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Linguaholic

Recognizing languages without knowing them


Qamra
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I often hear some talk or music in foreign language and, though I never learned or spoke this language, still can tell what language it is. It's easy with popular languages, like French, Italian or German, most of people know the sound of them, but how about less known languages? Does it happen to you?

Can you see the difference between similar languages even if you don't know them?

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Through exposure to severall media, I think one can begin to grasp certain differences among languages one does not speak. For instance, I don't speak a word of Mandarin, Korean or Japanese, but I think I can easily identify each by sound.

There is this great website that tests your ability to pick up languages by sound. Try it, it's addictive:

http://greatlanguagegame.com/

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I often hear some talk or music in foreign language and, though I never learned or spoke this language, still can tell what language it is. It's easy with popular languages, like French, Italian or German, most of people know the sound of them, but how about less known languages? Does it happen to you?

Can you see the difference between similar languages even if you don't know them?

I think you have good hearing and memory...me...on the other hand... :grin:

Well, if I hear Spanish, I'll recognize it, cause that's what I'm studying. I may recognize french as well; however, that's just about it.

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Through exposure to severall media, I think one can begin to grasp certain differences among languages one does not speak. For instance, I don't speak a word of Mandarin, Korean or Japanese, but I think I can easily identify each by sound.

There is this great website that tests your ability to pick up languages by sound. Try it, it's addictive:

http://greatlanguagegame.com/

I love the link, thank you! How have I not stumbled across it earlier?? It's funny how many things we learn by accident listening to radio or watching TV. Thank you :)

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Korean and Japanese are the languages I can distinguish without learning them. However, I did learn Japanese when I was in high school, so that didn't really count. Korean, for instance, I can distinguish because it doesn't have any Chinese characters unlike Japanese. I don't know Korean, but I have no problem recognizing the language.

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I love hearing other languages and trying to guess which one it is. I would recognise French, German, Spanish and Portuguese and maybe Greek. Just the main languages. It's strange how you can pick and recognise other languages and you have not even learnt them. I can even pick up some phrases. ;)

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I hung out with a lot of the Chinese culture groups on my campus last year and was able to distinguish pretty easily between cantonese and mandarin. Also I can tell if its Korean or Japanese but other asian languages Hmong, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. I still have problems with along with a lot of eastern European languages unfortunately.

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Interestingly enough, I can. I'm not sure if it's because of how many languages I've been exposed to in the media or if it's something else. I can now recognize Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, and Hebrew. And I've never studied any of these languages.

I love how global people around the world are turning. I think this may be the first time so many people have been exposed to other cultures at one time.

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I'm good at recognizing some languages, like for example french, italian, hebrew, yiddish, etc.  But there are times I can't tell which language is which, like for example German vs Dutch!  But in general I'm good at this :)  I find it kinda hard to recognize most languages spoken in eastern european countries. 

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I can distinguish between Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese), Japanese, Thai, Filipino, and Korean. I can recognize Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and a few others. I've watched a lot of martial arts films, and I'm generally interested in Asian culture, so that's how I can distinguish between a few Asian languages.

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I have studied two years of Spanish, so I can most definitely recognize that.

I think from stereotypes you can recognize German, mean and harsh sounding.

French is flowery and long, usually considered very beautiful.

Like the other person said, I have never studied Korean, Mandarin, etc... But I would know what is it.

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I always hear people speaking a different language, and though I only speak English, I always know what language they're speaking. I think this may be more prominent in people who watch a lot of movies; movies where people from ___ have certain accents, and the people watching learn the specific accents, and match the accents to the language. I'm good at knowing when people are speaking Chinese, Tagalog, Japanese, French, Spanish (I think Spanish may be the easiest for most people, it's a commonly used language).

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I can distinguish between most of the European languages and had trouble with many of the Asian languages.  Recently though with more people from these countries moving here and me hearing them more I do believe I can distinguish between Chinese, Korean, Japenese, Thai and Vietnamese speakers.

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I can distinguish between pretty much all the major European and Asian languages. I would love to learn how to distinguish between the various Arabic dialects (Egyptian, Saudi, Yemeni, Lebanese, Iraqi, etc.).

I still cannot distinguish between Russian and Ukrainian.

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  • 2 months later...

There are some langauges around that I could notice or recognize without actually knowing them. I see languages all the time that I have never spoken or rarely heard and can immediately tell you what they are. its kind of weird how that is, but it is just yourself remembering something you've seen but don't remember you've seen it.

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I only know English fluently, but I could recognize over 15.

French, Dutch, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, Norwegian, Arabic, Hebrew, Welsh, Indonesian, Latin, Afrikaans.

If you are exposed to them for a short period it's not too difficult to be able to differentiate.

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