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  #21  
Old 21.06.2011, 06:27
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Re: Multilingual

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By "literally" do you really mean "literally" ?
Yes, I literally mean literally. It's literally the most useful word in the English language and one of my favorites.

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I haven't read all topics and I don't see why we can't revisit previous themes.
Sure you we can revisit it, as it seems we are. But you are just getting literally the same exact answers and arguments again.

ETA: I've searched for this other thread and can't seem to find it... I guess we are doomed to repeat history.

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If I may, I disagree that circumstances determine whether someone learns a language or not. Circumstances do have an influence but we make our own choices in life and we decide whether or not to put the effort in. So someone in unfavourable circumstances might overcome the situation and learn anyway, whereas another might never learn the language despite quite favourable circumstances.
Of course you can disagree if you want. But I don't think what you wrote is in disagreement with what I wrote. It is our circumstances that influence our decisions one way or another.
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  #22  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:19
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Re: Multilingual

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Of course you can disagree if you want. But I don't think what you wrote is in disagreement with what I wrote. It is our circumstances that influence our decisions one way or another.
Is there really such a thing as free will ?
(I suppose there was a thread on that too.)
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  #23  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:20
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Re: Multilingual

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I've searched for this other thread and can't seem to find it... I guess we are doomed to repeat history.
If you don't study history then you are doomed to repeat it.
If you do study history then you are doomed to watch others repeat it.
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Old 21.06.2011, 21:23
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Re: Multilingual

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Yes, I literally mean literally. It's literally the most useful word in the English language and one of my favorites.
The word “literally” can sometimes literally mean literally the opposite of what the word “literally” literally means, however, it can be literally overused to the point where the word “literally” literally means nothing much whatever…literally.
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Old 21.06.2011, 21:38
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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This would be fine if the OP gave the translation but someone who doesn't understand txt spk, Latin, French or Hebrew shouldn't have to hope that someone with this 'extra' knowledge will come along and post the translation or an explanation.
Oh! but they always do. That's what's so wonderful about the EF.....or should I say the English Forum? Just being pedantic
What's the OP?
Now I'm just being silly because I'm bored
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  #26  
Old 23.06.2011, 03:42
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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Is there really such a thing as free will ?
(I suppose there was a thread on that too.)
I don't think we have had a thread on free will. Did you search?

But what's your point? Free will to choose if we want to learn the local language or free will to repeat the topic or what?
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  #27  
Old 23.06.2011, 09:35
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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I don't think we have had a thread on free will. Did you search?

But what's your point? Free will to choose if we want to learn the local language or free will to repeat the topic or what?
Are our lives determined by environment / circumstance or free will / choice ?
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  #28  
Old 23.06.2011, 09:39
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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Are our lives determined by environment / circumstance or free will / choice ?
none of the above---everything in life is pre-determined by a higher power. Just sit back and enjoy the ride
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  #29  
Old 23.06.2011, 10:40
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Re: Multilingual

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(...) but "parlate Italiano" had quite a positive result fairly often.
A small correction, I hope you don't mind.

parlate -> indicative mood (present)
parliate -> subjunctive mood (present) i.e. "che voi parliate"

The former is the correct one in the given context. Cheers!
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  #30  
Old 23.06.2011, 23:09
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Re: Multilingual

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As I noted on another thread, you can, by and large, survive on English alone, but learning the local language makes life both easier and pleasanter. I would guess that that is, more or less, the EF consensus.
I agree with this. My husband and I - we've been here for 6 months now - both want to learn French to the point where we can converse with each other at home like we do in English.

But my problem is this - I go to work and speak English with my all-English native speaking colleagues, I come home and speak English with my husband, and I socialise with English speaking friends on the weekends because they're the only people we've met so far. I also travel abroad for work quite frequently and work late.

So I have the strong desire to learn French, but I simply cannot find the time to go further than I already have - enough French to get by in shops and restaurants - and I'm not forced to learn French because I'm surrounded by English.

Put it this way - if I leave Switzerland in 2 years' time not being able to converse in French, I'll be sorely disappointed in myself. But as things stand at the moment, I'm not sure how it'll change. I did take another step today though - bought a pocket-sized French dictionary so I can at least improve my vocabulary.
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Old 23.06.2011, 23:23
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Re: Multilingual

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I agree with this. My husband and I - we've been here for 6 months now - both want to learn French to the point where we can converse with each other at home like we do in English.

But my problem is this - I go to work and speak English with my all-English native speaking colleagues, I come home and speak English with my husband, and I socialise with English speaking friends on the weekends because they're the only people we've met so far. I also travel abroad for work quite frequently and work late.

So I have the strong desire to learn French, but I simply cannot find the time to go further than I already have - enough French to get by in shops and restaurants - and I'm not forced to learn French because I'm surrounded by English.

Put it this way - if I leave Switzerland in 2 years' time not being able to converse in French, I'll be sorely disappointed in myself. But as things stand at the moment, I'm not sure how it'll change. I did take another step today though - bought a pocket-sized French dictionary so I can at least improve my vocabulary.
I'm with you there, I'm attempting to learn French, (am probably the worst student in the world here), but everyone can/will speak English to you and then say 'Ah ha, I can practise my English on you, and then because we are so typically English we will agree and hold the conversation in English.

What we should be is more Swiss, and say, 'No, we will continue the conversation in French/German/Swiss German/Italian so as I can integrate myself more into your country and understand how it works and learn about the cuture etc..,'

I'm thinking that the whole expats thing here, is actually a conspiracy to improve the level of English spoken and not spend too much money on it....

Oh I might just be a bit tired.........
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  #32  
Old 23.06.2011, 23:37
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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Are our lives determined by environment / circumstance or free will / choice ?
Huh? Circumstances don't make the decision for us. They influence the decisions we make.
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  #33  
Old 17.07.2011, 16:57
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

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What percentage of native English speaking expats learn to speak the local language (let's not split hairs between variants like Swiss German and High German) completely fluently ? I would guess less than 10%. What do you people think ?
I totally agree, a very low percentage of native English speakers and expats from all over the world who use English, do not learn German.

I´ve seen this many times. They are all very motivated as they get here, but learning a language (by going to language courses) is a process that takes at least 3 years and not many are able to keep themselfs motivated for so long.
Besides, most of the expats start by having expat friends, because it´s easier and because the locals are not always very open to foreigners. They are very friendly, but they to have their limits.

So, if you only use English at work and with your friends, where should you practice the German you learn at the language course?
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  #34  
Old 17.07.2011, 20:24
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

the two cents from the native : I like to use my very bad English but I appreciate even more to see you trying to speak my language.

I guess many locals think, when they listen to expats speaking English, that they want to stay in their community and not become part of the local life, and I think this is an important thing when you are a foreigner.

I read quite a lot of writting, in local papers and websites where locals (natives) juste "hate" you (it's a bit strong, but you've got the idea) because you don't speak the local language.
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  #35  
Old 17.07.2011, 20:36
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

This sadly is getting worse, as numbers have shot up hugely in the last couple of years in some areas, Geneva to Vevey Riviera and Zug/Zurich.
Making the effort, any effort, to show that you are trying to learn will be very welcome by the locals, who see prices and shortage of accommodation shoot up too. Never mind the grammar, the accent- it is just about trying, rather than shouting louder and louder in English.
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Old 18.07.2011, 15:18
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Re: Multilingual [learn local language or not]

There are times when speaking the language really helps.

Yesterday there was a big group of US tourists boarding the PostBus from Moiry Glacier to Zinal. The line did not move, and after a loooong time someone called out: "Does anyone speak French?". I volunteered ... the driver (spoke no English) was trying to explain that the Moiry -> Zinal ticket cost CHF 21.80, while for CHF 22.00 they could get a regional day pass valid on the bus lines in the upper Val d'Anniviers plus all the lifts in the area. The whole group very gratefully took the day pass.

This is why I feel so helpless outre Sarine ... I still go there for the mountains but defintely feel like a stranger in a strange land.
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