Do you think speaking a foreign language fluently changes your attitudes? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Do you think speaking a foreign language fluently changes your attitudes?

1. Yes, it changed or changes my attitude.
16
70%
2. No, it did not change my attitude.
4
17%
3. I never learned to speak any foreign languages fluently therefore I can't really tell if it would change my attitude.
1
4%
4. Other.
2
9%
#15044285
Learning any new language changes you. This is because each language has a world view in it, and is influenced by its history. By becoming so fluent that you incorporate this history and worldview into your speech, you inevitably allow it to influence who you are.

Edit:

This can, of course, make it harder for people to learn these languages if the history or worldview is substantially different. Learning Cree, for example, is difficult because I cannot wrap my head around the idea that some things are animate and some are inanimate, and that most things are verbs.
#15044319


Most Koreans obviously don't understand what this American grandma said in the TV ad. In the end of the ad, she clearly said, “I can’t remember that far back.” But the Korean translation got it wrong as “Oh my God, how can I remember what happened more than 80 years ago?” This sparked a nationwide boycott of the fast fashion chain in South Korea, which is what happens when you are not fluent in English. You can be easily deceived by nationalistic political propaganda that associated the American grandma with Korean comfort women. It is said that Asian students who studied in the U.S. often come back with the outspoken American attitude and they are difficult to handle in conformist Asian societies.

Guardian reports that the ad, which starred 97-year-old Iris Apfel and 13-year-old designer Kheris Rogers, was apparently poorly translated: in it, Rogers asks Apfel what she wore when she was her age, and Apfel tells her, “I can’t remember that far back.” In the Korean translation, though, Apfel reportedly says, “Oh my God, how can I remember what happened more than 80 years ago?”

https://jezebel.com/uniqlo-yanks-ad-in- ... 1839276567
#15044325
It makes me think other languages are sexist, because they have genders. :lol: Men and boys are both masculine in German. Women are feminine, but girls are neuter. What's that all about? Russians have noun declension too. Holy smokes. Why is gasoline feminine in Spanish? Just kidding Tainari88, but those leftists may want to ban all these gendered languages soon enough. It makes me glad I speak English. :lol:
#15044328
I have lived abroad for almost 50 years and using foreign languages has become second nature to me. I can't even imagine what it's like to be enclosed in the culture of one country. Anglophones have the advantage of not having to learn any foreign language. There is, however, the downside that they don't understand any foreign culture, which shows in their foreign policy decisions.
#15044351
blackjack21 wrote:It makes me think other languages are sexist, because they have genders. :lol: Men and boys are both masculine in German. Women are feminine, but girls are neuter. What's that all about? Russians have noun declension too. Holy smokes. Why is gasoline feminine in Spanish? Just kidding Tainari88, but those leftists may want to ban all these gendered languages soon enough. It makes me glad I speak English. :lol:


Each language is like a form of architecture @blackjack21 you can't force a type of architecture to be something it was never designed to be. Romance languages come from Latin. Latin is a vowel emphasizing language. So?

Besides BJ.....Spanish breaks rules too all over the place. Any word that ends in (a) should have a feminine article. Unless the word origin comes from Greek. Which words are of Greek origin in Spanish? A fair amount.

planeta is not La planeta. It is El planeta. Greek.

drama is not La drama. It is el drama. Greek.

Mapa is not La mapa....it is el mapa. Greek.

10 percent of Spanish comes from Arabic. 8 centuries of Arabic influence left 10% of the language in Spanish. From basic household items like la almohada (the pillow), to almost all words related to horse training, and many food items like arroz (rice), cisterns or bridges or aqueduct related words such as la (alberca).

Spanish is not a pure language by any means. Most languages have influences of many other languages in the lexicon, but what makes a language fall into a consistent language family is if it is following a word order...a syntax. Spanish follows the rules of all romance language for word order...so it is categorized as a Romance language.
#15044352
Rancid wrote:@blackjack21 got me thinking.

@Tainari88, what do you think of the whole Latinx thing?


Hmm. I already told you about the Latinx...it is a made up thing by liberals who have a hard time dealing with the diversity in Latin America.

They want something easy to categorize the 'Latino' peoples. I won't make it easy for the liberals. Sorry. Got to do some work liberals. :lol:
#15044354
Atlantis wrote:I have lived abroad for almost 50 years and using foreign languages has become second nature to me. I can't even imagine what it's like to be enclosed in the culture of one country. Anglophones have the advantage of not having to learn any foreign language. There is, however, the downside that they don't understand any foreign culture, which shows in their foreign policy decisions.


I suspected you were one of the many bilingual or trilinguals by how you write. Lol.

So what other languages do you speak?

I can't imagine speaking only one anymore. Though I learned English after Spanish. My first language is Spanish. I learned English afterwards. I picked up my third one as a teen. Lol. ;)
#15044355
MistyTiger wrote:Yes.

I grew up in a bilingual household and later learned bits of Spanish, French, Italian and German. It has made me more openminded and adventurous. My parents speak Mandarin, Taiwanese and some Cantonese. Different languages bring out different sides of my personality.


My husband would get such incredibly nice smiles from Mandarin speakers...and curious they were....they thought his accent very strange and would ask him where he was from and what was his native language....

I smile about it...He is Puerto Rican and learned Mandarin because he fell in love with Chinese history, culture and language. He found it beautiful. He never thought about it at all.

I sent him to learn English at a Community College. He graduated from Puerto Rico with a degree in Spanish. He hated English so much...he never learned it well even though it is required from kindergarten to university studies.

He always barely passed English...and never learned it fluently. I said to him,---alright husband, go take classes, at the community college for a while see if it improves. He did take classes with a big group of Mexicans, Venezuelans, Panamanians, Colombians, Peruvians, etc all Latinos. He did not learn jack shit. After one year I said, "what is going on husband?" He socialized all the time in Spanish with the Latinos. I said,--you will get no where at all. I am changing you to an ESOL course with Asians. You can't speak with them. You will learn English.

He came back and told me...."Tainari....I fell in love with Chinese! I love that language. I want to learn it." And I frowned...'what about the English?" He shook his head....Ï will learn it I promise...but I want to take Chinese!!

Lol. He started speaking it with Taiwanese people first. He then said to me,---I love that culture. I love it very much. I wish I could go someday and speak with the people.

He wound up organizing workers in Spanish, English and Chinese.

They were laying a lot of the field organizers off after a while....tight budgets being slashed. But they never could get a replacement of those three languages....in one person. So he was not laid off at all. He wound up quitting only after our son was born to stay at home longer.
#15044358
ThirdTerm wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVtLBg1Jrcc

Most Koreans obviously don't understand what this American grandma said in the TV ad. In the end of the ad, she clearly said, “I can’t remember that far back.” But the Korean translation got it wrong as “Oh my God, how can I remember what happened more than 80 years ago?” This sparked a nationwide boycott of the fast fashion chain in South Korea, which is what happens when you are not fluent in English. You can be easily deceived by nationalistic political propaganda that associated the American grandma with Korean comfort women. It is said that Asian students who studied in the U.S. often come back with the outspoken American attitude and they are difficult to handle in conformist Asian societies.


Speaking foreign languages well is an art form and knowing how to translate from one language to another one without losing the spirit of the meaning of that language is not an easy thing to do.

One sees badly translated texts all the time. I would have a lot of conversations with people and would have loved to include a word they were unfamiliar with....but the translation was inadequate sometimes.
#15044367
Tainari88 wrote:
Hmm. I already told you about the Latinx...it is a made up thing by liberals who have a hard time dealing with the diversity in Latin America.

They want something easy to categorize the 'Latino' peoples. I won't make it easy for the liberals. Sorry. Got to do some work liberals. :lol:


Oh yes... I do remember I asked you about this. Sorry, I have a bad memory.
#15044378
Some companies want to do business in Bangladesh but do not know the local language and apparently did not bother to ask anyone for advice:
At some point they imported "Maggi Sauce" but "maggi" is slang for "whore" lol. It is no longer in the market.
A Chinese company was marketing TVs with the name "Kanka", which means male prostitute in Bengali language :)
They changed the name to "Konka"

I speak seven languages due to my mixed background, my travels and my work.
Plus a few words in a couple of other languages.
#15044380
Tainari88 wrote:So what other languages do you speak?


German, English, French, Japanese, Portuguese. I did do some Mandarin many years ago, but forgot most of it due to lack of use.

I think there is a real danger that future generations will stop learning foreign languages because machine translation will reduce the need for learning foreign languages. That would be a great loss.

It's hard to fully appreciate all the benefits of getting a direct experience of another culture. One aspect are health benefits. There are studies that show that foreign language learning helps to prevent dementia in old age.
#15044382
Atlantis wrote:German, English, French, Japanese, Portuguese. I did do some Mandarin many years ago but forgot most of it due to lack of use.

I think there is a real danger that future generations will stop learning foreign languages because machine translation will reduce the need for learning foreign languages. That would be a great loss.

It's hard to fully appreciate all the benefits of getting a direct experience of another culture. One aspect is health benefits. Some studies show that foreign language learning helps to prevent dementia in old age.


Which one do you favor more than the others? Or do you like speaking all of them the same or equally well?

I heard the South American language from Paraguay called Guarani once. It is so beautiful and it sounds like music coming out of your mouth instead of a language. I wish I could speak it.

Lakota I heard as a young woman and had a crush on a young man who spoke Lakota. He spoke it so well...it is a nice language as well. I wonder which ones you would like to learn because they appeal to your sense of aesthetics?
#15044387
Tainari88 wrote:My husband would get such incredibly nice smiles from Mandarin speakers...and curious they were....they thought his accent very strange and would ask him where he was from and what was his native language....

I smile about it...He is Puerto Rican and learned Mandarin because he fell in love with Chinese history, culture and language. He found it beautiful. He never thought about it at all.

I sent him to learn English at a Community College. He graduated from Puerto Rico with a degree in Spanish. He hated English so much...he never learned it well even though it is required from kindergarten to university studies.

He always barely passed English...and never learned it fluently. I said to him,---alright husband, go take classes, at the community college for a while see if it improves. He did take classes with a big group of Mexicans, Venezuelans, Panamanians, Colombians, Peruvians, etc all Latinos. He did not learn jack shit. After one year I said, "what is going on husband?" He socialized all the time in Spanish with the Latinos. I said,--you will get no where at all. I am changing you to an ESOL course with Asians. You can't speak with them. You will learn English.

He came back and told me...."Tainari....I fell in love with Chinese! I love that language. I want to learn it." And I frowned...'what about the English?" He shook his head....Ï will learn it I promise...but I want to take Chinese!!

Lol. He started speaking it with Taiwanese people first. He then said to me,---I love that culture. I love it very much. I wish I could go someday and speak with the people.

He wound up organizing workers in Spanish, English and Chinese.

They were laying a lot of the field organizers off after a while....tight budgets being slashed. But they never could get a replacement of those three languages....in one person. So he was not laid off at all. He wound up quitting only after our son was born to stay at home longer.


Mandarin speakers can be friendly. I feel that English can feel cold and stiff. I prefer other languages to English, but in public, I do not bring up my preference for non-English languages.

I have relatives in Taiwan and I adore them and the country. I hope to return in the distant future, there is more to experience.

I understand a lot of Mandarin but English was my first language. I did not speak until I was 2. I walked before talking, but that did not mean I was born stupid. I was and still am curious about life. But I feel at home when I hear Mandarin. I love the tones and the lack of verb conjugations.

As a child, I spent time with other Chinese kids. It was fun. I feel comfortable around them if they know enough English. I need to improve on my speaking skills.

I learned Spanish in high school and fell in love. I love salsa, flamenco, tango, merengue...and the music! I love truly hot sauce. Americans are usually afraid of spicy food but I need some hotness until my nose gets runny and I cough a bit.

I learned some Italian and German because of online friends and I found cool music from iL Divo and Eros Ramazotti. And I developed a girl crush on Monica Bellucci years ago. She is elegant and suave. If I was into women, she is the type I would go for.
#15044401
Definitely yes. My native language is English, and I learned to speak Japanese fluently, through years of study in high school and college, and then years of living and studying in Japan. Japanese language and culture are both rather vastly different from English/American culture, and becoming proficient in Japanese I think requires a lot of adaptation of thinking. I used to quite frequently think in English about some matters and think in Japanese on other matters, depending on the ease of articulation and on the cultural context, if you will (I'm sure many here can relate). I haven't spoke Japanese regularly for going on 4 years, so this has stopped, and unfortunately my Japanese is getting worse (I can still converse easily in Japanese, but I find myself making a lot of silly grammatical mistakes when I have the chance to speak it).

I've been living in China for the past year and a half, and I've picked up some Mandarin (and had studied it a bit previously). It is interesting to compare it with Japanese, because Japanese inherited so much from Chinese/China. Japanese uses Chinese characters extensively, but the grammar is very different, so Japanese writing is like a sort of mismash. So only by studying Chinese, was it finally like 'ah hah, this is how it's supposed to work.' Chinese writing is very straight-forward, Japanese feels like different phrases glued together, in a way.

There are a lot of contrasts, and some complimentary aspects, between Chinese and Japanese cultures and worldviews, as well as customs, and I do feel that these are sometimes expressed through language, although I'm not sure I could make any real analysis of it; for one, my Mandarin is not that good. That said, I'm guessing you'll find this in different varieties of Chinese, as well.

MistyTiger wrote:Mandarin speakers can be friendly. I feel that English can feel cold and stiff. I prefer other languages to English, but in public, I do not bring up my preference for non-English languages.

I have relatives in Taiwan and I adore them and the country. I hope to return in the distant future, there is more to experience.

I understand a lot of Mandarin but English was my first language. I did not speak until I was 2. I walked before talking, but that did not mean I was born stupid. I was and still am curious about life. But I feel at home when I hear Mandarin. I love the tones and the lack of verb conjugations.

I didn't speak until I was 2 either, as I was born deaf. I had surgery when I was 2, which was successful, and I never experienced any hearing problems since, but it certainly had a big impact on me growing up. I had a speech impediment due to this, which I eventually overcame through speech therapy, and I was picked on a lot because of it. I don't want to say I was bullied in school, because when someone crossed me over it I'd get enraged and I would fight back. It did often make me nervous to speak though when I was out and about; I got tired of people asking me which country I was from, thinking I had some European accent, etc. The real bullying started when I began hanging out with my sister's friends, who were mostly older, and made fun of me all the time.

This was a big motivation for me to learn Japanese well. I thought that if I could learn to speak a foreign language, it couldn't fail to positively influence my ability to speak English in a proper way. I remember having this idea from pretty early on. I think it worked, also. I suppose that learning a foreign language makes one more attuned to the matter of pronunciation, and perhaps expands one's repertoire, if you will. This matter might also be somewhat loosely related to the overall cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language (which is related to how it helps prevent dementia, and what not).

For what it's worth, people often compliment me on my Mandarin pronunciation. Too bad I'm too lazy to study vocabulary much, and the tones are quite a challenge. The tones are easy to pronounce, but difficult to remember. Vocabulary takes rote memorization, but then to associate the tones, simply takes practice. It's hard to study Chinese words, because I can practice saying the words, but I'll just forget the tones, and I often only really learn the proper tones by being corrected. When I butcher a word (do to wrong tone) and someone corrects me, I often remember it thereafter, but it's a slow process.

Edit: In Chinese, xi vs shi, qi vs chi, and ji vs zhi also kill me. I understand the differences and can pronounce each of these syllables, but I always forget to do so properly. The sounds shi, chi, and zhi aren't really common in English (they sort of exist in certain words, or similarities exist), but I always tend to revert to the more common English sounds, so I pronounce shi as xi, etc.

Chinese is not very complicated and the pronunciation is not at all insurmountable, but putting together all the pieces, and doing so in real-time, is challenging.

I also studied Korean, which to me is the most difficult among Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Korean pronunciation is a nightmare for me, and the absence of Chinese characters is actually a liability (if you look at a book from the 60s or before written in Korean it generally includes Chinese characters, but this went out of favor after the 60s and now written Korean is usually just hangul, although newspapers still use some hanja). Trying to read Korean in hangul is almost like reading Chinese in pinyin, or more so like reading Japanese in just hiragana.

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