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Do you care to know the origin of a language you are learning?


mareebaybay
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I definitely do. When you research that kind of stuff, you'll find deeper meaning in the language and learn things about that culture (and country) that you probably wouldn't have ever learned. But then I like history. So that could be the reason why I like that kind of stuff. Either way, knowing the origin is not a necessity, but it does improve your understanding.

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I think it can help you to understand exactly how some of the words are formed and understand why grammatical rules for that particular language exist, for example in English some words had letters added into them when the printing press was invented to make the words on the page line up correctly, so the spelling of otherwise easy words suddenly became strange and awkward.

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At first, I don't really pay attention of the background unless I expressly choose a language for the background of a country that seduces me.

However as long as I begin to fall in love with a new language, there is a point in the learning process when I start to look into the origin of such language and the culture and folklore of the places where such language is spoken.

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It depends! In the past, the origin and history of the people who spoke the language I wanted to learn was very important, that's why I was fascinated with scandinavian languages as a teen (I'd still love having a reason to learn norwegian or swedish). So in this situation the origin of the language was closely linked to the history of the people who spoke it. 

I'm currently planning to move to the Netherlands soon, I need to learn dutch before that tho.  But I know nothing about the origin of this language :P  Which is easy to understand... since I'm MUST learn it, not because I want or because I like it, but because I really have to :P  They practically have told me it's a requisite. 

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I think it can help sometimes to know the reasons behind some strange patterns in the language, why something is an exception to a rule, where certain idioms come from and so on, but I approach it in much the same way as the history of English. It's certainly interesting and can be helpful for your language ability, but knowing all about a language doesn't really convert into being good at that language.

People who study linguistics might have a different view on it though. It's certainly not a bad thing to look at, just not I focus on personally.

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I feel its important to know language origin, its fascinating to learn the cultural background of a language that I'm trying to learn.  Its incredible how many different languages and dialects are in the world, how many cultural nuances are involved in speaking them.

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I don't really seek it out, but it does come across one way or another because it provides insight on how the language came about, which does make it a little easier to learn the language to some degree. Foreign friends are usually more than willing to give me a background of their language and country, and of course, I'm willing to listen.

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I believe the origin of the language is very important. I once had a professor who went into great debts about the roots of words and their relations to other language. I loved how he did that

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I don't care about the history either but when something cool about it is brought up, it's definitely interesting. For example a language may have went through different changes throughout time and to hear it's style of how it was a few hundred years ago it definitely interesting.

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A language's history will may interest me only if whilst studying the language, I encounter familiar-looking words which may or may not have the same meaning in my native tongue. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother and would instead concentrate on the nuances of learning the language.

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When you are learning a new language, do you ever take in consideration the history behind a language?

To be honest, no. I don't take the time to learn the history of a language I am learning and it's not because I am lazy. History overall, is interesting and helps one to piece things together as we study the present and the future. So, I would want to know the language's history, but I wouldn't say I would make a great concerted effort to do so  :nerd:

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I think it can help you to understand exactly how some of the words are formed and understand why grammatical rules for that particular language exist, for example in English some words had letters added into them when the printing press was invented to make the words on the page line up correctly, so the spelling of otherwise easy words suddenly became strange and awkward.

I agree. If we as language learners are able to rationalize and see the reasoning behind the pronounciation, epitomology, etc., of the words of the language we are studying, then we will retain the language better. Otherwise, we may just find that we are swatting the information only to lose it in the near future. 

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