06 April 2013

Icebreaker Saturday #4

Today's Icebreaker Question: What languages do you speak? Languages that you have studied in the past can also be mentioned. But not English!

Now, the reason I say that your answer shouldn't include English is not because English doesn't count as a language, because it does, and it's a very fine language, but because I assume if you are reading this post that you have some understanding of the language it's written in. I felt I had to add this disclaimer because I've been at too many gatherings where "What languages do you speak?" was the icebreaker question and everyone in the room began their list with "English...." and it just got a little redundant after a while.

A key benefit of knowing Chinese characters is that you can make really cool-looking sugar cookies. Some of them said really random words like "Large" or "Cat". That simple fact made me so happy!

Rachel: Anyone who's been here a while knows that I speak Chinese. I speak it with many flaws and I often forget characters--but to some extent, I can read, write, speak, and understand Mandarin Chinese. I love reading and writing the best, even though that's taking the easy way out, because when I'm listening to Chinese I can sometimes get lost in the sheer speed of the speech of a native speaker. I also speak Spanish to some extent, and less and less Bahasa Malaysia, the longer I've been away. Although, just recently, I was insisting to Angel that bibir was the word for lip in Spanish and he was disagreeing with me...until I finally remembered that bibir is a Bahasa word, not a Spanish word. And this is why you should never argue vocab with a native speaker of the language. Written accents on the other hand....Angel knows I know those better than he does. Oh yeah, I studied Japanese long enough that I can still read katakana and hiragana but I don't know what most of the words mean.

Angel: (It's already been determined that he speaks Spanish and nothing else, unless we count medical talk as a language. Even his Spanglish sounds pretty fake.)

Your turn!

So, what languages do you speak? I'll even take, what languages did you study in high school and promptly never use for the rest of your life? because I know that's how it works sometimes.
Kristina said...

I took Spanish in high school for one year and German for two years. I've forgotten a lot. I also learned a little bit of Russian later on. When I tried to speak German, I would get it mixed it up with Spanish. So I know some words from all but cannot really speak in any, though I know the most in German.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I speak English...just kidding. I understand some Hebrew. I don't speak it as well as I understand it. In high school I took French and American Sign Language.

Jessica @ The Wondering Brain said...

In high school I took French, German, and Spanish. I took a little bit of Mandarin because of my job of going to Macau. Don't ask me anything though. All I know is Ni Hao Ma? I speak Tagalog fairly well too. If pidgin English is a language, I will also claim that too since I am from Hawaii :). Awesome post!!! Thanks for visiting me in my little world of the blogosphere :)

The Wondering Brain

Jen said...

What a great topic and I like you! Knowing more then one language is awesome! That's a fantastic idea for cookies. I can speak Spanish and broken at that. When I try too hard that's when I fail. It's actually my unofficial first language. I can read french grocery products. Wouldn't have a clue how to pronounce them. Blame Canada and their bilingual system. One day I'll learn it and many more.

Janna Renee said...

I speak a bit of Spanish that I learned living in South Florida, but can definitely understand it better than I speak it. I still can't believe you speak Chinese. That is such a hard language!

Unknown said...

I speak, write and read German, English and Polish fluent.

I can understand a lot and can communicate in Croatian, French and Spanish.

And because of this variety, I am able to understand some things in oter languages like Czech, Russian, Dutch and so on..

CocoinMagnolia said...

My husband speaks Mandarin, me not so much. But, we lived in Beijing for 5 yrs and had I not been raising babies at the time, I would have taken the time to learn. lol.

Unknown said...

I can speak very basic spanish, I lost almost all of it when I learned to speak Khmer. My husband is fluent in spanish, but has lost a lot of his khmer. I can read a tiny tiny tiny bit of khmer characters, and I can write my name.