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Author Topic:   Languages
saab93f
Member
Posts: 188
From: Finland
Joined: 12-17-2009


Message 61 of 69 (638716)
10-25-2011 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by caffeine
10-25-2011 3:49 AM


A small nation has to yield. Its not like we Finns can prance round the world automatically expecting everyone to master our language

It is honestly very much a "blessing". Basically all of us speak English and Swedish but many also German, French, Spanish, Italian or Russian.

Me - Ive only managed to learn more or less English, Swedish and German.


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xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1380
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 62 of 69 (638750)
10-25-2011 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by dwise1
10-08-2011 1:58 AM


dwise1 writes:
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.

There are those who say that ultimately all Philosophy at the bottom is actually Linguistics. Even in people who speak the same language we always seem to be harping on & dissecting definitions of terms (see the Peanut Gallery bluegenes thread for example - NO - don't do that!) in discussing the Philosophy of Science.

I had read a long time ago about a Navajo physicist, Fred Begay, who actually had an advantage in understanding sub-atomic physics because of his Navajo language. Here he is:

http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/people/begay.cfm

Excerpt:

Over the course of ten years from 1972 to 1982, Begay spent hundreds of hours investigating the relationship between traditional Navajo thought and modern science. For instance, in addition to Navajo concepts corresponding to the modern ideas of radiation and lasers, he has found parallels with relativity, space-time physics, and quantum mechanics.

But [these ideas] are buried in our own abstract language, says Begay, and it is not easy to translate them into English. If I say to you Hatsooalgha kaa, youd have no idea what Im talking about, says Begay. Its taken decades for me to make the correlation. In some cases, however, no clear parallels exist, he says. The Navajo has mysterious ideas about science which cannot be interpreted into English.

As a postscript, the U.S. decision in WWII to have Navajo be the base of encryption code was absolutely BRILLIANT.

As a second postscript, Fred's description of his later return to visit the tribal reservations and trying to help his people of origin, from a Ph.D. level, talking & encouraging them to learn, was heart-breaking to read. I cannot imagine what he had to accept then and still has to accept now. Heart breaking.

On the good front, Jacoby McCabe Ellsbury is carving out a very promising career as the first Navajo in Major League Baseball....

dwise1 winds up saying:

Furthermore, the studies showed that the deciding factor was not genetic, but rather it was the language that the individual had been raised on.

Exactly. The language you are brought up with can limit how you think!


- xongsmith, 5.7d

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Son Goku
Member
Posts: 966
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005


Message 63 of 69 (661188)
05-03-2012 5:42 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by caffeine
10-06-2011 6:34 AM


Re: Czech
I remembered this thread when I was browsing through the languages section of a book store. I was reading the introductions to various books in the "Colloquial" series (a really good series I think). For virtually every language the introduction went something like:

"X is an exciting language to start learning, whether you live in X-land, have an interest in X-culture or X-literature, there has never been a better time to learn X....."

For some of the harder languages it said:

"X has a reputation as a hard language. However it also has (list of easy features) and the grammar is quite systematic"

Then for Czech:

"Czech is a very difficult language, no foolish promises will be made regarding your ability to learn it"

It was literally the only text that wasn't "Yay, you can do it!".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by caffeine, posted 10-06-2011 6:34 AM caffeine has responded

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zombie ringo
Member
Posts: 9661
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 64 of 69 (661270)
05-03-2012 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Son Goku
05-03-2012 5:42 AM


Re: Czech
I went to high school with a fellow who escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1968. He used to carry around a huge dictionary called "English-Slovensk" or something like that. I presume he was from the Slovak side.

We were in the same French class. We could communicate better in his bad English than in both of our bad French.


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 653 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 65 of 69 (661277)
05-03-2012 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Son Goku
09-02-2011 10:22 AM


Re: Languages
The only language I can speak & read reasonably well is English, but do have some capability in French, German & Korean.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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caffeine
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 872
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 66 of 69 (661282)
05-04-2012 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Son Goku
05-03-2012 5:42 AM


Re: Czech
Then for Czech:

"Czech is a very difficult language, no foolish promises will be made regarding your ability to learn it"

It was literally the only text that wasn't "Yay, you can do it!".

Well, in what other language can you say whole sentences without bothering with any vowels?

Although, I will admit that, whilst Str prst skrz krk was one of the first sentences I learnt to say in Czech, I've never had cause to use it outside the context of 'hey - this sentence has no vowels!'


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 67 of 69 (661323)
05-04-2012 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by caffeine
05-04-2012 3:54 AM


Re: Czech
Hi, Caffeine.

caffeine writes:

Well, in what other language can you say whole sentences without bothering with any vowels?

Check out the Salishan language family. I'm pretty sure that, not only do they have some entire sentences without vowels, but also some entire sentences without any consonants that Indo-European speakers would recognize.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1380
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 68 of 69 (661326)
05-04-2012 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by caffeine
05-04-2012 3:54 AM


Re: Czech
caffeine writes:
Well, in what other language can you say whole sentences without bothering with any vowels?

Although, I will admit that, whilst Str prst skrz krk was one of the first sentences I learnt to say in Czech, I've never had cause to use it outside the context of 'hey - this sentence has no vowels!'

Isn't the 4th letter of "Str prst skrz krk" a vowel????


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 6420
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 69 of 69 (661328)
05-04-2012 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by xongsmith
05-04-2012 2:09 PM


Re: Czech
Isn't the 4th letter of "Str prst skrz krk" a vowel????

Technically its

Strč prst skrz krk

the 'č' seems to have turned into ''

Finding that out lead me to another Czech sentence:

quote:
Plch pln skvrn prch skrz drn prv zhlt čtvrt hrst zrn

Which is about a dormouse full of stains.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


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