You know you're a language nerd when...

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby Michael » 2013-01-29, 16:11

Mirror wrote:Yes!!! As well as French, français and Parisian :)

Don't forget Eskandinavian and Urdu.

Should we include English?
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby Tenebrarum » 2013-01-29, 17:18

HoItalosPhilellen wrote:You know you're an American language nerd when you see Do Ya Thang printed and think of Vietnamese, even if sans diacritics, before AAVE or colloquial American English.

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to revoke your nerd license, because Ya is just about the most un-Vietnamese-looking thing ever. :wink:
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby הענט » 2013-01-29, 18:00

We could. Which leads to a question actually.

Is Cypriot Greek distinct enough to be called a language? Do you understand it after having studied good deal of Greek?


EDIT: It sucks I don't have any money now... I was looking for some undergraduate studies in London and the African studies really caught my attention. I would choose either Swahili or Amharic as my main language, but it costs 9000 GBP per year. That way I would need to have some really well paid job here and save like 67% each month to be able to study after 4 years from now... :(

I just don't want to study here... but I'd like to have some degree

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby BlackZ » 2013-01-30, 19:12

HoItalosPhilellen wrote:Should we include English?

Sure! Just don't include Maltese. It surely isn't a Semitic language :lol:
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby הענט » 2013-02-11, 16:03

Okay. I have been using this Spanish textbook and there was this Asian girl called Lan and I immediately thought she had been from Vietnam (the character) or Vietnamese American.
Well there's this comics buble and it says: Bà, Tôi lả ò đảy. (Sorry if I messed up the tones, because it's really difficult to read it) and I thought no Vietnamese granddaughter would talk like this to her grandma. Right? They would use cháu instead of tôi if I'm correct.

I guess this makes me a language nerd. :)

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby JackFrost » 2013-02-11, 17:43

haha Yes, it would be rude to say "tôi" to your grandma.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby הענט » 2013-02-11, 18:00

Yes I thought so. :) The Vietnamese pronouns are pretty much all I can recall now :D

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby Osias » 2013-02-12, 2:30

You know you're a language nerd when you read the previous post about "cháu" and start to think if the word entered into Vietnam via Portuguese or Italian and mean the same.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby JackFrost » 2013-02-12, 3:28

"Cháu" is from Sino-Vietnamese meaning "child" in a simple term and it's used with other relatives too, not just your grandmother.

Besides, Portuguese and Italian really didn't contribute the Vietnamese vocabulary. And the Italians didn't even have a presence in Asia compared to the French and Portuguese. :? Basically, the non-native words are mostly from Chinese and the rest is usually from French or English.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-12, 4:04

And the original Chinese character 孫 means "grandchild". Probably in Vietnamese it shifted to mean "child", and then became a pronoun? :?
From a Chinese perspective, it makes more sense if the grandma called her "Cháu", not the other way around...

FYI, the Italian ciao derives from the Venetian s-ciavo /stʃavo/ - "slave", from Latin sclavus. The Latin cluster -cl- became -ci- /tʃ/ in Venetian, probably after an intermediate phase /kj/ (compare Italian schiavo /skjavo/).
Then s-ciavo > s-ciao > ciao.
Originally it meant "I am your slave". Later it became a generic greeting to show respect.
Compare Austrian German greeting servus.

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby JackFrost » 2013-02-12, 4:43

Vietnamese does follow that Chinese perspective: "bà" means grandmother and she calls her grandchildren "cháu" or "con". Aunts and uncles call their nieces/nephews "cháu" too.

"Bà, cháu là ở đây!" > "Grandmother, granddaughter is over here!" > "Grandma, I'm over here!"

Probably in Vietnamese it shifted to mean "child", and then became a pronoun?

Probably. Although, the parents call their children "con", not "cháu".

And it depends on the dialect too.
Last edited by JackFrost on 2013-02-13, 3:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-12, 5:18

Oh sorry I got confused. So in that dialog she was saying "I", not "you".

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby JackFrost » 2013-02-12, 5:34

Yep, you got that right. ;)
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby הענט » 2013-02-12, 10:44

Yes Youngfun. The thing is that for example anh can mean I, you and he.

If you're an older male then you'll use anhfor I and if you're younger you'll use em.
If a younger person talks to you and is not much younger they'll call you anh as in you.
But generally anh means he or older brother (though in Vietnamese you use these pronouns with even blood unrelated people). You can also emphasize he by saying anh ấy.

But if you talk to even older people, you'll use their respective pronoun for you and yours for I to be polite. I can't vouch for other languages, but I think this also happens in Thai. :)

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby BlackZ » 2013-02-12, 11:04

You know you are a language nerd when the Kaingang word inh (which also means "I") comes to your mind after reading the Vietnamese word anh.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby Osias » 2013-02-12, 17:36

JackFrost wrote:Besides, Portuguese and Italian really didn't contribute the Vietnamese vocabulary.

thanks! Only the alphabet then?
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-13, 3:46

El Tigre Chino wrote:Yes Youngfun. The thing is that for example anh can mean I, you and he.

If you're an older male then you'll use anhfor I and if you're younger you'll use em.
If a younger person talks to you and is not much younger they'll call you anh as in you.
But generally anh means he or older brother (though in Vietnamese you use these pronouns with even blood unrelated people). You can also emphasize he by saying anh ấy.

But if you talk to even older people, you'll use their respective pronoun for you and yours for I to be polite. I can't vouch for other languages, but I think this also happens in Thai. :)

Thanks for the explanation. :)
At least Modern Chinese got rid of the so many personal pronouns and honorifics of the Ancient Chinese.

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby johnklepac » 2013-02-13, 15:41

Youngfun wrote:At least Modern Chinese got rid of the so many personal pronouns and honorifics of the Ancient Chinese.

Honestly, that's one of the features I like least in Japanese, even though it makes up a sizable core of the language.

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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby johntm » 2013-02-13, 18:45

I wasn't sure if I should put this in the random language thread or here, but I'm going with this one because I already clicked on it and because I don't think a non-language nerd would have this thought.

What if there was a language where the only conjugated verb was a "to do/make" verb? And to say something like "I am running" you say "I make run"? So you just need to know the conjugation of that one verb and a bunch of infinitives. Might be an interesting feature of a conlang. I dunno, it was a half-asleep idea that came to me when I woke up in the middle of the night to go piss. TMI?
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when...

Postby kevin » 2013-02-13, 19:33

You mean like it works with "to be" in your exmaple sentence "I am running" and all other progressive forms? Do away with all the other forms and use the progressive forms even for non-progressive things, and English is your language. ;)


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