Random language thread 4

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-19, 2:55


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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby eskandar » 2017-02-25, 21:33

Wenzhounese in Italy

This post made me think of OldBoring's posts here about Wu dialect(s) in Italy.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-25, 22:01

It actually reminds me a lot of Malayalees. The part about refusing to learn Italian reminded me of our driver in Kerala who learned Hindi working as a camel driver in Saudi Arabia but doesn't speak any English. I have no idea whether he speaks Arabic or not, but my brother never seemed to doubt his story and half-joked with me that in the Middle East, if you're Indian, you don't need to know Arabic or even English, just Hindi.

The part about marriage reminded me of how extremely endogamous marriages in South Asian societies can be. I remember a Pakistani friend of mine once complained that the social requirements for who to marry - someone from the right religion, the right sect, the right area, etc. - are so strict that people end up marrying some of their closest relatives. Just this morning, I was half-joking with my dad that if a Malayalee Syrian Christian man and woman were getting married, they would probably already be related to each other in ten different ways.

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-02-25, 23:55

vijayjohn wrote:When you think about it, English has weird words for female genitalia, too. I mean, how do you associate a cat with a vagina?
Cats are associated with women and dogs with men in Western culture. I'm guessing that's because dogs have behavioural traits we think of as masculine (loud, boisterous, aggressive) and cats feminine (quiet, standoffish, dainty). There's also the euphemism "cathouse" for a brothel, which is not that big of a semantic leap when you think of it: both cats and prostitutes (who are mostly women) spend a lot of time actively looking for sex partners outside at night.

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Osias » 2017-02-26, 1:28

In Brazil, attractive persons from both genders are called 'cats'. Gato and gata.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-26, 4:29

So when I look for songs in minority languages of Russia, I keep coming across songs in Russian instead. Now as I'm trying to think of songs to post in Russian, I keep seeing the songs I bookmarked in minority languages. :hmm:

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Michael » 2017-02-27, 1:08

I started watching a Turkish soap opera even though I'm far from able to understand 90% of the dialogue, and it turns out I've been speaking and reading Turkish (along with Azerbaijani as well, of course) wrong all along. Even though I have a general idea of the correct stress placement in individual words, I've unwittingly been articulating whole phrases and sentences with a right-branching bias, when in reality, spoken Turkish reminds me very much of Japanese and Korean. In fact, I would venture to say that Turkish also has pitch accent.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-27, 5:10

I feel like my thinking in French is improving. It seems to me that when I think in French now, I don't auto-translate to English to make sure what I said is grammatically correct.

Tonight I was going to a meeting in a school, and as I was walking through the parking lot I saw there were a lot of cars. So I thought to myself "il y a beaucoup de cars" because for a second I forgot the French word! I actually almost replaced cars with carro which if I"m not mistaken is Portuguese. Imagine that: il y a beaucoup de carros! :lol:
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-27, 5:34

So it turned out to be pretty easy for me to find Russian songs to post after all. :P The ones I ended up posting here were (in this order):

1. an ode to the Russian republic of Buryatia sung by a Nepali(?) singer with a name that sounds Punjabi (it's in Russian and not Buryat, which sort of reminds me of what eskandar brought up earlier over in the wanderlust thread),
2. a song on a Russian TV contest sung by a Chechen teenager,
3. a Russian folk (folk-pop?) song that is hugely popular in Kerala because somebody buffalaxed it into Malayalam and a lot of Malayalees are all like "it sounds so much like Malayalam!!!1 :totalshock:"
4. some random song that sounded nice and that I found just because YouTube suggested it as I was listening to one of the songs I'd posted previously on the same thread :whistle:
Michael wrote:I started watching a Turkish soap opera even though I'm far from able to understand 90% of the dialogue, and it turns out I've been speaking and reading Turkish (along with Azerbaijani as well, of course) wrong all along. Even though I have a general idea of the correct stress placement in individual words, I've unwittingly been articulating whole phrases and sentences with a right-branching bias, when in reality, spoken Turkish reminds me very much of Japanese and Korean. In fact, I would venture to say that Turkish also has pitch accent.

I sort of have a similar experience, but I'm not sure I'd go that far. There are pretty strict rules regarding stress in Turkish IIRC.
dEhiN wrote:carro which if I"m not mistaken is Portuguese.

That and Latin American varieties of Spanish

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby voron » 2017-02-27, 11:57

Michael wrote:I started watching a Turkish soap opera

Which one is it? Have you been watching it with subtitles?

I would venture to say that Turkish also has pitch accent

I wouldn't go that far either but I think that the Turkish stress definitely has different characteristics from the Russian stress. Since many times when I checked a dictionary or asked my Turkish friend for the stress in a word and he told me its position, I would swear I heard it in a different position. It sounds like in Russian, loudness is the most important characteristic, while in Turkish pitch is as much (if not more) important.

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Michael » 2017-02-27, 18:01

voron wrote:Which one is it? Have you been watching it with subtitles?

None other than the famous Aşk-ı Memnu. I've been watching it on YouTube, but the bölümler don't have any subtitles available (hence the "I don't understand 90% of the dialogue" part). Would you know of a site where I can watch subtitled episodes for free?


I wouldn't go that far either but I think that the Turkish stress definitely has different characteristics from the Russian stress. Since many times when I checked a dictionary or asked my Turkish friend for the stress in a word and he told me its position, I would swear I heard it in a different position. It sounds like in Russian, loudness is the most important characteristic, while in Turkish pitch is as much (if not more) important.

Yeah, that was a stretch on my part, but I wanted to emphasize the fact that my enunciation of Turkish and Azerbaijani sounds pretty flat, influenced by my acclimation to right-branching languages, compared to the rather musical pitch of actual speech.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Osias » 2017-02-28, 4:06

I never noticed before, but phrases like "any ideas" or "any data" use plural. I thought it was more "logical" to "any" to be followed by a singular, like in my language "alguma ideia", "algum dado". :hmm:
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-28, 4:52

"Any" can be followed by either a singular or a plural noun in English, just like "some." "Any idea" is also a phrase in English; it's just used a bit differently from "alguma ideia," I guess (e.g. do you have any idea how long it took me to learn Malayalam?!). "Data" for a lot of English-speakers is singular (and can't necessarily be pluralized).

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-28, 4:54

Osias wrote:I never noticed before, but phrases like "any ideas" or "any data" use plural. I thought it was more "logical" to "any" to be followed by a singular, like in my language "alguma ideia", "algum dado". :hmm:

What's more "logical" about this? Doesn't your language use algumas and alguns as well?

I just googled "alguma ideia" and "algumas ideias" and got roughly the same number of Ghits (half a million) for each one.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Osias » 2017-02-28, 17:53

linguoboy wrote:
Osias wrote:I never noticed before, but phrases like "any ideas" or "any data" use plural. I thought it was more "logical" to "any" to be followed by a singular, like in my language "alguma ideia", "algum dado". :hmm:

What's more "logical" about this?


I thought "any" were equivalent to "at least one".

So I was expecting "at least one idea" and "at least one datum". Or whatever the singular is.

Doesn't your language use algumas and alguns as well?

Yes, but it's not the same. "algumas ideias" is "some ideas".
I just googled "alguma ideia" and "algumas ideias" and got roughly the same number of Ghits (half a million) for each one.
Google counting won't work for questions like this, when the meaning is not the same. My google results for "alguma ideia" are translatable as "any idea/ideas" and for "algumas ideias" as "some ideas".
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-28, 18:46

Osias wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Osias wrote:I never noticed before, but phrases like "any ideas" or "any data" use plural. I thought it was more "logical" to "any" to be followed by a singular, like in my language "alguma ideia", "algum dado". :hmm:

What's more "logical" about this?

I thought "any" were equivalent to "at least one".

Only sometimes. Compare:

"Do you have any idea what that cost?" (Can you conceive what the price of that must have been?)
"Do you have any ideas for the winter ball?" (Can give some suggestions for the winter ball?)

How would you translate the latter without algumas ideias?

Osias wrote:So I was expecting "at least one idea" and "at least one datum". Or whatever the singular is.

"Datum" isn't used in English outside of specialist jargon. As Vijay pointed out, data is a singular mass noun for many speakers and a plurale tantum for most of the rest (cf. statistics). The closest thing to a corresponding singular is "a data point".
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Luís » 2017-02-28, 19:46

linguoboy wrote:"Do you have any idea what that cost?" (Can you conceive what the price of that must have been?)
"Do you have any ideas for the winter ball?" (Can give some suggestions for the winter ball?)

How would you translate the latter without algumas ideias?


We'd still use the singular because "alguma ideia" already means "one or more ideas". Alternatively you can use the plural but leave the pronoun out.

Tens alguma ideia para o baile de inverno?
or
Tens ideias para o baile de inverno?
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-28, 20:24

Luís wrote:We'd still use the singular because "alguma ideia" already means "one or more ideas". Alternatively you can use the plural but leave the pronoun out.

Tens alguma ideia para o baile de inverno?
or
Tens ideias para o baile de inverno?

In the past that used to confuse me - tens alguma ideia para ... - because I thought of both alguma and ideia as singular but I would want to express plurality because of how English expresses the same sentiment. But if "alguma" + "substantiva" means "one or more" then it makes sense.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-01, 0:42

dEhiN wrote:"algum(a)" + "substantivao"

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Osias » 2017-03-01, 0:50

What Luís said. :)

linguoboy wrote:"Datum" isn't used in English outside of specialist jargon.


Yes, decades in programming made me see that, also, dealing with the word "data" in Portuguese among all that. There are data that are "data" (date). Also, summer time (daylight saving) making us all crazy.
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