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Language discussion thread

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Apr 28, 2010
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theyoungest said:
Yes, if we're talking about best cyclists names ever, although not Dutch, the winner remains Ryan Ariehaan.


Spoken Dutch is reportedly quite hard to follow though. But as a cycling fan I assume you´ve had ample training.
The thing is that it's not a world language like for example English or Spanish. There would be no need for it unless you live in or do business with the Netherlands, Belgium, the Antilles - only in school and politics - and Suriname (?).

However, I can understand that as a cycling fan it would be advantageous to know the language due to the many (semi) classics held in Belgium - mostly.
 
Feb 15, 2011
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El Pistolero said:
I friend of mine is called Wiet Deneucker. How people come up with these names :p
Please stop referring to your pen!s as your friend. It is getting old. Also stop giving it nicknames.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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theyoungest said:
Yes, if we're talking about best cyclists names ever, although not Dutch, the winner remains Ryan Ariehaan.


Spoken Dutch is reportedly quite hard to follow though. But as a cycling fan I assume you´ve had ample training.
I speak it sort of, can also read a little (struggle a lot tho). My parents taught me a little when I was young, I have attempted to learn it at times, but was always to lazy to become fleuent.

Compared to a couple other languages I have attempted I found it wasn't too difficult, but my situation isn't exactly the norm.
 
Feb 15, 2011
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
I speak it sort of, can also read a little (struggle a lot tho). My parents taught me a little when I was young, I have attempted to learn it at times, but was always to lazy to become fleuent.

Compared to a couple other languages I have attempted I found it wasn't too difficult, but my situation isn't exactly the norm.
Really Timmy? I had no clue.

I understood you lived in Australia, but I always thought you spoke Dutch fluently. Were you born Down Under as well?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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boomcie said:
Really Timmy? I had no clue.

I understood you lived in Australia, but I always thought you spoke Dutch fluently. Were you born Down Under as well?
yes I was.

I have of course been to the homeland, and like I said can speak it and understand it ok, but yeah..

Why I tend to support the dutch over Australia? I do not know, I always have, I think the constant patriosm of the aussies around me turned me towards the dutch (and here I post my love for the dutch, ironic.)

Both the parents were from holland anyway (mum-amsterdam, dad-brabant)

I do plan to live in europe some point in my life (possibly when I get out of uni in a couple of years), but I'm not sure which country to be honest :p
 
Feb 25, 2010
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
yes I was.

I have of course been to the homeland, and like I said can speak it and understand it ok, but yeah..

Why I tend to support the dutch over Australia? I do not know, I always have, I think the constant patriosm of the aussies around me turned me towards the dutch (and here I post my love for the dutch, ironic.)

Both the parents were from holland anyway (mum-amsterdam, dad-brabant)

I do plan to live in europe some point in my life (possibly when I get out of uni in a couple of years), but I'm not sure which country to be honest :p
Stay out of Holland, they've got Geert 'Mozarthair' Wilders :p
 
Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
yes I was.

I have of course been to the homeland, and like I said can speak it and understand it ok, but yeah..

Why I tend to support the dutch over Australia? I do not know, I always have, I think the constant patriosm of the aussies around me turned me towards the dutch (and here I post my love for the dutch, ironic.)

Both the parents were from holland anyway (mum-amsterdam, dad-brabant)

I do plan to live in europe some point in my life (possibly when I get out of uni in a couple of years), but I'm not sure which country to be honest :p
Ah I too thought you were some emigrant. Since you were born in Australia, props for speaking the language then Timmy.

I am in a very similar situation, born in a foreign land but brought up in the motherland tongue.

Its important for parents to teach their culture to their children.

How did you get into cycling then. Your excitment for Het Neiusbald and other early classics, i thought was because you used to live there. But its more difficult to get into that from down under.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Ah I too thought you were some emigrant. Since you were born in Australia, props for speaking the language then Timmy.

I am in a very similar situation, born in a foreign land but brought up in the motherland tongue.

Its important for parents to teach their culture to their children.

How did you get into cycling then. Your excitment for Het Neiusbald and other early classics, i thought was because you used to live there. But its more difficult to get into that from down under.
yeah, cycling hasn't always been easy follow in Australia.

I originally got into cycling from my parents, my mothers father was actualy a professional track rider in holland. came 2nd in national championships a couple times before WW2. WW2 also effectively meant he missed his chances at the olympics.

Other then that I grew up every year since I can remember watching the tour with my dad, who also likes cycling, not as much as the football but it came next (back then we got like 30mins a stage). I loved it.

As for other races well my father and me discussed cycling all the time, he gave me insight to more of teh cycling world then the daily tour coverage could provide.

Since streaming and cycling has been avilable on the internet I've pretty much been watching other events (I followed many races in text updates also). My dad told me about other races, and as a young teenager I would pretty much check results on the internet of various races, it wasn't ideal but I loved cycling. As for races like PR and omloop well since when I first saw them I loved them.

Unfortunately I have never seen a race in europe, next trip I plan to base a lot around cycling :p
 
May 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
The grammar of Norwegian bokmål is pretty straightforward, which I presume makes it a bit easier for English-speakers not used to differentiating gender or conjugating verbs six ways.

Unnskyld meg, men jeg forstår deg ikke. Jeg snakker bare litt norsk. Snakker du tysk?

Jeg liker sykkelsport.
But Norwegian does differentiate gender. Many dialects distinguish 3 genders. Bokmal has mostly lost the female gender, and I think it is completely gone in riksmaal (although hearing words like 'jenten, jorden, solen, kirken' etc. is pretty weird).
 
Feb 25, 2010
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Buffalo Soldier said:
Belgian politicians are all geniuses of course:p
naaaah we've got Bartje 'frietkot' De Wever and Elio 'make-up' DiRupo to screw us around this time :p but you know that as well :p
 
Cobblestones said:
But Norwegian does differentiate gender. Many dialects distinguish 3 genders. Bokmal has mostly lost the female gender, and I think it is completely gone in riksmaal (although hearing words like 'jenten, jorden, solen, kirken' etc. is pretty weird).
I never said that Norwegian didn't - but that the simple grammar is a boon for English speakers, as the simple grammar of English makes it difficult for first-language English speakers to pick up things like gender and case endings, adjectival endings etc. Compared to, say, German, the gender in Norwegian isn't as pervasive and overawing for the Anglophone learner.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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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?
Since you call yourself "Libertine", allow me to compliment you for being such a cunning linguist, who no doubt would be able to conlang (con lengua :p in spanish) the truly universal language;)
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
But Norwegian does differentiate gender. Many dialects distinguish 3 genders. Bokmal has mostly lost the female gender, and I think it is completely gone in riksmaal (although hearing words like 'jenten, jorden, solen, kirken' etc. is pretty weird).
I wouldn't say the female gender is "lost" in bokmål, but rather it is accepted in bokmål to use either female gender-hunkjønn, or neuter-intetkjønn if the noun is female. I think you also find it's depends on the region as well. Some regions still use the female gender properly when speaking bokmål, and others do not. It can be challenging at times.

On the other hand I agree with you as well, as my wife and I have had numerous discussions (animated discourse) over the use of the female gender, especially with the noun is in its definitive form (bestemt). She especially doesn't like it when I'm right and she is wrong (or not completely right) :D

We had a nice long discussion about rivers that ended in a stalemate (although she never conceded my point).

Ei elv eller en elv.

Elva eller elven.
 
Feb 12, 2010
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flyor64 said:
I wouldn't say the female gender is "lost" in bokmål, but rather it is accepted in bokmål to use either female gender-hunkjønn, or neuter-intetkjønn if the noun is female. I think you also find it's depends on the region as well. Some regions still use the female gender properly when speaking bokmål, and others do not. It can be challenging at times.

On the other hand I agree with you as well, as my wife and I have had numerous discussions (animated discourse) over the use of the female gender, especially with the noun is in its definitive form (bestemt). She especially doesn't like it when I'm right and she is wrong (or not completely right) :D

We had a nice long discussion about rivers that ended in a stalemate (although she never conceded my point).

Ei elv eller en elv.

Elva eller elven.
When you write bokmål you can choose to use ei elv/elva or en elv/elven. En elv/elven is a used in a more conservative form of bokmål and in riksmål, I believe the en article in conservative bokmål/riksmål is a common gender article, which is why you can use it for every noun not in neuter. There are a few possible exceptions from the conjugation rule though, for example: en jente/jenten OR en jente/jenta.

If you listen to people from the city of Bergen you will hear that they operate with the two gender system.

In more reformed bokmål you're supposed to use ei elv/elva, as we now operate with three genders. En in this form of bokmål is exclusively for masculine nouns.

This may or may not be the source of your discussion, but it's a usual error people make (and I'm sometimes prone to it myself) to conjugate the noun like this: En elv/elva, or en bok/boka. Now most people will say elva or boka, but they will still write en elv or en bok, they might even say it in their own dialect.

There's few if any in Norway that actually speak bokmål, it's purely a means of writing the language down. As you can see this is quite a small problem, so I'd have no trouble putting Norwegian down as an easy language to learn.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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cartman said:
When you write bokmål you can choose to use ei elv/elva or en elv/elven. En elv/elven is a used in a more conservative form of bokmål and in riksmål, I believe the en article in conservative bokmål/riksmål is a common gender article, which is why you can use it for every noun not in neuter. There are a few possible exceptions from the conjugation rule though, for example: en jente/jenten OR en jente/jenta.

If you listen to people from the city of Bergen you will hear that they operate with the two gender system.

In more reformed bokmål you're supposed to use ei elv/elva, as we now operate with three genders. En in this form of bokmål is exclusively for masculine nouns.

This may or may not be the source of your discussion, but it's a usual error people make (and I'm sometimes prone to it myself) to conjugate the noun like this: En elv/elva, or en bok/boka. Now most people will say elva or boka, but they will still write en elv or en bok, they might even say it in their own dialect.

There's few if any in Norway that actually speak bokmål, it's purely a means of writing the language down. As you can see this is quite a small problem, so I'd have no trouble putting Norwegian down as an easy language to learn.
Agree with this completely and appreciate the thorough explanation.

The regions play a definite role. Where I work is a bit of a hub for a lot of folks from all over the country and I hear and learn varying dialects and pronunciations.

But, in my limited experience, folks from Oslo tend to "say" more bokmål than others, say from Buskerud for example. Hence the elv discussion. To this day my wife still insists that IT IS spoken elven and boken :D...while my son and I both say elva and boka.

I agree on conjugation wholeheartedly. I´ve found Norwegian significantly easier, and hence more enjoyable, to learn as opposed to German for example. In full disclosure I did not try as hard with German though...which I regret now.
 
May 6, 2009
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To the Dutchies on here, how old were you guys (and girls!) when you first started learning English and how long did it take to become fluent in English, and was it easy/hard?

To Libertine, I'm sure with your line of work you're familiar with Michel Thomas and the Michel Thomas Method, what has your experience of this been, and in your opinion, is it effective or not?
 
To tell the truth I'm not totally familiar with his method, my line of learning has been developing a solid grammatical base then using my historical linguistics background to make etymological links and build vocabulary that way. Breaking things down into their components and allowing the learner to build their own sentences seems like a good method, because it's always better to teach the learner how the language is put together and then give them the vocabulary to plug into that so they can construct sentences independently than to simply give them things to parrot back and no idea WHY those sentences are correct.

So as I have no experience of his method, I can't vouch for whether it works, but I can say that it looks to have very solid principles behind it, ones that I approve of and agree with.
 
May 6, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
To tell the truth I'm not totally familiar with his method, my line of learning has been developing a solid grammatical base then using my historical linguistics background to make etymological links and build vocabulary that way. Breaking things down into their components and allowing the learner to build their own sentences seems like a good method, because it's always better to teach the learner how the language is put together and then give them the vocabulary to plug into that so they can construct sentences independently than to simply give them things to parrot back and no idea WHY those sentences are correct.

So as I have no experience of his method, I can't vouch for whether it works, but I can say that it looks to have very solid principles behind it, ones that I approve of and agree with.
I've been trying it out as I downloaded an audio book on learning Chinese (I do anticipate a few more trips to China, which may or may not be influenced by a girl I know there :D), and I listen to it on my ipod. It encourages you not to memorize, not to practice, not to write anything down, just listen in a relaxed manner. I'm about a quarter of the way through it. So far I have learnt a couple of things, and some things that make sense when it comes to verbs, adjectives etc.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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craig1985 said:
To the Dutchies on here, how old were you guys (and girls!) when you first started learning English and how long did it take to become fluent in English, and was it easy/hard?
Allow me, even though I'm not a real Dutchie. (I'm an American expat who has lived here for the past 22 years.)

There are at least three compelling reasons (imho) why the Dutch are so good at English and why they learn the language so readily.

1. Dutch is a 'small' language, so historically there has always been a necessity for this sea-faring nation to be able to readily communicate with the world at large. Learning a 'foreign' language has traditionally been a pretty 'normal' thing to do.

2. Dutch children start learning English in elementary school, much earlier than kids in most other countries are introduced to another language.

3. Probably the single most important reason why so many Dutch speak English so well is that the Dutch, unlike almost all other European countries, do not dub or synchronize foreign tv programs but use subtitles instead. This means that generations of Dutch children since WWII have grown up hearing English literally every day.
 
Amsterhammer said:
Allow me, even though I'm not a real Dutchie. (I'm an American expat who has lived here for the past 22 years.)


3. Probably the single most important reason why so many Dutch speak English so well is that the Dutch, unlike almost all other European countries, do not dub or synchronize foreign tv programs but use subtitles instead. This means that generations of Dutch children since WWII have grown up hearing English literally every day.
Whenever i ask Dutch people, this is the reason they always give me.
 
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