Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

FridayQ: Foreign

I totally forgot to do this yesterday…

What’s your native language? Do you speak any foreign languages? If so, how did you come to learn them?

I natively speak British English, albeit with a slight northern accent and dialect. I also speak French almost fluently and know quite a lot of German, through having studied them at school and college. I also know odd words in Spanish, Italian and Romanian from visiting these countries, and occasional words in Arabic from having lived in Bradford for nearly 3 years.

What’s your native country? Have you visited any foreign countries? If so, which ones?

I’m a native British citizen with English ancestry going back several generations. I’ve visited the following countries:

  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Romania
  • Greece
  • Barbados
  • Monaco

With a bit of luck, Canada will be next on that list. Despite having studied German for 4 years, I haven’t actually been to a German-speaking nation yet.

Are there any foreign foods, books, movies, or other items that you are particularly fond of? Name some of your favourites.

I like Italian, Indian, French and Spanish food. Not really a book person (although I’ve just bought 3 off Amazon, go figure), but I did enjoy watching City of God even if I did need the subtitles to be able to understand it. I’ve also seen La Haine, again with English subtitles but I could at least understand most of the French dialogue.

FQ NATIVE: If you had to trade your nationality for that of any foreign country, which would you choose and why?

Difficult, because on the whole I’m proud to be British, but I’d probably say Canada or the Netherlands. Canada because English is an official language and it sounds like a cool place, the Netherlands because of its liberal attitudes.


  1. What? Never been to the USA? Better plan that trip now before Homeland Security bans the lot of you “undesirable persons of foreign origin” from entering our borders!
    It’s almost getting to the point now where I am nervous to leave the US for fear of not being allowed back in. Oh well, I’m sure once we all get our “Real IDs” all that will change! (said with the appropriate level of sarcasm).

  2. Well Neil if you’re ever in Southern California drop by and I’ll buy you a pint! =)
    As for me–
    Native Language: American English, midwestern which is basically “without accent” (i.e. when you see CNN anchors), as opposed to Southern Drawl. 😉
    Foreign Language: I *used* to be fluent (comfortable) in American Sign Language, if that counts, when I worked as an interpreter for deaf kids in an after-school program. I also had three years of French in high school (mais je n’ai pas parlé français depuis huit ans maintenant). Also I’m trying to learn Spanish… and I don’t mean of the Spain variety, since I live about a 10-minute drive from Mexico and all.
    Native country: Untied States (though if I were to go abroad I’d likely claim Canada). 😉 Unfortunately except for a couple of weekends in Mexico (which hardly counts) I’ve never left the US. Been dying to see parts of Europe, especially the UK and France (and many others). Can you say “Oktoberfest?” Maybe this fall if I’m not burried in projects.
    I’d answer the others, but don’t want to use up too much comment room. Cheers!

  3. FridayQ: Foreign

    It’s not Friday, but I just caught up with these questions courtesy Neil and I’m answering them now. What’s your native language? Do you speak…

  4. Interesting site – I’m south of you in the Midlands – The Black Country – near Birmingham. Your comment about languages made me laugh – “I also know odd words in Spanish, Italian and Romanian from visiting these countries, and occasional words in Arabic from having lived in Bradford for nearly 3 years.” Maybe come and live around here for a while and learn some Asian languages! Not sure how I ended up on your site – prbably pinching ideas for mine! Keep up the good work – especially interested in your comments on making money out of the site – a cause close to my heart!