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What's the most exotic language you speak or have studied?

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2003 12:38 pm
ASL. Dunno how exotic it is.

That's about it.

Interesting thread, though!
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 01:55 am
No dead or artificial languages? Awwww.... those are some or my favorites. I know one that is both dead and artificial (it's dead in the world it was created for).

In that case, I would say probably Hebrew. The only "real" langauges I've studied are English, Hebrew, and Spanish. Maybe German in a semester or two.
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PatriUgg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 02:16 am
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7529
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mezzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 09:11 am
Klingong, hehe...

rufio, re-read:

PS Dead and artificial languages count! Computer languages, etc., don't.

Fire away!
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Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 09:44 am
I can speak a few lines of Tigrinya and Sidamo (mostly just greetings & such), and a bit more than that in Amharic.

Tigrinya is spoken mostly in Ethiopia and Eritrea (as Mezzie said), Amharic is the most widely used Ethiopian language, and Sidamo is spoken in the Sidamo region (south central Ethiopia).

Tigrinya & Amharic (as well as a couple of other Ethiopic languages) share the same script, which has over 200 characters.
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mezzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 10:11 am
Yeah, the Tigrinya script has been extremely tough to learn!

For those interested, it's essentially the ancient Ge'ez script, with vowel diacritics developing over time, eventually fusing with the consonants themselves.

If you want to see what it looks like and hear each letter pronounced (and happen to have Ethiopic fonts installed), go here:

Tigrinya Writing System
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Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 10:26 am
mezzie wrote:
Yeah, the Tigrinya script has been extremely tough to learn!

For those interested, it's essentially the ancient Ge'ez script, with vowel diacritics developing over time, eventually fusing with the consonants themselves.

Yup, and a person capable of reading in Ethiopic wouldn't be able to read correctly in Ge'ez because of the sound differences.

If anyone's interested in what it looks like, here's a picture so you don't need to install Ethiopic fonts. . .

http://home.planet.nl/~hans.mebrat/geez.jpg
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 02:36 pm
Oops, I misread that. Add Quenya, some Sindarin, and the as of yet unnamed language that I am contructing in my spare time.

The Quenya/Sindarin alphabet is really interesting - it's phonetically based. http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/tengwar/quenya.htm
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Rounin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 08:43 pm
Japanese.
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Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 10:04 pm
Rounin, you're studying Korean too, right? Is Japanese much harder? About the same?
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mezzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2003 10:19 pm
In my limited exposure to Korean, I can say that the grammar is extremely similar to Japanese, but the pronunciation is far more difficult for English speakers. Both are extremely regular, with very few exceptions.

Both languages have tons of borrowed vocabulary from Chinese, but the Korean borrowings are more differentiated because the sound system of Korean is more complex than Japanese, enabling more "complete" borrowings. What happened in Japanese was because of the simple sound system, when Chinese words were borrowed, even though they sounded different in Chinese, they ended up as homynyms in Japanese.

And the writing system of Korean can be learned in a couple of hours, while Japanese, well, let's just say we're on 6 years and counting here...
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Shajahan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2003 03:18 am
mezzie wrote:
Cool.

The grammar of Tamil is very similar to Japanese. You just have to learn all the new words! I'm also a big fan of the script.

People call this phone number and get connected with someone they don't know who also speaks Tamil, and they're supposed to have a 10-minute conversation and get paid $10 each.


Very surprising! That the grammar of Tamil is similar to Japanese..

And even more surprising that someone is getting paid just to speak the language......
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 12:38 am
Joe Nation wrote:
Courtesy of the United States Air Force I (once) read, spoke and understood Indonesian. I have about ten words left in my memory.

I do however speak Texan, Tulsan (Oklahoma) and New Yorker.
I often translate for friends.

For example, to turn something off a Texan mashes down on a button whereas the Tulsan presses it and the New Yorker punches it. Bill Gates would have you click on Start, but that's another language altogether.

Look at these differences in expressing appreciation:

Texan Think Q.

Tulsan Thankx furry mush

New Yorker (door slams)

===
A final example of differences would be in how to tell if one of these speakers is lying:

Tulsan "I sware on the Tulsa grave of Will Rogers."
Lie: Will is buried way over in Claremore.

New Yorker "I swear un muh granmudder's eyes."
Possible lie: Look for lack of eye contact and sweaty forehead.

Texan: "We know he has large stocks of weapons of mass destruction"



'nuff said.




Joe


Just found this gem, Joe.

Also, there are distinct differences between Texan and Tulsan. I know this because I married a furriner (a Texan). For example, in Texas they have three words that are all pronounced alike.

Ahl...all
Ahl...I will
Ahl...the bubblin' crude

In Tulsa, we only use the first two. We pronounce the third one..."ole"...as in, "Yessiree, I'm in the ole biznuss."

Oh, and in Texas, it's "bidness."
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RicardoTizon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 02:28 am
I am very fluent in a Filipino dialect called "Ilongo" it is used in 3 islands in the Visayas region of the Philippines.
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drom et reve
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 09:40 am
I was thinking of learning Korean; I wondered whether it or Russian should be my next project.

It amazes me how different regional variation can be... for example, if I drive thirty miles, I'm sure to hear a (not radically) different accent and different words. If I drive fifty or sixty miles, I am sure to hear a very different accent. If I drive two-hundred miles, it's like a different language... it's amazing.

How many filipino dialects are there?
0 Replies
 
dream2020
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 10:56 am
Haitian Creole, which I aquired while living and teaching in Haiti. I stil use it to communicate with Haitian kids and parents who don't speak English and attend the schools where I work.

It's more related to African languages syntactically than it is to French, though there is a lot of French vocabulary.

Whew, I can't imagine learning a tonal language, like Chinese,there's so much more to remember!! Are Japanese and Korean like that too?
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mezzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 02:06 pm
Nope, Japanese and Korean are both totally unrelated to Chinese, and don't have tones, although they are both said to be pitch-accent languages lacking stress.

Cross-linguistically, having tones is actually the norm, while non-tonal languages like Indo-European ones (including English) is the "unnatural" situation! Neat, huh?

Of course, just because a language is tonal doesn't mean it has 4, 5 or 9 tones, like different varieties of Chinese. A lot of tone languages have 2 (or 3) tones, high, low (and neutral).
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 02:13 pm
My friend from the Marshall Islands keep on trying to teach me Marshalleze - but it's tough.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 03:14 pm
I know several Nahuatl words, and some etimology, but have not dared to plunge into the grammar.

Icelandic interests me. Perhaps Laeknir Scrat could teach me some.


Qualli tonalli (have a good day, in Nahuatl)
-Qualli tlayohuan, for those at dusk and qualli yohualli, for those at night-
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Dec, 2003 03:18 pm
I lived for years in a place of which I could only speak (with a terrible accent) a few words and phrases of the language the locals used amongst themselves (even if I was fluent in the national language). Towards the last year I finally understood most of what they talked to each other.

That's Modenese dialect, more apart from Italian than you can imagine.
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