Which languages?

For some future posts it would help me to know a little more about your experience with other languages. Please tell me which languages, other than English, you are fluent enough in so that you could understat a fair amount of the language heard and can carry on a basic conversation in that language. If, for instance, I asked you how to say each of the following in the non-English language, you would be able to tell me without looking in a dictionary:

What’s your name?
Where’s the store?
I’m hungry.
Is it raining?
I’m sick.
How much does it cost?

26 thoughts on “Which languages?

  1. Jake says:

    A year of spanish got me this far:

    What’s your name?
    Como te llamas?

    Where’s the store?
    Donde es la tienda?

    I’m hungry.
    Tengo hambre.

    Is it raining?
    Hace lleve?

    I’m sick.
    Estoy enfermo.

    How much does it cost?
    Cuanto cuesta?

  2. veryrarelystable says:

    A couple of corrections:

    Where’s the store?
    ¿Donde está la tienda?

    Is it raining?
    ¿Está lloviendo?

  3. Robin says:

    I speak English and German fluently.

    What’s your name?
    Wie heisst du?

    Where’s the store?
    Wo ist der Laden?

    I’m hungry.
    Ich habe Hunger.

    Is it raining?
    Regnet es?

    I’m sick.
    Ich bin krank.

    How much does it cost?
    Wieviel kostet es?

  4. veryrarelystable says:

    French

    What’s your name?
    Quel est votre nom?
    Or
    Comment vous appelez-vous ?

    Where’s the store?
    Où se trouve le magasin?

    I’m hungry.
    J’ai faim.

    Is it raining?
    Est-ce qu’il pleut?

    I’m sick.
    Je suis malade.

    How much does it cost?
    C’est combien?

  5. Qohelet says:

    It’s easy when english is not your first language. Mine’s tagalog.

    What’s your name?
    Ano pangalan mo?

    Where’s the store?
    Nasaan ang tindahan?

    I’m hungry.
    Gutom ako.

    Is it raining?
    Umuulan ba?

    I’m sick.
    May sakit ako.

    How much does it cost?
    Magkano (ito)?

  6. John says:

    I know the Esperanto equivalents with no trouble:
    Kiel vi nomiĝas?
    Kie estas la vendejo?
    Mi malsatas.
    Ĉu pluvas?
    Kiom ĝi kostas?

    And I can figure out the Dutch sentences as well:
    Wat is uw naam?
    Waar is het winkel?
    Ik heb honger.
    Regent het?
    Ik ben ziek.
    Hoeveel koste dat?

    I don’t know any other languages well enough to be able to express all the sentences (except English, my native language).

  7. Ruud says:

    A few corrections to the Dutch (my native).

    What’s your name?
    Wat is je naam? (“Wat is uw naam?” is more polite, but the other (less official) form is increasing in popularity.)

    Where’s the store?
    Waar is de winkel?

    I’m hungry.
    Ik heb honger.

    Is it raining?
    Regent het?

    I’m sick.
    Ik ben ziek.

    How much does it cost?
    Hoeveel kost dat? (“kostte” is past tense.)

  8. Michael Nicholls says:

    Here’s Swahili, with a literal backtranslation FYI:

    What’s your name?
    Unaitwa nani?
    You-are-called whom?

    Where’s the store?
    Duka liko wapi?
    Store it-is where?

    I’m hungry.
    Nasikia njaa.
    [I]-am-hearing hunger.

    Is it raining?
    Je, mvua inanyesha?
    -, rain it-is-raining?

    I’m sick.
    Naumwa.
    [I] am being-bitten.

    How much does it cost?
    Hii ni shilingi ngapi?
    This is shillings how-many?

  9. Matěj Cepl says:

    When even the obscure languages are presented here I think I can bother you with my Czech:

    What’s your name?
    Jak se jmenuješ?

    Where’s the store?
    Kde je ten obchod?

    I’m hungry.
    Mám hlad

    Is it raining?
    Prší?

    I’m sick.
    Jsem nemocen / Je mi zle. (that’s more like “I am not feeling well”)

    How much does it cost?
    Kolik to stojí?

    I thought I could manage to do this in Russian, but to my surprise I couldn’t do it without a dictionary.

  10. J. K. Gayle says:

    Vietnamese, Indonesian.

    I like Michael’s providing the funny Swahili “literal backtranslations” into English. Here’s one from Indonesian as an equivalent to the English “What’s your name?”

    Siapa namamu

    “Who yourname?” = bahasa Indonesia

    And when, in either Indonesian or in Vietnamese, you talk about yourself being sick, you might talk about the wind the way you talk in English about the cold, as in “getting or catching the common cold”:

    masuk angin

    “enter wind” = bahasa Indonesia

    bi trúng gió

    “hit ball wind” = Tiếng Việt

    (which is funny because of all the ambiguity: each Vietnamese syllable is a word, and each is meaningfully different depending on its tone, and the combination of words is meaningfully different too depending on which group of words you focus on:

    “bi” = “affected by, hit by”
    “bi trúng” = “hit ball”
    “trúng gió” = “apoplexy”
    “gió” = “the wind”

    And I’ll spare you what happens when you change any of the six-possible tones on any of these words.)

  11. Patrick says:

    Dutch (my mothertongue)

    @Ruud. I think I would translate ‘what is your name?’ with Hoe heet je? My reasoning behind is that the literal translation seems to be more formal than the English question. ‘Hoe heet je?’ is not.

    But now I am off topic

  12. John says:

    Yes, I did think “Hoe heet u” would be the pr opera form, though I wasn’t 100% sure. (I assume if you don’t know someone’s name, you wouldn’t know them well enough to use ‘je’.)

  13. Rich Rhodes says:

    In Koine they would be:

    τί ὄνομά σοι; “What’s you’re name?”

    ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ ἐμπόριον; or ποῦ ἐστιν ἡ ἀγορά; “Where’s the store?” or “Where’s the market place?”

    πεινῶ. “I’m hungry.”

    βρέχει. “It’s raining.”

    ἀσθενῶ. “I’m sick.”

    τί ἡ τιμὴ τούτου τετινημένου; “What’s the price of this?”

    The last one needs a comment. ἡ τιμὴ means ‘honor’ or ‘price’, so it needs to be modified to make it clear.

  14. Tapani says:

    Finnish (mother tongue) & English; touch & go with Swedish, which is v. rusty. Did anyone want the Finnish translations? Basically lots of vowels in different permutations.

  15. Gary Simmons says:

    Rich, in the context of merchants in an ἐμπόριον, it’s quite clear which meaning of τιμὴ applies. They tend to lack the other sort. 😦

  16. Formiko says:

    English, Cherokee and Esperanto. I know a smattering of over a dozen other NDN languages and enough African languages to get in trouble (Yoruba, Wolof, Swahili, etc)

    Esperanto:
    Kio esta via nomo?
    Kie estas la vendejo?
    Mi malŝatas.
    Ĉu pluvas?
    Mi estas malsana.
    Kiom ĝi kostas?

    Cherokee:
    kagiyust?
    gazv adanvnv ?
    agiyoshi
    agoshki?
    aktsung
    nuga dulaguwult?

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