Learning new tricks

Armani_barbie1 From Loretta:

About a year ago, I blogged about the things one wants to do but never gets around to.  One of those things was reading The Expedition of Humphry Clinker.  As mentioned in a later blog, I did finally read it, with great delight. 

Venice Another thing I never got around to was learning Italian.  I am not sure what finally did it.  Watching Divorce, Italian Style?  Writing Your Scandalous Ways and immersing myself in Venice (even though Venetian & Italian are not the same language)?

Il_professoreWhatever the impetus, ten days ago my husband and I started Conversational Italian classes.  Thanks to our amazingly patient teacher–an actual Italian man who is actually from Italy–I can now greet people (Buon giorno, everybody!) and introduce myself (Mi chiamo Loretta) as well as identify the dog, the cat, the pen, the mother, the father, the blackboard, the professor, the dictionary, and some other things.

Bulldog (That's il cane to the left.)

Anyway, my vocabulary is growing by something less than leaps and bounds but it’s all interesting and enjoyable as well as incredibly hard, because I am two or three hundred years old, not five or six, which is the age at which one really ought to begin learning other languages.  We have one high school student in our class, and…OK, I want to shake her because it’s so much easier for her to learn.  It’s a good thing we haven’t any first graders in the class, to humiliate the lot of us.

Kidsclass However, the class also includes a veteran of WWII.  If he can learn, so can I.
He, however, agrees that the older you get, the harder it is to learn a new language.  And Italian ain’t easy to begin with.

ArticlesAs happens with so many other languages, we English speakers must wrestle with masculine and feminine nouns and the assorted articles one must attach to same.  English has one definite article, “the.”  It has two indefinite articles, “a” and “an.”  This is one way we make up for the completely demented way we spell and pronounce words.  Italian, which has a consistent way of spelling and pronouncing, has seven thousand articles.  Or so it seems to a beginner.

And we haven’t even got to conjugating verbs yet.

Commentarii_de_bello_gallicowk However, my husband and I both did learn Latin back a century or two ago, and while we have forgotten most of what we learned, we do recognize similarities and grasp certain foreign concepts.  Like the difference between the formal and informal or singular and plural second person.  In English, we lost this distinction a good while back.  In English, you are always “you” whether you are the president of the company or my sister, no matter how many of you there are.  Not so in other languages.  This, I ought to point out, includes the language Southern (my husband’s native tongue), in which the plural of you is formed thusly:  “you all.”  And contracted to “y’all.”

But I digress.
Why learn a new language at this time of my life?  It’s not as though I lack for ways to occupy my time.  Dante_detailwk In fact, my time is horrendously  over-occupied.
But as I told the teacher when he asked us why we were taking the class, learning Italian was simply something I’ve always wanted to do.  I did not tell him that I am an author, so he doesn't know that my latest book is set in Venice, or that discussions with my brilliant and hard-working consultant, Anna of the Isn’t it Romantic blog, gave me a new appreciation of the language and its subtleties.  Yet it’s likely that writing and researching Your Scandalous Ways as well as those discussions gave me the final push to do something that, frankly, is a little scary.

Yswfrontsm200dpi I have been writing for… erm…a really long time.  I’ve grown comfortable with the English language and developed a degree of skill in using it.  There’s a sense of accomplishment in having attained a degree of proficiency (though by no means perfection) in the language of my early 19thC English characters.  It’s gratifying to know something about a particular historical period in a particular place, to be able to recognize names and dates and have a picture in my head of a world that’s invisible to most other people.  It's easy to build on this foundation.  It's easy to visualize and place people and events every time I open a new book on some aspect of this subject.  With early 19th C England, with the English language, in short, I’m in my comfort zone.

Firenze Starting all over again, plunging into a new world and language with a much older brain, is humbling, to say the least.  And at the same time, it’s exhilarating.  Every word and concept I master feels like a great accomplishment.  That is not a feeling one has every day in one’s everyday life.  In fact, it's the closest I've come to the thrill I felt when I first learned to read.

Ducal_palaceguardi What about you?  Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn–if you could afford it or find the time or work up the courage?  Have you done it?  Do you think you will?  And if any of you have studied Italian–or any other language, for that matter–please feel free to share the experience.

170 thoughts on “Learning new tricks”

  1. I lived for three years in Naples, Loretta, and I didn’t learn much Italian there, either, as they speak “Napolitan'” rather than Italian there.
    You need a really handy phrasebook, like the French-English one that had sentences like “Help! Our postilion has been struck by lightning!” You just never know when that will come in handy….

    Reply
  2. I lived for three years in Naples, Loretta, and I didn’t learn much Italian there, either, as they speak “Napolitan'” rather than Italian there.
    You need a really handy phrasebook, like the French-English one that had sentences like “Help! Our postilion has been struck by lightning!” You just never know when that will come in handy….

    Reply
  3. I lived for three years in Naples, Loretta, and I didn’t learn much Italian there, either, as they speak “Napolitan'” rather than Italian there.
    You need a really handy phrasebook, like the French-English one that had sentences like “Help! Our postilion has been struck by lightning!” You just never know when that will come in handy….

    Reply
  4. I lived for three years in Naples, Loretta, and I didn’t learn much Italian there, either, as they speak “Napolitan'” rather than Italian there.
    You need a really handy phrasebook, like the French-English one that had sentences like “Help! Our postilion has been struck by lightning!” You just never know when that will come in handy….

    Reply
  5. I lived for three years in Naples, Loretta, and I didn’t learn much Italian there, either, as they speak “Napolitan'” rather than Italian there.
    You need a really handy phrasebook, like the French-English one that had sentences like “Help! Our postilion has been struck by lightning!” You just never know when that will come in handy….

    Reply
  6. Brava, Loretta! I took French and German in school in the Dark Ages, and can remember enough when I read something—but, alas, cannot speak either anymore with any degree of fluency. I’d love to take an art history class, but instead I just visit ARC and other online museum sites.

    Reply
  7. Brava, Loretta! I took French and German in school in the Dark Ages, and can remember enough when I read something—but, alas, cannot speak either anymore with any degree of fluency. I’d love to take an art history class, but instead I just visit ARC and other online museum sites.

    Reply
  8. Brava, Loretta! I took French and German in school in the Dark Ages, and can remember enough when I read something—but, alas, cannot speak either anymore with any degree of fluency. I’d love to take an art history class, but instead I just visit ARC and other online museum sites.

    Reply
  9. Brava, Loretta! I took French and German in school in the Dark Ages, and can remember enough when I read something—but, alas, cannot speak either anymore with any degree of fluency. I’d love to take an art history class, but instead I just visit ARC and other online museum sites.

    Reply
  10. Brava, Loretta! I took French and German in school in the Dark Ages, and can remember enough when I read something—but, alas, cannot speak either anymore with any degree of fluency. I’d love to take an art history class, but instead I just visit ARC and other online museum sites.

    Reply
  11. I took Spanish for 3 years in Junior High and in High School, back in the dark ages when the earth was still warm and the La Brea Tar Pit was just a mud puddle.
    Though it’s been 40 years since my school days, I can still read Spanish and I can do the pronounciations, but I can’t speak it beyond a few phrases. However, I’ve always wanted to take an evening class in Spanish to brush up on it.
    There are just a ton of things I’d like to learn: how to play the harmonica (I have a good harmonica and lesson tapes, but my cats go absolutely bonkers when I start blowing); how to play the steel drums; would love to learn how to do electrical wiring so I can update the wiring in the house and install extra outlets; tap dancing! I adore tap, and would love to learn how to do it (or even clogging), but the self-image of an overweight senior citizen with too much Jello jiggle trying to hoof it in a class of slender Tiffanys and waif-like Jennifers holds me back.
    Loretta, I think it’s so neat you are taking Italian lessons! When you learn a foreign language, you don’t just learn their language–you also absorb so much of their culture, too. That has to be a big help for a writer like you whose most recent book takes place in Italy.

    Reply
  12. I took Spanish for 3 years in Junior High and in High School, back in the dark ages when the earth was still warm and the La Brea Tar Pit was just a mud puddle.
    Though it’s been 40 years since my school days, I can still read Spanish and I can do the pronounciations, but I can’t speak it beyond a few phrases. However, I’ve always wanted to take an evening class in Spanish to brush up on it.
    There are just a ton of things I’d like to learn: how to play the harmonica (I have a good harmonica and lesson tapes, but my cats go absolutely bonkers when I start blowing); how to play the steel drums; would love to learn how to do electrical wiring so I can update the wiring in the house and install extra outlets; tap dancing! I adore tap, and would love to learn how to do it (or even clogging), but the self-image of an overweight senior citizen with too much Jello jiggle trying to hoof it in a class of slender Tiffanys and waif-like Jennifers holds me back.
    Loretta, I think it’s so neat you are taking Italian lessons! When you learn a foreign language, you don’t just learn their language–you also absorb so much of their culture, too. That has to be a big help for a writer like you whose most recent book takes place in Italy.

    Reply
  13. I took Spanish for 3 years in Junior High and in High School, back in the dark ages when the earth was still warm and the La Brea Tar Pit was just a mud puddle.
    Though it’s been 40 years since my school days, I can still read Spanish and I can do the pronounciations, but I can’t speak it beyond a few phrases. However, I’ve always wanted to take an evening class in Spanish to brush up on it.
    There are just a ton of things I’d like to learn: how to play the harmonica (I have a good harmonica and lesson tapes, but my cats go absolutely bonkers when I start blowing); how to play the steel drums; would love to learn how to do electrical wiring so I can update the wiring in the house and install extra outlets; tap dancing! I adore tap, and would love to learn how to do it (or even clogging), but the self-image of an overweight senior citizen with too much Jello jiggle trying to hoof it in a class of slender Tiffanys and waif-like Jennifers holds me back.
    Loretta, I think it’s so neat you are taking Italian lessons! When you learn a foreign language, you don’t just learn their language–you also absorb so much of their culture, too. That has to be a big help for a writer like you whose most recent book takes place in Italy.

    Reply
  14. I took Spanish for 3 years in Junior High and in High School, back in the dark ages when the earth was still warm and the La Brea Tar Pit was just a mud puddle.
    Though it’s been 40 years since my school days, I can still read Spanish and I can do the pronounciations, but I can’t speak it beyond a few phrases. However, I’ve always wanted to take an evening class in Spanish to brush up on it.
    There are just a ton of things I’d like to learn: how to play the harmonica (I have a good harmonica and lesson tapes, but my cats go absolutely bonkers when I start blowing); how to play the steel drums; would love to learn how to do electrical wiring so I can update the wiring in the house and install extra outlets; tap dancing! I adore tap, and would love to learn how to do it (or even clogging), but the self-image of an overweight senior citizen with too much Jello jiggle trying to hoof it in a class of slender Tiffanys and waif-like Jennifers holds me back.
    Loretta, I think it’s so neat you are taking Italian lessons! When you learn a foreign language, you don’t just learn their language–you also absorb so much of their culture, too. That has to be a big help for a writer like you whose most recent book takes place in Italy.

    Reply
  15. I took Spanish for 3 years in Junior High and in High School, back in the dark ages when the earth was still warm and the La Brea Tar Pit was just a mud puddle.
    Though it’s been 40 years since my school days, I can still read Spanish and I can do the pronounciations, but I can’t speak it beyond a few phrases. However, I’ve always wanted to take an evening class in Spanish to brush up on it.
    There are just a ton of things I’d like to learn: how to play the harmonica (I have a good harmonica and lesson tapes, but my cats go absolutely bonkers when I start blowing); how to play the steel drums; would love to learn how to do electrical wiring so I can update the wiring in the house and install extra outlets; tap dancing! I adore tap, and would love to learn how to do it (or even clogging), but the self-image of an overweight senior citizen with too much Jello jiggle trying to hoof it in a class of slender Tiffanys and waif-like Jennifers holds me back.
    Loretta, I think it’s so neat you are taking Italian lessons! When you learn a foreign language, you don’t just learn their language–you also absorb so much of their culture, too. That has to be a big help for a writer like you whose most recent book takes place in Italy.

    Reply
  16. I’m at the stage where I can’t store more than 5 sentences in any new foreign language so I pick them with care. Not counting French, which was a childhood acquisition. In Italian I have all the musical terms and “Dove Duomo” (“Where is the cathedral?”)

    Reply
  17. I’m at the stage where I can’t store more than 5 sentences in any new foreign language so I pick them with care. Not counting French, which was a childhood acquisition. In Italian I have all the musical terms and “Dove Duomo” (“Where is the cathedral?”)

    Reply
  18. I’m at the stage where I can’t store more than 5 sentences in any new foreign language so I pick them with care. Not counting French, which was a childhood acquisition. In Italian I have all the musical terms and “Dove Duomo” (“Where is the cathedral?”)

    Reply
  19. I’m at the stage where I can’t store more than 5 sentences in any new foreign language so I pick them with care. Not counting French, which was a childhood acquisition. In Italian I have all the musical terms and “Dove Duomo” (“Where is the cathedral?”)

    Reply
  20. I’m at the stage where I can’t store more than 5 sentences in any new foreign language so I pick them with care. Not counting French, which was a childhood acquisition. In Italian I have all the musical terms and “Dove Duomo” (“Where is the cathedral?”)

    Reply
  21. Wow, Loretta. I’m in awe. I took 8 years of French and it’s ALL gone. Well, mostly gone. I can feel it flapping around in the back of my had like a mad bat when watching French films or visiting French-speaking parts of the world, but for the life of me I can’t seem to dredge much of it up. *sigh*
    I’ve been thinking about trying the Rosetta Stone program. Starting with French, and then maybe going on to German and Japanese (I took two years and can translate kanji and kana, but I’m limited in my speech to Hello, Thank-you, and How are you?

    Reply
  22. Wow, Loretta. I’m in awe. I took 8 years of French and it’s ALL gone. Well, mostly gone. I can feel it flapping around in the back of my had like a mad bat when watching French films or visiting French-speaking parts of the world, but for the life of me I can’t seem to dredge much of it up. *sigh*
    I’ve been thinking about trying the Rosetta Stone program. Starting with French, and then maybe going on to German and Japanese (I took two years and can translate kanji and kana, but I’m limited in my speech to Hello, Thank-you, and How are you?

    Reply
  23. Wow, Loretta. I’m in awe. I took 8 years of French and it’s ALL gone. Well, mostly gone. I can feel it flapping around in the back of my had like a mad bat when watching French films or visiting French-speaking parts of the world, but for the life of me I can’t seem to dredge much of it up. *sigh*
    I’ve been thinking about trying the Rosetta Stone program. Starting with French, and then maybe going on to German and Japanese (I took two years and can translate kanji and kana, but I’m limited in my speech to Hello, Thank-you, and How are you?

    Reply
  24. Wow, Loretta. I’m in awe. I took 8 years of French and it’s ALL gone. Well, mostly gone. I can feel it flapping around in the back of my had like a mad bat when watching French films or visiting French-speaking parts of the world, but for the life of me I can’t seem to dredge much of it up. *sigh*
    I’ve been thinking about trying the Rosetta Stone program. Starting with French, and then maybe going on to German and Japanese (I took two years and can translate kanji and kana, but I’m limited in my speech to Hello, Thank-you, and How are you?

    Reply
  25. Wow, Loretta. I’m in awe. I took 8 years of French and it’s ALL gone. Well, mostly gone. I can feel it flapping around in the back of my had like a mad bat when watching French films or visiting French-speaking parts of the world, but for the life of me I can’t seem to dredge much of it up. *sigh*
    I’ve been thinking about trying the Rosetta Stone program. Starting with French, and then maybe going on to German and Japanese (I took two years and can translate kanji and kana, but I’m limited in my speech to Hello, Thank-you, and How are you?

    Reply
  26. Brava, Loretta. And ole to me, because I am “studying” Spanish every day on my way to work, listening to the Pimsleur CD’s in my car. I’ve always dreamed of being fluent in many other languages; now that I’m older, I’ll settle for one. The Pimsleur method is based on some kind of scientific stuff about how you retain more if your memory is refreshed at certain intervals, and I must say, it seems to be working. I think I’ve learned more Spanish from the 13 disks I’ve gotten through to date than I did in my two years of high school Spanish classes.
    I’ve also always dreamed of being able to tap dance, ice skate, and yodel. Probably going to have to let the first two go, but I’ve got a CD for the yodeling, too!

    Reply
  27. Brava, Loretta. And ole to me, because I am “studying” Spanish every day on my way to work, listening to the Pimsleur CD’s in my car. I’ve always dreamed of being fluent in many other languages; now that I’m older, I’ll settle for one. The Pimsleur method is based on some kind of scientific stuff about how you retain more if your memory is refreshed at certain intervals, and I must say, it seems to be working. I think I’ve learned more Spanish from the 13 disks I’ve gotten through to date than I did in my two years of high school Spanish classes.
    I’ve also always dreamed of being able to tap dance, ice skate, and yodel. Probably going to have to let the first two go, but I’ve got a CD for the yodeling, too!

    Reply
  28. Brava, Loretta. And ole to me, because I am “studying” Spanish every day on my way to work, listening to the Pimsleur CD’s in my car. I’ve always dreamed of being fluent in many other languages; now that I’m older, I’ll settle for one. The Pimsleur method is based on some kind of scientific stuff about how you retain more if your memory is refreshed at certain intervals, and I must say, it seems to be working. I think I’ve learned more Spanish from the 13 disks I’ve gotten through to date than I did in my two years of high school Spanish classes.
    I’ve also always dreamed of being able to tap dance, ice skate, and yodel. Probably going to have to let the first two go, but I’ve got a CD for the yodeling, too!

    Reply
  29. Brava, Loretta. And ole to me, because I am “studying” Spanish every day on my way to work, listening to the Pimsleur CD’s in my car. I’ve always dreamed of being fluent in many other languages; now that I’m older, I’ll settle for one. The Pimsleur method is based on some kind of scientific stuff about how you retain more if your memory is refreshed at certain intervals, and I must say, it seems to be working. I think I’ve learned more Spanish from the 13 disks I’ve gotten through to date than I did in my two years of high school Spanish classes.
    I’ve also always dreamed of being able to tap dance, ice skate, and yodel. Probably going to have to let the first two go, but I’ve got a CD for the yodeling, too!

    Reply
  30. Brava, Loretta. And ole to me, because I am “studying” Spanish every day on my way to work, listening to the Pimsleur CD’s in my car. I’ve always dreamed of being fluent in many other languages; now that I’m older, I’ll settle for one. The Pimsleur method is based on some kind of scientific stuff about how you retain more if your memory is refreshed at certain intervals, and I must say, it seems to be working. I think I’ve learned more Spanish from the 13 disks I’ve gotten through to date than I did in my two years of high school Spanish classes.
    I’ve also always dreamed of being able to tap dance, ice skate, and yodel. Probably going to have to let the first two go, but I’ve got a CD for the yodeling, too!

    Reply
  31. I was taught a little bit of Spanish in elementary school, took French for 3 years in high school, and took 1 year of Italian in college, but all of that was MANY years ago. Thus, I can handle most pronunciation and a few words here and there (I can usually translate for myself the French phrases found in a romance novel, for example) but for the most part it’s gone. So when I was preparing for a trip to Italy last fall I decided to study the language so as not to appear a totally “ugly” American. I wasn’t as brave as you and simply got a Learn Italian in your Car set of tapes that taught phrases appropriate for various situations, as well as some basics. I also tried the Rosetta Stone system, but was not pleased with the way it was working and didn’t feel I was learning anything useful for what I wanted. (Then again, it may have been my learning style or just me, who knows.) I did learn enough from the tapes, however, to get me through, even in a situation in a small town where (unlike many of the people at hotels, restaurants and stores) the people at the restaurant we ate at spoke only Italian. I found was that my background in French helped with the problems with the articles you spoke of and even some of the words were similar as they came from similar roots. That was difficult enough, though, that I can’t even imagine trying to learn something totally different like Japanese.

    Reply
  32. I was taught a little bit of Spanish in elementary school, took French for 3 years in high school, and took 1 year of Italian in college, but all of that was MANY years ago. Thus, I can handle most pronunciation and a few words here and there (I can usually translate for myself the French phrases found in a romance novel, for example) but for the most part it’s gone. So when I was preparing for a trip to Italy last fall I decided to study the language so as not to appear a totally “ugly” American. I wasn’t as brave as you and simply got a Learn Italian in your Car set of tapes that taught phrases appropriate for various situations, as well as some basics. I also tried the Rosetta Stone system, but was not pleased with the way it was working and didn’t feel I was learning anything useful for what I wanted. (Then again, it may have been my learning style or just me, who knows.) I did learn enough from the tapes, however, to get me through, even in a situation in a small town where (unlike many of the people at hotels, restaurants and stores) the people at the restaurant we ate at spoke only Italian. I found was that my background in French helped with the problems with the articles you spoke of and even some of the words were similar as they came from similar roots. That was difficult enough, though, that I can’t even imagine trying to learn something totally different like Japanese.

    Reply
  33. I was taught a little bit of Spanish in elementary school, took French for 3 years in high school, and took 1 year of Italian in college, but all of that was MANY years ago. Thus, I can handle most pronunciation and a few words here and there (I can usually translate for myself the French phrases found in a romance novel, for example) but for the most part it’s gone. So when I was preparing for a trip to Italy last fall I decided to study the language so as not to appear a totally “ugly” American. I wasn’t as brave as you and simply got a Learn Italian in your Car set of tapes that taught phrases appropriate for various situations, as well as some basics. I also tried the Rosetta Stone system, but was not pleased with the way it was working and didn’t feel I was learning anything useful for what I wanted. (Then again, it may have been my learning style or just me, who knows.) I did learn enough from the tapes, however, to get me through, even in a situation in a small town where (unlike many of the people at hotels, restaurants and stores) the people at the restaurant we ate at spoke only Italian. I found was that my background in French helped with the problems with the articles you spoke of and even some of the words were similar as they came from similar roots. That was difficult enough, though, that I can’t even imagine trying to learn something totally different like Japanese.

    Reply
  34. I was taught a little bit of Spanish in elementary school, took French for 3 years in high school, and took 1 year of Italian in college, but all of that was MANY years ago. Thus, I can handle most pronunciation and a few words here and there (I can usually translate for myself the French phrases found in a romance novel, for example) but for the most part it’s gone. So when I was preparing for a trip to Italy last fall I decided to study the language so as not to appear a totally “ugly” American. I wasn’t as brave as you and simply got a Learn Italian in your Car set of tapes that taught phrases appropriate for various situations, as well as some basics. I also tried the Rosetta Stone system, but was not pleased with the way it was working and didn’t feel I was learning anything useful for what I wanted. (Then again, it may have been my learning style or just me, who knows.) I did learn enough from the tapes, however, to get me through, even in a situation in a small town where (unlike many of the people at hotels, restaurants and stores) the people at the restaurant we ate at spoke only Italian. I found was that my background in French helped with the problems with the articles you spoke of and even some of the words were similar as they came from similar roots. That was difficult enough, though, that I can’t even imagine trying to learn something totally different like Japanese.

    Reply
  35. I was taught a little bit of Spanish in elementary school, took French for 3 years in high school, and took 1 year of Italian in college, but all of that was MANY years ago. Thus, I can handle most pronunciation and a few words here and there (I can usually translate for myself the French phrases found in a romance novel, for example) but for the most part it’s gone. So when I was preparing for a trip to Italy last fall I decided to study the language so as not to appear a totally “ugly” American. I wasn’t as brave as you and simply got a Learn Italian in your Car set of tapes that taught phrases appropriate for various situations, as well as some basics. I also tried the Rosetta Stone system, but was not pleased with the way it was working and didn’t feel I was learning anything useful for what I wanted. (Then again, it may have been my learning style or just me, who knows.) I did learn enough from the tapes, however, to get me through, even in a situation in a small town where (unlike many of the people at hotels, restaurants and stores) the people at the restaurant we ate at spoke only Italian. I found was that my background in French helped with the problems with the articles you spoke of and even some of the words were similar as they came from similar roots. That was difficult enough, though, that I can’t even imagine trying to learn something totally different like Japanese.

    Reply
  36. I had two years of Spanish in high school and three semesters in college–and I’ve used the language to communicate with an actual Spanish-speaking person exactly once in my life. At one of my jobs years ago we needed to call someone in Mexico, and as the only person in my office who’d ever studied Spanish, I was drafted to make the call. In Spanish, I said where I was calling from and asked if there was anyone available who spoke English. The woman on the other end said, “Un momento, por favor,” and got an English speaker.
    And that was the fruit of 3 1/2 years of language study. Sigh.
    As for things I’d like to do, given world enough and time…I want to learn to play the violin, and I want to learn French. I’m starting to doubt the former will ever happen, but I’m more and more determined to tackle the latter. The more I research the Napoleonic Wars, the more I wish I could read French, mostly so I could have access to French sources, but also because of the annoying habit some English historians have of assuming anyone educated enough to read their books *must* naturally have studied French in school, and so they’ll include chunks of untranslated French in their text. If it’s only a line or two, I can usually make a stab at it between my rusty Spanish and comparing it to English words with French or Latin origins, but it’s still frustrating. So French is on my list as soon as my schedule opens up even a little bit.

    Reply
  37. I had two years of Spanish in high school and three semesters in college–and I’ve used the language to communicate with an actual Spanish-speaking person exactly once in my life. At one of my jobs years ago we needed to call someone in Mexico, and as the only person in my office who’d ever studied Spanish, I was drafted to make the call. In Spanish, I said where I was calling from and asked if there was anyone available who spoke English. The woman on the other end said, “Un momento, por favor,” and got an English speaker.
    And that was the fruit of 3 1/2 years of language study. Sigh.
    As for things I’d like to do, given world enough and time…I want to learn to play the violin, and I want to learn French. I’m starting to doubt the former will ever happen, but I’m more and more determined to tackle the latter. The more I research the Napoleonic Wars, the more I wish I could read French, mostly so I could have access to French sources, but also because of the annoying habit some English historians have of assuming anyone educated enough to read their books *must* naturally have studied French in school, and so they’ll include chunks of untranslated French in their text. If it’s only a line or two, I can usually make a stab at it between my rusty Spanish and comparing it to English words with French or Latin origins, but it’s still frustrating. So French is on my list as soon as my schedule opens up even a little bit.

    Reply
  38. I had two years of Spanish in high school and three semesters in college–and I’ve used the language to communicate with an actual Spanish-speaking person exactly once in my life. At one of my jobs years ago we needed to call someone in Mexico, and as the only person in my office who’d ever studied Spanish, I was drafted to make the call. In Spanish, I said where I was calling from and asked if there was anyone available who spoke English. The woman on the other end said, “Un momento, por favor,” and got an English speaker.
    And that was the fruit of 3 1/2 years of language study. Sigh.
    As for things I’d like to do, given world enough and time…I want to learn to play the violin, and I want to learn French. I’m starting to doubt the former will ever happen, but I’m more and more determined to tackle the latter. The more I research the Napoleonic Wars, the more I wish I could read French, mostly so I could have access to French sources, but also because of the annoying habit some English historians have of assuming anyone educated enough to read their books *must* naturally have studied French in school, and so they’ll include chunks of untranslated French in their text. If it’s only a line or two, I can usually make a stab at it between my rusty Spanish and comparing it to English words with French or Latin origins, but it’s still frustrating. So French is on my list as soon as my schedule opens up even a little bit.

    Reply
  39. I had two years of Spanish in high school and three semesters in college–and I’ve used the language to communicate with an actual Spanish-speaking person exactly once in my life. At one of my jobs years ago we needed to call someone in Mexico, and as the only person in my office who’d ever studied Spanish, I was drafted to make the call. In Spanish, I said where I was calling from and asked if there was anyone available who spoke English. The woman on the other end said, “Un momento, por favor,” and got an English speaker.
    And that was the fruit of 3 1/2 years of language study. Sigh.
    As for things I’d like to do, given world enough and time…I want to learn to play the violin, and I want to learn French. I’m starting to doubt the former will ever happen, but I’m more and more determined to tackle the latter. The more I research the Napoleonic Wars, the more I wish I could read French, mostly so I could have access to French sources, but also because of the annoying habit some English historians have of assuming anyone educated enough to read their books *must* naturally have studied French in school, and so they’ll include chunks of untranslated French in their text. If it’s only a line or two, I can usually make a stab at it between my rusty Spanish and comparing it to English words with French or Latin origins, but it’s still frustrating. So French is on my list as soon as my schedule opens up even a little bit.

    Reply
  40. I had two years of Spanish in high school and three semesters in college–and I’ve used the language to communicate with an actual Spanish-speaking person exactly once in my life. At one of my jobs years ago we needed to call someone in Mexico, and as the only person in my office who’d ever studied Spanish, I was drafted to make the call. In Spanish, I said where I was calling from and asked if there was anyone available who spoke English. The woman on the other end said, “Un momento, por favor,” and got an English speaker.
    And that was the fruit of 3 1/2 years of language study. Sigh.
    As for things I’d like to do, given world enough and time…I want to learn to play the violin, and I want to learn French. I’m starting to doubt the former will ever happen, but I’m more and more determined to tackle the latter. The more I research the Napoleonic Wars, the more I wish I could read French, mostly so I could have access to French sources, but also because of the annoying habit some English historians have of assuming anyone educated enough to read their books *must* naturally have studied French in school, and so they’ll include chunks of untranslated French in their text. If it’s only a line or two, I can usually make a stab at it between my rusty Spanish and comparing it to English words with French or Latin origins, but it’s still frustrating. So French is on my list as soon as my schedule opens up even a little bit.

    Reply
  41. As other posters mentioned, I studied French and Spanish in the Paleolithic Era long before the invention of writing. This past Fall, however, I decided that my brain was far too focused on meetings, spreadsheets, memos, and other topics guaranteed to put both friends and family to sleep, so I began Spanish lessons. The Department of Agriculture has a graduate school with wonderful classes in many languages and other topics; I assume this is an outgrowth of the 19th C extension courses they offered to farmers.
    It helps that I learned some of this stuff while considerably younger and can pull it up from the deep recesses of my brain (the subjunctive, oh my!), but I’m still brought up short by lots of stuff. Spanish is significantly more regular than English in terms of grammar and pronunciation, and its structure is not all that different, but it does have its idiosyncracies. I’m still trying to figure out why you need to use the indirect object pronoun even when you have the indirect object noun sitting right there in the sentence (but not if the indirect object is corporate, not personal, an added level of complexity that’s throwing me for a loop at the moment). Good luck with the Italian — my sister lived in Italy for 7 years and speaks the language fluently. It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.

    Reply
  42. As other posters mentioned, I studied French and Spanish in the Paleolithic Era long before the invention of writing. This past Fall, however, I decided that my brain was far too focused on meetings, spreadsheets, memos, and other topics guaranteed to put both friends and family to sleep, so I began Spanish lessons. The Department of Agriculture has a graduate school with wonderful classes in many languages and other topics; I assume this is an outgrowth of the 19th C extension courses they offered to farmers.
    It helps that I learned some of this stuff while considerably younger and can pull it up from the deep recesses of my brain (the subjunctive, oh my!), but I’m still brought up short by lots of stuff. Spanish is significantly more regular than English in terms of grammar and pronunciation, and its structure is not all that different, but it does have its idiosyncracies. I’m still trying to figure out why you need to use the indirect object pronoun even when you have the indirect object noun sitting right there in the sentence (but not if the indirect object is corporate, not personal, an added level of complexity that’s throwing me for a loop at the moment). Good luck with the Italian — my sister lived in Italy for 7 years and speaks the language fluently. It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.

    Reply
  43. As other posters mentioned, I studied French and Spanish in the Paleolithic Era long before the invention of writing. This past Fall, however, I decided that my brain was far too focused on meetings, spreadsheets, memos, and other topics guaranteed to put both friends and family to sleep, so I began Spanish lessons. The Department of Agriculture has a graduate school with wonderful classes in many languages and other topics; I assume this is an outgrowth of the 19th C extension courses they offered to farmers.
    It helps that I learned some of this stuff while considerably younger and can pull it up from the deep recesses of my brain (the subjunctive, oh my!), but I’m still brought up short by lots of stuff. Spanish is significantly more regular than English in terms of grammar and pronunciation, and its structure is not all that different, but it does have its idiosyncracies. I’m still trying to figure out why you need to use the indirect object pronoun even when you have the indirect object noun sitting right there in the sentence (but not if the indirect object is corporate, not personal, an added level of complexity that’s throwing me for a loop at the moment). Good luck with the Italian — my sister lived in Italy for 7 years and speaks the language fluently. It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.

    Reply
  44. As other posters mentioned, I studied French and Spanish in the Paleolithic Era long before the invention of writing. This past Fall, however, I decided that my brain was far too focused on meetings, spreadsheets, memos, and other topics guaranteed to put both friends and family to sleep, so I began Spanish lessons. The Department of Agriculture has a graduate school with wonderful classes in many languages and other topics; I assume this is an outgrowth of the 19th C extension courses they offered to farmers.
    It helps that I learned some of this stuff while considerably younger and can pull it up from the deep recesses of my brain (the subjunctive, oh my!), but I’m still brought up short by lots of stuff. Spanish is significantly more regular than English in terms of grammar and pronunciation, and its structure is not all that different, but it does have its idiosyncracies. I’m still trying to figure out why you need to use the indirect object pronoun even when you have the indirect object noun sitting right there in the sentence (but not if the indirect object is corporate, not personal, an added level of complexity that’s throwing me for a loop at the moment). Good luck with the Italian — my sister lived in Italy for 7 years and speaks the language fluently. It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.

    Reply
  45. As other posters mentioned, I studied French and Spanish in the Paleolithic Era long before the invention of writing. This past Fall, however, I decided that my brain was far too focused on meetings, spreadsheets, memos, and other topics guaranteed to put both friends and family to sleep, so I began Spanish lessons. The Department of Agriculture has a graduate school with wonderful classes in many languages and other topics; I assume this is an outgrowth of the 19th C extension courses they offered to farmers.
    It helps that I learned some of this stuff while considerably younger and can pull it up from the deep recesses of my brain (the subjunctive, oh my!), but I’m still brought up short by lots of stuff. Spanish is significantly more regular than English in terms of grammar and pronunciation, and its structure is not all that different, but it does have its idiosyncracies. I’m still trying to figure out why you need to use the indirect object pronoun even when you have the indirect object noun sitting right there in the sentence (but not if the indirect object is corporate, not personal, an added level of complexity that’s throwing me for a loop at the moment). Good luck with the Italian — my sister lived in Italy for 7 years and speaks the language fluently. It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.

    Reply
  46. Bravo, Wench Loretta! I hope you get a real chance to use your new-found skills.
    Ever since I read THE DEVIL’S CUB, I’ve wanted to learn French. Then, about a year ago, I was in a hotel restaurant, alone on business, and at the next table, two elderly gentleman were conversing in fluent French. I have no idea what they were saying, but the language sounded oh so romantic to my ears. Hmmm…maybe I don’t want to learn French. Maybe all I really want to do is to listen to the language wrapped a deep male voice.
    Anyway… many years ago, I studied American Sign Language and picked up a bit of lip reading in the process. I enjoy talking with the deaf. (and lip reading comes in very hand)
    Keep us posted on your progress!

    Reply
  47. Bravo, Wench Loretta! I hope you get a real chance to use your new-found skills.
    Ever since I read THE DEVIL’S CUB, I’ve wanted to learn French. Then, about a year ago, I was in a hotel restaurant, alone on business, and at the next table, two elderly gentleman were conversing in fluent French. I have no idea what they were saying, but the language sounded oh so romantic to my ears. Hmmm…maybe I don’t want to learn French. Maybe all I really want to do is to listen to the language wrapped a deep male voice.
    Anyway… many years ago, I studied American Sign Language and picked up a bit of lip reading in the process. I enjoy talking with the deaf. (and lip reading comes in very hand)
    Keep us posted on your progress!

    Reply
  48. Bravo, Wench Loretta! I hope you get a real chance to use your new-found skills.
    Ever since I read THE DEVIL’S CUB, I’ve wanted to learn French. Then, about a year ago, I was in a hotel restaurant, alone on business, and at the next table, two elderly gentleman were conversing in fluent French. I have no idea what they were saying, but the language sounded oh so romantic to my ears. Hmmm…maybe I don’t want to learn French. Maybe all I really want to do is to listen to the language wrapped a deep male voice.
    Anyway… many years ago, I studied American Sign Language and picked up a bit of lip reading in the process. I enjoy talking with the deaf. (and lip reading comes in very hand)
    Keep us posted on your progress!

    Reply
  49. Bravo, Wench Loretta! I hope you get a real chance to use your new-found skills.
    Ever since I read THE DEVIL’S CUB, I’ve wanted to learn French. Then, about a year ago, I was in a hotel restaurant, alone on business, and at the next table, two elderly gentleman were conversing in fluent French. I have no idea what they were saying, but the language sounded oh so romantic to my ears. Hmmm…maybe I don’t want to learn French. Maybe all I really want to do is to listen to the language wrapped a deep male voice.
    Anyway… many years ago, I studied American Sign Language and picked up a bit of lip reading in the process. I enjoy talking with the deaf. (and lip reading comes in very hand)
    Keep us posted on your progress!

    Reply
  50. Bravo, Wench Loretta! I hope you get a real chance to use your new-found skills.
    Ever since I read THE DEVIL’S CUB, I’ve wanted to learn French. Then, about a year ago, I was in a hotel restaurant, alone on business, and at the next table, two elderly gentleman were conversing in fluent French. I have no idea what they were saying, but the language sounded oh so romantic to my ears. Hmmm…maybe I don’t want to learn French. Maybe all I really want to do is to listen to the language wrapped a deep male voice.
    Anyway… many years ago, I studied American Sign Language and picked up a bit of lip reading in the process. I enjoy talking with the deaf. (and lip reading comes in very hand)
    Keep us posted on your progress!

    Reply
  51. Tal, I’ve got to get me that phrase book. DH & I could have a blast with it. It’s interesting, reading comments of others who studied a language but have had trouble retaining it. That’s my problem with French. Another problem is that French pronunciations creep in–several people in the class have this trouble, especially with “le.”__Sherrie reminds me that tap lessons is another wish–but I’m really not sure that’s ever going to happen.__Grazie, Anna-but I’ve only had two classes! We haven’t done verbs yet. Let’s see: Io non scrivo…Io parlo dieci parole. 😀

    Reply
  52. Tal, I’ve got to get me that phrase book. DH & I could have a blast with it. It’s interesting, reading comments of others who studied a language but have had trouble retaining it. That’s my problem with French. Another problem is that French pronunciations creep in–several people in the class have this trouble, especially with “le.”__Sherrie reminds me that tap lessons is another wish–but I’m really not sure that’s ever going to happen.__Grazie, Anna-but I’ve only had two classes! We haven’t done verbs yet. Let’s see: Io non scrivo…Io parlo dieci parole. 😀

    Reply
  53. Tal, I’ve got to get me that phrase book. DH & I could have a blast with it. It’s interesting, reading comments of others who studied a language but have had trouble retaining it. That’s my problem with French. Another problem is that French pronunciations creep in–several people in the class have this trouble, especially with “le.”__Sherrie reminds me that tap lessons is another wish–but I’m really not sure that’s ever going to happen.__Grazie, Anna-but I’ve only had two classes! We haven’t done verbs yet. Let’s see: Io non scrivo…Io parlo dieci parole. 😀

    Reply
  54. Tal, I’ve got to get me that phrase book. DH & I could have a blast with it. It’s interesting, reading comments of others who studied a language but have had trouble retaining it. That’s my problem with French. Another problem is that French pronunciations creep in–several people in the class have this trouble, especially with “le.”__Sherrie reminds me that tap lessons is another wish–but I’m really not sure that’s ever going to happen.__Grazie, Anna-but I’ve only had two classes! We haven’t done verbs yet. Let’s see: Io non scrivo…Io parlo dieci parole. 😀

    Reply
  55. Tal, I’ve got to get me that phrase book. DH & I could have a blast with it. It’s interesting, reading comments of others who studied a language but have had trouble retaining it. That’s my problem with French. Another problem is that French pronunciations creep in–several people in the class have this trouble, especially with “le.”__Sherrie reminds me that tap lessons is another wish–but I’m really not sure that’s ever going to happen.__Grazie, Anna-but I’ve only had two classes! We haven’t done verbs yet. Let’s see: Io non scrivo…Io parlo dieci parole. 😀

    Reply
  56. **It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.**
    Well, this is how I feel. But I’m happy to listen to women speak Italian, too. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a beautiful language, and I’m thrilled every time I say a full sentence.

    Reply
  57. **It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.**
    Well, this is how I feel. But I’m happy to listen to women speak Italian, too. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a beautiful language, and I’m thrilled every time I say a full sentence.

    Reply
  58. **It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.**
    Well, this is how I feel. But I’m happy to listen to women speak Italian, too. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a beautiful language, and I’m thrilled every time I say a full sentence.

    Reply
  59. **It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.**
    Well, this is how I feel. But I’m happy to listen to women speak Italian, too. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a beautiful language, and I’m thrilled every time I say a full sentence.

    Reply
  60. **It is so beautiful it almost makes me weep and provides an unfair advantage to Italian men in the romantic department, as almost no matter what they say you want to keep them around just to hear them talk.**
    Well, this is how I feel. But I’m happy to listen to women speak Italian, too. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a beautiful language, and I’m thrilled every time I say a full sentence.

    Reply
  61. Good luck with Italian! It’s a beautiful language; I always wanted to learn it but in school I was forced to take french, which I did not like and consequently managed to forget completely. 🙁 Maybe I’ll brush it up sometimes but I think I’d rather do Italian – it’s far more useful in my corner of the world, as the italian border is about half an hour from my hometown!
    I had to laugh about the gender and the articles – German has three genders, which are totally random… and the articles change acording to case, too. Our spelling is less irregular than the english one but far from logical either… from my experience of teaching this weird language, may I suggest a very simply way to help you memorize gender? Pick two colours (I usually take pink for feminine and blue for masculine, but then, nobody has ever accused me of having too much imagination!) and mark them according to their gender, and keep doing it everywhere (notes, books). It’s extremely effective as we retain colours much easier than words, esp. articles which most of us consider meaningless….
    Anyway, good luck and have fun! 🙂

    Reply
  62. Good luck with Italian! It’s a beautiful language; I always wanted to learn it but in school I was forced to take french, which I did not like and consequently managed to forget completely. 🙁 Maybe I’ll brush it up sometimes but I think I’d rather do Italian – it’s far more useful in my corner of the world, as the italian border is about half an hour from my hometown!
    I had to laugh about the gender and the articles – German has three genders, which are totally random… and the articles change acording to case, too. Our spelling is less irregular than the english one but far from logical either… from my experience of teaching this weird language, may I suggest a very simply way to help you memorize gender? Pick two colours (I usually take pink for feminine and blue for masculine, but then, nobody has ever accused me of having too much imagination!) and mark them according to their gender, and keep doing it everywhere (notes, books). It’s extremely effective as we retain colours much easier than words, esp. articles which most of us consider meaningless….
    Anyway, good luck and have fun! 🙂

    Reply
  63. Good luck with Italian! It’s a beautiful language; I always wanted to learn it but in school I was forced to take french, which I did not like and consequently managed to forget completely. 🙁 Maybe I’ll brush it up sometimes but I think I’d rather do Italian – it’s far more useful in my corner of the world, as the italian border is about half an hour from my hometown!
    I had to laugh about the gender and the articles – German has three genders, which are totally random… and the articles change acording to case, too. Our spelling is less irregular than the english one but far from logical either… from my experience of teaching this weird language, may I suggest a very simply way to help you memorize gender? Pick two colours (I usually take pink for feminine and blue for masculine, but then, nobody has ever accused me of having too much imagination!) and mark them according to their gender, and keep doing it everywhere (notes, books). It’s extremely effective as we retain colours much easier than words, esp. articles which most of us consider meaningless….
    Anyway, good luck and have fun! 🙂

    Reply
  64. Good luck with Italian! It’s a beautiful language; I always wanted to learn it but in school I was forced to take french, which I did not like and consequently managed to forget completely. 🙁 Maybe I’ll brush it up sometimes but I think I’d rather do Italian – it’s far more useful in my corner of the world, as the italian border is about half an hour from my hometown!
    I had to laugh about the gender and the articles – German has three genders, which are totally random… and the articles change acording to case, too. Our spelling is less irregular than the english one but far from logical either… from my experience of teaching this weird language, may I suggest a very simply way to help you memorize gender? Pick two colours (I usually take pink for feminine and blue for masculine, but then, nobody has ever accused me of having too much imagination!) and mark them according to their gender, and keep doing it everywhere (notes, books). It’s extremely effective as we retain colours much easier than words, esp. articles which most of us consider meaningless….
    Anyway, good luck and have fun! 🙂

    Reply
  65. Good luck with Italian! It’s a beautiful language; I always wanted to learn it but in school I was forced to take french, which I did not like and consequently managed to forget completely. 🙁 Maybe I’ll brush it up sometimes but I think I’d rather do Italian – it’s far more useful in my corner of the world, as the italian border is about half an hour from my hometown!
    I had to laugh about the gender and the articles – German has three genders, which are totally random… and the articles change acording to case, too. Our spelling is less irregular than the english one but far from logical either… from my experience of teaching this weird language, may I suggest a very simply way to help you memorize gender? Pick two colours (I usually take pink for feminine and blue for masculine, but then, nobody has ever accused me of having too much imagination!) and mark them according to their gender, and keep doing it everywhere (notes, books). It’s extremely effective as we retain colours much easier than words, esp. articles which most of us consider meaningless….
    Anyway, good luck and have fun! 🙂

    Reply
  66. The pronunciation thing can be a real pain. My first four years of French were with an Algerian teacher, and my subsequent “accent” drove my college prof insane (and her Parisian accent sounded like she was talking with an egg in her mouth, LOL!).

    Reply
  67. The pronunciation thing can be a real pain. My first four years of French were with an Algerian teacher, and my subsequent “accent” drove my college prof insane (and her Parisian accent sounded like she was talking with an egg in her mouth, LOL!).

    Reply
  68. The pronunciation thing can be a real pain. My first four years of French were with an Algerian teacher, and my subsequent “accent” drove my college prof insane (and her Parisian accent sounded like she was talking with an egg in her mouth, LOL!).

    Reply
  69. The pronunciation thing can be a real pain. My first four years of French were with an Algerian teacher, and my subsequent “accent” drove my college prof insane (and her Parisian accent sounded like she was talking with an egg in her mouth, LOL!).

    Reply
  70. The pronunciation thing can be a real pain. My first four years of French were with an Algerian teacher, and my subsequent “accent” drove my college prof insane (and her Parisian accent sounded like she was talking with an egg in her mouth, LOL!).

    Reply
  71. I took Latin in high school and French as an undergrad. I retained little of either. When I took proficiency courses in both languages in grad school, I relearned enough to get through the language exams for my degree. Today I can translate written French poorly, and about all I remember from Latin is amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and “Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.”
    A quick anecdote connected to your DH’s accent. One of my closest friends is a Greek married to a German. When their daughter was acquiring language, she and her husband used to boast laughingly that their DD was learning four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.:)

    Reply
  72. I took Latin in high school and French as an undergrad. I retained little of either. When I took proficiency courses in both languages in grad school, I relearned enough to get through the language exams for my degree. Today I can translate written French poorly, and about all I remember from Latin is amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and “Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.”
    A quick anecdote connected to your DH’s accent. One of my closest friends is a Greek married to a German. When their daughter was acquiring language, she and her husband used to boast laughingly that their DD was learning four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.:)

    Reply
  73. I took Latin in high school and French as an undergrad. I retained little of either. When I took proficiency courses in both languages in grad school, I relearned enough to get through the language exams for my degree. Today I can translate written French poorly, and about all I remember from Latin is amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and “Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.”
    A quick anecdote connected to your DH’s accent. One of my closest friends is a Greek married to a German. When their daughter was acquiring language, she and her husband used to boast laughingly that their DD was learning four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.:)

    Reply
  74. I took Latin in high school and French as an undergrad. I retained little of either. When I took proficiency courses in both languages in grad school, I relearned enough to get through the language exams for my degree. Today I can translate written French poorly, and about all I remember from Latin is amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and “Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.”
    A quick anecdote connected to your DH’s accent. One of my closest friends is a Greek married to a German. When their daughter was acquiring language, she and her husband used to boast laughingly that their DD was learning four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.:)

    Reply
  75. I took Latin in high school and French as an undergrad. I retained little of either. When I took proficiency courses in both languages in grad school, I relearned enough to get through the language exams for my degree. Today I can translate written French poorly, and about all I remember from Latin is amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and “Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est.”
    A quick anecdote connected to your DH’s accent. One of my closest friends is a Greek married to a German. When their daughter was acquiring language, she and her husband used to boast laughingly that their DD was learning four languages–Greek, German, English, and Southern.:)

    Reply
  76. I’m a 49 year old learning Spanish, because I teach ESL classes. My students are so complimentary and gracious when I attempt! They struggle all day with our language. I think they find it gratifying that I stumble over pronunciations and grapple with verb forms. Applause, Loretta! Can’t wait for your book. I thought Dain’s Italian (even when speaking of drains) probably won the Jessica’s heart. Another language always sound better than our own.

    Reply
  77. I’m a 49 year old learning Spanish, because I teach ESL classes. My students are so complimentary and gracious when I attempt! They struggle all day with our language. I think they find it gratifying that I stumble over pronunciations and grapple with verb forms. Applause, Loretta! Can’t wait for your book. I thought Dain’s Italian (even when speaking of drains) probably won the Jessica’s heart. Another language always sound better than our own.

    Reply
  78. I’m a 49 year old learning Spanish, because I teach ESL classes. My students are so complimentary and gracious when I attempt! They struggle all day with our language. I think they find it gratifying that I stumble over pronunciations and grapple with verb forms. Applause, Loretta! Can’t wait for your book. I thought Dain’s Italian (even when speaking of drains) probably won the Jessica’s heart. Another language always sound better than our own.

    Reply
  79. I’m a 49 year old learning Spanish, because I teach ESL classes. My students are so complimentary and gracious when I attempt! They struggle all day with our language. I think they find it gratifying that I stumble over pronunciations and grapple with verb forms. Applause, Loretta! Can’t wait for your book. I thought Dain’s Italian (even when speaking of drains) probably won the Jessica’s heart. Another language always sound better than our own.

    Reply
  80. I’m a 49 year old learning Spanish, because I teach ESL classes. My students are so complimentary and gracious when I attempt! They struggle all day with our language. I think they find it gratifying that I stumble over pronunciations and grapple with verb forms. Applause, Loretta! Can’t wait for your book. I thought Dain’s Italian (even when speaking of drains) probably won the Jessica’s heart. Another language always sound better than our own.

    Reply
  81. Maggie, I feel I should recognize the acronym but maybe there’s too much Italian in my brain. What is the ARC?__Janga, you remember as much Latin as I do.__ LizA, thank you for that brilliant suggestion! I have been using my pink & blue highlighters this evening. Every memory aid is welcome.__Kalen, similar problems with French accents: both teachers spoke with a French Canadian accent, and their “r” sounded nothing like those I’ve heard in movies. Re CDs and tapes & Rosetta Stone: I do believe audio reminders would be helpful, so this is probably next on the list. Those of you with further suggestions/recommendations, please don’t hesitate. It’s interesting to discover how many of us have had similar experiences. I do regret not having studied harder and longer when I had that young brain. But now I have the advantage of wisdom, right?

    Reply
  82. Maggie, I feel I should recognize the acronym but maybe there’s too much Italian in my brain. What is the ARC?__Janga, you remember as much Latin as I do.__ LizA, thank you for that brilliant suggestion! I have been using my pink & blue highlighters this evening. Every memory aid is welcome.__Kalen, similar problems with French accents: both teachers spoke with a French Canadian accent, and their “r” sounded nothing like those I’ve heard in movies. Re CDs and tapes & Rosetta Stone: I do believe audio reminders would be helpful, so this is probably next on the list. Those of you with further suggestions/recommendations, please don’t hesitate. It’s interesting to discover how many of us have had similar experiences. I do regret not having studied harder and longer when I had that young brain. But now I have the advantage of wisdom, right?

    Reply
  83. Maggie, I feel I should recognize the acronym but maybe there’s too much Italian in my brain. What is the ARC?__Janga, you remember as much Latin as I do.__ LizA, thank you for that brilliant suggestion! I have been using my pink & blue highlighters this evening. Every memory aid is welcome.__Kalen, similar problems with French accents: both teachers spoke with a French Canadian accent, and their “r” sounded nothing like those I’ve heard in movies. Re CDs and tapes & Rosetta Stone: I do believe audio reminders would be helpful, so this is probably next on the list. Those of you with further suggestions/recommendations, please don’t hesitate. It’s interesting to discover how many of us have had similar experiences. I do regret not having studied harder and longer when I had that young brain. But now I have the advantage of wisdom, right?

    Reply
  84. Maggie, I feel I should recognize the acronym but maybe there’s too much Italian in my brain. What is the ARC?__Janga, you remember as much Latin as I do.__ LizA, thank you for that brilliant suggestion! I have been using my pink & blue highlighters this evening. Every memory aid is welcome.__Kalen, similar problems with French accents: both teachers spoke with a French Canadian accent, and their “r” sounded nothing like those I’ve heard in movies. Re CDs and tapes & Rosetta Stone: I do believe audio reminders would be helpful, so this is probably next on the list. Those of you with further suggestions/recommendations, please don’t hesitate. It’s interesting to discover how many of us have had similar experiences. I do regret not having studied harder and longer when I had that young brain. But now I have the advantage of wisdom, right?

    Reply
  85. Maggie, I feel I should recognize the acronym but maybe there’s too much Italian in my brain. What is the ARC?__Janga, you remember as much Latin as I do.__ LizA, thank you for that brilliant suggestion! I have been using my pink & blue highlighters this evening. Every memory aid is welcome.__Kalen, similar problems with French accents: both teachers spoke with a French Canadian accent, and their “r” sounded nothing like those I’ve heard in movies. Re CDs and tapes & Rosetta Stone: I do believe audio reminders would be helpful, so this is probably next on the list. Those of you with further suggestions/recommendations, please don’t hesitate. It’s interesting to discover how many of us have had similar experiences. I do regret not having studied harder and longer when I had that young brain. But now I have the advantage of wisdom, right?

    Reply
  86. As a kid I played a variety of instruments–violn, piano, dulciner, recorder, guitar. But in adulthood, I haven’t had music in my life, except as a listener of cds and attendee at concerts.
    I love the mandolin and dreamt of playing it. So last year I decided it was high time. I now have a weekly lesson and own 3 mandolins.
    I do miss my long fingernails, but I’m having so much fun it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  87. As a kid I played a variety of instruments–violn, piano, dulciner, recorder, guitar. But in adulthood, I haven’t had music in my life, except as a listener of cds and attendee at concerts.
    I love the mandolin and dreamt of playing it. So last year I decided it was high time. I now have a weekly lesson and own 3 mandolins.
    I do miss my long fingernails, but I’m having so much fun it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  88. As a kid I played a variety of instruments–violn, piano, dulciner, recorder, guitar. But in adulthood, I haven’t had music in my life, except as a listener of cds and attendee at concerts.
    I love the mandolin and dreamt of playing it. So last year I decided it was high time. I now have a weekly lesson and own 3 mandolins.
    I do miss my long fingernails, but I’m having so much fun it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  89. As a kid I played a variety of instruments–violn, piano, dulciner, recorder, guitar. But in adulthood, I haven’t had music in my life, except as a listener of cds and attendee at concerts.
    I love the mandolin and dreamt of playing it. So last year I decided it was high time. I now have a weekly lesson and own 3 mandolins.
    I do miss my long fingernails, but I’m having so much fun it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  90. As a kid I played a variety of instruments–violn, piano, dulciner, recorder, guitar. But in adulthood, I haven’t had music in my life, except as a listener of cds and attendee at concerts.
    I love the mandolin and dreamt of playing it. So last year I decided it was high time. I now have a weekly lesson and own 3 mandolins.
    I do miss my long fingernails, but I’m having so much fun it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  91. The only thing I remember from high school German is the words to Stille Nacht and the phrase “Gretchen ! Was is lohst mit einen?” (which I may have spelled incorrectly) It means , “Gretchen! What is wrong with you?” I remember it because I heard it so often…
    Things I have always wanted to learn, but never did: I wish I could dance- tap, ballet, or ballroom- the ability to coordinate my movements to music would be a wonderful skill- and I wish I could make music, too. Maybe in my next life I will be a concert pianist, dancer, or an Olympic skater…

    Reply
  92. The only thing I remember from high school German is the words to Stille Nacht and the phrase “Gretchen ! Was is lohst mit einen?” (which I may have spelled incorrectly) It means , “Gretchen! What is wrong with you?” I remember it because I heard it so often…
    Things I have always wanted to learn, but never did: I wish I could dance- tap, ballet, or ballroom- the ability to coordinate my movements to music would be a wonderful skill- and I wish I could make music, too. Maybe in my next life I will be a concert pianist, dancer, or an Olympic skater…

    Reply
  93. The only thing I remember from high school German is the words to Stille Nacht and the phrase “Gretchen ! Was is lohst mit einen?” (which I may have spelled incorrectly) It means , “Gretchen! What is wrong with you?” I remember it because I heard it so often…
    Things I have always wanted to learn, but never did: I wish I could dance- tap, ballet, or ballroom- the ability to coordinate my movements to music would be a wonderful skill- and I wish I could make music, too. Maybe in my next life I will be a concert pianist, dancer, or an Olympic skater…

    Reply
  94. The only thing I remember from high school German is the words to Stille Nacht and the phrase “Gretchen ! Was is lohst mit einen?” (which I may have spelled incorrectly) It means , “Gretchen! What is wrong with you?” I remember it because I heard it so often…
    Things I have always wanted to learn, but never did: I wish I could dance- tap, ballet, or ballroom- the ability to coordinate my movements to music would be a wonderful skill- and I wish I could make music, too. Maybe in my next life I will be a concert pianist, dancer, or an Olympic skater…

    Reply
  95. The only thing I remember from high school German is the words to Stille Nacht and the phrase “Gretchen ! Was is lohst mit einen?” (which I may have spelled incorrectly) It means , “Gretchen! What is wrong with you?” I remember it because I heard it so often…
    Things I have always wanted to learn, but never did: I wish I could dance- tap, ballet, or ballroom- the ability to coordinate my movements to music would be a wonderful skill- and I wish I could make music, too. Maybe in my next life I will be a concert pianist, dancer, or an Olympic skater…

    Reply
  96. Loretta, my 16 year old daughter is GOING to Italy next week and I am impossibly envious.
    I am a little bit of a language collector. I took French as a kid (after school), then Latin in high school. I majored in Latin in college and took a bit of Greek, which came in handy for seminary. One of my “standard ordination exams” was exegesis of a passage of New Testament Greek. Then there’s Hebrew, which I took for a year, and German, which I took for 6 weeks in the summer.
    When I worked with refugees in the 90’s I learned a few crucial phrases in Russian (like, “My name is Melinda” and “Can your mother come to the telephone please?”)
    I sent my kids to a French immersion school for elementary school for elementary school so they are both fluent.
    OK, that’s more than you wanted to know. I’ve never “collected” Italian, though!
    Loretta, I can’t WAIT for your next book. . .

    Reply
  97. Loretta, my 16 year old daughter is GOING to Italy next week and I am impossibly envious.
    I am a little bit of a language collector. I took French as a kid (after school), then Latin in high school. I majored in Latin in college and took a bit of Greek, which came in handy for seminary. One of my “standard ordination exams” was exegesis of a passage of New Testament Greek. Then there’s Hebrew, which I took for a year, and German, which I took for 6 weeks in the summer.
    When I worked with refugees in the 90’s I learned a few crucial phrases in Russian (like, “My name is Melinda” and “Can your mother come to the telephone please?”)
    I sent my kids to a French immersion school for elementary school for elementary school so they are both fluent.
    OK, that’s more than you wanted to know. I’ve never “collected” Italian, though!
    Loretta, I can’t WAIT for your next book. . .

    Reply
  98. Loretta, my 16 year old daughter is GOING to Italy next week and I am impossibly envious.
    I am a little bit of a language collector. I took French as a kid (after school), then Latin in high school. I majored in Latin in college and took a bit of Greek, which came in handy for seminary. One of my “standard ordination exams” was exegesis of a passage of New Testament Greek. Then there’s Hebrew, which I took for a year, and German, which I took for 6 weeks in the summer.
    When I worked with refugees in the 90’s I learned a few crucial phrases in Russian (like, “My name is Melinda” and “Can your mother come to the telephone please?”)
    I sent my kids to a French immersion school for elementary school for elementary school so they are both fluent.
    OK, that’s more than you wanted to know. I’ve never “collected” Italian, though!
    Loretta, I can’t WAIT for your next book. . .

    Reply
  99. Loretta, my 16 year old daughter is GOING to Italy next week and I am impossibly envious.
    I am a little bit of a language collector. I took French as a kid (after school), then Latin in high school. I majored in Latin in college and took a bit of Greek, which came in handy for seminary. One of my “standard ordination exams” was exegesis of a passage of New Testament Greek. Then there’s Hebrew, which I took for a year, and German, which I took for 6 weeks in the summer.
    When I worked with refugees in the 90’s I learned a few crucial phrases in Russian (like, “My name is Melinda” and “Can your mother come to the telephone please?”)
    I sent my kids to a French immersion school for elementary school for elementary school so they are both fluent.
    OK, that’s more than you wanted to know. I’ve never “collected” Italian, though!
    Loretta, I can’t WAIT for your next book. . .

    Reply
  100. Loretta, my 16 year old daughter is GOING to Italy next week and I am impossibly envious.
    I am a little bit of a language collector. I took French as a kid (after school), then Latin in high school. I majored in Latin in college and took a bit of Greek, which came in handy for seminary. One of my “standard ordination exams” was exegesis of a passage of New Testament Greek. Then there’s Hebrew, which I took for a year, and German, which I took for 6 weeks in the summer.
    When I worked with refugees in the 90’s I learned a few crucial phrases in Russian (like, “My name is Melinda” and “Can your mother come to the telephone please?”)
    I sent my kids to a French immersion school for elementary school for elementary school so they are both fluent.
    OK, that’s more than you wanted to know. I’ve never “collected” Italian, though!
    Loretta, I can’t WAIT for your next book. . .

    Reply
  101. If you want to try a language, that is difficult you should try Finnish! At least every exchange student I’ve ever known -even the ones who learnt it really well- said it’s difficult. But at least we don’t have masculine and feminine nouns or articles.

    Reply
  102. If you want to try a language, that is difficult you should try Finnish! At least every exchange student I’ve ever known -even the ones who learnt it really well- said it’s difficult. But at least we don’t have masculine and feminine nouns or articles.

    Reply
  103. If you want to try a language, that is difficult you should try Finnish! At least every exchange student I’ve ever known -even the ones who learnt it really well- said it’s difficult. But at least we don’t have masculine and feminine nouns or articles.

    Reply
  104. If you want to try a language, that is difficult you should try Finnish! At least every exchange student I’ve ever known -even the ones who learnt it really well- said it’s difficult. But at least we don’t have masculine and feminine nouns or articles.

    Reply
  105. If you want to try a language, that is difficult you should try Finnish! At least every exchange student I’ve ever known -even the ones who learnt it really well- said it’s difficult. But at least we don’t have masculine and feminine nouns or articles.

    Reply
  106. I’ve been living in a Spanish speaking country for about a year. I finally can understand most of the conversations that I try to have with the people around me. This, after four years of Spanish in high school, and two years in college. What I find really frustrating is that my four year old speaks and understands much better than me. My helpful remembering-the-gender-of-the-words tip is this: learn it as part of the word, because you have to make the effort to learn the word anyway. I wish I had know this when I began studying, then I would know if key is masculine or feminine — la llave? el llave? Who knows? I’m going to have to look it up.

    Reply
  107. I’ve been living in a Spanish speaking country for about a year. I finally can understand most of the conversations that I try to have with the people around me. This, after four years of Spanish in high school, and two years in college. What I find really frustrating is that my four year old speaks and understands much better than me. My helpful remembering-the-gender-of-the-words tip is this: learn it as part of the word, because you have to make the effort to learn the word anyway. I wish I had know this when I began studying, then I would know if key is masculine or feminine — la llave? el llave? Who knows? I’m going to have to look it up.

    Reply
  108. I’ve been living in a Spanish speaking country for about a year. I finally can understand most of the conversations that I try to have with the people around me. This, after four years of Spanish in high school, and two years in college. What I find really frustrating is that my four year old speaks and understands much better than me. My helpful remembering-the-gender-of-the-words tip is this: learn it as part of the word, because you have to make the effort to learn the word anyway. I wish I had know this when I began studying, then I would know if key is masculine or feminine — la llave? el llave? Who knows? I’m going to have to look it up.

    Reply
  109. I’ve been living in a Spanish speaking country for about a year. I finally can understand most of the conversations that I try to have with the people around me. This, after four years of Spanish in high school, and two years in college. What I find really frustrating is that my four year old speaks and understands much better than me. My helpful remembering-the-gender-of-the-words tip is this: learn it as part of the word, because you have to make the effort to learn the word anyway. I wish I had know this when I began studying, then I would know if key is masculine or feminine — la llave? el llave? Who knows? I’m going to have to look it up.

    Reply
  110. I’ve been living in a Spanish speaking country for about a year. I finally can understand most of the conversations that I try to have with the people around me. This, after four years of Spanish in high school, and two years in college. What I find really frustrating is that my four year old speaks and understands much better than me. My helpful remembering-the-gender-of-the-words tip is this: learn it as part of the word, because you have to make the effort to learn the word anyway. I wish I had know this when I began studying, then I would know if key is masculine or feminine — la llave? el llave? Who knows? I’m going to have to look it up.

    Reply
  111. See, all the non-Latin languages seem incredibly difficult to me. At least with Italian, French, Spanish, I have some clue from my own Latin-connected language. But Finnish? Isn’t that one of the languages that stands all by itself? And then there are the languages, like Russian & Greek & Hebrew & Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc., with a different alphabet… Yikes.

    Reply
  112. See, all the non-Latin languages seem incredibly difficult to me. At least with Italian, French, Spanish, I have some clue from my own Latin-connected language. But Finnish? Isn’t that one of the languages that stands all by itself? And then there are the languages, like Russian & Greek & Hebrew & Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc., with a different alphabet… Yikes.

    Reply
  113. See, all the non-Latin languages seem incredibly difficult to me. At least with Italian, French, Spanish, I have some clue from my own Latin-connected language. But Finnish? Isn’t that one of the languages that stands all by itself? And then there are the languages, like Russian & Greek & Hebrew & Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc., with a different alphabet… Yikes.

    Reply
  114. See, all the non-Latin languages seem incredibly difficult to me. At least with Italian, French, Spanish, I have some clue from my own Latin-connected language. But Finnish? Isn’t that one of the languages that stands all by itself? And then there are the languages, like Russian & Greek & Hebrew & Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc., with a different alphabet… Yikes.

    Reply
  115. See, all the non-Latin languages seem incredibly difficult to me. At least with Italian, French, Spanish, I have some clue from my own Latin-connected language. But Finnish? Isn’t that one of the languages that stands all by itself? And then there are the languages, like Russian & Greek & Hebrew & Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, etc., with a different alphabet… Yikes.

    Reply
  116. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never been especially good with learning languages, but having been taught both Chinese and English since I was a baby, I find that I’m not extremely proficient with either (especially not Chinese). And the weird thing is, my thinking pattern is a mix of the two languages, like I’ll grab whichever word that comes to mind first that best describes what I’m trying to express. This makes it really hard for me to converse in only one language for more than 5 minutes without wanting to slip in a word or two from the other language. It’s funny to watch me and my sister talk to each other b/c we’ve worked out a system that mixes the two languages 50-50. And so whenever someone asks me which is my native language, I always find it so hard to answer. But, if I do get a chance, I’d love to learn Russian~~

    Reply
  117. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never been especially good with learning languages, but having been taught both Chinese and English since I was a baby, I find that I’m not extremely proficient with either (especially not Chinese). And the weird thing is, my thinking pattern is a mix of the two languages, like I’ll grab whichever word that comes to mind first that best describes what I’m trying to express. This makes it really hard for me to converse in only one language for more than 5 minutes without wanting to slip in a word or two from the other language. It’s funny to watch me and my sister talk to each other b/c we’ve worked out a system that mixes the two languages 50-50. And so whenever someone asks me which is my native language, I always find it so hard to answer. But, if I do get a chance, I’d love to learn Russian~~

    Reply
  118. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never been especially good with learning languages, but having been taught both Chinese and English since I was a baby, I find that I’m not extremely proficient with either (especially not Chinese). And the weird thing is, my thinking pattern is a mix of the two languages, like I’ll grab whichever word that comes to mind first that best describes what I’m trying to express. This makes it really hard for me to converse in only one language for more than 5 minutes without wanting to slip in a word or two from the other language. It’s funny to watch me and my sister talk to each other b/c we’ve worked out a system that mixes the two languages 50-50. And so whenever someone asks me which is my native language, I always find it so hard to answer. But, if I do get a chance, I’d love to learn Russian~~

    Reply
  119. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never been especially good with learning languages, but having been taught both Chinese and English since I was a baby, I find that I’m not extremely proficient with either (especially not Chinese). And the weird thing is, my thinking pattern is a mix of the two languages, like I’ll grab whichever word that comes to mind first that best describes what I’m trying to express. This makes it really hard for me to converse in only one language for more than 5 minutes without wanting to slip in a word or two from the other language. It’s funny to watch me and my sister talk to each other b/c we’ve worked out a system that mixes the two languages 50-50. And so whenever someone asks me which is my native language, I always find it so hard to answer. But, if I do get a chance, I’d love to learn Russian~~

    Reply
  120. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve never been especially good with learning languages, but having been taught both Chinese and English since I was a baby, I find that I’m not extremely proficient with either (especially not Chinese). And the weird thing is, my thinking pattern is a mix of the two languages, like I’ll grab whichever word that comes to mind first that best describes what I’m trying to express. This makes it really hard for me to converse in only one language for more than 5 minutes without wanting to slip in a word or two from the other language. It’s funny to watch me and my sister talk to each other b/c we’ve worked out a system that mixes the two languages 50-50. And so whenever someone asks me which is my native language, I always find it so hard to answer. But, if I do get a chance, I’d love to learn Russian~~

    Reply
  121. Loretta, Finnish (the basis for Tolkien’s Elvish tongues) belongs to the Finno-Permian family, a really fun group:
    Permic (Permian)
    Komi (Komi-Zyrian, Zyrian)
    Komi-Permyak
    Udmurt (Votyak)
    Finno-Volgaic (Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mari, Volga-Finnic)
    Mari (Cheremisic)
    Mari (Cheremis)
    Mordvinic (Mordvin, Mordvinian)
    Erzya
    Moksha
    Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
    Merya (position uncertain, extinct)
    Meshcherian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Muromian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Finno-Lappic (Finno-Saamic, Finno-Samic)
    Sami (Samic, Saamic, Lappic, Lappish)
    Western Sami (Western Samic)
    Southern Sami
    Ume Sami — Nearly extinct
    Lule Sami
    Pite Sami — Nearly extinct
    Northern Sami
    Eastern Sami (Eastern Samic)
    Kainuu Sami — Extinct
    Kemi Sami — Extinct
    Inari Sami
    Akkala Sami — Nearly extinct
    Kildin Sami
    Skolt Sami
    Ter Sami — Nearly extinct
    Baltic-Finnic (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic, Finnic, Fennic)
    Estonian (including Võru and Seto dialects, whose status as separate languages is disputed)
    Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
    Ingrian (Izhorian) — Nearly extinct
    Karelian
    Karelian proper
    Lude (Ludic, Ludian)
    Olonets Karelian (Livvi, Aunus, Aunus Karelian, Olonetsian)
    Livonian (Liv) — Nearly extinct
    Veps (Vepsian)
    Votic (Votian, Vod) — Nearly extinct
    I think the only living language that has no known relatives is Euskara, the language spoken by the Basques.

    Reply
  122. Loretta, Finnish (the basis for Tolkien’s Elvish tongues) belongs to the Finno-Permian family, a really fun group:
    Permic (Permian)
    Komi (Komi-Zyrian, Zyrian)
    Komi-Permyak
    Udmurt (Votyak)
    Finno-Volgaic (Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mari, Volga-Finnic)
    Mari (Cheremisic)
    Mari (Cheremis)
    Mordvinic (Mordvin, Mordvinian)
    Erzya
    Moksha
    Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
    Merya (position uncertain, extinct)
    Meshcherian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Muromian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Finno-Lappic (Finno-Saamic, Finno-Samic)
    Sami (Samic, Saamic, Lappic, Lappish)
    Western Sami (Western Samic)
    Southern Sami
    Ume Sami — Nearly extinct
    Lule Sami
    Pite Sami — Nearly extinct
    Northern Sami
    Eastern Sami (Eastern Samic)
    Kainuu Sami — Extinct
    Kemi Sami — Extinct
    Inari Sami
    Akkala Sami — Nearly extinct
    Kildin Sami
    Skolt Sami
    Ter Sami — Nearly extinct
    Baltic-Finnic (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic, Finnic, Fennic)
    Estonian (including Võru and Seto dialects, whose status as separate languages is disputed)
    Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
    Ingrian (Izhorian) — Nearly extinct
    Karelian
    Karelian proper
    Lude (Ludic, Ludian)
    Olonets Karelian (Livvi, Aunus, Aunus Karelian, Olonetsian)
    Livonian (Liv) — Nearly extinct
    Veps (Vepsian)
    Votic (Votian, Vod) — Nearly extinct
    I think the only living language that has no known relatives is Euskara, the language spoken by the Basques.

    Reply
  123. Loretta, Finnish (the basis for Tolkien’s Elvish tongues) belongs to the Finno-Permian family, a really fun group:
    Permic (Permian)
    Komi (Komi-Zyrian, Zyrian)
    Komi-Permyak
    Udmurt (Votyak)
    Finno-Volgaic (Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mari, Volga-Finnic)
    Mari (Cheremisic)
    Mari (Cheremis)
    Mordvinic (Mordvin, Mordvinian)
    Erzya
    Moksha
    Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
    Merya (position uncertain, extinct)
    Meshcherian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Muromian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Finno-Lappic (Finno-Saamic, Finno-Samic)
    Sami (Samic, Saamic, Lappic, Lappish)
    Western Sami (Western Samic)
    Southern Sami
    Ume Sami — Nearly extinct
    Lule Sami
    Pite Sami — Nearly extinct
    Northern Sami
    Eastern Sami (Eastern Samic)
    Kainuu Sami — Extinct
    Kemi Sami — Extinct
    Inari Sami
    Akkala Sami — Nearly extinct
    Kildin Sami
    Skolt Sami
    Ter Sami — Nearly extinct
    Baltic-Finnic (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic, Finnic, Fennic)
    Estonian (including Võru and Seto dialects, whose status as separate languages is disputed)
    Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
    Ingrian (Izhorian) — Nearly extinct
    Karelian
    Karelian proper
    Lude (Ludic, Ludian)
    Olonets Karelian (Livvi, Aunus, Aunus Karelian, Olonetsian)
    Livonian (Liv) — Nearly extinct
    Veps (Vepsian)
    Votic (Votian, Vod) — Nearly extinct
    I think the only living language that has no known relatives is Euskara, the language spoken by the Basques.

    Reply
  124. Loretta, Finnish (the basis for Tolkien’s Elvish tongues) belongs to the Finno-Permian family, a really fun group:
    Permic (Permian)
    Komi (Komi-Zyrian, Zyrian)
    Komi-Permyak
    Udmurt (Votyak)
    Finno-Volgaic (Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mari, Volga-Finnic)
    Mari (Cheremisic)
    Mari (Cheremis)
    Mordvinic (Mordvin, Mordvinian)
    Erzya
    Moksha
    Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
    Merya (position uncertain, extinct)
    Meshcherian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Muromian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Finno-Lappic (Finno-Saamic, Finno-Samic)
    Sami (Samic, Saamic, Lappic, Lappish)
    Western Sami (Western Samic)
    Southern Sami
    Ume Sami — Nearly extinct
    Lule Sami
    Pite Sami — Nearly extinct
    Northern Sami
    Eastern Sami (Eastern Samic)
    Kainuu Sami — Extinct
    Kemi Sami — Extinct
    Inari Sami
    Akkala Sami — Nearly extinct
    Kildin Sami
    Skolt Sami
    Ter Sami — Nearly extinct
    Baltic-Finnic (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic, Finnic, Fennic)
    Estonian (including Võru and Seto dialects, whose status as separate languages is disputed)
    Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
    Ingrian (Izhorian) — Nearly extinct
    Karelian
    Karelian proper
    Lude (Ludic, Ludian)
    Olonets Karelian (Livvi, Aunus, Aunus Karelian, Olonetsian)
    Livonian (Liv) — Nearly extinct
    Veps (Vepsian)
    Votic (Votian, Vod) — Nearly extinct
    I think the only living language that has no known relatives is Euskara, the language spoken by the Basques.

    Reply
  125. Loretta, Finnish (the basis for Tolkien’s Elvish tongues) belongs to the Finno-Permian family, a really fun group:
    Permic (Permian)
    Komi (Komi-Zyrian, Zyrian)
    Komi-Permyak
    Udmurt (Votyak)
    Finno-Volgaic (Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mari, Volga-Finnic)
    Mari (Cheremisic)
    Mari (Cheremis)
    Mordvinic (Mordvin, Mordvinian)
    Erzya
    Moksha
    Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
    Merya (position uncertain, extinct)
    Meshcherian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Muromian (position uncertain, extinct)
    Finno-Lappic (Finno-Saamic, Finno-Samic)
    Sami (Samic, Saamic, Lappic, Lappish)
    Western Sami (Western Samic)
    Southern Sami
    Ume Sami — Nearly extinct
    Lule Sami
    Pite Sami — Nearly extinct
    Northern Sami
    Eastern Sami (Eastern Samic)
    Kainuu Sami — Extinct
    Kemi Sami — Extinct
    Inari Sami
    Akkala Sami — Nearly extinct
    Kildin Sami
    Skolt Sami
    Ter Sami — Nearly extinct
    Baltic-Finnic (Balto-Finnic, Balto-Fennic, Finnic, Fennic)
    Estonian (including Võru and Seto dialects, whose status as separate languages is disputed)
    Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
    Ingrian (Izhorian) — Nearly extinct
    Karelian
    Karelian proper
    Lude (Ludic, Ludian)
    Olonets Karelian (Livvi, Aunus, Aunus Karelian, Olonetsian)
    Livonian (Liv) — Nearly extinct
    Veps (Vepsian)
    Votic (Votian, Vod) — Nearly extinct
    I think the only living language that has no known relatives is Euskara, the language spoken by the Basques.

    Reply
  126. Around here we call them Finno-Ugric languages. Oh, Talpianna, I think you forgot Hungarian from the list.
    I could tell you exactly how much of a headache Japanese kanjis -especially the kanjis, hiraganas and katakanas are. At least the pronounciation of Japanese is easy. For a Finn, anyway.

    Reply
  127. Around here we call them Finno-Ugric languages. Oh, Talpianna, I think you forgot Hungarian from the list.
    I could tell you exactly how much of a headache Japanese kanjis -especially the kanjis, hiraganas and katakanas are. At least the pronounciation of Japanese is easy. For a Finn, anyway.

    Reply
  128. Around here we call them Finno-Ugric languages. Oh, Talpianna, I think you forgot Hungarian from the list.
    I could tell you exactly how much of a headache Japanese kanjis -especially the kanjis, hiraganas and katakanas are. At least the pronounciation of Japanese is easy. For a Finn, anyway.

    Reply
  129. Around here we call them Finno-Ugric languages. Oh, Talpianna, I think you forgot Hungarian from the list.
    I could tell you exactly how much of a headache Japanese kanjis -especially the kanjis, hiraganas and katakanas are. At least the pronounciation of Japanese is easy. For a Finn, anyway.

    Reply
  130. Around here we call them Finno-Ugric languages. Oh, Talpianna, I think you forgot Hungarian from the list.
    I could tell you exactly how much of a headache Japanese kanjis -especially the kanjis, hiraganas and katakanas are. At least the pronounciation of Japanese is easy. For a Finn, anyway.

    Reply
  131. I study translation from german and english into french, in Paris, so languages are kind of my passion, just love to learn new ones (I studied spanish for 3 yrs and latin for 9 yrs). I’ve never learnt italian but it’s quite close to french, so I can understand most of it when I read it (yeah, that’s the advantage to have a mother tongue of latin origin !)
    I’ve just started learning (or at least trying to learn) hindi, something I wanted to do for quite some time, being a huge bollywood movies fan ! That’s very exciting, as everything is so different: the alphabet (my text book explains it’s pronounced as it’s written … just love that comment !)but also the indian culture, which is so fascinating.
    I hope you will enjoy learning italian. Discovering a new language is always so rewarding.

    Reply
  132. I study translation from german and english into french, in Paris, so languages are kind of my passion, just love to learn new ones (I studied spanish for 3 yrs and latin for 9 yrs). I’ve never learnt italian but it’s quite close to french, so I can understand most of it when I read it (yeah, that’s the advantage to have a mother tongue of latin origin !)
    I’ve just started learning (or at least trying to learn) hindi, something I wanted to do for quite some time, being a huge bollywood movies fan ! That’s very exciting, as everything is so different: the alphabet (my text book explains it’s pronounced as it’s written … just love that comment !)but also the indian culture, which is so fascinating.
    I hope you will enjoy learning italian. Discovering a new language is always so rewarding.

    Reply
  133. I study translation from german and english into french, in Paris, so languages are kind of my passion, just love to learn new ones (I studied spanish for 3 yrs and latin for 9 yrs). I’ve never learnt italian but it’s quite close to french, so I can understand most of it when I read it (yeah, that’s the advantage to have a mother tongue of latin origin !)
    I’ve just started learning (or at least trying to learn) hindi, something I wanted to do for quite some time, being a huge bollywood movies fan ! That’s very exciting, as everything is so different: the alphabet (my text book explains it’s pronounced as it’s written … just love that comment !)but also the indian culture, which is so fascinating.
    I hope you will enjoy learning italian. Discovering a new language is always so rewarding.

    Reply
  134. I study translation from german and english into french, in Paris, so languages are kind of my passion, just love to learn new ones (I studied spanish for 3 yrs and latin for 9 yrs). I’ve never learnt italian but it’s quite close to french, so I can understand most of it when I read it (yeah, that’s the advantage to have a mother tongue of latin origin !)
    I’ve just started learning (or at least trying to learn) hindi, something I wanted to do for quite some time, being a huge bollywood movies fan ! That’s very exciting, as everything is so different: the alphabet (my text book explains it’s pronounced as it’s written … just love that comment !)but also the indian culture, which is so fascinating.
    I hope you will enjoy learning italian. Discovering a new language is always so rewarding.

    Reply
  135. I study translation from german and english into french, in Paris, so languages are kind of my passion, just love to learn new ones (I studied spanish for 3 yrs and latin for 9 yrs). I’ve never learnt italian but it’s quite close to french, so I can understand most of it when I read it (yeah, that’s the advantage to have a mother tongue of latin origin !)
    I’ve just started learning (or at least trying to learn) hindi, something I wanted to do for quite some time, being a huge bollywood movies fan ! That’s very exciting, as everything is so different: the alphabet (my text book explains it’s pronounced as it’s written … just love that comment !)but also the indian culture, which is so fascinating.
    I hope you will enjoy learning italian. Discovering a new language is always so rewarding.

    Reply
  136. Minna, my citation is from Wikipedia, which says this:
    The term Finno-Ugric is somewhat controversial today, with many historical linguists feeling that the Finno-Permic languages are as distinct from the Ugric languages as they are from the Samoyedic languages spoken in Siberia. Thus it is felt that the early Finno-Permic and Ugric groups may have diffused from proto-Uralic at the same time as proto-Samoyedic. It was earlier thought that the Finno-Ugric had separated first, and the branching into Ugric and Finno-Permic took place later, but this does not have strong support in the linguistic data. However, some proponents of the Finno-Ugric grouping have provided extra-linguistic arguments by marshalling archaeological evidence of separate Finno-Ugric peoples originally living across a large swath of Northern Europe.
    They also say that Magyar (Hungarian) is Ugric but not Finno.
    Possibly someone here will be able to translate all that into English.

    Reply
  137. Minna, my citation is from Wikipedia, which says this:
    The term Finno-Ugric is somewhat controversial today, with many historical linguists feeling that the Finno-Permic languages are as distinct from the Ugric languages as they are from the Samoyedic languages spoken in Siberia. Thus it is felt that the early Finno-Permic and Ugric groups may have diffused from proto-Uralic at the same time as proto-Samoyedic. It was earlier thought that the Finno-Ugric had separated first, and the branching into Ugric and Finno-Permic took place later, but this does not have strong support in the linguistic data. However, some proponents of the Finno-Ugric grouping have provided extra-linguistic arguments by marshalling archaeological evidence of separate Finno-Ugric peoples originally living across a large swath of Northern Europe.
    They also say that Magyar (Hungarian) is Ugric but not Finno.
    Possibly someone here will be able to translate all that into English.

    Reply
  138. Minna, my citation is from Wikipedia, which says this:
    The term Finno-Ugric is somewhat controversial today, with many historical linguists feeling that the Finno-Permic languages are as distinct from the Ugric languages as they are from the Samoyedic languages spoken in Siberia. Thus it is felt that the early Finno-Permic and Ugric groups may have diffused from proto-Uralic at the same time as proto-Samoyedic. It was earlier thought that the Finno-Ugric had separated first, and the branching into Ugric and Finno-Permic took place later, but this does not have strong support in the linguistic data. However, some proponents of the Finno-Ugric grouping have provided extra-linguistic arguments by marshalling archaeological evidence of separate Finno-Ugric peoples originally living across a large swath of Northern Europe.
    They also say that Magyar (Hungarian) is Ugric but not Finno.
    Possibly someone here will be able to translate all that into English.

    Reply
  139. Minna, my citation is from Wikipedia, which says this:
    The term Finno-Ugric is somewhat controversial today, with many historical linguists feeling that the Finno-Permic languages are as distinct from the Ugric languages as they are from the Samoyedic languages spoken in Siberia. Thus it is felt that the early Finno-Permic and Ugric groups may have diffused from proto-Uralic at the same time as proto-Samoyedic. It was earlier thought that the Finno-Ugric had separated first, and the branching into Ugric and Finno-Permic took place later, but this does not have strong support in the linguistic data. However, some proponents of the Finno-Ugric grouping have provided extra-linguistic arguments by marshalling archaeological evidence of separate Finno-Ugric peoples originally living across a large swath of Northern Europe.
    They also say that Magyar (Hungarian) is Ugric but not Finno.
    Possibly someone here will be able to translate all that into English.

    Reply
  140. Minna, my citation is from Wikipedia, which says this:
    The term Finno-Ugric is somewhat controversial today, with many historical linguists feeling that the Finno-Permic languages are as distinct from the Ugric languages as they are from the Samoyedic languages spoken in Siberia. Thus it is felt that the early Finno-Permic and Ugric groups may have diffused from proto-Uralic at the same time as proto-Samoyedic. It was earlier thought that the Finno-Ugric had separated first, and the branching into Ugric and Finno-Permic took place later, but this does not have strong support in the linguistic data. However, some proponents of the Finno-Ugric grouping have provided extra-linguistic arguments by marshalling archaeological evidence of separate Finno-Ugric peoples originally living across a large swath of Northern Europe.
    They also say that Magyar (Hungarian) is Ugric but not Finno.
    Possibly someone here will be able to translate all that into English.

    Reply
  141. I think I was quite lucky to grow up in Canada, and in a city with a lot of French, because we learned it in school starting in Grade 1 – not enough to end up fluent, but building basic knowledge and familiarity that will help should I ever want to really immerse myself. I’ve heard that learning even one other language by the time you’re an adult will help if you try another one – even going from French to Japanese ^_^
    I was very lucky learning Japanese too – though it was a university class, our excellent professor taught us as though we were back in kindergarten, which I think is the best way. She never spoke English; we learned from scratch, starting with basic phrases and the syllabaries (kind of the Japanese alphabets) and building slowly from there with lots of practice conversations and hardly any traditional lecturing.

    Reply
  142. I think I was quite lucky to grow up in Canada, and in a city with a lot of French, because we learned it in school starting in Grade 1 – not enough to end up fluent, but building basic knowledge and familiarity that will help should I ever want to really immerse myself. I’ve heard that learning even one other language by the time you’re an adult will help if you try another one – even going from French to Japanese ^_^
    I was very lucky learning Japanese too – though it was a university class, our excellent professor taught us as though we were back in kindergarten, which I think is the best way. She never spoke English; we learned from scratch, starting with basic phrases and the syllabaries (kind of the Japanese alphabets) and building slowly from there with lots of practice conversations and hardly any traditional lecturing.

    Reply
  143. I think I was quite lucky to grow up in Canada, and in a city with a lot of French, because we learned it in school starting in Grade 1 – not enough to end up fluent, but building basic knowledge and familiarity that will help should I ever want to really immerse myself. I’ve heard that learning even one other language by the time you’re an adult will help if you try another one – even going from French to Japanese ^_^
    I was very lucky learning Japanese too – though it was a university class, our excellent professor taught us as though we were back in kindergarten, which I think is the best way. She never spoke English; we learned from scratch, starting with basic phrases and the syllabaries (kind of the Japanese alphabets) and building slowly from there with lots of practice conversations and hardly any traditional lecturing.

    Reply
  144. I think I was quite lucky to grow up in Canada, and in a city with a lot of French, because we learned it in school starting in Grade 1 – not enough to end up fluent, but building basic knowledge and familiarity that will help should I ever want to really immerse myself. I’ve heard that learning even one other language by the time you’re an adult will help if you try another one – even going from French to Japanese ^_^
    I was very lucky learning Japanese too – though it was a university class, our excellent professor taught us as though we were back in kindergarten, which I think is the best way. She never spoke English; we learned from scratch, starting with basic phrases and the syllabaries (kind of the Japanese alphabets) and building slowly from there with lots of practice conversations and hardly any traditional lecturing.

    Reply
  145. I think I was quite lucky to grow up in Canada, and in a city with a lot of French, because we learned it in school starting in Grade 1 – not enough to end up fluent, but building basic knowledge and familiarity that will help should I ever want to really immerse myself. I’ve heard that learning even one other language by the time you’re an adult will help if you try another one – even going from French to Japanese ^_^
    I was very lucky learning Japanese too – though it was a university class, our excellent professor taught us as though we were back in kindergarten, which I think is the best way. She never spoke English; we learned from scratch, starting with basic phrases and the syllabaries (kind of the Japanese alphabets) and building slowly from there with lots of practice conversations and hardly any traditional lecturing.

    Reply

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