Random language thread 6

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Saim
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2018-11-02, 14:43

Speaking of the translation of political terms, today I learned that Arabic has the word فوضوية (fawḍawiyya), to refer to anarchism, coming from فوضى (fawḍā; 'chaos, anarchy'). Thankfully the more accurate alternative لاسلطوية (lāsulṭawiyya; 'no-authoritarianism'), which itself comes from the same root as English sultan[1], seems to be more common.

[1] سلطوية (sulṭawiyya) - authoritarianism
سلطة (sulṭa) - power, authority
سلط (sallaṭa) - to give power
سلطان (sulṭān) - sultan, rule
متسلط (mutasallit) - authoritative, domineering

OldBoring wrote:Besides, in Italian there's also maldestro for clumsy, awkward, cognate with maladroit.


Catalan: maldestre. In Spanish on the other hand it's torpe.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-11-02, 15:04

OldBoring wrote:It's more similar to how non-Greek Europeans (and Australians and North/South Americans) coined scientific and political terms using Greek roots, and then those words got reintroduced in Greece itself.

That's a really good analogy, actually. It always catches me up short when a Modern Greek word differs from its "international" counterpart, e.g. Θεοφάνεια for Epiphany.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Antea » 2018-11-03, 12:49

I was just looking at this interesting language map of India. So many languages :ohwell:
Edit: But where is Sindhi? :hmm:

Image

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2018-11-03, 13:34

Antea wrote:I was just looking at this interesting language map of India. So many languages :ohwell:
Edit: But where is Sindhi? :hmm:

Image


This map only shows what the most widely spoken language in each state is (except for perhaps the Hindi-official states, where it may still be the case that more people speak Awadhi, Bhojpuri, etc., as well as Sikkim, which is majority Nepali-speaking and not Hindi-speaking).

In reality, the distribution of languages doesn't neatly follow these state borders and there are many, many more languages than states.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Antea » 2018-11-03, 13:44

Saim wrote:This map only shows what the most widely spoken language in each state is (except for perhaps the Hindi-official states, where it may still be the case that more people speak Awadhi, Bhojpuri, etc., as well as Sikkim, which is majority Nepali-speaking and not Hindi-speaking).

In reality, the distribution of languages doesn't neatly follow these state borders and there are many, many more languages than states.


Aah, Ok. When I was looking at it, I just remembered that my teacher of Hindi said that she also spoke Sindhi. So I was looking for the language, and saw it was missing. So, yes, this map is incomplete...

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2018-11-03, 15:08

Maybe those are only the official languages in each state?

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Saim » 2018-11-03, 16:01

Antea wrote:Aah, Ok. When I was looking at it, I just remembered that my teacher of Hindi said that she also spoke Sindhi. So I was looking for the language, and saw it was missing. So, yes, this map is incomplete...


Sindhi speakers don't form the majority population in any state. They're mostly people who came from Pakistan after Partition, except for the speakers of the Kutchi variety in northwestern Gujarat.

OldBoring wrote:Maybe those are only the official languages in each state?


No, it's not that either. Some of these states have more than one official language, and for a number of the northeastern ones English is the main official language. For example:

http://www.lawsofindia.org/pdf/sikkim/1977/1977SK5.pdf

Hindi isn't one of the languages mentioned for Sikkim, and English is given a higher (in practice probably meaning real official status rather than a symbolic one) official status than Nepali, Bhutia, Limbu or Lepcha.

I guess they wanted to show the most widely spoken language in each state, and just took a very wide definition of Hindi so that it would include all Bihari (Bhojpuri, Maithili), Rajasthani (Marwari), Western Hindi (Hindi proper, Haryanvi), Eastern Hindi (Awadhi, Chhattisgarhi) and Central/Western Pahari (Kumaoni, Garhwali, Kangri) languages. The way Sikkim is coloured must just be a mistake, as I'm not aware of Eastern Pahari langauges ever being considered to fall under "Hindi" and Hindi doesn't have official status in either Sikkim or Nepal.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby aaakknu » 2018-11-04, 2:32

Is anybody interested in a Thai study group?
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby ceid donn » 2018-11-04, 3:43

Thai?

:hmm:

:hmm:

:hmm: '

:nope:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Yasna » 2018-11-04, 5:08

In Korean, 이마에 내 천자를 쓰다 (ima-e nae cheonja-reul sseuda) means literally to "write the character 川 on your forehead". It's an expressive way of saying "to frown".
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby linguoboy » 2018-11-05, 15:31

It is bizarre to me how people's prejudices about languages can warp their perception of reality. A friend posted the word áilleánach on his wall and someone replied to say that he knew it was "Gaelic" because of the "ridiculous number of consonants".

Áilleánach has five vowels and five consonants. That's not at all unusual for an English word. Consonant itself has three vowels and six consonants.

I think what he's trying to say it "I could tell by looking at the word that it was Irish" but he doesn't know how to analyse what gives him that impression.

ETA: I replied to him saying basically what I did here, i.e. five consonants in ten letters isn't a lot, and he responded by deleting both comments.
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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby ceid donn » 2018-11-05, 17:52

Irish's orthography was very similar to Scottish Gaelic's prior to that last Irish orthographic reform and people are equally bigoted about Scottish Gaelic too. I enjoy people who think Scottish Gaelic's orthography looks like "someone bashed the keyboard repeatedly" although it is an extremely logical and deliberate orthography that is full of patterns that you can easily pick up if you just take 2 minutes to care. Several times over the years I've spoken to other learners who say they can spell in Gaelic far better than they can in their native English simply because the orthography is consistent and makes sense. Myself, I love that I can hear a new word and nearly almost always correctly deduce how it is spelled.

Here is the Southwest US, I am privy to witnessing a lot of different people's reaction to a language they don't speak or understand. I live in a city with a Spanish name, surrounded by Spanish street names, place names, and surnames, and I see monolingual anglophones not bat an eye at that everyday, but when some of them are faced with a situation where their not understanding Spanish is a real barrier to them understanding the social situation before them--say like a cashier speaking to a manager in Spanish at the grocery store--I have seen them become everything from irritated to enraged. Then suddenly it become a problem caused by the people speaking Spanish--at least, in the eyes of the defensive anglophone. Seriously, if Shakespeare was alive today and visited here, he would write a play based on this cycle of nonsense.

With languages, I think one large part of it is cultural and social bias, while another part of it is subconscious anxiety when faced with a language in a social situation that is not coherent to them. Moreover, I think people's cultural and social biases inform them on how to react to that anxiety--in this case with these kinds of anglophones who are sensitive (snowflakes!) to feeling wrongly excluded, it's to deride, mock, belittle, or attack. It's not exactly a very intelligent or civilized reaction, eh?

Keep in mind on the flip-side, there are many L1 Spanish speakers here who don't understand English very well, yet don't react in this manner to people speaking only in English around them. Unlike these asshole anglophones, they don't have the same kinds of cultural biases that tells them that their ability to understand and participate in whatever social situation is happening should be considered the priority by others.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-11-05, 18:03

linguoboy wrote:It is bizarre to me how people's prejudices about languages can warp their perception of reality. A friend posted the word áilleánach on his wall and someone replied to say that he knew it was "Gaelic" because of the "ridiculous number of consonants".

Áilleánach has five vowels and five consonants. That's not at all unusual for an English word. Consonant itself has three vowels and six consonants.

I think what he's trying to say it "I could tell by looking at the word that it was Irish" but he doesn't know how to analyse what gives him that impression.


I'm more and more convinced that they should teach some linguistics in high school, because yeah, it's mind-boggling how many people's critical faculties go out the window when it comes to languages.

On a related note, some days ago I watched a debate about whether we should abolish the so-called liceo classico (classical high school) that is a kind of high school which focuses heavily on the humanities and in particular Latin and ancient Greek. One of the points of the guy in favor of the abolition was that students had better study more useful languages such as modern Chinese, and in response to that, a philologist tried to sell the idea that Latin and ancient Greek are better for developing students' critical faculties (needless to say she didn't cite any scientific literature or for that matter she didn't even manage to form a coherent reasoning as to why this is the case). So yeah, it was really cringy and disheartening considering that such BS came from a philologist.

And I'm afraid this is not an isolated instance. I think over here Latin and ancient Greek are shrouded in an aura of mysticism and are kind of seen as something completely different from other languages and if you know them you really are a true intellectual whereas if you know, say, 5 living languages, well, that's cute. So maybe if we were taught some linguistics, we would realize they're just two fucking IE languages like many others and maybe we would stop this pseudo-scientific glorification of them.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Prowler » 2018-11-06, 11:05

Just noticed Spotify has a lot of podcasts in different languages. Including some where people speak slowly for people who are learning the language spoken in said podcasts. Nice.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-11-06, 12:08

I always thought that the use of lui, lei and loro as subject pronouns in place of egli, ella, essi, esse was a recent evolution of the Italian language. Turns out I couldn't be further from the truth since the two forms have always coexisted since the beginning, but for some reason grammarians had always frowned upon the use of lui/lei/loro. Only in the XIX century, thanks to Alessandro Manzoni and his novels, it became ok to use them, even in writing. Nowadays egli/ella/etc etc couldn't be more dead (in your face grammarians).

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby OldBoring » 2018-11-06, 12:47

I still conjugate verbs with egli and essi though, and when talking to learners, I have to be careful and use lui/lei and loro instead.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby ceid donn » 2018-11-06, 17:55

Somehow I've managed to convince Google's algorithms that I'm not a native English speaker and now I'm getting Google ads for courses and apps to improve my English and teach me English conversation. :lol:

Granted, my conversation skills could use some sprucing up but that's more because I'm a cranky introvert with a low tolerance for other people's vanity than anything to do with my command of English. :whistle:

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Ser » 2018-11-06, 19:27

IpseDixit wrote:Nowadays egli/ella/etc etc couldn't be more dead (in your face grammarians).

OldBoring wrote:I still conjugate verbs with egli and essi though, and when talking to learners, I have to be careful and use lui/lei and loro instead.

I'm confused. Not knowing Italian, are egli and essi dead or not?

IpseDixit

Re: Random language thread 6

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-11-06, 20:21

Ser wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Nowadays egli/ella/etc etc couldn't be more dead (in your face grammarians).

OldBoring wrote:I still conjugate verbs with egli and essi though, and when talking to learners, I have to be careful and use lui/lei and loro instead.

I'm confused. Not knowing Italian, are egli and essi dead or not?


They're dead, but back when I (and I suppose Oldboring too) were in elementary school, we would still use them as the "citation form" when we had to conjugate verbs. So for example, if a teacher asked to conjugate the verb essere in the present indicative, you would go:

io sono
tu* sei
egli è
noi siamo
voi siete
essi sono

That's just an anachronism that for some reason stuck around in the Italian school system. Not sure how things are nowadays.

---

*tu is another pronoun that is dying out and is being replaced by te.

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Re: Random language thread 6

Postby Luís » 2018-11-07, 9:17

IpseDixit wrote:
*tu is another pronoun that is dying out and is being replaced by te.


:shock:

Next step: replace io by me
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales


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