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  • Native tongue
    Swedish, Lithuanian
  • Fluent in
    English, Swedish, Lithuanian

Milanina's Achievements


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  1. I think most of us might have this experience. Prior the school years I had some Russian friends around my block and I picked up some basic Russian. Once we moved and I no longer had a practical application of the language I lost what I knew and I didn't develop any if the language further. Now I remember only some words here and there, not enough to construct sentences. Later on I've tried picking up some languages and given up due to priorities and taken up some languages I found initially to difficult because I needed it for travel, work or studies. Whilst this is my experience - I also had friends who would always follow through whatever they started. If embarking on a language course - they would continue stubbornly until a specific level of fluency was reached regardless of how difficult it would be.
  2. I think it also comes down to which kind of personality you have - there are couples which speak the same language yet barely talk with each other anyway (as they don't feel the need to). Other couples have fine tuned their non-verbal communication - I remember my grandparents communicating a lot through gestures and expressions. But they did have also a spoken language on common, and would spend every evening having long conversations with each other before going to sleep. For me, not knowing a spoken language in common sounds very challenging. It might be romantic in the beginning of the relationship (during the initial infatuation) but with time I would miss a certain connection. Even in a situation where I speak a language in common with my spouse - I do find sometimes that I miss the ability to communicate in my language and we both are very limited in communicating with our extended families. On the brigther side of things - not sharing a language in common means also that you don't understand what your mother in-law is saying. Which depending on her personality, might be a blessing! Reminds me of a Greek friend who lives abroad and brought his non-greek girlfriend to his grandmother. She would continuously raise her voice as the poor thing didn't seem to understand. This continued despite him trying to explain that she was not deaf/I'll of hearing - just didn't speak Greek.
  3. I'm learning for love! Well, whilst I always wanted to learn Italian - I never had motivation enough until I met my husband. (Whilst this was the initial romantic pursuit - it developed into practical reasons such as communicating with family & friends and to be able to survive in Italy a little bit more independently)
  4. It varied greatly and depended not only on my own interest but also how passionated our teacher was about the subject and teaching it to others. Unfortunately, after 4 years of German classes I learned nothing. However, we had a teacher who would mumble to himself and spend one hour with his back to the class whilst scribbling on the black board. His approach was to have as little interaction with the class as possible....and unfortunately, it was the wrong approach for most of us. By the time that the problems were brought up and we received a new teacher it was to late. Maybe it's an insufficient excuse on my own behalf - but at that age I needed a motivated teacher to push me in the right direction. In other languages i was fortunate to have amazing teachers - our English teacher had the.most delightful Cockney accent. Whenever he felt that the class was loosing interest he would switch it up by changing his accent to Welsh, Scottish, or another random accent and get our full attention again.
  5. I think it all comes down to personal taste and opinion. When naming our daughter, we were considering a name which goes well at home and abroad, which is easy to pronounce/spell/yell at the park and has a meaning/connection to our family. I've always lamented over my name being difficult to spell / pronounce abroad and wanted to spear my own kids the trouble:)
  6. Lingua Franca: indeed it is limited if intended as a method to learn the language. Instead, I see it as a supplement and an integration of the language in an everyday setting. I think if you have a basic command of the language, and join for example a cooking course abroad you might get a good boost in both your language and cooking skills. Rooks57: the milk/cream/butter issue sometimes affects even European recipes. There are so many Italian pasta sauces that in Italy are made only with a few ingredients that abroad include (unnecessarily) diary products.
  7. It depends! My spouse doesn't speak my language, and whilst I'm learning his - we speak English with each other. For me it's important to at least have some kind of language in common - even if it's not my native language. Beyond romance and love, it makes everyday life easier for mundane stuff like grocery lists, handling documents or making decisions together.
  8. I started learning English through watching cartoons only in English when growing up. Once we started with English in school I already had a base level of the language with a decent pronunciation. Occasionally I'll make the effort to watch a Spanish movie with Italian subtitles or an Italian movie with Dutch subtitles and mostly this happens when we have a foreign DVD at home with no alternative options
  9. I can understand bad translations - it indicates that the translator lacks the knowledge or that they've resorted to an automated translation. What I cannot understand is when there is a difference in numbers - for example I've seen instructions of fireworks advising different safety distances or a booking website advising different occupancy in the hotel room in different languages. I don't understand why a translator would change the number....
  10. Personally, I compare my current fluency to either my native languages or my level of English. How well can I express myself in said language, and how challenging will I find it? I usually do not find the need to 'cheat' with English or knowingly do grammatical mistakes whilst in my Italian or Spanish it is common - even though I can have a conversation with friends, authorities or the shopkeeper 'fluently' (without awkward pauses).
  11. I find that each language presents their own challenges - but it might also depend on my 'luggage' at the time. Once you learn basics in one Latin language, it's easier to learn a second - or once you learn a Scandinavian language you can also communicate with the other (only with some adjustments). I remember struggling with German grammar, French pronunciation and pace and dialects in Italian...
  12. When reading recipes, I've come to realise that with a translation into a different language often follows even adjustment of taste and of ingredients. I've found that Italian recipes in English sometimes contain additional ingredients that an Italian would never add to the same dish (and might even be offended by the combination) or techniques modified in a French plate. I don't know why it took me so long, but I've converted fully within the past year. When searching for recipes I always try to search in the language of the country (provided they are European with a Latin alphabet) - first I read it in French/Italian/Spanish/Etc and then check briefly in Google translate to see that I understood the directions well enough to proceed. Not only do I brush up on my languages, but I immerse myself a little in the local culture and enjoy a meal as a result. Which languages do you read recipes in? Has anyone else found creative ways to incorporate language learning into the daily life?
  13. Learning a language not, but I have learned words and various expressions from my friends children in Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. I guess it might come down to the age of the children - when they're young they repeat same words and simple structures often and it's easy to catch on - whether you intend to learn from them or not. Maybe it's more of a 'learning together' as their parents are teaching them - and they teach me.
  14. I don't want to admit to myself or others that there might be any problems with my pronunciation. Whenever this happens, one of my friends ask me to say horse and wh#res and we both realise that I pronounce both pretty much the same. Whilst still in high school, my teacher couldn't tell the difference between 'pour' and 'poor' which left all students with a good laugh. Later on, I had several friends who pronounced words as vegetable very funnily vege-table (like the word table...). This included all 'table' words, also comfort-table
  15. I started learning languages when I started to travel. You suddenly understand that with English, you can manage only to a certain point. Besides, the people that you encounter will interact with you differently and you will be able to understand each other better as not everything can be expressed in one language only. For most cases, even though I had a basic knowledge of the language and was stumbling - people would be very patient and forgiving. Netherlands might be an exception, as they have a tendency to answer in English even if you kindly attempt to speak in Dutch.
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