Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-09, 22:19

For my nom de Goodreads, I decided to go with "Un moine vexé" and it decided that "Un" was my given name and "Moine" my surname and dropped the "vexé" entirely.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-01-10, 15:44

Saim wrote:I just read a bit of the Arabic Wikipedia on things relating to India and they're really starting to irritate me. :evil:

"Hinduism (in Hindi: varnashrama)" [why Hindi? and the translation isn't even correct]
"Hindi is the official language of India" [no it's not]
"Indian subcontinent (in Hindi: भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप, in Urdu:برصغیر)" [why specifically Hindi and Urdu?]

It doesn't help that the words for Hindi and Indian are the same in Arabic (because the Arabic word for India is Hind and is a productive adjectival suffix).
As a foreigner, the only Indian languages I tend to ever hear about are Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil. An encyclopedia should know better, but I can see why an amateur would mistakenly think Hindi is THE Indian language. Also, Arabic Wikipedia is terrible.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ser » 2019-01-10, 21:04

I once heard a Taiwanese person tell me she was very surprised to learn there were various languages in India other than Hindi, and that the Indian language commonly seen in signs here in Vancouver is actually Punjabi. I don't remember having this misconception myself before I learned India has all these languages, in my late teen years, but because I had no idea what was spoken in India at all...
Last edited by Ser on 2019-01-11, 16:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-10, 21:05

Panjabi is like the Cantonese of India.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-01-11, 0:22

Mandarin and Cantonese, the only two genders.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-11, 18:31

Ooh, I just learned that Irish réal (which is derived from Spanish real and refers to various historical coins) can be alternatively declined as a 5th declension velar, i.e. genitive singular réalach.

I assume the model here is riail (g.s. rialach), but that might not be the only one.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-12, 16:02

Politika.rs wrote:RNIDS ističe da je činjenica da svaki narod teži da na Internetu koristi svoje nacionalno pismo, i to ne samo u okviru sadržaja, već i u okviru naziva domena.


"The RNIDS [Serbian National Internet Domain Registry] points to the fact that every people strives to use its national writing system, and not only with regards to content, but also domain names."

Pa ne znam da li je to zaista činjenica.
Dunno if that's really a fact. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-01-13, 17:42

Does anyone know when and why the metathesis in the Turkish word for butterfly, kelebek, happened? It has to be fairly recent since it's still kebelek in Turkmen. Also, it's unexpectedly kəpənək in Azeri; I know /l/ to /n/ is a common shift, but I don't think it happened in Azeri except in this word, and the reversion of the voicing in the bilabial stop...? :?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-17, 20:58

Trying to remember the Korean word for "museum" just now, which is 박물관 ("abundant things hall"), I managed to munge it with "department store" (백화점 "hundred goods store") and produce 백물관 ("hundred things hall").
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-18, 17:55

Today I met a student employee from Cuba who's working on a project I'll have to contribute to going forward. I noticed that she keeps notes to herself in Spanish so I told her "Yo puedo leer el castellano so you can leave notes for me in Spanish." She was taken aback. "That's very sensitive of you to say castellano....Most people wouldn't." I explained to her that it's a consequence of speaking Catalan where the language is always "castellà" and never "espanyol".
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-19, 13:28

linguoboy wrote:Today I met a student employee from Cuba who's working on a project I'll have to contribute to going forward. I noticed that she keeps notes to herself in Spanish so I told her "Yo puedo leer el castellano so you can leave notes for me in Spanish." She was taken aback. "That's very sensitive of you to say castellano....Most people wouldn't." I explained to her that it's a consequence of speaking Catalan where the language is always "castellà" and never "espanyol".


I'd say never is a slight overstatement. It's not unheard of for it to be called espanyol in academic or formal texts, especially when it's being contrasted with other official languages of nation-states, although of course castellà is still the default term. The word espanyol can also be used to make a political point in two different directions: there are some pro-independence people who use espanyol to make it sound more foreign (since it's traditionally called castellà in Catalonia calling it espanyol associates it with the Spanish government, Spanish nationalism/espanyolisme and so on rather than with the local Spanish speaking population), and some unionists will do essentially the same thing (because they support the Spanish government and Spanish linguistic nationalism and in practice see themselves as a sort of Spanish diaspora in a country that's hostile to them).

You're absolutely right, though, that in normal spoken Catalan you'd almost always refer to it as castellà.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Antea » 2019-01-19, 13:41

Here, I always says “Castellano”, because it’s the name of the language. When I talk to people from other countries, I say “Spanish”, because they usually don’t know what “Castellano” means, and I don’t want to explain all the history of the peninsula :roll:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Johanna » 2019-01-20, 7:27

Antea wrote:Here, I always says “Castellano”, because it’s the name of the language. When I talk to people from other countries, I say “Spanish”, because they usually don’t know what “Castellano” means, and I don’t want to explain all the history of the peninsula :roll:

in many languages, the name of it simply translates into "Spanish" too.

In my mind, it's similar to how in some languages, the official name of the Netherlands is some variation of "Holland".
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-01-20, 10:09

Antea wrote:Here, I always says “Castellano”, because it’s the name of the language. When I talk to people from other countries, I say “Spanish”, because they usually don’t know what “Castellano” means, and I don’t want to explain all the history of the peninsula :roll:

Do you also use castellano when talking to Spanish speakers not from Spain? Afaik the word castellano is not commonly used by Latin Americans, even though some countries use the word castellano in their constitutions.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-20, 10:40

OldBoring wrote:Do you also use castellano when talking to Spanish speakers not from Spain? Afaik the word castellano is not commonly used by Latin Americans, even though some countries use the word castellano in their constitutions.


I don't think that's true, my understanding is that there are South American countries where castellano is more common. A quick Google gives results for castellano from several South American countries beyond just their constitutions.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ser » 2019-01-21, 4:13

I'd really like to come across a good source for who uses castellano and who uses español in Latin America and who uses both and how. It's obvious that castellano is the majority's use in Spain and Argentina, but what about Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela? Are there any particular connotations of using castellano in these countries?

It seems strange that I haven't been able to find any serious survey on the topic. It's a topic people get curious about.

Even Wikipedia has failed to accumulate this information over the years. Looking at the castellano-español map on Wikipedia Commons, which gets repeated often (I once even saw a major American newspaper (The Atlantic, I think) include it) reveals a convoluted history of reverts and edits. Like my own edit in February 2013 where I tried to make it clear El Salvador mostly uses español, only to be reverted three months later by some guy from Quebec for only-the-gods-know-what reasons (he wrote "Actually Castellano is more common and Espanol is not utilized by the govmt or educational institutions", but that's not true either). Recently this month somebody reverted that bit about El Salvador back, apparently under the "authority" of me being from there.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-21, 6:42

Since I went back to watching anime(well One piece only, really), I've entertained the idea of trying to learn Japanese... but this doesn't please me. I feel like ti's a bad idea and that's gonna be a one-way out. Eine Sackgasse. Um beco sem-saída. I can now imagine my frustration once I try to learn kanji. I mean, sure it doesn't hurt to try, but I'm not feeling very confident. Japanese is a language I have a strange relationship with. I know several words in it and possibly some sentences even from all the years of watching anime(not the best resource, but at least it teaches vocabulary), playing video games, listening to music and watching movies in that language; which is already a head start I suppose... but hardly something I've scratched the surface of. I dunno where to start. Since I obviously won't exactly have a lot of chances to use it irl(hint: never), I obviously will spend most of the time reading it or hearing it, so I guess hitting the alphabets should be something done soon.

Oh well, I guess I might try in the near future. Last year I was considering learning Russian, which technically would be more useful for me than Japanese, but whatever. It's gotta wait.

Naturally people are gonna read this and assume I'm a weaboo, but whatever. That's the least of my concerns.

Can't hurt to try, I suppose. Some people on this website probably learn or attempt to learn languages spoken by 56 people only. At least Japanese has a lot of resources available, so in that sense it won't be that hard finding introductory materials.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-01-21, 19:12

I've always thought that español was like 汉语 hànyǔ/中文 zhōngwén and castellano was like 普通话 pǔtōnghuà.
You use the first when comparing with foreign languages, and the second when comparing with regional languages.

I don't speak español, but I speak Italian. ~ I don't speak castellano, but I speak Catalan.

I don't speak 中文, but I speak Japanese. ~ I don't speak 普通话, but I speak Cantonese.

Both 普通话 in the first sentence and 中文 in the second sentence would sound very strange to me.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-21, 19:53

OldBoring wrote:I've always thought that español was like 汉语 hànyǔ/中文 zhōngwén and castellano was like 普通话 pǔtōnghuà.
You use the first when comparing with foreign languages, and the second when comparing with regional languages.


I vaguely remember someone insisting on this distinction and it may be that it's more common to say español when comparing it to languages from outside of Spain and castellano when comparing to languages mostly spoken within Spain, there's nowhere near as rigid a distinction as you've described in your Chinese example. You could easily hear someone say mi amigo alemán sabe castellano or el español es discriminado en Cataluña. In Catalonia the more common term is by far castellano/castellà regardless of context or register.

Keep in mind also that in Spain the direct equivalent of 'regional languages' isn't used that often, Spaniards tend to say lenguas autonómicas (the languages of the autonomous communities) or cooficiales (co-official, as in official alongside Spanish), and in Catalonia many people would take issue to such a categorisation, so in Catalan texts you'd sooner see something like les altres llengües de l'Estat (the other languages of the State) or among really woke people les llengües minoritzades. When you Google the phrase lenguas regionales/llengües regionals, most of the first results are people specifically talking about the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. There's also a sort of consciousness of these peoples being different 'national' groups (and of course Catalan, Basque and Galician all have well-established standard forms that are used in education, public bureaucracy, press, etc.) that I don't think exists in the Chinese case.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-01-21, 20:32

Ser wrote:I'd really like to come across a good source for who uses castellano and who uses español in Latin America and who uses both and how. It's obvious that castellano is the majority's use in Spain and Argentina, but what about Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela? Are there any particular connotations of using castellano in these countries?

I think it's inconsistent because in most of these places most people know both words, and one might be more common than the other, but in most situations either or both can be used. There are also regional variations beyond the differences between countries. For example, español is the more common word in much of Mexico, but in certain areas (especially, but not limited to, indigenous communities in southern Mexico) castellano is more common.
Castellano is also more common in many parts of South America (including Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru) but sometimes you will find people who say castellano regularly themselves but believe that the word español is actually more correct (so if you ask them, they'll tell you it should be español, even though they themselves normally say castellano). And vice versa, and so on. It varies by region (even with in a country), varies over time (if I remember correctly I'm pretty sure older documents from the Americas tend to say castellano even in places that mostly use español today) and varies by personal preference. And a single person might use both terms at different times depending on the context, the register, and the origin (or native language) of the person they are speaking to.

This is what the Royal Spanish Academy's Diccionario panhispánico de dudas has to say about it:
Para designar la lengua común de España y de muchas naciones de América, y que también se habla como propia en otras partes del mundo, son válidos los términos castellano y español. La polémica sobre cuál de estas denominaciones resulta más apropiada está hoy superada. El término español resulta más recomendable por carecer de ambigüedad, ya que se refiere de modo unívoco a la lengua que hablan hoy cerca de cuatrocientos millones de personas. Asimismo, es la denominación que se utiliza internacionalmente (Spanish, espagnol, Spanisch, spagnolo, etc.). Aun siendo también sinónimo de español, resulta preferible reservar el término castellano para referirse al dialecto románico nacido en el Reino de Castilla durante la Edad Media, o al dialecto del español que se habla actualmente en esta región. En España, se usa asimismo el nombre castellano cuando se alude a la lengua común del Estado en relación con las otras lenguas cooficiales en sus respectivos territorios autónomos, como el catalán, el gallego o el vasco.


English summary of the quote above:
► Show Spoiler

Which might lead you to think that "español" should be preferred outside of Spain in general, except that that's not true in practice. :mrgreen:


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