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Old 02-07-2016, 10:44 PM
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Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Talking okay, so I'm a bit of a language geek

My first lover was a German major, & I was working on a minor in Spanish. We found that concepts in our heads were often easier to express using languages other than English, & learned a lot about each other & ourselves by this route.

Years later, when I was in the semi-closed triad, my wife was a DLI-trained Russian interrogator, who we once found knew at least one phrase in 28 different languages. Our partner was fluent in French & ASL, wrote in Elvish, & could carry on a basic conversation in Mandarin. Again, there was much cross-pollination as we brought all sorts of terms & concepts into our conversations.

Last week, I decided to dig into Wikipedia, to round up articles on polyamory, which I don't think has yet been done here. Officially, there are 291, with 280 active under the Wikimedia Foundation:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias

This in itself is interesting, such as finding that the third-highest article count is in Cebuano, & Winaray is #8. Some are quite colorful (& surprisingly easy for me to understand!), like Anglo-Saxon:
https://ang.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C4%93afodtramet

Naturally, I got sidetracked into cultural differences. In an unrelated Bing search for "qat" (looking up a particular cartoon by B. Kliban), I was presented with the Catalan entry for Catha edulis, a boring little plant known only for the stimulant properties of its leaves, chewed much as coca or betel nut.
https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catha_edulis

I got curious as to how this would look in English, & the differences surprised me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khat
Where in Catalan it's deemed most important to discuss the plant & where it grows, in English we're launched straight into its danger as a drug & how it's regulated around the world.

I felt as though I'm in a culture of Chicken Littles.

For those who need more frightening-up, you can scroll down to an extensive bullet-point list of the effects, as well as a big scary chart of Dependence vs. Physical Harm... which rather boringly indicates that khat is really low on both indices (shouldn't coffee & Red Bull be on there somewhere?), with alcohol well past LSD & Ecstasy, & even marijuana. This really made me wonder at the reason for the somewhat dire opening paragraphs.

Well, anyhow, maybe I'll get back to a complete list of those Polyamory entries next week.

Meantime, I'm now curious as to whether there's any other language geeks around here?
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:06 PM
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Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Cool

Here, let's have a little fun before I head out to watch The Super Bowl.

I know a little Japanese, but what really entertains me is the words "borrowed" from English, or gairaigo.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...sei-eigo_terms
For instance, "bukkukaba" = "book cover".

And here's one of those "non-English concepts" I mentioned: スキンシップ, sukinshippu, "skinship" or "bonding through physical contact."

This reminds me of another language, that used to be a trade pidgin in New Guinea but has been elevated in status, Tok Pisin. Some common words & phrases:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tok_Pisin#Vocabulary

Like, "pasim maus" derives from "fasten mouth" = "shut up"

You might enjoy figuring out why Prince Charles is "nambawan pikinini bilong misis kwin"

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Old 02-07-2016, 11:09 PM
OnceAndFuture OnceAndFuture is offline
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I am not though I used to know Latin very well and a small bit of Scots Gaelic (really useful outside of Scotland, that).

But my ex wife was a committed polyglot. She was fluent in (deep breath) French, English, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Modern Icelandic, German, Italian, Spanish, and Welsh. Oh, did I mention she could also read Old English, Old Norse, Old Icelandic, Anglo-Norman French, and a handful of other medieval dialects? She just put my feeble attempts to learn languages to shame.

Catalan is a little funny as a language though, I remember that it's allegedly the only language which has a word for "a person who eats a lot of bread" ((panarra) They are kind of obsessed with food and plants and animals, which may explain the differences in the Wikipedia article.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:56 PM
NortheastPoly NortheastPoly is offline
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Our husband is fluent in Japanese, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Finnish, Italian plus he knows some Russian. He loves language. He teaches us stuff, but gets frustrated because we are not quick learners like he is with things.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:17 PM
OnceAndFuture OnceAndFuture is offline
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Wow, NortheastPoly, sounds like my ex and your husband would have a lot to talk about....once they decided which of the five languages they have in common they would use!
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:10 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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I'm a language appreciator, but not a language geek. Sometimes I get all involved in the nuances of English.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:06 PM
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I'm going to blame my teenage years of being a stoner, for the fact that I disappoint myself now...(that's probably rubbish, but I don't care.) I love language. I get really excited about neat words, bits of concept in other languages that we don't have words for in English, and even the "Grandiliquent Word of the Day" that a friend or two is likely to share with me on social media...

But I can't retain it.

I took 4 years of French in school, and I was getting fairly comfortable with the language, I had a friend who was a native speaker (from Haiti, her family spoke several languages)...and we could converse. Now? Hopeless. I didn't use it for too long, and I lost it.

It makes me a little sad to want so badly to remember things, and to know that I won't.
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