Non-English Thread

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by hypewaders, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. breeze Registered Member

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  3. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    Is that American English or standard English? I was always taught Slovenian as standard English, and certainly as common usage, however I know a lot of natives say Slovene so I have tried to use that more frequently of late.
    Interesting. I've noticed that with the Czechs and Slovaks I've met they have no trouble communicating with each other at all, and I think Poles and Russian too but to the untrained ear it can be hard to tell how linguistically correct they are being. I think travel may be the best way to learn a language, and forcing yourself to use it as much as possible. One day I intend to surprise the unsuspecting people who think they can have a private conversation in another language.

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    One of the Czech words you used, "rozumim" is spelt differently in Slovene (razumem) but is easily recognisable, so I was curious just how far this spreads across slavic languages.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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  7. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Ana bhib rusia.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    24,690, which is American, says that the preferred form is "Slovene" but "Slovenian" is also used.
    I think there's a continuum in which any two adjacent languages are somewhat intercomprehensible but the ones at the ends are not. Czechs and Poles can understand each other to a certain extent and the same is true of Poles and Russians, but for Czechs and Russians it's harder.
    Everyone has a technique that works best for them. I find formal classes very useful. But a combination of techniques is best: take a class, speak it with people you know, then go to the country and be immersed.
    Some people think it's rude to eavesdrop on people who think you can't understand them. But the rules of etiquette tell us that we should not speak a language that everyone in the group does not understand, whenever possible.

    Of course if you're in a foreign country and the other people on the bus don't even know what your native language is, then they can be excused for speaking theirs... but if they assume you can't understand it and proceed to say insulting things about you, then they're the ones being rude.

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    The Slavic languages have had approximately the same period of time to diverge from one another as the Romance languages have--a millenium and a half--yet they have not diverged nearly as much. There is nowhere near as great a difference between Ukrainian, Polish and Macedonian as there is between French, Spanish and Romanian.

    Of course much of this is because the Romance languages were heavily influenced by the languages of the people they conquered, were conquered by, or simply lived near. The Franks were a Germanic tribe and French grammar, vocabulary and phonetics are heavily influenced by Ancient German. Iberia was conquered by the Moors so Spanish has a lot of Arabic words and at least one Arabic phoneme, la zeta. Romania was right on the path of the Slavic migration into Europe and their language is full of tongue-twisting Slavic sounds, old-fashioned Slavic grammar (they still decline nouns) and even some everyday Slavic words like do for "until."

    The Slavic tongues, on the other hand, have been relatively free of influence from other languages, so they've retained more similarity to each other. Even the Bulgars, who were not a Slavic people, left so few traces of their original language in Bulgarian that we can't figure out what it was.

    BTW, the Russian word for "I understand" is ponimayu, not anything similar to rozumim, reminding us that a few differences have crept in.
  9. breeze Registered Member

    We have plenty of paronymous words to "rozumim", for a example now in a country you can hear people saying "urazumel?" which means did you understand? In a contemporery language there`s an expression "samo soboi razumeetsya" which means it goes without saying

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