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All Things Foreign

(54 Posts)
BAnanas Fri 21-Feb-14 19:11:20

Don't know if this has been done before, but if not, what's your favourite foreign language and why? What's your favourite foreign cuisine and favourite foreign destination?

absent Fri 21-Feb-14 19:17:11

Italian always sounds as if the speaker, however unmusical in reality, is singing. I also love Italian food – both cooking it and eating it – and it is hard to think of anywhere lovelier than Venice, except perhaps Padua.

BAnanas Fri 21-Feb-14 19:21:54

I agree absent love all things Italian, language food and the country. Whilst I really like Indian, Chinese and Thai food too, I don't think I could eat them every day, but Italian food on a daily basis definitely.

Penstemmon Fri 21-Feb-14 19:24:53

Cuisine is easy: Palestinian

Destination trickier: Andalucia/ Tarn region in France (though could be Scotland in future wink

Language impossible: as shamefully I am not able to speak or understand another language well enough to appreciate them!

grannyactivist Fri 21-Feb-14 19:49:28

Facourite foreign language/country: Norwegian/Norway.
Favourite foreign cuisine: sorry, just can't choose.

seaspirit Fri 21-Feb-14 20:32:19

I could once read greek, latin, old english, norse runes, hebrew, and some hieroglyphs, but have a speech problem that means I can not make some sounds, so my English is about a 5 year, have forgotten it all over the years.
have been to a few foreign countries but prefer Great Britian

Joelise Fri 21-Feb-14 20:50:24

I'm going to be greedy & have two of each
Italian. & French they are both beautiful languages & the food in both countries is great
Venice & Languedoc- Roussillon France

annodomini Fri 21-Feb-14 20:59:22

Can speak French and get by in Spanish, understand Italian reasonably well.
France - Provence and Corsica (though they prefer not to be called French)
Spain - Seville and Granada
Food - Italy and Greece both good for vegetarians.

granjura Fri 21-Feb-14 21:04:16

My mothertongue is French- the first foreign language I was taught was German, then English. I picked up a lot of Italian from the immigrant Italian families we had here in the 50s and 60s- and then took A'Level at night school in the UK a few years ago.

newist Fri 21-Feb-14 21:05:23

My favourite language to listen to is Gaelic, I cant say its foreign because its the predominant language here. My favourite food is the local shellfish. The best place I have ever visited is where I live, I think I am lucky

feetlebaum Fri 21-Feb-14 21:56:38

The only language, other than English, I am at all comfortable with is French. Everything else can be described as a 'smattering' - a few phrases of Greek, some Swahili words, some Spanish (I should be ashamed, as I passed an exam in it 60 years ago, but it has withered away...)

I don't travel any more - but would have liked to see Provence and Tuscany again!

Maggiemaybe Fri 21-Feb-14 22:05:00

Italian, Italian and Italian for me. I've learnt several languages in my time and forgotten most of them - Italian wasn't one of these, but I just love the sound of it and the way the Italians speak, as they do everything, with such style and passion. My favourite foreign place is Taormina in Sicily, and Italian food takes some beating.

Saying that, I love loads of places both abroad and at home. When I lived abroad the food I craved most was curry. And Havana is amazing.

Galen Fri 21-Feb-14 22:09:06

Can get by in French
Love France, Italy, Greece.
Cuisine, Italian, French, Indian,Thai,anything that's spicy really.
English is boring, very rarely have it. Although I did a braised stuffed lambs heart in the slow cooker today

Grannyknot Fri 21-Feb-14 22:31:04

Foreign language - Zulu, it reminds me of a carefree childhood in Natal, and the Zulu people have such a happy disposition.

Cuisine - Curry, Scottish sea food, and most "fusion food".

Destination - US. Talk about a world in one country.

lefthanded Fri 21-Feb-14 23:45:32

German - for both language and cuisine. An 18-month secondment to a factory in Bavaria in the early nineties saw to that.

Joan Sat 22-Feb-14 06:09:13


I like German too: in my case it is for linguistic reasons mainly, as I love seeing the Germanic roots in both English and Yorkshire dialect. I learned it in Austria, and love their cuisine, as it is heavily influenced by the East, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire times.

But French too has a huge attraction to me: it sounds so beautiful, but alas my mind doesn't work as fast as French people speak it these days! Mind you, it would only take a week or two in an entirely French speaking environment for it to come back. Meanwhile, in a situation that is totally alien to my character, I can only understand very posh French speakers!

The other language I learned is Latin: but ancient Romans are hard to come by to practice it, and as I took my O levels 53 years ago, not much is left! I do love the language though, and it used to make me feel great to be reading things as they were written 2000 years ago or more. It was also Latin that enabled me to understand English grammar, and German grammar for that matter. In fact after Latin, English grammar is so very simple, and German grammar is bearable.

I'd like to learn a totally different language, one not on the indo European language tree, but I haven't got round to choosing one. Cantonese would be a good choice, as my DiL is a Cantonese Australian.

LizG Sat 22-Feb-14 06:46:38

Favourite language has to be Italian because it is sexy sounding. My knowledge of any language is very poor thanks to our school saying, when asked if we could learn a language 'your English is poor so French would be impossible'. Tried to learn many times since but it was an opportunity lost.

Destination has to be The Black Forest and the food German too.

Gally Sat 22-Feb-14 07:38:03

French language
French cuisine

(But, I start Italian classes on Monday ready for a trip to Italy in September, so it may change to Italian, Italian and Italy in due course!)

JessM Sat 22-Feb-14 08:33:01

oo-er - Spanish languages because it is so straightforward and the only one I learned to GCSE standard as adult. Currently learning Welsh which is not foreign - lost to my family when great grandmother moved to the city and married an English speaker.
But Greek (tourist standard) has a polysyllabic fascination and I would like to learn more.
Italian food. (but not the American version)
Greek islands
Can you imagine asking this question to your own grandmother?

Mishap Sat 22-Feb-14 10:09:50

I did languages in the sixth form - Latin, French, German, English, and have always felt a great affinity to German. It is a very poetic langauge and the Lieder of Schubert show it at its best. I get fed up with the stereotype of grating Nazi accents when German is portrayed on the TV.

Joan Sat 22-Feb-14 10:24:48

I like the Viennese accent best - mainly 'cos that's where I learned to speak it properly! It is softer than German German.

Maggiemaybe Sat 22-Feb-14 11:16:11

Can you imagine asking this question to your own grandmother?

JessM My grandmother was born in 1880 (there's a scary thought!) and was considered quite well travelled because she had friends in York and went there on the train with her sister for weekends (from Durham)!

Then her wings were clipped when she married my lovely grandda, whose proud boast that he never slept a night away from his own bed.

MrsSB Sat 22-Feb-14 12:28:20

Another vote for Italian and Italy. I learnt to speak Italian (after a fashion) at evening classes a few years ago and it really is a beautiful language. And, having visited Italy a number of times, it would always be my favourite destination, with Rome being my number one choice. I haven't managed to find anything about Italy or its people that I don't like yet, so I'm happy to continue visiting to try smile

YankeeGran Sat 22-Feb-14 12:38:55

We have a friend who was in the Guinness Book of Records for speaking the most languages (42, officially!). He says the most difficult language is Inuit (more sounds than actual words) - and the most beautiful is Italian!

Joan Sat 22-Feb-14 13:58:21

Gosh - 42! Mind you, I have realised that I vary rarely mix languages up, so perhaps most people just have a separate bit of brain for each language.

I wonder if Inuit is tonal, like Chinese? This is what stops me trying Cantonese, as I'm a bit tone deaf!!

Apparently there's an Aboriginal language from somewhere near Alice Springs, which has no rules or normality about word order - words can go in any order the speaker likes. I guess it must be highly inflected.

And there's an African language where the verbs don't have tenses: the tense is shown in the subject noun. For instance, instead of saying "my grandfather died" they say "my past grandfather die"

I seem to have a mind that accumulates strange things about language. I did a couple of linguistics courses as part of my language degree, and they were my favourite subjects. The professor, Roly Sussex, was brilliant. He broadcasts on ABC radio. All the students loved his lectures - they were so very entertaining. He could do all the accents, and loved to take the mick of his own accent - Australian.