General Question

gailcalled's avatar

Who speaks a language other than English as his/her primary?

Asked by gailcalled (54575points) January 4th, 2008

Having noticed that there are lots of newbies from places other than the US., I am curious about the language resources available. And I know that several of you have mentioned using sign language. Is that hard to learn?

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11 Answers

b's avatar

My mother language is mumble. But very few people speak it and there are very few resources available. Fortunately anyone can speak it at any time, but no one can understand you.
On the other hand sign language is pretty quick to pick up on. I learned quite a bit when I had a student that was deaf. She spoke mumble too, but was way more fluent in both that and sign language than me.

felipelavinz's avatar

I’m from Chile, my primary language is spanish

Eight's avatar

An Englishman and an American meet each other in a bar. The Yank says “It’s good we speak the same language.” The Englishman replies “Oh, I didn’t know you speak French.”

Swair's avatar

I’m from Kuwait, so I speak Arabic

krypin's avatar

I speak polish and I bet there’s a bunch of Poles here. Pozdro!

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

My primary language is English, but I speak Hebrew fluently.

klaas4's avatar

I speak Dutch as primary language, but I think you already knew that. :-)

Noon's avatar

Going back to the question about sign language. I would say learning sign language well is just as hard (if not harder) thank learning any other foreign language.

The myth of sign language being an easier language to learn is a result of:
1) Most people still thinking deaf people are “lesser” and therefor their language is too.
2) Many ASL teachers not being native Deaf signers and not teaching true ASL but rather a signed english variant (which would make it much easier for someone who already speaks english)
3) Many people thinking they sign better than they actually do because many Deaf people are willing to put up with sloppy non fluent signers.

ASL is actually a very complex language, with it’s own grammar and native vocabulary. Facial expressions that are grammatical, body shifts that can change the meaning of whole passages. A complex set of Classifiers used to give very accurate and clear spacial information.

Yes learning a few words and being able to sign a few things may come faster than your first few words in spoken foreign language, but to learn it well it will be just as hard as any other language.

As someone who has learned the language and is now working as an interpreter in the Deaf community, I’ll have to say, learning it was well worth it ;-) So I say go for it, but don’t learn it because you were told it was “easy”.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

German natively. I grew up in Bonn, but moved to America when I was seven.

pitchtheview's avatar

My primary language was ASL (american sign language) seeing as my parents and most of my extended family on my mom side are all Deaf.

Learning ASL… It is hard to learn, I’m not too sure on the details since I’ve never had to try to sign. But if you want to learn, go for it! :]

sugabelly's avatar

I speak Igbo

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