dEhiN's Language Log

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby Saim » 2021-02-08, 11:41

vijayjohn wrote:Saim Bhai, you're in Brisbane now? (Does this have something to do with COVID?)


Yes and yes.

I left Serbia towards the end of December because I felt like two semesters (+summer) in that job was enough, especially since there wasn’t much else to do in Novi Sad other than go to work and back. I felt pretty awful for most of November and December (as did many people, and I’ll admit that I all in all had it pretty good), so something had to give, and I was lucky enough to be able book a flight to Darwin. I’m glad I stayed as long as I did but at the end of the year it started feeling pretty pointless to stay any longer. I feel sad for my baka but it’s not like I could really visit her anyway...

To be honest I was originally planning to go somewhere else in Europe after Serbia, but since I can’t it’s nice to be somewhere where I have more of a support network and if I find full time work will probably be able to save some money. In Brisbane there are hardly any restrictions at the moment and no local transmission so it was an easy choice to make. And of course I was missing my family and friends from school. :)

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-08, 13:49

Saim wrote:baka

Ahh, the joys of knowing or remembering random, odd words in other languages! I first read that in Japanese and was like, "your what??" :rotfl: :whistle:

I don't actually know what language that is, though I can guess the meaning. (In case you didn't know, in Japanese baka means, "stupid, idiot, fool, etc.")
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby Saim » 2021-02-08, 22:28

dEhiN wrote:
Saim wrote:baka

Ahh, the joys of knowing or remembering random, odd words in other languages! I first read that in Japanese and was like, "your what??" :rotfl: :whistle:


Haha, yeah, I've heard the word before, and it did occur to me someone might interpret it that way. The thing is nan sounds weird to me because I never call her or my dadi that, grandmother sounds too distant and formal and grandma sounds too American.

I don't actually know what language that is, though I can guess the meaning. (In case you didn't know, in Japanese baka means, "stupid, idiot, fool, etc.")


It's Serbian. :D

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-08, 23:55

Saim wrote:Haha, yeah, I've heard the word before, and it did occur to me someone might interpret it that way. The thing is nan sounds weird to me because I never call her or my dadi that, grandmother sounds too distant and formal and grandma sounds too American.

It's interesting to me how this term gets treated almost as a name among speakers of American English. I know native speakers of NAE whose spoken dialects differ minimally but who respective call their their grandmothers "Oma", "Meemaw", "Mémé", "Nana", "Nonna", "Abueli", "Yaya", "Bubbie", and countless other variations.
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-02-09, 12:01

linguoboy wrote:
Saim wrote:Haha, yeah, I've heard the word before, and it did occur to me someone might interpret it that way. The thing is nan sounds weird to me because I never call her or my dadi that, grandmother sounds too distant and formal and grandma sounds too American.

It's interesting to me how this term gets treated almost as a name among speakers of American English.

That seems to be what's happened to kinship terms in general in at least some Indian languages, including Malayalam. In my family, chechi [ˈt͡ʃeːt͡ʃi] literally means 'older sister', so there are many chechis both inside and outside the family - Ammini Chechi, Miriam Chechi, Bindu Chechi, Sindhu Chechi, Leela Chechi, Sheila Chechi, Ashley Chechi, Shobha Chechi...yet there is only one person out of all the people on both sides of the family who is just "Chechi." Everyone calls her Chechi.

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-09, 13:35

linguoboy wrote:It's interesting to me how this term gets treated almost as a name among speakers of American English. I know native speakers of NAE whose spoken dialects differ minimally but who respective call their their grandmothers "Oma", "Meemaw", "Mémé", "Nana", "Nonna", "Abueli", "Yaya", "Bubbie", and countless other variations.

Do you know if the cultural background of these speakers affects which term they use? I would imagine that even if a speaker only speaks NAE, they are more likely to use "Oma" if they're of German or Austrian background, while "Abueli" would probably be used by speakers who are more of a Latin American or Spanish background. I associate "Yaya" with Yiddish (correctly or incorrectly, not sure why) and "Nonna" with Italian. I'm not sure about "Mémé", though I think of "Meemaw" as being German as well (and of course, I also think of The Big Bang Theory for "Meemaw" :D). For "Bubbie", I don't know where the name/term comes from, but interestingly I have an aunt whose name is "Bubbie" (or it might be spelled "Bubby"; I've never quite known the spelling of her name). She was (first) cousins with my mom's mother - was because my maternal grandmother isn't alive today, but in South Asian tradition, we just call her "aunt".

vijayjohn wrote:That seems to be what's happened to kinship terms in general in at least some Indian languages, including Malayalam. In my family, chechi [ˈt͡ʃeːt͡ʃi] literally means 'older sister', so there are many chechis both inside and outside the family - Ammini Chechi, Miriam Chechi, Bindu Chechi, Sindhu Chechi, Leela Chechi, Sheila Chechi, Ashley Chechi, Shobha Chechi...yet there is only one person out of all the people on both sides of the family who is just "Chechi." Everyone calls her Chechi.

There's something like that going on in my family too. I can't recall the exact relational specifics now, but I know there's some (distant to/from me) family member who is just called "Thambi". Thambi /t̪ambi/ is the Tamil word for younger brother. In contrast, just like with "Chechi", there are other family members who are called given name + "Thambi", which is in line with how you would normally use the term. I can't recall now if the same happens with "Akka" / akːaː/, which is Tamil for older sister. That is, if, in context, it's clear which family member known as given name + "Akka" is being talked about, then just the term "akka" would be used as "Akka", a replacement for her given name. But, I don't recall any person known just as "Akka".

I also don't think the same usage of replacing the given name by the relational term is ever applied to "Mama" /maːmaː/ or "Mami" /maːmi/, Tamil for uncle and aunt respectively on the mother's side (though specifically, only for your mom's brothers and their wives). This replacement does apply though to "Peri(y)amma" /peɾi(j)amːaː/ which literally means 'big mother' but is used for your mom's oldest sister. What's interesting, now that I analyze it, is that my mom uses similar kinship terms to refer to her two older brothers - "Peri(y)anna" /peɾi(j)aɳːaː/ and "Chinnanna" /t͡ʃinːəɳːaː/, 'big older brother' and 'small older brother' respectively. However, my siblings and I call them by their given name + "Mama", whereas for her older sister (she only has one sister), we call her "Periamma", even to her face, not just in reference.

One last thing: more in line with what linguoboy's experiences are, Tamilians do use their family's various terms for grandmother and grandfather as names. I think this is usually because the term used denotes which side of the family you're referring to. For example, my family's kinship terms for grandmothers were, "appamma" /apːəmːaː/ and "ammamma" /amːəmːaː/, which literally mean 'father('s) mother' and 'mother('s) mother'. My grandfathers both passed before my parents got married, but if they had been alive, we would've then called them "appappa" and "ammappa" in the same vein. As such, we used those terms as capitalized names, just as my dad used "Amma" and "Pappa" whenever referring to his parents and my mom used "Mommy" and "Daddy" (which is what she called them growing up) when referring to hers.

I guess when it's obvious which family member is being referred to, kinship terms can more easily take the place of proper names, probably because doing so is a form of respect?
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-09, 20:23

dEhiN wrote:Do you know if the cultural background of these speakers affects which term they use? I would imagine that even if a speaker only speaks NAE, they are more likely to use "Oma" if they're of German or Austrian background, while "Abueli" would probably be used by speakers who are more of a Latin American or Spanish background. I associate "Yaya" with Yiddish (correctly or incorrectly, not sure why) and "Nonna" with Italian. I'm not sure about "Mémé", though I think of "Meemaw" as being German as well (and of course, I also think of The Big Bang Theory for "Meemaw" :D). For "Bubbie", I don't know where the name/term comes from, but interestingly I have an aunt whose name is "Bubbie" (or it might be spelled "Bubby"; I've never quite known the spelling of her name). She was (first) cousins with my mom's mother - was because my maternal grandmother isn't alive today, but in South Asian tradition, we just call her "aunt".

It's absolutely correlated to cultural background. Yaya can be either Greek or Spanish; the Yiddish is באָבע or בובע and "bubbie" represents one common English rendering. (Almost all the Ashkenazim I know use the Yinglish terms.) Mémé is French; meemaw is a variant of mamaw and both forms are stereotypically Southern.

In families with multiple heritages, these can function as unique identifiers. For instance, one friend of mine used Mémé and Pépé for the grandparents on her father's (French Canadian) side and Nonna and Nonno for the grandparents on her mother's (Italian) side.

I'm mostly German-American on both sides, so we didn't have that kind of division. However, my father's family was country and my mother's family was city, so "grandaddy" always meant my father's father whereas "grandpa" was ambiguous and usually qualified with my mother's maiden name to indicate her father.
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-09, 22:44

linguoboy wrote:In families with multiple heritages, these can function as unique identifiers. For instance, one friend of mine used Mémé and Pépé for the grandparents on her father's (French Canadian) side and Nonna and Nonno for the grandparents on her mother's (Italian) side.


A friend who has Hawaiian background on one side uses tutu for the grandmother on that side of the family (much like Linguoboy has described above).
I definitely associate meemaw with the southern U.S. (which doesn't mean it is only used in the South, but that the person who is called meemaw probably has southern heritage, regardless of where she lives now).
Many languages have a variety of either regionalisms or diminutive forms for grandparents, or they use different words for the grandparents on the mother's slide of the family versus the father's side. I think it's basically a way to differentiate between the two sets of grandparents and it isn't universal, but it's certainly very widespread in many languages.

Of the languages I know:

Spanish, French, and German all have diminutives that are often used (Spanish and French both have a variety of them, so different ones could be used for each side of the family).

Estonian has vanaema and vanaisa as the most common, but a variety of regional diminutives (emm, nana, äidi, kroosu, ete, ell, vanaemm, vananänn) as well as variations that are specific to one side of the family (emaema for maternal grandmother, isaema for paternal grandmother).

Votic has several variations (ämme, ämmä, baba, babo, baabuška, baabuško), some of which are Russian loans. Votic also has õmaa-ämmä for the grandmother who lives closest to you and kaukaa-ämmä for the grandmother who lives further away.

Livonian has different words for maternal (jemājemā) and paternal (izājemā) grandmother as well as a couple of regional variations that can be used for either one (vanājemā, vanāǟma).

Hmong has different words for maternal grandmother (niamtais, tais, taistais) and paternal grandmother (pog, pogpog, aj pog)) and no words that can be used for both. There's also dialect variation (maternal grandmother: namtais, paternal grandmother puj, pujpuj).

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-02-10, 3:02

dEhiN wrote:I can't recall the exact relational specifics now, but I know there's some (distant to/from me) family member who is just called "Thambi".

Yes, one of my dad's cousins is also Thambichayan. (I'm not sure what, if anything, thambi means in Malayalam, though).

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-10, 17:14

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:I can't recall the exact relational specifics now, but I know there's some (distant to/from me) family member who is just called "Thambi".

Yes, one of my dad's cousins is also Thambichayan. (I'm not sure what, if anything, thambi means in Malayalam, though).

Does chayan mean anything? And what's the Malayalee word for younger brother?
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-10, 19:05

(en-ca) / (ta-lk) - I just learned a new Tamil word / expression. Recently my gf and I bought a bunch of Tamil food when we had to head down into Toronto, and I got my gf to try various Sri Lankan dishes. She found most of them too spicy and that got me thinking about a particular chili that is used in some Sri Lankan short eats*. In Tamil, it's called மோர் மிளகாய் moor millagai /moːɾ miɭəhaːi/ and basically would translate to "dried curd chili". I always had the impression that these chilis, which are reddish-brown in colour and a little sour, were soaked in curd, fried and then dried in the sun. But it looks like they are soaked in a milk mixture that I think contains curd, but also water and salt.

Anyway, I knew that moor referred to either curd or the mixture that was used, and that millagai meant chili (or, more specifically, any peppers from the Capsicum family), but I didn't know how to spell millagai in Tamil. Part of this is because I've always said it as [mʊləheːi]~[mɨɭəħe:i], which stems I think from how my anglicized ears heard whatever pronunciation my parents use for that word. After googling several possible spellings in Tamil, I finally guessed the correct spelling and then found this YouTube video of a Sri Lankan (living in Paris I believe) who shows how to make moor millagai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3EBO3c9rY8&ab_channel=Princy%27sAuthenticKitchen

The video is in Tamil, although true to typical Sri Lankan Tamil speech, she code switches a bit between English and Tamil. In fact, it's thanks to the code switching that I'm able to understand more of that video than otherwise I would be able to! So, at about 2:23-2:26 or so, she shows the final product and says something like இது தான் இந்த/எந்த மோர் முளகாய், which means "this right here, this/which dried curd chili". I'm not sure if she says இந்த /ɪn̪d̪ə/ or எந்த /en̪də/, or maybe something else entirely! எந்த means "this (adj.)", while எந்த means "which (adj.)", so neither really makes sense to me in this environment. இது /ɪd̪ɯ/ is "this (dem.)" and தான் /d̪aːn/ is something akin to a reflexive/intensifier pronoun. I'm sure Vijay could weigh in more here from a linguistic perspective, but தான் is basically used to intensify the noun it follows. So something like நான் தான், where நான் /n̪aːn/ is the 1st singular nominative form, would mean "me" as opposed to என்னை /enːei/, the 1st singular accusative form, which would just mean "me".

Anyway, diatribe aside, apart from learning how to spell millagai and also finding out from the Tamil Wikipedia page on millagai that the exact English translation is Capsicum, the video above contains the words யாழ்பான முறையில் மோர் மிளகாய் in the video title. The first word, யாழ்பான /jaːɻpaːnə/, basically refers to Jaffna, a city in Sri Lanka that's mostly Tamil populated, and of course I know what the last two words mean. I didn't know முறையில் /mureijil/ though, although I know /-il/ is the locative suffix in Tamil. I used Google Translate for that word and got "in mode". So, basically, that's the Tamil way to say "in the style of", or in this case, "Jaffna style dried curd chili"! That's so cool! :D

*I don't think the term "short eats" is used in North America, but in South Asian English, it refers to snacks.
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-10, 20:34

dEhiN wrote:*I don't think the term "short eats" is used in North America, but in South Asian English, it refers to snacks.

I'm not familiar with it and I don't recall it from menus at South Asian eateries. If it occurred in speech, I think I would likely mishear it as "shorties".
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-10, 21:04

linguoboy wrote:
dEhiN wrote:*I don't think the term "short eats" is used in North America, but in South Asian English, it refers to snacks.

I'm not familiar with it and I don't recall it from menus at South Asian eateries. If it occurred in speech, I think I would likely mishear it as "shorties".

I would imagine any South Asian eateries would just use appetizer. I could also be mistaken and the term is only used in Sri Lankan English. But even at Sri Lankan restaurants, I've never seen "short eats" written on a menu. So, it's probably a colloquial term at best, although it would be interesting to know what restaurants in Sri Lanka use.
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-10, 22:43

I just googled the term and most of the hits are within the context of southern South Asian cuisine. The first substantial one is "The Long History of Sri Lanka's Short Eats" and another article-length discussion specifically calls it "a Sri Lankan term essentially denoting snacks". (AFAIK, we don't have any Sri Lankan restaurants in Chicago, just South Indian ones.)
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-10, 23:24

dEhiN wrote:I would imagine any South Asian eateries would just use appetizer. I could also be mistaken and the term is only used in Sri Lankan English. But even at Sri Lankan restaurants, I've never seen "short eats" written on a menu. So, it's probably a colloquial term at best, although it would be interesting to know what restaurants in Sri Lanka use.


Macmillan Dictionary says:
short eats snacks in Sri Lankan English

A Way With Words says:
short eats small snacks, especially meat or vegetable pastries, eaten in variety in a fashion similar to dim sum or tapas. Editorial Note: While this term is most common in Sri Lanka, it is also used in southern India and other parts of Asia. It dates back at least to the 1960s.

I also happened across this, where "short eats" is used as a metaphor for news briefs:
Short Eats – a roundup of small tasty bites of Indian news straight from the nation’s dailies

It seems it's often written as one word (shorteats) as well. I found quite a few sites with that spelling, including
Wikipedia's article on Sri Lankan English:
shorteats snacks. Sometimes shortened to sorties. This is usually due to mispronunciation.

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-10, 23:45

Huh, that all makes perfect sense! Now that I think about it, I've only ever used short eats in the context of Lankan food, for traditional and common Lankan snacks. In fact, it's so ingrained in me, I use the term without thinking about it! I've twice now had to pause and explain myself to my brother-in-law and girlfriend (who are both non-Sri Lankan) respectively, or at least make sure they understood the term. I have to say, I've never seen or thought of the term as being spelled as one word. I've also never heard or seen sorties before. I wonder if those who say sorties use an initial /ʃ/ or not? If not, I wonder how the /ʃ/ in short became /s/?
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-11, 0:52

dEhiN wrote:I've also never heard or seen sorties before. I wonder if those who say sorties use an initial /ʃ/ or not? If not, I wonder how the /ʃ/ in short became /s/?

Yeah, at first I even wondered if maybe it was just a typo and they meant to say that it is sometimes shortened to "shorties". But some other sites have it:
Thought Street Food Didn't Exist in Sri Lanka? Think Again! "Because of the strong accents of the locals and from corruption of the words, your ears may pick up shorties or sorties. But what they are actually saying is short eats."

And several site have this line (but they seem to be quoting an earlier edit of the Wikipedia page): "'in small Sri Lankan restaurants Shorteats sometimes morphed into Sorties."

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby vijayjohn » 2021-02-11, 4:45

For whatever it's worth, I don't recall South Indians ever saying or writing "short eats." Indians in general are far more likely to say/write "savouries."

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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-12, 17:57

I haven't done much by way of language learning this week, except for the little bit of Tamil I already shared. I've been focusing much more on my online courses. I'm actually just doing one course at a time, but I've been taking a professional certificate since the end of November that consists of 5 courses. I'm currently on the fourth course, though I am starting another course next week that will help me career-wise but isn't related to the professional certificate program.

One thing I was thinking about that's related to languages is the pronunciation of these online educational platforms. I've tried and know of four major platforms: edX, FutureLearn, Udemy and Coursera. Now, I naturally pronounced each of them, the first time I saw the spelling, with stress on the first syllable. So, I say /'ɛ.dɛks/, /'fjut͡ʃə(˞).lə˞n/, /'judəmi/, and /'ko˞˞ səɹʌ/. But, I recall in one of the courses on Coursera, the instructor pronounced the platform name as /ko˞'sɛɹa/, and my brother-in-law says Udemy as /ju'dɛmi/, both with stress on the second syllable. I imagine there couldn't be much, if any, variation in the pronunciation of edX, unless one were to stress the X portion. I also think the same is probably true of FutureLearn, since they are both common English words. At any rate, I just found it interesting that my natural assumption for the pronunciation of each platform was to stress the first syllable, and it seems like with both Coursera and Udemy, that's not how it's supposed to be 'officially' pronounced. Although, now that I try saying them with the stress on the second syllables, I have to say that it rolls off the tongue better my way.
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Re: dEhiN's Language Log

Postby dEhiN » 2021-02-12, 19:25

(fr) / (fr) - C'est un mise à jour en français de français!

Je viens d'aller à mon café favoris, et pendant la route, j'écoutais à un podcast français s'appelle « InnerFrench ». Le gars qui fait le podcast, il choisit un sujet différent chaque fois et faire un podcast normale sur le sujet, mais il parle un peu lentement pour les gens qui apprennent le français. J'ai trouvé ce podcast il y a quelques années, mais I've never made use of it* jusqu'à maintenant. Je voulais une chose différente que la musique d'habitude sur Amazon Music, alors j'ai essayé ça. L'épisode que j'ai choisi, elle est appelée « Le français est-il une langue sexiste ? ».

J'ai entendu juste le premier 15 minutes, mais j'ai compris en général peut-être 75%. Je comprenais habituellement le sens général, mais définitivement, il y a des mots et aussi des phrases qui sont dur et dont je ne comprenais rien. Je pense qu'à l'avenir, je vais continuer à écouter ce podcast quand je conduis pour pratiquer.

*Je ne sais pas comment à dire « I've never made use of it » .
N: (en-ca)
B1: (fr)
A1: (pt-br) (es) ((ta-lk))
A0: (gl) (cy) ((sv) (ro))
Brackets indicate no active study


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