Random language thread 6

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IpseDixit

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-11-07, 11:16

Luís wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:
*tu is another pronoun that is dying out and is being replaced by te.


:shock:

Next step: replace io by me


I haven't seen signs of that for the time being but in the future who knows, many languages above the La Spezia-Rimini line have that...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2018-11-07, 11:38

What's with people online referring to people from Spanish speaking nations as just "Spanish"? Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people". Also, why do Americans call the Québécois "French" just because they speak French? That'd be like me referring to Nigerians and Kenyans as "English people". One guy once told me he found a Portuguese song he liked and when he told me the name of who sang it I told him I had no idea who that was and he told me "well she's Brazilian".

Is this an English language thing or mostly one of those strange American things? Because no one I know would refer to Colombians or Argentinians as "Spanish people", nor would they refer to an Australian singer as an "English singer" or refer to Tintin as a "French comic book". If we're referring to a language spoken or something like that we'd say "it's in French" or "in French language". If we just call something French the only thing it can mean is that it's from France.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2018-11-07, 14:32

Prowler wrote: Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people".

Are you sure they're using "Spanish" and not "Hispanic" ?

Prowler wrote:Also, why do Americans call the Québécois "French" just because they speak French? That'd be like me referring to Nigerians and Kenyans as "English people".


Well, most people in Québec actually have French ancestors. I don't suppose that's quite the same relation Nigerians have with their former colonizers.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-11-07, 15:15

Luís wrote:
Prowler wrote: Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people".

Are you sure they're using "Spanish" and not "Hispanic"?

It's an older usage in US English, but I still hear it. It makes sense to me as an abbreviation of "Spanish-speaking". If you hear someone speak Spanish, you don't necessarily know what country they're from. Similarly, calling a singer who sings in Portuguese a "Portuguese singer" doesn't seems that odd to me. After all, it's not unusual for singers to migrate between countries with the same dominant language.

Quebeckers are also known as "French Canadians". So, depending on the context, abbreviating this just to "French" makes perfect sense. Moreover, not all Francophone Canadians are from Quebec anyway.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2018-11-07, 18:53

Our illiterate elected president have criticized a Portuguese exam question about a 'gay secret dialect'. This guy doesn't seem to have nothing else to do...
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-11-07, 19:57

Osias wrote:Our illiterate elected president have has criticized a Portuguese exam question about a 'gay secret dialect'. This guy doesn't seem to have nothing anything else to do...


Is this the infamous question on the ENEM about dialeto de Pajubá? So that's why that's been all over my YouTube feed...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2018-11-07, 21:21

That's why I avoid youtube feeds. :D
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-11-08, 1:24

Prowler wrote:What's with people online referring to people from Spanish speaking nations as just "Spanish"? Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people". Also, why do Americans call the Québécois "French" just because they speak French? That'd be like me referring to Nigerians and Kenyans as "English people". One guy once told me he found a Portuguese song he liked and when he told me the name of who sang it I told him I had no idea who that was and he told me "well she's Brazilian".

Is this an English language thing or mostly one of those strange American things? Because no one I know would refer to Colombians or Argentinians as "Spanish people", nor would they refer to an Australian singer as an "English singer" or refer to Tintin as a "French comic book". If we're referring to a language spoken or something like that we'd say "it's in French" or "in French language". If we just call something French the only thing it can mean is that it's from France.

I hear it sometimes, but (at least where I live) it's fairly well-known as being incorrect.
"Hispanic" or "Spanish-speaking" are acceptable, though.
Actually not long ago I was criticized for having referred to something as being "Spanish" and I had to explain, "But it really is Spanish, it's from Spain...." The person I was speaking to assumed I was using the word in its incorrect sense (i.e., referring to Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas) rather than Spain.
So that demonstrates that (a) it's a common enough error that someone assumed I was making the error, rather than actually referring to Spain, and I had to clarify that I really meant what I'd said; and (b) people do actively correct it when they hear it.
It's a little different when referring to language, though. Adjectives like "French" or "Spanish" in English are commonly used to refer to either the country or the language. So, it's not uncommon to hear someone refer to a song as a "Spanish song" if it's sung in the Spanish language (or a "French comic book" if it's in the French language) regardless of where it comes from. The adjective is describing the language that it's in, rather than the country. If the adjective causes confusion it can be clarified by calling it a "Spanish-language song", etc., but often the word "language" is left out. You can't do that with people though. With people, if you need to use an adjective like that, you either say where they are actually from, or you add "speaker" to the language they speak ("Portuguese-speaker" "Portuguese-speaking person," etc., but not "Portuguese" unless the person really is from Portugal).

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2018-11-08, 9:59

What about Mark Twain? When he wrote about "the Spaniard" in Tom Sawyer, did he mean a man actually from Spain, or a Hispanic?

In Italy it's also pretty common to refer to English-speaking people or English-language music, films etc as "inglesi".
On the other hand... Italian Americans or Italians living in the US often say they speak "americano".

In China nobody cares about England. Even though the name of language is "English", most people assume an English speaker is American by default.

IpseDixit wrote:
Ser wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Nowadays egli/ella/etc etc couldn't be more dead (in your face grammarians).

OldBoring wrote:I still conjugate verbs with egli and essi though, and when talking to learners, I have to be careful and use lui/lei and loro instead.

I'm confused. Not knowing Italian, are egli and essi dead or not?


They're dead, but back when I (and I suppose Oldboring too) were in elementary school, we would still use them as the "citation form" when we had to conjugate verbs. So for example, if a teacher asked to conjugate the verb essere in the present indicative, you would go:

io sono
tu* sei
egli è
noi siamo
voi siete
essi sono

That's just an anachronism that for some reason stuck around in the Italian school system. Not sure how things are nowadays.

---

*tu is another pronoun that is dying out and is being replaced by te.

I probably went to schools even more conservative than IpseDixit.
I was taught in grammar classes that egli/ella/essi/esse are subject, lui/lei/loro are object.
For instance, I always wrote "egli" in school essays, never "lui".
In oral tests (interrogazioni) I was more likely to use "lui" in more colloquial sentences (such as "lui era un uomo molto bello") but "egli" when talking in a more bookish language (such as "egli scrisse le più celebri opere del Neorealismo italiano").

This was up to the end of high school.
I don't remember having used "egli" after school, except when reciting verb conjugations.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2018-11-08, 10:01

OldBoring wrote:What about Mark Twain? When he wrote about "the Spaniard" in Tom Sawyer, did he mean a man actually from Spain, or a Hispanic?

In Italy it's also pretty common to refer to English-speaking people or English-language music, films etc as "inglesi".
On the other hand... Italian Americans or Italians living in the US often say they speak "americano".

In China nobody cares about England. Even though the name of language is "English", most people assume an English speaker is American by default.


I'm pretty sure "Spaniard" means someone from Spain only.

They don't care about England? How so? Don't they get English comedies on TV and don't they watch Harry Potter? Or the English football Premier League?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2018-11-08, 10:10

Prowler wrote:I'm pretty sure "Spaniard" means someone from Spain only.

What was a man from Spain doing in the US in the 19th century? I've always thought he must've been from Spanish colonies in the Americas.

They don't care about England? How so? Don't they get English comedies on TV and don't they watch Harry Potter? Or the English football Premier League?

First of all, only a small part of people are interested in foreign culture, mainly young people, language learners, those with a passion of foreign things, etc.
American sit-coms and Hollywood movies are way more popular than English comedies. TVs rarely broadcast foreign productions, and when they do, it's Hollywood movies or American sitcoms.
Harry Potter is way less popular than in Europe.
NBA is more popular than English football Premier League. Those who like football and European football leagues, watch the matches and the commentaries in Chinese.
In general, America is way more popular than England. Much more English courses focus on American English and American culture than on British English.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2018-11-08, 10:44

OldBoring wrote:
Prowler wrote:I'm pretty sure "Spaniard" means someone from Spain only.

What was a man from Spain doing in the US in the 19th century? I've always thought he must've been from Spanish colonies in the Americas.

They don't care about England? How so? Don't they get English comedies on TV and don't they watch Harry Potter? Or the English football Premier League?

First of all, only a small part of people are interested in foreign culture, mainly young people, language learners, those with a passion of foreign things, etc.
American sit-coms and Hollywood movies are way more popular than English comedies. TVs rarely broadcast foreign productions, and when they do, it's Hollywood movies or American sitcoms.
Harry Potter is way less popular than in Europe.
NBA is more popular than English football Premier League. Those who like football and European football leagues, watch the matches and the commentaries in Chinese.
In general, America is way more popular than England. Much more English courses focus on American English and American culture than on British English.


Ah I dunno. I haven't read the book.

I see. So I guess Chinese Mainland doesn't get much UK content. Hong Kong is probably a different case though, no?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2018-11-08, 10:46

OldBoring wrote:What was a man from Spain doing in the US in the 19th century? I've always thought he must've been from Spanish colonies in the Americas.


Spanish people were still massively settling some of their former colonies well into the 20th century, so it could be both. But there was Spanish immigration directly to the United States in the 19th century, so it wouldn't have to be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_A ... _centuries

Immigration to the United States from Spain was controversially minimal but steady during the first half of the nineteenth century, with an increase during the 1850s and 1860s resulting from the bloody warfare of the Carlist civil wars during the years of 1833-1876.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-11-08, 16:25

OldBoring wrote:
Prowler wrote:I'm pretty sure "Spaniard" means someone from Spain only.

What was a man from Spain doing in the US in the 19th century?

We had men from Spain settling in St Louis in 20th century. They were chiefly from Asturias and they came for the same reason most people have come here over the years: for work.

That said, Twain could well have been using "Spaniard" for what we call a "Hispanic". As an ethnic term, that really only caught on in the 1970s. "Latino" goes back to the 40s but was originally used chiefly in the US Southwest. Midwesterners would have called lighter-skinned Spanish-speaking people "Spanish".

As I said, the usage of "Spanish" for people of Spanish American origin was widespread in my parents' generation. It's now generally considered "incorrect", but it was a part of the language for at least a century or more.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2018-11-10, 23:28

linguoboy wrote:
Luís wrote:
Prowler wrote: Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people".

Are you sure they're using "Spanish" and not "Hispanic"?

It's an older usage in US English, but I still hear it. It makes sense to me as an abbreviation of "Spanish-speaking". If you hear someone speak Spanish, you don't necessarily know what country they're from. Similarly, calling a singer who sings in Portuguese a "Portuguese singer" doesn't seems that odd to me. After all, it's not unusual for singers to migrate between countries with the same dominant language.

Quebeckers are also known as "French Canadians". So, depending on the context, abbreviating this just to "French" makes perfect sense. Moreover, not all Francophone Canadians are from Quebec anyway.

Well, thing is, a lot of Americans seem to use those labels in a not so clear way at times. Like, when they claim to be Italian and turns out the only connection they had to Italy was one of their grandparents being Italian. Plus, a rather considerable minority of Americans seems to think Spanish speaking countries are all basically the same culturally and demographically wise, and also that Portugal and Brazil are pretty much the same, which is kinda strange since I'm sure Americans know that, let's say, Jamaica and Nigeria, aren't exactly similar to USA or the UK demographically and culturally eise despite speaking English.

So yeah, better be safe than sorry. I'm not saying it's something that happens on a regular basis, but such ignorance is more common than what you'd expect.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2018-11-11, 9:49

You are only surprised because you're European and you're surprised people know so little about Europe or call wrong things with European nationalities (such as Spanish, English etc.).
Ignorance is not a prerogative of Americans only.

In Italy there are people who can't distinguish China from Japan. I've had classmates say sushi is Chinese food, Sony is Chinese, the Great Wall is in Japan.
A friend of mine didn't know where Vietnam was. He asked me in Africa? Then he remembered about Hollywood movies about the Vietnam War and said oh! It must be near the US.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2018-11-11, 21:26

Most "Chinese" restaurants here have sushi and also the Japanese ones have things said to be Chinese, and both have things I'm sure are served outside Brazil.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-11-12, 6:07

Prowler wrote:Well, thing is, a lot of Americans seem to use those labels in a not so clear way at times. Like, when they claim to be Italian and turns out the only connection they had to Italy was one of their grandparents being Italian.

IME, this is another usage which is perfectly clear in context (e.g. when you already know the speaker is US-born). I think of it as a shorthand for "Italian-American". Sure, you can use the full technical term if it's actually necessary, but most of the time it just isn't. It's confusing to you because Europeans don't have the same sorts of conversations around ethnicity as Americans.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby aaakknu » 2018-11-12, 22:08

Anybody wants to participate in the Broken Translation Game?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2018-11-13, 0:31

Since I mentioned the Finnish cringiness when it comes to language-related stuff in another thread, here's a perfect example that's even more outrageous than the demystification of ancient languages and language isolates: this guy claims that nasal consonants can only be voiced. :roll:

It's like he's never heard of Welsh, Burmese, etc. Even at least one of the Sami languages has them! Makes me kinda ashamed to be Finnish, but thankfully I have no education beyond primary school so at least I don't have to live with the shame of being lumped together with proudly ignorant academics and whatnot. :P

But ignoring that and the kind of condescending elitist tone at some parts (and ironically the English mistakes), that pdf is actually cool and I'm glad that research into Finnish pronunciation of English has been done, and I'm pretty sure I've even linked to it before even though I'd only skimmed through it before now, but I'm glad I randomly stumbled upon it again.


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