Multilingual True Friends

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Linguaphile
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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-07-13, 3:50

Vlürch wrote: Literally all
?!

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Vlürch
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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Vlürch » 2018-07-13, 4:13

Linguaphile wrote:
Vlürch wrote: Literally all
?!

It was an exaggeration, but at least a quarter of all the most commonly used Finnish words did originally come from Germanic languages (and many more from Baltic languages, some from Slavic and other Indo-European languages), most likely even those that are considered "native" words with unclear etymologies. Having a Finnish identity is pretty hard because of that, since there is actual credibility behind the Swedish and Russian claims that Finland is a "fake country" that was "created by Swedes and Russians" and that Finnish isn't even a real language; it's technically true that standard Finnish is an auxlang (rather than a natural koine), and Finnish national symbols were chosen mainly by Swedes and some Russians, so... :para:

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-13, 4:57

Having a lot of foreign linguistic and cultural influence is hardly even unusual, let alone enough of a valid reason to consider a language or country somehow fake or invented by foreigners.

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Vlürch
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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Vlürch » 2018-07-13, 6:03

vijayjohn wrote:Having a lot of foreign linguistic and cultural influence is hardly even unusual, let alone enough of a valid reason to consider a language or country somehow fake or invented by foreigners.

As much as I'd like to believe that, the fact is that the vast majority of the early Finnish nationalists weren't actually Finnish. Also, the concept of Finland as a unified country apparently didn't even exist until about a century ago, just before Finland became independent; that's what everyone keeps telling me (including other Finns), and although I've always argued against it until now, I've pretty much given up because it's pointless when everyone will only become more adamant that I'm wrong and that they're right, and keep bringing up historical facts that back up their position while I'm only spouting emotion-based nationalistic bullshit excuses.

It still makes my blood boil every time someone, especially Finns themselves, say that Finland is a part of Scandinavia and/or a Nordic country, though... but that keeps happening more and more often, so I really wish I could give up on getting pissed off about that too.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-13, 12:16

Vlürch wrote:As much as I'd like to believe that, the fact is that the vast majority of the early Finnish nationalists weren't actually Finnish. Also, the concept of Finland as a unified country apparently didn't even exist until about a century ago, just before Finland became independent

Well, for that matter, the Gandhian movement for independence in India apparently didn't really start gaining international sympathy until American journalists started reporting on the British violently suppressing it, and some of the key figures in the struggle for independence were either allied with the Nazis or operating from London, i.e. their own enemy's capital. Some of the key figures in the American Revolution were French, German, and even British (i.e. born and raised in Britain and having only recently immigrated to the present-day US). There was no concept of India as a unified country until the British took over it, either. But both the US and India are perfectly valid countries, and so is Finland.
It still makes my blood boil every time someone, especially Finns themselves, say that Finland is a part of Scandinavia and/or a Nordic country, though... but that keeps happening more and more often, so I really wish I could give up on getting pissed off about that too.

You know, just because someone says either of those things doesn't mean they have anything to do with other countries in Scandinavia or other Nordic countries (aside from contact and certain aspects of history, of course). It's kind of like how Mexico is a part of North America even though it doesn't share a whole lot culturally with Canada and the US.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Vlürch » 2018-07-13, 13:30

vijayjohn wrote:Well, for that matter, the Gandhian movement for independence in India apparently didn't really start gaining international sympathy until American journalists started reporting on the British violently suppressing it, and some of the key figures in the struggle for independence were either allied with the Nazis or operating from London, i.e. their own enemy's capital. Some of the key figures in the American Revolution were French, German, and even British (i.e. born and raised in Britain and having only recently immigrated to the present-day US). There was no concept of India as a unified country until the British took over it, either. But both the US and India are perfectly valid countries, and so is Finland.

Interesting (and kinda fucked up)... but at least there were empires at least as early as the 200s BCE founded by speakers of languages still spoken in India (or at least languages descended from those languages) that encompassed practically all of India and beyond, so... it's not really the same as Finland, since there was never a Finnish (or even Uralic) empire, and all the speakers of Finnish were farmers or even plain old hunter-gatherers more or less enslaved by everyone they ever came across and had literally no concept of statehood; even Estonia had independence hundreds of years before Finland, and in general Estonians were much more civilised than Finns for all those centuries.
vijayjohn wrote:You know, just because someone says either of those things doesn't mean they have anything to do with other countries in Scandinavia or other Nordic countries (aside from contact and certain aspects of history, of course). It's kind of like how Mexico is a part of North America even though it doesn't share a whole lot culturally with Canada and the US.

But Scandinavia is defined as the countries that speak Scandinavian languages, ie. the Germanic languages of Northern Europe that more or less form a dialect continuum. Finland has never been part of that continuum except for the coastal areas in the middle ages when Swedes conquered them (although according to some they're descended from Old Norse-speaking vikings), and Finnish definitely has no mutual intelligibility with any Germanic language in spite of the thousands of words, calques and grammatical features it has borrowed from them. There have been a few places in Finland with a Swedish-speaking majority since the 1100s or whatever and their dialects have diverged from the Swedish of Sweden to such an extent that it could be said that a Germanic "Finnish language" exists, but nobody actually considers those to be dialects of a separate language that they'd call Finnish (well, there probably are a few crazy nationalists who do, but you know), and officially they're Swedish and their speakears identify as Swedes.

I mean, the term "Nordic countries" exists precisely because Finland is not a part of Scandinavia but has been so heavily influenced by it politically that politicians wanted to be able to conveniently refer to the countries of Northern Europe in a way that includes Finland (but doesn't single it out, for better or worse). I honestly think that if you wouldn't call Inuits "Scandinavian" or "Nordic", then you shouldn't call Finns that either. Some would call that a racist position because Finns are white while Inuits aren't and the latter are also indigenous in their country but Finns aren't, but we likely wouldn't be considered white either if it wasn't for Hitler and our ancestors migrated within the modern Finland's borders so long ago that double standards are required to reject our presence.

What also drives me up the wall is that Helsinki is claimed to be Swedish-speaking to this day according to practically every linguistic map ever. IIRC I've only ever seen literally one video about the languages of Europe that included a map where Helsinki wasn't shown as Swedish-speaking, when only 10% of its population speak Swedish (in reality I'd say that's probably a huge exaggeration as well unless it includes second language speakers). :x

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Ser » 2018-07-13, 15:54

Well, those videogame makers must be quite stupid then. If it's any consolation, while I know next to nothing about that part of Europe, I've never thought of Helsinki as Swedish-speaking.

I must say I don't know what world you live in where any of this is important though... All countries are fake anyway, and the alliances of homo sapiens come and go.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-07-13, 16:57

Ser wrote:Well, those videogame makers must be quite stupid then. If it's any consolation, while I know next to nothing about that part of Europe, I've never thought of Helsinki as Swedish-speaking.

I've been following this discussion and haven't known what to say. I've never heard of most of the attitudes Vlürch has mentioned (and really want to distance myself from them, so much so that I have been unsure of whether to respond at all or just avoid this thread. This is actually the third time I've tried to write a response and ended up deleting it before posting because I really just don't even know what to say.) I did know that Vlürch was exaggerating when he said "literally all" Finnish words are loans and I'm regretting that I'm the one who posted the question mark that led to this current discussion. It's not at all the response I was expecting and I really want nothing to do with it. I think language contact and language change are fascinating (in a good way; they've certainly enriched my own language and I feel fortunate to have grown up in an environment that values diversity) and I don't think loanwords or diversity in any way "weaken" or "diminish" or make anything "less real." They're just a normal part of language and cultural development. The way Finnic languages have made loanwords "their own" is fascinating from a linguistic perspective and part of why I find these languages interesting to study. I had no idea that there were people who claimed that Finland or its language are somehow "fake," or that there were people who see the loanwords as diminishing Finnish identity. And that's despite having studied Finnic languages for many years. I'm very inclined to think it must be a rather small subset of people who think that way. It's certainly not a subset I've ever encountered elsewhere. And encountering it here really does creep me out.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Naava » 2018-07-13, 17:33

Linguaphile wrote:
Ser wrote:Well, those videogame makers must be quite stupid then. If it's any consolation, while I know next to nothing about that part of Europe, I've never thought of Helsinki as Swedish-speaking.

I've been following this discussion and haven't known what to say.

Same. I'm also on a summer trip with my niece and mum, so I don't have much time to write here.

I've never heard of most of the attitudes Vlürch has mentioned

Me neither.

The way Finnic languages have made loanwords "their own" is fascinating from a linguistic perspective

Same. Also, my mother tongue is a linguistic freezer - how cool!

I had no idea that there were people who claimed that Finland or its language are somehow "fake," or that there were people who see the loanwords as diminishing Finnish identity.

Me neither. I've sometimes heard people complain about the English loan words but I think it's because the phonology is so different and you can't guess the meaning of the word as easily, and not because there'd be something inherently bad in borrowing words.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Ser » 2018-07-14, 2:53

Linguaphile wrote:And encountering it here really does creep me out.

This is not the first time Vlürch goes on a rant that strikes me as overly paranoid and wildly unrepresentative of what people normally say. I'm not creeped out or that much surprised.

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-14, 2:55

Yeah, I think Linguaphile is mostly because she's still kind of new. :) (Not that her stated reasons for feeling creeped out are at all invalid, of course).

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby Vlürch » 2018-07-19, 14:58

Ser wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:And encountering it here really does creep me out.

This is not the first time Vlürch goes on a rant that strikes me as overly paranoid and wildly unrepresentative of what people normally say. I'm not creeped out or that much surprised.

I may be paranoid about things that aren't widespread now, but that doesn't mean they won't be in the future and/or that they weren't in the past. Finns have always been discriminated against by Swedes and Russians, so even though Finns shouldn't start discriminating against them, I think we should learn from our history so that we wouldn't be discriminated against in the future.

There's no way to remove loanwords from Finnish (nor would it make Finnish "purer" or whatever, if such a thing was even relevant) without the language becoming unusable, and acquiring new loanwords is beneficial, but ideally those loanwords shouldn't come from Germanic or Slavic languages and if it was possible (it's not), Swedish and Russian loanwords would be replaced by loanwords from other languages; I don't know which languages those would be, and I'm 100% certain less than 0.01% of Finns would support replacing them in the first place, and I'm a literal nobody with no power to do anything, so it'll never happen... and I'm fine with that.

It's just annoying when people treat being paranoid about logical threats as the same as being paranoid about illogical threats. Like, me being paranoid about Swedes and Russians or Neo-Nazis and SJWs isn't the same as being paranoid about a particle accelerator causing a rift in the space-time continuum that causes the entire universe to collapse or an invasion of ninety-foot extraterrestrial isopods or something.

~

Middle Dutch (nl_mid) gi - you
gi - you

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-07-23, 10:20

(fi) muta - mud
(it) mota - mud

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-23, 21:40

Russian (ru) корова - cow
Malayalam (ml) കറവ [kəˈrəʋa] - dairy cow

കറവ is a native Dravidian word related to കറ [kəˈra] 'sap'; the word for 'cow' in general is a Sanskrit loanword, പശു [pəˈɕu], which apparently meant 'domestic or sacrificial animal, goat' in Sanskrit. A dairy cow in Malayalam can also be called കറവപ്പശു [kəˈrəʋapəɕu].

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-19, 17:51

(ja) [Rōmaji] niwa garden
(pl) niwa lea, meadow
"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

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Re: Multilingual True Friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-17, 5:21

Usan: nam - tree
Korean (ko) 나무 namu - tree

EDIT: Also:

Malayalam (ml) പുതുക്ക [puˈd̪uka] - a term one of my uncles uses to address his son
Kannada (kn) ಹುಡುಗ huḍuga - boy

(*p > h at least word-initially in Kannada)


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