Language thread

A topic that should have a thread of it’s own I think

And if we have questions concerning languages we can post them here

Since there are different nationalities represented here somebody should be able to answer

Following the conversation in the ‘vacation’ thread…

Scherp you said Spanish is more popular in school in Holland these days than French and German

Apparently the same goes for Sweden, Spanish is now more popular

And since it’s a language spoken by almost the whole of Latin America it’s probably very important too

And maybe it’s more fun to study than either French or German?

I certainly found it so. And simpler too. The pronunciation and grammar are pretty straightforward once you get going.

I chose French.

I chose spanish

[quote=“Lindberg, post:2, topic:1924”]Following the conversation in the ‘vacation’ thread…

Scherp you said Spanish is more popular in school in Holland these days than French and German

Apparently the same goes for Sweden, Spanish is now more popular

And since it’s a language spoken by almost the whole of Latin America it’s probably very important too

And maybe it’s more fun to study than either French or German?[/quote]

In Holland Spanish is more popular than French; younger people identify Spanish more with holidays, tequila, tapas, the costas etc. (there was a popular series called Costa about young people spending their time and their parents’ money in Salou, Spain). French, on the other hand, is often identified with old-fashioned things & thoughts, it’s - in many people’s eyes - a thing from the past.

In Belgium French is still more popular than Spanish, for the simple reason that it’s a bilingual country, and at a certain school level, French is an obligatory subject.

Hmm, yes French seems to become old fashioned.

I think the attitude of the French doesn’t help either; they’re very fond of their language (by the way: nothing wrong with that) and insist on speaking it in situations where it’s not very appropriate. Nearly all speakers on international meetings like scientific congresses etc. have their lectures in English, whether they’re from Spain, Italy or the Middle East. The English that is spoken is sometimes horrible, but that’s not really a problem. But French speakers often insist on the French language; as a result their ideas aren’t heard. I’ve often noticed many people leave the room when they started talking.

Scherp, this may seem like a strange question, but when you speak English, can you tell if it is accented or not? When my brother was in Holland, he would be talking to Dutch people in English who spoke perfect accent free English and only found out they were Dutch when they started talking to other Dutch people. Any ideas. And they were definetly Dutch.

Everyone has an accent Korano. Even the Queen of England (who owns the english language and keeps it in a jeweled box next to her bed along with her false teeth).

Having enjoyed a few beers and dinner with Scherps and his good lady wife when they visited London last year I can report that he definitely has a Dutch accent. His English is pretty darn good (better than mine probably) but his accent is from the low countries. Sebastian on the other hand, despite being German, has an American accent. When he is speaking English at any rate. Go figure.

In the UK we have a multitude of different accents which can change radically within the space of 30 miles. The difference between Liverpool and Manchester accents is a good example of that. I know less about accents in your part of the world though. Does the Pacific Northwest have a distinctive accent in the way that Boston, Texas, New York or the deep south do?

In Germany it’s the same. Let’s say 2/3 of the pupils take Spanish instead of French.

Probably Sebastian spent some time in the States.
Those Dutch people korano is referring to, are mostly younger people who spent some time in the US or UK studying English. Universities have interchange projects, Dutch/Flemish students spending some time abroad, foreign students spending some time in Holland or Flanders. Those students pick up an American or British accent. As a result people say they speak English without any accent (with an ‘accent’, we usually mean a foreign, non-British, non-American accent).

In ‘my time’ those projects did not exist. We had to study the English language on or own soil: playing a home game, we apparently developed our own accent, the accent of the low countries.

He did indeed. A year as an exchange student I believe.

Oh yes. Anyone from a southern state has an accent (that varies) so strong they might has well been from another country. New York area has their own, northern (Canadian bordering) states has their own as well (similar to that heard in Fargo). And yes, here in Boston we have our own accent (which we are reminded of frequently & annoyingly by our visiting students) just turn the ‘R’ sound at the end of words to the ‘ah’ sound & viola. I’m going for a drink at the ‘bah’ Phil!

Sounds like a perfectly civilised pronunciation to me. In the UK we usually don’t pronounce the r in such words either. Except in the west country and other rural areas. So I guess it’s a case of a little bit of old England surviving in New England.

Accents are an interesting topic. I always hear from visitors{or when I’m traveling} that they know exactly where I’m from because of my Texas accent. Whatever!? But, like Phil referred to earlier, accents change within short distances. Guaranteed, once you cross the New Mexico border about 100 miles west of here, the accent changes completely. New Mexicans have more of the “west coast” accent i.e. California, Arizona - which is nothing like any accent around here. Also, since Texas is a pretty big state(Amarillo, Texas is as close to Chicago, Illinois as it is to Houston, Texas}, there are a number of differing Texas accents. In other words, I can tell an East Texan from a South Texan from a West Texan easily. On top of that, most Texans are bilingual(english/spanish} or at least can understand spanish when its spoken. In a 100 years, I’m guessing the Texas accent of the past 150 years or so will be gone. And maybe that’s a good thing. Won’t be hearing the old “hey, you must be from Texas” crap.

Absolutely the people from different parts of the U.S have differing accents. I…I…Idiot, you beaneaters up in Boston have your very own accent or patois or whatever that is! If we ever went to a ballgame together we probably couldn’t communicate! The guys from the UK come in more clearly to me than some of these dudes from Boston. And then, what about that Minnesota/Dakotas lingo? Another planet! Then there is Louisiana with all those cajuns down there and that french/english they throw at you. Thank goodness for the written/typed word.


People here in the Pacific NW have no recognizable accent.

[quote=“korano, post:17, topic:1924”]@Phil:

People here in the Pacific NW have no recognizable accent.[/quote]

They do have recognizable typing though :wink:

By the way: I doubt what you say, people tend to think they speak without any discernable accent while all others have strong, immediately recognizable accents.

possibly but mine is the most normal English I know. Nothing too eccentric unfortunately.

korano, hate to tell you this, but the most normal english comes from our brothers across the pond. No matter what part of the US you’re from, your accent is only a very abnormal knockoff of the real thing.

As far as the most “normal” accent in the US, I give that “honor” to the mid-westerners. korano’s northwest group sounds alot like that Cali bunch to me crossed with some of that Canuck. Definite accent. Of course, only my opinion.