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OT: At risk of sounding like a bigot............


Funkee1

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I have recently discovered that, here in California, anyway, there are a huge number of people who are immigrants, but who have mastered two languages, but neither of them is English!

 

I know several people now who are from China or Korea, who are fluent in Spanish, and several Hispanics who speak mandarin or Korean.

 

What gives with that? Aren't the Asian languages very different than latin based ones? How does this work???

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My guess is that all these immigrants are forced to work manual labor since they can't speak the language very well. And, well, from what I've seen (at least in Chicago), there is a lot of Spanish speaking people working those jobs as well. In order for them to communicate, they have to find some sort of common ground, and well, I guess Spanish is one of them.

 

I remember when Ichiro first came to the States, Piniella spoke to him in Spanish, because they both spoke it.

 

I'm Korean, and I only speak Korean and English.

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My guess is that all these immigrants are forced to work manual labor since they can't speak the language very well. And, well, from what I've seen (at least in Chicago), there is a lot of Spanish speaking people working those jobs as well. In order for them to communicate, they have to find some sort of common ground, and well, I guess Spanish is one of them.I remember when Ichiro first came to the States, Piniella spoke to him in Spanish, because they both spoke it.I'm Korean, and I only speak Korean and English.

I just think it's amazing. So0me people think Immigrants are stupid, but to me it seems like a sign of intellegence to be able to master two very different languages.

 

Still, it makes me wonder........why not English?

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I have recently discovered that, here in California, anyway, there are a huge number of people who are immigrants, but who have mastered two languages, but neither of them is English!


I know several people now who are from China or Korea, who are fluent in Spanish, and several Hispanics who speak mandarin or Korean.


What gives with that? Aren't the Asian languages
very
different than latin based ones? How does this work???

 

 

English isn't Latin based in the traditional meaning of the phrase. I imagine the Asian languages are radically different.

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Maybe they have more motivation to take part in the spanish/korean sector of californian community than the english speaking one. Or, maybe it's just so much easier to get someone to translate into english that it's not a high priority.

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Oh, and I think the language Fillipinos speak (tagalog?) is supposed to be very similiar to Spanish. So, there's one connection between Asians and Spanish.

 

I don't know why they won't learn English first.

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Maybe the two languages share a lot of the same rules, like gendering nouns, etc.?


English is one of the hardest languages to learn, because it's such a mutt.

 

Nope, the Chinese language doesn't have genders, and as it gramatically is an isolating language, it has nothing in common with latin grammar based languages as Spanish, French, Italian, etc.

 

English is a mix of Old Germanic/Old Nordic and Latin based languages, which is why you have all those cow/beef, sheep/mutton, deer/veal wordpairs, for instance. Not that it has anything to do with the Chinese-Spanish comparison... :)

 

I can assure you that the reason you find people speaking Mandarin and Spanish but not English is found in their communities and daily lives, not in the languages themselves.

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...all those cow/beef, sheep/mutton, deer/veal wordpairs...

 

Isn't it Deer/Venison?

 

Anyway weird thing happened to me in Beijing last year. Was stepping outside my hostel and a local fella comes up and starts speaking spanish to me. I'm pretty dark looking so he though I was hispanic. He didn't speak a word of English and I spoke even less mandarin, but we sat off for a bit having a conversation with my broken, pidgeon spanish.

 

That's not really relevant, but just showed me how small a world it is.

 

 

Actually, thinking about it, in a lot of places people are bilingual as the norm (catalonia in spain for example) it's just cos english is the international language that we can get away with being lazy :D

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Isn't it Deer/Venison?


Anyway weird thing happened to me in Beijing last year. Was stepping outside my hostel and a local fella comes up and starts speaking spanish to me. I'm pretty dark looking so he though I was hispanic. He didn't speak a word of English and I spoke even less mandarin, but we sat off for a bit having a conversation with my broken, pidgeon spanish.


That's not really relevant, but just showed me how small a world it is.



Actually, thinking about it, in a lot of places people are bilingual as the norm (catalonia in spain for example) it's just cos english is the international language that we can get away with being lazy
:D

 

Hey, you're right - I was a bit too fast with the wordpairs there...! Of course it's calf/veal and deer/venison :p

 

I'm fluent in Mandarin, so I never heard Chinese people speak anything but that and poor English, which they take any opportunity to try out with us foreigners, but I did notice that they sometimes take a French name for their "foreign name" (did you ever notice that they all call themselves something like "Flora", "Angel" or "Marc"??). They all think that those are common English names, for some reason.

I once tried giving a group of first graders in a Chinese primary school English names that sounded like their Chinese names, but their teacher thought that was really strange and decided to distribute the names randomly instead. Oh well, another OT story... :)

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Hey, you're right - I was a bit too fast with the wordpairs there...! Of course it's calf/veal and deer/venison
:p

I'm fluent in Mandarin, so I never heard Chinese people speak anything but that and poor English, which they take any opportunity to try out with us foreigners, but I did notice that they sometimes take a French name for their "foreign name" (did you ever notice that they all call themselves something like "Flora", "Angel" or "Marc"??). They all think that those are common English names, for some reason.

I once tried giving a group of first graders in a Chinese primary school English names that sounded like their Chinese names, but their teacher thought that was really strange and decided to distribute the names randomly instead. Oh well, another OT story...
:)

 

Fluent in Mandarin? Very impressive, I couldn't even get past basic vocabulary, and I doubt I was pronouncing that right anyway! Couldn't get my head round the 4 tones thing.

 

There are a few odd names, but most were pretty usual, Tom, Annie etc.

 

Pure speculation, but while I was there I noticed that a fair few things from Western culture that have infiltrated the native Chinese culture have gotten a bit skewed in translation, so to speak. For some reason, everywhere I went a chinese-language version of 'Auld Lang Sine' was being played on the radio. Very surreal.

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I'm fluent in Mandarin, so I never heard Chinese people speak anything but that and poor English, which they take any opportunity to try out with us foreigners, but I did notice that they sometimes take a French name for their "foreign name" (did you ever notice that they all call themselves something like "Flora", "Angel" or "Marc"??). They all think that those are common English names, for some reason.

 

 

i think it's acutally more like: Tony, alan, paul, frankie, jeff, bobby. every chinese person i meat who has an "american name" has one of those.

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