Saim wrote: (...) Or maybe it's just part of the perception - I notice that people do tend to call widely divergent dialects "hard to understand", but languages that may be even more difficult to understand "easy to understand" just because as a different "language" they're not expected to understand it.
Nice thought and true - we tend to concentrate onto what we already suppose we cannot understand - I can quote two examples about:
1) I have some relatives in south Italy, speaking a dialect not too far from Neapolitan; so I can understand it since childhood; Now, perhaps you heard about the novel Gomorra
: the related movie is partly in Neapolitan (see Youtube
); ... and I cannot understand a pinch: that's because it is not a 'literary Neapolitan
' (like that, within the theatre by Eduardo de Filippo
, mixing Italian and Neapolitan as it is normally done by common people and in pop songs as well), but the most vulgar level of the modern dialect, full with new idioms, and emotivity.
2) While listening to a news - I supposed in Spanish - I thought: "Good, I didn't know I could understand Spanish so well
" ... as a matter of facts it was in Catalan!
So I agree that our ability to understand something depends on our approach rather than to our background, but this is Zen philosophy.
A part from this, the real matter here must be: WHAT makes a worthy Comparison Language
? if Spanish-Castilian
is good, Occitan
is not? Perhaps Catalan is and Neapolitan is 'just' an italian dialect no one has to care about?
I cannot accept the idea of 'Official Language' to be the only good value: we must point out this idea in this specific Topic, only one person talked about this, after 20 posts of French vs Spanish
! (PS also Norwegian Bokmål is a neo-Latin language ...
In my opinion, what makes a way-of-talk
become a 'Language' and not a 'lingo', it is perhaps its tradition, its 'independence', its intrinsic richness, its literary production and its independent evolution
: by this point of view, Neapolitan is surely a comparison language, as well as Sicilian, and of course Catalan, but I'm not the one to state it:
- I admit, I myself am not very keen on dialects: Spanish is worthy for Americas, and French to understand Africans, this is what my efforts tend to; but in this specific situation, those "dialects" MUST
be involved, to make a more serious speech. Excuse me 4 the lenght