The Dreaded Linguist Question

Anggarrgoon has a good strategy for answering the Dreaded Linguist Question. She links to LanguageHat’s languages page, so I thought I’d do my own list:

How many languages do I speak?

  • Fluent: English, French, Esperanto.
  • Moderately comfortable, but lack vocab: Modern Standard Arabic, Iraqi Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Japanese, Tok Pisin.
  • Forgotten: German, Spanish.
  • Can read: Spanish, Italian, Latin, Classical Greek.
  • Studied: Norwegian, Quiche Mayan, Klingon.
  • Dictionaries/Grammars: Akkadian, Latin, Attic Greek, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Modern Standard Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Tchien Krahn, Dioula, Japanese, German, French, Norwegian, Mandarin, Esperanto, Klingon.

Nowhere near as impressive as Language Log’s, but it’s a start.

Update: An article in the Economist gives a good description of what linguists do.

3 thoughts on “The Dreaded Linguist Question”

  1. I’m not sure if this is a blog faux pas, but I just have to
    link you back to a sub-Economist story involving the language of my favorite
    coffee magnate, Starbucks.

    I love it. The local coffee company here just changed the names of the
    cup sizes, and I’ve rebelled and resorted to calling them small, medium and large.
    It has gotten ridiculous.

    Maybe I’m in the wrong field-perhaps I should’ve been a linguist.
    I get way too nit-picky about words. Like somebody else I know. :P

  2. wow! Impressing list!
    I only speak English and Norwegian.. And Swedish and Danish of course!(They are linguisticly dialects of the same language as Norwegian..)
    Some French, understand conversational German, some simple Swahili…
    And I am in the middle of intensive studies of Koine Greek…

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