Language Exchange

As some of you guys may know, I love languages and linguistics, and taking into account that these forums have people with knowledge of many languages I decided to create a thread where we could talk about the languages we like, the ones we are learning or want to learn, words we like in a specific language, or just random facts about how you use your language (or languages).

I hope you guys find this interesting, and I am eager to learn about the languages you guys know.

What languages do you know?


This is such a good idea Cam!

Anyway for the topic at hand, my first language is English. However, I’ve been learning Spanish ever since first grade. I should maybe be better at Spanish since I’ve practically grown up with it but I only learn Spanish in a class so I don’t have many opportunities to actually speak the language outside of class.

Also this year I started learning ASL (American Sign Language) which I find very interesting. Sign Language is so different then spoken language yet has its similarities which makes it very interesting.

I only speak English however, I currently live in Mexico and no hablo español so I’m learning!
My mother’s first language is Malay. I’ve always been annoyed that she didn’t teach it to me as a child lol. I really wish I could speak at least two languages fluently!

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I speak german & english. :slight_smile:

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ASL! I love that and I speak a lot of it, it’s really fun and I hope you like it!

I speak English and Bangla :ok_hand:
Only problem is that I can’t read or write in Bangla hehe but oh well.

I speak English and Dutch. I have French at school but I suck at it.

I speak English. I am learning French and German at school. I can fully understand heard French because my Dad’s side of the family is French.

I speak English, and I am trying to learn Japanese.
A couple years ago I was learning various writing systems, and after I memorized about fifty kanji I thought “Hey, maybe I should learn how to say something.”

I can speak/understand Dutch and English fluently. I can also fully understand Moroccan Arabic but when it comes to speaking, I kinda suck. I’m at B1/B2 level when it comes to French and I can form basic sentences in German. (Dutch is my native language, though.

My first language is English. My mother is Filipino so I understand some Tagalog but I can’t really speak it. I also took 3 years of Japanese back in high school, so my understanding of the language is above average. I can read/write hiragana/katakana, but not so much kanji (it’s been years so my memory is a tad bit dusty :frowning:). I live in Southern California so I’m surrounded by hispanics. My husband is Mexican and his first language was Spanish so I’m constantly listening to him speak the language (especially since his parents don’t speak English), so even though I never took any classes I still understand the Spanish language.

Some of you guys grew up with a multilingual environment and that’s amazing! I wish I had that too.

So… today I wanted to share my favourite quote from Plato’s Republic with you: “χαλεπα τα καλα”

Its rough translation would be something along the lines of “fine things are difficult” which doesn’t make that much sense.

In Ancient Greek, the verb to be (ειμι) is implicit in all of the sentences that do not have a verb, so it could also be written as “χαλεπα τα καλα εισι.”
The first thing you know is that “τα καλα” is the subject of the sentence, mainly because it goes along with the article (τα).
Now, due to the position of “χαλεπα”, and because of the fact that it doesn’t have an article (τα), you can tell that’s the attribute for “τα καλα.”
So if you want to rewrite the sentence to translate it more literally you would write something like “τα καλα χαλεπα εισι.” Now you have the sentence in a hierarchic order.

Onto the actual translation. The first thing you notice it that the article “τα” and the suffix “-α” mean the subject is in plural, and it’s gender neutral. Therefore, “τα καλα” can be translated to “(the) beautiful things”. But if you have read Plato in Greek before you will know that he uses the words “καλος” (beautiful) and αγαθος" (good) interchangeably, so I decided to go with “fine” which is some kind of middle point between these two things.
Like I said before, “ειμι” is to be, and εισι is the third person, plural for of the verb (are).
“χαλεπος” is easier to translate, for we already know it’s neutral and plural; it means difficult.

So a literal translation is “fine things are difficult” but that doesn’t make that much sense, so we have to analyse it a little bit more.If we understand χαλεπα as another noun, rather than an adjective, we get “fine things are a difficulty”, which makes much more sense (at least it does in Spanish, please tell me if it doesn’t in English).

All in all, the sentence means that beautiful things take some struggle, and you can’t reach difficulty and beauty the easy way. And it could also mean that, if you handle it properly, struggles can lead to fine things, and that is why I love that quote.


This is such an amazing idea! :grin:
I speak English, Arabic, and a little Turkish. :blush:
I used to speak French when I was younger but I ended up forgetting it cause of the lack of practice. :slightly_frowning_face:
And I would LOVE to learn Spanish. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I can read Arabic (but not understand what I’m reading :woman_shrugging:)

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I was born in Africa so my native language is Yoruba(fluent) and Owo (understands but can’t speak anymore :frowning: ) I moved to America when I was 8? And I already knew English (Fluent) and since we’re pretty much required to learn Spanish I know a tad bit of that too. Sarcasm is another language I’m fond of. I’ve staryed learning Korean and French. I love languages as well :slight_smile:

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Hey I’m learning Japanese at school so if you ever want any help with it, I’d be glad to help!

Sarcasm is a great language xD

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Thanks! Hardly anyone speaks it where I live, and it can be hard to practice. I might PM you some time.

Please PM me! I love helping others learn and I would be very happy to help you develop your Japanese! Duolingo is great, except it doesn’t really explain to you why things are a certain way, which is essential if you actually want to learn Japanese and have a good understanding of why certain things are written in certain ways.