Confusion Between Similar Languages

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-08, 3:24

vijayjohn wrote:EDIT: Maybe I'm Kenny's Indian-American language-whorejohn alter ego. :whistle:

How should I read that? Is Kenny's alter-ego a language john who happens to be Indian-American? Or is he an Indian-American who is a language john? Which phrase is the adjectival descriptor, and which is the nominal phrase describing the main characteristic of the alter-ego? (Ok I'm being needlessly wordy...but it's fun :D!)

Edit: I really gotta proof my posts before I sit send!
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-08, 4:49

I'm an alter ego who's Indian-American and a language john; there's no "main characteristic." ;)

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby OldBoring » 2017-01-08, 5:46

So is vijayjohn Vijay's john?

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-08, 6:46

No, but I am a john in one sense and could be a john in another sense if I ever went to East Asia!

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-11, 20:25

Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Bulgarian.

Well yeah, sorry for not being able to read Cyrillic yet.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-11, 20:39

Prowler wrote:Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Bulgarian.

Well yeah, sorry for not being able to read Cyrillic yet.

You only need to learn three characters:

ї
ў
ъ

Only Ukrainian has ї. The Ukrainians employ в for the allophone of /v/ rendered with ў in Belarusian. (If you learn a little East Slavic, you'll soon see that Belarusian orthography is phonetic to a fault.) And if you ever see syllabic or final ъ, you know you're either dealing with pre-Revolutionary Russian, Old Church Slavonic, or Bulgarian.

With that in mind, try this quiz:

(A) Запрашаем да галасавання выбару найлепшых артыкулаў 2016 года.
(B) Сделать Америку великой снова!
(C) Тръмп е най-възрастният избиран за първи път президент на САЩ.
(D) Правонаступницею Російської імперії стала Російська республіка.
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-11, 20:56

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Bulgarian.

Well yeah, sorry for not being able to read Cyrillic yet.

You only need to learn three characters:

ї
ў
ъ

Only Ukrainian has ї. The Ukrainians employ в for the allophone of /v/ rendered with ў in Belarusian. (If you learn a little East Slavic, you'll soon see that Belarusian orthography is phonetic to a fault.) And if you ever see syllabic or final ъ, you know you're either dealing with pre-Revolutionary Russian, Old Church Slavonic, or Bulgarian.

With that in mind, try this quiz:

(A) Запрашаем да галасавання выбару найлепшых артыкулаў 2016 года.
(B) Сделать Америку великой снова!
(C) Тръмп е най-възрастният избиран за първи път президент на САЩ.
(D) Правонаступницею Російської імперії стала Російська республіка.

Oh? Let me try, then:

(A) Belarussian
(B) Russian
(C) Bulgarian
(D) Ukrainian

What's my score?

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-11, 21:06

Image
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-11, 21:11

Well that wasn't too complicated. Btw, unrelated but being a Straight A student is something that doesn't exist here past 9th grade. From 5th to 9th grade our final grades go from 1 to 5. But from 10th grade on(including uni) they go from 0 to 20... not many people get 20s, especially not at subjects that aren't math, English, German(got a 20 in my first German test bohohoh) and such.

The best grade Iv'e gotten in uni thus far was a 17. That felt good.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-11, 21:17

I haven't gotten pure letter grades since grade school. In high school, our final grades were worked out to one one-thousandth of a percentage point for the purpose of ranking us (and I once saw two students differ in rank by 0.001).
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-11, 21:21

linguoboy wrote:I haven't gotten pure letter grades since grade school. In high school, our final grades were worked out to one one-thousandth of a percentage point for the purpose of ranking us (and I once saw two students differ in rank by 0.001).

Oh? Interesting.

Back to language confusion, well not really what this thread is about but there's been times it's taken me a while to realise an Australian speaker wasn't British. Yes, me and also several others thought for a while that Chase from House was British and not Australian.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-11, 22:03

I think I mentioned elsewhere how I recently confused a Brummie for an Ozzie over the phone. I apologised and he just chuckled.
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-12, 1:33

linguoboy wrote:With that in mind, try this quiz:

(A) Запрашаем да галасавання выбару найлепшых артыкулаў 2016 года.
(B) Сделать Америку великой снова!
(C) Тръмп е най-възрастният избиран за първи път президент на САЩ.
(D) Правонаступницею Російської імперії стала Російська республіка.

Of course I know what (B) means by now, but I feel like I can almost understand (A), (C), and (D) off the top of my head, too, and I'm pretty sure I should be able to do better than that in principle (but my Slavic languages are long dormant). So off the top of my head (with a bit of imaginative thinking thrown in to attempt a coherent (if not necessarily correct) translation):

(A) seems to be saying something about "the nicest(?) articles of (the year) 2016," maybe "let's choose the best articles from 2016 for the front page"? Idk.

The most sense I can make of (C) is "Trump is + (superlative adjective, or maybe adverb?) + (masculine noun, or adjective being used as a noun) + for the first time + president of the USA." Maybe "Trump is the most controversial presidential candidate ever in the USA"?

And (D)...I know what every word means except the first one. What does it mean, something to do with "right"? Maybe "the Russian Republic was the heir to the Russian Empire"?

I have a feeling I do not get an A+ for these suggested translations. :lol:

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-12, 2:20

Vijay, or anyone else who knows more than one Dravidian language, do you find you ever confused Dravidian languages? I've never looked into it, but I wonder if any of the major Dravidian languages are similar enough to cause confusion for learners?

I remember once in a restaurant hearing 2 guys speaking in what I was pretty sure was a Dravidian language. I could hear similarities to Tamil, but I didn't think they were speaking Tamil. (Even though I don't know the language myself, I've grown up around it enough to more or less be able to tell when someone is speaking it.) I also could hear similarities to what I thought was Hindi, or some other Indo-Aryan language. I finally asked them and they said it was Telugu!

I find for myself that I mix up b/v when writing Portuguese and Spanish. For example, escribir in Spanish is escrever in Portuguese. But when I'm writing, I forget which language uses which spelling. And I think because I know the person/people reading will understand me, I've never bothered to correct it in my mind. While something like ahora (Spanish) versus agora (Portuguese) I have straight in my mind and never mix up the spelling (unless I mix up the languages and start writing in Portuñol).
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-12, 2:26

dEhiN wrote:Vijay, or anyone else who knows more than one Dravidian language, do you find you ever confused Dravidian languages? I've never looked into it, but I wonder if any of the major Dravidian languages are similar enough to cause confusion for learners?

I remember once in a restaurant hearing 2 guys speaking in what I was pretty sure was a Dravidian language. I could hear similarities to Tamil, but I didn't think they were speaking Tamil. (Even though I don't know the language myself, I've grown up around it enough to more or less be able to tell when someone is speaking it.) I also could hear similarities to what I thought was Hindi, or some other Indo-Aryan language. I finally asked them and they said it was Telugu!

I find for myself that I mix up b/v when writing Portuguese and Spanish. For example, escribir in Spanish is escrever in Portuguese. But when I'm writing, I forget which language uses which spelling. And I think because I know the person/people reading will understand me, I've never bothered to correct it in my mind. While something like ahora (Spanish) versus agora (Portuguese) I have straight in my mind and never mix up the spelling (unless I mix up the languages and start writing in Portuñol).

Similar things happen to me with Dutch and German at times. If you asked me to type something in Dutch now it's possibly I'd type something like "Ik heb heute een Spiel gespeelt." :silly:

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-12, 4:32

dEhiN wrote:Vijay, or anyone else who knows more than one Dravidian language, do you find you ever confused Dravidian languages? I've never looked into it, but I wonder if any of the major Dravidian languages are similar enough to cause confusion for learners?

When hearing someone speak a Dravidian language (or basically any Indian language, or a Slavic language, etc.), I think the only reason why I don't get them confused is because I know a little bit of each of the languages in question. It also took me a long time to be able to distinguish written Kannada from written Telugu because the scripts for those two languages are really similar (and closely related).

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Sasabasa » 2017-04-20, 7:02

I can distinguish written Norwegian and Danish by some cues, but only when I have enough text to go through. It seems the letter e is more used in Norwegian. Gor example egg, rumensk. Then there are things like hellas and sveits which are purely Norwegian.

I have hard time distinguishing Turkic languages and Indian languages. I can identify Turkish, Kazakh and Hindi (maybe Bangla too). I once spotted Punjabi, but usually I can tell only if it's South Indian (dravidian) or North Indian.

The differences between spoken Malayalam and Tamil are unknown to me. The same goes for Tukish, Azeri, Turkmen etc. The closer they are the harder it is for me to tell them apart.

I just have to listen to them more often.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Sasabasa » 2017-04-20, 7:20

Or the Sinitic languages. I went to the Shanghai restaurant here in Usti and always heard them speak something Wu. I once said the only sentence I know in Shanghainese to the girl (吾弗讲上海闲话) and she said she spoke somethinh else. On another occasion there was the woman in charge and asked her if she was from Wenzhou and she agreed. She asked how I knew and I told her by the dialect she was speaking. But in fact it was a pure guesswork. ( A lot of Wenzhouhua speakers here in Europe).

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-20, 14:50

Sasabasa wrote:I can distinguish written Norwegian and Danish by some cues, but only when I have enough text to go through. It seems the letter e is more used in Norwegian. Gor example egg, rumensk. Then there are things like hellas and sveits which are purely Norwegian.

I usually rely on consonants rather than vowels since Danish has intervocalic lenition, e.g. Norwegian eple vs Danish æble. There's an example in almost every sentence.
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Car » 2017-04-20, 15:53

linguoboy wrote:
Sasabasa wrote:I can distinguish written Norwegian and Danish by some cues, but only when I have enough text to go through. It seems the letter e is more used in Norwegian. Gor example egg, rumensk. Then there are things like hellas and sveits which are purely Norwegian.

I usually rely on consonants rather than vowels since Danish has intervocalic lenition, e.g. Norwegian eple vs Danish æble. There's an example in almost every sentence.

Consonants do work better indeed. What's really mean are packages you can find where they have a mixed Danish/Norwegian text. Trying to sort out which language is which becomes that much harder. I used to be so much better at telling them apart when I actually spoke some Norwegian, sadly, even my recognition skills have gone worse.
Please correct my mistakes!


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