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Students with language skills
This page has been set as outdated, as it is part of the old (2003-2013) Willipedia. This page is now here purely for archival purposes; updating it would be to no purpose.
You don't have to be good at it. Just say what you know.
- 1 'Merican
- 2 Bahasa Indonesia
- 3 Bambaiya
- 4 Bengali
- 5 Catalan
- 6 Chinese
- 7 Croatian
- 8 Danish
- 9 Farsi/Dari
- 10 Dutch
- 11 English
- 12 Esperanto
- 13 French
- 14 German
- 15 Greek
- 16 Hebrew
- 17 Hindi
- 18 IPA
- 19 Italian
- 20 Japanese
- 21 Korean
- 22 Latin
- 23 Love, the Language of
- 24 Malay
- 25 Middle Earth (assorted languages)
- 26 Middle English
- 27 Mongolian
- 28 Navajo
- 29 Nepali
- 30 Norwegian
- 31 Oppish
- 32 Pig Latin
- 33 Polish
- 34 Portuguese
- 35 Romanian
- 36 Russian
- 37 Semaphore
- 38 Spanish
- 39 Tamil
- 40 Thai
- 41 Turkish
- 42 Urdu
- 43 Vietnamese
- 44 Yiddish
- 45 Yoruba
Sam Doyon '05 Dey terk ur jerbs!
Ronit Bhattacharyya '07 lived in Jakarta for seven years, still has an okay grasp of the language.
Ay shanay! Apne aap ko badein samajhte hon, kya? Apun boss hain, clear? Hamari shahar, hamari boli.
Thunny Khaft learnt from his Bangla friends back in the former Soviet Union
Irtefa Binte-Farid '11
David Rodriguez learned a bit while abroad in Barcelona and completed a phonetic study of it as his final project for LING 111.
Jason Law '06 can get by, but not as well as with Mandarin (though Cantonese was his first language...).
Jing Cao 08's first language
Jessica Chung '07 (Wishes she had Cantonese soap operas to watch.)
Jennifer Sithas transformed her Cantonese into Chinglish.
Timothy Cheng, If there's one essential phrase in Cantonese, it's: "ng ho gai gan ngor!" (My Norweigian roomate can testify) Everything else you can survive without.
Son '08 knows some bad words, thanks to Jing.
Mo Zhu '11 knows a little bit from a semester in Hong Kong but woefully inadequate. Loves to use it though!
Jason Law '06 can get by.
Jing Cao 08's second language.
Jason Ren '08, but only after disgusting losses in Beirut.
Kim Fassler '06
Kristyn Bretz '06, but only when drunk
Estalyn Marquis has some awesome skills
Elizabeth Macek passable
Richard Zhang I'm counting on it to get me a job
Ted Haley '07
Jerry He back in the days ...
Jessie Yu '07
Mo Zhu '11 native speaker
Zhichun Ying '08
Lingwei Gu '07
Richard Zhang '07 You wish you could speak this exclusive dialect
Jessie Yu '07
Rachel Ko '09
Shea Chen '07
Amy Chin '08, but not really.
Jason Law '06 can understand it almost as well as Cantonese.
Teng Jian Khoo '09 can speak it tolerably, but will not be understood by pretty much everyone on campus. Bar the Taiwanese.
The entire fencing team misses Teej.
Noemi Fernandez '09 can fake it pretty well while ordering you a drink at a cafe or bar, your choice.
Heather Casteel '06 (drunkenly)
Nat Hewett '11 -not very well, but can help you read something, maybe, if you're desparate.
Samim Abedi '10 - Cannot read or write but can speak fluently.
Faisal Khan '11 - Can't speak but can do a really good impression of Samim, which is like the same thing. Man gorosne hastam!! Also incredibly inadequate in my native tongue, Urdu, which I choose not to speak because of constant ridicule by the Williams South Asian community and 7-Eleven owners around the Northeast.
Jason Leith '03 lived in the Netherlands for a few months, and can tell you what "neuken in de keuken" and "let op zakkenrollers!" means. He had little opportunity to actually speak the language, though, which was probably actually a good thing, as he values the integrity of his velum.
- Christina Lee '08 thought that she had the greatest British accent evar but her hopes and dreams were shattered when her entrymates told her in '04 that her British accent actually sucks. ) =
- Mallory Green '09 knows that no one who is "impersonating" a Canadian accent actually sounds Canadian, no joke about a Canadian accent is funny to a Canadian, there isn't only one 'Canadian' accent and finally, you are all jealous of how cute we sound.
- Jing Cao speak Proper Chinese Flavor English
Hong Kong Accent
- Timothy Cheng, You can't get much more Hong Kong than this.
- Nirmal Deshpande '07 occasionally speaks with a British-tinged Indian accent, specifically responding "You can make me drink, but you cannot make me get you a beer!" to demands that he wait hand and foot upon someone.
- Sean Milano '09 tries to immitate his neighbour upstairs, but fails miserably. He just isn't cool enough.
- RHAAAD! '08 Genuine, proper Indian accent!
- Aditi Chaturvedi '10 has an accent that beats any imitation. It's the real thing!
- Diana Davis '07 spent a month speaking English with a Japanese accent, so she can still do it very convincingly.
Pittsfield Accent (including, but not limited to, Berkshire County)
- Emily Flynn '09 grew up in the P-unit as people (I swear to God) seriously call it. She had a mad deece time at THS and was wicked excited to come to Williams. She could often be heard saying "Do it, you won't!", especially on the miniature golf course, at the b. mall, or at ken's bowl. Yee.
- Mike Nguyen '10 come tok to him lor.
- Evelyn Robinson '05 has an occassional native Southern accent so sudden and endearing you'd swear she is joking, but she aint.
- Will McClain '09 speaks with a Southern accent on and off during regular conversation (something out of his control), but can speak Mississippian at will.
- Wes Johnson '09 somehow doesn't have one.
- Walker Matthews '08 has a consistent, strong Georgia drawl, even though he himself can't hear it or most other American accents.
- Cat Vielma '09 hates it, and reminds people that Chicago is universes apart from the rest of the grand ol' Midwest
- Teng Jian Khoo '09 speaks this at home. Somemore now got Singaporeans here dee, can tok crap with them liao - so shiok!
Minnesota Accent/Just Hilarious
- Tim Leclair '11 only knows a few words in Minnesotese and you have to find them in his daily speech like a dwarf finds his Mythril. Ask him to say, "North Dakota."
Joe McDonough '06 visited the International Esperanto Museum in Vienna, but by that time he had forgotten most of the Esperanto he had learned in a fit of boredom during Winter Study two years previously.
David Rodriguez used to be much better, but he now inserts random CatalÃ¡n words in French conversation.
Diana Davis '07 is still pretty good at French.
Katherine Huang '08 took a lit course with Professor Martin and scored well on the SAT II and AP exams, but that doesn't mean her accent isn't atrociously American...
Joe Hutchinson '06 was once accused of speaking French from the 18th century
Kathryn Lindsey '07 speaks decent French.
Lindsay Long-Waldor '08 has not spoken in a while, but she might still have some skills.
Tosin Adeyanju '08 third language I can kinda speak.
Vlado Nedkov '06 spent last year in Paris. He can say a lot more than 'voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir', althought that phrase comes in handy quite often.
Ikem.T.Joseph after 5 yrs of study can pretty much read and write with good understanding. In terms of speaking, that's a work in progress.
Carl Vos '09 mom is french, and I know a lot, but havn't spoken it in a while. I can get by alright.
Jack Nelson '07 took it for 9 years before getting bored. Now speaks French like a Russian or Norwegian immigrant who speaks no French at all.
Brian Kim '09 owes much of his sanity to the fact that dead French men write better books than most people.
Samantha Peterson '08 agrees wholeheartedly with Brian Kim, but finds herself occasionally (and accidentally) speaking 18th and 19th century French because of it.
Ben Grant '09 took French for a while and has a pretty decent accent. Shows a flair for making fun of random French Canadians in bars because they sound so funny.
Andrew Goldston '09 was once teased by French Canadians for having a "European accent". His high school French teachers would be proud of that. They would not be proud of his lack of fluency.
Robin Allemand '10 speaks French fluently thanks to his parents.
Thomas Coleman '10 speaks English and hates the French.
Christophe Dorsey '10 speaks French and hates Tom Coleman.
Chaedria Robinson '07 has a complicated relationship with the French she refuses to speak.
Emilie Voight '09 knows that you'll get mocked if you say "neanmoins" in casual conversation.
Meredith Sopher '14 finds French excellent for yelling.
Son Le '14 whistles/hums French melodies all the time because he can't remember any lyrics (well, except Aux Champs Elysées)
ich wuerde kimis film sehr gern anschauen. machen wir das, ge? und was lustiges fuer euch- wenn ihr jemanden um eine cigarette bitten wollt, sagt mal einfach-"chill mir eine cigarette." ohne scheiss. funktioniert hervorragend. die deutschen...
Paloma Diaz speaks German too.
Joe Hutchinson '06 thinks in and sometimes thinks he's German
Kimi Gilbert '06 spent more than a year in Berlin. Hence, she is legitimately badass. Her German skills are unbelievable. And she starred in a Deutsch Scheiï¿½e Video. Go figure.
Vlado Nedkov '06 used to kick ass in German. Unfortunately, he's a sell out and has moved on to romance languages.
Daniel P. Rooney '06 Speaks mean Deutsch. Very creative. Need help writing a german essay about a funny picture? Daniel is your man!
- Swiss German
Jono Dowse '06 has a German-language textbook on Swiss German and really wants to be able to speak it authentically. At this point, he knows the numbers and some basic vocabulary and grammar. (TAs swoon when he counts to ten.)
Joe Gangestad '06 speaks a mad Munchen Deutsch, and will one day teach astrophysics to unassuming little German children.
Teng Jian Khoo '09 reads children's books in German.
Toby Hall is a German major, and is living in Deutschland during the summer of 2006
Carl Vos '09 is taking German and will be spending the summer of 2006 in Munich and Berlin.
Dae Selcer '10 is a German major and spends her entire life reading dusty German thingymabobbers.
Hazen (As in I can write in it and tell you how to pronounce the letters of their alphabet. I didn't write this.)
Brent Yorgey '04
Aditi Chaturvedi '10 knows more Greek than just the alphabet. Knows more grammar and vocabulary than she wants to, as does anyone in CLGR 101.
Math nerds know the Greek alphabet.
So do Classics majors. (And in order. What comes after phi, oh my math and physics friends?) (the "$" comes after "\phi", unless it's on its own line, in which case you'll put "$$")
Shawn Woo '09
Walker Matthews '08 knows entirely too much Greek, and for some inexplicable reason is moderately capable of reading something as complicated as Thucydides without actually being to conjugate verbs (a shortcoming he hopes to correct by the end of the year).
Robert Gearity '11 loves it when you come up to him and speak greek. Seriously, do it.
Jono Dowse '06 thinks Modern Greek is cool and spent some time in online lessons for it his sophomore year. His study has since lapsed. He knows the order of the Greek alphabet well despite being a math major.
Jim Prevas knows all the bad words.
Robert Streicker '07
Zachary Ulman '06
Davida Kutscher '03
Elissa Brown '09
Harsh Sodhi '10
is not a language; it is an omnipotent alphabet.
David Rodriguez learned the IPA incredibly well as Jono Dowse's (who's Nate Sanders?) student in LING 111
Jason Leith rejects the notion that a velar trill is impossible. It is, however, so ugly a sound that not even languages like Dutch and Danish have adopted it. He uses IPA when indicating pronunciation in his music.
Zac Whitney '12 has been learned them IPA symbols.
Lucy Cox-Chapman '06 spent a semester in Italy
Katie Josephson '07 is dying in Italian 103
Samantha Peterson '08 speaks Italian with a sexy French accent.
David Rodriguez '06 knows all of the great insults and generally vulgar phrases.
Davide Carozza: born in Roma baby!
Chaedria Robinson '07 Is morally opposed to speaking Italian without a glass of Chianti.
Rob Buesing '09 gli piacerebbe se fosse piu italiano che 103, ma nonostante cerca di parlare italiano a qualsiasi punto con qualunque persona vuoi sentirla.
Amanda Van Rhyn now knows how to say "my husband got drunk and hit me."
Diana Davis '07 frequently mutters small phrases in Japanese. People think she is mumbling, becuase they don't understand Japanese. In addition to randomly speaking in Japanese, she also randomly speaks English with an excellent Japanese accent.
Leah Weintraub '06 spent a semester in Japan. Ergo, she probably speaks Japanese.
Charlotte White rocks at Japanese, and is easily distracted by pretty things from Japan. She also says "WTF Japan" rather often. As should we all.
Ebonie Little '07 can karaoke most hit Japanese pop songs...albeit in an unflatteringly squeaky voice. She's also in Japan for a year leveling up on language skills.
Sam Doyon '05 took Japanese for 3 1/2 years at Williams, lived in Tokyo for two months before he forgot every word of Japanese.
Brian Kim '09's Japanese is fading fast.
Alex Ratte '09 knows how to talk like a middle-aged woman from Tokyo because that's what his mom is.
Tom Derbish '08 has stumbled through four years of Japanese at Williams and is going to stumble through years more of it in Japan.
Zac Whitney '12 has taken Japanese for some time, and has been demolished by it.
Dawn Robinson '08 is Korean. She can read and write Konglish, and say, "Hello, my name is Dawn" in Korean. :)
Angela Lee '06 can speak, read and write Korean surprisingly well, even though she emigrated at the age of 6. She also has a (dare I say) encyclopedic knowledge of Korean pop culture.
Ilya Feldsherov '06 can count to 8 in Korean, say "attention," "master," and "bow."
James Kim '08 obviously sucks at Korean, but does get by. Do not be fooled by his genuine Korean features.
Hannah Cho '09 seconds the posting above. dear james, don't be discouraged jae doesn't let miss cho speak korean either
Brian Kim '09 is a disgrace to Koreans everywhere. This is also reflected in his speaking ability. Oh, and he can't spell to save his life.
Christina Lee '08 takes pride in speaking, writing, and reading Korean pretty damn well and thanks her mom who sent her to Korean school once a week since she was 4 years old. THANKS MOM! ( =
Shawn Woo '09
Alex Ratte '09 tries to quote Lee Jung Hyun lyrics except ends up speaking Japanese, saying "as for the fleeing tiger."
Jodi Gajadar '08 can say "I love you" and "Of course!" in Korean, and recognize it when spoken by others -- all knowledge she picked up from watching Korean game shows and dramas, and listening to Korean pop.
sunmi yang '08
As of now, Brian Delmolino '09 can say the following: "I am American. I cannot speak Korean. Where is the bathroom?"
Meredith Sopher '14 can read and write, and speaks a little. She knows most of Big Bang's "Lies" by heart and will take Korean during the 2011-2012 school year.
A rather cool internet program created by Lee Butterman of Brown University is a text to speech program that will read any latin poetry or verse aloud and give you a decent pronunciation of it. Find it Here
Walker Matthews '08 has studied Latin for seven years, which implies (but does not guarantee) that he knows what he's talking about.
Love, the Language of
Hoai Chung Truong Pham '09 wows the Elizabethans with his compositions in the vernacular of amour.
Another one on the list of Teng Jian Khoo's lonely languages, although Ronit may be able to get most of it.
Middle Earth (assorted languages)
Laurie Brink was the "official unofficial" translator and pronunciation expert for the NYC area premiere of the Lord of the Rings Symphony, and, as such, can say a variety of things in Quenya, Sindarin, Adûnaic, Rohirric, Khuzdul, and the Black Speech. It also helps that she has, in a certain sense, been speaking Quenya since the day she learned her own name.
Rumor has it that Shane Bobrycki '07 is fluent in Middle English. Also, he's a total nerd :)
If you use the word "hoorah" or "hurray," then you already know some Mongolian because hurray is a Mongol "exclamation of joy, victory, or excitement."
Achbold Battogtokh '10 A-Boo-Yeah!
Bolor Turmunkh '10
Jeannette Rivera 12' Ya'teheh
Rob Adelmanlaai nepali bhaasaa bolna aauchaa
Jack Nelson '07 speaks relatively fluently, especially when inebriated on some good ol' Mack ï¿½l, due to an exchange year there before Williams. Continues to delight in the fact that Norwegian includes the words fart, snart, fred and slut which means things entirely different.
Alden Robinson '06 whopat dopo yopou thopink opof thopat?
Sara Beach '06 propetty swopeet, Opalden.
Emily Flynn '09 is very jealous.
Seth Brown taught a course on Pig Latin during Winter Study 1997.
Sara Beach '06 isay uentflay.
Jonathan Landsman '05 can say "What's up, sweetheart?"
Brian Kim '09 actually thinks Polish orthography makes a lot of sense. Obviously this makes him crazy. Sto lat.
Mike Nguyen '10 na zdrowie!
O Marcos Gouvea '05 fala portuguÃªs. E vocÃª?
Chaedria Robinson '07: Sim, eu falo um pequeno do Portugues.
Douglas Washington '08: Eu tambam falo um poucinho. Ficava em Belem do Para para uma semestre. Foi bem legal e quero voltar no futuro.
Laurie Brink knows just enough to sing the entirety of "Dragostea din Tei" (a.k.a. the Numa Numa song).
Toby Hall Also knows just enough to sing "Dragostea din Tei"
Andana Streng Born in Romania but speaking a funky kind of Romanian called "ardeleneste" which I mix with English when I'm really tired. And no, I don't like "Dragostea din tei".
Andrei Baiu Born in Bucharest, Romania. I still speak it home. I also hate it when I see "Romanian" spelled "Rumanian"..... I have nothing against O-zone. Especially Numai Tu, another great song.
Emily Button '07 can say "I've seen more women than you've seen sparrows!"
Ilya Khodosh does an excellent drunk old Russian man impression.
Suzanne C. Walsh '05 can say, "Her breasts are as big as pineapples" and can translate for fiends who lose the ability to speak English and can only speak in Russian while drunk. She is also known to mutter things in Georgian. And we're not talking about, "y'all."
Anna Tsykalova '08 says that all good things come from Mother Russia.
Sara Beach '06 (a.k.a. Zlaya Antonovna)
Eugene Berson '08 puts the hammer together with sickel.
Ilya Feldsherov '06 can do a Ukrainian accent, but no one would know the difference.
Joe Hutchinson '06 pretends to have a Russian grandma back in the old country
Jack Nelson '07 lived in Siberia for a semester. He thinks. He has largely blocked it from his memory. Has somehow retained the ability to sneer in Russian, but not much else, which, as a major, may prove problematic.
Brian Kim '09 used to beg his Russian teacher for borscht in the middle of the night. It was delicious, by the way.
Nina Ivanova '09 ?????!
Son '08 knows one phrase: "?? ???? ??????!"
Andrew Triska '10 makes baby Jesus cry with his Russian obscenities.
Sebastion Shterental '08
Rahul Shah '09 learnt enough Russian in 101 to pick up a girl in a party, make naughty talk, and purchase the services of a Russian prostitute. Needless to say, he failed to do any of those.
Henry "Ted" Kernan '09 was born in Ecuador, grew up in Ecuador, lives in Ecuador, and speaks Ecuadorian Spanish...that hasn't stopped his Berkshire County friend insisting he's from Mexico.
Monsie MuÃ±oz '09 speaks Mexican Spanish- is slowly adopting a chilanga accent
Alejandro RodrÃguez-Prieto '09 also speaks Mexican Spanish- but can speak an even more special subversion- the Chihuahuan accent
Luz M. GÃ³mez '08 speaks paisa Mexican Spanish, can speak "proper spanish" when needed and can do a messed up chilanga accent----oh, and a beatiful Xicana accent
Pablita Santos '07 speaks Mexican Spanish and has a beatiful Chicana accent when slightly intoxicated
David RodrÃguez speaks Dominican Spanish to his fellow Dominicans and a more comprehensible Latin American Spanish to others, but often swears like a Spaniard for no good reason.
Jonathan Landsman '05 (budding bachatero)
Alan Cordova '06 - like your high school Spanish teacher.
When traveling in non-Hispanophone countries, Alex Lavy's brother pretends he is from Spain, where he "fights the bools" and "stoodies the art".
Joanna Korman speaks Spanish like her high school "pasos y puentes" textbook. She speaks and reads, but comprehension of real-live-native-speakers is not her gig.
Paulette RodrÃguez can speak Spanish without consonants (also known as Puerto Rican--similar to Dominican)
Sarah Steege can speak with or without the sexy Spanish lisp.
Cat Vielma speaks spanish with an American accent even though she was born in Chile. She truly has no "hispanic talents" whatsoever.
Sara Morrissey can speak Mexican spanish and slang. She improves her accent and dirty word vocabulary after she's downed some tequila.
Julia Brown speaks Ecuadorian Spanish with an American accent.
Ilya Feldsherov '06 with a lisp that offends most Puerto Ricans, despite dropping his "s"s.
Ikem T. Joseph can get by with the few years of study he has but don't ask him to carry a convo, it's for your own good!
Daniel Gerlanc speaks Spanish with a peninsular accent. His accent cannot be traced to any particular country; however, most Spanish-speaking Europeans guess that he's from northern Europe.
Jerry He lo habla
Toby Hall spoke spanish in high school, but he's forgeting it as he learns german.
Julian Mesri speaks "castellano" a form of argentine spanish that uses sh for ll and y, and to many sounds more like italian than spanish... and we use vos- yeah that's right, vos.
Emily Flynn took 6 years, an A.P., & taught it in her hometown to overenthusiastic middleschoolers. Su palabra favorita esta sacapuntas.
Paloma Diaz-Dickson speaks the language of her mother-country, Mexico. And she's also Bolivian...or something like that.
Evelyn A. Aguilar speaks salvadorean spanish but with a peruvian accent (traveling messes with one's native accent).
Shawn Woo '09
"Pad Thai" is not pronounced with a hard 'a' like in 'paddy', but more closely resembles the 'a' in 'father' (but shorter).
Sarun Peter Tosirisuk has what some might call "non-volitional fluency" (he also just made that term up). Like a Thai person with Broca's aphasia, Peter can understand speech but cannot produce it, for the language is locked away in some deep part of his brain. Also, he doesn't know any words that wouldn't have been said in his house when he was growing up.
YaWen Lu is known to plot with the owners of Thai Garden, usually over a hot bowl of wonton soup.
Dave Senft can count to four in turkish, and also knows six through eight, and ten.
Marisa Lau spent a semester (Spring 2005) in Turkey so she knows numbers and greetings and maybe a bit more
Alex Ratte '09 knows that "Tea sugar and Cream" means "thank you".
All these students are fluent in written and spoken Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Urdu is a unique language adapted from Persian and written in Arabic text, though it sounds identical to Hindi, the national language of India, which is written in Devanagari script.
Uzaib Y. Saya
S. Kashif Akhtar
Mike Nguyen '10 native, but with a messy accent somewhat.
Son '08 what does "phuc" mean? - It's pronounced different than what you think; but it means "happiness" (kinda make sense ;-))
Son Le '14 Purely Vietnamese in mind and body, yet he appreciates how his sino-romanized mother language helps him enjoy both romance languages and Eastern Asian languages.