By “formally” I mean either in a classroom environmenbt, or under a paid teachers with whom you met in person. Automated/internet-onl tutorials do not count; nor do horizontal dictionaries.
Yes, it is specifically US Dopers with parent who were native English speakers whose input I am soliciting. But you guyz will do whatever you want, I don’t know why I bother specifying.
Poll in a moment. I’ll make the results private to encourage lying.
ETA: Oh, and you needn’t be fluent now or in the past, in the language you vote in. I took Italian in college, but damned if I’m any good at it now. For that was in a far country, and besides the wench is dead.
I have formally studied both French and Spanish. I can get by in Spanish; my French is hopeless.
According to your definition of formal, I studied Japanese for a bit. But it was a non-credit night class just to learn it conversationally.
As noted in the OP: Italian in college (just because I wanted to read a certain book), along with Spanish (for the credits). Two years French in high school, two years Latin.
I’m not fluent or even ADEQUATE in any of those, by the way. I am an unfocused dilettante.
Whether it was for credit is irrelevant. I took Italian only because (a) I wanted to read Fosca in the original languae, and (b) because the Italian teacher was ridiculously hot.
I formally studied Spanish, Russian, and German, but only my German is presently functional (just.)
Had a year of Japanese in college, it’s basically gone now.
4.5 years of German in high school/college. It’s mostly gone but I believe I could pick it up really quickly if I had the opportunity.
63 week immersion course (8hrs/day, 5 days/wk) of Arabic in the Army. Unlike German, Arabic always seemed foreign and I never really learned to think it–just hear/translate/speak. If I were dropped into the ME with someone completely unfamiliar with the language, I think I might have a 1 month head start on them. Takes about that long just to learn to recognize the vocal sounds and written letters. I think in a lot of ways it’s more foreign to English than Japanese (which was a right bitch).
German for 4 years in high school.
Italian for 4 semesters in college.
Spanish for 6 semesters, plus 10 months total with two private tutors. In a couple weeks I’ll be in Barcelona for two weeks taking a prep class and the DELE exam level B-2. When I return I’ll be starting class #7 to finish up a bachelor’s certificate in Spanish for Business and the Professions.
My goal is to pass the DELE and begin preparing for the level C-1 exam next year.
Funny, pretty much the only German I remember from four years is a sentence from one of those tapes we had to listen to in class: Hoffentlich benimmt sich Heiko, besonders im flugzeug.
German – 5 years or so, high school and college.
Latin – 2 years. 8th and 9th grade, which was “middle school” when I was a spawn.
Russian – 2 semesters in college at the height of the Cold War. (I labeled the entire house with my vocabulary words the day dad’s military clearance guys were coming to visit. Hey, he neglected to mention this to me!)
Spanish – maybe 3 years in grade school? I can’t speak it, but I understand far more than anyone thinks. You grow up in Florida, you hear it a lot. The Latin probably helped.
I can muddle through reading fairly simple German (I have some things in my FB feed in German), and can speak entirely in the present tense like a demented hillbilly baby. It’s mortifying, though actual Germans have been rather nice about it (and I haven’t heard any snide remarks). I imagine it’s the shock of meeting an American who goes against our national reputation and is trying.
Three years of French in high school, and two years of Latin (Catholic school and all).
I remember very little French, and even less Latin, 30+ years later.
Spanish only, formally. 5 years. I can get by, but am far from fluent. Reading and writing, pretty good.
Informally: French, German, Norwegian, Japanese. Can speak “survival mode” in those languages.
Informally: Mandarin: Got to where I could count to 5 (except for 4).
I don’t know how I edited Cantonese out of the poll options, so I have decided to blame jayrey and have ordered her chocolate-chip cheesecake ration reduced by 0.05%. If she were a dude, of course, she’d have been shot.
I took two years of Spanish in high school. 25 years later I can remember “Yo tengo un lapiz amarillo”…pretty much everything else I know comes from watching Sabado Gigante, and simply living in California.
Luckily, I was taught Greek and Latin roots in grammar school, so I can brute-force my way through a fair amount of printed material (in most Western European languages, at least)…but speaking, or even understanding everyday speech, is something completely different.
Two years of Latin in HS, all gone
Two years of French in HS, one term PhD reading exam cram course and one summer of McGill staff French. I can sort of have a conversation if you speak slow.
Three years of German in college. I recall enough to order in a restaurant or get a hotel room, but no real conversation.
German for many years. Some Spanish at the age of about 40, but never got very far. A little Norwegian in college. The German is still pretty good, the others…naaah.
Granted I’m British, but I studied French (to AO level), Latin, and Classical Greek (to A level).
I was learning Spanish in elementary school, and got pretty decent at it, then we moved to Germany and I didn’t really have any opportunity to continue so I started learning German with a couple of Christmas carols in French. Now I’m good at pronunciation but have forgotten most of what I knew.
Oops, forgot to check Latin, as well.
Latin: two years in high school
Portuguese: six months immersion training at the Foreign Service Institute, then lived in Portugal for two years
French: ditto, then lived in French west Africa for two years
Spanish: three semesters in night school with native speakers, beginning, intermediate and advanced
Very rusty in three of them and non-conversant in Latin (but then, I never was).
Spanish all through elementary school and some in college. German and Latin in high school.
The German is almost completely gone. The Latin is still pretty useful in understanding other languages. The Spanish I use almost every day in some form or another.
I had informal training in French, but my accent was/is so bad that I’m better off yelling at a French person in German than I am trying to speak French. The wife, OTOH, is reasonably fluent in the language.