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If you could automatically be fluent in another language, what would the language be?

Hello! It's woof with another game! No lingot prizes this time though, this is just for fun. Anyway, the title explains it all: If you could automatically be fluent in another language (in your native language and a language you choose) which language would you choose? Tell Why you picked this language, what type of language it is (E.g: Arabic is Semitic so you would include that if Arabic is your language) What language it derived from (unless your language is something like Ancient Greek) Your native language, and things like that. I really hope you have fun!

PLEASE NOTE: Only pick one language.


My native language: English. My language: Spanish. Why? Because Spanish is the third most spoken language, and because I really want to go to Mexico! Spanish is a Romance (Indo-European) language, and it derived from Latin which derived from the dialect spoken by the Italic tribal group named Latini.

September 28, 2017



Assuming that you mean absolutely perfect bilingual fluency... probably Russian, because I feel like it's a struggle even to regain my lost fluency, and it's a great gateway language to a bunch of other Slavic languages. Of all the languages that I have on my wish list, as it were, it's the one I have studied the most and supposedly know the best, but I just... ugh.

It's probably not the most sensible or logical reason, but there it is.


That's a lot of languages you are learning! :)


I'm not seriously studying them all! ;) I dabble a lot.


Same! The only language I'm really learning is Spanish, the rest I occasionally do few lessons then return to Spanish.


They're a varying bunch for me. I've finished trees in 7 different languages from English (and a couple from Russian), but even having finished a tree doesn't necessarily mean I am studying seriously or have genuine competence. But I am an inveterate dabbler and occasionally playing about in other languages is fun and keeps me interested, whereas if I stuck religiously to one or two... I would likely get bored.


Yes dabbling, but if you get to +10lvl you start to get serious with the language!! :D


Honestly, not really lol! ;)

German was the only language here that really interested me when I was first on Duolingo, so I did a lot of it, but I doubt I would be more than A1 if that. Ukrainian and Polish I did the trees for fun. French I studied before and tested out of most of the tree either in chunks or individual skills. Spanish I did to see how far I could get based mostly on French/intelligent guesswork!

I mean, when it comes down to it, all the level tells you is how much XP I've amassed. As it happens, the three highest levels on mine are three in which I'm reasonably competent, but only one of which (Hebrew) I actually started almost from scratch on Duolingo. And while my passive understanding of Polish and Ukrainian is better than for languages in which I have no helpful background, if it was based on actual competence, French would be higher than both of those, as well as German, maybe Hebrew.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it does take a certain level of dedication to get to L10, but on the other hand, I'm level 16 in German, and it would be reeeeally pushing it to say I've ever got serious with that language! ;)


Aha, then I should raise the "seriousness" bar to level +15, except for German where you can dabble and have FUN until infinity and beyond! lol Anyway your flag collection is impressive, your serious dabbling has driven you really a long way. Keep up the fun work, Sarah! ;-D


Proto-Indo-European - to shock and amaze the historical linguists, and provide them with work for the next century or so :)


Finally! someone understanding how to properly troll a place full of language nerds. ;)


Now that is one brilliant reply! XD


Chinese. It is the most spoken language but it is really hard and if it was automatic I wouldn't have to learn to myself. Lol


Awesome! I almost picked Chinese but I decided on Spanish.


I am already bilingual, In my native french and English, but I occasionally run into problems with English.

But if I could be automatically fluent in another language, it would be Czech, cause that is my language of orgin.


My mother tongue is English, and I'd learn Gaelic because I've always been fascinated by Celtic mythology, and I'd love to be able to speak the language if I ever go back to Ireland, even if most Irish people's first language is English nowadays.


ARGHHHGHGHG, this is one of the hardest choices ever. I was considering Portuguese since I love the language and Portugal (and Brazil too!) but all things considered (specially the fact that I've already been exposed to it multiple times as a kid) it wouldn't be that difficult to learn by myself.

So my pick would be Greek. I love it, I love Greece, been there multiple times too, but there is something in the language that resists me (and I know it isn't the alphabet because I've also been tackling Korean and Japanese so I am no stranger to non-latin alphabets), and goodness dear I would love to be able to instantly speak it like a native.

EDIT: Btw my mother tongue is Spanish (Castilian Spanish to be more precise) and I am already bilingual (actually a polyglot, since I can carry a conversation in the first five languages of my list -though not all at the same level)


That's really cool! I actually had a really hard time choosing as well, until I narrowed it down to Chinese, Turkish, and Spanish, and finally picked Spanish.


Kabardian. If I could instantly get a full understanding of its polypersonal verb morphology, I would go for it, no questions asked.


Definitely Chinese !


The wonderful sound of spoken Italian. I just wish it could come from me.


Latin would also be really cool to learn. I think duolingo should add it as a course.


I agree! They will someday, but we aren't sure when.


Salve! Quid agis?


I would have picked spanish as it is widely spoken, but I already know it pretty well, so I would pick russian, because in action films you always see people speaking russian, and it sounds EPIC.


Japanese. So I can watch anime without subtitles...


I'm not surprised. I was wondering when someone would vote for Japanese! :)


I love Japan and everything about it. I plan to live there someday. :D


I'm guessing you mean perfect bilingual fluency, so i'm going to say Danish.
I struggle with the pronunciation so much.


I think I would chose Russian. I would do that, because people say it is harder to learn. That would leave me to learn German because I want to, and French because people say it is more easy to learn. I would also like to be instantly fluent in Russian because my Dad is learning it, and then I would be way ahead :)


I'd like to amaze my friends with fluent Shyriiwook.



XD me too. But Spanish still wins!


100% Arabic. arabic comes in as one of the 10 hardest languages to learn, and i like a challenge. why not pick something like finnish or greek or latin people might ask if you want a challenge, but i prefer arabic because i have made friends with a few muslum people and they are wonderful. i know most people don't like them but not all muslum people are the same. just like not all americans are the same. Their way of life is not fo reveryone some times i don't know how their woman do it but it is inspiring. in june they do something called ramadan, wher they starve for a month to find their true selves and also to learn self-control. just let that sink in they starve for a whole month!!! 40 days is the death point for any human!!


Muslims eat during Ramadan.


During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to fast every day from dawn to sunset. Fasting requires the abstinence from food, drink and sexual activity.



Não tenho certeza se você entende que os muçulmanos comem durante Ramadan mas o jejum fica quebrado cada día despois do poente. Este fato significa que os muçulmanos come durante do mes. A mulher hannahpayne pensa que os muculmanos nao comem de nada durante o mes.


Exactly what they do is an intermittent fasting, they eat during the night, but they do NOT eat (nor drink) during the day, except special circumstances (e.g. as far as I know, if somebody is very ill, they can break their sunlight fasting). So Ramadam is very hard is you are an observant Muslim and you have to work during the long hot days in summer. However, if Ramadam is in winter, especially for Muslims living well in the North (e.g. Sweden), it should be fairly easy to do.

As a side note, thanks for answering to me in Portuguese, it was a good practice to read your post (I had to look for two words, because even though I'm Spanish, there are lots of false friends between Spanish and Portuguese. For example, I thought that "poente" = "puente" (Spanish) instead of sunset :D)

From Wikipedia: The common practice during Ramadan is fasting from dawn to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar. Considering the high diversity of the global Muslim population, it is impossible to describe typical suhur or iftar meals.


Thanks apeironic, I thought you were a Brazilian.


o seu ingles e muito bom. Sou um falantenativo do ingles.


I understand that during Ramadan they do eat, only at night. During the day they should not eat unless they are younger then 10 etc...


Yes! Awesome! I love it!

Actually, Latin is not too hard. I find it pretty easy, especially as it has only a few accent marks and uses the same alphabet. I find Latin easier than Turkish.


Ramadan doesn't have a fixed month, because it is based on the Islamic calendar which is lunar and has only 354 or 355 days:



Japanese so I can tell my Japanese cousins to stop deleting stuff off of my phone.


Why do they do that??


i would choose Latin because then English lessons (like the roots and stuff) wouldn't be too hard.


Yeah, Latin is awesome!


I wish I were Aladdin with a magic language lamp...I would choose 3 languages...Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Spanish...and become an instant global citizen able to communicate with two billion people...


It's a hard choice between a useful language, like Spanish or Mandarin or British Sign Language, or a language that is close to my heart: Welsh.

I used to live in Wales, and I never quite managed to pick it up in school, but I keep trying to go back to it and learn it some more, because I'm very attached to that culture, even if I technically don't "belong" in it anymore.


Hindi. No doubt about that. 2 of my friends can at least understand it... I'm waiting for it to come out. My second and third choices are ASL and French.


Cherokee, but my sister wants Japanese.


This is a hard choice....

I'm going to have to go with Spanish. (My 2nd choice would be Chinese) It's widely spoken in America and various other countries and because I would like to be able to converse easily with my family members who are fluent in it.

Spanish is derived from the Latin language.


Without a doubt, my first choice would be Spanish. Not only is it widely gaining some popularity in my state and town (and, as you said, is the third most spoken language!), but I also have a great amount of family who speak Spanish fluently. Add to that the fact, it's simply a beautiful language!

This is an interesting topic you chose to discuss. :)


I don't know if I would want to instantly become fluent because honestly exloring new language and breaking new milestones is half the fun. At least that's case for me and Japanese


This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but I hope it's in the spirit of the question.

I wouldn't want to be automatically fluent in any language. After a couple of years of study I'd say that I'm at an intermediate level in Spanish. I'm far from fluent. It took a lot of work and effort and it feels like a real accomplishment. That feeling of accomplishment makes it special to me. I'd hate to deprive myself of that.


That really does make sense. thank you :)


Wow, this is a tough one. I think it would come down to either Japanese or Korean, for nearly the same reasons. I like both Japanese and Korean shows and music, so I would like to understand what I'm seeing and listening to without looking at subtitles.

But if I could learn something like Mandarin or Arabic my translating skills would be in demand for a long time.

I wouldn't choose either German or Spanish because I'm already studying those languages: I would choose a language that I haven't studied at all.


Just one?!? Ok, I'm going to cheat a bit here: My native language is English, but am pretty fluent in French and live in a French city, so I'm letting myself choose a third language (i.e., I'm assuming I would still keep both English and French).

My language: Russian. I love the sound of Slavic languages and Russian is the "biggest" (most widely spoken). There's a fair degree of mutual intelligibility between Slavic tongues as well, so I would have an easier time getting by in those. It would also let me master a new alphabet.


Awesome! I considered Russian instead of Spanish (actually, I considered almost every language that is still spoken) but I didn't choose it. But Russian is fascinating! Not surprised why you chose it!


I natively speak english and french, and I have a few options that I'd want but probably mi'kmaq is my top language, but I'm going to list a few and why. Also does fluent include written, cause #1 is useless to me if it's only fluent spoken.

1) the language of the Voynich manuscript assuming that it is in fact language, since there are theories that it was written by randomization of characters based on word lengths. I'm choosing essentially the same reason to piguy3 choosing indo-european (which is definitely in my top ten also) to amaze linguists and to move our understanding of language forward.

2) Mi'kmaq which is an eastern algonquin language native to the mi'kmaq people of nova scotia, because I want to reclaim something stolen from my family.

3) Cornish, which is a celtic language, which are indo-european languages. Because there are no living native speakers and also family heritage and also for like preservation and stuff.

4) Halkomelem, which is a central coast salish language spoken by the Tsleil-Wautt people. because the language is endangered, and it's the land I lived in for most of my life, and so I think I should know it.

5) (this is the last one I promise) basically any language on this list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinct_language#Recently_extinct_languages certainly languages evolve and they die off and some of that is natural, but it can feel like globalization combined with racism has killed some in a disheartening way. For a lot of these languages they stopped being spoken because to do so was discouraged. Looking at the Nuchatlaht dialect of Nuu-chah-nulth, I know Canada's history children were taking from their families and abused for speaking in their native tongue and it disgusts me how these have now because extinct because of systematic cultural genocide, and I want to bring them back.

Edit I know you said one, but I just cant they all have a theme though I would pick a language that I could not learn any other way for the most part.


Old Egyptian because I'd like to be able to read hieroglyphic or hieratic scripts of the most famous texts of ancient times: the Book of the Dead, Tale of Two Brothers, or the Story of Sinuhe. Furthermore, as far as I know the old spoken Egyptian language is lost, as nowadays Egyptians speak Arabic, so it would be a pleasure for me to help Egyptians to recover their most ancient language, the language of the pyramids.


You know, everyone is automatically fluent in their native language.


I meant Bilingual, in your native language and the language you chose, sorry for not making that specific :)


It does not matter :) I would be fluent in French, I really love it :)


I would stay fluent in my native language, English. It has words that are culturally significant to me like "cisgender", "agender", "non-binary", and singular they, among others.

English is an Indo-European language, and belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic languages. Source

If I could be fluent in an additional language, I would pick American Sign Language (ASL). Because ASL is so new, there are a few different written scripts for ASL competing for prominence. I haven't learned any of them yet. But, people can check out several versions Here. As for what I like about it, I actually created a whole post about that a while back. You can find it Here. Here is some information about its origins:

It has been proposed that ASL is a creole language of LSF [French Sign Language], although ASL shows features atypical of creole languages, such as agglutinative morphology. ASL originated in the early 19th century in the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Hartford, Connecticut, from a situation of language contact. Source.

Thanks for posting this fun discussion Woof.! ^_^


Woah, I didn't know any of that stuff about ASL! Really interesting!


Arabic, I really would like to learn Arabic, it's very interesting to me, and I know people that speak it. But sadly Duolingo doesn't teach it.


That's a good question. I am only learning French and don't really plan to do more languages after... that said, I probably wouldn't choose French having got so far, I feel like I want to complete this challenge myself. If I put a magic French pin in my head, all pride gone in what could've been a great achievement. I would choose Polish, because out of foreigners in my country, the population of Polish people seems to be the highest.

[deactivated user]

    Lengyel, magyar – két jó barát, so definitely Hungarian. Especially since for me it seems "unlearnable" in a normal way with all that complex suffix system.


    Japanese so whenever I watch anime I could watch it without subtitles.


    probably finnish. I dont know why but i like agglutinative languages


    Spanish... Mainly cause it is my "practical" useful language since I live in FL, and it can help with my job prospects in the health care field. I would much rather be using the time I use on Spanish on my Korean. I could have picked Korean as the language, but I enjoy the process of learning it so.. nah. I find Asian languages in general just fun to learn (be no fun if instant fluent lol).


    Well, it's very hard to choose... But I think, that perhaps I would choose Romanian, because though I understand it perfectly, I can't speak it. My second and third choices would be perhaps Finnish and Hindi. Btw, I'm Hungarian and I live in Romania.


    My native language is English. I would want to be fluent in Japanese. My wife is Japanese, and my daughter was born there. When we travel, we usually go to Japan. I lived there for 11 years, but I never did become fluent. Japanese is a pretty old language, but it shares roots with Korean.


    I would pick Spanish. I would like to be able to devote more time to learning other langs, and upkeep in Spanish (which I would like to use to make a living) detracts from that. Once fluency in this first stepping stone was out of the way, I could truly pursue languages as a hobby without guilt or divided attention.


    Spanisch,French, Russian, English Are all so beautiful ;-; Hmmm ...... ..Probably russian as it is the absolutely hardest one for me- even though my mom speaks it to me almost every day. I kinda failed at learning it though, because everytime I didn't know how to say something in russian, I just said it in german and that's why my russian is terrible. Especially my speaking skills so yeah.


    If I could wake up tomorrow and be speaking another language it would be Cantonese. I love the sound when it is spoken, I love Hong Kong cinema, and I love HK and Guangdong as a place....

    ... but there are hardly ever any options to study it casually because it is in the shadow of its gigantic big brother, Mandarin. Every company always focuses on Mandarin first, if they bother with any other Chinese language at all, and while it is of course more useful and a bit easier, it was never the language that I wanted to learn growing up. So I consume any resource I find to get a little bit of insight, but I haven't found anything that strikes the balance between too limited and too advanced for me.


    Chosen language: Russian

    Family: Eastern Slavic

    Native language: English

    It offers a lot of new literature and music opportunities. And, well...it's very pretty.

    Sure, Spanish is more useful where I'm located...though, amusingly enough, Russian is supposed to be more common in my state than in others.


    I'm fascinated by Arabic and its writing system but I'm put off by the difficulty of such a distant language (linguistically, from the ones I know).

    I think I'll try to learn it one day, but it's still a long shot.

    Nice thought exercise :)



    It's the language I'm most passionate about and although I love it to the point of actually enjoy the process of learning it, I don't enjoy the reading/writing part of it so I'd definitely appreciate not having to go through this part. Hebrew is a Semitic language that was revived in the 19th century. The modernized version of is spoken today mainly in Israel where it's the official language along with Arabic and in some other parts in the world as well.


    my native language: English Language of choice: Czech Czech is part of the proto-indo-European and later proto-balto-slavic families. my reason I live in the Czech Republic so I need it for day to day :)

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