The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!
Learning a new language is a common goal, so we think that HM’s suggestion of sharing what language you’re learning, or the languages you’d like to learn, should be fascinating!
Personally, I speak a little French and always mean to practice: I have a copy of The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) in French, and I periodically open up apps like Duolingo and Clozemaster to practice a bit… but that’s mostly just because that’s the language I learned in school. I know my accent is terrible, and there’s not much reason in my day-to-day life for me to speak any French, so it’s more of a mental exercise than anything.
It’s probably not too surprising though that I’d love to learn to speak Welsh. My wife used Duolingo to get some vocabulary, and is now using an app called Say Something in Welsh to practice more. I haven’t joined in yet, but… it’s tempting! I’d be starting from zero, really (I can count to ten in Welsh, and say a couple of phrases by rote), and I’m not sure I have the time yet. One day!
How about you? What languages are you studying, and which ones would you like to learn? You can share your thoughts in the comments, and/or use it as a prompt for something to write on your postcards!
79 comments so far
I learned German, English, Spanish at school. Living not far away from Italia, I decided to learn Italian by using Duolingo. After 1 year, I was able to order and book anything I needed during a trip to Savona and the Cinque Terre!
my mothertongue is Bavarian, growing up bilingual with German. Learned English and French at school. Studied English and Italian linguistics at University. Teaching both languages. I once told myself not to travel to countries the language I don't speak, limited the amount of travelling destinations. Discovering Duolingo encouraged my aim to study even more languages. Also took classes in Spanish at 'Volkshochschule'.
Great topic idea ☺️. I love learning languages. During a normal day, I use 3 to 4 languages: I speak French, my first language, with my parents. I work in the German speaking part of Switzerland, so I use German at work. My boyfriend is German speaking, but together we speak English so that we have both around the same level. I’ve studied Spanish in Peru in 2014 but I forgot à lot of what I learned because I don’t practice this language that often. I understand Italian, but I’m really bad at speaking this language. During the lockdown in 2020 I learned a bit of Swedish. It’s a language I love but unfortunately I stopped it because I knew no one to practice with. I’ve been learning Ukrainian since March 2022, because I have Ukrainian neighbors. Unfortunately I’m not that good at it, I still have problems to read the Cyrillic alphabet and I should study it more regularly.
I wish you a happy Postcrossing.
Also have used the Pimsleur courses small amounts of conversational Dutch, Japanese, Icelandic, and Swiss German for trips to those countries. (For those familiar with Pimsleur, only the first 10-15 lessons.) Learning some of the language, at least enough to say things such as, "I would like to buy this", also helps dispel the "Ugly American" stereotype which some people still seem to have. Any of these languages, I don't even mention on my Postcrossing profile as I would definitely need to use an online translator.
Have a great day, everyone! 😀
I've been working in a boarding school for deaf children since March 1st and I'm learning sign language. It's sooo interesting and the kids are happy to teach me new words and sentences every day :-)
For personal interest, I have studied Tibetan (for Buddhist studies), Japanese (for tea ceremony studies), and Irish (for fun), but I'm not remotely fluent in any of them. Tibetan and Japanese grammar are really similar, which surprised me! It's mentally refreshing to step outside the Indo-European suite of languages and learn something completely different.
When I said in my profile that feel free to use any language, I TRULY MEANT IT.
I took ASL (American Sign Language) in high school, but now I study Dutch via Duolingo, and I use YouTube to help me with whatever Duolingo doesn't provide. I still know some signs, and the alphabet in ASL, but never use it anymore. I highly recommend learning a Deaf language, though, either ASL or the one your country uses! Very helpful when you're in a quiet environment and need to communicate with others!
I visited my friend last year who lives in Belgium, and I took up Dutch when I was planning to visit again. Although we are no longer friends, so I keep up with it to keep my brain stimulated and my goal in life is to never know just one language!
If I ever become happy with my Dutch level, I've always been interested in Korean, I think it's a beautiful language whenever I hear it. So maybe I will study that one day.
I was born in the USA but grew up in Spain, learned Spanish and French and as able to work in both languages (I'm old enough to have learned to take shorthand in French when I was working in Paris). I studied Italian after college, learned enough Irish to be able to pronounce it, and since the pandemic I have been learning German, which has been great. There are so many German postcrossers I get to customize my postcards to each person! My German conversation group will meet tonight on Zoom to watch a film in German (with German subtitles).
Bringing it up to now, 30-some years later, I have a degree, tutored Spanish at university level, and have lived and travelled in many places throughout Mexico. I travel solo and as an artist and musician, many of those times I was with one of a few different Mexican boyfriends (so romantic and hypnotic in the way that the poetry and flowers flows from their lips and when they look at you it's like you are the most delicious dessert!) and we sold our handcrafts and played music on the streets. It's the best way to really pick up on the slang and when, and when not, to use it, and really brings one into really learning the historical and cultural aspects of this amazing, beautiful and complicated country and its many different peoples.
I've tried to learn Polish but find it massively demotivating. I want to love it because I had three good years in Poland, but my little brain just isn't up to the job.
Portuguese and Welsh both attract me.
At the moment I learn french and english at school, but I try to to learn polish,russian and korean by myself !
Honestly I'm learning multiple languages at the same time..
It's very confusing!!!
I was born and bred in Greece, so my native tongue is Greek and I can translate a good bunch of ancient Greek text. My second language is English. I am pretty good in French, Spanish and I know some very basic German.
I would love to perfect the languages I listed above plus learn Italian and Swedish.
My first language is Russian, but I also learnt Belarussian at school, and I think I can speak it quite decently.
I also learnt English at school, and my teachers managed to fascinate me so much that I decided to study foreign languages when I went to university. I use English daily at work and for fun, and honestly, it already feels like a second native language to me.
Then I took up German as a second language of choice at university. But I was not successful at it. I graduated the foreign languages department six years ago, and I can barely speak any German, however I understand some of it in the written form.
I attended Italian language courses for a short period of time, so I can read and understand some very basic Italian.
And then I discovered Duolingo! I think it's such an amazing tool which makes learning languages so fun! Currently I learn Spanish via Duolingo - I chose it because I'm fascinated by Latin American culture. I'm already making some progress and it brings me so much joy!
Next, I'd love to learn some Swedish and Arabic. And maybe Korean? We'll see :)
Some years ago I learned Spanish on my own before going on holidays to Mexico and I still can understand and speak (though quite far from perfect grammar).
Just a few days ago I started learning a little Indonesian for a holiday trip in October - for us it is essential being able to know at least some basic words of the local language.
The same for Dutch - they have many forms of denial; e.g. "niet", "geen" and "nee". Duolingo isn´t create to explain how to use these denial forms in Dutch. That's their biggest problem.
But all in all, learning new languages is amusing and very-very intriguing as not all the Postcrossing users know English or speak it fluently. For me, it's a great experience to learn Spanish and Dutch, while practising my writing skills here!
Languages are a great hobby and opened me many a door all around the world. I have two languages I dream to still learn: Norwegian (country of my heart) and Russian (would love to travel Siberia). I grew up in the germand speaking part of Switzerland and did learn French (CH-Lausanne), Spanish (ES-Cadiz) and English (CA-Vancouver) and Italian with a good friend from Italy. In the meantime Dutch has been added (my partner is Dutch) and whenever we are somewhere travelling I like to speak the language of the country and worst case English is always a good option.
NB: Spanish is the language of my heart... I am told I change personality when speaking it ;-)
Have a great day everybody
Good time to all
Travelling, living and working in Europe for awhile, I had opportunities to learn a little of several languages, but mainly used German.
And then I became the mother to a young man with PDD Autism who happens to be non-verbal. So I quickly learned some ASL - American Sign Language as my son was learning it in his school. It became challenging for me because my son had what I describe as "his own dialect" and often made up signs of his own.
Bottom line -- I think the best language is simply the Language of Love -- an appreciation and enjoyment for learning and sharing in whatever method one can use for communicating with someone else.
I also learned a little Dutch, as the Netherlands are near my hometown.
Now I will begin to learn Hindi, I‘m really looking forward to the treat!
It just never seems to fully stick in my brain. Because of our German heritage my youngest daughter is trying to teach herself that with Duolingo. I am in awe of people who can speak many languages.
Online translator helps a lot - you can write a few words in any language (except hieroglyphs, of course)
my second language is English, and thanks to my native language (Slovak) I can use Czech and understand Polish.
I also studied French during high school and I can write basic sentences with a translator, but I don´t speak.
Currently, I am studying German (with the teacher) and Danish on Memrise.
During the past few years, I also experimented with studying Finnish, Irish and Icelandic, but it was so difficult that I gave up - but I want to try again sometime! :)
I'm afraid that's me. I studied French in high school and college. I read passingly well but with my Southern accent, I don't speak French intelligibly at all. I can ask for directions in Spanish, and read half a dozen phrases in Italian. Otherwise, I'm hopelessly American and communicate exclusively in English.
Japanese is my native language. I studied English at school and Spanish by myself. At university I chose Russian and Polish because I was interested in Slavic languages.
Now I'm thinking to start Spanish, German and Dutch.
I would like to learn as many languages as I can.
“The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages.”
Since 2021, I've been studying Spanish via private, online classes once a week.
Once I have Spanish at a decent enough level (B2? C1?), I'd like to learn Portuguese.
But I'd love to be able to speak Finnish, Turkish, Polish and Arabic one day... I'm just not sure how realistic that is!
Limburgs is a dialect from the south.
We live verry. close to the border from Germany so i speak also perfectly german.
I have an amarikan and italian brother in low and speak there for also these . I,m dislektic writing is difficult in al the langguitches without my autocorrect . If i send a card i always write a little bit in the language of the receiver and groetjes at the end.
Have a nice day en groetjes linda
And I am learning Korean as my third country language, some of them origin from chinese, so it may more easier for me to get to know it!
It´s better to study yourself to speak with others outside Finland.
Myself I have studied Swedish,german,english(lived in Canada for a year to be more fluent),Spanish,italian..but Japan is my great "love"I studied it for three years, still I speak like 4 year old..but it´s beautiful language and so interesting!!!Honto ni!!!Korea sounds nice too, but time limitations man..
Please study Finnish too, we are nice people and even shy still easy to talk to.Mistakes do not matter, it´s the effort that counts!!
I am currently learning the Hebrew alphabet. I also have a book to learn the Russian alphabet with the hope of reading Dostoevsky in his native tongue someday. I can read Italian and understand a little Portuguese. I wish to also learn Arabic and Chinese mandarin, and Japanese. So much to learn so little time.
I love my Chamoru language, native tongue of the people of the Marianas. There are not many people who speak our language today and we are trying to find different means to make it more alive (used).
I like to learn languages that surround me. I was in Okinawa for 7 years learned conversational Japanese, my grandson played ball with kids from central America so picked up on some spanish, neighbors and friends from Palau, Korea, and Philippines so learned some words from each... language opens communications and betters relationships!
I can read French better than I can speak or write it, high school was a long time ago.
My mother tongue is Chinese and I studied English at school, but my grades were terrible and I failed every time. To be honest, Chinese education is about opening your brain and pouring it in with a big bucket of nonsense knowledge, then closing your brain again and asking you while you're trying to digest it, "You don't know how to do that?" Then open your brain again and pour it in again.
Some of the students who found a way to do this learnt fast, but I was at a standstill and when I tried to fall in love with English, I could only see the footprints left by my peers, I walked slowly but helplessness surrounded me, but new knowledge would not wait for me. My English has been terrible from the very beginning until now. Of course I tried to remedy the situation, but I only had a day and a half off in a fortnight and during the school year I had 13 classes a day from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
I took a break from school, so I had the time to run back to the top of the road and start studying again. At the same time I developed a great passion for the German language and I am starting to learn it.
I am currently studying Mandarin Chinese!
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