Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-04-11, 4:58

Ciarán12 wrote:That channel is great for practicing Portuguese listening skills when you're at lower intermediate level - the content is really compelling and the speed is native level, but the vocabulary will mostly be familiar due to cognates with English (and French, in your case). It gets hard when it's comedy or very informal content.
How did you find it, comprehension-wise I mean?

It depended. I was able to at least follow the gist of most of the videos I watched. The video that gave me the most trouble was the one on the twin paradox, which I don't think I've encountered before.

The French/English cognates did help. By contrast, I've tried watching similar videos in German, where the cognates with my languages are fewer and/or more obscure, and they made a lot less sense. And once I got the hang of mapping /tʃ dʒ/ onto <t d>, that obviously made a lot of things click (speaking of which, Bitcoin = Bitchcoin :lol: ).

Ciarán12 wrote:I'm interested in trying to expand my passive understanding of the other Romace languages, do you have any YouTube recommandations for French?

Hmm, lately I haven't been watching as many Francophone Youtubers as I used to, so I don't have many recommendations. If you're interested in theater, I'd point you to Ronan au théâtre, who does reviews of live performances around Paris. The fact that he talks about specific productions (that you probably haven't seen) can be a comprehension barrier, but he speaks nice and clearly.

There's also Linguisticae, which focuses on linguistics. I'm not too familiar with it because I avoid most linguistics stuff on Youtube, but what I've seen looks credible. The host makes more jokes than Pedro, so he may be better for a higher-level learner, but given you know a thing or two about languages already, I'd say give it a try.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-04-11, 13:26

Ciarán12 wrote:
Prowler wrote:For those of you who are native speakers of less commonly spoken languages by foreigners, got any interesting or funny stories from when a foreigner unexpectedly spoke to you in your native language fluently?


As a native English speaker, I'm never surprised when some one speaks my native language. Quite the opposite, I'm surprised if they don't.
I get a (usually pleasantly) shocked reaction from people when I speak Portuguese. I've gotten to the point now with it where people just think I'm Brazilian until they are told otherwise. I've had a few strange reactions: once there was a woman I was speaking to for 10 minutes before my wife alluded to the fact that I was Irish, and she looked completely taken aback by that. Another time there was this couple who I overheard speaking Portuguese in a bar, so I decided to chime in, as they had mentioned Irish people and I said something about not all of us being bad (in a joking way), they were quite hostile for a while at first because they were convinced I was just lying about being Irish, that I was Brazilian and trying to con them or something. The usual reaction is just amazement followed by lots of praise, which is of course very gratifying! :P I've had a similar reaction in the past when I've encountered foreigners from unexpected countries who spoke Irish quite well.

It's very hard to believe your Portuguese is that good! :shock:
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-04-11, 15:08

Osias wrote:It's very hard to believe your Portuguese is that good! :shock:


It's hard to believe for me too, but I'm only going off what has actually happened to me. 2 things that I think contribute to it are that I have a very good accent (I'm not trying to brag here, some people just have a gift for accents and I've always had that) and I think I'm also benefiting from the fact that people REALLY don't expect me to be a foreigner if I'm speaking Portuguese, it's just easier to believe I say things strangely because I'm from somewhere in Brazil they've never been than it is that I'm a non-native speaker.

EDIT: I feel like I've got to defend myself here a little bit (perhaps I'm taking too much offence, if so forgive me).
The only two possibilities I can think of from your perspective are that:
a) I'm just straight up lying about my experiences in order to seem better at Portuguese. I don't think I've come across as the kind of person that does that, and I wouldn't see the point in it anyway, but hey, believe whatever you want...
b) My interlocutors were simply being nice and trying to encourage me. That's totally valid as far as regular praise goes (and of course I take their praise with a massive grain of salt), but it doesn't really explain why they would confuse me for a Brazilian, unless you're suggesting that they perceived that I was a non-native speaker, masked their reaction completely and just waited until either I mentioned that I was Irish or somebody brought it up, then feigned surprise at the fact and insisted that they genuinely thought I was Brazilian up until that point, which I believed because they gave every appearance of it, including making references in the conversation to "us Brazilians" as if I was included and even going as far as actually complaining about Irish people as if I wasn't one, all to make me feel good about my Portuguese. Which would be pretty fucking insane, if you ask me. But again, hey, believe what you want...

EDIT2: I guess I can't let this go but, I'm thinking more about the how and why around this reaction people I meet have had, and another factor occurs to me. Here, when I write in Portuguese, I tend to try out new vocab and expressions, where as when I speak I stick to much more tried-and-true ways of speaking. This means that I probably make more mistakes here than in actual speech. Given the decent accent, the fact that I'm not messing up my Portuguese (because I'm sticking to the fundamentals, so to speak) and throwing in the odd colloquialism in the right places, as well as the fact that having met so many people now I've got the whole introductory spiel down very well, it's not hard to come off as native (given everything else I've said above).

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-04-11, 20:04

Eu nunca vi um estrangeiro com um sotaque que eu pudesse pensar que é de algum lugar que eu não conheça no Brasil. Acredito que todos, mesmo quem nunca viu linguistica, conhecem bem os sotaques brasileiros a ponto de isso não acontecer.

Na verdade as pessoas reconhecem dois sotaques, como estrangeiro e nordestino ao mesmo tempo. E uma amiga espanhola que mora aqui que é reconhecida em outros estados como "capixaba". E olha que o povo pensa que "capixaba não tem sotaque".

A explicação mais provável é você é muito bom, sim... mas também essas pessoas que te confundiram com brasileiro não estavam prestando muita atenção. :D
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-04-11, 21:55

Russian and Ukrainian speakers seem to have the most subtle accents when speaking Portuguese. You can tell they're foreign but you can easily understand them.

Native English speakers just sound... weird when speaking Portuguese. They sound like kids. I dunno why.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-11, 23:08

Prowler wrote:Russian and Ukrainian speakers seem to have the most subtle accents when speaking Portuguese. You can tell they're foreign but you can easily understand them.

That's really interesting to hear given how many English-speakers I know who have confused Portuguese with Slavic.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-04-11, 23:36

linguoboy wrote:
Prowler wrote:Russian and Ukrainian speakers seem to have the most subtle accents when speaking Portuguese. You can tell they're foreign but you can easily understand them.

That's really interesting to hear given how many English-speakers I know who have confused Portuguese with Slavic.

It's probably not a coincidence, then.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-12, 17:31

Despite knowing the word τυρός "cheese" since I first had "tiropita" at a Greek festival as a kid and the word βοῦς "cow" longer than that, it had never occurred to me that putting them together gets you βούτυρον "butter". How did I never notice that when looking up the etymology of butter?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-04-13, 18:01

I just came back from Italy and all the bookstores I visited hardly had anything in (or about) Italian regional languages. The only thing I bought was a dictionary of Tuscan words and expressions (not used in standard Italian)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-04-17, 8:36

I thought buonasera only meant good evening/night, but apparently some Italians (depending on the region) start using it right after noon.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2019-04-17, 11:15

Luís wrote:I thought buonasera only meant good evening/night, but apparently some Italians (depending on the region) start using it right after noon.

That's supposed to be the standard usage.

In the north people start saying it only around 5-6pm

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-04-18, 22:01

On youtube when someone speaks Romanian in a video or something I always see comments from several people saying they understood it fine or a lot of it, including Portuguese speakers.

Well I dunno, maybe it's just me, but Romanian to me is gibberish. In a 5 minute video of someone speaking in Romanian I might understand like 4 words at best. So I dunno how supposedly those Portuguese speakers understand "a lot" of it.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-04-23, 14:23

There was a guy from Romania once visiting my city that told us he understood 'a lot' of our Portuguese.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-04-25, 7:55

linguoboy wrote:Despite knowing the word τυρός "cheese" since I first had "tiropita" at a Greek festival as a kid and the word βοῦς "cow" longer than that, it had never occurred to me that putting them together gets you βούτυρον "butter". How did I never notice that when looking up the etymology of butter?
I found this out when I looked up the etymology of butyric acid and was also baffled since butter looks like the most Germanic and least Greek word ever.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-04-25, 23:31

Wikipedia claims that the Finnish names Marja and Maria are pronounced identically, but that's just not true. The former is two syllables, the latter three, and even if it was pronounced with a diphthong, it'd be [iɑ̯] rather than [i̯ɑ], so it still wouldn't sound the exact same as [jɑ]; for people who pronounce /r/ differently intervocalically (as [ɾ] or whatever), the difference is obviously even more noticeable. I'd even go as far as say that most times I've heard the latter, the /i/ has even sounded like it's lengthened at least a little, presumably to make it clearer that it's Maria rather than Marja.

I'd maybe edit it, but it'd just be reverted like everything that isn't cited to a "reliable source", and it's not like there even is anything that could be cited for this, so it'd be pointless. :?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-04-26, 0:07

Vlürch wrote:I'd maybe edit it, but it'd just be reverted like everything that isn't cited to a "reliable source", and it's not like there even is anything that could be cited for this, so it'd be pointless. :?

I have no experience with what sources Wikipedia accepts, but the Wiktionary entries for those names show different pronunciations.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-04-27, 16:49

The Taj Mahal episode of Blowing Up History came on TV earlier today and there was a hydrologist or whatever called Rajendra in it, whose name the narrator pronounced something like [ɻʌd͡ʒɛndɚ]. :lol: I can't even comprehend why since I doubt even the most American American who ever Americanned would pronounce Sandra as [sændɚ]. He also pronounced "Taj" as [tɑːʒ~tɑːʃ], which is weird since [d͡ʒ] would be more English-y (but correct). I guess it's just simple hyperforeignisation, but still...
Dormouse559 wrote:
Vlürch wrote:I'd maybe edit it, but it'd just be reverted like everything that isn't cited to a "reliable source", and it's not like there even is anything that could be cited for this, so it'd be pointless. :?

I have no experience with what sources Wikipedia accepts, but the Wiktionary entries for those names show different pronunciations.

I'd be surprised if they accepted Wiktionary, considering it's a related site.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-04-27, 17:24

Vlürch wrote:there was a hydrologist or whatever called Rajendra in it, whose name the narrator pronounced something like [ɻʌd͡ʒɛndɚ]. :lol: I can't even comprehend why

Maybe confusing the names Rajendra and Rajender? Something like [ɻʌd͡ʒɛndɚ] would be a perfectly common way for American English-speakers to pronounce Rajender.

Vlürch wrote:He also pronounced "Taj" as [tɑːʒ~tɑːʃ], which is weird since [d͡ʒ] would be more English-y (but correct). I guess it's just simple hyperforeignisation, but still...

[tɑːʒ] is a common way to pronounce the first syllable of Taj Mahal in English. I don't think I've heard [tɑːʃ] though.

Edit: LOL - While looking to see if English dictionaries accept the [tɑːʒ] pronunciation as correct in English (they do), I discovered that Wiktionary even gives this very example ("pronouncing the "j" in Taj Mahal or Beijing as [ʒ] rather than [dʒ]") as part of the definition of the term "hyperforeign".

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-04-28, 16:05

Linguaphile wrote:Maybe confusing the names Rajendra and Rajender? Something like [ɻʌd͡ʒɛndɚ] would be a perfectly common way for American English-speakers to pronounce Rajender.

Maybe, but I'd assume the narrator had to first read whatever he said, so unless the confusion with the name happened already before the narration was recorded and it was written wrong wherever he was reading it from, I don't see how that'd be possible, and since it was written "Rajendra" in the overlay text that popped up when he was explaining and demonstrating how they got the water in the fountains to spray equally, that doesn't seem likely...

Maybe it just sounded too much like "gender" for him to not pronounce it like that? :hmm:
Linguaphile wrote:[tɑːʒ] is a common way to pronounce the first syllable of Taj Mahal in English. I don't think I've heard [tɑːʃ] though.

Huh, I'd only ever heard it pronounced with an affricate as far as I can remember. As for [tɑːʃ], I just mean the typical kind of (partial) devoicing that's typical in (American) English, which sometimes still surprises me.
Linguaphile wrote:Edit: LOL - While looking to see if English dictionaries accept the [tɑːʒ] pronunciation as correct in English (they do), I discovered that Wiktionary even gives this very example ("pronouncing the "j" in Taj Mahal or Beijing as [ʒ] rather than [dʒ]") as part of the definition of the term "hyperforeign".

:o

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-04-28, 16:15

Guys, I wasn't going to say anything because I meant to respond to a whole bunch of things on this thread, but I think this one is more important to me than anything else. :P

-endra and -endar are just different pronunciations for the same suffix in (some) Indian languages. My brother's father-in-law's name is spelled <Surendra>, but everyone pronounces it [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] because he's from North India and a lot of North Indians (such as him!) are allergic to word-final schwa. :lol:

EDIT: In fact, while we're on that topic...for my sister-in-law, who knows all of these words only through Hindi, this is apparently how she thought these words or phrases are supposed to be pronounced:

Taj Mahal [t̪ad͡ʒ mɛl]
Sanskrit [ˈsənskrɪt̪] (she thought it was hilarious when I pronounced it [ˈsænskɹɪt̚])
sari [ˈsaɽʱi]
Muzaffarnagar [mʊˈd͡ʒafəɾnagəɾ], but with [mɨˈd͡ʒɑfnɑgɹ̩] as a valid Anglicization/Americanization
Ghaziabad [ˈgazijabad̪] (she didn't realize Muzaffarnagar has a Z in it even though she knew Ghaziabad does)

She was also surprised to learn that Bollywood actors are not the only Hindi-speakers who have [pʰ] because she always uses [f] instead (e.g. [fɪɾ] rather than [pʰɪɾ]).

EDIT2: If you're wondering about the pronunciation of Mahal, apparently in Gujarati, /ahaː/ becomes something like [ɛ̤].
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2019-04-28, 19:36, edited 1 time in total.


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