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Old 01-07-2008   #1
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Let's talk about languages

When I still lived in New Mexico, quite a number of years ago (I've already been in FloridHell for 10 years! ), there was a big hubbub about a group of linguists (two Native American and one Anglo) who had just completed the first translation of the Bible into the Navajo language. The project took them ten years! I thought of that when I saw this article and I wondered how long it would have taken the translation had this technology been available to someone back in 1994.

Thinking of this particular language got my thoughts to spin off on a tangent and I got to thinking of other languages. I've always been fascinated by other languages. One of my hobbies as a youngster was international short wave listening. It was a blast to tune in a faint, staticy signal and know that it was coming into my radio after having traveled from (fill in the blank) Europe, Australia, India, Japan, etc. Now, shortwave broadcasters stay on the air only 30 to 90 minutes at a time, with different time slots reserved for various languages and the operators of these stations would time their broadcasts so a listener in the destination country could tune in to his chosen language at a convenient time. So, for instance, Radio Nederland from Hilversum, Holland had an English-speaking team doing what amounted to a graveyard shift in order for their programs to be received at 8pm local time in New Mexico.

The point I'm getting to here was that I could turn on one of my 5 different short wave radios at any time of the day or night and hear programming coming from all over the world, but not necessarily in English, and English or not, I listened to these exotic-sounding foreign tongues- fascinated by the fact that although I didn't understand what was being said, someone did!

If that's not enough, there is at least one completely "artificial" language called Esperanto created by ophthalmologist Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof back in the late 19th century and now has about 2 million speakers worldwide. I saw a movie a few years ago on AMC starring none other than William Shatner (!) called Incubus (1965) which was performed entirely in Esperanto (luckily with English subtitles. A damn odd, but strangely watchable film, actually).

Finally, a few hard-mega-hardcore Star Trek geeks have developed a fully-functional language based on the ST pantheon of honorable baddies, the Klingons! And yes, there are websites with Klingon grammar, pronunciation and spelling rules like this one!
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Last edited by ablethevoice; 01-08-2008 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 01-07-2008   #2
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Languages are quite interesting, but are quite a reason for the problems throughout the world (now this is just what I think). Improper translations from language to language can result in bad outcomes. Eventually I feel that there will be a universal language that everyone will know, right now we call it English, but I don't feel that way. English is far from the most common language I believe, the two most common are German and Spanish, which is very intriguing. Don't forget that the British/English don't like lumping our language with theirs, they are Oxford English and we are American English (thank you Beyonce for booty-licious and the African American community for bling-bling). I myself would love to fluently speak Japanese, it's such an interesting language where a group of sounds create a fluent phrase.
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Old 01-11-2008   #3
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Both my parents spoke Spanish in our home, yet never taught us. Tom's mother speaks Cajun French, same thing...none of his siblings learned the language either. Now I wish I could speak it, especially with it becoming more and more used here in the states. I had always thought it would be cool to speak several languages and become a translator for International meetings and such. Unfortunately trying to speak another language just makes me tounge tied. Both my kids understand more Spanish than I do because of their father (Jalisco, Mex.) and my son is currently taking a spanish class but just for the requirement. Bri wants to take French this summer at JPC, its not offered at the h/s hopefully she has better luck than I do.
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Old 01-11-2008   #4
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Re: Let's talk about languages

my father bought me Rosetta Stone Latin Spanish all three levels, it's like $499.99!! i'm totally stoked about it, it hasn't come in the mail yet...but it should be here this week. i'm half mexican, and my mom lives in utah..i live with my caucasian side..
my mexican family are all fluent, and if i was raised over there, i definately would be fluent. i'd also be crazy, and probably in trouble with the law. :) i have a nice accent when reading, but it's been a goal of mine for a long time. i took french, german and latin in highschool. i hated the spanish teacher i had. i also think russian, or italian would be really cool language to learn. anyway, ill update you guys on my progress, especially bam and zana!
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Old 01-15-2008   #5
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Re: Let's talk about languages

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Originally Said by casandra View Post
my father bought me Rosetta Stone Latin Spanish all three levels, it's like $499.99!! i'm totally stoked about it, it hasn't come in the mail yet...but it should be here this week. i'm half mexican, and my mom lives in utah..i live with my caucasian side..
my mexican family are all fluent, and if i was raised over there, i definately would be fluent. i'd also be crazy, and probably in trouble with the law. :) i have a nice accent when reading, but it's been a goal of mine for a long time. i took french, german and latin in highschool. i hated the spanish teacher i had. i also think russian, or italian would be really cool language to learn. anyway, ill update you guys on my progress, especially bam and zana!
OOF!!! Holy cripes! I had no idea these tutorials were that pricey! I've seen the TV spots for them but never made the call. Now I think I'm glad I didn't. Good luck to you. I'd like to know how well they work. Keep us posted.
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Old 01-15-2008   #6
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Re: Let's talk about languages

I was thinking of looking for them online.

You know.. piracy.

And learning some languages! Woo!
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Old 01-15-2008   #7
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Re: Let's talk about languages

i learned spanish from sixth to middle of tenth grade. its been a year or so since i spoke it in class, but i still retained a LOT of the language.

its helpful too.

I'm pretty good with the romance languages, yet i wish to tackle german.
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Old 01-15-2008   #8
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Re: Let's talk about languages

ive always wanted to learn celtic or an old germanic language. latin/mandarin/russian seem cool too.
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Old 01-15-2008   #9
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Re: Let's talk about languages

^^Whew! Mandarin? I'd like to tackle Russian, but those bizarre Asian languages are a bit much for me...
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Old 01-15-2008   #10
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Re: Let's talk about languages

a friend told me arabic was a neat one too( and not as hard as youd expect it to be)
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Old 01-15-2008   #11
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Yeah, Arabic would be interesting. I'd like to learn to read it as well. There are a lot of ancient/medieval documents I'd like to see in the original tongue just to see how far off the translations were.
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Old 01-15-2008   #12
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Re: Let's talk about languages

I am pretty adept at English and Spanish; my preferred next languages would be Suomi and Latin.

I still argue that the best way to learn a language is not a class, not a program, not a facilitated conversation, but immersion. Go to the country, speak with the natives; you'll be horrible at first, but in that type of situation you catch on quickly. You will also come in with few suppositions and no grammatical bad habits. As an added bonus, you get to experience a different culture (which is another facet of learning the language, in my opinion).
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Old 01-15-2008   #13
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Re: Let's talk about languages

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ive always wanted to learn celtic or an old germanic language. latin/mandarin/russian seem cool too.
My friend Stefon knows celtic, and my friends Jay and Lisa both speak mandarin (considering they are both Chinese)
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Old 01-15-2008   #14
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Re: Let's talk about languages

I'd love to learn French and Russian, France is where I want to be in 10 years and Russia is just an interesting place (not just for the Vodka).
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Old 01-15-2008   #15
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Like I said above, I would love to learn Japanese.
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Old 01-15-2008   #16
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Orgoth where are you from?
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Old 01-15-2008   #17
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Re: Let's talk about languages

Buffalo NY.
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Old 01-15-2008   #18
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Re: Let's talk about languages

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Originally Said by foxyphoenix View Post
I am pretty adept at English and Spanish; my preferred next languages would be Suomi and Latin.

I still argue that the best way to learn a language is not a class, not a program, not a facilitated conversation, but immersion. Go to the country, speak with the natives; you'll be horrible at first, but in that type of situation you catch on quickly. You will also come in with few suppositions and no grammatical bad habits. As an added bonus, you get to experience a different culture (which is another facet of learning the language, in my opinion).
agreed, my plan is to move in with my friend hillary (she's a wild stripper in puerto rico)..after i graduate for just a few months, get spanish down concrete. :)

still haven't gotten it, but i will def keep you posted on my progress with the rosetta stone

my great grandfather spoke Cymru. The native tongue of Wales. VERY interesting language...sounds sort of celtic..
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Old 01-15-2008   #19
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Re: Let's talk about languages

id like to learn english in england. that might be neat too. my best chemistry professor was english...the way he explained things was probably the only reason i passed. also, i wanna go back to ny... i havent been in 4 years. no fun. pizza sucks here.
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Old 01-16-2008   #20
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Re: Let's talk about languages

I don't recommend learning grammar by immersion, Foxy.

How often do you see people speaking English grammatically correct?

It's very seldom here in the southeast.
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