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morris39

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Actually, without wanting to get too philosophical - I have a habit of asking folk to list the 5 x most important events in their lives and to describe the catalyst that led to the outcome. In most instances, the stimulus was trivial and the decision that was made was done so without much thought at all.

Don
Yess. In high school Latin, Shelley, Keats and Byron. In grade school past and present participles gerundatives, past pluperfect etc. Is scholar a pejorative?
 
   #22  

Crasher

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In the third year at senior school (age 13 ish) we were asked which language we would like to learn and I new German was for me but they made me do surrender Monkey and even at that age I had little regard for them as we had just been forced to partner up with them only to recently tell them to go and do one...
 
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Uwe

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Such as Geschwindigkeitsregelanlage...
That one is only a three-way compound. That's not too bad. The example @jyoung8607 posted was a five-way compound. If it were up to me, I'd say two-way is allowed, but anything more than needs be broken up somehow.

-Uwe-
 
   #25  

Ronaldo

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Uwe: same with me - but Italian was my roots and my mother tongue was a dialect that was frozen in time to when my parents left Italy - probably nothing like the regional language spoken today.
Before reading your post I used to say to myself "I wish I could speak English like a native speaker and write refined posts like that guy Don from Ross Tech's Forum", now you say English is a second language? I'm impressed. Maybe I should stop saying English is my second language and accept I have no second language at all!
 
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Uwe

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Before reading your post I used to say to myself "I wish I could speak English like a native speaker and write refined posts like that guy Don from Ross Tech's Forum", now you say English is a second language? I'm impressed. Maybe I should stop saying English is my second language and accept I have no second language at all!
Bah, your English sounds fine to me.

-Uwe-
 
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Ronaldo

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Bah, your English sounds fine to me.

-Uwe-
Thanks, Uwe. (but you don't know how long I take to write a few lines. :D)
Actually I also speak a little Spanish and French and got German classes in the university, but that was some 30 years ago and most of what I learned was lost, especially because I never really had much connection to the language in my activities. Besides having problems breaking down those long German words, I remember having serious difficuties to recognize the accusative, nominative, dative, genitive cases. That was the most confusing thing for me.
 
   #28  

Bruce

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Bear Story time..

In school, I studied French as my second language. Ross-Tech has a French national on staff. He laughs at my butchery of his language...

Took my wife and son to Paris. Was advised by the aforementioned Frenchman to try to speak French. "The locals get angry that the damn Americans come to their city and insist THEY speak English!" I get that.

Our first evening, we go to dinner and as we arrive at the restaurant, I attempt to greet the staff in French. They raise the hairy eyeball at my poor grammar and pronunciation. But I continue to try. They tolerate it. About 4 sentences in, I ask in English, "I made the effort. Can we speak English now?" They all cracked up laughing. They were glad to speak English to the old fat tractor riding bear!
 
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vreihen

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Took my wife and son to Paris. Was advised by the aforementioned Frenchman to try to speak French. "The locals get angry that the damn Americans come to their city and insist THEY speak English!" I get that.

Back when I was in high school and my Spanish classes were fresh, our family went for an afternoon outing in Montreal. At the time, all of the road/highway signs were in French only, I assume to mock us Americans as well as the rest of Canada outside of Quebec. We parked on a side street that was suspiciously empty, with French no parking signs of some sort. Since French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Latin share common roots, I was pretty sure that it said no parking Monday-Friday and we were safe to park there on Saturday. The car was still there when we came back, so I guess that I got it right. :D

My sister was on vacation in Italy a few years ago, and an ATM captured her card for some reason. When she was trying to get help inside the bank, the staff all gave her the dumb American treatment for asking in English. When she changed over to Spanish, they appreciated that she was at least partially bi-lingual and suddenly spoke English.....
 
   #31  

morris39

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Our first evening, we go to dinner and as we arrive at the restaurant, I attempt to greet the staff in French. They raise the hairy eyeball at my poor grammar and pronunciation. But I continue to try. They tolerate it. About 4 sentences in, I ask in English, "I made the effort. Can we speak English now?" They all cracked up laughing. They were glad to speak English to the old fat tractor riding bear!
 
   #32  

morris39

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The French can be (like?) being picky about small distinctions. I recall asking for directions for "rue" X standing at a six points in Paris on a drizzly evening in my passable but street learned Quebec French. The answer I got more than once was 'il n'y que ca' i.e. no such (cedilla be damned). It turned out I had the wrong prefix e.g 'chemin'. Crossing the intersection a couple of times revealed the street name sign which was at that very spot.
 
   #33  

DV52

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Before reading your post I used to say to myself "I wish I could speak English like a native speaker and write refined posts like that guy Don from Ross Tech's Forum", now you say English is a second language? I'm impressed. Maybe I should stop saying English is my second language and accept I have no second language at all!
@Ronaldo: First- many thanks for the kind words (I'm humbled by them -but in truth, they are greatly exaggerated).

It's probably because my country is so remote - but until recently, Australians weren't really multilingual. Even though this is a land populated by folk from every part of world (except for our "first nation" citizens), most children of immigrants lost their parent's tongue soon after entering the education system (much like @Uwe experience which I assume was common in America - we share many traits with "Yanks" because of our historic similarities).

And in a understandable sense, the pressures on the young children of immigrants in any country to assimilate with the dominant culture was (and still is) very strong. Hence the tendency for immigrant kids in our formative years to forget about our parent's language - which we inevitably regret in our later years, alas!

At least that's my excuse for my abysmal knowledge of Italian!!

So, on the contrary, it is I who is impressed because you are clearly someone that has not committed my sin (see- I am riddled with Catholic guilt, even though I'm a born-again agnostic); you speak and write fluently in at least two languages - very impressive!!!

Don
 
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   #34  

DV52

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In school, I studied French as my second language. Ross-Tech has a French national on staff. He laughs at my butchery of his language...........................................
.....................
They were glad to speak English to the old fat tractor riding bear!
Bruce: there is really only ONE answer to becoming a better Francophile - less time on the tractor, more time in Paris!! Alas it probably won't help with the "girth" issue (likely it will exacerbate the problem) :thumbs:
 
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vreihen

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Montreal's tourism folks have been running English-language TV commercials here in New Yorkistan ever since the Canadian border re-opened last month. They are showing pictures of European-like sites in Montreal, and inviting us to come on up for a "Euroadtrip" to see them.....
 
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Bruce

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I have it on good authority that in Quebec they do not speak French. They ruin the language worse than the stupid fat Americans with bad grammar and pronunciation!
 
   #37  

morris39

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I have it on good authority that in Quebec they do not speak French. They ruin the language worse than the stupid fat Americans with bad grammar and pronunciation!
Maybe your authorities need updating. Two generations ago Quebec French was very, different from now, far too many anglicisms, grating accent (exaggerated rolling of r's) etc. It seemed like some misguided sort of pride of place or class, think US hill- billy talk. Significant improvement in education and explicit government policies have changed the language a lot. You can hear this plainly on the media listening to Quebec politicians (if you're in Canada). I have not been to Que. in a decade but at that time you could hear the difference on the street. BTW French is a second language for me, so I have no dog in the race.
Your mood comes across surprisingly strong. French heritage? Quebecers are not vey fond of the French and maybe vice-versa (but I don't know)
 
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Quintus Rotam

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I have it on good authority that in Quebec they do not speak French. They ruin the language worse than the stupid fat Americans with bad grammar and pronunciation!
 
   #39  

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In my public school Latin was an option, but I decided not to go that way.
I took French for 2 years but later switched to German which I studied for 5 years (High School and College). There was a time when I could pick up a copy of Der Stern and understand most of it (occasionally having to look up a word or 2 to add to my vocabulary).
Unfortunately I have forgotten much of it.
Before I retired I worked with many international people and I learned the hard way not to try to speak French - because when I tried to say something in French I had a bad habit of switching to German mid sentence, and I found that this really annoyed the French people.

Spaß haben

Don

P.S. Studying foreign languages taught me more about English than I ever learned in a English class.
 
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JSWTDI09

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I have it on good authority that in Quebec they do not speak French. They ruin the language worse than the stupid fat Americans with bad grammar and pronunciation!

As I understand it Canadian French comes much closer to 18th century French than to modern day French in France. I have met a few French Canadians who were surprised that people in France couldn't understand them.

Have Fun!

Don
 
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