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Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-23, 20:33
by Antea
I also was curious about this. They are language coaches or something like that, isn’t it? But couldn’t we all be language coaches ? :hmm: I don’t really understand what they do.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-23, 21:37
by linguoboy
So, randomly, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Hawai'ian I saw on Maui. It certainly had more of a presence than any other indigenous language in any of the US states I've visited.

For starters, there are hardly any non-Hawai'ian toponyms on the island. And that means not just settlements but roads, landmarks, and so forth. Even resorts and other private businesses make widespread use of the language. (The Safeway, for instance, had bilingual signs.) Moreover, in 2000 the Park Service started using the correct orthography for proper names (e.g. "Waiʻānapanapa" instead of "Waianapanapa") and others seem to be following suit, though not as consistently.

It wasn't surprising to hear species without common English names like the naupaka and the naʻenaʻe named in Hawai'ian, but this also applied to plants like the ʻāhinahina (or "silversword") and the hau tree (a hibiscus). Most surprising of all, the passionfruit was universally called "lilikoʻi" even though it was only imported from South America relatively recently.

I didn't hear anyone speaking it, sadly, apart from a few polite words like "aloha" and "mahalo" ("thanks"). But there was one radio station which broadcast almost solely Hawai'ian-language songs. I hear there are immersion programmes in the schools now but I'm not sure how successful they are given the poor state of public education there.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-28, 18:56
by linguoboy
So now I'm full into learning Hawai'ian. Last night I unearthed my old textbook and last week I started Duolingo. And I have to say I did not expect so many parallels to Irish and Welsh. But there they are: default VSO order, zero-copula sentences, relative constructions expressed with possessives, etc. That must've generated some crazy contact hypotheses back in the day!

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-28, 19:20
by Antea
linguoboy wrote:So now I'm full into learning Hawai'ian.


I was also interested in Hawaiian sometime ago, and I even bought this book
https://images.app.goo.gl/8zW5mMzN2zTiXr8F8

I should reanimate the Polynesian thread :hmm:

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-28, 20:02
by linguoboy
Antea wrote:
linguoboy wrote:So now I'm full into learning Hawai'ian.


I was also interested in Hawaiian sometime ago, and I even bought this book
https://images.app.goo.gl/8zW5mMzN2zTiXr8F8

I should reanimate the Polynesian thread :hmm:

I would contribute!

I did something I almost never do: I looked for YouTube videos to clear up pronunciation questions. I enjoyed the ones from the Speak Hawaiian channel because she explains the grammar in Pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English).

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-01-28, 20:05
by linguoboy
I forgot to mention a random language experience from last weekend: There was a busker on the el who sang a couple songs in French. I recognised one as a cover of "House of the Rising Sun" but I didn't know the other so I asked him the tile (in French). He was immediately curious where I'd learned French (he was Haitian himself) and we chatted for a little bit until I had to get off at my stop.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-01, 21:14
by md0
Coronavirus evolved from a tragedy to a farce when it comes to its Greek spelling.

When the news first broke, journalists calqued it as κορόναϊός, which rubs most of us the wrong way because it doesn't respect Greek compounding rules (i.e. take the bare root of the first element, stick it to a compounding marker -o-, then attach the second element and inflect it). As readers started bothering journalists about it, both κοροναϊός and κορονοϊός could be seen.

Then someone had the brilliant idea toask Greece's most over-rated linguist about the correct spelling and he of course had to show off like he does, by saying that both options are wrong.

According to him, even what most of us instinctively prefer, i.e. κορονοϊός is wrong, because a) the three-vowel sequence -όϊό- is something that Greek traditionally abhors, and b) corona has an Ancient Greek etymology that no-one remembers, so it should be spelled the Ancient way, as was κορώνη. He thinks the "correct way" is κορωνιός, but in his benevolence he is willing to allow us to use κορωνοϊός because the urge to read the ι in -νιός as a a glide instead of a vowel is just too great.

After his little show, now newspapers have four different spellings even in the same article, including totally unfounded spellings like κωρονοϊός, which kinda proves my point that no-one remembers "κορώνη" is a Greek word (it does sound very much Latin to a Modern Greek speaker, and we did in fact reborrow it from Italian, hence the Ancient -η turning into a Latinate -α).

This guy sells dictionaries that present his ridiculous spellings of everyday high-frequency works as facts.

PS. Credit where credit is due, he is a co-author on a Modern Greek grammar reference book that is quite decent.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-02, 9:38
by OldBoring
And I wonder why isn't coronavirus "crown virus" in English.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-02, 15:20
by linguoboy
OldBoring wrote:And I wonder why isn't coronavirus "crown virus" in English.

Because a corona isn’t a crown?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-02, 15:45
by Osias
But but the solar corona!

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-02, 15:56
by Antea
Because it’s in Latin :hmm:

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-05, 18:14
by Dormouse559
Was just thinking about the English construction "can't seem to do sth" because taken word-for-word, it means "not be able to seem to do sth" but in reality it means "seem to not be able to do sth". The construction ignores the normal scope guidelines in English, and I just take it for granted.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-06, 13:32
by Saim
I just realised that Spanish cebo (bait) and Italian cibo (food) are cognates. I wonder how it didn’t occur to me sooner,I only realised when I looked up the verb cebar (to bait, fatten, prime or foment) and the RAE gave the Latin etymology.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-06, 18:55
by linguoboy
So the modern Hawa'ian term for "stepparent", makua kōlea, sounds like it should mean "Korean parent". Kōlea "Korea(n)" is obviously a borrowing of English "Korea". But kōlea is a native name for the Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), a migratory bird. Its name was applied metonymically to people who came to Hawai'i to make their fortune and then left again. From that, it became extended to "one who claims friendship or kinship that does not exist" (P&E) and is now used to translate "step-" in kinship terms.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-06, 20:37
by Yasna
I don't enjoy reading Korean texts that use a high percentage (>80%) of Sino-Korean vocabulary but little to no Hanja. They are so rife with homophonous morphemes and nearly identical looking words that readability really suffers. The problem is most apparent when you try to skim such texts. It's painfully slow.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-06, 21:00
by linguoboy
Yasna wrote:I don't enjoy reading Korean texts that use a high percentage (>80%) of Sino-Korean vocabulary but little to no Hanja. They are so rife with homophonous morphemes and nearly identical looking words that readability really suffers. The problem is most apparent when you try to skim such texts. It's painfully slow.

Same. But then, I cut my teeth on mixed script, so it still seems most natural to me.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-06, 21:23
by Yasna
linguoboy wrote:Same. But then, I cut my teeth on mixed script, so it still seems most natural to me.

It would be nice if Koreans would warm up again to using mixed script in some contexts (no one's suggesting that they text with mixed script). Or else they could pull an Atatürk and partially purge the language of Sino-Korean vocabulary, but that makes less sense to me.

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-15, 15:38
by Gormur
Dormouse559 wrote:"can't seem to do sth"

I have no idea what this means and have not heard it before. You said it's an expression, like it's common vernacular. I don't know where but like i said it sounds like nonsense to me :)

I have heard I can't seem to be up to it but my guess is you're talking about some other meaning here

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-15, 15:45
by linguoboy
Gormur wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:"can't seem to do sth"

I have no idea what this means and have not heard it before. You said it's an expression, like it's common vernacular. I don't know where but like i said it sounds like nonsense to me

Really? Like the expressions “I can’t seem to do anything right!” and “I can’t seem to get anything done today!” are moonman talk to you?

Re: Random language thread 6

Posted: 2020-02-15, 15:48
by Gormur
Definitely not. That do does not fit there tho :hmm:

Maybe i'm looking too much into it :)