If you could learn to speak 12 languages (including your native language), which ones would you choose?

By: | Post date: January 21, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Language

Ah, the question asks that I do it for only practical reasons?

Erk. That’s… regrettable. I’ll have to jettison languages I know (Lojban, Klingon) and would like to know in theory (Irish).

The first six, I know. (Well, kinda, as Clarissa Lohr and Kat Rectenwald can attest.)

  • English. Because I am Australian, and because English, for better or worse, is the current lingua franca
  • Greek. Because I am Greek. What a horrible thing it would be, for me to have restricted access to Greek culture. Or my relatives.
  • German. Because of German-language scholarship, especially in my original field of historical linguistics. (And because of the heights of German culture.)
  • French. Because of French-language scholarship, especially in my original field of historical linguistics. (And because of the culture, although I’m much more of a Germanophile.)
  • Esperanto. Because I’ve learned a lot about other cultures and literatures through Esperanto (including Esperanto culture and literature).
  • Latin. For vocabulary, literature, scholarship (yes, you heard me right, scholarship, in the Classics) and all-round cultural foundations of the West.

The next three, I only know bits of.

  • Italian. Some literature, and it proved handy to know a smattering of it while vacationing in Italy.
  • Russian. There’s scholarship and literature I’d have liked to have accessed, and Russians I’d have liked to have been able to talk to in their language.
  • Turkish. For neighbourliness and linguistics.

The last three, I don’t really know at all.

  • Albanian. For neighbourliness and linguistics.
  • Armenian. To impress my wife. Hypothetically, because actually she doesn’t know much Armenian.
  • Mandarin. Because China matters more and more and more in my part of the world.

Now, if fun were a criterion for the language learning (and that’s the criterion most answers have actually applied), the next six are instead:

The two other conlangs I already know:

The two other conlangs I’d like to be across more:

  • Interlingua. Just like Latin, only artificial.
  • Interglosa. Best designed conlang ever.

The two weird and wonderful natural languages with cultural resonance in the Anglosphere:

  • Irish. How cool would that be.
  • Old English. Man, I’d love to be able to contribute to se Englisc Wikipǣdia!

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