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Learning languages

Krizalid

Active member
Feb 9, 2012
118
Are you guys learning any new languages?

I did a small course in japanese and now I'm trying to learn a bit by myself. :D
 

ZaidAlyafey

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 17, 2013
1,667
Are you guys learning any new languages?
Yeah , I am. I am learning the Assembly language.

At least this is what a computer scientist understands when asked this question.

I must be kidding , ain't I .
 

Krizalid

Active member
Feb 9, 2012
118
For one second, I almost got you serious, haha.
 

ZaidAlyafey

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 17, 2013
1,667
For one second, I almost got you serious, haha.
Haha, it is really interesting to learn new "human" languages but I need a strong reason to learn it. Actually, it doesn't become interesting if you find nobody to practice the language with.
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,197
Yep, I'm learning Latin. Fascinating language with tons of important literature (the main attraction for me), including Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Ovid, Augustine, Bede, and Aquinas. That's far from an exhaustive list, but there's already plenty there to entice. It's also very fun to see the mathematical/scientific connection. Just look at something as simple as the "percent", which comes from the Latin "per centum", translated "over one hundred". I think that for some students, knowing this could help them remember what a percent is.

I wish you well with your Japanese.
 

Krizalid

Active member
Feb 9, 2012
118
Thank you! You're learning a beautiful language!
 

mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
I learned 3 or 4 words of Sanskrit once, and I forgot at least 5 of them.
 

ModusPonens

Well-known member
Jun 26, 2012
45

mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
At least do you know pali?
No (Tongueout)

PS : I can access it with google chrome, so everything's all right. I will see what I can do when I have time.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
I spent a while trying to learn Russian with moderate success, but I came to realize that "learning a language" is a never-ending process and different people are satisfied with different levels of proficiency. I know we have quite a few bilingual and multi-lingual members on MHB, which is something I really respect and sometimes envy.

I'm curious what others think is the better situation - knowing a few languages at a conversational level or knowing 1-2 natively or very fluently?

Assuming it's not required to know 3+ languages for daily life then I would prefer knowing 1-2 very well. When I lived in Moscow I had many friends who didn't speak English and often I found myself wishing I could express myself in a more nuanced way. It's a frustrating feeling when you can't convey the ideas you want to but there wasn't any pressure to speak better for work or anything. It was just for my own knowledge. Going back to the topic of the thread, I think that learning a new language for fun is very different than out of necessity.

Anyway, if I had to choose a new language to learn I would probably look into Chinese or Spanish, since they are spoken by a many, many people. Apparently Chinese is really difficult for English speakers though.

As for programming languages, again, I dabble in a few for the site but am not fluent in any of them so it's frustrating. I would like to learn PHP or another language that will be used online for a long time. For school I use SAS every day and am getting decently proficient with it. It's supposedly the best way to process big data so is very useful in many jobs.
 

anemone

MHB POTW Director
Staff member
Feb 14, 2012
3,753
I wish to be someone who knows a few languages at a conversational level. When you can speak well in languages other than your mother tongue, I see that people will look up to you, and it is truly flattering to have people's attention when you can speak, for example Japanese with the people of Japan.:D

I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese (the dialect of Chinese spoken in Canton and neighboring provinces and in Hong Kong and elsewhere outside China where people of Chinese descent reside, such as in Malaysia), Hakka (a variety of Chinese spoken in southeastern China, parts of Taiwan and in the New Territories of Hong Kong, and parts of Malaysia and Singapore), Fukien (Hokkien originated from a dialect in southern Fujian, China), Malay and English.

I learned Cantonese by watching sitcoms produced in Hong Kong, and my family speaks Hakka and Mandarin Chinese, so I learned both when I was a child.

I learned the Hokkien language while I was with my ex-boyfriend, since his family spoke Hokkien exclusively and it would have been very awkward for me if I couldn't understand their language, (also, I didn't want to be left wondering whether they were saying something negative about me right in front of me!:D) and I picked up Hokkien pretty quickly due to the fact that we lived together under one roof and when you are put in a situation where the rest of the community speaks a certain language that you know absolutely nothing about, it is then not a hyperbole to say the chances of picking it up quickly are extremely favorable.:D

While many of us here in Malaysia wonder why we must learn the Malay language (it is our national language, and hence it is a compulsory subject that we must study in school), I find if one can speak Malay, it gives one an advantage because if we want to discuss something when we go vacationing, such as to find out whether the things we are interested in buying are overpriced, we can do so without scruple if we speak Malay to one another. English or Mandarin Chinese are way too common to be used as our secret language especially when we wanted to discuss something among ourselves in public, LOL!

I think Mandarin Chinese is the easiest language to learn among all other languages in the world, and the primary reason for this is because there are no verb tenses in my mother tongue! Hurray!

And something a little off-topic is that I hope some day the coin would flip and everyone else has to converse in Mandarin Chinese, rather than English, hehehe...
 

mathbalarka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 22, 2013
573
anemone said:
I hope some day the coin would flip and everyone else has to converse in Mandarin Chinese, rather than English
There is a positive probability that the coin would not flip but stand on the edge. So I have a theory of mine that someday people will do nothing but math, and all the so called "languages" would evaporate (except nudge-nudge-wink-wink txtspk).

Now let's get serious a bit. I know Bengali (my native tongue) and English (It kinda became my native tongue. Oops, did I tell tongue? Should have been fingertip)

So, yes, I am kinda bilingual. I also know a bit (and that's just bit) french and to some extent Hindi (this is nothing to brag about) and Urdu. As I have said before, I forgot most of what I learned in Sanskrit. I look forward to forget every language I know in the future and do only math.

Now, when it comes to programming, I know C a bit. But mostly I program in GP-PARI.

...and that's all folks!
 

shamieh

Active member
Sep 13, 2013
539
I know Hebrew & Arabic...Trying to learn Hebrew better though. For any of you all trying to learn how to read and write in languages I suggest the Pimsleur Approach, it's great for learning new languages. Just make sure to read the fine print before you purchase their products.
 
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