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Karavinka
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Karavinka » 2018-01-10, 6:00

Though I do wonder if there's any point in subdividing dialects too much. Just about Japanese, as it is the only one I can really speak for -- I felt baffled to see different dialects listed. To be honest, you're either native or nothing with them. And the natives tell the finer differences at the prefecture, and even county level. I understand quite a lot of major Japanese dialects, but it's not something you learn or even speak unless you have a very strong tie with a very specific city or county. I actually throw in Kansai-ben words and phrases as a "spice" from time to time, but I stay within the limits of the common phrases that are universally understood among the Japanese because if I try to go full Kansai, that'd be a hodgepodge of various subdialects with no real cohesion, which would seem comedic at best and mocking at worst. I don't really see much point in subdividing languages to different regional groups unless there's a native demand for a particular dialect.

I think it's fair to keep national variants with the languages where there is some form of standard for each national variant, but going regional and subregional? Feel free to separate this into a different topic if you see fit, Luis.

And that said.

Ancient South Arabian
Flag: N/A
Native name: N/A
ISO: xsa

I was a bit surprised when I couldn't find this on the list. This is a group of dialects that are closely related to each other, with Sabaic being the most prominent in terms of the corpus. I read this language for about 2 years in a university setting. For all practical purposes, I believe the umbrella term is sufficient for this language.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby księżycowy » 2018-01-10, 10:00

I personally see nothing wrong with dividing Japanese into dialects. Seeing as I was the one who suggested it I'll say a word about it I guess. I mean to get a flavor of a regional dialect or two during my Japanese studies. I certainly expect to mostly stick to standard Japanese and maybe, maybe stick in a regionalism here and there (but probably not even), but given that there are resources to learn a bit of say Kansai-ben, where's the harm?

I personally I'm not going to be an asshole about it and speak straight up Kansai-ben, but I can still learn a little, no?

And before any one says it, I can list it if I want to, can't I? Who cares if it only ever has one star.
Last edited by księżycowy on 2018-01-13, 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby dEhiN » 2018-01-13, 3:37

I'm not entirely sure if I should create a new thread for this or not, but I have always wondered something about the stars breakdown in the My Languages option. Why is 1 star considered Beginner (A1), 2 stars Intermediate (A2, B1), 3 stars Advanced (B2, C1), and then 4 stars Fluent (C2)? Well the last one I get. But my understanding of the CEFR standard, and also how it relates to other language level standards used in other countries, is that the beginner stage consists of A1 - A2, intermediate B1 - B2, and advanced C1 (or possibly C1 - C2, though I guess C2 being fluent also makes sense). And specifically, those stages break down as A1 is Low Beginner, A2 is High Beginner, B1 is Low Intermediate, B2 is High Intermediate. (If C2 is being considered advanced as well, then C1 is Low Advanced and C2 is High Advanced).

What do the rest of you think? I personally think it would make more sense to break up the levels this way. We could still keep the 4 star system.

Alternatively, although this would require more effort and change, we could go to a 5 star system, with Fluent being separate from C1/C2 (Low Advanced / High Advanced) - which I personally don't vote for, or a 6 star system with 1 star per CEFR level.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-01-13, 3:40

My understanding was that the 4-star system was meant as an alternative to the CEFR system, not really as an alternative representation of it. I remember someone arguing that even B2 in the CEFR system is a fairly advanced level to reach in any language, in which case categorizing it as "intermediate" wouldn't seem to make much sense.

Also, on a more pragmatic level, how would this be implemented? A lot of us have levels already specified for our languages in our profiles.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby dEhiN » 2018-01-13, 3:45

vijayjohn wrote:My understanding was that the 4-star system was meant as an alternative to the CEFR system, not really as an alternative representation of it.

Well if it was meant as an alternative, then perhaps we should just simply remove any CEFR references? For example, where it says "Known at an intermediate level (A2,B1)" we just have "Known at an intermediate level".

Also, how would this practically be implemented? A lot of us have levels already specified for our languages in our profiles.

Yeah, that's why it might be best to not change the star system. If we did change it, not only would it require an overhaul of the code, it would also mean we all need to update our profiles. My real bone of contention is with the CEFR references and the fact that, at least to me, they don't match up to the concept of beginner/intermediate/advanced.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-01-13, 3:51

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:My understanding was that the 4-star system was meant as an alternative to the CEFR system, not really as an alternative representation of it.

Well if it was meant as an alternative, then perhaps we should just simply remove any CEFR references? For example, where it says "Known at an intermediate level (A2,B1)" we just have "Known at an intermediate level".

I might be wrong in how I understand this system, but maybe it's meant to accommodate both people who want to use the CEFR system (it might be important for career-related purposes, at least for some jobs in some countries) and those who don't. Lol idk. :)

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby dEhiN » 2018-01-13, 5:13

Then perhaps we could change it to this:

1 star - Known at a beginner level (A1, A2)
2 stars - Known at an intermediate level (B1, B2)
3 stars - Known at an advanced level (C1)
4 stars - Fluent (C2)

I think that would accommodate both systems, and also make more logical sense than the current breakdown. But maybe I'm the only one who thinks it doesn't make sense? Maybe no one else was contemplating this all as they were falling asleep last night??!! :shock: :lol:
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Karavinka » 2018-01-13, 5:19

The four-star system was present before the CEFR got stamped on them. They were basically just "beginner, intermediate, advanced, fluent."

Though, B2 is "fairly advanced"? I call bullshit, but I shouldn't really be talking about it here...
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-01-13, 5:43

Karavinka wrote:I shouldn't really be talking about it here...

Pfft, this is UniLang! :silly:

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Salajane » 2018-01-13, 10:16

I think that we shoud either keep the current system or make a six-star one.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby księżycowy » 2018-01-13, 10:38

If we're going to go with the CEFR system offically, I think a six star system is the way to go, personally.
How hard is it to add stars?

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Luís » 2018-01-13, 11:07

księżycowy wrote:If we're going to go with the CEFR system offically, I think a six star system is the way to go, personally.
How hard is it to add stars?


Adding stars per se is not hard, but there's a huge database of users that would have to be migrated to the new values (and even that is not so obvious... for instance would 3-stars become B2 or C1?). Without this, all the language information would be displayed incorrectly unless you changed it manually. But of course, even if people haven't logged in years, their profiles should still display properly.

So... I'd say this is pretty much off the table at the moment.

Changing the meaning of each of the 4 stars is possible, though.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Luís » 2018-01-13, 12:09

Karavinka wrote:I think it's fair to keep national variants with the languages where there is some form of standard for each national variant, but going regional and subregional? Feel free to separate this into a different topic if you see fit, Luis


It's OK, we can discuss it here.

As for Japanese dialects... it's up to you guys to reach a consensus and I'll implement it.

Karavinka wrote:Ancient South Arabian
Flag: N/A
Native name: N/A
ISO: xsa


Added

I suppose this is the same as Old South Arabian.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby księżycowy » 2018-01-13, 13:22

Luís wrote:Adding stars per se is not hard, but there's a huge database of users that would have to be migrated to the new values (and even that is not so obvious... for instance would 3-stars become B2 or C1?). Without this, all the language information would be displayed incorrectly unless you changed it manually. But of course, even if people haven't logged in years, their profiles should still display properly.

So... I'd say this is pretty much off the table at the moment.

So basically it'd be a lot of work and figuring stuff out to do it. Which is about what I figured.

Luís wrote:As for Japanese dialects... it's up to you guys to reach a consensus and I'll implement it.

I'm not going to cry if they're taken away, but I see no reason why we can't list them. *shrug*

I'll defer to Karavinka though. If he still wants them taken off or reworked, we can do that. :)

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby dEhiN » 2018-01-13, 15:40

It'd be nice to go with the CEFR system officially, since from what I can tell, even language education institutions here (in North America) refer to the CEFR system unofficially to show level equivalency. But I figured as Luís said, it'd require a lot of database migration work. That's why my vote is for rewording what's currently there.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Michael » 2018-01-13, 16:31

I noticed that you corrected the minor issue with Standard Albanian's autonym that I recall bringing up some months ago, and also that you've recently added its dialects, faleminderit shumë (many thanks)! A minor suggestion, however: The autonym for (sq-ALS) Tosk Albanian should be Toskërisht, not Toskë, which is either an adjective in the masculine plural or a noun meaning "the Tosk men", and not a language name with the characteristic -isht(e, -ja) ending.

Also, now that I've been reminded of it from viewing the Language List, the English name for (el_KA) should be Greek, Puristic, as "Greek, Katharevousa" (i.e. Katharevousa Greek) sounds somewhat redundant,
Katharevousa on its own already meaning "Puristic Greek". I don't know what I was thinking when I had first suggested that way back when. :oops:
American English (en-us) Pizzonese (nap) N Italian (it) Mexican Spanish (es-mx) Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br) Albanian (sq) B1 Greek (el) Persian (fa) A2 Romanian (ro) Old English (en_old) Turkish (tr) Azerbaijani (az) A1
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-01-13, 16:55

Luís wrote:Changing the meaning of each of the 4 stars is possible, though.

But still risky because then our profiles might be inaccurate through no fault of our own.
księżycowy wrote:I'm not going to cry if they're taken away, but I see no reason why we can't list them. *shrug*

I do: Because there are way too many of them.
Michael wrote:Also, now that I've been reminded of it from viewing the Language List, the English name for (el_KA) should be Greek, Puristic, as "Greek, Katharevousa" (i.e. Katharevousa Greek) sounds somewhat redundant,
Katharevousa on its own already meaning "Puristic Greek". I don't know what I was thinking when I had first suggested that way back when. :oops:

I'm going to suggest just Katharevousa over either of those two. That's the only term I've almost ever seen for it in English.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby księżycowy » 2018-01-13, 17:08

vijayjohn wrote:I do: Because there are way too many of them.
Are we talking Japanese dialects, or just dialects in general?

Whatever the case, I think, given his knowledge in the area, we should let Karavinka make the final call for Japanese dialects.

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Re: "My languages" options

Postby Karavinka » 2018-01-13, 17:34

księżycowy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:I do: Because there are way too many of them.
Are we talking Japanese dialects, or just dialects in general?

Whatever the case, I think, given his knowledge in the area, we should let Karavinka make the final call for Japanese dialects.


While there are shared features found across Kansai, for example, all major cities and prefectures have their own dialect, and it's not uncommon to find references (and even resources and studies) on one particular subregion, like Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, etc. This goes for pretty much all dialect groups, those with keen ears go down to the county level. This is not only Japan, but typical in many parts of the world.

While an Osaka-ben speaker is automatically also a Kansai-ben speaker, for the outsiders, you'd have to go for some deep immersion in one single area not to make an ass of yourself. Even the native Japanese are not an exception: "fake Kansai-ben" used in media is often a source of cringe. So are "fake Hakata" and "fake Tosa", etc. Knowing bits and pieces of the shared "Common Kansai" will help you understand the dialects -- once they're modulated enough to be comprehensible across Japan -- but it's not something you'll speak separately from "Japanese." You cannot just speak "Common Kansai", the shared features go only so far, and even if you keep the sentences themselves to the "Common Kansai", the intonation failure is inevitable because Kyoto sounds different from Osaka.

Subdividing something like Japanese or Korean would be like subdividing American English into Californian, Texan, Midwest, New York, etc, etc. If my vote counts, I vote for removal of them all, unless there is a specific demand from a native or someone with equivalent proficiency in that dialect. Our language list is already too long and cluttered.
Last edited by Karavinka on 2018-01-13, 17:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "My languages" options

Postby księżycowy » 2018-01-13, 17:40

Then I concede my previous position. They can go.

I have already said my piece before about the language list being impractical as a whole before, and attempted to make suggestions. It was bound to get impractical eventually and Japanese is not the sole issue, as I'm sure we all agree.


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