Language discussion thread

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Feb 23, 2010
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RedheadDane said:
Are you implying that Danish sounds funny?

Danish doesn't sound funny. It's foreigners trying to speak Danish which sounds funny.
The ever-old "party game"; Make any non-Dane say Rød grød med fløde and watch them almost break their tongues over all the ø's! :D
zapata said:
Sorry, but danish does sound pretty weird..written danish is practically identical to norwegian, but when you hear it, it's like it's a constant stream of vowels. I do understand most of it, though, but it'd be easier if you would articulate the consonants..
I mean absolutely no ill will towards Danes, but the Danish language sounds hilarious to my ears. It's like West Country English farmers on a tractor bouncing along a cobbled road without consonants.

I even find it hard to watch deadly serious Susanne Bier movies without chuckling. I saw Susanne Bier in person do an interview once after a showing of Open Hearts (Älskar dig för evigt). Her English was very elegant. :)
 
RedheadDane said:
Are you implying that Danish sounds funny?

Danish doesn't sound funny. It's foreigners trying to speak Danish which sounds funny.
The ever-old "party game"; Make any non-Dane say Rød grød med fløde and watch them almost break their tongues over all the ø's! :D
I'm sure that Norwegians, Swedes, Faroese and Icelanders have no problem with all the øs.

All languages sound odd to non-speakers until they get used to hearing them. In fact, Danish probably sounds stranger to German speakers by being more similar - Russian, for example, is a very clearly alien tongue, but Germans will be able to make out a few sounds and words in Danish, which makes the differences all the more obvious and strange. Especially when stuff looks familiar when written, but is harder to pick up when spoken. Spanish and Portuguese, for example, can look very similar in written form but the spoken pronunciation differs wildly. A lot of silent consonants in Danish and Norwegian - the consonants help it look legible written down, but if you've never heard it before, all those missing consonants make it seem garbled.

Hå det bra? Jo, bare bra, takk.
Hva klokka et? Klokka er halv åtte.
Unnskyld meg, jeg forstår deg ikke.

Forstår du meg?
 
May 6, 2009
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Libertine, you may or may not know that I'm in China ATM, and since I've been here, I've managed to learn how to order a beer, request a spoon,and to say thank you all in Chinese, and how to properly pronounce names of places etc., but I have a question for you:

Aside from Cantonese (is it even related to Mandarin?), how many languages are out there, depending on what tone you use can mean a different word? For example the word, ma, depending on what tone (there are four, although I think in Cantonese its between 7-9), and depending on what acute accent you use, you could be talking about somebodies mother, or a horse!

I don't know if you have ever been to China or not, but if you haven't, and I know how you scold ACF for butchering the German language, and DAOTEC's ramdom language usage, I suggest that you don't, because the amount of basic spelling and grammar errors in English translations is mindboggling. I've seen 'Recyclable' (sic), 'Unrecudible' (I think that was for items not to be recycled) on a rubbish bin. Then there was a poster that was talking about a horticultral expo, with the word horticuleral (sic) on it. I think it would drive you mad :p :D
 
craig1985 said:
Libertine, you may or may not know that I'm in China ATM, and since I've been here, I've managed to learn how to order a beer, request a spoon,and to say thank you all in Chinese, and how to properly pronounce names of places etc., but I have a question for you:

Aside from Cantonese (is it even related to Mandarin?), how many languages are out there, depending on what tone you use can mean a different word? For example the word, ma, depending on what tone (there are four, although I think in Cantonese its between 7-9), and depending on what acute accent you use, you could be talking about somebodies mother, or a horse!
I used to live with two Chinese guys. Talking to them about language was interesting, because China is the perfect example of politics shaping linguistics. As far as they were concerned, Chinese is one language, of which there are many dialects. Mandarin is the supranational one, and all the others eg Cantonese are regional variations.

In linguistic terms, however, there is far more reason to consider Cantonese and Mandarin separate languages than, say, Urdu and Hindi, or Serbian and Croatian. These are much more similar than Cantonese and Mandarin. Linguists consider Chinese to be one branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family (similar to how Germanic, Slavic and Indo-Iranian are branches of our language family, with several different languages within them), which in itself breaks down into different varieties which themselves have different dialects (eg Cantonese is the most used form of Yue Chinese, the group of languages in that region).

Interestingly, they were also taught that Japanese came from Chinese prisoners escaping and inventing their own language to avoid recapture, which is obviously politically-motivated; this may be why the Chinese WRITING SYSTEM came to Japanese, but the Japanese language is a language isolate. If you or I tried to create a language, you could guarantee it would have mostly the same characteristics as the languages we know; Japanese is unlike any other language on earth (though a fanciful theory suggests it may be distantly related to the Turkic languages).

With regards 'tonal' languages, obviously the Chinese languages are the most obvious example of this, but there are many languages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonal_language
 
Even most conlangers work within the facets of what they already know.

And even if you were masters at it, how would you construct such a complete language as to remove almost all vestigial traces of your former language, and then commit such a vocabulary to memory?
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Even most conlangers work within the facets of what they already know.

And even if you were masters at it, how would you construct such a complete language as to remove almost all vestigial traces of your former language, and then commit such a vocabulary to memory?
By being on the autistic end of the spectrum, I suppose.
 
Feb 25, 2010
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boomcie said:
Kelderman = Basement man
Devolder= the fuller
Van den Broeck = of the pants
translations are very funny sometimes :p

oh and Tony Martin > Jurgen and Gesink in TT
but Jurgen en Gesink >>> Tony in climbing
 
Feb 15, 2011
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Michielveedeebee said:
Devolder= the fuller
Van den Broeck = of the pants
translations are very funny sometimes :p
Steegmans = Alleymans
Boonen = Beans
Van de Walle = From the Walls
Dehaes = Thehare
Hovelycnk = Gardenconnection (ha, that's far fetched)
Ista = Is that it? (that's dialect, so even more far fetched)
 
Jan 11, 2010
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boomcie said:
Steegmans = Alleymans
Boonen = Beans
Van de Walle = From the Walls
Dehaes = Thehare
Hovelycnk = Gardenconnection (ha, that's far fetched)
Ista = Is that it? (that's dialect, so even more far fetched)
Bellemakers = Bubble Makers
De Kort = The Short
Van Hummel = Of Humpty
Slagter = Butcher
Kruijswijk = Cross Hood
 
Feb 15, 2011
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theyoungest said:
Bellemakers = Bubble Makers
De Kort = The Short
Van Hummel = Of Humpty
Slagter = Butcher
Kruijswijk = Cross Hood
I raise:

Blijlevens = Happylifes
Boom = Tree and Bos = Forest
Flens = Pancake
Hoogerland = Higherland
Langeveld = Longfield
Leezer = Reader
Mollema = Molemother
Posthuma = Mailyourmother
Stamsnijder = Trunkcutter
 
Jan 11, 2010
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boomcie said:
Posthuma = Mailyourmother
:D Genius.

And of course:

Dekker = Impregnator

One wonders how Boom survived, with Stamsnijder on the same team. Bos wisely chose to jump ship.
 
Feb 25, 2010
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boomcie said:
Steegmans = Alleymans
Boonen = Beans
Van de Walle = From the Walls
Dehaes = Thehare
Hovelycnk = Gardenconnection (ha, that's far fetched)
Ista = Is that it? (that's dialect, so even more far fetched)
Hilarious :D

c&cfan said:
cancellara, contador>>>>>your world
it was a joke dude
 
Apr 28, 2010
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boomcie said:
I raise:

Blijlevens = Happylifes
Boom = Tree and Bos = Forest
Flens = Pancake
Hoogerland = Higherland
Langeveld = Longfield
Leezer = Reader
Mollema = Molemother
Posthuma = Mailyourmother
Stamsnijder = Trunkcutter
I lol'd at that one. Gold. :p
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Spine Concept said:
de Maar = the But
Lighthart = Light heart
Breukink = Fraction ink
If you're not Dutch, then what are you? Antillean?

The best name of a Dutch rider is of course Wouter Wippert: Wouter F**ker.
 
Apr 28, 2010
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theyoungest said:
If you're not Dutch, then what are you? Antillean?

The best name of a Dutch rider is of course Wouter Wippert: Wouter F**ker.
Indeed. Aruban to be precise. Though I could have easily done it with google translate to be honest. :p
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
there was once a belgian rider called Dries Deneucker. :eek:
Yes, if we're talking about best cyclists names ever, although not Dutch, the winner remains Ryan Ariehaan.

hrotha said:
Still, it's not like Dutch is some super obscure language. You fool the Nazis once by saying Scheveningen and suddenly you think no one can figure you out.
Spoken Dutch is reportedly quite hard to follow though. But as a cycling fan I assume you´ve had ample training.
 

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