Confusion Between Similar Languages

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-22, 1:16

Saim wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:And even though grande as used by Starbucks is Italian, I said it with a French pronunciation because I know French, not Italian.

This is probably why English-speakers in general often Frenchify words in ways that don't make much sense. :lol: Sometimes, they even take actual French words and botch the pronunciation ([ˈlɑnʒəɹej]). :P


Or [foɹtej]. I only recently made the connection between this word and the nearly identical Catalan fort.

[foɹˈtʰej] sounds like the opposite of what dEhiN was describing, inspired by Italian rather than French. Maybe it's specifically inspired by taking piano lessons.
linguoboy wrote:This helps explain why we so often substitute /ʒ/ for /ʤ/ in foreign names (e.g. Beijing, Taj Mahal) and pronounce ch as /ʃ/ (e.g. Chavez, Chandigarh, bruschetta) or give Germanic names like Mandel final stress.

And why my mom pronounces César Chávez as something like [ˈsiːsər ˈʃæːʋəs] and tres leches more like tress luscious. :P I still remember this one time that my mom got a tres leches cake from some restaurant and looked at me while telling me she was excited to eat her [ʈrɛs ləˈʃəsss] or whatever. She had a big smile on her face and was moving her eyebrows and licking her lips. It was hilarious because it was almost creepy!

I also remember my advisor complaining about this pattern of pronunciation.
I've never heard anyone pronounce a non-Spanish name with /h/ for j or g, for example.

I think I have with Indian names in particular, but I'm struggling to remember any concrete examples. :ohwell:

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-12-22, 4:03

/fɔɹˈteɪ/ makes my ears bleed. It's a made-up word that isn't spelled or pronounced that way in French and Italian. That's a special kind of bastardization.

And now I've just found out that the Brits, of course, pronounce it /ˈfɔːti/. No matter how bad an Americanism is, they always find a way to make it worse.
ch as /ʃ/ (e.g. Chandigarh
Having said that, this may be even worse, to say nothing of "brooshedduh". (What the fuck is that supposed to be, German?)

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-22, 5:40

mōdgethanc wrote:/fɔɹˈteɪ/ makes my ears bleed. It's a made-up word that isn't spelled or pronounced that way in French and Italian. That's a special kind of bastardization.

It may be even worse than that because AFAIK, that's not even what it means in French (let alone Italian where, as a noun, it means...'fort(ress)'!), where your strong suit is your fort, not your *forte.
ch as /ʃ/ (e.g. Chandigarh
Having said that, this may be even worse, to say nothing of "brooshedduh". (What the fuck is that supposed to be, German?)

I still remember reading about Chandra Levy in Time magazine. (Well, I forgot her last name, but I definitely remembered her first name and her face). It was so weird to me that her first name is pronounced [ˈʃɑndɹə]. It still is even weirder to me that she isn't Indian.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Vlürch » 2016-12-22, 5:51

mōdgethanc wrote:No matter how bad an Americanism is, they always find a way to make it worse.

Well, at least nobody pronounces "chaperone" like [t͡ʃeɪ̯pəɹwɑn] or "anatomy" like [eɪ̯nətoʊ̯maɪ̯].

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-12-22, 21:21

vijayjohn wrote:It may be even worse than that because AFAIK, that's not even what it means in French (let alone Italian where, as a noun, it means...'fort(ress)'!), where your strong suit is your fort, not your *forte.
WordReference gives "strong point" as a possible meaning in Italian.

Whether that had anything to do with the English meaning, fusing the Italian and French words makes a lot of sense to me. You have people who speak neither source language natively, and they're confronted with two very similar words with only slightly different meanings (fort/forte, strong point/strong). Why would anyone expect that distinction to last?
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-12-22, 22:18

vijayjohn wrote:I still remember reading about Chandra Levy in Time magazine. (Well, I forgot her last name, but I definitely remembered her first name and her face). It was so weird to me that her first name is pronounced [ˈʃɑndɹə]. It still is even weirder to me that she isn't Indian.
Perfectly demonstrating two classic rules of pseudo-gallicisms: every <ch> is /ʃ/ and every vowel before /n/ is /ɑ/, no matter how it's spelled.
Well, at least nobody pronounces "chaperone" like [t͡ʃeɪ̯pəɹwɑn] or "anatomy" like [eɪ̯nətoʊ̯maɪ̯].
I must admit I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-23, 1:20

Dormouse559 wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:It may be even worse than that because AFAIK, that's not even what it means in French (let alone Italian where, as a noun, it means...'fort(ress)'!), where your strong suit is your fort, not your *forte.
WordReference gives "strong point" as a possible meaning in Italian.

Whether that had anything to do with the English meaning, fusing the Italian and French words makes a lot of sense to me. You have people who speak neither source language natively, and they're confronted with two very similar words with only slightly different meanings (fort/forte, strong point/strong). Why would anyone expect that distinction to last?

:hmm: I'm a little confused by what you mean. AFAIK, in English, the distinction isn't between 'strong point' and 'strong', but rather between 'strong point' and loud.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Dormouse559 » 2016-12-23, 16:05

vijayjohn wrote: :hmm: I'm a little confused by what you mean. AFAIK, in English, the distinction isn't between 'strong point' and 'strong', but rather between 'strong point' and loud.
Musicians (and eventually the broader speaker base) are probably aware of both the "loud" and "strong" meanings. I searched "meaning of forte on sheet music" and the first result was:

Forte is a dynamic in music that means a particular part of a song is meant to be played strongly and louder.
https://www.reference.com/hobbies-games/forte-mean-music-c3dc965d5aebd515
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby eskandar » 2016-12-23, 17:14

linguoboy wrote:(I've never heard anyone pronounce a non-Spanish name with /h/ for j or g, for example.)

Happens to my surname all the time (often, though not always, by Latinos in the US) despite the name's spelling being impossible according to Spanish orthographical rules.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-26, 4:23

What a coincidence! Just today, one of my co-workers accidentally misspelled my name "Vihay." :mrgreen: (Not the same phenomenon, of course. Just an amusing little anecdote :P).

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby OldBoring » 2016-12-26, 10:05

Dormouse559 wrote:WordReference gives "strong point" as a possible meaning in Italian.

Yes, I've always thought that both "something is your forte" and the musical term meaning loud came from Italian.
So how do youse pronounce it? /ˈfɔɹteɪ/?

linguoboy wrote:This helps explain why we so often substitute /ʒ/ for /ʤ/ in foreign names (e.g. Beijing

Does it sound weird if I say [pej'tɕiŋ]? Many Chinese pronounce Chinese place names with the Chinese sounds, without the tones.

and pronounce ch as /ʃ/ (e.g. […] bruschetta

I thought that was because of -sch-.

linguoboy wrote:(I've never heard anyone pronounce a non-Spanish name with /h/ for j or g, for example.)

In Italy José Mourinho (Portuguese) is [ho'ze mo'riɲo], Júlio César (Brazilian) is ['huljo 'sezar], but Boca Junior (an Argentinian soccer team) is ['boca 'ʒunior]. Go figure.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-26, 13:22

OldBoring wrote:So how do youse pronounce it? /ˈfɔɹteɪ/?

vijayjohn wrote:[foɹˈtʰej]

Does it sound weird if I say [pej'tɕiŋ]? Many Chinese pronounce Chinese place names with the Chinese sounds, without the tones.

Of course not. You're Chinese, and that's how it's supposed to be pronounced. It would weird people out if you tried to use the pronunciation in a non-Mandarin variety of Chinese, though. :P
I thought that was because of -sch-.

Hence:
mōdgethanc wrote: "brooshedduh". (What the fuck is that supposed to be, German?)

;)

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby OldBoring » 2016-12-26, 14:50

vijayjohn wrote:[foɹˈtʰej]

:doh: :headbang:

Of course not. You're Chinese, and that's how it's supposed to be pronounced. It would weird people out if you tried to use the pronunciation in a non-Mandarin variety of Chinese, though. :P

[ɓeʔtɕiŋ]

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-12-27, 1:12

OldBoring wrote:
Of course not. You're Chinese, and that's how it's supposed to be pronounced. It would weird people out if you tried to use the pronunciation in a non-Mandarin variety of Chinese, though. :P

[ɓeʔtɕiŋ]

That almost sounds like "bitching." :lol: Is that Qingtianese?

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby OldBoring » 2016-12-27, 11:26

:lol: [ɦœ]. (yes)

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Prowler » 2017-01-06, 20:08

I used to think it was impossible to make such confusions unless you didn't speak either language at all or weren't used ot them... but there's been times I've mistaken someone speaking Dutch for a German dialect. And pretty usre if I studied Dutch I'd be spelling certain words like they're spellt in german.

The most ridiculous one is sometimes hearing someone speaking Italian at the subway or at a store and not being so sure if it's Italian and not Spanish. Also, if I'm not paying attention to what they're saying, it take a moment to realise some Africans are indeed speaking Portuguese but with a quite distinctive accent.

Oh and I tend to confuse written Danish and Norwegian. That's a classic.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-06, 21:08

Prowler wrote:I used to think it was impossible to make such confusions unless you didn't speak either language at all or weren't used ot them... but there's been times I've mistaken someone speaking Dutch for a German dialect.

Swiss German sometimes sounds like Dutch to me.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-01-06, 21:36

vijayjohn wrote:
Prowler wrote:I used to think it was impossible to make such confusions unless you didn't speak either language at all or weren't used to them... but there's been times I've mistaken someone speaking Dutch for a German dialect.

Swiss German sometimes sounds like Dutch to me.

:lol: That's probably the furthest away you could get from Dutch while still being German!

I once heard a group of teenage girls speak what I thought was Danish. It took me several minutes of careful listening to realise that I wasn't, in fact, trying to comprehend a language with a notorious pronunciation that I had only studied for a few months some years earlier, but my own mother tongue.

Prowler wrote:Oh and I tend to confuse written Danish and Norwegian. That's a classic.

That's common even for people who actually know those languages. Depending on the variety of Norwegian used, you could need several sentences, with specific words or types of phrases, to distinguish between them.

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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-06, 21:41

vijayjohn wrote:
Prowler wrote:I used to think it was impossible to make such confusions unless you didn't speak either language at all or weren't used ot them... but there's been times I've mistaken someone speaking Dutch for a German dialect.

Swiss German sometimes sounds like Dutch to me.

Same. It's all the initial occurrences of /x/.
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Re: Confusion Between Similar Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-06, 21:59

Aurinĭa wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Prowler wrote:I used to think it was impossible to make such confusions unless you didn't speak either language at all or weren't used to them... but there's been times I've mistaken someone speaking Dutch for a German dialect.

Swiss German sometimes sounds like Dutch to me.

:lol: That's probably the furthest away you could get from Dutch while still being German!

Right? I think the first time I heard any Swiss German was on the Omniglot blog, where Simon Ager posts a clip in some language every week, and people guess which language it is before he reveals it a few days later. I was going through some of the older examples at one point. When I got to the Swiss German one, I listened to it, tried to privately guess which language it was in, found out which language it was in, and then was like "what??? Are you kidding me?! :shock:" And I tried studying Dutch as a teenager!


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