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Dinali

You're a linguist? So how many languages do you speak?

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Nice. Also: "You're a doctor? How many diseases do you have?"

"You're a librarian? How many books have you read?"

"You're a cop? How many guns can you shoot?"

"So you're a proctologist huh? So how many . . . uh . . . you know what -- never mind."

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No matter what type of learner you are - hearing, seeing, experimental – LangLearner words and phrases to be learned quickly.

Seriously? You put this ad here? In a thread that's about how linguistics isn't just about learning languages? Huh.

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I'm not a linguist, so I hope you don't mind!

I'm in religious studies, but I never tell people I study religion. I always get, "so you want to be a minister?"

I say anthropology because it's the next closest thing to what do.

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I used to be in Cognitive Science (and had to explain what it was all the time) but my Masters is in Psych. The conversation I have now usually goes something like:

A: "Ooh, psychology. You're psychoanalyzing me right now, aren't you?"

B: "Well, I study monkeys, so yes I am!"

Yes, I'm that immature.

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I'd forgotten about this thread. Time to revive it, I think!

Personally, I've given up on explaining linguistics to most people. Seems to me most of them don't really want to know - they'd rather go off on a tangent about their own or their children's language-learning experiences than actually learn what it is I'm studying. Sad, but true.

In my rich fantasy world, I imagine explaining the field of linguistics and my own interests in painstakingly sharp detail - in Japanese.

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I've been pleasantly surprised lately. Most people still don't know what linguistics really is, but a) they're curious about it, and B) once I tell them, they say things such as 'That's so cool!' or 'I'd never thought about all of that before!' or even 'Wow, I think I chose the wrong major!' Heh.

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I've been pleasantly surprised lately too! A new friend once asked me the difference between a dialect and a language, and when I replied the standard, "an army and a navy", she laughed and said "No, really... you're a linguist, don't you know?".

On a separate occasion, I got an entire table to oooh and ahh over my demonstration of the allophones of /p/ (pit vs. tip vs. spit) by holding the edge of a napkin next to my mouth while I said each word. I find that having visual aids makes everything better!

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I've been pleasantly surprised lately too! A new friend once asked me the difference between a dialect and a language, and when I replied the standard, "an army and a navy", she laughed and said "No, really... you're a linguist, don't you know?".

On a separate occasion, I got an entire table to oooh and ahh over my demonstration of the allophones of /p/ (pit vs. tip vs. spit) by holding the edge of a napkin next to my mouth while I said each word. I find that having visual aids makes everything better!

Don't let your friends acquire too much linguistic knowledge, or they may become dangerous - one of my friends now introduces me to people by telling them that I can do a bilabial trill. Which, although true, is not necessarily the best way to impress folks. :(

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On a separate occasion, I got an entire table to oooh and ahh over my demonstration of the allophones of /p/ (pit vs. tip vs. spit) by holding the edge of a napkin next to my mouth while I said each word. I find that having visual aids makes everything better!

Recently I've been keeping my 5 year old entertained with vocalization "experiments". We cup our hands on each other's throats to feel the difference between /d/ and /t/ or /p/ and /b/. And place of articulation came in handy a couple of weeks ago when trying to curb her disrespectful habit of sticking out her tongue.

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My new favorite way to answer (just tried it out for the first time yesterday):

Clueless person: You're a linguist? So how many languages do you speak?

Me: It depends. By 'speak', do you mean 'able to read literary texts', 'able to watch TV', 'able to buy fish at the market', 'can tell you about the case system', 'can tell you what the phoneme inventory is', 'learned in class', 'done field work on', 'wrote a paper about' ... because each of those has a different answer.

Clueless person: ... :blink:

Me: See, the thing is, it's not really about the number of languages you can speak...

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My new favorite way to answer (just tried it out for the first time yesterday):

Clueless person: You're a linguist? So how many languages do you speak?

Me: It depends. By 'speak', do you mean 'able to read literary texts', 'able to watch TV', 'able to buy fish at the market', 'can tell you about the case system', 'can tell you what the phoneme inventory is', 'learned in class', 'done field work on', 'wrote a paper about' ... because each of those has a different answer.

Clueless person: ... :blink:

Me: See, the thing is, it's not really about the number of languages you can speak...

Love this. I am going to use this the next time someone asks me this question. Will report back on results.

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I didn't get to use fuzzylogician's idea after all. The sneaky inquirer asked "What language are you specializing in?" instead. :( I told him that I wasn't specializing in any language and then began a short lecture on the subfields of linguistic study. Scared him off right quick.

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I didn't get to use fuzzylogician's idea after all. The sneaky inquirer asked "What language are you specializing in?" instead. :( I told him that I wasn't specializing in any language and then began a short lecture on the subfields of linguistic study. Scared him off right quick.

Oh well, there's always next time B)

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My new favorite way to answer (just tried it out for the first time yesterday):

Clueless person: You're a linguist? So how many languages do you speak?

Me: It depends. By 'speak', do you mean 'able to read literary texts', 'able to watch TV', 'able to buy fish at the market', 'can tell you about the case system', 'can tell you what the phoneme inventory is', 'learned in class', 'done field work on', 'wrote a paper about' ... because each of those has a different answer.

Clueless person: ... :blink:

Me: See, the thing is, it's not really about the number of languages you can speak...

Hehe! So awesome!

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"How many languages do you speak?"

I am asked 3 times a week.

I don't speak Latin or Hebrew or Greek

These are the answer that I seek:

What properties do languages share?

Which characteristics are unique?

That is why I may take you to task

Or even your nose I may tweak

If at a party you should ask.

"How many langugages do you speak"

(From my professor Dr. Shirley Sliver's old bulletin board at SSU)

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I guess I'm joining this forum a tad late, huh?

My favorite quote from one of my professors is this: "People believe that since they speak a language, they are experts in it. Just because you have a heart doesn't make you a cardiologist!"

I've seen this play out time and time again. I hear people on the Metro blabbing on and on about how AAVE is bad English, how Cuban Spanish is the sh*tty Spanish, and so forth. I actually turned around once and told her Italian was lazy Latin. And she agreed... smh. LOL

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I guess I'm joining this forum a tad late, huh?

Nah. There's just a high member-turnover-rate since this whole 'grad-school admissions' thing happens every year. A few of us have stuck around. Welcome!

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