How many languages? (1 Viewer)

How many languages do you speak?

  • barely one :D

  • 2

  • 3

  • 4

  • 5

  • 6

  • 7

  • 8 (in case Erik is still lurking)

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Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
I know we've discussed this in the past but never as a main topic. How many languages do you speak?

And more importantly, what prerequisite do you consider necessary to be able to say you speak a certain language? What exactly do you have to know to be able to say that?


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
Oh, I forgot.

Well, I dont mean it that way. For example, I can understand some of Norwegian/Danish but I dont consider myself knowing them. IMO speaking a language means being able to communicate with people from that country. Not neccesraily grammatically perfect, but enough so you understand eachother.

By that criteria, I'm fluent in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Swedish, English, and I can understand and communicate in broken German, and probably Slovenian.

Now, Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian are more or less the same language, altho they do differ a bit and are now recognized as seperate. Also, Slovenian is somewhat similar.

Thats why I said it's 7 technically. In reality, it's 4.


Senior Member
Dec 31, 2000
Yeah.. I think it's a mistake to say you know a language unless you can communicate fairly smoothly both in writing and orally. Also, being able to read/write formally is a valid criterion but perhaps not as important. In other words, speaking a language means knowing it well enough to live in that country for say 6 months without relying on a second language.

It's undeniable that Scandinavians have an advantage with the Scandi languages being so closely related but it takes a lot more to speak a language than to understand it and I think some people take this lightly. A few years ago, I was doing some research for college destinations and since I didn't have Norwegian as a mother tongue on my high school diploma, I read somewhere that I would have to take a test of Swedish if I were to apply in Sweden. I was fairly optimistic but I realized I could never do that test right off the bat, it's too different. It's the same with Danish, I've been listening to Danish people talking for 10+ years (bless their soul :D) and I'm just beginning to understand what they're saying. In writing it's a lot easier, though.

When it comes to Slavic languages, I dare say the similarities are not as significant. I don't get Czech or Slovak and in writing I can make out certain words of Balkan languages but that's it. It would take a lot of effort to understand it as well as I do Swedish.

So 3 for me. :)


Senior Member
Dec 23, 2002
Well, I come from Austria, so I speak German, my parents come from Poland, so I speak Polish and well, English.
But like Zlatan and Martin, I am able to speak, Czech, Slovak and a bit of Russian, but I don't really consider them as a language I can speak fluntly.
In school I am learning Spanish and Latine, but Latine isn't a real language and I am very bad in Spanish. I can say "Me llamo Alex, soy de Austria. Podria traer mas pan, por favor" Not bad, he? :D
Somehow, I passed Spanish this year :D

So all in all I would say its 3 languages.


Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
3 :)

Spanish, english and italian. Im kinda fluent in italian but Ive been in lessons over a year and I can understand most stuff, thats why I counted it.

I can understand some french too, but not enough to count it


Senior Member
Dec 23, 2002
I had to learn English from the beginning of high-school, 4 years later I chose Latine (I could have chosen Italian or French too) and since two years I have to learn Spanish!


Senior Member
Jul 30, 2002
2 - English and Malay :)

And Malay do also includes both Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia) and Bahasa Indonesia.

Unless those are counted as separate languages, otherwise it's 3.


Senior Member
Apr 3, 2003
it should be 4.
greek,serbian,english and french.
but...i am not taking into consideration croatian as 5th because it's the same exact as serbian ;)

well,and i am on my way to learn one more language,ITALIAN!

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