October 16th, 2008

Majoring in a language - how far do you get?

I am curious about those of you who have majored in a language and/or taken the highest possible level of a language through a university, and how far you got in that language. Disregarding relatively arbitrary benchmarks such as passing a test to gain a "certificate of proficiency" in said language with standards NOT set by any standardized system (for example, at my university all of us who had taken four semesters of a language and passed a test thereafter were given stamps of "proficiency" on our transcripts; however, when I got back to learning the language at an institution that followed a different set of standards I was put into a "pre-intermediate" level), I want to know how actually proficient you were when dealing with the language in a real-world setting.

My purpose is to see how university language levels like beginning, intermediate and advanced in different languages measure up to different standards depending on which language it is. I have a sneaking suspicion that (at least in the US) those who take advanced level Spanish or French will come out much more proficient in their language than those who take, say, advanced Dutch. I think there is a discrepancy between what the same levels of language mean within different languages, and I wonder what about the mechanics of those languages makes it so?
raining totoro

Punctuating a passage

In my Fundamentals of Interpreting class the other night, we were given a passage with no punctuation and asked to punctuate it, then divide it into "chunks" of meaning. We basically came up with two ways to punctuate the first few sentences, and it seemed to break down by native language. So, I'm curious as to whether that holds up with more data. So, if you would be so kind as to punctuate the following passage (or just the first few sentences) and also say your native language.

Here's the passage:

it took two years to set up 12 airplanes 246 people and tragically one death sky divers in ottawa ill set a world record for the greatest number of free falling jumpers to remain in formation for at least three seconds the world record was 200 people the 210 men and 36 women dived from 19500 feet falling at an average rate of 122 miles per hour and took 73 seconds to complete their complex formation it's a three second accomplishment that takes a lifetime to achieve said roger nelson the program director of skydive chicago who choreographed the divers the group was allowed 25 jumps to set the record and achieved it in the next to last try but sandy wampach one of the team captains died in a practice jump a week before the final attempt nelson believes that wambach was knocked unconscious during a free fall collision and was unable to deploy her parachute despite the shock nelson and his colleagues decided to pursue the record accidents are going to happen he said we all recognized that it could have been any of us nelson and his group will be back he plans a jump for july 2000 this time for 300 people

Thanks guys!

(no subject)

Can anyone tell me what "miden miden eikosi epta kai ta leipa" means (if anything) and in what language it is? I'm thinking about getting it tattooed but I want to know what it means first.
[HP] Are You Serious Ron
  • mcaries

(no subject)

Hi, I'm new to this community. I'm a sixteen-year-old junior in French III, and I have loved French ever since I started two years ago. I've always loved English, too, and it dawned upon me that I should study linguistics when I reach college. Anything to do with linguistics sounds like pretty much my dream profession to go into since I love learning languages and just languages in general. So, I was very happy to find this community, especially given the circumstances.

My school had budget cuts this past year and ended up cutting my French teacher because there were "not enough people" in the class, completely overlooking the fact that the class, or any foreign language class in general, is required for two of the three diplomas offered. Anyway, I'm being forced into taking an online French course right now, and I'm having a horribly difficult time learning anything. Right now, though, I am having huge issues with pronouns. My "teacher", if you will, has posted powerpoints that have absolutely nothing to do with the assignment, and I was wondering if anyone could help me out? I really would appreciate it.

Where we are right now, I believe we're discussing using en and y, although the section in our textbook really isn't specific on what we should be learning. It also talks about la and leur. I am completely lost, and what we learned last year seems to be leaving me pretty quickly already with pretty much no guidance from my teacher. So, can anyone help? I'm really just trying to survive my last two years of French in high school with as little damage as possible.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated

Arabic alphabet support: Microsoft Word for Mac

If this question has been answered before, please point me in the right direction.

I recently got my first Mac and installed a student version of Office 2008 on it. The Mac itself has awesome language support, but Word won't join the connecting letters in Arabic-derived text. I poked around online for a while and couldn't find any solutions. There seems to be a download to address this problem for Windows on Microsoft's website, but not for Mac versions of Office. I didn't have any luck on Apple's website, either.

Am I missing something obvious? Any advice for making Word actually useful in this regard?

Smart Girl-misako_chan

Language-related Careers.

I'm sure this question has been asked in different forms before, but I'm a confused college student looking for advice.

I'm a junior in college, and it took me up until this point to not only declare a major (Communication), but also to really realize that I have an interest in language. I've been taking Mandarin Chinese since I first started college. When I met someone to start practicing conversation, I realized that I liked comparing the languages and seeing similarities and differences. Then, my schedule finally opened up for an intro class in Linguistics this semester. It's hard (right now I'm trying to memorize IPA...) but I really enjoy it. Sadly, my school doesn't offer a Linguistics major, and any Linguistics classes are housed under Humanities, my minor. I've considered careers like Speech Pathology, teaching ESL, etc, but I wonder what some of my other options are. I don't think I'd ever be fluent in Mandarin, but would there be anything where even my limited knowledge would be an asset? Are there any more "behind the scenes" oriented jobs involving language?

I'm sorry if this was confusing! Looking back it looks like my thoughts were so jumbled, lol.
fractal cats
  • zinema


Newbie here. I just had a couple of questions/comments.

Some people possess a "talent" for learning new languages. So,

A) If you are one of those people, what is your secret?

B) Is 29 too old to be learning a new language?

Thanks for any input!

(no subject)

My friend asked me to translate a very brief letter into German for two friends of hers who do not speak German or English. My German skills are pretty limited so can you correct this and let me know if it makes sense?

"Wir würden ein Doppelzimmer in Ihrem Hotel von 10/11/2008 bis 15/11/2008 zu buchen. Unsere Namen sind ... und ... und wir kommen aus Russland. Zu ein Turistvisum anschaffen müssen wir eine Bestätigung der Vorauszahlung über den ganzen Betrag der Deutschen Botschaft aufweisen. Könnt Ihr eine solche Bestätigung vorsehen, wenn wir haben gezahlt?"