Random language thread 5

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby księżycowy » 2018-08-08, 10:16

Simply there isn't a standard. The only other Chinese language that I believe does have a standard character set is Cantonese. Taiwan is also trying to work on creating one for Hokkien.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Lur » 2018-08-08, 11:21

I was actually thinking on reading something about Cantonese not having a standard
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby księżycowy » 2018-08-08, 11:25

I could be wrong about Cantonese, but at least in HK, I wouldn't be surprised if there was one. Mainland China is a bit different.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby eskandar » 2018-08-08, 23:03

Vlürch wrote:If I could find native speakers of the languages I'm trying to learn who were as politically spineless as me, of course I'd be all over them asking shit about how their languages work, but so far I've yet to come across a single person ever who shared the same exact mindset. I wouldn't even care what someone's political views were if they didn't care what mine are, like if we could agree to disagree, but it seems increasingly that that's impossible since everything is political now and anyone talking to someone who's a bad person is considered guilty by association...

I don't share your politics, but ask any question about Persian you want on the Persian forum and I'll gladly answer it. (This goes for everyone else too, of course). I enjoy teaching Persian and I'm bummed the forum is totally inactive these days. I don't know what else to do to increase activity, but the rest of Unilang can consider this a PSA: come to me with your Persian questions, no matter how basic or trivial you might think they are, and I will answer them.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Vlürch » 2018-08-09, 12:23

IpseDixit wrote:But an auxlang is not supposed to replace any language at all. The idea is that you use the auxlang only for international communication, the way we do with English nowadays.

Maybe, but eventually it would replace every language. That's already noticeably happening with English. As languages become more influenced by English, the threshold to simply switching to English gets lowered, and eventually non-Anglophone countries will declare themselves Anglophone countries. It hasn't happened yet, but in a handful of decades...
IpseDixit wrote:As a speaker of a Romance language, I've always found English to have quite a rigid word order.

Really? :shock: Word order in English isn't as free as in Finnish, but at least Spanish and French seem to have much stricter word orders... or is that a false impression? I know Latin has a free word order, though. Then again, it could also be that I have an incorrect definition of "word order" in mind; I consider the ability to make sense and be theoretically correct enough for a language to have more or less free word order, even if it sounds unnatural. Basically, as long as the meaning remains the same if the order of words is changed (regardless of slightly different nuances), the word order can't really be said to be fixed. Or maybe it can and I'm just an idiot who fails to grasp the definition of "free word order" and/or willfully abuses it similarly to the definition of "related"... :oops:
IpseDixit wrote:A language split is several dialects is also more difficult to learn.

I guess if there's no centralisation at all, but there are several centralisations with English. Mixing them up won't hurt anyone.
IpseDixit wrote:Just a suffix and the meaning is radically altered.

Eh, you'd still be able to get the intended meaning clarified without much hassle.
IpseDixit wrote:Not to mention that any natlang we use as a lingua franca will always bring with itself the culture of the place(s) where it's spoken natively.

Although I disagree, I'd say that if that's true, that'd be another reason to have English as the global language. The US and UK are melting pots for different cultures, and I'd be willing to bet that the average racist in those countries today is far less vicious than in the vast majority of countries that have traditionally been very homogenous and/or continue to be imperialistic to this day. Ethnic Russians and Chinese are replacing the indigenous peoples in their own supposedly autonomous regions, continue to want to expand territorially even though they're the biggest and third biggest countries in the world, etc. If Russian or Mandarin replaced English as the global lingua franca and it's true that the culture associated with a language influences the thinking of its learners... well, I don't even want to think about it.

I mean, sure, the use of English as a lingua franca may be connected to Americanisation, which has led to the assumption that American laws apply outside America, but they kind of do because for better or worse America is the world police. I've already said this before, but I'd rather have America as the world police than Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. or literally any other country.
linguoboy wrote:It's quite easy to produce an unnatural-sounding sentence in English; just move around a bit the adverbs. One of the hardest things to explain to learners (since never it was something explicitly taught in my English grammar classes) is to put the adverbs where. It can change sometimes the meaning, but just it's jarring mostly.

But it's still understandable, especially if there's a pattern to the mistakes that you can pick up on. I'm pretty sure that's the case with every language, but in English you'd never know if it was intentional/instinctional for whatever reason (a regional thing, a certain subculture's thing, etc.) or influence from the speaker's native language. Most people would almost certainly not go on a crusade to point out all those mistakes because English is the global lingua franca, so it's expected that people who aren't native speakers might make mistakes. With other languages, learners would most likely not be treated with that kind of understanding...
eskandar wrote:I don't share your politics, but ask any question about Persian you want on the Persian forum and I'll gladly answer it. (This goes for everyone else too, of course). I enjoy teaching Persian and I'm bummed the forum is totally inactive these days. I don't know what else to do to increase activity, but the rest of Unilang can consider this a PSA: come to me with your Persian questions, no matter how basic or trivial you might think they are, and I will answer them.

Ok! I don't have any questions in mind right now, but I definitely will sooner or later. I'll just have to remember to post there instead of this thread...

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-09, 14:35

Vlürch wrote:Maybe, but eventually it would replace every language. That's already noticeably happening with English. As languages become more influenced by English, the threshold to simply switching to English gets lowered, and eventually non-Anglophone countries will declare themselves Anglophone countries. It hasn't happened yet, but in a handful of decades...

In a handful of decades, what? English was already a major lingua franca before the Second World War. How many non-Anglophone countries have become Anglophone countries in the last hundred years?

Vlürch wrote:I consider the ability to make sense and be theoretically correct enough for a language to have more or less free word order, even if it sounds unnatural. Basically, as long as the meaning remains the same if the order of words is changed (regardless of slightly different nuances), the word order can't really be said to be fixed.

A pidgin of a language is not the same as the language itself.

Vlürch wrote:
linguoboy wrote:It's quite easy to produce an unnatural-sounding sentence in English; just move around a bit the adverbs. One of the hardest things to explain to learners (since never it was something explicitly taught in my English grammar classes) is to put the adverbs where. It can change sometimes the meaning, but just it's jarring mostly.

But it's still understandable, especially if there's a pattern to the mistakes that you can pick up on. I'm pretty sure that's the case with every language, but in English you'd never know if it was intentional/instinctional for whatever reason (a regional thing, a certain subculture's thing, etc.) or influence from the speaker's native language.

Trust me: We know.

There are "mistakes" which are easily recognised as regional variations (e.g. "might could", positive anymore, double negation) and those which are quite clearly non-native (e.g. substitution of "many/much" for "a lot", confusion of "still/already/yet").

Vlürch wrote:Most people would almost certainly not go on a crusade to point out all those mistakes because English is the global lingua franca, so it's expected that people who aren't native speakers might make mistakes. With other languages, learners would most likely not be treated with that kind of understanding...

I don't think you can safely make that generalisation. Lots of native English-speakers can be quite rigid about usage even from other native speakers, much less non-natives. Conversely, I've found with smaller languages that while some communities are very strict ("Speak it well or don't speak it at all!") others are just so flattered to have non-native speakers learning their language that they're almost generous to a fault when it comes to accepting mistakes.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Vlürch » 2018-08-09, 17:05

linguoboy wrote:In a handful of decades, what? English was already a major lingua franca before the Second World War. How many non-Anglophone countries have become Anglophone countries in the last hundred years?

Well, I don't know of any that have become fully Anglophone, but the internet didn't exist back then. If kids become isolated from the real world already in the first grade or earlier and communicate online in English to the point where it'll feel more natural even among their peers in real life, their community will probably become fully Anglophone in two or three generations because their parents die and then their own children will be taught English instead of their parents' original language. Something like that couldn't realistically happen in fifty years or less (unless there was a government that oppressed the non-Anglophones really hard and managed to make English seem more appealing), so "a handful of decades" was an exaggeration, but in a hundred years or more it could happen pretty much anywhere except China or other huge countries with huge populations.
linguoboy wrote:A pidgin of a language is not the same as the language itself.

Would it really be considered a pidgin if the only difference from the standard language was in word order, though?
linguoboy wrote:There are "mistakes" which are easily recognised as regional variations (e.g. "might could", positive anymore, double negation) and those which are quite clearly non-native (e.g. substitution of "many/much" for "a lot", confusion of "still/already/yet").

Okay, yeah, honestly I don't even know what I was thinking when I typed that sentence. I guess I was trying to make a point about the slangs of subcultures that are influenced by other languages or something, or maybe I just wasn't thinking at all. :roll:
linguoboy wrote:I don't think you can safely make that generalisation. Lots of native English-speakers can be quite rigid about usage even from other native speakers, much less non-natives.

Although it wasn't very clear, I was referring to contexts where English is used by non-native speakers to communicate with each other (with or without native speakers present); like, if I was speaking English with some Russian dude and a random Anglophone barged in to correct every single mistake we made (especially if ones that weren't technically mistakes but sounded non-native due to an "unnatural" placement of an adverb or whatever were included), that'd be weird as fuck and I'm pretty sure very few people would actually do something like that.

However, if I was speaking (or trying to speak) Russian with some American dude, I wouldn't be too surprised if a random Russian barged in and corrected our mistakes because Russian has a much more uniform standard that everyone learns regardless of their background, and as such there are no true regional varieties.

...or maybe that makes no sense at all. :para:

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My mum got me the super expensive Arabic dictionary as a birthday present (I'm turning 24 tomorrow), and also a small Italian dictionary! I'll definitely have more motivation to learn Arabic now, and also bits of Italian... :D

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-09, 17:18

Vlürch wrote:If kids become isolated from the real world already in the first grade or earlier and communicate online in English to the point where it'll feel more natural even among their peers in real life, their community will probably become fully Anglophone in two or three generations because their parents die and then their own children will be taught English instead of their parents' original language.

And if a frog grows wings he won't bust his ass a-hoppin'.

Vlürch wrote:
linguoboy wrote:A pidgin of a language is not the same as the language itself.

Would it really be considered a pidgin if the only difference from the standard language was in word order, though?

Depends how marked the divergences are. "Yoda-speak", for instance, is recognisably different enough from English that I think many speakers would consider it a "pidginised" form of the language.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-09, 19:25

A friend travelling in Ireland posted a picture of "Frosties" (a.k.a. Frosted Flakes) in the cereal aisle of a supermarket with the caption "Tá siad iontach!" and I spent like five minutes coming up with an alternative version that maintained the scansion of "They'rrrrrrrrrre grrreat!" ("'S iiiiiiiiiiiad tooooooogha!").
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby ceid donn » 2018-08-10, 14:29

Doing Welsh practice on Duolingo before having my morning caffeine:

Get an English sentence to translate into Welsh.

Translate it into Breton.

Recognize my error and then say aloud to myself, "No, no, this isn't suppose to be in Breton, Cade, it's suppose to be in Gaelic."

:lol:

I'm gonna go get some caffeine now before I start raging at Duolingo for not accepting Breton or Gaelic answers in the Welsh course...

I've already done that a plenty in the Irish course.... :mrgreen:

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby kevin » 2018-08-10, 20:29

Duolingo should have an option to just accept translations in any language. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2018-08-11, 12:01

Vlürch wrote:My mum got me the super expensive Arabic dictionary as a birthday present (I'm turning 24 tomorrow), and also a small Italian dictionary! I'll definitely have more motivation to learn Arabic now, and also bits of Italian... :D

Happy belated birthday! What'd you end up doing?

ceid donn wrote:Doing Welsh practice on Duolingo before having my morning caffeine

Duolingo has Welsh now?? Have they had this for a while?! If so, I so should've used it last year when I tried to learn a bit of Welsh.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-11, 14:47

At least since the beginning of this year.

I was amused to find that the Irish for "meerkat" is míorchat. This is obviously an adaptation of the English, but míor in Irish means "bit" or "morsel".
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby dEhiN » 2018-08-12, 20:26

linguoboy wrote:I was amused to find that the Irish for "meerkat" is míorchat. This is obviously an adaptation of the English, but míor in Irish means "bit" or "morsel".

What does chat mean?
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby księżycowy » 2018-08-12, 21:13

Cat. And you mean to ask, "what does cat mean?" Chat is the lenited form.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Saim » 2018-08-13, 8:57

TIL the guo in Zhōngguó (中國) and guóyǔ (國語) is the same as the kuo in Kuomintang (Guómíndǎng; 國民黨). :shock:

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-13, 18:01

Earlier this year I had to tell my mother not to say "Oriental" in reference to people. She's in her 70s, so it's somewhat understandable that she hasn't updated her terminology. But today I had to tell my brother the same thing and he's not even 50 yet.

Fucking hell, St Louis, this is really not helping undermine your reputation as a racist shithole.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby md0 » 2018-08-13, 21:31

And if it's anything like old people here, they might thing that "Oriental" etc are politically correct versions of what they would typically use (that's the case for the Greek equivalent to "coloured").

What does "Oriental" denote in English btw? In Greek it would be Middle Eastern and/or Arab.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-13, 21:39

md0 wrote:What does "Oriental" denote in English btw? In Greek it would be Middle Eastern and/or Arab.

In older (and, I think, chiefly Commonwealth) usage, it could mean anyone from Asia. But IMD, it referred exclusively to East Asians. The first time I heard "Oriental" applied to a Middle Easterner (perhaps in Hayakawa?), it confused me.

Similarly, "Asian" IMD typically means "East or Southeast Asian". When I learned that people from the Subcontinent were called "Asians" in the UK, it surprised me. (We called them "Indians" regardless which actual country they originated in.) But I adjusted to the usage "South Asian" in college.

It was also in college that I came up with the abbreviations "SAsian", "SWAsian", "SEAsian", "EAsian", and "CAsian" for my own use. I really wished I could have made those catch on somehow.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby md0 » 2018-08-13, 22:00

Thanks. I suspected so.

In Cypriot Greek at least, Asian can be used to refer to South/South East Asians too, I think it's actually the only non-derogatory or dismissive option, other than the exact country name. Never heard the geographical sub-terms in Greek.
But the colloquial use has terms like "Indian", "Bangladeshi", "Filipino" and "Chinese" applied to people semi-randomly without regard for their actual nationality.
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