When I was 10 years old.

Discussion in 'Warbirds International' started by hezzey, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    By the way, Vasco, I hope that I don't come across as being an asshole all the time. Sometimes I read what I've posted and realize that I wouldn't have posted if I hadn't enjoyed a few adult beverages.

    What you say about the motivation to study Russian, in former Eastern Bloc nations is not unusual, is it? It's interesting to note that former Soviet places in Central Asia seem to embrace the Russian language so much more; it's still the lingua franca. Practical geographic considerations have a lot to do with it. And cultural differences, and time spent under direct Russian and Soviet rule. And experiences during WW2, "and so on" as WW2 veteran Kurt Vonnegut was fond of writing. He was a Kraut-American as am I, so always wonder if he was thinking unserweiter each time he typed that.

    Here are the best ways for adults to (re)study a foreign language: find a local native speaker. Not sure about your circumstances, but if you are very fortunate, a local university may allow you to audit or enroll in classes as a non-degree student. Here we have expensive private programs at universities where students can go through two-month, intensive but "softer" and expensive programs (for the liberal arts and graduate school types) who want to be academics and diplomats.

    Most countries' militaries also have schools that teach foreign languages at a very intense level. The training there is hardcore and you're immersed, penalized for speaking your native language, etc. That's not an option at our advanced ages, but that's the best training. However, you can find some of the target-language speaking teachers, sometimes, who are willing to to help you on a private basis.

    If you live near a base where better troops are housed there are probably good, native-speaking tutors, is my guess.

    And it's probably not a problem for you, but never forget that certain governments will fuck with you if you publicly show interest in studying certain languages, and visiting certain countries. Governments are paranoid on both sides, LOL. It's so silly.

    Kids learn two foreign languages at school, but are primarily instructed in your native language? That's not bad, even if the teachers have bad accents :) In America... pfoo.

    Curious: what language does your son favor?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  2. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Nevermind that.

    You still haven't told me how comes you learned Russian? Did you/ are you using in your job? Did you make use of it during the cold war? I expect that's when the demand for Russian speakers was higher.
    Come on, tell us more.

    English, but only because we live in an anglophone world now.
     
  3. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    As to why I studied RU, Vasco, I refer you to my post of 8 September. But to be honest, my family didn't care so much about teaching me languages. English was the default, but I was always hearing German spoken. Nightly I listened to shortwave radio and heard languages such as Russian, Czech, Africaans, etc. But I am a weirdo.

    Yeah, and the Cold War. My exposure to the Russian language was mostly in academia. Of course I knew and know about some of the other language programs, but I'm not involved with them. Did meet some interesting people, though. Had a nice meeting with one of President Kennedy's RU interpreters (a great guy); met some ambassadors (meh).

    There's a famous former "Soviet spy TM" living near me. How's that for interesting? He'll die from old age any day now, if he hasn't already. He's kind of famous. Somehow I dated his daughter, which, in retrospect, was likely a mistake on my part ;) As we Americans say idiomatically, "How do you like them apples?"

    Before I die, I'd like to learn the full story about the guy I mentioned above, BTW. Maybe others know. He was stationed in the US Embassy in Vienna during the Cold War. A so-called economist. I did not type the above words.

    Do we really? Ya it's the current practical language, but for how long?

    Disclaimer: In vino veritas.
     
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  4. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Spy's daughter, that's cool.
    Did you get to the point of saying "I would like to purchase a spy ring, for my fiancee" ? :D
     
  5. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    I envision a long career as the universal language. I bet even the aliens will prefer to speak it.
    It's a very easy language, with a very simple grammar. It's got a lot of latin neologisms, via french, in its smarter vocabulary, common to all romance languages. The same french neologisms are all over the european languages, to some degree, so it makes it easier to all.

    I've met americans, with no knowledge of languages, that told me they could understand the general meaning of a phrase written in Romanian. Americans! Not because Romanian was easy, but because those french neologisms.

    The aliens might not have french words in their language, but I'm sure they'll find english grammar easy. And it only takes about 10 years to build up a large english personal vocabulary, without much formal studying, but in a relaxed manner, only by occasional reading and listening to english. And what's 10 years to an alien?
     
  6. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    And I'd like to state for the public record, that I did not know about this lady's father's "history" when we first met. That information only emerged after a few dates and a lot of alcohol. She's a cool person, though. She's an innocent victim of her family history, IMHO.

    How many lives and souls have been crushed by the relentless and uncaring wheels of history! Well, most lives.

    Nah, she isn't the type to get married. And her family is wealthy. How could a proletarian, a dilletante in elevated social circles such as myself be accepted? A rhetorical question, you see ;)
     
  7. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Vasco, you're correct re. English being easy for most around the world. It must be easy, because even I can speak it :) My father learned English at ten years old and his American accent was probably the best I've ever heard. Absolutely flawless.

    Can you share some Romanian phrases with us? So we can play along? :) I don't know RO, unfortunately :(

    BTW, your English is wonderful. Let's become Latinists and think about the definition of neologism, though. Probably thinking about "borrowed" or "loan" phrases, not new nouns/terms/words. English sure does have a shitload of them! Our crappy American English language is not rational; it's more like a "tell" or "tel, tal" in the archaeological sense. Meaning a place where everyone dumped their garbage, and it built up over many years. Tel Amerika, heh.
     
  8. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Neo-logos, new-word, it can mean expression too.

    Thanks, my English is far from perfect, but I don't bother. I don't even bother with accents, although I can easily imitate them.
    English is already so far from being owned by a small set of nations, that linguistic innovation should not only be tolerated, but even pregented.

    Romanian :
    1 to 10: unu, doi trei patru (same as quatro, quatre, but [k] turned into p), cinci, şase, şapte, opt, nouă, zece - latin [d] turned into [z], try to pronounce d, then z, the tip of the tongue moves only a bit. Funny thing etymologies.

    Bună dimineaţa - good morning (like buon mattino, bon matin)
    Bună ziua - good day (like buenas dias in spanish or bom dia in portuguese)
    Bună seara - good evening (buona sera in italian)

    Eu beau - I drink
    Tu mergi - you walk
    El/ea doarme - He/she sleeps
    Noi citim - we read
    Voi cântaţi - you sing
    Ei/ele scriu - they write
    All the above can also be translated as present continuous

    Asta e un exemplu de propoziţie în româna = This is an example sentence in Romanian.
    Chiar acum mănânc brânză de capră cu ceapă, roşii şi pâine. = Right now I'm eating goat cheese with onions, tomatoes and bread.
    Right now (I) eat cheese of/by goat with onion tomatoes and bread.

    Edit: I wanted to vertically align the translation, but the forum trims the white spaces.

    aur (Au), argint (Ag), fier (Fe), plumb (Pb) - chemical elements that are named differently in english.

    Most of the vocabulary and grammar derive from latin, there's also a huge amount of french 19 century neologisms, and there are also older borrowings from old slavic, turkish, greek, hungarian and other languages in the area. For example the word for "yes" is "da", from old slavic. A slavic speaker woud recognise some words in a conversation, but not the actual meaning of the phrases.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
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  9. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's very cool! I've got to apologize and say that I probably knew some of these basic facts long ago, but forgot some of them as I aged. Later in my life when I studied a bit of French, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese, more things fell into place. It truly is a joy to see puzzle pieces fit. I need to look at some charts of Romanian grammar (I know you tried to render some in HTML).

    (My chemistry education is not good, unfortunately. The kids in my schools began to beat the living hell out of me when I was ~6 and it lasted until I was about 16. Had to have fights in my schools for years, until I grew taller and stronger. They stopped when I grew bigger, at last ;) I did miss some good years there. But getting punched in the face during my first day in elementary school, Kindergarten, probably has shaped my world view.)

    At university I preferred to bypass all of the so-called "hard sciences" and aimed for the easier stuff, like languages and literature. Somehow I never left.
     
  10. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    We don't get a chance to do things over, do we? It's one chance. And every decision made by us -- or made for us by others -- moves us in ever so slightly in another direction.

    What position did you play in baseball? Did you play real hardball with wooden bats, fast pitches, etc., etc?
     
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  11. hezzey

    hezzey Well-Known Member

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    it was really easy to pick up the book-learning. Much of what was school curriculum was just reading writing and arithmetic…..
    I was a champ at the Reading and writing (when I wanted to which wasn’t often ) part and I basically just got commercial arithmetic correct enough said I didn’t fail grades I don’t recall ever getting anything better than C grade in any subject in school (I was a lazy little bastard who thought why be a champ when all I have to do is get a C grade at everything…..
    I think I was thinking when I was a child:
    WHY BOTHER?

    but there is a hell of a lot more to life; ambition success failure toil injury genious….. when I was a boy I had no idea what backbreaking or heartbreaking was even…. Hi had no idea when I was a little boy what suffering is I was spoiled pampered….
    Lived in a welfare state and my mom took advantage of it so I always had good teeth and cut hair and clean clothes…
    I never had a dad there were no men in my family no brothers no male cousins not enough male influence and that is not a good thing for a male human being it is a bad foundation to start with being raised in that sort of household yechh.
    ?
    It could be said I was a failure in a manner similar to what WC Fields once said:
    (Sorry that was Groucho Marx)
    I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
    That is how I used to feel I think… once I hit going gray age high started to get my eyes open and by that time it was too late….
    I wish that I had a camera going all those times I succeeded like a champ when I was eight or 14…..
    Nobody believes anything I tell them about my youthful potential like I batted 900….
    That I was the second best chess player in school…..
    Thought I could drill a quarter coin at 100 yards….. (with a properly working rifle and a scope and something to lean how the hell can ya miss (I thought which was stupid because no one was ever yelling and screaming at me my heart was never pounding I wasn’t afraid of anything about anything oh that’s easy to shoot straight when life is like that ) All I had to do was lean on some thing and point that gun and I would drill a bull’s-eye core close enough that all Leah grownups around me could see I had shooting a gun figured out……. BIB DEAL…. Being a killer shot only means something if you’re out shooting stuff that you’re eating to I was a city boy……
    I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. Is what I was thinking like and then one day when the gray started showing in my hair and then I heart attack happened to me holy shit all of my potential was just a memory….
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  12. hezzey

    hezzey Well-Known Member

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    I have no excuse and I think it causes way too much pain/harm to even think that way….
    Hi make 100 bucks just playing Santa once a year for about 15 minutes and I don’t worry about doing that all of Christmas season that would just make my hair start to fall out or maybe my knees would get brittle why push my luck….
    I got coffee and smokes and a square a meal every day and I live in doors I never have holes in my boots etc. etc. it’s just fine.
    There is not a soul who looks in this thing that knows me working have any influence in my affairs….
    So what harm is there in ranting every now and then?
    Hey I have been gaining weight during this plague maybe in the coming Christmas I’ll be chubby enough to be a better Santa?
     
  13. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    There are more roads leading to the same place, some take a detour.
    Now, in my 40's, I'm interested in physics, a thing that while in high school I decided it wasn't so interesting. Now all of a sudden I remember teacher's explanations on certain stuff and I read the net. I read about the discoveries in the 16th-19th centuries. I'm going to get to the 20th someday. There's no race and I don't blame myself. I can't judge my former 18 years old self.
     
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  14. hezzey

    hezzey Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know if it was an old Scottish saying but I believe I first heard it from my grand dad….
    Life is a bitch and then you die…
    (He also used to like to say
    I’ll piss on your grave……
    I never did get that one straight I think it was some sort of weird Scottish Highlander humour )