Random language thread 6

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

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22847
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-22, 18:14

I went to a dim sum place with friends on Saturday and one of them tried to ask me about congee (rice porridge). But between his Great Lakes vowel shift and the fact that he was facing towards a wall with a huge double happiness on it, I misheard him as saying kanji. It was a good minute or so of crosstalk before we figured out what had happened.
"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
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-22, 21:58

So, I went on Duolingo yesterday for the first time since 2014-2015 or so, and I see that they now even have languages such as Navajo and Hawaiian? That's impressive. Do users who help Duolingo adding languages get well paid for their services? I know it has ads, but Duolingo is a free service after all. Does ad revenue cover for all of their expenses?

Also, I had never used their mobile app, and I think the feature of being asked to read a sentence out loud into your phone is a neat idea.

That being said, Duolingo is more like a resource/bonus, imo. It definitely helps with vocabulary and with listening, but I don't put any weight on how they determine fluency. Duolingo seems to claim that a lot of people are learning foreign languages through them but I personally wouldn't hand in my Duolingo trees to someone as proof that I speak a language.

It does make the necessary repetition less tedious than schoolbooks, however. I'll give it that. the presentation is nice and pleasant. But I also think Duolingo is yet another example of how much society demands instant gratification these days. Pretty sure some people can complete the trees of some languages rather quickly. Like in a month maybe? 1 month is not enough to become fluent in a language. If anything it can give you a solid foundation and some vocabulary. Which is a pretty good thing already, mind you.

I also had forgotten how many languages I had messed with on duolingo. I had completely forgotten about completing the basics of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish several years ago. Granted I now forgot all about them, but your progress and the fact you picked up a language in the first place cannot get erased, so it stays there forever as a reminder.

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5268
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Poznań
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-01-22, 22:05

Prowler wrote:So, I went on Duolingo yesterday for the first time since 2014-2015 or so, and I see that they now even have languages such as Navajo and Hawaiian?


I've heard the courses are incomplete and they rushed them out for marketing purposes.

Do users who help Duolingo adding languages get well paid for their services?


They don't ge paid at all.

User avatar
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-22, 22:11

Saim wrote:
Prowler wrote:So, I went on Duolingo yesterday for the first time since 2014-2015 or so, and I see that they now even have languages such as Navajo and Hawaiian?


I've heard the courses are incomplete and they rushed them out for marketing purposes.

Do users who help Duolingo adding languages get well paid for their services?


They don't ge paid at all.

Well, good thing I don't want to learn Navajo and Hawaiian then.

So it's voluntary work?

Also, I wonder sometimes if the people who contribute to Duolingo truly have a good grasp on the languages they contribute. I wonder if it's mostly just random native speakers or if Duolingo has the policy of only accepting language teachers' help and such. Can't said I've found any grammatical errors in the German "course"so far, but wouldn't be surprised if occasional something slips.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22847
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-22, 22:39

Prowler wrote:I wonder if it's mostly just random native speakers or if Duolingo has the policy of only accepting language teachers' help and such. Can't said I've found any grammatical errors in the German "course"so far, but wouldn't be surprised if occasional something slips.

With the Korean module, there were instances where they accepted English equivalent sounded non-native to me. Often more natural versions would be marked incorrect. When I checked the comments, this would usually have been pointed out already by other fluent English-speakers. (I never noticed any grammatical faults in the Korean, but I'm not fluent enough to judge the naturalness of the sentences.)
"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
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-22, 23:42

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:I wonder if it's mostly just random native speakers or if Duolingo has the policy of only accepting language teachers' help and such. Can't said I've found any grammatical errors in the German "course"so far, but wouldn't be surprised if occasional something slips.

With the Korean module, there were instances where they accepted English equivalent sounded non-native to me. Often more natural versions would be marked incorrect. When I checked the comments, this would usually have been pointed out already by other fluent English-speakers. (I never noticed any grammatical faults in the Korean, but I'm not fluent enough to judge the naturalness of the sentences.)

I'm not sure if Duolingo is the best resource for learning langues that don't use the Latin alphabet/script. In exercises, where they ask you sometimes to type a sentence or word after you hear it, or to translate it below... that's gonna be difficult with a language like Korean or Japanese. Perhaps they just do it differently or don't have such exercises in those languages at all.

And besides, in order to learn Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. properly, you need to learn how to draw each character correctly, and some of the Kanji/Chinese characters seem like a bit of a pain to draw at first. That's gonna require some practice. And you cannot practice your handwriting on Duolingo.

I remember learning the Hangul alphabet for fun back in like 2010 and attempting to write down the characters on paper. My handwriting looked ugly. And Hangul is WAY simpler than Chinese characters, so I can't even imagine how ugly those would look when written/drawn by me.

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2121
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-23, 0:34

Prowler wrote:And besides, in order to learn Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. properly, you need to learn how to draw each character correctly

You don't need to learn to write every Chinese character you learn in any of these languages. Even native speakers of Chinese and Japanese struggle to hand write hundreds (in some cases thousands) of characters which they have no trouble reading.

I think a reasonable level of handwriting these days is being able to properly copy any character you see, which requires intuitive knowledge about stroke order and proportions. And in order to get that intuition, you probably need to learn to hand write several hundred characters.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-23, 0:48

Yasna wrote:
Prowler wrote:And besides, in order to learn Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. properly, you need to learn how to draw each character correctly

You don't need to learn to write every Chinese character you learn in any of these languages. Even native speakers of Chinese and Japanese struggle to hand write hundreds (in some cases thousands) of characters which they have no trouble reading.

I think a reasonable level of handwriting these days is being able to properly copy any character you see, which requires intuitive knowledge about stroke order and proportions. And in order to get that intuition, you probably need to learn to hand write several hundred characters.

Well, now that I think about it, in some anime I've watched, the "dumber" characters and the worst students in class do get criticised or yelled at by teachers and others for not writing Kanji properly.

They probably star learning those characters as soon as they enter school, and are probably supposed to know a lot or most of them after a certain point in their education?

Korean truly has the simplest alphabet. I think they use Chinese characters at times, but very rarely.

Some guy told me recently that I'm too old to learn Japanese because it would require learning 3 different alphabets which would take me years. He suggested me to learn Korean instead for having a much easier vocabulary. The guy doesn't speak nor has he ever attempted to learn either language ever though.

I do think Japanese and Korean are a utopia for me, however. I'd be happy if I already got some basis knowledge and idea of how they work, and learned some basic vocabulary.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 771
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-01-23, 17:46

Prowler wrote:Korean truly has the simplest alphabet. I think they use Chinese characters at times, but very rarely.

Reminds me of this "languages ranked by difficulty" chart that claims Korean is one of the hardest because it "relies on many" Chinese characters. Image There are other cringy mistakes and nonsensicalities in it as well (like the Japanese at the top left and the numbers of speakers of many of the languages being wrong), so get ready to facepalm. I wonder why all language difficulty charts are so shitty, it's like they're made by people who literally don't know the first thing about the languages in question. I mean, that's probably why, but...
Prowler wrote:Some guy told me recently that I'm too old to learn Japanese because it would require learning 3 different alphabets which would take me years. He suggested me to learn Korean instead for having a much easier vocabulary. The guy doesn't speak nor has he ever attempted to learn either language ever though.

People like to tell others that they're too old to learn languages, presumably at least in part to make themselves feel better about not learning them, but I don't think that's actually true of any language except maybe Archi or something. Of course, not everyone can learn every language for any number of reasons, but...

~

In the news yesterday, the newsreader mispronounced Bolsonaro's first name as /hɑir/ as if it was a Spanish-language name. :D I tweeted about it and he responded that he tried hard to get it right but concentrated so hard on pronouncing his last name as "Bousunauru" that he slipped up with the first name. :lol:

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22847
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-23, 17:52

Prowler wrote:Korean truly has the simplest alphabet. I think they use Chinese characters at times, but very rarely.

In North Korea, they aren't used at all. In South Korea, they are chiefly ornamental. There are a handful which appear in the headlines of some newspapers in order to disambiguate homophones. Historiographical works feature a lot more, but they're always glossed nowadays. You can quite easily get by without every learning any.

If you want to learn some basics of Korean grammar and phonology, I'm happy to help.
"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
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-23, 20:10

Vlürch wrote:
Prowler wrote:Korean truly has the simplest alphabet. I think they use Chinese characters at times, but very rarely.

Reminds me of this "languages ranked by difficulty" chart that claims Korean is one of the hardest because it "relies on many" Chinese characters. Image There are other cringy mistakes and nonsensicalities in it as well (like the Japanese at the top left and the numbers of speakers of many of the languages being wrong), so get ready to facepalm. I wonder why all language difficulty charts are so shitty, it's like they're made by people who literally don't know the first thing about the languages in question. I mean, that's probably why, but...
Prowler wrote:Some guy told me recently that I'm too old to learn Japanese because it would require learning 3 different alphabets which would take me years. He suggested me to learn Korean instead for having a much easier vocabulary. The guy doesn't speak nor has he ever attempted to learn either language ever though.

People like to tell others that they're too old to learn languages, presumably at least in part to make themselves feel better about not learning them, but I don't think that's actually true of any language except maybe Archi or something. Of course, not everyone can learn every language for any number of reasons, but...

~

In the news yesterday, the newsreader mispronounced Bolsonaro's first name as /hɑir/ as if it was a Spanish-language name. :D I tweeted about it and he responded that he tried hard to get it right but concentrated so hard on pronouncing his last name as "Bousunauru" that he slipped up with the first name. :lol:


Oh that chart. I dunno who made it, but it's hard to make a ranking like that and reach a consensus. Unless the person who made it speaks EVERY language in the chart. Also, where is Danish? And German?!

Well thing is, this guy didn't even speak any Asian language at all. So I dunno how he could know that.

Bolsonaro? If anything, my first assumption is that it's an Italian surname. But I could be wrong.

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:Korean truly has the simplest alphabet. I think they use Chinese characters at times, but very rarely.

In North Korea, they aren't used at all. In South Korea, they are chiefly ornamental. There are a handful which appear in the headlines of some newspapers in order to disambiguate homophones. Historiographical works feature a lot more, but they're always glossed nowadays. You can quite easily get by without every learning any.

If you want to learn some basics of Korean grammar and phonology, I'm happy to help.

I'll have to read a bit about them first. If there's something I don't understand I'll either mention it here or in the Korean forum, then.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 23360
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-24, 7:26

Korean study group? :o
mōdgethanc wrote:
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.

How do y'all know so much about the Arabic Wikipedia?
Ser wrote: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.

And now the third sentence on the article on Salvadoran Spanish reads: "Salvadoran Spanish is the only Spanish dialect in North America to be usually called castellano, instead of español."
Yasna wrote:Even native speakers of Chinese and Japanese struggle to hand write hundreds (in some cases thousands) of characters which they have no trouble reading.

In fact, I'm increasingly seeing them say their own handwriting isn't very good because they just type them on their smartphones (or computers).

User avatar
księżycowy
Posts: 13012
Joined: 2006-09-13, 23:51
Real Name: Paweł
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby księżycowy » 2019-01-24, 10:02

vijayjohn wrote:Korean study group? :o

I might be willing to say "fuck Tibetan" if that happens. :lol:
Seriously too.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 23360
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-24, 13:33

Korean's more important to you personally than Tibetan, right?

User avatar
księżycowy
Posts: 13012
Joined: 2006-09-13, 23:51
Real Name: Paweł
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby księżycowy » 2019-01-24, 13:37

Yes, but I wasn't planning to study it seriously quite yet. Hence why I was going for Tibetan. To have a play language. That's not to say I wouldn't do Korean now though, possibly.

User avatar
Ser
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 7623
Joined: 2008-08-14, 2:55
Real Name: Renato
Gender: male
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ser » 2019-01-25, 5:03

Linguaphile wrote: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. [...]

Yeah. Castellano is unusual in El Salvador, but it does remain as an existent colourful synonym nevertheless. I'd like Wikipedia to get rid of that map anyway. Original research, that's what it is.
vijayjohn wrote:How do y'all know so much about the Arabic Wikipedia?

I guess it is now not well known anymore that modgethanc used to be a rather serious student of Arabic... And Saim is just Saim.
vijayjohn wrote:And now the third sentence on the article on Salvadoran Spanish reads: "Salvadoran Spanish is the only Spanish dialect in North America to be usually called castellano, instead of español."

I am very disappointed, to say the least.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 23360
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-25, 13:35

Wikipedia managed to disappoint me enough years ago to make it a point to stop editing it, so this is unsurprising to me.

Neither Korean nor Tibetan are languages I've ever made any particular commitment to study. I'm more than willing to believe mōdgethanc studied Arabic at some point but didn't know he studied it seriously. In any case, even then, I wouldn't have known that he was so familiar with the Arabic Wikipedia. :P

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 5862
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-01-25, 19:59

Wikipedia is shit!

User avatar
Prowler
Posts: 1891
Joined: 2013-07-19, 5:09
Gender: male
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-26, 3:10

I mostly browse Wikipedia to find information that's unlikely to be wrong. Such as, which year a certain video game or tv show came out. Or to know how many entries for each series there are, or how many episodes, books, etc. Usually that type of information isn't wrong or far off. And even if it's lacking something it's not that big of a deal. Having wrong information regarding science, medicine, political theory, etc. is worse.

I believe Wikipedia is better monitored nowadays than it was in the previous decade, though? Back then, vandalising pages was a lot more common. I remember people online joking about it often when I was a teenager even. "Haha I went on Wikipedia and vandalised this page for the lulz!"

Not that I've ever edited anything on Wikipedia, so I wouldn't really know, but this is basically what I've been told. That Wikipedia is more competent at moderating content nowadays and that you can't as easily vandalise articles anymore hoping it will take them a rather long time to notice.

Anyway, I recall Wikipedia asking for donations a couple of years of ago, which made me wonder if they were in financial difficulties. After all their service is 100% free. And I don't believe they even have ads, do they? I have uBlock Origin, so even if they do I am not getting them.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22847
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-01, 16:19

I've gotten myself into a stupid online argument over, of all things, Ariana Grande's tattoo which somehow managed to bring in a 17th-century work on swordmanship.
"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 1 guest