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First language: Finnish (native) Second language: Russian (elective first foreign language at school from, 9 years old; basic proficiency due to disuse) Third language: Swedish (compulsory at scho

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6 hours ago, randomsummer said:

Brazilian Portuguese IMO is one of the ugliest and strangest pronunciations of any language I've personally experienced.

I like the sound of Portuguese. It has more vowel sounds than any other Indo-European language and a distinct melody. The Brazilian one sounds softer. What may be a bit off putting to an English native speaker, especially in Brazilian Portuguese, is the variety of R sounds. It has both the R that you make with the tip of your tongue (same as in Spanish) and the guttural R that you make by trilling your uvula (like in French or German), the pronunciation depends on the position of the R in the word/sentence. Sometimes the guttural R is devoiced and sounds like the Arabic خ sound.

http://hackingportuguese.com/pronunciation/portuguese-r-the-long-version/

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3 minutes ago, dingformung said:
7 hours ago, randomsummer said:

 

I like the sound of Portuguese. It has more vowel sounds than any other Indo-European language

This is not true. The Northern European languages have more. In fact, apart from the Southern African “click” languages there is no language anywhere in the world that has more phonemes than Dutch. Swedish is up there too. Romance languages are far, far behind (though I wouldn’t be surprised if among Romance languages Portuguese is a winner).

</ useless factoid remembered from university phonology classes>

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1 minute ago, rhmilo said:

This is not true. The Northern European languages have more. In fact, apart from the Southern African “click” languages there is no language anywhere in the world that has more phonemes than Dutch.

I was only talking vowel sounds, that doesn't include consonants. And yes, @thumbass should start learning Xhosa

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i studied spanish for 3 years and at one point had decent conversational baby level skills but now after years of not using it at all i have at best fetus skills.  lately ive increased my skills in it decently by just making spanish speaking friends and talking like an idiot to them and it forces me to remember

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English, Danish, German, and a wee bit Spanish. I know some Japanese, and I understand 80-90% of Swedish and Norwegian depending on what region the person talking is from.

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18 minutes ago, dingformung said:

I was only talking vowel sounds, that doesn't include consonants. And yes, @thumbass should start learning Xhosa

Even for vowels alone Dutch and Swedish are teh winnerz.

Wikipedia is s bit inconsistent but it looks like it gives Portuguese 14 and Dutch (for which it lists my former phonology professor as a source 🙂 ) 20.

It also says Portuguese gets its large number because vowels exist in two variants, regular and nasalized. If you ignore that (and I think you should, just like you don’t count each Chinese vowel four times because of the tones) the number if vowels is fairly average.

 

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32 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

It also says Portuguese gets its large number because vowels exist in two variants, regular and nasalized. If you ignore that (and I think you should, just like you don’t count each Chinese vowel four times because of the tones) the number if vowels is fairly average.

They in fact exist in three variants: Regular, long and nasalised. Only the A doesn't change in its long form (apart from being pronounced for a longer time). You are right about the amount of vowel sounds, though, but wrong about not counting nasalised vowels as their own phonemes.

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1 hour ago, dingformung said:

I was only talking vowel sounds, that doesn't include consonants. And yes, @thumbass should start learning Xhosa

I have considered learning it, it's quite a fun language.

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One thing I really like about my native language (slovenian) is that it has duality: grammar rules describing two persons. Not because it's very rare, but because there is a distinction when talking about two persons. It makes it not only more "informative", but also because of the dynamic and depth. It's more complex to learn, and even native slovenian speakers sometimes don't know how to use it, especially with akussativ declination, which is kind of funny.

About english I like it's simplicity and flexibility. Particularly the fact that you can transform an adjective or noun into a verb, and it would still make perfect sense. In fact, new words often get molded into use this way. The language evolves so much faster this way, and many foreign language are starting to include english words (I'm looking at you German), but that I don't like that much.

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I did probably already say these in the other thread but

Native language: Finnish

Second language: English (since 3rd grade)

Other languages: Swedish (since 7th grade), French (8th grade to end of high school), Russian (one year in university)

"Unofficially": While traveling I've picked up some languages a bit like Latin American Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Antillean Creole French..  But I can't really "speak" them, but neither I can really "speak" Russian or French. I've managed to make multiple phone calls in Spanish though!

I've been trying to learn some Cantonese, but just knowing "mgoi" (唔該) will work for most situations it seems because it's "Excuse me", "Thank you" and "Hello" all in one :cisfor:

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8 minutes ago, zkom said:

Native language: Finnish

It's good to be a Finn, it's very necessary to learn other languages to get by in the world - our school system mandates one elective language, then Swedish for Finnish-speaking natives (and Finnish for Swedish-speaking ones), and in addition about everyone takes at least one more additional elective language - so we pick up at least three languages besides Finnish before we're 15.

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2 hours ago, dcom said:

It's good to be a Finn, it's very necessary to learn other languages to get by in the world - our school system mandates one elective language, then Swedish for Finnish-speaking natives (and Finnish for Swedish-speaking ones), and in addition about everyone takes at least one more additional elective language - so we pick up at least three languages besides Finnish before we're 15.

Well, the downside is that people born in the Anglosphere have a native advantage for example in the academic and business worlds. And knowing Finnish isn't really helpful outside Finland and Estonia and then wasting resources in the education system to learn another small language (Swedish) doesn't really help much in the global competition.

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6 minutes ago, zkom said:

Well, the downside is that people born in the Anglosphere have a native advantage for example in the academic and business worlds. And knowing Finnish isn't really helpful outside Finland and Estonia and then wasting resources in the education system to learn another small language (Swedish) doesn't really help much in the global competition.

But for everyday life in Finland knowing Swedish is much more useful than knowing Mandarin or Hindi, no? 🤷‍♂️

 

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7 minutes ago, dingformung said:

But for everyday life in Finland knowing Swedish is much more useful than knowing Mandarin or Hindi, no? 🤷‍♂️

 

Eh, I've needed Swedish only when I'm actually in Sweden and even there I can mostly get by with English or even in Finnish in the north. The areas where the majority of people speak Swedish in Finland are small. It's mostly just Åland archipelago and pockets in the western coastal areas.

Edit: If you want something to compare to then Canada is usually used for that. Swedish in Finland is like French in Canada and Åland archipelago to Finland is what Quebec is to Canada. But unlike in Canada there's only 5.2% native Swedish speakers compared to 20.6% French speakers in Canada.

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48 minutes ago, zkom said:

Well, the downside is that people born in the Anglosphere have a native advantage for example in the academic and business worlds. And knowing Finnish isn't really helpful outside Finland and Estonia and then wasting resources in the education system to learn another small language (Swedish) doesn't really help much in the global competition.

That's what I meant, it's good to be a Finn because you need to learn foreign languages and our school system fulfils that need. The mandatory Swedish issue is a different thing altogether (and Swedish is a Germanic language so there's a benefit, albeit a small one).

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5 hours ago, dingformung said:

You are [...] wrong about not counting nasalised vowels as their own phonemes.

So are there instances in Portuguese where the same syllable exists in both (or all three) variants each with a different meaning?

I agree with you that the distinction between what does and doesn’t count as a vowel can be somewhat arbitrary, btw.

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1 minute ago, dcom said:

The mandatory Swedish issue is a different thing altogether (and Swedish is a Germanic language so there's a benefit, albeit a small one).

Yeah, it's a complex issue with identities, history, colonialism (or lack of colonialism depending on your viewpoint), etc and any non-Finn here would find the whole discussion about it very bizarre so better not go there too deep. Otherwise there will pages and pages of arguing about a subject that nobody outside Finland would understand, lol.

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French is my native language, I used to speak German very well back in high school but forgot almost everything, mostly because I never have a chance to speak German unlike English which I read and write everyday on the Internetz (lurking on WATMM really, really really helped building a lot of vocabulary !)

I tried for a few months to learn Esperanto, really think it's a great thing and it seemed to have a nice community. Would love to translate work-related things in Esperanto, one day maybe !

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10 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

So are there instances in Portuguese where the same syllable exists in both (or all three) variants each with a different meaning?

I agree with you that the distinction between what does and doesn’t count as a vowel can be somewhat arbitrary, btw.

Yes, it matters which one you say and can change the meaning of a word (can't come up with an extreme example right now because I don't really speak it but had it in school). O, õ and ô all sound different and have their own letter in the alphabet.

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16 minutes ago, Stock said:

I tried for a few months to learn Esperanto, really think it's a great thing and it seemed to have a nice community. Would love to translate work-related things in Esperanto, one day maybe !

I think Esperanto is a dead end as beautiful as it is. Tried to learn it for about an hour or so and already made some progress, lol (it's really that easy). I don't think it will ever be anywhere near a world language and die out in a some generations but apparently there are a couple of native speakers.

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6 hours ago, dingformung said:

I like the sound of Portuguese. It has more vowel sounds than any other Indo-European language and a distinct melody. The Brazilian one sounds softer. What may be a bit off putting to an English native speaker, especially in Brazilian Portuguese, is the variety of R sounds. It has both the R that you make with the tip of your tongue (same as in Spanish) and the guttural R that you make by trilling your uvula (like in French or German), the pronunciation depends on the position of the R in the word/sentence. Sometimes the guttural R is devoiced and sounds like the Arabic خ sound.

http://hackingportuguese.com/pronunciation/portuguese-r-the-long-version/

I agree there were some sounds which I liked, the R sounds you mentioned for example.  One of the problems I had was with how they pronounced T as "chi".  At the gym they told me that it was time to do some "frenchie squatchies".  It took me forever to realize that they meant "front squats".  Then I LOLed and still LOL every time I say "frenchie squatchies".  Then I went and ate some shockolatchi (chocolate) and LOLed some more.  Perhaps it's my dumbass American mentality, but the T-chi sound makes everything that ended in T sound cutesy and petite.

They LOLed at me when I finally realized that leite = leche = milk.  Stupid chi-T.  :facepalm:

I also spent 4 months in India during grad school, and while learning some of the basic Hindi vocabulary I decided to try and play a trick on my friends there.  I bet them I could learn 100 words in one day.  I had planned on just learning to count from 1 to 100 and they laughed hard when I said this.  Then I learned that in Hindi, 1 - 100 are 100 mostly distinct words that must be memorized individually.  WTF, India?

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