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Subject: Sell me your culture! rss

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William Boykin
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In the immortal words of the great Bard, Thomas Dolby, on American Pulp Culture-



So check beneath your fingernails
In between your toes
Right between your earlobes darling
That's where culture grows
It's breeding in your short and curlies
Ready to expand
From the heart of Poison City
out over televisionland...

...With a gun!!!


Thomas Dolby, Pulp Culture.

Darilian
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Kelsey Rinella
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Have you considered American? No high culture to see here.
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Xander Fulton
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Well, the two most obvious choices you didn't note:

Chinese
Pros:
- One of most widely spoken languages by humans, owing to sheer staggering population of parent country
- Said country actually happens to be MASSIVE, with as wide a variety of terrain features and natural wonders as you'll find in any country outside of the USA (arguably more - arguably), and tends to be very tourist-friendly to well behaved first world country citizens.
- One of the oldest cultures in the world that has endured to the modern age in anything like its original form. Art, music, food, etc - top to bottom entirely their own thing, in a few cases completely uninfluenced by Western concepts (whereas many Western nations borrow a lot from each other).

Cons:
- You won't find much of your 'edgy' stuff, there. The country is a dictatorship, of course, and censors the hell out of everything. Even their own 'well known' episodes of history are regularly scrubbed for the 'correct' views and versions.
- Forget 'learning a new alphabet', you are learning an entirely new way of THINKING about writing.

Spanish
Pros:
- The second most...in all its minor variations...language spoken in the world. And a geographically diverse set of speakers, too, from Mexico through Latin America to Spain, itself (again, with some minor to occasionally significant-but-not-insurmountable variations throughout)
- Again, pretty rich culture. Spain goes back as far as any European country, and they settled the Americas quite heavily - creating a distinct set of unique cultural systems. Again, food, art, music, etc all very distinctive.
- You'll definitely find LOTS of subversive art and culture, here. From 'formal' deviation from Western ideas (communist Cuba) to day-to-day rebellion against society (many Spanish-speaking countries are traditionally HEAVILY Catholic - moreso even than Germany - and that kind of persistent heavy religious pressure can lead to some amazing religious art...as well as amazing rebellion-against-religion art)
- Hellllllooooo Caribbean...one of the nicest places to vacation!
- The language is very similar to Italian in many cases. Being fluent in Spanish as well as English would allow you to move around Italy without too much trouble, and should simplify picking up Italian if you ever decide to. And, again, great vacation spots, there.

Cons:
- Not too many on this one, although I suppose the countries that speak the language do tend to be on the 'poor' to 'third-world' side...but all definitely have significant tourist locations
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The Steak Fairy
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I think you should stick with English awhile longer. If you had really studied it thoroughly, and become "adept" at it, you wouldn't use phrases such as "considering to learn" with such confidence.

You have quite some ways to go before you are actually adept at English. There's no distinction, at least for me, between adept for a native and adept for a non-native speaker of a language.

Therefore, I reassert my belief that you should continue studying English, become truly adept at it, and then when and if you have the time, consider your other options.

Or you could just move to Africa and become a teacher.
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Rich Charters
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I would say: "I'm considering learning a new language." But I was raised in the farm lands of California, so my grammar could be all over the place!

I think your English language is awesome. I disagree that you need add'l study in English. Frankly, I would have thought you were a native speaker in 99% of your posts.

I agree with the sentiment of learning Chinese. We'll all be working for them soon anyway. If you can't beat them.....
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The Steak Fairy
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As always, I disagree wholeheartedly with Rich Charters. You can't be adept at a language in which you are not fluent. Adeptness and fluency are congruent, when considering language skills. The ability to understand the language one reads or hears is called into question (ever so slightly, in your case) when confronted by certain jarring constructions that are never used by anybody with true proficiency in the language. Use of infinitives with or without gerunds is one of those things that immersion and extensive reading can help to straighten out.

Acceptable:
"I am considering learning another language."
"I want to learn another language."
"I have considered learning another language."
"Language skills are among the most important skills in the world, and considering my proficiency and mastery of English, I consider myself worthy of learning a few more."

Unacceptable:
"I am considering to learn another language."
"I am wanting to learn another language."
"I have considered learning to consider to learn to consider a language."
"Me am from Bizarro World, and me am considering your yellow Sun grammar inferior."
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chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in English! I lived a year in London after all. Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translate it? This I would consider to be a waste of time.


Well, now I'm dissapointed by this.
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Kelsey Rinella
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translating it?


FTFY.



Admittedly, agreement errors are rampant among native speakers, and I totally disagree with our resident Crank about the added value of becoming better than passable at English. But you boast about your proficiency with English while taking the piss? I can't pass that up.

EDIT to add I have no idea what "taking the piss" means.
 
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rinelk wrote:
chaendlmaier wrote:
Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translating it?


FTFY.



Admittedly, agreement errors are rampant among native speakers, and I totally disagree with our resident Crank about the added value of becoming better than passable at English. But you boast about your proficiency with English while taking the piss? I can't pass that up.

EDIT to add I have no idea what "taking the piss" means.


I assume it means taking a piss.
 
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Don't get me wrong, Kelsey--I don't care what semi-anonymous people on the internet do, on any meaningful level. But this particular semi-anonymous internet person claims a proficiency level (perhaps inadvertently) with English that is simply not demonstrated by a preponderance of his posting here.

If anybody's taking the piss here, it's me.
 
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Dispaminite wrote:

I assume it means taking a piss.


Not in any of the countries where it's commonly used to mean "mocking somebody."
 
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chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in English! I lived for a year in London, after all. Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translating them? This I would consider that to be a waste of time.


FAOTFY
 
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japanese

pros
#1 they are cool.
#2 they were on your side during the war.
cons
#1 two chances of being able to permanently live there ...
 
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Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
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chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in speak good on English! I lived a am living already a year in London after all. Do you think I'm writing Believe you that I down every post in on German write and then carefully translate it translate? This I would I consider to be for a waste of time.


Fixed that for you.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in English! I lived a year in London after all. Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translate it? This I would consider to be a waste of time.

The only response needed when someone mocks imperfections in any language other than your first is to reply in their language.

People who can speak more than one language lose the arrogance along the way

If you're looking to learn another language just for fun, I also vote for Chinese. The same writing is used with several different languages, so if you can read and write you can sometimes communicate using text even if you can't talk. OTOH it takes a lot more time to learn basic reading/writing than with a European language - total time might be similar, but there's a much higher "startup threshold".
 
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MisterCranky wrote:
chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in English! I lived for a year in London, after all. Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translating them? This I would consider that to be a waste of time.


FAOTFY


And yet both you and Kelsey missed the superfluous continuous tense in the third sentence? While Dolphin's Denglish has an admirable chutzpah, I think Curt's wins marks for subtlety. Gold Germany, Silver Team GB. Team USA didn't finish.

Going back to the original question, the Cyrillic alphabet is not the difficult thing about learning Russian; the grammar and vocabulary are the tricky bits. That said, I would imagine Czech grammar is harder (I believe they have more cases). However, if you live in Munich, the advantage of Czech is that it's so easy to visit the country.

For an introduction to contemporary Russian culture, you can root around this online journal.
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MisterCranky wrote:
I think you should stick with English awhile longer. If you had really studied it thoroughly, and become "adept" at it, you wouldn't use phrases such as "considering to learn" with such confidence.

You have quite some ways to go before you are actually adept at English. There's no distinction, at least for me, between adept for a native and adept for a non-native speaker of a language.

Therefore, I reassert my belief that you should continue studying English, become truly adept at it, and then when and if you have the time, consider your other options.

Or you could just move to Africa and become a teacher.

Me think more important being able expression and understanding in other language than as english mastery.

Seriously, given the average internet dweller's mastery of his own language, I think Chandlemeir's use of the "adept" word is not entirely unjustified, even though a little pompous.
 
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AFAIK these "-ing" words and whatever weird grammatical things they are part of don't exist in any "Northern European" language.

If that's all that's left for improvement, the person speaks English well enough to work as, for example, a sales rep in that language.
 
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3000 years of the accreted perversions of civilization from foot bound sex slaves through to The Cultural Revolution, the death of a thousand cuts and Kung Fu films may not be enough edgy.

But the opportunity to curse, in the original tongue, "Fuck mother, kill family" will probably be an overwhelming temptation.
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in speak good on English! I lived a am living already a year in London after all. Do you think I'm writing Believe you that I down every post in on German write and then carefully translate it translate? This I would I consider to be for a waste of time.




Where in Nigeria am I to be sending to forward my information in pertaining to financial?
 
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chaendlmaier wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:
Seriously, given the average internet dweller's mastery of his own language, I think Chandlemeir's use of the "adept" word is not entirely unjustified, even though a little pompous.

I did, however, never claim that I was "adept" at baking the cake, only at eating it. That's what Cranky missed as well, but people of such high functioning intelligence tend to prefer the fantasy they created in their minds over actual reality. I never claimed I were able to produce an Ulysses, only that I enjoyed reading it.


I think you should pick a language whose native speakers won't derail threads by trying to convince you that you suck at that language...

If you know enough English that you can express any thought at all, and you can understand almost anything somebody says in English (even native speakers have to look up big words sometimes) then who cares if your grammar is sometimes a little wonky sometimes.
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chaendlmaier wrote:
But I am fluent in English! I lived a year in London after all. Do you think I'm writing down every post in German and then carefully translate it? This I would consider to be a waste of time.

Ouch!
There are many Crankies out here...
Farsi is the language you should learn. You need to know how ze enemy ticks!
Farsi is relatively easy to grasp because of the simple grammar ( no articles and conjugations without exceptions (AFAIK)) but it nevertheless is the language in which Hafez has written his beautiful poems. These Iranians have been a cultural nation for about 3000 years, so why not learn their language?
For a starter: the most important farsi terms are "schuluch" and "eschtehbah".
Every Iranian here on the geek will confirm that.
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gyc365 wrote:


People who can speak more than one language lose the arrogance along the way



You understand that you're not actually an exception proving that rule, right?
 
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chaendlmaier wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:
Seriously, given the average internet dweller's mastery of his own language, I think Chandlemeir's use of the "adept" word is not entirely unjustified, even though a little pompous.

I did, however, never claim that I was "adept" at baking the cake, only at eating it. That's what Cranky missed as well, but people of such high functioning intelligence tend to prefer the fantasy they created in their minds over actual reality. I never claimed I were able to produce an Ulysses, only that I enjoyed reading it.


I believe that thinking oneself "quite adept at cake" is particularly ambiguous, and too mystifying a concept to be regarded as pompous. Declaring, however, that you feel yourself "quite adept at English" implies (to my low functioning mind) not just consumption, but also production.

Also, note to Salo Sila: Can you explain how a tense can be superfluous? Will you point out the continuous tense in that sentence you mentioned? I could easily have excised the superfluous "to be," but I considered that an acceptable stylistic choice, verbose though it was. As someone who makes no claims of adeptness at my native language, I am perfectly willing to be taught.
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