Languages spoken in your city.

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3315
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-02-28, 16:59

linguoboy wrote:Maybe even a full Turkuer!


You Americans always have to use your strange, non-standard units for everything. We've clearly established Oulu as the in-or-around 200K city for comparison, and now you want to split hairs and chuck in a Turku. :roll:

הענט

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby הענט » 2018-02-28, 17:07

Half a Ouluer here.

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 893
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Naava » 2018-02-28, 17:09

I fully support Oulu as the 200K city in the new measurement system. It feels like all the foreigners love Turku anyway - Oulu deserves some fame, too! :D

But wait, does that mean I live in Oulu-sized city? Or is Tampere a unit of measurement, too?

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3315
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-02-28, 17:26

Naava wrote:But wait, does that mean I live in Oulu-sized city? Or is Tampere a unit of measurement, too?


According to Wikipedia, Tampere is nearer to 2 Oulos than to 1, so I'd say 1 Tampere = 2 Oulos, 1 Helsinki = 4 Tamperes, give or take.

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 893
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Naava » 2018-02-28, 17:29

Oh, okay, it seems the English Wikipedia counts "city" and "urban" populations separately. I was looking at the "city" number. :P

kevin
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 1937
Joined: 2012-03-29, 11:07
Gender: male
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)
Contact:

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby kevin » 2018-02-28, 23:43

Hm, can I use centioulus or would decimal prefixes be a bad match for the system you started? :hmm:

Linguaphile
Posts: 1650
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-01, 1:46

Okay, I'm getting really confused. How many millioulus or deciturkus are there in a kilohelsinki? Or in a centitampere? :D

suruvaippa
Posts: 57
Joined: 2015-10-05, 20:17
Location: San José
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby suruvaippa » 2018-03-01, 4:43

This was many years ago so I don't really remember the whole conversation, but this reminds me of a time in Tampere when a friend (who has never been to the US) and I were taking about crime rates, and I mentioned Oakland (pop. ~400k) averaging over 100 homicides annually. "So basically, a Tampereen seutu, or a Tampere and a Turku?" (I suspect that this scared her out of ever considering coming to the US :lol: )

Naava wrote:Oh, okay, it seems the English Wikipedia counts "city" and "urban" populations separately. I was looking at the "city" number. :P


I don't see anything wrong with Finland's official definition of urban area/taajama on paper, and it's probably a more logical boundary than city limits in this context, but still I have a hard time thinking of any part of Mäntsälä (or, hell, even Nurmijärvi) as being part of Helsinki's urban area because every Helsinkian knows that no place beyond Kehä III is inhabitable by humans.
Native:   (en-us) C1:   (fi) A1:   (et)   (lt)   (ru)   (es)
Interested:   (smi)   (ka)   (is)   (eu)

Linguaphile
Posts: 1650
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-01, 5:13

suruvaippa wrote:This was many years ago so I don't really remember the whole conversation, but this reminds me of a time in Tampere when a friend (who has never been to the US) and I were taking about crime rates, and I mentioned Oakland (pop. ~400k) averaging over 100 homicides annually. "So basically, a Tampereen seutu, or a Tampere and a Turku?" (I suspect that this scared her out of ever considering coming to the US :lol: )

Yeah, well.... despite all the comparisons that show enormously different crime rates, I actually once knew a person whose father was murdered in Finland (and I've read a couple of Leena Lehtolainen's detective novels), so I'm not really sure whether to believe that low Finnish crime rate.... :whistle:

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 762
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Vlürch » 2018-03-01, 10:20

linguoboy wrote:
Vlürch wrote:[ow are there enough Mongolians in Ireland, random cities in the US, etc.

How adorbs.

My "random city in the US" is four times the size of Helsinki. The associated metropolitan area has nearly twice the population of your entire country. Even so, I've only knowingly heard Mongolian here once.

I knew American cities are huge, but that's part of the reason why it seems so weird that people would randomly hear random small languages. Like, of course if there are a lot of people from pretty much literally every country living there, it's more likely to hear random languages, but at the same time there are more speakers of the huge languages that kind of drown out the chance of randomly hearing smaller languages. Maybe that's not very logical, but well.
Ciarán12 wrote:Well, and feel free to correct my statistics if you have fresher ones, but according to Wikipedia the number of non-Finns in Finland as of 2014 was a little over 5%. In the 2016 Irish census, it was over 17%, so that might change the odds of encountering people of random nationalities in Ireland vs in Finland.
Also, I didn't mention them specifically in my first post because I don't think they have a significant population here, but it's just that I heard the language and it stood out because I was like "WTF? Is that guys speaking Mongolian?". Actually, I've only heard it twice, and that was my reavtion the second time, because the first time I knew the guy was Mongolian before he spoke because he told me so.

Huh... it's weird how practically every country has more immigrants than Finland, yet at least one in four of all the people I see whenever I go outside are obviously immigrants, so based on that it'd seem like a fourth of Finland's population is immigrants; of course that just means there are a lot of immigrants concentrated here (because it's still a "poor area" at least to some extent), but because of that I'd expect at least a few immigrants who aren't Arabs or Somalis, but practically all of them are Arabs at this point, so... I mean, that's a huge part of why it surprises me that it's even possible to hear smaller languages, since logically there have to be people who speak a lot more different languages since there were before, but now that there are so many Arabs one of the few languages I ever hear is Arabic; it could also be that all the non-Arab immigrants have moved because of the influx of Arabs, but I don't know...
הענט wrote:There are nearly 7000 Mongolians living here in the Czech Republic. I heard the language spoken at least on five occasions. Some boxers coming for the Usti Grand Prix, some kids on the bus etc. I remember a pretty girl called Narantuya who even attended the same high school and I betcha she's one of a kind with a name like that. I believe it has to do with my homeland being a former eastern block country. Go figure.

At times like this it makes me sad that Finland is considered a "western European" country even though geographically it makes no sense. If it was considered "eastern European" by most people, maybe there would be more immigrants from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, etc. On the other hand, though, there would be exponentially more Russians, so... ehhhh... :para:
Linguaphile wrote:Although in my case I guess you'd call it 'random' then, because my city isn't 'several times the size of Helsinki' (more like 'a bit smaller than Oulu' :D ) but I know a Mongolian family here. The Kazakh speaker I knew was an exchange student at my school though.

AAAAAAAAAAHH what can Finland do to get immigrants from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Although unfortunately the majority of Finns would probably do everything in their power to stop immigration from those countries because most people who aren't into geography/linguistics/history don't even know that either country exists and as such hate them by default as shitholes, or have a very negative view on them based on them neighbouring Russia and China... :x
Linguaphile wrote:I'm not really sure whether to believe that low Finnish crime rate....

It would make sense to me if crime rates were lowered as some kind of propaganda, since the identities of criminals are protected way more than their victims or the average person. So, it wouldn't take much in most cases to just pretend the crime never happened. Also, based on news it kinda sounds like even confirmed murderers are only called suspects unless they confess to murder; otherwise they'll either be charged with manslaughter or not charged at all. I'm not sure if that's always the case, though, but IIRC there have been publicised cases where it was known that the suspect had killed someone and had a clear motive and everything but ended up being freed for some reason. Then again, I can't think of any specific ones, so it could be that I'm only thinking of one case that went on for years and mistakenly thinking it was several different cases... and my memory is so bad when it comes to a lot of stuff that I wouldn't take my word for it.

Anyway, it could be that it's more important for law enforcement to keep the official crime rate low by not convicting people, while also scaring the public into thinking there are lots of dangerous criminals out there, than to actually solve crimes. But that's all just speculation and could be paranoid bullshit.

Linguaphile
Posts: 1650
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-01, 14:50

Vlürch wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:I'm not really sure whether to believe that low Finnish crime rate....

It would make sense to me if crime rates were lowered as some kind of propaganda, ... even confirmed murderers are only called suspects unless they confess to murder; otherwise they'll either be charged with manslaughter

Hmm, well, I was actually just joking about "not believing" it, not seriously suggesting it's not real. (I mean, I was partly using detective novels to question its validity, LOL.) My thought on knowing of a person who had been the victim of such a crime in Finland was more along the lines of it being so random that I actually knew someone in that situation. Just like it seems random to meet someone who speaks Mongolian or Kazakh in a part of the world where there aren't many speakers of those languages, it also seems random to know someone whose family member was murdered (or maybe it was considered manslaughter; it was many years ago, and I didn't know her well, we really didn't discuss the details and I doubt I was aware of the difference) when there aren't many victims of those crimes in that part of the world. That's all I meant. As for whether or not crime statistics are actually accurate, I don't have a clue. I don't know enough to believe them or to question them. It just seemed random to come across people in those situations. :D

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22404
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-01, 15:47

Vlürch wrote:
linguoboy wrote:My "random city in the US" is four times the size of Helsinki. The associated metropolitan area has nearly twice the population of your entire country. Even so, I've only knowingly heard Mongolian here once.

I knew American cities are huge, but that's part of the reason why it seems so weird that people would randomly hear random small languages. Like, of course if there are a lot of people from pretty much literally every country living there, it's more likely to hear random languages, but at the same time there are more speakers of the huge languages that kind of drown out the chance of randomly hearing smaller languages. Maybe that's not very logical, but well.

But they're not evenly distributed. Chicago's population is 20% foreign-born. In some neighbourhoods it's nearly twice that--and those are the kinds of neighbourhoods I tend to go for fun. In many cities, most or all of the foreign-born population is Hispanic. But Chicago has one of the most diverse census tracts in the USA, in a neighbourhood called Albany Park. Speakers of over 70 different languages have been recorded among the local schoolchildren. My neighbourhood doesn't have quite that level of diversity, but it's not so far behind.

Moreover, I've been living here a long-ass time: just short of 30 years. And in that time, some languages (like Mongolian) I've only knowingly heard once.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 762
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Vlürch » 2018-03-02, 9:23

Linguaphile wrote:Hmm, well, I was actually just joking about "not believing" it, not seriously suggesting it's not real. (I mean, I was partly using detective novels to question its validity, LOL.) My thought on knowing of a person who had been the victim of such a crime in Finland was more along the lines of it being so random that I actually knew someone in that situation. Just like it seems random to meet someone who speaks Mongolian or Kazakh in a part of the world where there aren't many speakers of those languages, it also seems random to know someone whose family member was murdered (or maybe it was considered manslaughter; it was many years ago, and I didn't know her well, we really didn't discuss the details and I doubt I was aware of the difference) when there aren't many victims of those crimes in that part of the world. That's all I meant. As for whether or not crime statistics are actually accurate, I don't have a clue. I don't know enough to believe them or to question them. It just seemed random to come across people in those situations. :D

Well, yeah, but I responded seriously because to me it does seem like something that may actually be done. I don't know anyone who has been murdered, or anyone who knew anyone who has been murdered (or anyone who has committed suicide either, although I do know people who knew people who committed suicide), but just like Finland still has this propaganda about having the best education in the world when in fact it's gotten to the point where a lot of teenage boys are literally illiterate, it's possible that the low crime rate is propaganda as well.
linguoboy wrote:But they're not evenly distributed. Chicago's population is 20% foreign-born. In some neighbourhoods it's nearly twice that--and those are the kinds of neighbourhoods I tend to go for fun. In many cities, most or all of the foreign-born population is Hispanic. But Chicago has one of the most diverse census tracts in the USA, in a neighbourhood called Albany Park. Speakers of over 70 different languages have been recorded among the local schoolchildren. My neighbourhood doesn't have quite that level of diversity, but it's not so far behind.

Moreover, I've been living here a long-ass time: just short of 30 years. And in that time, some languages (like Mongolian) I've only knowingly heard once.

Oh, wow. That's really cool, especially if all the people from different cultures get along more or less fine in spite of having such diverse backgrounds, since that often leads to problems at least here based on what I've heard. Then again, maybe that's because there aren't enough immigrants here to form communities of their own (mostly because that's the government's worst nightmare; they would never allow divisions based on ethnic/cultural/linguistic/whatever groups to develop; integration is considered the most important part of immigration, but I don't know if that only increases crime or decreases it... no one really does, but it has increased it in Sweden and Russia so obviously Finland doesn't want to repeat their mistakes (even if the mistakes may have been something other than allowing the concentration of immigrants in certain areas and divisions along ethnic/cultural/linguistic/whatever groups? I don't know)).

And sorry, I have to ask the stupidest question ever, but it's kinda related to this. Since you said you like going to different neighbourhoods for fun, how do you not get lost? Like, I've never gone to central Helsinki or any other part of the city alone that I'm not entirely familiar with because I know for a fact I'd get lost. And by international standards Helsinki is a small town, not a huge metropolis like all the big cities in America, Germany or Japan, let alone India or China, so... I mean, I do have a really bad sense of direction just like my mum, but still... :para:

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 893
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Naava » 2018-03-02, 10:30

Vlürch wrote:Since you said you like going to different neighbourhoods for fun, how do you not get lost? Like, I've never gone to central Helsinki or any other part of the city alone that I'm not entirely familiar with because I know for a fact I'd get lost. And by international standards Helsinki is a small town, not a huge metropolis like all the big cities in America, Germany or Japan, let alone India or China, so... I mean, I do have a really bad sense of direction just like my mum, but still... :para:

Phones have gps and maps. Kinda hard to get lost with that. :D Even if you do, you can always ask people around you where you are, or try to find a main road and follow it if you have any clue in which direction the city centre is. Then you keep walking until you start to recognize the area.

I did that in Tallinn when I got completely lost (I'm good at it. Like you, I have no sense of direction.) I just walked towards north because I thought I must find some big road that leads me closer to the harbour/Old City, which was where I wanted to get before I got lost. I've also got lost as a kid when I missed the school bus and decided to pay a visit to my grandma who lived "close" aka about 2-3 km away from the school... :D I stopped a random stranger and asked where to go.

I'm more terrified of the buses than getting lost on foot because when I moved here, I knew absolutely nothing about Tampere. Suddenly I had meetings, appointments, all kinds of places to go and I had no idea where they were or how to get there. If I'm walking and take the wrong turn, I can always go back when I notice it's the wrong direction, but if I take a wrong bus, I might be 10 km away from my destination before realising I'm not where I wanted to be. Some of the buses don't even show the stop names so all you can do is to try to get a glimpse of the stops you pass by... :para:

...and then on one summer day, I got the best idea ever. It was a nice sunny weather and I wanted to wear my sunglasses that I absolutely love. They don't have corrective lenses, but it's not usually a problem because I can see well enough without eyeglasses. However, when I got to the bus stop, I realised I can't see the bus line numbers before the bus is like right in front of me. Tbh I couldn't even tell apart normal cars from buses. :lol: (Did I give up, go back home and get my eyeglasses? Pfft, no. I did regret my decision though and promised myself I won't do it again.)

Also, I guess I got cured from any fear of getting lost when we had orienteering in school. We were given a map but no compass. Of course, me and my pair got lost. We thought we recognized one path but that got us even more lost than what we were before. :D Even though we had the map, it wasn't much of help because we had no idea where we were on it. I remember how I thought we could try to walk in one direction until we find a road or something, and then I looked at the map and saw the forest goes on and on over the edges of the map in north, northeast, and east. I tried to see where the sun is but the entire sky was filled with clouds. I've never been as desperate as I was back then. I was so scared we'd walk and walk and walk until we're in Joensuu or something. (In the end, I got pissed off, decided we'll take the risk and walk in THIS direction, and after a while we found a road. The next time we had orienteering, the teacher gave us all compasses.)

Anyway, I have never been as scared in a city as I was in the forest. It was so horrible that getting lost in a place full of people and road signs can't quite match it... :D

//EDIT This got longer than I expected so:

TL;DR I trust my phone gps and maps, and if I can't use them, I ask help from random people or walk in some direction and hope for the best. Usually it works.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 762
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Vlürch » 2018-03-02, 10:42

Naava wrote:Phones have gps and maps. Kinda hard to get lost with that. :D

Mine doesn't, since it's an old ass phone nowhere close to a smartphone. :P
Naava wrote:I'm more terrified of the buses than getting lost on foot because when I moved here, I knew absolutely nothing about Tampere. Suddenly I had meetings, appointments, all kinds of places to go and I had no idea where they were or how to get there. If I'm walking and take the wrong turn, I can always go back when I notice it's the wrong direction, but if I take a wrong bus, I might be 10 km away from my destination before realising I'm not where I wanted to be. Some of the buses don't even show the stop names so all you can do is to try to get a glimpse of the stops you pass by... :para:

Hmm, good point...
Naava wrote:Anyway, I have never been as scared in a city as I was in the forest. It was so horrible that getting lost in a place full of people and road signs can't quite match it... :D

Makes sense, especially if there are bears and shit. I'd literally die if I saw a bear up close. Wolves don't scare me, or at least I don't think they would because I read somewhere that the last time a wolf randomly attacked a person anywhere in Europe was long before I was even born, and it makes me sad that they're being hunted to extinction and it seems like literally everyone hates them with a passion except my family. But bears? Fuck, they're huge and if they have cubs, they'll kill anything that gets in their way. I totally understand why ancient peoples feared and revered them.

User avatar
Naava
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 893
Joined: 2012-01-17, 20:24
Gender: female
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Naava » 2018-03-02, 11:17

Vlürch wrote:Mine doesn't, since it's an old ass phone nowhere close to a smartphone.

You need a new phone. Or a map.

Vlürch wrote:Fuck, they're huge and if they have cubs, they'll kill anything that gets in their way. I totally understand why ancient peoples feared and revered them.

I'm more scared of seeing a bear cub than seeing an adult bear. The latter might go away or be more interested in my bag or something, but the former means the mother is somewhere near and I'm very likely standing between her and her sweet little baby.

Vlürch wrote:I read somewhere that the last time a wolf randomly attacked a person anywhere in Europe was long before I was even born

Besides, nobody can know for sure that what they saw in the 1800s was always a wolf and never a dog. People still mix them up and report "wolves" in their yards, only to have the owner of this "wolf" to thank them for finding their dog.

User avatar
Aurinĭa
Forum Administrator
Posts: 3675
Joined: 2008-05-14, 21:18
Gender: female
Country: BE Belgium (België / Belgique)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-02, 14:06

Naava wrote:
Vlürch wrote:Mine doesn't, since it's an old ass phone nowhere close to a smartphone.

You need a new phone. Or a map.

I've navigated my way around many a foreign city solely with the help of a map I got for free at the tourist info centre. I'm not saying I never get lost, but I always find my way to my destination. Just not always the shortest route. :P

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22404
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-02, 16:25

Vlürch wrote:Oh, wow. That's really cool, especially if all the people from different cultures get along more or less fine in spite of having such diverse backgrounds, since that often leads to problems at least here based on what I've heard. Then again, maybe that's because there aren't enough immigrants here to form communities of their own

One of the major differences between the US and most if not all European countries in this respect is that this is a settler society. The vast majority (at least 90%) of people living here are primarily descended from immigrants who arrived within the last 500 years, most of them in the last 150. It's part of our identity that we're a "nation of immigrants" (to the point that our own nativists always have to qualify their anti-immigrant rhetoric by pointing out how the newer arrivals are supposedly different from the ones who came before, which often includes their own recent ancestors). We still have integration problems galore, but at least we generally start from different assumptions (such as the fact that you can never tell who is an "immigrant" and who is a "native" based solely on physical appearance).

Vlürch wrote:And sorry, I have to ask the stupidest question ever, but it's kinda related to this. Since you said you like going to different neighbourhoods for fun, how do you not get lost?

First of all, I apparently have a good sense of direction. My father likes to tell a story about when I was five years old and attending a one-week summer camp with my brother. One day, the woman who'd been taking us there couldn't drive us and my dad--who has a lousy sense of direction--had to instead. He sat me in the passenger seat and I navigated based solely on landmarks. "Turn here, Daddy! Now turn here!"

Second, look at a map of Chicago. It's got one of the most perfect street grids in a country that's full of them. It's strictly oriented to the four cardinal directions--we even call the major divisions of the city "the North Side", "the South Side", and "the West Side". Where the "East Side" would be is Lake Michigan; after living here for a while, most people develop and instinctive feel for where the Lake is relative to where they're standing and can use that to orient themselves. And of course there's always the sun (when it's shining; the only times I've ever gotten lost while walking in Chicago were at night).

There are eight blocks to the mile and every half mile there's a major street. On the South Side, these are simply numbered (my alma mater lies mostly between 55th and 59th), but even on the North Side you end up memorising the names in pretty short order. It helps that many of them are stations on the elevated train lines ("the El"). The El is a more forgiving system than the buses Naava talks about. If you miss your stop on the El, all you need to do is get out at the next one and wait for a train going in the other direction, which generally doesn't take more than fifteen minutes even late at night. Even before the advent of smartphones, there were maps on all the trains and in all the stations and surly attendants you could ask. (Not to mention other riders; I've helped dozens of people find their way on the El, not all of them in English.)

Street numbers are all keyed to the grid. This isn't New York, which is old enough that it still follows the European practice of independently numbering each street. If you're at 4800 North Broadway in Chicago, you know that walking a half mile west (i.e. away from the Lake) will bring you to 4800 North Ashland. And if you walk a half mile south from there (i.e. towards downtown), you'll be at 4400 North Ashland, which is where it intersects a street named Montrose. (I was very confused to discover that European cities didn't work this way and, say, Kaiser-Joseph-Straße 224 might be a block over from Universitätsstraße 3.) If an address is even, it must be on the north or west side of the street; if it's odd, south or east. (Again, this is something you learn so quickly here that I recently boggled when I had a cabbie that didn't know it.)

Plus I didn't even learn urban navigation in Chicago! I grew up in St Louis, which also has a grid, but a much more chopped up one because the major streets radiate outwards from the riverfront like the spokes of a wheel. Still, I rode my bike around all over Mid-County and learned the hard way how to find my way back home after getting lost. By comparison, finding your way around Chicago is a stroll in the park.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Aurinĭa
Forum Administrator
Posts: 3675
Joined: 2008-05-14, 21:18
Gender: female
Country: BE Belgium (België / Belgique)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-02, 17:16

linguoboy wrote:Second, look at a map of Chicago. It's got one of the most perfect street grids in a country that's full of them.

The numbering and cardinal directions might help, I have no experience with that. Though I wouldn't count on it, knowing myself. But grids ... they're terrible for navigation, IMHO. I navigate for a large part by turns and the shape of streets (e.g. turn at the sharp corner, then take the left leg at the Y, at the next crossing take the street that curves away from the water). With a grid, every corner is 90°, every street is straight. Every time I've had to navigate in a grid, it's taken me much longer to remember the route than it should have.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22404
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Languages spoken in your city.

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-02, 17:29

Aurinĭa wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Second, look at a map of Chicago. It's got one of the most perfect street grids in a country that's full of them.

The numbering and cardinal directions might help, I have no experience with that. Though I wouldn't count on it, knowing myself. But grids ... they're terrible for navigation, IMHO. I navigate for a large part by turns and the shape of streets (e.g. turn at the sharp corner, then take the left leg at the Y, at the next crossing take the street that curves away from the water). With a grid, every corner is 90°, every street is straight. Every time I've had to navigate in a grid, it's taken me much longer to remember the route than it should have.

Fascinating. Using landmarks (e.g. turn left at the Quik-E Mart, take the second right after the bridge) doesn't help compensate for this?

As a supplement to what I said, some of the most important streets in Chicago (e.g. Broadway, Clark, Blue Island) are either diagonal or otherwise don't follow strict lines. (Clark, for instance, follows an old Indian trail that traced the shoreline of a prehistoric lake.) So there are important intersections with a different configuration than four 90° angles, but maybe not enough to keep you from getting lost.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests