Author Topic: What surprised you the most when learning a foreign language?  (Read 422 times)

Offline FlatAssembler

  • Linguist
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
  • Country: hr
    • Croatian
    • FlatAssembler's Homepage
What surprised you the most when learning a foreign language?
« on: October 17, 2020, 10:39:21 AM »
So, I am interested, what are some things about languages that surprised you the most when learning another language? My native language is Croatian and I got very surprised to learn about the sequences of tenses. Before that, I used to think the rules for tenses in complex sentences in Croatian follow from the laws of logic. And, as it turns out, they are actually arbitrary complicated rules that vary between languages that have tenses, even among related languages.

Offline Daniel

  • Administrator
  • Experienced Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 2036
  • Country: us
    • English
Re: What surprised you the most when learning a foreign language?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 06:51:55 PM »
A thought I had recently was how learning a third (or further) language is different from learning a second. With the second, you can still bend the rules in your mind from your native language to the second language, thinking of all differences as exceptions. But the third (and further) languages, you realize that languages just vary, and although comparing to familiar languages by analogy is still often useful, you stop relying on translation equivalents and exceptions to explain the new things you see.

Of course another funny effect is when there is L2 influence on the L3: for example, when I was taking a Swedish class, all of the students had already studied German, so we had, among other things, strange German accents (for no justifiable reason) in Swedish, as English speakers! So you never really move past using known languages as a base for learning others, but you can stop assuming that other languages should be like your native language plus exceptions.
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.

Offline waive15

  • Linguist
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
Re: What surprised you the most when learning a foreign language?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 06:39:54 AM »
Hi,

"So, I am interested, what are some things about languages that surprised you the most when learning another language? ... "

---

barbarian /etymonline.com/

...from PIE root *barbar- echoic of unintelligible speech of foreigners ...


---
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6fjkqq

19:37 ...


19:57

"... The funny thing about these Gods was that they couldn't speak. They could only make ?#!@!? sounds like monkeys.
..."


20:29

"The hairy one could speak."



The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
---


What surprised you the most when learning a foreign language?

How difficult it is to find the right grammar.



Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: Today at 08:57:27 AM by waive15 »