Social Question

bhec10's avatar

How many languages do you speak?

Asked by bhec10 (6406 points ) March 8th, 2010

Just out of curiosity:

1) How many?
2) What do you use them for?
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?

I could go on with the questions, but enough for now!

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36 Answers

Ivan's avatar

1) 1
2) For communication
3) English, I know how to speak it.
4) I can’t
5) I know more than language, and I’d say it’s pretty beneficial.

Vunessuh's avatar

I only speak English.
People come up to me, assume I speak Spanish and start speaking Spanish to me all the time though. I should highly consider investing in some Rosetta Stone.
I’d also like to learn to speak Khmer even though Cambodia is the only country I’d ever use it in.
Being bilingual definitely has it’s advantages.

I’d really like to know what those tiny asian ladies are talking about when they do my nails.

rangerr's avatar

1) How many?
English and American Sign.
2) What do you use them for?
English is my main language, Sign is for my sister, god brother and the kids I work with.
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
I really like ASL, but I’d have to say English because it’s the most useful.
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
Not that I can think of, no.
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
Yes. I wish I knew more Spanish than what I do just because of how many Hispanic people we have in my area. I believe when I graduated, 78% of our elementary schools were Hispanic.

bhec10's avatar

@rangerr @Vunessuh @Ivan all GA’s in their own way :)

Jude's avatar

1) 2 – English and French
2) Conversing
3) English
4) Yes, I was able to do some teaching at a French Immersion school
5) Sure. It helps as far as landing a job in a bilingual country.

Symbeline's avatar

Two, French and English. Use for em speaking, reading and writing, wherever applicable. Québec is pretty bilingual. At least Montréal is.
English is my favourite. Better swear words.
No real treatment ecxept from all French speaking Québéquois who don’t like that my dialect is from France and not Canada. (And don’t mention “Canada” to them. or France.) They also hate it if you know English if they don’t know a lick of it.

Knowing many languages is always a good idea I think. Getting jobs, traveling, showing off if you happen to know any German and can translate all dem badass German Industrial songs.

marinelife's avatar

1. 2
2. To communicate.
3. French, because I love the way it sounds. So liquid.
4. No.
5. Yes, I think it is an advantage. i wish I spoke Spanish.

DominicX's avatar

Just English, unfortunately. I would love to be able to speak another one, especially considering my parents speak Russian and many of my relatives speak Russian (especially the ones who live in Russia!) When I hear people speak Russian, I get jealous. >:(

I have knowledge of Latin and can form sentences and understand many things, but it’s pretty much useless for communication. :P

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I speak English, Icelandic, Lozi ( my tribal language from Africa) nyanja,and much more of African Languages.And I am learning Spanish
I mostly use Icelnadic in school and at home with my stepdad, lozi with my mom ( we could be sitting next to you and gossiping you wouldn’t understand a soulxD.
English to I speak at home. I am learning Spanish because I really like how they talk and stuff ;)

bhec10's avatar

I think I should answer my own question as well:

1) How many?
I speak 5 different languages: Portuguese, German, English and French are my strongest languages. Spanish I can fully understand and speak a little, but not write.

2) What do you use them for?
I went to a German School for 15 years. I’m Portuguese. I need English because it’s one of the most important languages in the world and because I’m studying in the UK. French because my mother went to a French school in Portugal and Spanish because I used to watch cartoons in Spanish.

3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
My favourite is Portuguese because it’s a beautiful language which I miss talking since I came to the UK.

4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
I think that when I applied for my course, the fact that I knew 5 languages was an important factor for being accepted here.

5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
Yes, definitely. Although I want to polish my Spanish and learn either Greek or Italian.

JLeslie's avatar

1) How many? 2, English and Spanish

2) What do you use them for? English I use every day, I live in America, it is my first language. Spanish I use to communiate with my in-laws mostly, and whenever it is handy in business, sometimes to help someone who is struggling with Engish, or to bond with a Spanish speaking person who lives or is visiting in the US.

3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why? I like them both. I wish my Spanish was better, I still make quite a few mistakes, but can get my point across pretty well, as long as it is not a very serious conversation that needs to be handled well. Very emotional or technical topics are a little sketchy for me, because mistakes can mean someone is offended or gets improper information.

4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language? Not sure? I don’t think so. My husband, who is fully bilingual, has had more career opportunities, because of his language skills.

5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage? BIG advantage. Knowing a second language opens up a whole world that people who are not bilingual would not probably understand. Being able to communicate with people in their language somehow also gives insights to their culture, their emotion. Plus, once you know a second language you are more daring to try others. When I travel I will attempt to communicate in other languages just with a Berlitz book in hand. You also understand how many things do not directly translate, how things can get lost in translation, and you are more patient with people who speak English as a second language (ESL). Even people who are fully bilingual, but are ESL, may say something that comes out wrong, and if you are familiar with their first language you are more likely to understand their intent better, or where a logical mistake may have been made.

Judi's avatar

Does Pig Latin count?

Vunessuh's avatar

@bvdshec17 GQ, por cierto.

cockswain's avatar

I speak the universal language. Love. The language of love!

bhec10's avatar

@Vunessuh

Thank you!
Obrigado!
Gracias!
Merci!
Danke!

Whichever you prefer :)

Your_Majesty's avatar

1. 4. Bahasa Melayu(Indonesian),English(still working on it),Chinese,and Mandarin. Mom from Chinese tribe and dad from Mandarin tribe. I live in Indonesia.
2. Usually to socialize(especially in international communities)
3. My favorite would be English. Because English is the international language.
4. No. But my younger sibling/other relative will asks me to translate some word they don’t know,or simply to learn more.
5. Of course. It’s required in nowadays globalization and modernization world. People(especially from foreign country,like me) could participate and get involved with all kind opportunity worldwide.

bhec10's avatar

@All

Thanks to everyone who answered so far. GA’s! Keep ‘em coming :)

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

1) How many?
I speak English as my main language. I am learning German.
2) What do you use them for?
To talk to people
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
I like English because it is my native language. I also like speaking German because I can talk to my friends without other people knowing what I say.
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
No, because not many people know.
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
It depends on what you are going to do with your life. If you plan on doing business travel or international business, then it is good. If you are only gonna live in one country and not communicate with people from other countries, then I don’t guess it matters.

kounoupi's avatar

1) How many?
3, Greek, English and German
2) What do you use them for?
Communication with others, reading and writing.
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
I am a native Greek speaker, so I choose Greek as my favourite language
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
Yes, Greek is a rather rare language and it is a sign of high education for people in the Middle East and Northern Africa. In my country it is very imrortant to have good command in other European languages, so important that you may even find yourself unemployed if you don’t.
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
Knowledge is always an advantage:)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I speak English and Russian. I use the latter with my mom, aunt, grandma, children, husband and some of my patients. I prefer to use English because I have a better grasp on it now. And yes I am given preferential treatment amongst some Russian people (not that I want it). And I think everyone should speak more than one language – so I’m raising my kids to be bilingual.

filmfann's avatar

1) How many?
English, some spanish, SEE Sign (which is like ASL). The voices in my head are teaching me Latin!
2) What do you use them for?
I really only use English. Occasionally, I will sign to my wife when we are in a group, to give her a private message.
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
English. It’s just a pain to concentrate on the others.
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
The opposite. I was expected to communicate with Spanish or Deaf customers, just because I could. I got no extra money for that.
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
When you learn another language, you always learn about that culture, and I think that is becoming more important these days with shrinking boarders.

MissAnthrope's avatar

1) How many?
3 – English, French, and Italian (in order of fluency).

2) What do you use them for?
English for day-to-day, French I rarely use anymore, and Italian when I go to visit my mom. French really is the basis of my being able to understand other Latin languages, and why I’m able to get by in Italian.

3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
I like them all for various reasons. English because I have a large vocabulary and it’s fun to play with words. French and Italian because they’re pretty to speak and listen to. Italian because you can make the meaning of any word bigger or smaller with the addition of suffixes (-issimo, -ino, -etto, etc.), which I find really great and I kind of wish we could do that in English.

4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.

5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
Absolutely. I agree that knowledge is an advantage and it will definitely be so when I’m on The Amazing Race. Haha.

Chongalicious's avatar

1) English, Spanish, body language <<—this counts, right?

2) Where I live, English is used more than Spanish, but barely. So both are for day-to-day communication. Body language is the most important to me, though. Afterall only 10% of what you say is coming out of your mouth!

3) I like all equally. English for the slang and efficiency, Spanish because they actually follow the rules set in the language whereas English has at least 10 exceptions for each rule! Lastly, it is easier to see what a person is really trying to say if you can read body language well.

4) I have been preferred over others for being able to speak Spanish, because the Hispanics where I live really appreciate that I took the time to learn their language. Also because I can communicate effectively with more people.

5) It is most definitely an advantage with growing numbers of people in dominately English-speaking countries who do not speak English. It helps a lot to be able to speak to more people; you become very useful to employers as well.

Ltryptophan's avatar

1.latin, 2. understanding romance languages and new words, 3. english, everyone who speaks latin does it at the vatican not around me, 4. Latin made me look cool in law school. 5. a bigger advantage for each language.

i’m about to learn arabic soon!

FutureMemory's avatar

I am fluent in over 6 million forms of communication.

TexasDude's avatar

I speak two languages: German and English. German is just for fun and because it sounds badass. I’m a native English speaker. I think anyone would be at an advantage to know at least two languages. I’d like to learn Sanskrit, Pashto, Russian, and Hebrew.

neverawake's avatar

the list is endless

wundayatta's avatar

Define “speak.”

talljasperman's avatar

1) How many? 3 English, French, Latin 4 if you count Klingon (I’ve forgotten most of it)
2) What do you use them for? to get credit in school
3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why? Klingon because I used to be a star trek nut
4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language? no
5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage? yes because you can watch more TV stations

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Three——English is my first language. I also know some Chinese and Japanese.

mrentropy's avatar

1) How many?
One, English. I did take three years of Latin in high school. However, I can say “no” in many different languages(No, No, Non, Nyet, Nein)

2) What do you use them for?
Conveying information.

3) Of those that you know how to speak, which one is your favourite and why?
English. I’m nearly good at it.

4) Have you ever been given preferential treatment in any way just because you could speak more than one language?
English speaking people are more likely to speak to me.

5) Do you think that knowing more than language is nowadays an advantage?
Definitely. Then I’d know what those other people in the elevator were saying about me.

ratboy's avatar

None—I’m mute.

TheOnlyException's avatar

Nice question.
1) 3 (including my native English), I also speak French and Sinhalese (Sri Lanka)
2) Well English is self-explanatory, French I use in France when I visit and also I use for my French Qualifications, Sinhalese I speak when I go to Sri Lanka or just so I can understand what my parents are saying to me half the time when they accidentally slip back into the ‘mother tongue’.
3) English by far. I like articulating my accent and using longer more impressive words. Everyone loves a pretentious git. :)
4) Not that I know of. Some monks at a Buddhist temple thought it was cool that a ‘westernised girl’ could understand such a remote language once..
5) YES YES YES DEFINITELY AN ADVANTAGE.
I always envy people who speak certain languages I cannot.

hope i helped :)

Nullo's avatar

I speak English and Italian. I can read Spanish (can speak a smidgen too) and some Portuguese. I have a smattering of German, and I can pick out – if not actually understand – individual words in spoken Japanese.

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