Tag Archives: multilingual

Authors Answer 90 – Writing in Another Language

All of us are fluent in English. Most, if not all, of us have studied a language to varying degrees in school. But have any of us achieved enough ability in those languages to actually write books in them? Before you read on, take a guess. How many, out of ten people, can write in a language other than English? Let’s see if your guess is correct.  This week’s question was asked by Loren Killdeer.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 90 – Do you write outside of your original language?

Eric Wood

Seeing as I only know English and minuscule pieces of French, my original language is all I write in. Perhaps one day my stories will be translated into hundreds of languages?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can only write in English. I don’t know nearly enough of another language to make the attempt.

Jean Davis

I have days where it’s difficult to write in my own language, so no.

D. T. Nova

No. If I ever publish in multiple languages I will need a translator.

Paul B. Spence

No. Rhyrhan is such a literal language, and difficult to spell with our alphabet…

S. R. Carrillo

How I wish I could~ I’ve been trying to spruce up my Spanish lately, and I’ve even attempted to read a book in Spanish, but I’m far from fluent. Maybe, one day, I’d like to be able to write a book in Spanish, I think. I may make that a life goal mwahah.

H. Anthe Davis

Alas, I’ve never been fluent enough in another language to try to write in it.  I’ve created fantasy languages, and I’ve dreamed in Spanish and Japanese while I was learning them, but I don’t know them well anymore.

Gregory S. Close

No, unless you count the fictional ones!  I do dabble in Aulden, Underkin and Ancient Andu’ai.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Nope! While I did take several years of French classes throughout my education, I don’t know nearly enough actually write in French, and I only know little snips and random phrases from other languages. It’s English-only for me!

Jay Dee Archer

I’m a language enthusiast. I’ve studied French for eight years and lived in Japan for eleven years. However, I have not achieved a high enough proficiency in either language to be able to write in those languages. Even if I were conversational in either language, my vocabulary wouldn’t be enough to write well. It would also take an incredibly long and frustrating time for me to write in another language, unless I were fully fluent. So no, I only write in English. I would love to write in another language, though.

How about you?

Are you bilingual or multilingual? Are you able to write in more than one language well? Let us know in the comments below.

Focusing on Esperanto

Flag_of_Esperanto.svgI read something today that had me pretty convinced to work on learning Esperanto. But why Esperanto? Some people might say it’s not a real language. However, it is a real language that was originally created to become an international language that could bridge the gap between countries.

Esperanto is a very easy language to learn. You can become proficient in it in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn other languages. It’s easy to understand after only a few hours of study. It’s great for people who are fluent in Germanic and Romance languages, since it draws from those two language groups the most.

The thing that had me convinced is that it actually helps people learn other languages faster. While Esperanto may not be the most practical language to learn, it helps you with many fundamentals of European languages, and it makes it easier to learn them. So, why not take the time to learn Esperanto and cut the time to learn other languages?

I’m going to go for it. While I’m studying French and Spanish, I’m going to also work on Esperanto. This should be fun!

Anyone interested in studying Esperanto?

Duolingo Language Test Drive to Begin

I’ve finally decided to get that language test drive started. I’m going to start off with a couple languages I’ve already taken a look at, then move on from those.

First up is Irish. I can already say that the grammar is different than English. Second will be Esperanto. It’s an easy language, but it isn’t spoken by any particular country. Following them, I’ll work my way through the available languages and post my impressions after I’ve done five language lessons. Ukrainian and Russian have alphabet (Cyrillic) lessons, which I’ll go through first, then do five language lessons.

This is the order I’m going to do them in:

  1. Irish
  2. Esperanto
  3. Norwegian
  4. Italian
  5. Dutch
  6. Portuguese
  7. Swedish
  8. Danish
  9. Turkish
  10. Ukrainian
  11. Russian

Ukrainian has the better Cyrillic lessons than Russian, so I’ll do that first. Turkish is supposed to be quite difficult, so I’ll leave it until later, as well.

There are other languages that will be available soon, including Polish. Once I get far enough along with Spanish, I can try Catalan from Spanish.

Which ones are you looking forward to hearing about?

Test Driving Languages

Studying languages has been an interest of mine for quite some time, but I hadn’t really focused on learning more than just French and Japanese.  Now, I’m studying Spanish and German in addition. But that’s not all I want to study. I’ve decided which languages I’ll do after these, but I’m going to do something a little different at first. I’m going to test drive some languages.

On Duolingo, there are 25 levels for each language. It’s basically like a game. The more XP you get, the higher your level. I’m currently at level 8 for French, 5 for Spanish, and 4 for German.  I’m going to do each language available on Duolingo up to level 2, just to try them out and see what they’re like. After achieving level 2 (which is only 50 XP or 5 lessons), I’ll write a post with my impressions of the language. It should be interesting.

As for French, I’ve studied it before, so I can’t give a first impression. I do have to say that I’d forgotten a lot of it, but it seem somewhat easy to pick up again. The difficulty for me is verb conjugation for some verbs, as well as pronouns.

Spanish is the first new language I’ve studied since I started Japanese in 1997. I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be the easiest Romance language to study. So far, I haven’t had many problems. Just the same issues as with French: verb conjugation and pronouns. I also don’t study it enough to really remember things well. I’ve been focusing a lot more on French.

German is the third language I started. I’m not really focusing on this yet, but I’ve found it interesting. It’s kind of similar to English, since it is a Germanic language, so some things are easy. However, I’m having issues with the verb conjugations and pronouns. The noun capitalisation has been easy, though.

So, I will be trying out the following languages (in no particular order): Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, and Russian. Coming soon are Polish, Hungarian, Vietnamese, and Hindi. I could also study Catalan from Spanish.

Which do you think would be the most difficult language?

Survey: Which Languages Do You Want to Learn?

As you probably know, I’m studying some languages on Duolingo at the moment: French, Spanish, and German. If it had Japanese, I’d definitely be going through that course, too. Eventually, I’d like to study every language that’s on Duolingo.

But I’d like to do a quick survey. If you could choose any three languages to study, which would you like to study? Please select three languages when you vote. These are the currently available languages on Duolingo for English speakers.

Thanks for voting! Please leave a comment below explaining your choices.

My Roadmap to Learning Languages

Having started studying various languages at Duolingo, I have to make sure I don’t get myself in over my head. I need to pace myself and limit the number of languages I learn at one time. Duolingo isn’t the only thing I’m going to use, of course, but it’s one of the best ways to learn core vocabulary and grammar for free and efficiently. What it doesn’t help with is speaking and listening. Those can be learned in other ways.

At the moment, I’m working on French, Spanish, and German, and I’ve taken a look at Irish. French is what I’m focusing on, as it’s mostly a refresher. Since it isn’t new material to me, I’m tackling another Romance language at the same time, Spanish. I’ve heard Spanish is easier than French to learn. And then there’s German, which is my third main language to learn, but I’m not working on it as much as the others.

So, for now, I will concentrate on French and Spanish. As I finish the language tree for French, I will then change my focus to Spanish and German. Spanish should finish soon after French, so I’ll then switch to German and Irish. But what do I do next?

I’m thinking that after German, I may work on either Italian or Norwegian. However, there is another language that’s starting up in the next few days, Russian. It’ll be released into Beta soon, and I’m intrigued by it.

So, why would I learn Russian? My grandfather was born in Russia, and some members of my family are trying to trace his roots and find as much information about his ancestry as possible. If I learn Russian, it may be useful if I ever try to communicate with anyone in Russia or even visit my grandfather’s hometown to do a little searching on my own. I’ve heard Russian is a difficult language, and it’ll be my first Slavic language to study. Up until that point, I will have worked on mainly Germanic, Romance, and Celtic languages, as well as Japanese. A Slavic language means learning a new alphabet. That should be interesting.

There is one other thing I may work on while I’m doing the other languages, and that’s Esperanto. While it’s not a widespread language that has a home country, it has been found that if you study Esperanto, it can be easier to study other European languages. I think I’ll give it a shot.

In the long-term, there are other languages I’ll work on, including Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Dutch. Those are all available on Duolingo now. In the future, I’d love to try Greek, Welsh, Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Finnish, and Mandarin Chinese.

Too ambitious? What do you think? Do you have any language ambitions?

Learning More Languages

Last week, I posted about duolingo, a website dedicated to studying language and doing translations. I said I was working on a few languages:

  • French (now up to level 5/25) – This is the main language I want to study, as I studied it for 8 years in school, and want to brush up on it before going back to Canada.
  • Spanish (now up to level 3/25) – This is a next logical step after French, considering how widespread the language is. And I heard it’s fairly easy to learn.
  • German – I’m part German, and I’d like to learn it.
  • Italian – I’d love to go to Italy, and this would be useful.
  • Norwegian – Not necessarily useful, but I’d like to learn it, as I am part Norwegian.
  • Irish – Not the most useful language these days, as there aren’t many speakers any more, but it would be wonderful to help expand the number of people who speak it. Also, I’m part Irish.

Well, I’ve since added two more:

  • Portuguese – Since it’s very closely related to Spanish, this should be quick and easy to learn.
  • Turkish – It’s different. It’s something I may never have to use, unless I visit Turkey, which I’d love to do.

In addition to these, I’m always trying to improve my Japanese, something I need to work harder on. And also, I still want more languages! Duolingo has some languages that aren’t quite ready for studying, but I would like to add Greek and Russian when they’re available.

Are you studying any languages? What can you speak? What do you want to study?