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Poll: Foreign Languages

Poll #1303990 Foreign Language Poll

What is your strongest spoken language, besides English?

Chinese
4(14.3%)
Hindi
0(0.0%)
Spanish
6(21.4%)
Arabic
0(0.0%)
Portugese
0(0.0%)
Russian
1(3.6%)
Japanese
0(0.0%)
German
2(7.1%)
French
7(25.0%)
Italian
0(0.0%)
Swahili
0(0.0%)
Other Slavic language (Polish, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, etc.)
4(14.3%)
Other Indo-European language (Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other Asian language (Wu, Javanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Telugu, Tamil, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other
4(14.3%)

Which of the following, besides English, do you speak?

Chinese
1(3.7%)
Hindi
0(0.0%)
Spanish
2(7.4%)
Arabic
0(0.0%)
Portugese
0(0.0%)
Russian
0(0.0%)
Japanese
0(0.0%)
German
0(0.0%)
French
1(3.7%)
Italian
0(0.0%)
Swahili
0(0.0%)
Other Slavic language (Polish, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other Indo-European language (Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other Asian language (Wu, Javanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Telugu, Tamil, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other
0(0.0%)

Which of the following, besides English, can you read and write?

Chinese
0(0.0%)
Hindi
0(0.0%)
Spanish
2(7.4%)
Arabic
0(0.0%)
Portugese
0(0.0%)
Russian
1(3.7%)
Japanese
0(0.0%)
German
1(3.7%)
French
2(7.4%)
Italian
0(0.0%)
Swahili
0(0.0%)
Other Slavic language (Polish, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other Indo-European language (Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other Asian language (Wu, Javanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Telugu, Tamil, etc.)
0(0.0%)
Other
2(7.4%)

Now, please comment and write something in a non-English language that you know.

OK!
20(100.0%)

Are you going to tell us what it means?

No.
15(62.5%)
Yes.
9(37.5%)


This was an incredibly difficult poll to write, as LJ only allows 15 slots per question. Eventually it became one of those "can't please everybody, might as well offend everybody" questions. I aim to (dis)please!


  • 1. The linguists: I started to go by "alphabetical ordering of 10 language likely respondents" and then realized that this was going to reveal nothing but my own biases. Then I went to Wikipedia's list of languages by number of native speakers, where the list is sorted by the size of the SIL ethnologue. Well, this was a little better, but I immediately saw that there would be a lot of overlap.

  • 2. Speakers of sub-Saharan African languages: Well, get in line, really. I jumped Swahili (5 million native speakers, 80 million speakers as a second language) over Bahasa Indonesia (17 million native speakers, 140 speakers as a second language) on the principle that there are many second language speakers abroad, in developed and developing countries with Internet service, and more of these on my LJ friends list. Let's see if I'm right.

  • 3. Speakers of many popular languages such as Persian (Farsi, Tajiki, Dari, etc.): There just aren't quite enough of you to outnumber those pesky romance languages!

  • 4. oskeladden: I decided to arbitrarily omit non-Hindi languages spoken in India: Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, etc. Why? Well, most of you who are naive speakers of those languages know English as a "second" language and a lot of you know Hindi, too, but I'm told you tend to be raised polylingual and learn English growing up. Tamil itself just squeaked by on the "other Asian" list. Now, for all I know, the number of native Bengali speakers who speak neither Hindi nor English exceeds the number of native Italian speakers, but you know what they say about a foolish consistency. I prefer a foolish diversity!

  • 5. tamf: BwahaBoo, Nordic languages didn't even make the cut. About 20 million native speakers all put together, it looks like, modulo overlap.

  • 6. mrowe: tamf can't complain, really, as there are that many Dutch speakers alone.

  • 7. borgseawolf and triestine: Actually, you should be flattered that your mother tongue is named here, especially triestine! Ukranian is between Polish and Serbo-Croatian in popularity, though I don't know any Ukranians who speak their native language and not Russian. (How many such people are there?) Romanian, the next living PIE language not spoken in India, isn't even close to the "cut" (about 80 million speakers).

  • 8. ETA, 09:15 CST Tue 25 Nov 2008 - Yay, Jews! Hebrew speakers, rather. I wonder how many non-Jews (technically speaking) learn Hebrew as a first language. Thanks to casecob for the reminder.



Is there no one else I've offended? Is there no one else?!

--
Banazir

Comments

( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
borgseawolf
Nov. 25th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
That's confusing, in which source is Romanian spoken by more than Serbo-croatian? That wiki table has 26 Romanian over 21 S-Cro...

I don't think there are any Ukrainians who don't understand either Russian or Polish, but majority of Western Ukrainians will prefer to speak Ukrainian rather than Russian.
banazir
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Romanian vs. Serbo-Croatian
Sorry, that was probably not clear: I mean that Romanian got absorbed into Indo-European as a "Slavic-influenced member of the IE family".
Otherwise, Slavic would have taken precedence, which would have ranked it relatively high enough to be listed between Polish and S-C. Among IE languages, it's waaaaay down the list, after a dozen other (mostly Indian) languages.

--
Banazir
flemco
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
Xif sha robt!
casecob
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
flemco
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'd wager it's because we all now know it's not a real language. It's a made-up tongue, like Klingon.
all kidding aside... - casecob - Nov. 25th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
thlIngan Hol - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: thlIngan Hol - borgseawolf - Nov. 25th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Hebrew - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Hebrew - casecob - Nov. 25th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Grad program in bioinformatics at K-State? - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
dorukai
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Wo zhu zai Norway. Heh.

No Latin? :)

And, I'm learning Norwegian.
(Deleted comment)
borgseawolf
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
Is anyone outside former Yugoland actually able to differentiate between serbian, croat and bosniac?



Edited at 2008-11-25 03:36 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - borgseawolf - Nov. 25th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - borgseawolf - Nov. 25th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Well, apparently Google - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Not really (Re: Well, apparently Google) - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Re: OH GOD - banazir - Nov. 26th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Re: Argh, I'm really spamming this post - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
The More You Know... - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
You can read, and are not crazy - banazir - Nov. 25th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Last question - banazir - Nov. 26th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
disastrouscode
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
oops...i managed to miss "Japanese" for both questions...
banazir
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
You can edit poll answers
Have you tried going in and changing your responses?

--
Banazir
butterflykiki
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Necessito un abogado, por favor. (I need a lawyer, please).

I had 5 years of Spanish in high school a long time ago, but I live in a part of the country where it gets used as a second language fairly often, so while I am by no means fluent, I can still at least read it and ask for directions that I would understand in it.
la_petite_singe
Nov. 25th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
J'ai etudié français pour...huit années, je crois, et je suis allé à Paris quand j'étais dix-huit ans. (J'ai gagné le prix français avec ma meilleure amie à la fin de l'année.) ;) J'ai appris l'espagnol en le semestre printemps de cette année, mais j'ai peur que j'oublie beaucoup. Je veux apprendre plus d'espagnol et italien et allemand; mon petit ami apprend l'italien et la LSA (langue de signe américaine) cette année et il m'apprend un peu. ;) Ma meilleure amie etudie français a l'université, et je l'etudierai encore l'année prochaine, je crois, et je suis heureuse car elle me manque.
saltdawg
Nov. 25th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Swahili is incredably easy to pick up. I'm not fluent by any means, and in Africa folks usually prefer to speak English with me, but I can get by pretty well. And I always think that I've lost all my Czech, until I am there again and it all comes flooding back.
prezzey
Nov. 25th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
ööö hát igazából fogalmam sincs, hogy mit írjak. Hol vannak a finnugor nyelvek? >:]

(ummm I honestly have no idea what to write. Where are the Finno-Ugric languages?)

oh and everyone's favorite character set testing phrase: árvíztűrő tükörfúrógép ÁRVÍZTŰRŐ TÜKÖRFÚRÓGÉP!! ;p
mrowe
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Does this mean the Dutch can join the Nordic conspiracy?
banazir
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
Dutch-Nordic cONsPIrAcY
Well, yes, as you're both being repressed by the eViol Chonese and Tamils, but... you have to join forces so that you outnumber the Poles.

--
Banazir
chaosinaskirt
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Estudié español por seis años en la escuela secundaria. Una amiga de mi mamá es mexicana y le hablo con ella pero no la veo frecuentemente. It's been more than a decade since I studied Spanish regularly, so I'm really starting to forget it. Hilariously, I've remembered SO much in the last few months (which I'll say why in a bit)...

Mais j'habitai en France pour un semestere. I went there to learn French and was more or less successful - to the point that when I left, I could converse with my peers with minimal ackwardness, but my vocabulary was still fairly limited, so sometimes I would have to describe words rather than say them if my dictionary wasn't around (and it often wasn't). But, aside from reading Le Monde and the (French) Harry Potter I brought back, I have not kept up with my French, and like so many other skills: use it or lose it. I have lost it.

Meu namorado é brasileiro e aprendo português. But I think it is harder than Spanish or French, because there are many more grammatical rule exceptions than either language, some weird cognates (such as Spanish mas=more, Portuguese mas=but; French mais=but, Portuguese mais=more), and many more phenoms that English and Spanish (and even French) do not have (mostly nasal vowel sounds). But it's been interesting how much Spanish influences me with Portuguese - I've still got more a Spanish sense of pronunciation, and even when there are cognates (such as ser, estar, or comer), they are conjugated differently and usually pronounced differently (sometimes subtlely so, sometimes not). And when I'm studying it, Spanish will come flooding back. Anyway, my Portuguese is fairly limited because I'm not studying it in a formal setting and don't have much time TO study it, but that will change as this summer, he's going home and I'm going with, to take a Portuguese course in his hometown through the university :)
ibneko
Nov. 25th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
私の日本語はひどい。。。

我的中文也很爛。 :( Blargh, had to look up that last word.

Edited at 2008-11-25 07:23 pm (UTC)
bojojoti
Nov. 25th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Offay opictay, utbay ouyay oticenay astlay ightnay's Eroeshay asway etsay inay Awrencelay, Ansaskay?
banazir
Nov. 25th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Awrencelay, Ansaskay
Hello.txt (to Hello.txt, Twitter, identi.ca, and Facebook):
William says "Bha, Lawrence". ;-).via Twitter - 8:25pm
- Comment


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Showdown

--
Banazir
nakki
Nov. 25th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
E 'ke kamipulu, pehea la kou 'ano kauka 'ana mai? Hab SoSlI' Quch, haole!

Yeah, Hawaiian and Klingon. I was raised speaking Hawaiian, but since I left Hawaii at 12 I've lost a lot of the vocabulary and now I know about as much vocab in Hawaiian as Klingon. I also spoke german, 'cause my mother's parents only spoke German, but since they died two years ago I haven't spoken it much. I've kept alot of the vocab for it (since it's similar to english) but lost all the grammar :P And I never have the proper conjugation of verbs.
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