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Any of you done an a-level in a 'less common' language?

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    (Original post by HumiT)
    Oooh this reminds me that I did Arabic upto AS level :lol: I'm not a native speaker so I found AS quite a step up from GCSE, which I found quite easy. And the grammer is an absolute nightmare :afraid: but I love writing it
    Where are you originally from?
    Yeah GCSE is very easy :P
    How did you do at AS?
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    (Original post by Mequa)
    This phenomenon got me interested in the psychology of language acquisition. According to critical period theory, exposure to many languages at a young age (and Arubans start young) leads to it being very easily to acquire fluency without much effort. (In contrast, delaying learning a foreign language until adulthood makes it very difficult.)

    Dutch, English and Spanish are also very common languages on Aruba (in addition to their mother tongue), so an Aruban child gets full immersion in them all. Their mind soaks them up like a sponge. The educational system is the perfect compliment.
    And another phenomenon is that the more languages a person is proficient in, the easier it is to add another (particularly related languages such as other European ones).
    So fluency in 6 languages isn't quite as difficult as it seems in such an environment.
    wow just wow.
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    (Original post by jeh_jeh)
    Define "less common". I'm studying Italian at uni - A* at GCSE and a B at 'A'-Level - and I count it as obscure because my school was the only school in the area that offered it.
    Well anything other than the 'big three' tbh :L
    I can imagine...did your school offer Italian at KS3 level too?
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    Im doing arabic at a level... I dont consider it cheating unless it is your first language and youre fluent in all reading, writing, translation .. Etc. Its my second language but i have trouble with writing so im not finding it to be the easiest thing in the world,
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    (Original post by Ronove)
    I did English Lit, French, German and Spanish at A-level. I got AAAB (B in English Lit, only short by 4 marks! ) I also got a Merit in AEA German. Spanish was actually my highest scoring A-level, at 542. Would easily have been an A* today!

    I applied to study Japanese/Japanese and Spanish at uni, changed my mind and applied again for German and Spanish. I studied those at uni for 3 years (one was a repeat due to illness) and spent a year in Germany. That year was last year and I decided I didn't want to finish my degree because I had switched to Single Honours German and then realised I didn't want anything to do with Germany anymore!

    Right now I am teaching myself Danish and A-level Maths because I am moving in with my boyfriend near Copenhagen this year and want to apply to Copenhagen Uni to study Medicine (you need Maths, Physics along with Chem or Biotechnology to study Medicine in Denmark).

    A linguistics degree is something entirely different from a languages degree. I happened to do a lot of linguistics within my options though, it's really awesome. If anyone wants to venture into linguistics, Steven Pinker is a nice and easy place to start.
    Awesome story! :lol: Sounds like you'll have your hands full in the forseeable future Now you've really got me wondering...HOW DO YOU LEARN DANISH? what steps do you take? & How long do you think it will take you to reach fluency?
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    (Original post by pomme de terre)
    I think it must have been the old spec, it was back in '09 ha. I think I remember hearing that they were gonna change it to make it more like other language A-levels, so I guess there's a listening exam now?! Ha I can't even remember what the exam was like now, I guess the writing was hard, I think I just chose the most open-ended topic and chatted crap
    Ja, er zijn inderdaad wat luister oefeningen aan de toets toegevoegd! :lol:
    Ooh you masterd some great exam technique there and that tactic proved to be successfull in the end, so...
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    (Original post by pomme de terre)
    Haha, I find some vowel sounds slightly more hard, like ui!
    As a scouser the throat scraping sch/g noise comes rather too easily D:
    I find them both hard to pronounce :lol: I'm so happy there isn't a speaking exam for A-level!
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    (Original post by walkhms)
    Im doing arabic at a level... I dont consider it cheating unless it is your first language and youre fluent in all reading, writing, translation .. Etc. Its my second language but i have trouble with writing so im not finding it to be the easiest thing in the world,
    AGREED! Though are you sure uni's won't discriminate against you?
    Do you have an Arabic-ish name? :lol:
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    Awesome story! :lol: Sounds like you'll have your hands full in the forseeable future Now you've really got me wondering...HOW DO YOU LEARN DANISH? what steps do you take? & How long do you think it will take you to reach fluency?
    I did a German summer course one time in Berlin and discovered the magic of a country's textbooks for foreigners. The C1 one I have for German is fantastic so I looked for the Danish version of such books online. I now have one called Under overfladen which seems excellent (though there aren't as many grammar exercises in it as I had expected).

    I started off with Where's Wally in Danish, for fun, and a massive book full of HC Andersen's fairytales, which came with a CD with a few of them read out. Excellent for following the text and understanding pronunciation, if you're at a stage where you can keep up. Fairytale language isn't so good for learning a language though. There are lots of odd words in there! I watched both series of The Killing with subtitles and that helped me tons. Listening to my boyfriend talk to people also helps occasionally (not much right now though). Watching random daytime TV shows like Masterchef and home-and-style shows also helps because it's fairly easy to pick up random bits and pieces when the context is really obvious.

    For the moment I'm printing out articles from the 'debate' sections of newpapers because they're full of opinion and debate phrases. They also give me excellent bits of vocab on topics I might need to discuss in my Danish exams. Really, I think semi-formal newpapers are the best source of vocabulary for A-level and beyond. Many of the A-level topics get covered.

    I'm going to be taking the Studieprøven in November. This is the highest test there is and it is specifically for people wanting to study a degree which is taught in Danish. So... hopefully I'll be fairly fluent by then!
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    And how does a non-native grasp that which may well be the hardest living language on this globe?? Explain..
    I take it you got an A* at GCSE then?
    What AS grade did you end up with?
    Hmm I suppose it wasn't that hard because I learnt how to read the Qur'an, which is in arabic, from a really young age. Also the writing and reading is quite similar to urdu so it helped a lot
    Not A* I got an A
    In AS I got a B, again I didn't revise or anything. I had pretty much given up on studying languages by that point. I really regret it now though

    (Original post by Rahmeh.)
    Where are you originally from?
    Yeah GCSE is very easy :P
    How did you do at AS?
    Ethnically I'm Pakistani
    I got a B surprisingly :lol: I found it quite hard but hey that's what happens when you don't revise.
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    AGREED! Though are you sure uni's won't discriminate against you?
    Do you have an Arabic-ish name? :lol:
    I have a very Arabic name!! (the Arabic word for: existence) haha

    Well I'm sure theyll understand I was raised here so I don't see why they would. That would be stereotyping if you assume one of a certain origin speaks that origin's language!
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    Well anything other than the 'big three' tbh :L
    I can imagine...did your school offer Italian at KS3 level too?
    Yup. I started in Year 8 (alongside French) because everyone had done Latin in Year 7 and then could either carry on with that, or switch to Italian in Year 8. I'd been off school for most of Year 7, so it didn't make much sense to try and learn a year's worth of Latin when I could just start Italian and be at the same level as my peers.

    ...And then I realised I enjoyed it/was good at it.
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    I am doing Italian if that counts (as well as French and German, but they are very common. Although I think German's popularity is decreasing sadly.) I wanted to do Russian but my college couldn't fit it into my timetable Also, not A-level but I did Chinese the course of GCSE without being native or even ethnically Chinese which always gets me some odd looks I'm annoyed that I didn't get to sit the exam though, because my teacher went back to China so there was no one to do the oral with
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    I am doing Italian if that counts (as well as French and German, but they are very common. Although I think German's popularity is decreasing sadly.) I wanted to do Russian but my college couldn't fit it into my timetable Also, not A-level but I did Chinese the course of GCSE without being native or even ethnically Chinese which always gets me some odd looks I'm annoyed that I didn't get to sit the exam though, because my teacher went back to China so there was no one to do the oral with
    Yess Italian just about qualifies! haa it's rather a blessing in disguise that they couldn't fit Russian in though! but woah 3 LANGUAGES AT A-LEVEL!?:doctor: yes quite sadly MFLs as a whole are decreasing in popularity Anyway other than switching between multiple languages a day, do you also manage to find the time to study any other subjects? w8, hold on, let me get my head round this :lol: When you were at school you were taught GCSEs in 5 different languages..on top of all the other core subjects!? Or am i missing something? :L If the former I'm not surprised you would receive several odd looks! It's a shame you didn't get to certify your ability in chinese! Have you thought about sitting the exams as a private candiadate at another centre? Just so you have 1 more language to add to your collection?:rolleyes:
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    Yess Italian just about qualifies! haa it's rather a blessing in disguise that they couldn't fit Russian in though! but woah 3 LANGUAGES AT A-LEVEL!?:doctor: yes quite sadly MFLs as a whole are decreasing in popularity Anyway other than switching between multiple languages a day, do you also manage to find the time to study any other subjects? w8, hold on, let me get my head round this :lol: When you were at school you were taught GCSEs in 5 different languages..on top of all the other core subjects!? Or am i missing something? :L If the former I'm not surprised you would receive several odd looks! It's a shame you didn't get to certify your ability in chinese! Have you thought about sitting the exams as a private candiadate at another centre? Just so you have 1 more language to add to your collection?:rolleyes:
    Haha everyone says that! Whenever people ask what subjects I do they're like :lolwut: :wtf: but languages are just the way my brain works Yeah I do English lit and maths as well Ahh my secondary school didn't do Italian GCSE so my A level is ab initio and Chinese was in after school classes because the teacher came from outside. I think they might do evening classes at the local tech college, so I'll probably look into doing it there from September (I guess) because I don't want to have wasted those two years. I dabble in Swedish too but nowhere near A level standard sadly :lol: Languages :love: :heart: :love:
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    (Original post by walkhms)
    Im doing arabic at a level... I dont consider it cheating unless it is your first language and youre fluent in all reading, writing, translation .. Etc. Its my second language but i have trouble with writing so im not finding it to be the easiest thing in the world,
    Arabic would be cool. I can read (because of reading the Quranic scripts) but funnily enough, I cant write/speak

    Best of luck with it
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    Majored in Italian and now self-learning in German
    native language:mandarin!!
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    (Original post by rac1)
    All languages are less popular :p:)

    You are all so lucky my 6th form only does the 'big three'




    congrats on the A! but perhaps few people choose the subjects that are more challenging not the other way round.
    Having said that there are 158 replies.

    that ain't bad:thumbsup:
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    I do Japanese (and French) at A2 atm .

    I got 'daijoubu' and 'd'accord' mixed up the other day, but other than that I quite like the differential between the two. Whenever I tell anyone my choice of A-levels, the comment I always get is "You do Japanese?!?!" before anything else - I hope it's not just me that gets this D:.
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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    Ahh I see... and ohh yess it is indeed! I believe even Dutch is more commonly spoken in Aruba! :lol:
    Oh the subject of less common languages, Arubans have a nice insult in Papiamento:
    "Bai den conjo di bo mama."

    You may have to search Google for the translation though as it's a bit on the rude side. :eek:

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