Future of the Semitic Language forums

Moderator: księżycowy

What kind of Semitic subforum(s) would you like to see?

Poll ended at 2018-03-21, 15:23

Arabic, and Expand Hebrew to include all others
3
21%
Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic (together in one forum), and Other Semitic
1
7%
Arabic, Hebrew, Other Semitic
4
29%
Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Other Semitic
1
7%
Arabic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, Other Semitic
1
7%
Arabic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Other Semitic
4
29%
I have another idea
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 14

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księżycowy
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Future of the Semitic Language forums

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-06, 17:45

I know there is already a global announcement, but I still felt the need to directly address those of you who are a part of the Hebrew subforum.

We're in the middle of the discussing ways to reorganize the forum, and potentially get rid of the "Other Languages" section.

Of the proposals brought forth that would directly effect this forum (Hebrew) are:
-Expanding it to include Aramaic to make a "Hebrew and Aramaic" subforum (perhaps titled "Northwest Semitic")

-Expanding it to include all Semitic languages except Arabic and Ethiopic.

I welcome all of you who use the Hebrew forum to think about this and bring forth and questions, comments, concerns or alternative proposals.

The Hebrew specific changes can be discussed here in this thread or in the thread in the Information subforum. Any talk beyond the scope of what directly affects Hebrew will be directed to the thread in the Information subforum.

Information Subforum thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52635

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księżycowy
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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 15:24

I've added a poll to gauge the general feeling of this subforum. It will run for one week, and I'm allowing you the change your vote.

If you select "I have another idea", you must comment below, or else it will be considered an null vote and not counted.

In the event of a tie, I will be the tie breaker.

Thank you. :)

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Drink » 2018-03-07, 16:06

Here's what I think.

Your second option certainly does not make any sense. People who know things about Hebrew are more likely to know things about Arabic than about Akkadian. So putting Hebrew and Akkadian together, and keeping Arabic separate is just silly.

As for your first option, it makes more sense, but I am still against it. Hebrew and Aramaic do have a lot in common, but I think it makes more sense to consider demographics. Hebrew is a living spoken language with something like 9 million speakers worldwide, while Aramaic is a much more specialized subject. There are about 500,000 speakers of modern dialects, that are very different from each other and even more so from classical Aramaic. Therefore, I think it makes more sense to group Aramaic with other dead or dying Semitic languages and those with very few speakers. Because people with specialized knowledge of one, are more likely to know things more broadly applying to all Semitic languages.

Therefore, I propose these groupings:

- Arabic
- Ethiopic (note that not all South Semitic languages are Ethiopic)
- Hebrew
- All other Semitic languages

I considered that maybe Aramaic deserves its own forum, and that maybe Maltese should be grouped with Arabic or get its own forum, but I don't really think we need to do that.
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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 16:20

Just for clarification, these ideas are not all my ideas. They were generated by a few users in the thread in the Information subforum.

Thank you for your thoughts, Drink.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 16:28

Drink wrote:Your second option certainly does not make any sense. People who know things about Hebrew are more likely to know things about Arabic than about Akkadian. So putting Hebrew and Akkadian together, and keeping Arabic separate is just silly.

I believe you're misreading that. Northwest Semitic languages are: the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew), Aramaic, etc. Akkadian is concidered Eastern Semitic.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Drink » 2018-03-07, 16:29

księżycowy wrote:
Drink wrote:Your second option certainly does not make any sense. People who know things about Hebrew are more likely to know things about Arabic than about Akkadian. So putting Hebrew and Akkadian together, and keeping Arabic separate is just silly.

I believe you're misreading that. Northwest Semitic languages are: the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew), Aramaic, etc. Akkadian is concidered Eastern Semitic.

You misunderstood me. I was talking about the second option in your post, not in the poll, i.e. "Expanding it to include all Semitic languages except Arabic and South Semitic (a.k.a. Ethiopic)."
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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 16:32

Drink wrote:You misunderstood me. I was talking about the second option in your post, not in the poll, i.e. "Expanding it to include all Semitic languages except Arabic and South Semitic (a.k.a. Ethiopic)."

Ah, gotcha. My mistake.

To further clarify this point, this would largely not include the extinct Semitic languages (such as Akkadian), as there is a subforum for them already.

I also fixed my error where I meant Ethiopic and not all of South Semitic.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Luís » 2018-03-07, 19:50

With results like these, I think we'll probably need a second round :P
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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 19:52

Maybe, but it's still got some time yet.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 21:04

I don't see any comment for whomever selected "I have another idea." Please comment or else your vote won't count!

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Drink » 2018-03-07, 21:52

księżycowy wrote:I don't see any comment for whomever selected "I have another idea." Please comment or else your vote won't count!

That was me. I already commented.
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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-07, 21:55

Oh, my apologies then. I was under the impression you selected "No".

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-08, 11:03

Luís wrote:With results like these, I think we'll probably need a second round :P

I'm beginning to think you're right. It's all over the place. :P

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Golv » 2018-03-10, 14:10

As Drink pointed out, merging the Hebrew forum with other, significantly less popular languages (even when it makes sense linguistically) also involves putting together 2 different populations of user types. I am assuming Unilang still cares to cater for its casual type user base.

As far as users' convenience is concerned, It is my impression that the current demographic (casual learners) the Hebrew forum serves does not share a general interest in semitic languages and won't have much to benefit from a merger, and might indeed be inconvenienced in a situation where they have to sort through pile of threads that are of little to no relevance to their interests (same arguments apply when viewed from the other side).

I wouldn't mind a merger if the forum is moderated so this doesn't become a problem.

If it doesn't sound too unfair, I'd consider keeping it a mainly Hebrew forum and include specialized threads for each of the languages you wish to add (which, I am led to believe, do not see enough interest to warrant a forum of their own anyway).

If it is also the case that the Hebrew forum doesn't have enough activity to justify its existence, I'd put Hebrew in a thread of its own as well.

I,in any case, don't like the idea of a shared forum if easy browsing can't be guaranteed, but that's about my only objection as a user of the Hebrew forum.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-10, 14:29

Thanks for your thoughts Golv! It's always good to have native speaker input.

From where I'm sitting, I do not see the other Semitic languages as being that much of a problem if this were to become a generalized Semitic forum. Arabic has it's own forum. The Ethiopic languages would remain in the African forum. That largely just leaves Aramaic as the main other language, and even that one isn't hot right now. (Yes, there are the other South Arabian language besides Ethiopic, but hardly anyone has expressed interest in them.)

Personally, I do think it could get rather messy in here if we have this as a general Semitic forum though. I am most in favor of either "Northwest Semitic" or "Hebrew and Aramaic" as far as mergers go. I wouldn't like to expand beyond that if possible.

As far as condensing Hebrew down into a single thread, I am strongly opposed to that. The admins did that with Albanian and Armenian and it makes things a mess (and that's putting it lightly). There is a wealth of information in most of the threads here, and I don't want that to be anymore complicated to access than necessary.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-11, 22:41

Ok, so the admins way that they would be willing to not merge things and would be willing to create new forums for things instead, if the majority wants that.

So, with that coming to light, I'm in favor of not merging anything with Hebrew, and making something else out of the other Semitic languages.

I'll be selfish and say I'd love to see an Neo-Aramaic subforum. :P

Does that change anyone else's opinion?

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby n8an » 2018-03-12, 3:09

księżycowy wrote:So, with that coming to light, I'm in favor of not merging anything with Hebrew, and making something else out of the other Semitic languages.

I'll be selfish and say I'd love to see an Neo-Aramaic subforum. :P

Does that change anyone else's opinion?


I agree with you completely!

There is no real pan-Semitic interest going around that can even remotely compare to pan-Turkic, pan-Slavic, pan-Arabic or any other such movements.

I feel that while there is some interest among general Semitic languages, it isn't extremely common. Sure, there are some Hebrew speakers who want to learn Arabic and vice versa, but learning Aramaic and others is pretty rare.

I think I'm in a very small minority of people who care for three or more.

It's a shame, because knowing Hebrew was 70% of the battle of learning Arabic, really.

I'll be selfish and say I'd love to see an Neo-Aramaic subforum. :P


OMG, I've been wanting this!

The lack of resources is horrendous.

I've got two books for "Chaldean", but the political stance of the authors really puts me off. It's also not incredibly thorough.

I do feel Hebrew helps me understand Assyrian neo-Aramaic better than Arabic does, but it's not like you can just listen to Assyrians and pick it up like that.

My Assyrian friends are rarely aware of how close Hebrew is to their language, and even Arabic knowledge is basically non-existent for Assyrians born outside of Iraq and Syria.

I think it would be quite unfair to Aramaic to merge it with Hebrew, especially since their speakers often don't associate them together.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-12, 11:57

Over the next day or so I'll be expanding and extending the poll. The good news is, this will give us more options to vote from. The bad news is, everyone will probably need to revote.

I just wanted to warn everyone ahead of time. :)

This is due to the new information that has come to light, which I spoke about in my last post.

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Re: Future of the Hebrew Forum

Postby Drink » 2018-03-12, 14:51

n8an wrote:
księżycowy wrote:I'll be selfish and say I'd love to see an Neo-Aramaic subforum. :P


OMG, I've been wanting this!


As much as we may want this, I don't think there is enough interest in Neo-Aramaic to warrant a separate forum for it. At the very least, it should be combined with Aramaic as a whole, but probably the most sensible thing is to keep all varieties of Aramaic with the "other Semitic langauges".
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Re: Future of the Semitic Language forums

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-13, 14:17

As promised, I've expanded the poll. Please (re)vote! :)


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