Random language thread 6

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-11, 5:58

When I was taking English literature in high school, I actually found it easier and much more fun to get through literature translated from other languages if I tried to read the original in tandem. :P (Also some of the exercises they made us do in that class were just stupid, like when we were reading Die Verwandlung by Kafka in English, under the title The Metamorphosis, and they were like "look up the word metamorphosis. Which meaning of that word do you think the author intended and why?" He wrote it in German, dumbfuck!).

And yeah, I prefer reading stuff that was written in the language. It's more interesting and doesn't have translation mistakes.
Ciarán12 wrote:Ever watched Trailer Park Boys?

No, but I have heard someone from Nova Scotia demonstrating that variety before. That was noticeable but also one of the rare times I could notice a difference. Nova Scotian English seems pretty similar to Hiberno-English (don't remember whether anything about the accent was similar, though).
Or heard Jordan Peterson speak?

Ew, no.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-11, 8:03

vijayjohn wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Ever watched Trailer Park Boys?

No, but I have heard someone from Nova Scotia demonstrating that variety before. That was noticeable but also one of the rare times I could notice a difference. Nova Scotian English seems pretty similar to Hiberno-English (don't remember whether anything about the accent was similar, though).


I don't know about Nova Scotian English, but Newfoundland English has definitely got obvious roots in Hiberno-English. I once heard a clip of a Newfie once on an Irish radio show and he had a Kerry accent almost exactly. Apparently he'd never been to Ireland in his life.

vijayjohn wrote:
Or heard Jordan Peterson speak?

Ew, no.


You've never even heard him?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-11, 15:04

vijayjohn wrote:(Also some of the exercises they made us do in that class were just stupid, like when we were reading Die Verwandlung by Kafka in English, under the title The Metamorphosis, and they were like "look up the word metamorphosis. Which meaning of that word do you think the author intended and why?" He wrote it in German, dumbfuck!).

When I read that for my humanities sequence, we spent a lot of time discussing the German meaning of the first line (and how badly the Muirs mistranslate it). It inspired me to buy a volume of Kafka's collected short fiction and read it in the original.

vijayjohn wrote:And yeah, I prefer reading stuff that was written in the language. It's more interesting and doesn't have translation mistakes.

It's not even the mistakes that bother me the most; sometimes they can be amusing. It's the wholesale transfers. I once read a translation of a YA novel to Irish (it was a gift) and it was painful how closely they cleaved to the English original. There was so little use of Irish idiom that I could hear the English in my head as I read. I probably could have retranslated it on the fly with only a handful of deviations.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-07-12, 1:09

linguoboy wrote:When I read that for my humanities sequence, we spent a lot of time discussing the German meaning of the first line (and how badly the Muirs mistranslate it).

"Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt."

If they screwed up a sentence as straightforward as this, I would hate to see what they did with the rest of the story.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2019-07-12, 16:46

Trailer Park Boys? I watched that. Never noticed any funny accents to my ear. I didn't know the show was Canadian until I searched info about it online. Plus, I didn't know trailer parks existed in Canada. I thought they were just an American thing, I guess.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-12, 17:00

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:When I read that for my humanities sequence, we spent a lot of time discussing the German meaning of the first line (and how badly the Muirs mistranslate it).

"Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt."

The key phrase is "ungeheueren Ungeziefer". The Muirs render this as "gigantic insect", but it's more accurately translated as "monstrous vermin". Whether the creature Samsa becomes is, in fact, an insect has been a subject of debate over the years.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-13, 3:57

Ciarán12 wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Or heard Jordan Peterson speak?

Ew, no.


You've never even heard him?

No. Why would I even want to?
linguoboy wrote:It's not even the mistakes that bother me the most; sometimes they can be amusing.

Oh, I know. They're pretty funny going from English to Malayalam. :P
Yasna wrote:"Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt."

If they screwed up a sentence as straightforward as this, I would hate to see what they did with the rest of the story.

This was kind of how I felt about the whole novel; to me, it felt easier to read in German than in English. Interestingly, though, native speakers of German I talked to seemed to feel exactly the opposite way.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-13, 8:56

vijayjohn wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Or heard Jordan Peterson speak?

Ew, no.


You've never even heard him?

No. Why would I even want to?


Well, it seems you already have a strong opinion on him, was that formed purely from reading/hearing about him from third parties or reading what he's written? The impression I get is that most of his fame is derived from talks he's done and interviews he's given, so it just seems unlikely that you'd have heard of him, already have an opinion on him and yet never once actually heard him speak given how much audio and video there is of him around.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-13, 23:41

I obviously can’t speak for Vijay but I generally find listening to speakers online (as opposed to in person) pretty tedious. I’d much rather read their writings (just as I’d rather read a manual than watch a tutorial). So my opinion of Peterson was formed without ever having heard him speak. (When I finally did, I was kind of surprised how unpleasant he is to listen to, given it’s his talks and videos that built his fame.)
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-07-15, 20:02

linguoboy wrote:So my opinion of Peterson was formed without ever having heard him speak. (When I finally did, I was kind of surprised how unpleasant he is to listen to, given it’s his talks and videos that built his fame.)

The experience of listening to Peterson can range widely depending on the topic and his conversation partners. He's great when it comes to psychology (his field) and related topics like gender differences, but I tried listening to his chat with Dennis Prager about Christianity and god (which Peterson refuses to define in any remotely productive way) and it was excruciating.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-07-16, 9:17

...and it's discussions like this that make me realise I should just force myself to give up on language learning and somehow withdraw from language forums altogether because I have no hope and only complain in every post about how much I suck at learning languages. :oops:

But I mean, I need to look up words from tweets in every single language, and the only foreign languages that I could've read something longer in were Spanish and French, but I never got to anything longer than blog posts and haven't even tried to maintain any level of reading comprehension in them because I'd rather get somewhere with Japanese, but haven't even gotten to a toddler's level and the only vocabulary I remember are weird things that literally no one ever actually uses... and since it was recently confirmed that I don't actually have brain damage, I have literally no excuse. I just suck at languages for whatever reason, even though it's one of the things I'd want most in life... :para:

(Sorry for yet another rambly post where I complain about shit nobody cares about.)

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-07-16, 11:21

Vlürch wrote:But I mean, I need to look up words from tweets in every single language


Oh but Twitter is indeed hard, I tried several times along the years to find good people who post in my target languages to follow and I had the hardest time even deciphering the shortest phrases. Even tweets in my native language send me to google all the time.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2019-07-16, 12:36

Osias wrote:Oh but Twitter is indeed hard, I tried several times along the years to find good people who post in my target languages to follow and I had the hardest time even deciphering the shortest phrases.

Huh, kinda relieving to know I'm not the only one. I wonder why it's like that, then?
Osias wrote:Even tweets in my native language send me to google all the time.

That happens to me too with some weird ass words, especially "youth slang" or whatever and particularly with political slang. It's depressing how many derogatory terms there are in Finnish for leftists, liberals, ethnic minorities, people who believe in global warming (as if it even was a matter of belief), etc. when we supposedly have the best education in the world and how Finland is supposedly the best country for immigrants to live in and whatnot... but at least there's the silver lining that I can forget most of those terms just like I can forget most vocabulary in foreign languages. :lol:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-16, 14:14

Osias wrote:Oh but Twitter is indeed hard, I tried several times along the years to find good people who post in my target languages to follow and I had the hardest time even deciphering the shortest phrases. Even tweets in my native language send me to google all the time.

The shortest phrases are the hardest. You have to supply so much of the missing context.

Yesterday I was reading a book of short stories by Hilary Mantel. In one of them, a man and a woman are getting to know each other and the woman says, "Hostages to fortune?" From context, you can deduce that she's asking if he has any children. This appears to be an allusion to the Francis Bacon quote "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief" but it must be a commonplace in British English because the man she's speaking to is a working-class Scouser without a university education.

After deciphering that, I asked myself, "How the hell is any non-native reader supposed to make any sense of that?" If I'd come across an equivalently telegraphic phrase in one of my L2s, I'd have been completely flummoxed.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2019-07-16, 17:35

Vlürch wrote:
Osias wrote:Oh but Twitter is indeed hard, I tried several times along the years to find good people who post in my target languages to follow and I had the hardest time even deciphering the shortest phrases.

Huh, kinda relieving to know I'm not the only one. I wonder why it's like that, then?
As far as I understood... People who write tweets don't care about us. (This post now has a Micheal Jackson soundtrack). Contrast wikipedia's pages, written to be understood by most people possible, even non natives. Twitter users want to be understood by just a few followers and sometimes even not by then. There are exceptions like politicians or news accounts, but even then will sometimes use twitter memes.

linguoboy wrote:The shortest phrases are the hardest.

And there's that.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2019-07-17, 21:27

I'm trying to get a feel for how similar Arabic and Hebrew are. Does anyone have a good analogy, preferably using Indo-European languages?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-17, 21:29

Yasna wrote:I'm trying to get a feel for how similar Arabic and Hebrew are. Does anyone have a good analogy, preferably using Indo-European languages?

Irish vs Cornish.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Antea » 2019-07-17, 21:31

Spanish & French

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-17, 22:52

linguoboy wrote:
Yasna wrote:I'm trying to get a feel for how similar Arabic and Hebrew are. Does anyone have a good analogy, preferably using Indo-European languages?

Irish vs Cornish.


Interesting, I would have thought they were considerably closer. Thanks!

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-18, 3:50

Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Yasna wrote:I'm trying to get a feel for how similar Arabic and Hebrew are. Does anyone have a good analogy, preferably using Indo-European languages?

Irish vs Cornish.

Interesting, I would have thought they were considerably closer. Thanks!

If anything, that’s conservative. The time-depth for the Goidelic/Brittonic split is estimated at about 2800 to 3200 years BP. For the differentiation of Proto-Canaanite from the ancestor of Arabic, it’s probably at least 4000 years ago. (By comparison, Proto-Gallo-Romance and Proto-Ibero-Romance were still mutually intelligible as recently as 1400 years ago.)
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