Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-07-01, 20:28

vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:I've always seen it as someone having two hand-cranked drills in their head, even if logically thinking the wrong part is changing for it to actually look like that. :P

:lol:

That feeling when you get electric shocks at regular intervals through the hand-cranked drills in your head. :noclue:

Personally, it's always been clearly a shrug to me, but as the old saying goes, de emoticonibus non est disputandum.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby france-eesti » 2019-07-04, 18:32

OldBoring wrote:When I was in primary school, our English teacher wrote the full song in Italian phonetic transcription

Descin tru de snou
In a uan hors open slei
Over de filz ui go
Laffin ol de uei!


Hi! You're right! I remembered a few days ago when I was learning how to sing in Malagasy - I had learnt in phonetics too! But I could rememer 2 or 3 full songs in Malagasy - so it's possible (and I didn't understand what it meant) :silly:
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-05, 0:38

My mom got me to sing two songs in Malayalam when I was little, each for a different Christmas celebration (i.e. in different years) in the local Malayalee community. Each time, she wrote out the lyrics to the song I was supposed to sing in Roman script (the second was actually a group song).
księżycowy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:The phonology of Shuswap seems pretty interesting too, especially not having /s/ but instead /ɬ/ which contrasts with /ʃ/.

I might be wrong, but I think this is pretty common in Salishan languages in general.

Of the three I know at least a little about, they all have /s/ and /ɬ/, and two have all three sounds.

Okay, I guess you're right. :P The only other one I could find was Lillooet.
Vlürch wrote:Yeah, this is among the most pointless posts ever.

Nah.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2019-07-05, 13:25

Foreign guy at the canteen asking for "pau". The woman who was serving him jokingly said she didn't have one to give him. He didn't get the joke*

*pão = bread / pau = dick (nasal vs oral diphthong)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby voron » 2019-07-05, 17:43

Luís wrote:Foreign guy at the canteen asking for "pau". The woman who was serving him jokingly said she didn't have one to give him. He didn't get the joke*

*pão = bread / pau = dick (nasal vs oral diphthong)

Lol. Reminded me of this post:
https://forum.unilang.org/viewtopic.php ... 9#p1135209

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-05, 19:57

Luís wrote:Foreign guy at the canteen asking for "pau". The woman who was serving him jokingly said she didn't have one to give him. He didn't get the joke*

*pão = bread / pau = dick (nasal vs oral diphthong)


I say to people who ask if Portuguese pronunciation is difficult that if you can't distinguish between pão-duro and pau duro you're in trouble :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-07-07, 16:18

I used to think I was missing something or had hearing problems for not being able to tell your average American and Canadian accents apart. But I asked a Scot about this recently and he told me they sound the same to him as well. And also have seen Americans online saying they've had Canadian acquaintances or friends that they've only found out they were Canadian several weeks after meeting them, so maybe the differences aren't that big after all?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-07, 17:52

Prowler wrote:I used to think I was missing something or had hearing problems for not being able to tell your average American and Canadian accents apart. But I asked a Scot about this recently and he told me they sound the same to him as well. And also have seen Americans online saying they've had Canadian acquaintances or friends that they've only found out they were Canadian several weeks after meeting them, so maybe the differences aren't that big after all?


I think it depends on the particular Canadian in question. I've heard many Canadians that I would never have guessed they were not Americans, others who I've had to listen to for a while until I picked out certain Canadian features, and yet others who had a blindingly ultra-Canadian accent right off the bat.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-07-07, 17:58

In Brazil I noticed big cities accents are more like each other and rural areas and smaller cities concentrate most remarkable differences.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-07, 21:24

I am rarely able to detect any kind of differences between American or Canadian accents. I think either I haven't listened to enough of them or the differences are just too subtle for me or something.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-07, 21:49

vijayjohn wrote:I am rarely able to detect any kind of differences between American or Canadian accents. I think either I haven't listened to enough of them or the differences are just too subtle for me or something.


Ever watched Trailer Park Boys? Or heard Jordan Peterson speak? Those are examples of Canadian accents I would find to be quite strong.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-07-08, 3:21

I just learned the etymology of "the Arctic", and wow is it beautiful.

"The word Arctic comes from the Greek word ἀρκτικός, "near the Bear, northern" and that from the word ἄρκτος, meaning bear. The name refers either to the constellation Ursa Major, the "Great Bear", which is prominent in the northern portion of the celestial sphere, or to the constellation Ursa Minor, the "Little Bear", which contains Polaris, the Pole star, also known as the North Star."
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-08, 15:20

Yasna wrote:I just learned the etymology of "the Arctic", and wow is it beautiful.

For years (until I finally looked it up), I thought it derived from arc, which I justified by some vague association with the "circle" part of "Arctic Circle". (Of course, that would make the name somehow pleonastic, but it's not like English never does that.)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2019-07-09, 17:09

What's with the whole "YouTube polyglot" crowd and reading Anglophone works in translation as "reading practice"? Olly Richards read Shakespeare in Chinese and the script for Die Hard in Japanese, Luca Lampariello read a North American self-help author in French (and I think recommended a bunch of other English books in random translations IIRC), on the "Polyglot Progress" channel they talked about reading a stack of Anglophone works in German or French. On reddit not a day goes by without someone uploading a picture of a Harry Potter book in some language.

Isn't the whole point to be able read things in the original -- or alternatively to read translations that don't exist in your native language?

It's not that I don't read translations or there's anything fundamentally wrong with translations, there's certainly a place for it in language learning, but it seems weird how common it is, to the point of overshadowing reading literature originally produced in the target language. In fact I would find it more motivating if people spent more time recommending original works.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 18:14

Saim wrote:Isn't the whole point to be able read things in the original -- or alternatively to read translations that don't exist in your native language?

I've always thought so. But I get the feeling that folks in general, rather than seek out new content, are gravitating toward consuming the same (or similar) content in multiple formats. *eyes Disney live-action remakes of animated films*

I try as much as possible not to read works in translation--to the point that if I buy something translated and then discover the original is in a language I can read, I feel cheated. This happened to me last year with a work by Naivo, billed as "the first Malagasy novel translated into English". I naturally assumed that meant the first novel to be translated from Malagasy (a language I don't read and never will) into English. So I bought it, only to discover the original title was Au-delà des rizières.

(Of course we wouldn't have this problem if English clearly distinguished "of X origin" from "in X language", but there's nothing that can be done about that.)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-07-09, 19:24

For me it's easier to read a translation of texts I already know what they say. At least until I learn enough.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-09, 19:37

Saim wrote:What's with the whole "YouTube polyglot" crowd and reading Anglophone works in translation as "reading practice"? Olly Richards read Shakespeare in Chinese and the script for Die Hard in Japanese, Luca Lampariello read a North American self-help author in French (and I think recommended a bunch of other English books in random translations IIRC), on the "Polyglot Progress" channel they talked about reading a stack of Anglophone works in German or French. On reddit not a day goes by without someone uploading a picture of a Harry Potter book in some language.

Isn't the whole point to be able read things in the original -- or alternatively to read translations that don't exist in your native language?

It's not that I don't read translations or there's anything fundamentally wrong with translations, there's certainly a place for it in language learning, but it seems weird how common it is, to the point of overshadowing reading literature originally produced in the target language. In fact I would find it more motivating if people spent more time recommending original works.


I've long since stopped following almost all polyglot channels because I find them excruciating to watch, so I'm not sure I've come across this trend. In general, I'd say the goal is certainly to be able to explore native literature at some point, but as Osias says, it might just be easier to read something you've already read in your native language at the beginning to build up your reading comprehension skills. Also, what tends to happen to me a lot is that I will be aware of far more titles in English than in any other language, and so the books on my to-read list are naturally mostly originally in English, but as I want to practice my target language I prefer to read a translation than the original. I do try to make a point to mix it up though, you can fall into a habit of not reading the literature of the target culture(s) if you don't deliberately make an effort to mix in some native literature.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 20:04

Osias wrote:For me it's easier to read a translation of texts I already know what they say. At least until I learn enough.

I get that, but I feel like this transitional period should be short and I've noticed that some learners never seem to leave it.

Moreover, shouldn't you get the same advantages from reading the original version of a work you've read in translation? I mean, I'm assuming the ease comes from already knowing the setting, characters, plot, etc. and being able to focus purely on grammar and vocabulary. Well, I'd glean all that if I read Dona Flor e seus dois maridos in English translation and that should make reading the Portuguese version as easy as reading a Portuguese translation of Harry Potter would be.

And if you haven't read any literature translated from the target language before learning the language itself, well, why not? I know that the vast majority won't ever be translated, but presumably what has been translated is exactly what publishers determined would have the most appeal to someone from your country.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-07-09, 20:06

Saim wrote:Isn't the whole point to be able read things in the original -- or alternatively to read translations that don't exist in your native language?

I think the idea is to pick accessible, engaging books that are translated into as many languages as possible, and that usually means Anglophone books or things like Le Petit Prince. That way you end up learning a few of these books inside out such that you get maximum benefit from extensive reading of them in your languages.

The only problem is that I find it to be an utterly uninspiring activity. I am far more motivated to read books in the original, or at least books where I get closer to the original (I imagine that Russian translations of Polish novels are generally closer to the original than English translations). My method of jumping straight into original TL books after readers and online articles may not be the most efficient, but what good is efficiency if I keep avoiding the efficient activity because it's dull.

It's not that I don't read translations or there's anything fundamentally wrong with translations, there's certainly a place for it in language learning, but it seems weird how common it is, to the point of overshadowing reading literature originally produced in the target language. In fact I would find it more motivating if people spent more time recommending original works.

I make a point of searching out "booktube" channels in my target languages. They can be a great source of recommendations.

linguoboy wrote:I try as much as possible not to read works in translation--to the point that if I buy something translated and then discover the original is in a language I can read, I feel cheated. This happened to me last year with a work by Naivo, billed as "the first Malagasy novel translated into English". I naturally assumed that meant the first novel to be translated from Malagasy (a language I don't read and never will) into English. So I bought it, only to discover the original title was Au-delà des rizières.

I quietly discarded a translated volume of Japanese poetry I was gifted without reading it, and not because it was poetry.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby voron » 2019-07-09, 22:41

I find translated literature to be almost always easier to read than the original literature. This may be because of several factors:
- Perfect translations can only be made by people equally proficient in both languages, and having a literary talent at that, which is frequently not the case.

- Authors are allowed more freedom to experiment with the language than translators.

- If you choose translations of books that describe your own country, you won't have to know the cultural context and the related vocabulary of your target language's country. For example, if I choose to read Russian classics in Turkish translation, I will hardly ever encounter any Islamic terms, which are otherwise ubiquitous in Turkish literature.

I agree that using translations as a means of learning a language is a crutch and should be get rid of as soon as possible.


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