there actually used to be more of a difference than now, I've lived in all three areas)

British English--able to converse and read, sometimes need a dictionary for modern words. (I do know what spanners and bonnets are, but I had to ask once).

French--modern, fluent in reading and writing, a little rusty in conversational right now because of lack of practice; middle French--after translating a fair amount of Calvin, I find it very easy to read. I did minor in French and spent time in France and Quebec.

Arabic--used to be conversationally functional, have become rusty. I used to be able to read Arabic newspapers and books, but now I think I'm at the 3rd grade level. Self taught by immersion and self-directed study while working overseas.

Hebrew--Reading at perhaps a 6th or 7th grade equivalent level, I can read passages but have to go to a lexicon a few times every page. Self-taught.

Koine Greek--pretty much the same as my Hebrew, self-taught.

Spanish--reading fairly well, speaking is weak, writing is weak, not really self-taught so much as using my familiarity with Romance languages in general.

Italian--basic conversational, elementary school level reading. Can get by in basic conversations.

Russian--very basic, I can read headlines and a few sentences of newspapers.

Latin--basic knowledge, can read with enough time and a dictionary.

German--same as Latin. Can carry on simple conversations.

Dutch--used to be much better, now it is like German, only weaker.

I'd like to improve my Spanish and Latin, if only I had the time. It would be cool to get back to my former proficiency in Arabic, but again, if only I had the time.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
English - am sometimes mistaken for a native speaker
Chinese - functionally illiterate (oral is fine, but written/reading is horrendous)
French - grew up in Canada, was forced to study for 8 yrs, then subjected myself to a couple years in college in the US because I thought it would be an easy A
Russian/Bulgarian - can read Cyrillic and so can make a bunch of noises but I have limited knowledge of their meaning, though there are many French cognates in Russian and a basic understanding. However, grammar is so difficult as to make further study impossible as I hate the study thereof. I believe that all participles should be dangling, but from a noose, along with every other grammatical instrument known to man. After my mother passed away, my father married a Bulgarian woman, and family get-togethers are interesting.
Frisian - am ethnically one, decent comprehension, little oral
Dutch - very basic
German - two years in college and bare functionality as I worked with a German speaking Chinese and a German speaking Belgian in China for a number of years
Herbrew - I enjoy word studies and a little conversation (very little)
Spanish - wife grew up in Central America and I had to work with a couple of Argentinians in China for several months, translating between Chinese and Spanish; spent six months in Alicante province as a child.
ASL - wife is proficient because Joseph, my second oldest son, was deaf until he was three and a half. I have little ability or understanding but enjoy watching my wife sign; she has a physical grace in it that is beautiful to watch.

Would love to learn Hebrew, Latin, and Greek to read my Bible and old theological texts better. Maybe later, maybe not this side of heaven.
 
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Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
Native speaker of English and Romanian.
Learned Spanish in high school.
Studied Latin and Greek in college, but don't remember much of it.
I'd like to master my Spanish, Latin and Greek.
I always liked the sound of German as well. If I have time and life permits, I would like to learn that.
 

thbslawson

Puritan Board Freshman
Russian - Fluent

This is the only other language I've seriously studied and learned. I know a couple of phrases in some other languages but nothing major. Russian fluency has allowed me to grasp to different degrees other Slavic languages like Czech, Polish and Bulgarian. I can usually understand about half of a conversation in Ukrainian.

A missionary friend of mine to the Stoney Indians of Canada calls me "Anu-Katha" which means "Bald Eagle." No doubt a reference to my haircut. :lol:
 

belin

Puritan Board Freshman
Amazing varieties ... looks like lot of you speak in tongues :p .. thought would mine as well

English - For all purposes (schooling/work/worship)
Tamil - Mother tongue. Fluent enough to have done some translations
Kannada - Language spoken in my place of residence. So I manage
German - Studied a year for fun sake. Was useful when I traveled there for work purpose.
Hindi - National language. Studied 3 years. Decent enough
Telugu - Elementary level
Malayalam - Elementary level
Biblical Greek - Basic Level
Biblical Hebrew - Started

To master
Biblical Greek
Biblical Hebrew
Latin
Maybe return to German
 

JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
1 English (see below)

2 Greek (Biblical)

3 Hebrew

4 Latin (3 years but haven't restudied it for nearly 30 years)

5 French (un peu)

6 German (a smattering of important words - bathroom, food words - always important to know such words in as many languages as possible :))

7 Ullans Ulster Scots dialects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (see 1 above) this is my native dialect of English which is really just English with a good number of different vocab items and local pronunciation - which is sufficiently different that I gurantee if I turn it on, someone from London is not going to understand a word :)
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Hi, Heidi! Unfortunately, Old English is totally off my radar. The only Middle English I've read is Chaucer. If you're interested in learning, take heart; it actually gets fairly easy to read (both silent and aloud) after a bit of practice. It sounds somewhat like English with a Scottish/German accent. Canterbury Tales has a good rhythm to start with. My heart is with Elizabethan English, though.
Thank you, Tori: I enjoyed reading your intro and would enjoy knowing more about the Elizabethan studies sometime. I'm highly impressed with all the linguistic faculty here (even Klingon :). Re: English, I would like to be able to read the original of Beowulf, but I doubt I will become so learned. Our copy of Chaucer comes with a pronunciation guide and glossary and he seems about at the same difficulty level, though more rhythmic, than Stephen Hawes -- whom I have enjoyed puzzling out from the early modern period. (C. S. Lewis called Hawes's meter 'broken-backed' and spoke of his genuinely poetic conception without an adequate faculty for expression, but there is something poignant: Dyspayre you not for it auayleth nought; Ioye cometh after whan the payne is gone.')
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Spanish: I have a hard time quantifying this. I use Spanish every day and I'm steadily improving, but I'm also aware that there's much I don't know.

Which brings up the question... How do all of you define "fluency"?


German: Studied for 2 years in college, but it was only academic knowledge. I never used it, never spoke it outside of class, and so I've lost a lot of it. I'd like to pick it back up and find out how much is still in the recesses of my brain.

French: 2 years in high school. I ventured into France for a short time last year, and it became crystal clear that I had lost all of it. Well, that's not true. I remembered Yes, Please, Thank You, and Cheese.

Latin: 2 years in high school. Mostly gone.
 
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