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Lira
Put on robe & wizard hat!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil Formerly known as: Maaz
How do you become fluent in 11 languages?

Get yourself immersed in the communities where the languages are spoken:

quote:
Twenty-year-old Alex Rawlings has won a national competition to find the UK's most multi-lingual student.

The Oxford University undergraduate can currently speak 11 languages - English, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Catalan and Italian.

Entrants in the competition run by the publishers Collins had to be aged between 16 and 22 and conversant in multiple languages.

Alex drew on all his skills to tell BBC News about his passion for learning languages and how he came to speak so many.

[Source (w/ video!)]

Quite awesome. This guy had the opportunity to live in different countries and learn loads of different languages (though I'm surprised he never mastered Japanese, which I'd say is quite easy). Although he obviously benefited from learning only languages that are related (with the notable exception of Hebrew), this is still quite a feat.


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quote:
Originally said by Maurice Moss
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk

Old Post Feb-26-2012 03:25 
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Sushipunk
Flickering, I roam



Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Chateau Verdafloor

Pretty cool. Though Afrikaans and Dutch are very similar.


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Old Post Feb-26-2012 03:38  Australia
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aNYthing
Abrasive Cockhead @ Large



Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Near metric fuck-a-ton of high-end gear

Russian? Не шути, Маз.


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Old Post Feb-26-2012 03:38 
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.

This guy learned eight without ever leaving Italy:



He has since added Mandarin I think...

Old Post Feb-26-2012 03:42  United States
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.
Re: How do you become fluent in 11 languages?

quote:
Originally posted by Lira
...though I'm surprised he never mastered Japanese...

Your opinion of Japanese's ease is not widely shared among people trying to learn languages, at least from the reading I have done on language learning forums.

Old Post Feb-26-2012 03:45  United States
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Lira
Put on robe & wizard hat!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil Formerly known as: Maaz
Re: Re: How do you become fluent in 11 languages?

quote:
Originally posted by Vector A
Your opinion of Japanese's ease is not widely shared among people trying to learn languages, at least from the reading I have done on language learning forums.

Japanese is incredibly simple, the completely different vocabulary notwithstanding. The writing is a bit complex, I give you that, but:

  • It's got just 5 vowels, none of which should pose a problem to the average speaker of European languages (the "u" is a bit different, but pronouncing it the way you already do is fine);

  • No consonant should pose a problem to European language learners. Even the "f", which isn't really an "f", shouldn't be much of a problem if you never get the distinction right. Oh, and the "r/l";

  • The language is extremely regular - if you know how to conjugate one verb, you pretty much know how to conjugate every other verb... with the sole exception of two odd members, which aren't THAT different to begin with;

  • Case marking is pathetically simple: Just put a morpheme after each word and you're done. There are no exceptions that I can think of. "Inu" is dog. "Inuga" means "Dog as subject", "Inuwo" means "Dog as object", "Inuwa" means "Dog as topic"; "Burayanga" means "Brian as subject", "Burayanwo" means "Brian as object" (kinky!), and "Burayanwa" means that Brian is the topic. See? No surprises.

  • There aren't many verb tenses. At least, not to me (Portuguese is the Romance language with the most tenses, as I recall it). Verb agreement is non-existent.

  • No plural (except for a few reduplications and special pronoun forms). No gender.
See? Not that hard, is it?
quote:
Originally posted by aNYthing
Russian? Не шути, Маз.

Haha, ya uzhe zabyl to, stho ya uchil'sya 10 let nazad. Mne nado uchit'sya russkiy yazyk esche raz
quote:
Originally posted by Sushipunk
Pretty cool. Though Afrikaans and Dutch are very similar.

True.


___________________
quote:
Originally said by Adolf Fleisch Hitler
How naive can people be? Curing the COR with messy hair and philosophy?

quote:
Originally said by Maurice Moss
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:02 
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Lira
Put on robe & wizard hat!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil Formerly known as: Maaz

quote:
Originally posted by Vector A
This guy learned eight without ever leaving Italy:



He has since added Mandarin I think...

Nice. I could speak quite a few languages back in the day (and although I'm still ashamed of my pronunciation in English, I'd say it's quite good for someone who's spent just 3 days in London during his life ). Then I decided to study philosophy/linguistics and neglected them for a while, gotta pick them up again now that I've finally become a linguist

I'm (re)learning German (which is currently awful, as Meat can tell) and I'm getting started with Chinese and Vietnamese.

Vietnamese gave me some headache in the beginning. Bloody tones


___________________
quote:
Originally said by Adolf Fleisch Hitler
How naive can people be? Curing the COR with messy hair and philosophy?

quote:
Originally said by Maurice Moss
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:05 
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.

Never tried to learn it myself, but just saying. The U.S. government institute that trains diplomats puts Japanese in the hardest category for native English speakers, along with Mandarin, Korean, and Arabic, requiring more than twice as much training as the non-Slavic Indo-European languages.

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:15  United States
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Joss Weatherby
kinda retired...



Registered: May 2008
Location: the boneyard

Conversational Japanese is not that hard to pick up with a little bit of training. I took four years of Japanese in HS, but only payed attention for two years really and then I didn't really do anything with Japanese for 7 years before I went to Japan. I was only there for 10 days but by the end I could understand basic conversations, enough to know what was going on. I could format basic replies, but anything that had to go into descriptive speech was not really that possible.

Writing is a whole other ball game. Hiragana and Katakana are easy, but the list of kanji needed to be very proficient is pretty long...

Speaking of Japanese, my brother just found out he passed the level 2 proficiency exam.

Btw the only thing I remember being really hard regarding verb tenses was the combination of tenses between formal and normal Japanese... And unlike a lot of languages its very much required to learn both the formal and normal ways of speaking.


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seriously, fuck off.

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:25 
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Lira
Put on robe & wizard hat!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil Formerly known as: Maaz

quote:
Originally posted by Joss Weatherby
Speaking of Japanese, my brother just found out he passed the level 2 proficiency exam.

Tell him I said Omedetou!


___________________
quote:
Originally said by Adolf Fleisch Hitler
How naive can people be? Curing the COR with messy hair and philosophy?

quote:
Originally said by Maurice Moss
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:31 
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Vector A
Supreme tranceaddict



Registered: Apr 2011
Location: U.S.

I think wussy Indo-European languages will be more than enough of a challenge. No Japanese or Arabic for me.

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:35  United States
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Lira
Put on robe & wizard hat!



Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Brasilia, Brazil Formerly known as: Maaz

quote:
Originally posted by Vector A
I think wussy Indo-European languages will be more than enough of a challenge. No Japanese or Arabic for me.

Weren't you going to study French?


___________________
quote:
Originally said by Adolf Fleisch Hitler
How naive can people be? Curing the COR with messy hair and philosophy?

quote:
Originally said by Maurice Moss
I came here to kick ass and drink milk... and I've just finished my milk

Old Post Feb-26-2012 04:38 
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