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To the OP.

 

My language is only spoken by approx. 6 million people and is of no use whatsoever in the big wide world.

 

Therefore, our education system takes great emphasis on teaching a number of international languages.

I was taught 4 in school - which by no means is unusual - and have at a later stage learnt thai.

 

I am a bit surprised that you have german and particularly french friends who speak english fluently.

I have 3 good german friends, they have many talents, but english sure isn`t one of them. And I shall not even mention the french, who for some obscure reason still believe their language to be the lingua franca.

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Hi,

 

Fluent enough in 3 languages (Dutch, English and Thai) to hold conversastions, and it has happened on several occassions that I am switching between those languages during the course of a meal with friends and family.

Can also understand German without any problems, but not spoken it in years.

 

Like Pescator, I too was taught 4 languages (including my mother tongue) in school. Forgot all my French though, never really got a knack for that one.

 

Sanuk!

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A German friend who works for a company here and his wife who is also German, living near me in Bangkok, can speak near perfect English, as does their small son who happens to speak both as well.

 

Another friend is French owns a small bar married to a Thai, again speaks English very well and French customers who come into bar will converse in English.

I personally don't know any German in our social group that can't speak English. Two other friends we know who are Irish, I have problems with what they are saying at times due to their strong accents.

 

Our Greek friend always talks in English, except for the time when my boyfriends friend who is also Greek came to visit, and they both spoke Greek all night

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I can't do much except utter about 30 words in Thai and the same in Lao. Some of you have brains built for language learning, some of us, don't. An yet I can read, write and compose music. Who'd a thunk? I can decipher quite a bit of computer code too. But other languages? Cannot.

 

BTW I know several folk here in VTE, German and French, who speak English better than I do and I'm not bad. There are also some Americans who seem to be able to get by in English, quite surprising really, :)

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When I lived in New Mexico in the 1950s, Spanish was a required subject. I was fairly fluent in the language back then, now largely forgotten. My mother is bilingual English-German, and I'm told I started out bilingual as well. However, we moved away from my grandmother and great grandmother, and I seldom heard German spoken after that. Result ... pretty bad these days. I could order a meal or a room in French, that's about it. :(

 

On the Foreign Service Institute's language proficiency scale of 0-4, I'm a 4 in Thai. But that by no means says that I don't occasionally butcher the language or make stupid mistakes. But at least I know I did as soon as the words are out of my mouth. :p

 

p.s. As to my wife: first language Kham Muang, second Thai, third English, fourth Mandarin (from studying in the PRC). When she was in Sip Song Panna, she found that she could speak Kham Muang to the people and understand their responses in Thai Leu.

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