Give Me it ALL, Rosetta Stone

The Daily Post queries

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

Yes, with the exception of licking chairs, I feel much like Wanda does when hearing most languages spoken.

So – If I could wake up tomorrow and speak any language fluently I’d choose… THEM ALL – and if that wasn’t possible, I’d settle for instant knowledge of Russian and Welsh.  Why?  Who knows! I’ve always loved languages – learning them, hearing them, speaking them -all of it appeals to me…and I’ve been trying to teach myself Russian for a bit. I love Russian – it’s such a beautiful language.  I cannot tell you why – but something about it strikes a chord in soul. And anyway, does there have to be a logical answer as to why anything appeals to us?  I think not.

Second in line is Welsh – I’m intrigued with its spelling. My favorite name is Llewellyn – and I’m sure I’m not even pronouncing it in any way, shape or form correctly.  That ‘ll’ has some sort of mysterious sound that eludes me at this juncture of my life. However, this is a language I’ve come across in written form rather than hearing it.  And there’s my justification…

So – what would I do if I woke up with this instant knowledge or Russian and/or Welsh? Why – speak to people of course. Duh.  I’d find and foist myself upon any unsuspecting person that I thought might speak it.  Which is what I’ve done with all the languages that I’ve learned (just a smattering of at this point, except ASL – which was once fluent, now? Not so much). That’s the deal with languages – you have to use them else you forget (unless it’s one that you learned when you were young – it seems to stick in the craw in a more permanent manner if you learned it as a babe-in-arms).

My most embarrassing moment was when I was trying to teach myself Russian and I tried it out on a waitress (from Russia)…and instead of thanking her I told her “good bye” – she probably thought I was crazy 🙂   Which I am.
And that’s it ~

Do you have a favorite language? Do you speak more than one? Come on – give it up!

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About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
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75 Responses to Give Me it ALL, Rosetta Stone

  1. duanemarch says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    I have not tried Rosetta Stone – anyone have any experience with it?

  2. duanemarch says:

    What is your approach to language self-study?

  3. lolabees says:

    It would be great to study languages for a living. I love Spanish. It was my major, and I have not-so-fond memories of writing 15-page papers in Spanish. But you definitely have to use it to keep it. My Spanish is so bad now, but it’s definitely a dream to become fluent in it again. Once I master that, I’d like to add Italian and Portuguese to the llist- keep it simple!

  4. 1) Excellent use of A Fish Called Wanda there;
    2) DEUTSCH!!! ICH LIEBE DEUTSCH!! What language is more beautifully simple than one who doesn’t make up stupid words like ‘thimble’, which are essentially meaningless, but instead call them FINGERHUTTS.


  5. BigLizzy says:

    French, baby-girl! It’s all about French pour moi. 🙂 Loved this post, honey; it made me want to dust off my French books and try again. I tool five years of the language in school. Alas, that was a lifetime ago and I was learning it in the States, so it wasn’t really true French. Gawd, how I love that language and culture. 🙂 Hugs from your friend, BigLizzy.

  6. I’m fairly fluent in French, I used to be completely fluent as a young child (so that French people thought I was French), and I lived for a couple of years in France. I’ve lost it somewhat over the years, but I’m sure if I was immersed in it again it wouldn’t take long for me to be good at it again. My favourite language story was one that a lady commented on my blog a while back when I did a language related post. Years ago, a friend of hers was going to Germany and was trying to trace some people who he thought he was related to. She knew a bit of German so she wrote down some phrases to help him. When he found the people, he started reading out the phrases but apparently they weren’t quite right, so he was met with bemused stares, like for example where she thought she had written “I believe we might be related”, what she had actually written translated as “I believe that families exist.” It really makes me laugh imagining him standing there reading out these statements!

    • hee hee – I love stuff like that! I am a huge fan of Richard Leher’s Fractured English books 🙂

      My father was fluent in Canadian French as a tot living in Ottawa – but he can’t remember more than a few words now. But I bet, like you, it would come back if he was immersed in it. That stuff doesn’t leave our brains – it just hides deep inside waiting for the moment to emerge.

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  8. Elyse says:

    I’m just giving up. I lived in Francophone Switzerland and across the border in France. My Emerson program left me with sucky linguistic abilities.

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  10. Denise, my husband is Welsh and he speaks Russian. Ha ha! What a coincidence! I think sometimes we are drawn to certain things because of our past lives. Of course, that’s it! If you believe in that sort of thing. I would like to learn Italian and/or French! I took both Spanish and French, but because I never really used used them, I’ve forgotten much of what I learned!

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  12. Brigitte says:

    It would be Italian or French for me. Just love the way they sound…

  13. Interesting choices. I knew you wouldn’t do anything the easy way!!

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  17. MissFourEyes says:

    I can speak three languages but I understand four. The last one, the pronunciation is just too hard and it leads to a lot of laughter when I try to speak in it. If I had to pick one more I guess it’s be Chinese. I want to read a Chinese food menu and actually know what everything means

    • What languages do you speak?

      I would love to learn how to read Chinese – which I imagine is much different compared to speaking it.

      I can speak a little Russian – but cannot read it well at all. A couple of words look familiar but I still have not learned how to associate the sounds of the letters to the Cyrillic letters themselves. Which sucks 🙂

      • MissFourEyes says:

        English, Hindi, Marathi, and Telugu (the one I can understand, but can’t speak in). Hindi and Marathi are almost the same, a little difference in grammar and pronunciation here and there. I can read the two, but not very fast. Street signs are the worst. “What does it say?” says the driver (who’s driving pretty fast in my defense), “I don’t know it went by too fast!”

  18. Carrie Rubin says:

    I would learn Spanish (and in truth, really want to), because I’m pragmatic and that would be the most useful. My French has slowly disintegrated over the years, and while I could get by in the country on a visit, I can no longer converse intelligently. I’d sound like a stuttering idiot, “Um, je pense que je forgot that word.”

    • Hee hee – Spanish seems to be the overall ‘want to know language’ so far! I was never pragmatic about stuff like that. I’d have taken Latin if it was offered…German was the ‘least’ normal language at our high school – so that was the language for me!

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  25. Perhaps Spanish because my folks are South American and I didn’t get it taught or spoken to me growing up. I can understand it, but Slap-chop it pretty good when I try and speak it. I sound like a chihuahua with a mouthful of marbles when I talk. So yeah, Spanish or anything for that matter would be cool 🙂

  26. Perhaps Spanish because my folks are South American and I didn’t get it taught or spoken to me growing up. I can understand it, but Slap-chop it pretty good when I try and speak it. I souls like a chihuahua with a mouthful of marbles when I talk. So yeah, Spanish or anything for that matter would be cool 🙂


  28. El Guapo says:

    I can say “my pencil is green” in several languages.

    One day, I’d like to speak fluent english. NYCers are generally no known for our proper diction.

  29. rossmurray1 says:

    God, I laughed when I first saw that movie. I’ve never laughed so hard in a movie theatre. John Cleese at his finest as an actor.
    As for language, I love the look of written Thai and am crazy about Thai people’s names, so musical. I’ve known a Pativet Sathiensamrit and Pisit Wetchayanwiwat. But that’s only half the beauty; they give themselves crazy English nicknames. Pativet is “Light” and I know Pisit as “Bliss.” My favourite, though, was a Thai student named “Hyper.”

  30. robincoyle says:

    My favorite word in Russian is vodka.

  31. Twindaddy says:

    I’d probably go with Spanish since I used to be fairly fluent in it and it would be the most useful to me.

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  33. I wanted to speak German solely because David Bowie spoke it. There’s no better reason than that. I now wish I had taken Spanish because I’d actually get a chance to use it. I absorb all the Dora the Explorer I can. 😉

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  35. nomoremerlot says:

    Thank you so much for the John Cleese, you’ve made my morning! I had so forgotten this movie. A classic.

  36. jmlindy422 says:

    Well, I speak English. I used to speak French, but not much call to use that so I’ve forgotten every thing. Studied Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Mandarin is close to impossible for me. BUT, if I could wake up fluent in a language? Scottish Gaelic. I am a huge fan of the Outlander books and want to be able to imagine what the Scottish characters are saying.

    • Excellent! I’d like to learn a little Gaelic, myself!

      The hardest thing about a language, for me, that doesn’t follow the alphabet that I grew up with, is learning what sounds to associate with what letters or cuniforms etc.

      My love of Welsh history makes me want to learn that language.

      I’ve studied Spanish, French, Italian a little Old English, ASL and German….and I am fluent in none of them, to my disappointment! But it takes a lot to keep up as you know.

      Happy reading ~

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