Linguistics

My Languages and Language Progression

No polyglot blog is complete without a few demo videos, so I’m going to house them here. Enjoy!


 

March, 2013: A demo of my languages (German, French, Italian, Russian and a little Hungarian)

(English)Hi, this is Gabe, from Towerofbabelfish.com. I’ve been asked for a demonstration of my languages, so here goes! (German) In 2004 I studied German. I did it in Middlebury, VT twice. I studied there in two summer semesters, and then I moved to Vienna. I’ve lived here since 2007, so I can speak German pretty fluently. (Italian) I studied Italian in Perugia. I did it in 6 weeks. My Italian isn’t bad, but it’s not good enough, because I love Italy, I love Italian culture, I love Italian food and I want my Italian to be perfect, and it’s not.

But I’ll come back, and I’ll learn more, and that’s it! (French) My French..I learned French in 2010. It’s not bad. I took the DALF C2 exam. I didn’t pass it…I was missing 4 points, I think. So…At that time, I spoke at level C1. At the moment, I’m probably speaking at level B2 or something; I’ve forgotten a lot. I did most of it on my own, and I finished it up at Middlebury. (Russian) I…speak..now…now..I can speak Russian. It’s really hard to switch languages! So, Russian is a very complex and interesting language. I think that…I don’t know, I like it very much. And that’s it! (Hungarian) I speak a little Hungarian, but just a little. (English)I’ve been learning Hungarian for the last two months.

I know a lot of vocabulary, and not so much grammar – I’m just starting to pick up the grammar. But, it’s not as bad as they say! You can learn Hungarian. It’s actually a pretty friendly language. I’m learning it to speak with my grandmother. She speaks a crazy number of languages and Hungarian was one of her native languages and I never knew a word of it. So this is kind of an experiment. That’s it, I hope this was interesting. I’ll be back with something more educational next time. Until next time!

May 2013: How I got my French back (In French)

(French) Hello everyone! This is Gabriel Wyner, from TowerofBabelfish.com. (English)And if you don’t speak French, there should be subtitles somewhere here. (French) Today, I have a personal story and a language tip for you. The story: A few months ago, I was seized by panic due to my French. Why? I learned French in 2010 in 5 months, and it wasn’t bad. But after that, I did other things: I learned Russian, I started learning Hungarian this year…

And after these other languages and after 2.5 years, I forgot most of my French. For me, it was disastrous, not only because I’d like to retain my French forever, but because I’ve said quite publicly that I can speak French fluently, and I say that again in my book. So for me, forgetting French was a nightmare. And I *had* nightmares: Someone comes up to me and publicly exposes me as a liar; it was terrible. What to do? At the time, I didn’t have time to re-learn French; I was in the process of writing a book and learning Hungarian, and also, I don’t like learning two languages at once. And here comes the tip: If you want to refresh a language and you don’t want to work at it, watch television. It’s like magic.

And here comes the tip: If you want to refresh a language and you don’t want to work at it, watch television. It’s like magic.

One month ago, I started watching the TV series 24 (dubbed in French, no subtitles) with Kiefer Sutherland. I watched 3 seasons, a few hours a day, and suddenly, my French came back. It was a pleasure, it was simple…it was basically relaxation. It’s a perfect method. It’s not really a method for improving a language…it’s not bad, but it’s not really a “method.” But for refreshing something…to refresh a language that you’ve forgotten a bit, it’s perfect. So, that was my tip! Thank you, and until next time.

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