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Author Topic:   Languages
Son Goku
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 69 (633033)
09-12-2011 5:59 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by dwise1
09-05-2011 2:58 PM


Re: Languages
dwise1 writes:
For Irish it's West Munster
That's an interesting fact, that's my dialect.
dwise1 writes:
A number of regional accents in the US can be traced back to where the original settlers had come from and the state of their language at the time of settlement. Kind of like the Indo-European languages seem to represent the state of development of the language in the Indo-European homeland (we think on the Steppes north of the Black Sea) as each group migrated out from it.
I don't know if you've read "The Horse, the Wheel and Language" by David Anthony, but he uses migration into the U.S. as an example of the various processes involved in the evolution of Proto-Indo-European.
Very interesting post in general!

This message is a reply to:
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Son Goku
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 69 (636374)
10-06-2011 6:04 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by caffeine
09-08-2011 5:54 AM


Czech
caffeine, I was wondering, is Czech the first language you've learned? I've been asking around after reading this thread and apparently knowing Czech makes you some kind of language god, apparently it's the hardest Indo-European language to learn. So, if it's your first, that's really impressive.

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 Message 43 by caffeine, posted 09-08-2011 5:54 AM caffeine has replied

Replies to this message:
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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1102 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 48 of 69 (636376)
10-06-2011 6:34 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Son Goku
10-06-2011 6:04 AM


Re: Czech
Czech is the first language I've tried to learn (unless you count language lessons at school, but I can't say I really tried at them), but before you go getting all impressed with my skills, I have lived in the Czech Republic for five years and I'm still not fluent.
It is a beast of a language to learn, at least if you don't already know a Slavic language. I can't speak for the 'hardest language' claim, though I've heard it often. The only languages I had any real experience of before Czech were Germanic or Romance languages, with which English shares a lot of words. Czech's been baffling because it shares very few, apart from a few Greek or Latin adjectives, and has a totally different grammatical structure.
I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Son Goku, posted 10-06-2011 6:04 AM Son Goku has replied

Replies to this message:
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frako
Member (Idle past 384 days)
Posts: 2932
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 49 of 69 (636380)
10-06-2011 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Son Goku
10-06-2011 6:04 AM


Re: Czech
nah its an easy language i can understand chehz slovaks polish, russians ... if they speak slowly and i only truly know 2 slavic languages mine and serbocroatian. A weak ago it took me a while to get that i am watching a russian movie cause i understood everything.
There are funny differences between slovak and slovanian languages like pihaj in slovenian means blow like blow up a baloon while in slovak it means to fuck, and fukaj means to fuck in slovenian but means blow in slovak. craks me up everytime there is a slovak family on the beach thats telling their children to "blow up" a swimming bag, and all the people who dont know what the parrents ment dont know what to do call childs services beat the parrents up themselves or just watch in amazment how awful some parrents are lol. I can also imagine the look on a slovaks face when a slovenian cop pulls them over and tells them they are going to haveto blow.
A hard language is French, or the language the gypsies speak or albanian

Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand
Jesus was a dead jew on a stick nothing more

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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1102 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 50 of 69 (636382)
10-06-2011 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by frako
10-06-2011 6:54 AM


Re: Czech
Well, it's all a matter of perspective, obviously. If your native language is Slovak, the the easiest lanugage to learn is probably going to be Czech, since they're more like distinct dialects of the same language than anything else (that's one short sentence that should offend about 15 million people).
If your native language is English, though, French is much easier than Czech (or, I'm sure, Slovenian), since it's so much more similar in grammar and vocabulary.
Now, if you want a language all of us will find difficult, we could try learning Hungarian!

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Replies to this message:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2776 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 51 of 69 (636417)
10-06-2011 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by caffeine
10-06-2011 7:30 AM


Re: Czech
I went to Poland last year for a meeting, and there was a Czech in the group who said he could understand what the Poles were saying to him in Polish (albeit with difficulty), but that they had a harder time understanding him.
Being a Mormon, I served a two-year mission in Taiwan, where I learned to speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese. I've lost a lot of it sense then, but I'm still keeping it up the best I can.
I'm trying my hand at Swedish now. I'm already better at reading Swedish than Chinese, but I can't seem to figure out how to pronounce the vowels (Chinese vowels are, surprisingly, more like English vowels than Swedish vowels are).

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1102 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 52 of 69 (636418)
10-06-2011 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Blue Jay
10-06-2011 11:32 AM


Re: Czech
Mormon language-teaching must be something pretty impressive. There's a mission here in Czech Republic, and it never ceases to amaze me how these Americans turn up fresh of the plane, ready to start spreading God's word in fluent Czech or Slovak.

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2776 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 53 of 69 (636435)
10-06-2011 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by caffeine
10-06-2011 11:38 AM


Re: Czech
Hi, Caffeine.
caffeine writes:
Mormon language-teaching must be something pretty impressive.
BYU supposedly has the most and the best university-level language programs in the country. But, that's just Mormon propaganda, as far as I know.
caffeine writes:
There's a mission here in Czech Republic, and it never ceases to amaze me how these Americans turn up fresh of the plane, ready to start spreading God's word in fluent Czech or Slovak.
My wife's brother went to Slovakia. And his wife did too, so they can keep it up by speaking it to each other. I'm so jealous: my son refused to learn Chinese from me.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5967
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 54 of 69 (636590)
10-08-2011 1:01 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Blue Jay
10-06-2011 1:46 PM


Re: Czech
I'm so jealous: my son refused to learn Chinese from me.
Of course not. Who else around him was speaking Chinese? Nobody, right? So he knew to not pay any attention.
Kids are lean, mean, language-learning machines. If they see two people using the same language with each other, that gets their attention, it is something important. If one of those people tries something different, but nobody else does it, then it's not important.
My sons, like their cousins, grew up in a mixed English and Spanish environment. So they not only learned both languages, but they also learned with language to use with which person, as well as which language was used in which household. I tried to expose my first son to German, but he paid no attention. He learned Spanish at his Lito's house (short for "abuelito", grandparent). My father had spent a number of years in Texas and so would sprinkle his talk with some Tex-Mex Spanish. Every time he did, my son would very sternly inform him, "No 'Spaol here!" Similarly, his cousine had worked out which grandmother to use which language with. Kids not only learn different languages, but they also learn where and when to use them. This is something that they work on near full-time.
Most interesting experience: Alone at home, I found "Ghostbusters" playing on a Spanish station. While I was watching it, my wife and sons came home and my older son, seeing what was on, sat down to watch it with me. After several minutes, he suddenly said, "Wait a minute. This isn't in English!" Currently, he's a police officer in the SoCal town he grew up in. Not only does he do extra duty as an interpreter for the other officers, but he routinely foils the attempts of people he pulls over who try to pull the old "No Ingles" trick on him. FWIW, he looks as Scottish-Irish as I do, only with slightly better skin.

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5967
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 55 of 69 (636591)
10-08-2011 1:06 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by caffeine
10-06-2011 7:30 AM


Re: Czech
If your native language is English, though, French is much easier than Czech (or, I'm sure, Slovenian), since it's so much more similar in grammar and vocabulary.
In vocabulary, yes, thanks to the Norman Conquest and its aftermath -- only about 25% of English vocabulary is Anglo-Saxon. In grammar, not as much. English is still a very Germanic language. The French verb system is very foreign to the English verb system, whereas the German verb system and the English are almost identical. The only other way in which English and French grammar are similar is that English has also lost different declensions based on case (ie, Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative).

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5967
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 56 of 69 (636595)
10-08-2011 1:58 AM


I do not know whether I had posted this yet.
I was a German major in a SoCalif university, though I also was learning other languages as well. In 1973 and '74 I spent both summers living and working in Germany. Like everyone else who has gone through a similar experience, I found myself thinking in German. But later, when I had returned to the USA, I found myself thinking sometimes in English, but also sometimes in German. Furthermore, I sometimes found myself thinking at a pre-verbal level in German -- when I then had to explain my train of thought in English, I stumbled, realizing that that train of thought had been non-English.
Among the foreign language majors at my university, there was a common conceit that one's language structures one's thought. We all felt it and had experienced it, but could not necessarily support it empirically. In the early 1980's, there was a remarkable popular science magazine, "Science '80", which was iterated each year to "Science '81", "Science '82", etc, until it finally folded and its subscriptions were given to "Discovery".
In an issue of "Science '80" (ie, it was in 1980), there was an article supporting our language majors' common conceit. A study had been done of which regions of the brain processed which kinds of sounds. The two groups being studied were Europeans and Japanese, with sub-groups of Europeans raised on Japanese and Japanese raised on a European language. The study found that distinctly different parts of the Japanese and the European brains were used to process the same kinds of sounds. Furthermore, the studies showed that the deciding factor was not genetic, but rather it was the language that the individual had been raised on.
Farm out! Right arm! And flunky!

Replies to this message:
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Possessor
Junior Member (Idle past 4601 days)
Posts: 19
Joined: 10-24-2011


Message 57 of 69 (638668)
10-24-2011 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Son Goku
09-02-2011 10:22 AM


Re: Languages
I tried German but i lost intrest in it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Son Goku, posted 09-02-2011 10:22 AM Son Goku has not replied

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 879 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 58 of 69 (638682)
10-24-2011 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by crashfrog
09-07-2011 10:08 PM


I know I'm replying to something over a month old, but oh well.
Throughout most of the country children in lower grades are taught Spanish.
When I was in school (I am 29 now), we had NO other languages taught until high school, then it was between Spanish and German. Both of which were electives. This was in a relatively small(ish) farm type town in Nothern IL (Belvidere, to be precise). I am almost positive a majority of the nearby school districts were the same, as I had some friends from Rockford.

"Why don't you call upon your God to strike me? Oh, I forgot it's because he's fake like Thor, so bite me" -Greydon Square

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5967
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 59 of 69 (638701)
10-24-2011 11:09 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by hooah212002
10-24-2011 8:00 PM


In the second half of the 1960's in So. Calif., when I was in jr and sr high, foreign languages were elective. High school (grades 10-12) offered Spanish, French, German, and Latin. Junior high (grades 7-9) offered German and possibly French starting in 8th grade, and Spanish starting in 7th, though the Spanish was a new program they were trying out just then. Nothing in elementary school.
When my ex taught Kindergarten and 1st for for one year, it was a bilingual English-Spanish class. The first year they assigned the kids seats so that their neighbors spoke the other language. Both groups of kids very quickly learned the other language and they played together out on the playground. The next year the school changed its policy and split them up into separate English and Spanish speaking classes. The Spanish speakers learned English more slowly, the English speakers didn't learn Spanish, and the two groups never played together during recess. BTW, most people like to blame the Mexicans for California's bilingual program, but it resulted from a lawsuit by a Chinese family.
We were taught that pre-puberty is when people are best at learning another language, yet our schools don't take advantage of that opportunity, unlike in other countries.

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caffeine
Member (Idle past 1102 days)
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 60 of 69 (638706)
10-25-2011 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by dwise1
10-24-2011 11:09 PM


We were taught that pre-puberty is when people are best at learning another language, yet our schools don't take advantage of that opportunity, unlike in other countries.
There are plenty of other countries that don't take advantage either - especially in the English-speaking world. When I was at school in Britain, we had only five years of compulsory language teaching, which didn't begin until you were 11 and only amounted to a few hours' a week. If I understand things right, they don't even have that now.
Compare to say, Holland, where primary-school children have compulsory English, German and French lessons, as well as Dutch.

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