Hyperpolyglots

Lucifer

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While this forum is Spanish 101, I'd like to bring up an article in the Washington Post about a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages.

Why? You may ask.
Well, it may encourage some readers of this forum who are learning Spanish as much as it encourages me to learn the language of Macron, Voltaire, and Diderot.

I don't have the link to the article, but it's titled "The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages."

He's incredibly humble, too.
 
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JD Jones

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He spends something like 30 minutes on the DuoLingo program every day.

Speaks something like 5-6 languages fluently, and can converse in all of the others.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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While this forum is Spanish 101, I'd like to bring up an article in the Washington Post about a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages.

Why? You may ask.
Well, it may encourage some readers of this forum who are learning Spanish as much as it encourages me to learn the language of Macron, Voltaire, and Diderot.

I don't have the link to the article, but it's titled "The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages."

He's incredibly humble, too.
One question: what is considered ‘speaks fluently’? I hear this often but when I hear the person speak I am disappointed. The command is not the same across all languages that the person speaks.

Fluency for me is full command across all the languages- read, write and speak. Now that to me is impressive and fluent. I am impressed when a person speaks two or three equally across the board.
 
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Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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He spends something like 30 minutes on the DuoLingo program every day.

Speaks something like 5-6 languages fluently, and can converse in all of the others.

From what I have seen of Duolingo it’s not a good learning program for languages at all. The goal is to move through the lessons as fast as you can and then you will be fluent- not!
 

drstock

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From what I have seen of Duolingo it’s not a good learning program for languages at all. The goal is to move through the lessons as fast as you can and then you will be fluent- not!
I have been using Duolingo regularly for most of my twelve years here. There seem to be an endless number of lessons and it has taught me a lot, although of course it doesn't help you much to understand DR barrio Spanish. I am now doing French as well to remind me of my schoolboy lessons and allow me to communicate with my majority French speaking clients.
 

Marianopolita

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Dec 26, 2003
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I have been using Duolingo regularly for most of my twelve years here. There seem to be an endless number of lessons and it has taught me a lot, although of course it doesn't help you much to understand DR barrio Spanish. I am now doing French as well to remind me of my schoolboy lessons and allow me to communicate with my majority French speaking clients.
That’s great you find it helpful. Don’t get me wrong one can learn from Duolingo but as the only resource for learning I think there are a lot of gaps. The only reason why I have seen a bit of the ap is because I know two people who are using it currently to learn Spanish and there is not a week that goes by that they don’t send me screen shots with questions they have that Duolingo does not explain why their answer is wrong. I don’t recommend it to my language clients. However, if they use it in conjunction with other resources I think it could be helpful.


BTW- I don’t think any language ap teaches the local language. To learn that you need to live the experience.
 
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aarhus

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One question: what is considered ‘speaks fluently’? I hear this often but when I hear the person speak I am disappointed. The command is not the same across all languages that the person speaks.

Fluency for me is full command across all the languages- read, write and speak. Now that to me is impressive and fluent. I am impressed when a person speaks two or three equally across the board.
I say on my LinkedIn profile that I know 5 languages. Danish is my native language so obviously I am fluent. Also in English and it’s a strong second language for me. German I used to be fluent but I lack practice. I still pronounce it very well and can sound like I am German for a short while lol. With Spanish I do speak fluently but not always with a good pronunciation and not always correct grammar. But it’s fluent just not great. Learning Spanish I finally realized I wasn’t great at learning languages. My mother is English so I grew up with that and I learned German earlier and it has similarities to Danish and as a young adult I worked two years in Germany. Finally I have added Portuguese on my LinkedIn lol. Just because it sounds good but I only started on a beginner course some years ago in SD and I still have this hope of learning it. I think fluent means you can communicate although not necessarily perfect.
 

bob saunders

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One question: what is considered ‘speaks fluently’? I hear this often but when I hear the person speak I am disappointed. The command is not the same across all languages that the person speaks.

Fluency for me is full command across all the languages- read, write and speak. Now that to me is impressive and fluent. I am impressed when a person speaks two or three equally across the board.
Many years ago I had an Italian Canadian girlfriend. She was fluent in Italian, English and French. She could speak with people in all three languages without pause. Her mother only spoke Italian, her father the three languages. She was also functional in Portuguese and German. She worked as a translator in the Italian consulate in Toronto.
 
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Lucifer

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Many years ago I had an Italian Canadian girlfriend. She was fluent in Italian, English and French. She could speak with people in all three languages without pause. Her mother only spoke Italian, her father the three languages. She was also functional in Portuguese and German. She worked as a translator in the Italian consulate in Toronto.
With the lexical similarities between Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, she could've picked up the latter easily, I think.

Brazilians understand Spanish, but we don't understand them. Not fair.
 
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Marianopolita

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————

Brazilians understand Spanish, but we don't understand them. Not fair.

Not one word. I tell Portuguese speakers- I don’t understand you. Then they start saying how Portuguese is like Spanish…yes but not phonetically and that pronunciation is not anything easy. The good thing for me is that it is not a language I am attracted to so I don’t let it bother me. I was never interested in Portuguese nor Italian.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

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Not one word. I tell Portuguese speakers- I don’t understand you. Then they start saying how Portuguese is like Spanish…yes but not phonetically and that pronunciation is not anything easy. The good thing for me is that it is not a language I am attracted to so I don’t let it bother me. I was never interested in Portuguese nor Italian.
If you have a Spanish translation up while listening you can really see the similarities. These two are favs of mine they can really belt it out. This began my interest in the language. Of course Blowers Daughter for those that don't know, Damien Rice original.
Enjoy! Love, Manny

 
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Lucifer

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Today's paper from Brazil:​

"Bombeiro que atropelou e matou ciclista na Zona Oeste não sofre de doença mental"​


I think it means that <<Bombero que atropelló motociclista en la Zona Oeste sufre de trastorno mental>>.

Very similar structure to Spanish, but hard for me to understand when spoken.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!
Dec 10, 2021
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Dominican Republic

Today's paper from Brazil:​

"Bombeiro que atropelou e matou ciclista na Zona Oeste não sofre de doença mental"​


I think it means that <<Bombero que atropelló motociclista en la Zona Oeste sufre de trastorno mental>>.

Very similar structure to Spanish, but hard for me to understand when spoken.
When I'm nice and buzzed that's how my Epani sounds :LOL:
 

aarhus

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With the lexical similarities between Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, she could've picked up the latter easily, I think.

Brazilians understand Spanish, but we don't understand them. Not fair.
I have experienced several times in Miami that I was asked if I was Brazilian when I spoke Spanish. Something about the accent I guess. Also when I speak English Americans have asked if I was South African.
 

aarhus

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I have experienced several times in Miami that I was asked if I was Brazilian when I spoke Spanish. Something about the accent I guess. Also when I speak English Americans have asked if I was South African.
Sounding Brazilian when I speak Spanish I take as a huge compliment. But that I can sound South African when I speak English less so haha
 

bob saunders

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I have experienced several times in Miami that I was asked if I was Brazilian when I spoke Spanish. Something about the accent I guess. Also when I speak English Americans have asked if I was South African.
I have never mistaken a Danish accent for a south African one, and I am very familiar with both. My neighbours for 19 years were from South Africa and I have many Danish relatives.