Random language thread 6

This is our main forum. Here, anything related to languages and linguistics can be discussed.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7837
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2020-09-11, 11:06

I just found out there's a language exchange app called Linguado. This means "french kiss" in Portuguese, so at first glance people here might think it's a dating app :P
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

User avatar
Osias
Posts: 9167
Joined: 2007-09-09, 17:38
Real Name: Osias Junior
Gender: male
Location: Vitória
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Osias » 2020-09-11, 12:30

We don't use that word in Brazil, it sounds to me as a dish of tongue meat or a fish name. Or a dish based on the tongue of said fish.
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6051
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2020-09-11, 16:44

Já sei namorar
Já sei beijar de língua
Agora só me resta sonhar

User avatar
Luís
Forum Administrator
Posts: 7837
Joined: 2002-07-12, 22:44
Location: Lisboa
Country: PT Portugal (Portugal)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2020-09-11, 22:10

Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 25118
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Yuanlin, Changhua County
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-09-12, 4:58

I recently joined a Discord server called simply "Kerala," and one of the users wrote this about varieties of Malayalam, which I found intriguing (Thrissur is a district in central Kerala; Thrissur Bhasha is literally 'Thrissur language' but refers to the variety of Malayalam spoken there):
In Kerala standardization is happening peculiar way
Yes, there’s a state standard but more so district wise and region wise standards are emerging

For example, the Thrissur Bhasha you know of, didn’t exist until like urbanization. It was a standardization that happened recently. Didn’t exist before 3 generations ago

There’s no real way to prevent this as this is organic
Like people who were previously segregated coming together forming an amalgamation sort of thing

I guess this is basically koineization. He seems inclined to agree.

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5660
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Brisbane
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2020-09-12, 8:41

Luís wrote:I just found out there's a language exchange app called Linguado. This means "french kiss" in Portuguese, so at first glance people here might think it's a dating app :P


Given that it actively encourages you to not use the language you're "learning" and lets you search by age and gender, I'm not convinced it's not.

Also, lol:

PRESERVING
Did you know a language dies every 2 weeks? Our highest priority is to save as many as possible.


How? Beats me.

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6051
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2020-09-12, 11:17

vijayjohn wrote:I recently joined a Discord server called simply "Kerala," and one of the users wrote this about varieties of Malayalam, which I found intriguing (Thrissur is a district in central Kerala; Thrissur Bhasha is literally 'Thrissur language' but refers to the variety of Malayalam spoken there):
In Kerala standardization is happening peculiar way
Yes, there’s a state standard but more so district wise and region wise standards are emerging

For example, the Thrissur Bhasha you know of, didn’t exist until like urbanization. It was a standardization that happened recently. Didn’t exist before 3 generations ago

There’s no real way to prevent this as this is organic
Like people who were previously segregated coming together forming an amalgamation sort of thing

I guess this is basically koineization. He seems inclined to agree.

Why do they need a Thrissur Bhasha (koiné?) if there's already Standard (pan-Keralan?) Malayalam for communication between speakers of different dialects?

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6051
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2020-09-12, 11:26

Saim wrote:
Luís wrote:I just found out there's a language exchange app called Linguado. This means "french kiss" in Portuguese, so at first glance people here might think it's a dating app :P


Given that it actively encourages you to not use the language you're "learning" and lets you search by age and gender, I'm not convinced it's not.

Also, lol:

PRESERVING
Did you know a language dies every 2 weeks? Our highest priority is to save as many as possible.


How? Beats me.

I've just registered to this app.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 25118
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Yuanlin, Changhua County
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-09-12, 11:55

Saim wrote:
Luís wrote:I just found out there's a language exchange app called Linguado. This means "french kiss" in Portuguese, so at first glance people here might think it's a dating app :P


Given that it actively encourages you to not use the language you're "learning" and lets you search by age and gender, I'm not convinced it's not.

:o
OldBoring wrote:Why do they need a Thrissur Bhasha (koiné?) if there's already Standard (pan-Keralan?) Malayalam for communication between speakers of different dialects?

IIUC because they had created a shared district-specific identity that didn't exist before the formation of Kerala as an Indian state and people from other districts did the same.

During the colonial period, there was no state called "Kerala"; Kerala existed only as a geographical region. Instead, there were three kingdoms called (in English) Travancore, Cochin, and Malabar. After independence, the Indian government dismantled all kingdoms and reorganized India into states on linguistic lines, and those states were further organized (I guess by the state governments?) into districts. This resulted (again, if I'm understanding correctly what this guy was saying) in people from different parts of the same district coming into contact for the first time ever and thus creating district-specific koines and district-specific/regional identities, neither of which existed before the formation of said districts.

I don't think people would use the standard state language as a solution to improving intelligibility between different parts of the same district by default unless the government enforced this in some way. In Kerala, that didn't happen. Instead, everyone acknowledges that people speak differently in different parts of the state, but apparently, the illusion of inclusivity has ironically resulted in a lot of varieties dying out.

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1816
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Massimiliano B » 2020-09-17, 8:08

Do you think these sites can really help you learn a language?

https://www.50languages.com/?user_lang=EM

http://learn101.org

awrui
Posts: 109
Joined: 2019-05-09, 9:55

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby awrui » 2020-09-17, 12:03

I think they can assist you, but are not suited if you want to learn on your own above total beginner level. They might be useful for basic vocabulary, but for me it's too little grammar and culture. Also, that 50-languages-thing is full of errors, like languages are mixed... There are Swedish words in the Norwegian lessons and Latvian words in the Estonian lessons. I'd not recommend them for learning, but maybe for "wanderlusting".

Linguaphile
Posts: 3204
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-09-18, 5:45

Massimiliano B wrote:Do you think these sites can really help you learn a language?

https://www.50languages.com/?user_lang=EM

http://learn101.org


To "learn" a language as we usually mean it, no. But I think they can have their place. They can fill the same rolls phrasebooks do, with the added bonus that (unlike traditional paper-copy phrasebooks) they have audio files. And how many of us have bought or browsed phrasebooks at some point, either to prepare for travelling somewhere or just to get a feel for how conversational language works in a language we don't yet speak? I think they do fill that need. You're not going to become fluent, but they give you some stock phrases, access to audio, exposure to sentence formation, etc.
But that's only true if they're accurate and appropriate for the specific language. I haven't used either of these sites in a long time. In fact 50languages.com looks quite redesigned compared to how I thought I remembered it, so I may even be thinking of a different site. Anyway, if it has as many errors as Awrui indicated, then that's definitely not going to help with language learning.
Another issue is that they tend to use the same phrases and topics for every language, but to be truly useful, the phrases and topics should be tailored to each language.
I just glanced at the section for Estonian grammar on Learn101.org which has a section on "gender", just as Spanish does. Well, Estonian has no grammatical gender, so this section is rather bizarrely just a vocab list of family members and other people, with no grammatical point to it at all. It also has a section on prepositions, which is fine, but I see no mention of the case system, which takes the place of many English prepositions (in fact, even the prepositions themselves can't really be used correctly without knowledge of the case system; but furthermore, in many situations the case system replaces the prepositions entirely). So they should at least be mentioned.
Not to mention, the intro to the section on prepositions says "We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Estonian and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Estonian and English." The Spanish section, and I assume probably all of them, has this same error: "For example: I speak Spanish and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Spanish and English." I mean... really? This is their intro to the section on prepositions.
It looks like both Estonian and Spanish have past tense lessons that follow identical formats, even though Spanish has preterite and imperfect while Estonian has just one simple past tense. This isn't logical. Estonian should have a robust section about grammatical cases but no section about gender (I mean, come on, even the pronouns don't show gender!), and Spanish should retain the section about grammatical gender and add a section on imperfect. In other words, sites like these would be a lot more effective if they were tailored to the specific features of each language, but they're not - they just follow the same identical template for every language.

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1816
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Massimiliano B » 2020-09-19, 13:17

Thank you for your replies, awrui and Linguaphile. I agree with you, these sites can help just a little. For me, however, it is a pleasure just to be able to hear, thanks to them, the sound of languages that I could never heard otherwise, or that I could listen to only in short videos.
For instance, 50Languages has the phraseology for Adyghe, Telugu, Kannada, Tigrinya, Armenian, Belarusian, Kazakh, and many others, which I never had the opportunity to hear before.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24415
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2020-09-19, 15:22

Wikitongues has an even larger collection of languages and it’s not trying to flog anything.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Linguaphile
Posts: 3204
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-09-19, 16:17

linguoboy wrote:Wikitongues has an even larger collection of languages and it’s not trying to flog anything.

I had to google that - didn't remember that "flog" means "to sell or promote" in British English. :D What are the sites Massimiliano mentioned selling?
Anyway (unless I'm missing something) Wikitongues has videos, but the videos have no translations; you can hear what the language sounds like, but there are no learning resources at all. You aren't going to come away from it knowing how to say anything or even understanding anything. Supposedly they have "lexical documents" because they have a category for that, but all of the languages I looked at said "0 lexical documents", so I don't know what they would consist of or which languages have them. To take one of the languages Massimiliano B mentioned: for Adyghe they have two videos (one 44 seconds, the other one minute 41 seconds), and the longer one apparently contains three dialects of Adyghe and and two of Kabardian, but doesn't indicate which he is speaking at any given point in the video.
I'm not saying it's not a good resource; I've listened to quite a few of the videos in the past. But I see the sites Massimiliano mentioned as meant to be for language learning (however basic or flawed) and Wikitongues more for documentation of endangered languages and for general awareness (or recognition), but not any sort of language learning. (Maybe I misunderstood the Massimiliano's point though - I understood it as "I haven't had the opportunity to hear to hear how to pronounce these phrases," though it could have also just meant "I haven't had the opportunity to hear what this language sounds like" and that's certainly valid too.)
For videos, the Youtube channel ILoveLanguages (and ILoveLanguages2) has videos that do include useful phrases and translations with audio. I've seen a few errors, but the speakers are native speakers and the information presented varies by language, so it isn't usually too bad. And then of course for phrases with translations there's also Omniglot's phrases and Wikitravel's phrasebooks. Some languages have audio, some don't.
All have their strengths and weaknesses. :D

User avatar
Massimiliano B
Posts: 1816
Joined: 2009-03-31, 10:01
Real Name: Massimiliano Bavieri
Gender: male
Location: Lucca
Country: IT Italy (Italia)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Massimiliano B » 2020-09-19, 20:26

I mean that I had never heard the sound of such languages as Tigrinya, Telugu, Kannada and others - or better: you can maybe find videos of those less known languages, but I had never found a complete (even though not very good) course like the ones you can find in 50languages and learn101, where you can also listen to a lot of sentences.

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6051
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2020-09-22, 14:11

vijayjohn wrote:
Saim wrote:
Luís wrote:I just found out there's a language exchange app called Linguado. This means "french kiss" in Portuguese, so at first glance people here might think it's a dating app :P


Given that it actively encourages you to not use the language you're "learning" and lets you search by age and gender, I'm not convinced it's not.

:o
OldBoring wrote:Why do they need a Thrissur Bhasha (koiné?) if there's already Standard (pan-Keralan?) Malayalam for communication between speakers of different dialects?

IIUC because they had created a shared district-specific identity that didn't exist before the formation of Kerala as an Indian state and people from other districts did the same.

During the colonial period, there was no state called "Kerala"; Kerala existed only as a geographical region. Instead, there were three kingdoms called (in English) Travancore, Cochin, and Malabar. After independence, the Indian government dismantled all kingdoms and reorganized India into states on linguistic lines, and those states were further organized (I guess by the state governments?) into districts. This resulted (again, if I'm understanding correctly what this guy was saying) in people from different parts of the same district coming into contact for the first time ever and thus creating district-specific koines and district-specific/regional identities, neither of which existed before the formation of said districts.

I don't think people would use the standard state language as a solution to improving intelligibility between different parts of the same district by default unless the government enforced this in some way. In Kerala, that didn't happen. Instead, everyone acknowledges that people speak differently in different parts of the state, but apparently, the illusion of inclusivity has ironically resulted in a lot of varieties dying out.

OK. So the Standard Malayalam is not used in education, in media, in written language, in formal discourses? I thought it was like Catalan, Irish or Basque etc.

User avatar
Dormouse559
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6752
Joined: 2010-05-30, 0:06
Real Name: Matthew
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Dormouse559 » 2020-09-25, 23:01

I was suddenly struck last night by the awkwardness of the possessive plural for English nouns with postposed adjectives. You might notice it, too, if you hear of the attorneys general's press conference or the senators-elect's swearing-in ceremony. I'd mention the ones with Latin adjectives, but I'm too busy listening to the professors emeriti's speeches.
N'hésite pas à corriger mes erreurs.

User avatar
Vlürch
Posts: 926
Joined: 2014-05-06, 8:42
Gender: male
Location: Roihuvuori, Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Vlürch » 2020-09-26, 2:46

I'll repost this question here, since nobody at the CBB answered when I asked it there last month. Hopefully someone here knows, but if not, oh well:

What does Tibetan jokul/Jokul mean and how is it spelled in the Tibetan script? (Assuming it's Tibetan since most results are about Tibet and adjacent areas historically within the Tibetan sphere of influence.)

For context, I came across a mountain on Google Earth labelled Mukong Jokul next to a village called Mukong (木孔) near the Burmese border, and when I googled it found stuff about 木孔雪山 ("Mukong Snow Mountain") and thought "oh, it's just the Tibetan word for snow-capped mountain?" but when I googled just "jokul Tibet", there's this site that does seem to imply it's a geographical feature (but without specifying what kind of geographical feature, although snow-capped mountain still seems likely since there isn't a separate mention of mountains), and so on (eg. how this blog post seems really explicit in it referring to a single snow-capped mountain since it refers to Mount Kailash), and the image results are snow-capped mountains.

On the other hand, this blog post calls a Biluo Jokul (googling it, 碧罗雪山 in Chinese) a branch of the Himalayas but skimming through it, it seems like it could refer to the entire region? So, my impression would be that it could simply be a nifty word for snow-capped mountains collectively and their vicinity, or something like that...

...but then there's also this article saying some Tibetans "worship jokul" without specifying at all what it is and this book that refers to "a white Jokul God without flesh and blood", so I'm confused.

I know in some religions/mythologies/folklores geographical features can be named after or even conflated with deities and whatnot, including in Tibetan culture AFAIK, so it's not like I'd be surprised by that, but like... what is the word's primary meaning and etymology? Is it a generic term for all geographical features of its kind (snow-capped mountains either individually or collectively?), or only specific onces, or...?

Linguaphile
Posts: 3204
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-09-26, 4:20

Vlürch wrote:I'll repost this question here, since nobody at the CBB answered when I asked it there last month. Hopefully someone here knows, but if not, oh well:

What does Tibetan jokul/Jokul mean and how is it spelled in the Tibetan script? (Assuming it's Tibetan since most results are about Tibet and adjacent areas historically within the Tibetan sphere of influence.)

For context, I came across a mountain on Google Earth labelled Mukong Jokul next to a village called Mukong (木孔) near the Burmese border, and when I googled it found stuff about 木孔雪山 ("Mukong Snow Mountain") and thought "oh, it's just the Tibetan word for snow-capped mountain?" but when I googled just "jokul Tibet", there's this site that does seem to imply it's a geographical feature (but without specifying what kind of geographical feature, although snow-capped mountain still seems likely since there isn't a separate mention of mountains), and so on (eg. how this blog post seems really explicit in it referring to a single snow-capped mountain since it refers to Mount Kailash), and the image results are snow-capped mountains.

On the other hand, this blog post calls a Biluo Jokul (googling it, 碧罗雪山 in Chinese) a branch of the Himalayas but skimming through it, it seems like it could refer to the entire region? So, my impression would be that it could simply be a nifty word for snow-capped mountains collectively and their vicinity, or something like that...

...but then there's also this article saying some Tibetans "worship jokul" without specifying at all what it is and this book that refers to "a white Jokul God without flesh and blood", so I'm confused.

I know in some religions/mythologies/folklores geographical features can be named after or even conflated with deities and whatnot, including in Tibetan culture AFAIK, so it's not like I'd be surprised by that, but like... what is the word's primary meaning and etymology? Is it a generic term for all geographical features of its kind (snow-capped mountains either individually or collectively?), or only specific onces, or...?


As far as I can tell, it's not Tibetan, it's.... English! And Icelandic.
It refers to a mountain that is always covered in snow.

Merriam-Webster seems to indicate that it should only apply to mountains in Iceland: an Icelandic mountain covered with ice and snow : an Icelandic snow mountain, but this site says: "Jokul is an Icelandic word that refers to a mountain always covered in snow and ice. The OED says the word comes from the Icelandic jökull, 'icicle'", which sounds as though it can be used for mountains permanently covered in snow and ice that occur in other locations. (Although from what I can figure out, they've misunderstood the etymology somewhat; jökull means "glacier" or "ice cap", not "icicle".) Based on your quotes above and my own Google searching, it seems that is how it is being used there, to refer to snow-capped mountains in Tibet.

This even fits the context of your "worshipping jokul" citations. Here is the full context of one of your quotes: "It is obvious that religious differences exist among peoples living in various parts and environments of Tibet, for instance, Tibetan who live in the place for nomads, they worship yak or arrow; Tibetan who live in the mountains, they worship jokul." - they are saying that the people who live as nomads worship the yak because it is important to them, and the people who live in the mountains worship those snow-covered mountains (jokul) instead. It makes sense, and I think they didn't explain what it means because they were using it as an English word and perhaps assuming people would know it. (My suspicion: English-speakers who are more familiar with the geography of permanently snowy mountains do know the word.)
If I am right about this, then "a white Jokul God without flesh and blood" would mean a snowy mountain god - it is white because it is covered in snow and it is "without flesh and blood" because it takes the form of a mountain rather than a human form.

The Icelandic word (jökull) can be found in placenames like Eyjafjallajökull, and Wikipedia says about Eyjafjallajökull: The name means "glacier" (or more properly here "ice cap") of the Eyjafjöll. The word jökull, meaning glacier or ice cap, is a cognate with the Middle English word ikel surviving in the -icle of English icicle.

Maybe in Tibet it has some other meaning or origin, but... the fact is that I did find jokul meaning a mountain that is always covered in ice and snow, from jökull (glacier, ice cap) in Icelandic, and Tibet does have that type of geography (mountains always capped with ice and snow). You also found many references to snow-capped mountains. I think that's right on, but again, it's English-from-Icelandic, not Tibetan. I think that meaning fits all of the contexts you provided so it is probably what is meant.


Return to “General Language Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest