Forgetting a scond launguage

There must be plenty of folk on here that spoke a second language or even a few that they either picked up during their over seas driving career. Some may have gone a done some kind of course and other just picked it up as they went along. They tried to teach me French at school, but I really didn’t want to know what ■■■ the door was…
The first Language I really got stuck into was Italian as I used to do a weekly run there in the 80’sand 90’s. I found it fairly easy to pick up and on the first weekend back in Scotland I went to the big book shop and bought myself a teach your self Italian book and cassette which I listened to while driving.
First up was basic counting, 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 100 1000 etc, then left right, back forward, up down, traffic light roundabout, today tomorrow, custom office, open the tilt, box carton pallet etc and basic phrases. I used to listen to the local radio which quickly filled in some amusing blanks, and soon was able to converse with the guys on the forklifts and loading banks.

Russian was another language that I managed to pick up quite well. French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Arabic, were a bit sketchy, because I didn’t go that way very often and Romanian and Bulgarian were even farther down the list, as most of the time it was straight through from one end to the other but I could ask for and understand directions and wouldn’t starve if I had to order food.

I haven’t been to most of those countries for many years and have forgotten most of their languages, but I was watching a movie on the tele the other night and even though I wouldn’t be able to sting a sentence together I managed to get most of what was going on with out reading to much of the sub titles.
I put it down to the fact that I had picked them up as second language so they weren’t native for me so I didn’t feel so bad, however I was speaking to a bloke yesterday that was originally from Denmark and he told me that he had been here for 23 years and when he spoke to his mum who is still in Denmark that he had a lot of trouble understanding her and even more trouble talking to her as he had all but forgotten his first language.

I suppose that if you don’t use it, you loose it.

How many thing have you forgotten ■■? :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :laughing: :laughing:


Through the 80s and 90s I found that I could pick up languages quite well. I enjoyed the challenge of it and as we all know, the locals are much more receptive to someone trying to have a go in their own language.

I could get by quite well enough to have a fair conversation in French, Italian, German and Serbo-Croat. I was probably not “grammatically” correct (Der, Die, Das, Le, La etc) but I got by as we all did!

Spanish was probably the worst as I never really went there enough to get into it. As for Dutch, I will admit to being the lazy English man, as every Dutch person I ever met spoke excellent English!! :laughing: :laughing:

Never mind forgetting a second language, I’ve just about forgotten my first language. :open_mouth: Struggle to string a sensible sentence toghether.