What is your mother tongue?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nebe_je_zde, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. hamihaha

    hamihaha New Member

    And now learning Chinese...
  2. Nastja

    Nastja Member

    nebe_je_zde, привет! Я тоже Русская.

    Russian was my first language, and when I was not even five years old I immigrated to Australia with my parents, leading to my fluency in English.

    In English I can understand and express myself in all media perfectly (so much so that my friends tell me that my English is better than a native's :wink:), while my Russian spelling is awful, and I read at the pace of an eight-year old (slowly getting better!). However, with that said I do think that my Russian is surprisingly good for someone who never attended a Russian school.

    I have immigrant friends who simply let their language go as children because they didn't understand its benefits and were never interested in maintaining it. It's a great pity.

    You wouldn't believe it, but even here in Australia I've heard some nasty comments directed at people who speak a language other than English in public. Perhaps that has contributed to the cultural loss.

    I love learning languages; between ages 7 and 12 I studied Japanese at school (something which I never maintained), and from 12 to 16 I learnt French, with which I am now continuing at university.
    Besides French at the university, I'm learning German, Latin and Ancient Greek. I can hold a comfortable conversation in French and regularly try to do mental translations of other lectures to keep myself entertained :p
    At home I am trying to learn Czech (because I fell in love with the place, the people and the language) and Arabic (as I'll likely be spending a month in Jordan at the end of the year), and I have many, many others on my list!

    What is it that inspires potential polygots like most of us here?

    Fantastic phrase! :)
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Здорово! Я предпологал, же вы Русская--думаю, что имени "Настья" личное русское. (Между прочем, я не русский, но моя жена "русско-уркаинка").
    Yes, my wife has run across some of that here in the U.S., as have I, even though I'm American. It sometimes shocks people when I switch back from speaking Russian in public to accent-less American English. My wife was once told by another customer in the grocery store that she should "go back to her own country," in spite of speaking perfectly-understandable English (albeit with an accent), not to mention having lived here 10+ years and having U.S. citizenship. It doesn't happen too often that people are that blatant about it, though. More often one encounters more subtle forms of discrimination.
    Hard to say. I'm sure for Europeans, it's for different reasons that in the U.S. For me, I've always felt that one can learn a lot from other cultures, and that the only way to even begin to learn another culture is to learn the language. I get frustrated sometimes that so many Americans here seem to think that if they've been a tourist in some European country, that they have some clue about the other country's culture. Heck, I lived in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in total almost two years, and I'm still learning tons of new things.

    Perhaps, I'm also somewhat of a non-conformist, in the sense that I question most things I hear--probably why I became a scientist. :wink:
  4. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    :cry: :x Too bad that person's ancestors didn't go back from where they came, then he wouldn't be here to rudely misrepresent Americans. (unless of course, he was Native American. :wink: )
  5. mrsunday

    mrsunday New Member


    I can read and speak french and English and as last language Czech, but I hope and need to inprove it.
  6. Nastja

    Nastja Member

    Здраствуйте! Я тоже о вас так подумала -- с именим "Сова" и с картиной совы, как бы не быть Русским!

    Here is an S. Kelly cartoon that illustrates this nicely.

    Unfortunately it's much the same in Australia. People here accept languages (for the most part), but surprisingly, even in such a proudly multicultural country foreign languages are not a compulsory part of any curriculum.

    What do the people here do to maintain their mother tongue if they no longer live in their motherland?
  7. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Слово "Сова" и по-чешскии значит то же самое. Меня так звала одна чешска--все у нас в группе получили имеми од Вини-Пуха, а так как я ученный, уже данно было какое имя я получил. :lol:

    They teach their husbands how to speak their language. :wink:
  8. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    So, sova means same in Czech and Russian. Interesting.
    I wonder, why is owl considered as scholar bird.

    And Вини-Пух is Medvídek Pů?
  9. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    You don't remember the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans movie, do you? :wink:
    Of course, it also depends on part of the world you're in.
  10. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    I do! Bubo was its name, wasn't it?

    Well, it isn't exactly final answer. Why was Athena connected with owl and not with eagle, for example?
  11. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

  12. Petr_B

    Petr_B Well-Known Member

    Dunno, maybe because of this?
    Eagle (or rather falcon) would have been be better match for Artemis anyway. ;)

    And to stay at least a little on topic, I'm probably the only one here who can really use only one language - Czech. I understand Slovak well though. :p
    I *might* be able to speak in horribly broken English, and I can somehow get by when I need to write in it. I should understand *some* very basic spoken Japanese (and read kana and few kanji I haven't forgotten yet), maybe some Russian too (I could somewhat understand the text in Cyrillic written above). I also still remember few German words.
  13. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    It was vice versa - the little owl was associated with wisdom before it was associated with Athena and before Athena was associated with wisdom.

    Yes, it was. All eagle owls are called “bubo”. But why a little owl was called “Eagle owl”? (Proč se sýček jmenoval „Výr”?)

    Because the city of Athens was (and still is said to be) full of little owls.
  14. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty surprised I can read it (and understand it), I really improved my russian/ukrainian/bulgarian/serbian in writtern form (azbuka) during this summer when I was staying in those countries for couple of weeks.

    I guess, "Sova" is universal all-slavic word (maybe protoslavic), it is same in western-slavic, easten-slavic and even in south-slavic languages. I'm not sure if in all of them, but certainly most of them.
  15. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

  16. Marish

    Marish New Member

    Hi to everybody!

    I am new in this website (fresher from today: )
    And my native language is Armenian.

    As well as I speak English, Russian and Czech (a bit), Finnish (a bit).
    So we have all enough languages to communicate ! :)
  17. san5197

    san5197 New Member

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