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The dominance of English


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Old 19-05-2006, 23:10   #81
haku haku is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyretto
closer than Romanian?
Easily, Romanian has diverged a lot from Latin, it's been heavily influenced by Slavic languages, which is not surprising since Romanians have been isolated in the middle of a Slavic sea for 10 centuries.
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Old 19-05-2006, 23:41   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Sorry freddie, i didn't mean to scare you. French is a difficult language (unless your native tongue is another Romance language of course, in that case it's obviously much easier), you have to be reasonably motivated to learn it.
That being said, i don't think French is harder than any given Slavic language, the difficulties are not in the same grammatical areas, but the overall amount of difficulties are about the same, i think. So a motivated Slavic person should not be overwhelmed by the difficulties of a language like French.
Yeah, yeah. I know, slavic languages are a bitch to learn too. I shouldn't complain about french when foreigners learning Slovene are going through agony trying to learn our dual grammatical number. But I'll always tell them french pronunciations are much more of a pain in the ass than our proto-indo-european grammatical remains. Now I need to find me some heavy duty motivation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spyretto
closer than Romanian?
I always thought Romanian was closer as well.
But granted it had to be influenced by slavic languages somewhere along the way cause I actually recognize an odd word or two sometimes.
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Old 20-05-2006, 00:33   #83
spyretto spyretto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku
Easily, Romanian has diverged a lot from Latin, it's been heavily influenced by Slavic languages, which is not surprising since Romanians have been isolated in the middle of a Slavic sea for 10 centuries.
Shouldn't that isolation and single influence work to their advantage instead? I mean, in my layman's book, If you compare Latin to Spanish and French - which were apparently subjected to so many influences over the course of history - the diversion from Latin seems so much greater...that, and also the fact that some Romanian guy I know was so cocky about the language being "the true romance language preserved directly from Latin" when I pointed out the similarities to him.

To answer the question about the dominance of English, nowadays everybody learns how to speak English early, so it shouldn't even be considered as a foreign language anymore. it's the international language for basic communication and young people learn it alongside their native one. Not sure how the native English speakers must feel about the fact but I can say for myself that I feel very disadvantaged for not being able to learn another foreign language...or two.

There are of course negative consequences because English has became subject to overt simplification as a result of the above. It has lost a lot of its former eloquence and power as a literally tool from the Shakespearean times onwards. And of course, Americans are party to blame for that as well.

Last edited by spyretto; 20-05-2006 at 01:24.
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Old 20-05-2006, 14:30   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyretto
Shouldn't that isolation and single influence work to their advantage instead? I mean, in my layman's book, If you compare Latin to Spanish and French - which were apparently subjected to so many influences over the course of history - the diversion from Latin seems so much greater...that, and also the fact that some Romanian guy I know was so cocky about the language being "the true romance language preserved directly from Latin" when I pointed out the similarities to him.
Well, let's be clear that this is mainly my opinion and nothing more, i know that many people would consider Romanian closer to Latin than Italian.

But first of all, regarding the "the true romance language preserved directly from Latin" statement (it's the "Balkan pride" effect i'm guessing, lol), this is simply not true. Like Argos pointed out, Sardinian is the most conservative spoken Romance language, there is no contest here.

Now, regarding whether Romanian is closer to Latin than Italian. It is true that Romanian exhibits some very conservative features, it has kept 3 genders (neuter was lost in other languages) and a declension system (totally lost in other languages) and the word morphology is generally closer to latin words (in other languages, words have often been simplified, shortened, altered).
However, Romanian also exhibits this (quote from Wikipedia):
Quote:
Romanian (together with other related minor languages, like Aromanian) in fact has a number of grammatical features which are unique within Romance, but are shared with other non-Romance languages of the Balkans, such as Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Serbian. These features include, for example, the structure of the vestigial case system, the placement of articles as suffixes of the nouns (cer = "sky", cerul= "the sky"), and several more. This phenomenon, called the Balkan linguistic union, may be due to contacts between those languages in post-Roman times.
Like i said, Romanian was heavily influenced by other Balkan languages (none of them being Romance), Romanian acquired many new grammatical features specific to that particular region, and in my opinion, those transformations push Romanian further away from the Latin tree than the simple process of simplification that Italian went through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyretto
To answer the question about the dominance of English, nowadays everybody learns how to speak English early, so it shouldn't even be considered as a foreign language anymore. it's the international language for basic communication and young people learn it alongside their native one. Not sure how the native English speakers must feel about the fact but I can say for myself that I feel very disadvantaged for not being able to learn another foreign language...or two.

There are of course negative consequences because English has became subject to overt simplification as a result of the above. It has lost a lot of its former eloquence and power as a literally tool from the Shakespearean times onwards. And of course, Americans are party to blame for that as well.
I think it's entirely possible that International English and English spoken by natives will evolve in different paths.

It's already happening, English spoken in England, for example, is following its own path with specific evolutions in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, a totally normal phenomenon for a local language spoken by a group of people close geographically.

International English on the other hand (or Globish) is evolving differently. In mainland Europe where Globish is used as a lingua franca, non-natives are bringing back English to a more 'continental' pronunciation for example, the difference between long and short wowels is lost (speak is pronounced 'spik' with a continental Latin-like i-sound), complex diphthongs are essentially phased out, the 3rd person 's' ending at the present tense is often not used, irregular 'strong' verbs can become regular 'weak' verbs, etc.
Basically, non-natives are making International English evolve toward a more simple sound system, with only half a dozen vowels like in Romance or Slavic languages. The next step will be of course to actually write that spoken Globish to reflect that more simple pronunciation, something that will eventually happen (the irrational spelling of English is the main complaint of non-native speakers), just like with Vulgar Latin. And at that point Globish will be separate from British or American English.
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Old 24-05-2006, 10:57   #85
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Why a language becomes a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak it. It's much more to do with who those speakers are .
Ease of learning has nothing to do with it either . Or at least it's not main reason. English becomes an international language for one chief reason --- the political power of its people --especially their military power. Without that strong power or base (political , military , economic) no language can make such progress as to become globish , international , dominant etc.
Language exists in brains , mouths, ears , hands and eyes of users. When they succeed , internationally stage I mean , their language succeeds. When they fail , their language fails.
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Old 24-05-2006, 13:21   #86
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I doubt over-simplification of english will happen anytime soon. It was a different story with vulgaric latin accents - those subtle differences compared to classical latin began to take place when people from different parts of Roman Empire got isolated from the regular latin spoken in Rome. Combine that with the lack of education and grammar herritage which was only spread orally and you get a pefect recipe for massive evolutions among latin dialects of different regions. Modern times are different in that respect - people are usually well schooled, most learn British English in school and since the world is becoming a global village we're not as isolated from native english speakers as speakers of vulgaric latin were from roman citizens fluent in classical latin.
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Old 30-05-2006, 11:07   #87
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When I grew up in Scotland, we didnt start learning a language till age 12, and it was either French or German, you had no choice of which. This was compulsary until age 16. When I was 13 I went to stay with my auntie and uncle in France and it kick-started my learning of french. I got into listening to french music, which helped me a lot, and after a few years I found myself being able to communicate well in french with my relatives.

However, in my town in Scotland, there was no other music/film/tv other than english (with the occasional gaelic ) and none of my friends have ever shown an interest in another language, so much so that they actually thought it was amusing that I could now understand french tv and music. My friends sometimes say, "it would be good to learn another language", but they dont ever have the incentive to stick at it, everything is in english!!! Even when british people go on holiday, they expect that everyone will speak english to them.

I remember watching an English tv program about emigrating to Italy, the english woman on it said "the problem with estate agents in italy, is that their adverts are all in italian" - well duh!!!!

The standard of foreign languages in Britain is so poor as the majority dont want to learn a foreign language, and see no reason for doing so
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Old 14-07-2006, 17:06   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winkie
Do people from the states or from britain have german or french or spanish classes at school?
I can't speak for the UK, but in the US we start learning a second language between 6th and 7th grade or 11-13 years old. The selection of languages offered at a school depends on the region of the country and even from town to town. My school offered Spanish and French as main languages, but also offered a year or two of German, Latin and Italian.

The problem with teaching languages here is that we generally start later than European countries, the only exposure we have to different languages is generally at school in class (there are the exceptions of children from immigrant families) and the teachers themselves aren't fluent in the language. Plus, at least in my high school, language was considered to be a slack off class and we were only required to take the eqivalent of two years of a foreign language and they didn't need to the same language. A person could therefore take introductary French one year and then intro to Spanish the next and never have to go farther to graduate.
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Old 15-07-2006, 22:26   #89
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Quote:
we start learning a second language between 6th and 7th grade or 11-13 years old
And that age is dropping. In fact, I think it's one of the best
ideas television networks have come up with to promote
bilingual educational programming by using lesbians.
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Old 18-07-2006, 09:15   #90
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In Australia - or where I am atleast - It is only compulsary to learn a foreign language for one year of school at the age of 12. I personally think that is appaling. I truly regret not taking french (cause it was the only language offered) for my final 2 years of school. I intend to pick a language up when I do my Bachelor of Arts - Political Science (Hopefully ^^) next year.

English is an appaling language and I think everyone, regardless of nationality, should learn atleast one other foreign language.
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Old 18-07-2006, 16:33   #91
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One year? God, that is worse than here. You can't learn anything in a year!
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Old 18-07-2006, 20:33   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la_fee_verte
English is an appaling language and I think everyone, regardless of nationality, should learn atleast one other foreign language.
Appaling? Why do you reckon? I think it's quite nice, to be honest. A lot less rigid than for instance Slovene, Serbo-Croatian or German.
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Old 18-07-2006, 20:36   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
Serbo-Croatian
LOOOOOOOOL I can see what you're trying to do again!
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Old 18-07-2006, 20:40   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
LOOOOOOOOL I can see what you're trying to do again!
*giggle*

Offtop:
It's THE SAME though. Oh the insanity. I speak one language when conversing with Serbians or Croatians and I have no idea which 'cause they're virtually indistinguishable to me. Both Serbians and Croatians understand me.
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Old 18-07-2006, 21:34   #95
la_fee_verte la_fee_verte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
Appaling? Why do you reckon? I think it's quite nice, to be honest. A lot less rigid than for instance Slovene, Serbo-Croatian or German.
I don't like english because the rules are so stupid. And the spelling! I can hardly get my head around the spelling and english is my native tongue! Good luck to the people who have to learn english as a secondary language. The only languages which are supposedly more difficult are Arabic and Chinese.

For that one year I did Italian. I was at a performing arts high school for music and my entire class were musos, so some of us could speak italian words. My teacher refused to teach me for a whole term because I was twisting the 'music' words around and using them in my assessments. All that I can remember from that single year is counting from 1 to 20, 'what is your name' and the reply, and 'how are you?'
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Old 18-07-2006, 21:41   #96
freddie freddie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la_fee_verte
I don't like english because the rules are so stupid. And the spelling! I can hardly get my head around the spelling and english is my native tongue! Good luck to the people who have to learn english as a secondary language. The only languages which are supposedly more difficult are Arabic and Chinese.
I'd add French to that list.
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Old 18-07-2006, 21:42   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
I'd add French to that list.
Me too! Five years of French...and...nothing.
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Old 18-07-2006, 21:43   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
I'd add French to that list.
I don't find it particularly difficult. Now Japanese, on the other hand...
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Old 18-07-2006, 23:22   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyro
I don't find it particularly difficult. Now Japanese, on the other hand...
You find Japenese hard? I could understand boring, and that one have no patience to sit down and learn glossaries and stuff, but Japenese isn't grammatically a hard language, is it?

I thought it was easy piecy. It's just that it takes some time to learn all the words, cause they share no words or anything with any european languages - ruling away the fact that the new words they add to the language are english
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Old 18-07-2006, 23:31   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dradeel
You find Japenese hard? I could understand boring, and that one have no patience to sit down and learn glossaries and stuff, but Japenese isn't grammatically a hard language, is it?
Well I kinda gave up after a while, but I think the reason I found it so hard was because everything about it sounds so different to European languages, but many of their sounds are very similarto each other, making it hard for me to learn and remember words. I also found the sentence structure pretty confusing, but I think I could have got over that if I tried. It's probably not really that hard, it's just me
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