Wanderlust support group 4

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linguoboy
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-07, 22:36

dEhiN wrote:
(This is part of the reason, dEhiN, that missionary activity has such a bad rep in many parts of the globe.)

Why exactly? Is it because missionary activity during time was mostly or solely about consolidating power, and not about some altruistic desire to spread a particular system of faith?

Where the missionaries went, soldiers followed--when they weren't there already.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-08, 1:41

In Kerala alone, right off the top of my head, I can remember the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the British as all being colonial powers fighting over territory there - not to mention the Kannadigas next door (i.e. Tipu Sultan). The French even controlled part of it until 1954 after swapping it with the British a few times and retaking it once. Some of the foreigners involved in Malayalee history include a Flemish POW turned army commander and this guy from what is now Croatia who was forced to convert to Islam, served the Sultan of Gujarat, and fought the Portuguese on his behalf with the help of the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo and the Ottoman Empire.

Off-topic but I also just learned that the full name of the last nominal king of Travancore (the kingdom my parents' hometown was in before independence) was Major General His Highness Sri Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma Kalasekhara Kiridapathi Manne Sultan Maharaja Rajaraja Bahadur Sham Sher Jang, Thiruvithamkoor Maharaja GCSI, GCIE. :rotfl: :rotfl:
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby eskandar » 2017-03-08, 23:42

How much time would it take for me to develop decent reading skills in academic German? :hmm: I took a brief "German for reading" class about three years ago and have since forgotten pretty much all of it. I could really benefit from being able to read German, but I'm intimidated by the grammar, the necessity of memorizing genders (if you just want passive reading skills in a Romance language, for example, you don't really need to memorize noun genders, but that seems not to be the case with German :?: ), and all the unfamiliar vocabulary. I know German has a lot of English and French loanwords and cognates, but the bulk of the vocabulary must be unfamiliar, right? I feel like over the years the only languages I really learned from scratch were Spanish and Persian, and every other language I made a serious attempt to learn shared tons of cognates with one or the other...
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby linguoboy » 2017-03-09, 0:05

eskandar wrote:How much time would it take for me to develop decent reading skills in academic German?

Depends how intensively you can study it. An academic course could accomplish the job in a semester, but if you're doing it all yourself, I'd allow a year.

eskandar wrote:but I'm intimidated by the grammar, the necessity of memorizing genders (if you just want passive reading skills in a Romance language, for example, you don't really need to memorize noun genders, but that seems not to be the case with German :?: )

I'm afraid that without a grasp of noun genders, relative sentences become hard to unpack. The good news is that academic texts are thick with abstract nouns and the rules for gendering them based on their derivational suffixes are pretty straightforward.

eskandar wrote:I know German has a lot of English and French loanwords and cognates, but the bulk of the vocabulary must be unfamiliar, right?

Yes and no. German is chock-full of loan translations, particularly from Latin. So if you know some basic morphemes (which tend to have English cognates) and you have a good Latinate vocabulary (from English and French), you can decode a lot of German. E.g.:

beeinflusst
be- causative prefix (cf. Eng. be-)
ein "in(to)" (cf. Eng. in-)
Fluss "flow" (cf. Eng. float)
-t past participle ending (cf. Eng. -ed)

Einfluss is a straightforward calque of Latin influentia. Be- derives a causative verb from this and -t makes it adjectival.

Geisteswissenschaft
Geist "spirit; mind" (cf. Eng. ghost)
wissen "to know" (cf. Eng. wit)
-schaft abstract noun ending (cf. Eng. -ship)

Wissenschaft is a calque on Latin scientia, which Geistes- then qualifies. And the gender is no mystery since nouns derived with -schaft are invariably feminine.

All in all, it's something of a steep learning curve at first, but the downward slope is pretty easy. I find I have more trouble translating academic texts than understanding them. That is, often the meaning of an unfamiliar word is perfectly clear from its components but I struggle to find an equivalent in English because it may not be modeled on the same Latin or Romance word.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-09, 3:51

eskandar wrote:I feel like over the years the only languages I really learned from scratch were Spanish and Persian, and every other language I made a serious attempt to learn shared tons of cognates with one or the other...

Then seriously attempt to learn Malayalam! :D

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby eskandar » 2017-03-10, 19:31

linguoboy wrote:Depends how intensively you can study it. An academic course could accomplish the job in a semester, but if you're doing it all yourself, I'd allow a year.

All in all, it's something of a steep learning curve at first, but the downward slope is pretty easy. I find I have more trouble translating academic texts than understanding them. That is, often the meaning of an unfamiliar word is perfectly clear from its components but I struggle to find an equivalent in English because it may not be modeled on the same Latin or Romance word.

If one year (of, say, an hour a day of self-instruction and practice) is a feasible amount of time to get to read decently, that's pretty encouraging. I might have to do it! I just wish I'd put more time into it back when I had more free time.

vijayjohn wrote:
eskandar wrote:I feel like over the years the only languages I really learned from scratch were Spanish and Persian, and every other language I made a serious attempt to learn shared tons of cognates with one or the other...

Then seriously attempt to learn Malayalam! :D

In an ideal world I totally would! But I'll never have the time. If I were going to start learning an impossibly different language these days, it would be Mandarin (which is also never going to happen in my lifetime). At least I imagine Malayalam would have some cognates with Urdu via Malayalam's Sanskrit loanwords.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-11, 7:38

Yep. It also has cognates with Urdu via its Urdu loanwords. ;)

EDIT: And I guess its Arabic loanwords.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby Meera » 2017-03-16, 21:31

I just watched Moana and now I want to do a Polynesian language :x
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby Michael » 2017-03-17, 12:02

Meera wrote:I just watched Moana and now I want to do a Polynesian language :x

You should look into Hawaiian! It has a small but enthusiastic community into which you would certainly be warmly welcomed! Plus, poor Hawaiian has been lacking in interest, at least among the members of this community — the only UL'ers I recall who learn Hawaiian are ILuvEire (who's been inactive on the forum since 2013, but you can probably get into contact with him via the Facebook group) and mikemike18 (who lives in Hawaii, but I believe he's no longer learning the language). I dream of being able to dabble in it myself someday. :whistle:
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-17, 12:57

Michael wrote:the only UL'ers I recall who learn Hawaiian are ILuvEire (who's been inactive on the forum since 2013, but you can probably get into contact with him via the Facebook group)

I (used to) know ILuvEire personally. Alas, I am afraid this particular user has no intention of being in contact with any of us ever again.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby Meera » 2017-03-17, 17:10

Michael wrote:
Meera wrote:I just watched Moana and now I want to do a Polynesian language :x

You should look into Hawaiian! It has a small but enthusiastic community into which you would certainly be warmly welcomed! Plus, poor Hawaiian has been lacking in interest, at least among the members of this community — the only UL'ers I recall who learn Hawaiian are ILuvEire (who's been inactive on the forum since 2013, but you can probably get into contact with him via the Facebook group) and mikemike18 (who lives in Hawaii, but I believe he's no longer learning the language). I dream of being able to dabble in it myself someday. :whistle:


Hey thanks Micheal! I was thinking out of all the Polynesian languages Hawaiian may be a good stepping stone.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-17, 19:24

Meera wrote:Hey thanks Micheal! I was thinking out of all the Polynesian languages Hawaiian may be a good stepping stone.

Yeah, it's also probably the one there are the most resources for learning.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 10:31

Meera wrote:Hey thanks Micheal! I was thinking out of all the Polynesian languages Hawaiian may be a good stepping stone.

Actually Meera and I were chatting on Whatsapp and have both decided to learn Hawaiian to help keep each other motivated. We're thinking of using this Youtube channel and in particular this playlist. The only sucky thing is that the lessons use a book and worksheets which cost. The book is about $30 USD and the electronic worksheets for each chapter are about $15 USD.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby Lur » 2017-03-18, 12:24

vijayjohn wrote:
Meera wrote:Hey thanks Micheal! I was thinking out of all the Polynesian languages Hawaiian may be a good stepping stone.

Yeah, it's also probably the one there are the most resources for learning.


Oh, I though that would be Maori, for some reason.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 13:59

Lur wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Meera wrote:Hey thanks Micheal! I was thinking out of all the Polynesian languages Hawaiian may be a good stepping stone.

Yeah, it's also probably the one there are the most resources for learning.


Oh, I though that would be Maori, for some reason.

Okay, I'll admit that I'm not really sure. :P Maori does have way more speakers and apparently a much more successful revitalization effort behind it, but I don't think I've ever found any resources for it offline before whereas I did happen to buy a book for Hawaiian. :whistle:

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 14:52

vijayjohn wrote:
Lur wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Yeah, it's also probably the one there are the most resources for learning.
Oh, I though that would be Maori, for some reason.
Okay, I'll admit that I'm not really sure. :P Maori does have way more speakers and apparently a much more successful revitalization effort behind it, but I don't think I've ever found any resources for it offline before whereas I did happen to buy a book for Hawaiian. :whistle:

There is an old version of Teach Yourself Maori, which I have. I didn't realize Maori had more speakers. Perhaps the "grandness" of each language (in terms of resources, second language learners, etc.) varies depending on which part of the world we're looking at. I would imagine that North (and possibly South) Americans would go more for Hawaiian than Maori, while those on the Pacific (East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australians, New Zealanders) would go more for Maori. I'm not sure what is more popular among Europeans.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 15:02

Maori seems to be particularly popular on UniLang for some reason! (Maybe because I believe there used to be at least one native speaker around to help learners with it). But yeah, the reason why I found that Hawaiian book I have now is surely due (at least in part) to Hawaii being part of the US.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 15:05

vijayjohn wrote:But yeah, the reason why I found that Hawaiian book I have now is surely due (at least in part) to Hawaii being part of the US.

This might be slightly OT, but I recently learned about how the US instituted English-only policies in schools in both Hawaii and Guam, which really hurt the Hawaiian and Chamorroan (<- is that the correct adjective?) languages. I know the US isn't the only country to do this, and they've probably done it with other territories and such, but it still makes me sad and angry.
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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 15:13

Yeah, they did that with indigenous languages, too, much like Canada.

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Re: Wanderlust support group 4

Postby Johanna » 2017-03-18, 17:41

It also seems like the Maori are more visible as a distinct group in New Zealand than the native Hawaiians are even in Hawaii, which translates into a lot more political pull.

Also, I would guess that New Zealand being an independent country helps a lot; I know that individual states in the US have more power than many from more centralised countries can wrap their head around, but it's also a monolith in some ways and Hawaii itself is pretty tiny in that regard, making its indigenous minority almost microscopic.
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