aries1988 + language   217

Why I Taught My Son to Speak Russian | The New Yorker
As the psycholinguist François Grosjean stresses, language is the product of necessity. If a child discusses, say, hockey only with his Russian-speaking father, he may not learn until later how to say “puck” in English. But he’ll learn when he has to.

I see friends who came over at the same time as I did but didn’t keep up their Russian raising their kids entirely in English. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and all they’re missing; at other times, envious. They have finally liberated themselves from Russia’s yoke, just as their parents wanted them to. They are free to be themselves around their children, to express themselves with ease. They always know the words for scooter and goat and sheep.

Most of us were more comfortable in English than in Russian, and none of us had any wish to repatriate. Why, then, were we doing this? What did we want to pass on to our children, exactly? Certainly nothing about Russia as it is currently constituted. Perhaps it was fitting that we were listening to children’s songs.
english  russia  language  children  learn  story  song  memory  parents  angst 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
What Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” Gets Right About Japan | The New Yorker
Anderson is a white, non-Japanese director, but had he not been interested in the power dynamics behind translation, and instead made a twee fever dream imitating Japanese aesthetics, “Isle of Dogs” would have looked and sounded a lot different. His commitment to showing the daily rhythms of a living, breathing Japanese people reveals itself not only in his cast of twenty-three Japanese actors but in his depictions of how exactly a Japanese TV-news anchor transitions to a new topic (“This is the next news”), what milk cartons for elementary schools look like (labelled “extra-thick”), or how a couple of scientists might celebrate—with a clink, “Yo—oh!,” and a clap. The film invites a kinship with a viewer who will find these banalities familiar, and lets these moments flow by, unnoticed, for those who do not.
movie  japan  culture  language  translation  debate  power 
may 2018 by aries1988
Language Log » Differing Cantonese and Mandarin readings of the same headline
Ji4zi2 saang1sing3, beng6 mou5 pui5 gam2 on1wai3 儿子生性,病母倍感安慰
("[Given that] her son is obedient, the sick mother felt redoubled happiness")

1. 返工 Mandarin fǎngōng: rework, redoing; Cantonese faan1 gung1: return to work, redo a job
2. 心机 Mandarin xīnjī: scheming, mentality; Cantonese sam1 gei1: serious mind
3. 张飞 Mandarin Zhāng Fēi: a name; Cantonese zoeng1 fei1: one fare / ticket
4. 出面 Mandarin chūmiàn: to perform, act on behalf of; Cantonese ceot1 min6: outside
5. 口齿 Mandarin kǒuchǐ: mouth and teeth, the way to articulate; Cantonese hau2 ci2: credit, promise
6. 人工 Mandarin réngōng: artificiality, manpower, manual labor; Cantonese jan4 gung1: salary, pay
7. 偷鸡 Mandarin tōu jī: steal chicken; Cantonese tau1 gai: be indolent in one's duty
8. 挂住 Mandarin guà zhù: hang, put up; Cantonese gwaa3 zyu6: miss, care for
from:rss  canton  dialect  language  chinese  fun 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Left-Handed Kid
The Chinese Typewriter: A History by Thomas S. Mullaney MIT, 504 pp, £27.95, September 2017, ISBN 978 0 262 03636 8 Nominally a book that covers the rough…
book  china  chinese  invention  language  from instapaper
march 2018 by aries1988
Global Latinists by John Byron Kuhner
W he n Leni Ribeiro Leite stood up in the main auditorium of Memorial Hall this past July, her name and appearance were enough to distinguish her: it’s still…
language  latin  learn  culture  world  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
异乡人——雷立柏:东西方的对话不只有手机和高铁,还有孔子和柏拉图|一周精选|深度|异乡人|端传媒 Initium Media
“中国古代的理性文明都遇到了天花板,他们的科学研究没有连续起来,”雷立柏说,“反倒是黑暗的欧洲中世纪里,天文学、物理学、数学、逻辑学和工程学都和神学一起发展起来了,产生了哥白尼和伽利略这样的人。宗教的强大并没有阻碍科学的发展,它不是科学的敌人,反倒是朋友。”
gaijin  beijing  latin  language  study  greek  science  history 
february 2018 by aries1988
梁文道:廣東人就該說廣東話?

這類言論出現的背景,是因為在北方人看來,粵語、潮語和客語這三種語言都是很難理解,甚至十分難聽的「南蠻鳥語」,它們和它們所承載的風俗文化皆是在近代所謂的中原文化底下被歧視的對象。在民族主義開始形成,現代國家的觀念逐步興起的年代,這三個語群的文人和知識份子反擊偏見的辦法,並不是乾脆的另起爐灶,尋求自主認同;反而是利用語言等各種資源的重新描述,去訴說一個華夏文化和他們的深遠關係的故事。這個故事的主旨不是一個和國家文化截然不同的地域文化,卻是中國文化在地方上的完美體現。

幾乎一切圍繞着身份認同的言論,都帶有事實和規範等兩個部分,都試圖從你是個什麼人的事實,推導出你應當如何表現,如何行為,以及如何思考的結論。

唸哲學的人,大概會關心你是個什麼人的事實,如何可能推出你應當如何做的規範式結論。

從這種角度來看,身份認同可能不是一個從事實推出規範結論的推導過程;而是一個因為我想當某種人,所以我才看到了某種事實的逆向運動。
region  explained  canton  culture  hongkong  china  independence  comparaison  nation  conflict  language  Philosophy  moi 
february 2018 by aries1988
History of the word "tea": How the word "tea" spread over land and sea — Quartz
The map demonstrates two different eras of globalization in action: the millenia-old overland spread of goods and ideas westward from ancient China, and the 400-year-old influence of Asian culture on the seafaring Europeans of the age of exploration. Also, you just learned a new word in nearly every language on the planet.
tea  story  world  trade  language  history 
january 2018 by aries1988
Online French Vocabulary Size Test
Answer these simple questions to know your French vocabulary size now! No registration, no bullcrap.
vocabulary  français  quiz  test  online  language 
october 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation Translation
If both you and the world agree about who you are, then you might not worry much about how you would be read in a foreign context.
poem  language  translation  from instapaper
october 2017 by aries1988
How Latin became the language of the Roman Empire | Unravel Magazine

most importantly of all, the Etruscans gave the Latin-speaking people the means to make Latin a written language: an adapted version of a Greek alphabet.

Surprisingly, it is more structurally similar to Central Asian Turkish than any of the Italic languages, or even its contemporaries farther afield such as Punic, Greek, or Gaulish [4].
latin  language  origin  history  italia  comparison 
october 2017 by aries1988
Iberia’s children: A short history of why Portuguese and Spanish are different | Unravel Magazine
Once upon a time, Portuguese and Spanish were, basically, dialects of the same language: Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. Hundreds of years later, how have Portuguese and Spanish grown apart, and why? And will they always be different?
Iberia  espagna  portugal  history  comparison  explained  language 
october 2017 by aries1988
The unexpected benefits of getting lost in translation | Aeon Ideas
Applying the noisy-channel idea to understanding L2 speakers, we can think of the errors in non-native English as a noisier language model than a native-speaker model. Listeners expect more errors and are therefore more likely to think that L2 speakers mean something sensible when they say something implausible. But if a native speaker says something nonsensical, listeners are more likely to take them literally, because they know their language model has less noise. Kissinger was advising Huffington that, given her accent, listeners would likely give her the benefit of the doubt.
fun  research  language  gaijin  accent  moi  communication 
october 2017 by aries1988
Database - Jyutping
[www.iso10646hk.net]

Click "Database" -> "Hanzi to Jyutping" -> Type your Chinese character in the SECOND column ->
Then click on the Jyutping to listen to the pronunciation.

I even made a video on how to use this site.
[writecantonese8.wordpress.com]

or you can use this site too
[arts.cuhk.edu.hk]

It's a dictionary.
canton  language  online  tool  dictionary  pronounciation  learn 
august 2017 by aries1988
为什么Duang字写不出来_新浪河北文化艺术_新浪河北
  如果注意观察的话,就可以发现duang远远不是汉语中仅有的不存在音节。拼得出来却根本不存在的音节多得简直不甚枚举,如báng、dén、kī、hō、puáng、tǖ、chēi等等。事实上,普通话有22个声母39个韵母4个声调(根据处理方式不同会有小的偏差),若用简单连乘可排列出3432种可能的音节,但实际中所使用的不过1300余个,尚且不到可能数值的一半。即类似duang这样声母韵母都存在但整个音节不存在的情况非但不罕见,甚至可被视为汉语语音系统的主流,真正存在的音节反倒是少数。

 在上古时代,汉语只允许-u-在g、k、h等舌根音后出现,其他声母后都不能跟-u-介音。
chinese  language  research 
august 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation Duolingo
I did a couple of French lessons, which took all of five minutes. It was easy, and I was smitten by the possibilities. Maybe I’ll even take up German, I thought as I started the second lesson. I would become cosmopolitan and sophisticated, skipping across Europe and impressing local shopkeepers with my breezy fluency wherever I went. Maybe I would learn to differentiate among various wursts. Anything felt possible.
learn  smartphone  device  self  language  dutch  story  from instapaper
july 2017 by aries1988
XXVI 汉藏语
终于传上来了 推荐什么的早就忘了。开场曲是企鹅师搞的。
chinese  Tibet  language  linguist  history 
july 2017 by aries1988
Tracing the Origins of Indo-European Languages
A study suggests that the Indo-European family of languages originated in Anatolia, or modern-day Turkey.
language  history  science  europe  infographics 
july 2017 by aries1988
Dialect versus language — what's the big deal?
When does a 'dialect' become a 'language'? And what does it matter? This week on the podcast we look at two places that defy traditional definitions: Scandinavia and the Balkans.
moi  language  dialect  comparison  research  politics  nation  explained 
july 2017 by aries1988
学了多门外语之后,我认为英语有明显的缺陷
英国人安德鲁・罗伯茨《 英语为什么前所未有的重要? 》一文,令人感觉又好气又好笑。 有读者留言说此文是“某教育机构软广”,点评到位。语言是一种人类现象,安德鲁・罗伯茨的观察有很多局限,对国际通用语的发展历史更缺乏了解。 安德鲁・罗伯茨说:“在中国境外,很少有人把汉语普通话当作第二语言(因为它极其复杂)。”…
language  comparison  europe  chinese  vocabulary  from instapaper
july 2017 by aries1988
Stuck on one idea of truth or beauty? Rhizomes can help | Aeon Ideas
Why did they invent such strange philosophical concepts as rhizomes? One reason is to help us appreciate the singularity of each thing as well as each thing’s myriad connections to other things. This vision of an interconnected world of singularities, in turn, can change how we act in the world.

According to Nietzsche, the task of modern philosophy is to overturn Platonism, to stop looking for eternal blueprints of how things should be, and instead value this world of difference and becoming. Taking up this assignment, Deleuze and Guattari propose that we think in terms of ‘rhizomes’. A rhizome is a plant such as a potato, couch grass or bamboo. Rhizomes do not have seeds or trunks; rather, they shoot out stems and reproduce when a part breaks off and grows again, each one slightly different from its predecessor. A Thousand Plateaus helps us see the distinctiveness and connectivity of multiple things that compose reality. ‘A rhizome,’ they wrote, ‘ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organisations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.’ The concept of the rhizome helps us to view our lives as assemblages of words, institutions, songs, medicines, social movements, and countless other things that are related but also distinct.
concept  politics  culture  identity  academia  language  people 
may 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:假裝打招呼(打招呼的困惑之二)

其實只要在神州大地走上一圈,那些不 懂中國特殊國情的老外就會發現,中國遊客就是中國人,平時在家如何,到了外頭就是如何,對內對外一致平等。沒錯,很多人在國內就很習慣進店不打招呼,視侍應和店員如無物。我曾經以為,這是當代中國社會權力結構的表現,就和低級公務員看見高官要低腰打哈,公司職員一見上司就「總」前「總」後,而在上位者則可以挺着肚子當他們不存在一樣;是我們進來花錢的人做老闆,你這個服務員算老幾?我憑甚麼要多瞧你一眼。

那就像是各大城市地鐵廣播開台那句「尊敬的乘客」,其實你知道他們從來沒有尊敬過你;又有點像天橋上頭那些不知道真實作用有多少的口號標語;一切都是表面,一切都是行話。既然沒有人是真心的,何不乾脆回到最赤裸的真實,我進來是花錢,你不必廢話。
etiquette  chinese  language  comparison  people  life  shopping  from instapaper
may 2017 by aries1988
南方周末 - 统一文字是果,统一国家才是因
李俊慧
从语言还可以进一步推广到更深远的制度。欧元这种后天人为的货币,从一开始就没有实体国家的支持,可想而知除非统一出一个实体国家,其消亡不可阻挡!统一的国家,才是一切统一——无论是统一的文字,还是统一的货币——的原因与根源,我们不可倒果为因啊!当然,为什么中国比西方更早地出现统一的国家,有关的解释我在《贸易的真相》一书(中信出版社出版)的“重商主义”一章里有详细的讲解,这里就不再重复了。
language  nation  state  comparison  europe  china  chinese  latin  opinion 
may 2017 by aries1988
The Kekulé Problem - Issue 47: Consciousness - Nautilus
I call it the Kekulé Problem because among the myriad instances of scientific problems solved in the sleep of the inquirer Kekulé’s is probably the best known. He was trying to arrive at the configuration of the benzene molecule and not making much progress when he fell asleep in front of the fire and had his famous dream of a snake coiled in a hoop with its tail in its mouth—the ouroboros of mythology—and woke exclaiming to himself: “It’s a ring. The molecule is in the form of a ring.” Well. The problem of course—not Kekulé’s but ours—is that since the unconscious understands language perfectly well or it would not understand the problem in the first place, why doesnt it simply answer Kekulé’s question with something like: “Kekulé, it’s a bloody ring.” To which our scientist might respond: “Okay. Got it. Thanks.”

Problems in general are often well posed in terms of language and language remains a handy tool for explaining them. But the actual process of thinking—in any discipline—is largely an unconscious affair. Language can be used to sum up some point at which one has arrived—a sort of milepost—so as to gain a fresh starting point. But if you believe that you actually use language in the solving of problems I wish that you would write to me and tell me how you go about it.
thinking  language  brain  linguist  scientist  dream  consciousness  from instapaper
may 2017 by aries1988
George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.
endogeneity
english  writer  language  opinion  origin  today  from instapaper
april 2017 by aries1988
Learning Arabic from Egypt’s Revolution

In Dardasha, icons of little bombs with burning fuses had been printed next to the kind of phrase that, even during a revolution, qualified as explosive: Your son is really smart, Madame Fathiya. Fortunately, this compliment-bomb was promptly disarmed: This is what God has willed, Madame Fathiya, your son is really smart.

Grammar functions as a kind of spice, similar to the way that Sichuanese cuisine uses strong flavors to create satisfying meals that actually contain little meat.

Western academics call it modern standard Arabic, although the language retains strong links to the time of Muhammed. Back then, Arabic lacked a strong written literary tradition, and, in the eyes of believers, the Prophet’s illiteracy is evidence of the divine nature of the Quran. Even a skeptic like Rifaat told us that the Quran is so beautiful that it could only have come from God.

In China, the Han dynasty, which was founded in 206 B.C.E., codified and standardized the Confucian, or Ruist, classics, a process that helped set the terms for the writing system. By taking these centuries-old texts as their model of proper Chinese writing, the Han prescribed an idealized language—classical Chinese—that was probably never spoken in day-to-day life.

traditionalists feared further cultural damage. It will not be long before our ancestral language loses its form, God forbid, an editor at the newspaper Al-Ahram wrote, in 1882. How can we support a weak spoken language which will eliminate the sacred original language?

Most important, classical Chinese wasn’t tied to a religion or a divine text.

while places like German Switzerland also practice diglossia, the use of two languages, the difference is that both Swiss German and High German are living, spoken languages. The majority of Arab children are put in a position that I cannot think of an equivalent for any other group of children in the world, she said.
language  speaking  culture  arab  egypt  today  politics  news  journalism  story  learn  american  history  explained  from instapaper
april 2017 by aries1988
Pourquoi est-on plus à l’aise pour dire des grossièretés dans une langue étrangère ?

De nombreuses personnes plurilingues décrivent en effet l’impression de ressentir moins de choses dans leur seconde langue, qui ne porte pas le même « poids émotionnel » que la langue maternelle. En se sentant moins lié émotionnellement à la langue que l’on parle, on peut plus facilement jurer et/ou raconter des détails de sa vie intime. Le terme scientifique pour cela est « résonance émotionnelle réduite du langage », nous apprend Wilhelmiia Toivo.

La chercheuse cite le philosophe du langage Ludwig Wittgenstein, qui disait : « Les limites de mon langage signifient les limites de mon propre monde.

une époque où le bilinguisme ne se résume pas à parler les deux langues transmises par des parents bilingues. Le bilinguisme décrit aussi la pratique de deux langues au quotidien, peu importe son degré de maîtrise, en raison d’une migration, d’un séjour à l’étranger, ou d’un échange universitaire. « Alors que le nombre de personnes changeant de langue régulièrement continue d’augmenter, comprendre tous les aspects du langage et comment il influe sur nos vies est essentiel », conclut-elle.
language  psychology  brain  science  from instapaper
march 2017 by aries1988
The bilingual brain: why one size doesn’t fit all

Studying white matter – which is primarily composed of axons, the long, slender projectiles shunting signals across a nerve cell – is a way to measure connectivity between brain regions. If we think of the human brain as water in a cup (the cup being our skull), then white matter is like a straw in that cup: it constricts water flow in the direction that the axons are travelling. One common DTI measure, fractional anisotropy (FA), maps the overall shape of water flow in the brain. Another more specific measure, radial diffusivity (RD), helps researchers to pinpoint weak spots in the side of the straw, places where water might ‘leak’ out. In the healthy brain, researchers have long held, white matter will show high FA (flow in a single direction) and low RD (leaking of water in other directions).

Specifically, more time spent listening to the second language was associated with lower RD in regions associated with language production (the anterior portion of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus). More time spent speaking the second language was associated with higher FA in regions of the brain associated with language comprehension.
brain  research  language  debate  children  from instapaper
march 2017 by aries1988
Sogdien — Wikipédia

L'alphabet sogdien, dérivé de l'alphabet araméen-syriaque, fut transmis et adapté par les Ouïgours, qui à leur tour le transmirent aux Mongols puis aux Mandchous.
language  history  middle-asia  iran 
march 2017 by aries1988
Taiwanese, Mandarin, and Taiwan's language situation
How to Forget Your Mother Tongue and Remember Your National Language

The main reason why written Cantonese could thrive in Hongkong to the extent that it has is due to the unique colonial experience under the British. Freed from the political controls and cultural dominance of the North China mandarinate for a century, the people of Hongkong were able to experiment with true vernacular writing.

Superficially (according to the surface signification of the two characters with which the name is customarily written), "Taiwan" means "Terrace Bay." That sounds nice, even poetic, but it is an inauthentic etymology and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual origins of the name.

The old sinographic form of this name is 艋舺 , which would be pronounced bɑ́ng-kah in Taiwanese. Here the radicals are useful in helping us to understand that this was an old word of the non-Sinitic indigenes for "boat." It was only during the Japanese occupation that the sinographic form of the name was changed to the two graphs meaning "Multitudinously Floriate." Phonologically this makes some sense in Japanese where they are pronounced banka, but not in Mandarin where they come out as Wanhua.

The main obstacle to the creation of an effective romanization for the whole of society is undoubtedly the affection for Chinese characters felt by a majority of the population.

extreme measures (kǒuzhū bǐfá 口誅筆伐 ["execute with the mouth and cut down with the pen"]) to prevent its happening. The irrational fury and uncomprehending linguistic fallacies that pervade this indignant denunciation of the mere suggestion of written Taiwanese are clear proof of the kinds of intimidation and pressures that have been brought to bear against writing in the regional vernaculars in China.

A century and more ago, it was still very close to the language of Amoy, but has now diverged sharply under the following influences: Malayo-Polynesian substrate borrowings, Dutch usages, Japanese elements, Mandarinisms, English loans, and so forth. Thus, by "Taiwanese" I mean the highly evolved form of Southern Min spoken on the island of Taiwan that can no longer be equated with any language spoken on the mainland of China.

We shall examine the processes whereby Taiwanese children are weaned away from their mother tongue and acquire in its stead a second language for the purpose of becoming literate.
taiwan  language  writing  history  china  chinese  opinion  from instapaper
february 2017 by aries1988
Is Writing a Technology or a Language? Let's Ask Some Aliens | JSTOR Daily

Just comparing a transcript of speech to a purely written text reveals how sentences may often not be formally completed, thoughts backtracked, and how clauses are more sequential and less complex than they would be in a written version. Similarly, in a language like French, the spoken and written forms can be so syntactically different there can be literacy difficulties for even native speakers as they learn the written language. Many linguistic archaisms such as certain verb tenses that aren’t really used in spoken French remain alive and well in its written form.
language  movie 
january 2017 by aries1988
西班牙语和葡萄牙语之间有怎样的关系? - 阿绯的回答 - 知乎
来了来了,分享一下我的所见见闻,后面会涉及到一点理论的内容,如果内容比较枯燥,就看前面部分当听故事好了。 嗯,在正式回答楼主的问题前,我想到一个词“portunhol”。这个词就是“português”和“espanhol”的拼合。一般来说,使用葡语作为母语的人都…
comparison  language  portugal  espagna 
january 2017 by aries1988
Generating naming languages

First off, the majority of words in Mandarin have two syllables. This gives it a very clear rhythmic quality. Secondly, the syllable structure is pretty much constant. Each syllable consists of a single consonant, a vowel or two, and then optionally either /n/ or /ŋ/ (written ng). So 'shan' is a valid Mandarin syllable, but 'stan' and 'nash' are not.

In real languages, words are built out of units called 'morphemes', which are the smallest units of language which still carry meaning. Some words are single morphemes (e.g. 'happy', 'sad', 'platypus'), and some can be divided up into smaller units (e.g. 'un-help-ful', 'rest-less', 're-consider-s'). The relationship between syllables and morphemes, both of which combine to form words, is hazy at best.

Fortunately, we're making up our language, so we can make it as simple as we like. One syllable equals one morpheme.
game  language  invention  howto  comparison  primer  python  map  algorithm  from instapaper
january 2017 by aries1988
日语口语中清浊音如何区分? - 语言 - 知乎
第一个答案说得很完整了,我来简化一下。
发音主要分清浊两种,其中清音又分送气和不送气两种。
这三种发音用英文来指代就是play、sport、boy中的p和b。
汉语拼音方案中的辅音(声母)基本都是清音(除了n、r、l),只是送气和不送气的区别。
最后,如果会上海话的话,可以比较下丢和读的发音。
japanese  français  learn  language  comparison 
january 2017 by aries1988
How to Learn Chinese
The Nincha Team
https://ninchanese.com/nincha-team/
Our mission is to bring you the best Chinese learning app possible.
We’re very excited about it and we bet we can!

Funded on Kickstarter!
https://trello.com/b/7XDOWVgP/ninchanese-roadmap
language  via:wunixme 
january 2017 by aries1988
Ted Chiang’s Soulful Science Fiction

Chiang has been described as a writer of humanist sci-fi; many readers feel that his stories are unusually moving and wonder, given their matter-of-fact tone, where their emotional power comes from.
scifi  language  from instapaper
january 2017 by aries1988
Japanese writing system - Wikipedia
Some words are colloquially written in hiragana and writing them in kanji might give them a more formal tone, while hiragana may impart a softer or more emotional feeling.[7] For example, the Japanese word "kawaii", the Japanese equivalent of "cute", can be written entirely in hiragana as in かわいい, or as the kanji term 可愛い.

Because of this mixture of scripts, in addition to a large inventory of kanji characters, the Japanese writing system is often considered to be the most complicated in use anywhere in the world.[1][2]

... the British linguist and diplomat Sir George Sansom to write:

One hesitates for an epithet to describe a system of writing which is so complex that it needs the aid of another system to explain it. There is no doubt that it provides for some a fascinating field of study, but as a practical instrument it is surely without inferiors.[8]
japanese  language 
december 2016 by aries1988
A linguist on Arrival's alien language.
Right, it’s not phonetic in the way that English is phonetic. So I took the alien language to be that kind of writing system. I still took the visual system to be encoding the same concepts of the oral system so that the aliens would have for any given concept a written version and a spoken version. Logographic systems on Earth are essentially similar. The Japanese have three different writing systems. One of them, Kanji, is shared with Chinese. The spoken languages are very different. The Japanese speaker and the Chinese speaker can’t talk to each other, but they share a writing system because the writing system doesn’t actually match phonetically onto the sounds of the language.

When you think about it, it’s not that weird because we do the same thing with numerals, right? I pronounce the number 7 very differently than a French speaker—I don’t even know the word for seven in French—but if I write it down, they understand the concept.
language  explained  chinese  movie  2016 
december 2016 by aries1988
Johnson: OK computer
How computers can be better language teachers than human beings
language  ai  tool  pc  learn 
november 2016 by aries1988
The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School

With Spanish’s endearments and ample use of the subjunctive tense and the diminutive, I have learned that to know a language is to enter into another way of being.

My father, for example, is a charming man in English, a language he has spoken fluently for a half-century. In Spanish, however, his full talents as a sardonic raconteur are on display; he’s even prone to the occasional philosophical soliloquy. My mother is a fluent English speaker, but in Spanish she’s a storyteller with a deeply romantic bent and a flair for the ironic.

For Latino immigrant children, Spanish is the key that unlocks the untranslatable wisdom of their elders, and that reveals the subtle truths in their family histories. It’s a source of self-knowledge, a form of cultural capital. They are smarter, in fact, for each bit of Spanish they keep alive in their bilingual brains. And they are more likely to see the absurdity in the rants of xenophobes and racists.
children  language  education  school  bilingual  opinion  politics  usa  espagna  family  literature  personality  brain  from instapaper
november 2016 by aries1988
Mimicking native speakers as a way of learning Chinese | Hacking Chinese
If I were to pick one activity that language learners across the world should do more in order to improve their speaking in general and their pronunciation in…
tips  language  pronounciation  from instapaper
october 2016 by aries1988
Big bad modifier order
This is a quote from Mark Forsyth's book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase . And Nicholas Feinberg asks This claim seems iffy to…

The reason for Tolkien's mistake, since you ask, is that adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you'll sound like a maniac. It's an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can't exist.
ff  language  english  from instapaper
september 2016 by aries1988
Sing to me in Vietnamese: A daughter learns the language of her refugee parents through song
A Vietnamese-American woman stays in touch with her cultural roots through language and song. But which languages will she pass on to her own children?
podcast  vietnam  heritage  language  children  parents  gaijin  usa 
september 2016 by aries1988
哪里的普通话最标准|大象公会
普通话在中国大陆推广使用数十年,但各地人使用时,仍有明显的方言特色。特别是在南方,“胡建人”、“你问我滋瓷不滋瓷”等说法屡见不鲜。湖南人和四川人的普通话还因为特征突出,而被分别命名为“塑料普通话”和“椒盐普通话”。

根据台湾《国语一字多音审定表》及大陆《普通话四读词审音表释例》,两岸的字音有许多差异。以“期”字为例,台湾地区念 2 声,大陆地区念 1 声。二者在读音上的取舍显示,台湾地区较重视字音的渊源,音多来自北京书音。而大陆地区重视字音通俗化,偏重北京普罗大众的口音。
language  chinese  region  beijing 
september 2016 by aries1988
Utopian for Beginners

In his preface, Quijada wrote that his greater goal was to attempt the creation of what human beings, left to their own devices, would never create naturally, but rather only by conscious intellectual effort: an idealized language whose aim is the highest possible degree of logic, efficiency, detail, and accuracy in cognitive expression via spoken human language, while minimizing the ambiguity, vagueness, illogic, redundancy, polysemy (multiple meanings) and overall arbitrariness that is seemingly ubiquitous in natural human language.

What if, they wondered, you could create a universal written language that could be understood by anyone, a set of real characters, just as the creation of Arabic numerals had done for counting? This writing will be a kind of general algebra and calculus of reason, so that, instead of disputing, we can say that ‘we calculate,’ Leibniz wrote, in 1679.

seventeenth-century bishop and polymath, John Wilkins, who tried to actualize their lofty ideals. In his Essay Towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language, from 1668, Wilkins laid out a sprawling taxonomic tree that was intended to represent a rational classification of every concept, thing, and action in the universe. Each branch along the tree corresponded to a letter or a syllable, so that assembling a word was simply a matter of tracing a set of forking limbs until you’d arrived on a distant tendril representing the concept you wanted to express.

Wilkins’s taxonomic-classification scheme, which organized words by meaning rather than alphabetically, was not entirely without use: it was a predecessor of the first modern thesaurus.

the equally ambitious desire to unite the world through a single, easy-to-learn, politically neutral, auxiliary language

Among the Wakashan Indians of the Pacific Northwest, a grammatically correct sentence can’t be formed without providing what linguists refer to as evidentiality, inflecting the verb to indicate whether you are speaking from direct experience, inference, conjecture, or hearsay.

For Quijada, this was a revelation. He imagined that Ithkuil might be able to do what Lakoff and Johnson said natural languages could not: force its speakers to precisely identify what they mean to say. No hemming, no hawing, no hiding true meaning behind jargon and metaphor. By requiring speakers to carefully consider the meaning of their words, he hoped that his analytical language would force many of the subterranean quirks of human cognition to the surface, and free people from the bugs that infect their thinking.
language  story  linguist  russia  thinking  from instapaper
august 2016 by aries1988
No hard feelings | The Economist
Men also engaged in more touching after the handshake or post-boxing embrace. In tennis 42.5% of the matches between men concluded with the winner touching the loser’s arm or body in addition to the handshake, while only 12.5% of women’s matches ended this way. Ping pong showed similar results, with 33% of the male matches involving additional physical contact between the competitors while female matches showed none. (The high net in badminton and the many individuals interacting with fighters after boxing bouts made it impossible to monitor post-handshake contact in those sports.)
female  comparison  body  language  sports  psychology 
august 2016 by aries1988
个人意见:你会用母语说“我爱你”吗|大象公会
没错,我们所受的教育会让我们不自觉地鄙弃自己的母语,但这种后天灌输的观念,无论多么强大,都无法消灭母语会唤起的亲切感,尽管中国各地的方言都变成可只能传递“低阶信息”的工具,但这种“低阶信息”却承载着我们最基础的情感,就像童年时期妈妈做的菜一样,它无法被消磁。
language  china  future  dialect  mandarin 
august 2016 by aries1988
‘Grief bacon’ and other untranslatable words for the highs and lows of love | Aeon Videos
Love might be universal but, as this brief animation shows, it’s not always easily translatable. Made in association with the CBC podcast Love Me, the Canadian director Andrew Norton’s short film explores 13 distinctive words from across the globe that describe the highs, lows and everything-in-betweens of romantic love.
language  love  world 
august 2016 by aries1988
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