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What impresses you?

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DesEsseintes
Triglot
Newbie
Ireland
Joined 3545 days ago

33 posts - 68 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, Spanish
Studies: Croatian

 
 Message 49 of 73
17 November 2011 at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
Bao wrote:
I remember having made a pun in Mandarin when my active vocabulary was about twenty words.


Which means you were lucky enough to know two words (out of twenty) that sounded the same... You should have bought a lottery ticket on that day.

Permit me to doubt that this luck might happen twice in a lifetime...

I'm referring to people whose vocabulary is so dense they can make puns almost as often as they want to, who are advanced enough not to feel the necessity to translate what they want to express from their native language to their target one(for a pun has to be an immediate thing), and whose accent is good enough to be understood immediatly by natives.

So you did that, in Mandarin, after a few weeks, and with only twenty words. Hats off.
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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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Joined 3744 days ago

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 Message 50 of 73
17 November 2011 at 6:30pm | IP Logged 
DesEsseintes wrote:
I'm referring to people whose vocabulary is so dense they can make puns almost as often as they want to, who are advanced enough not to feel the necessity to translate what they want to express from their native language to their target one(for a pun has to be an immediate thing), and whose accent is good enough to be understood immediatly by natives.


Maybe this has more to do with how quickly one can internalize L2 information and access it as though it were L1, rather than a consequence of much they know.

I think this would apply to me.

Edited by Arekkusu on 17 November 2011 at 6:30pm

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Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
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Joined 4129 days ago

2256 posts - 4045 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 51 of 73
17 November 2011 at 6:51pm | IP Logged 
DesEsseintes wrote:
Bao wrote:
I remember having made a pun in Mandarin when my active vocabulary was about twenty words.

Which means you were lucky enough to know two words (out of twenty) that sounded the same... You should have bought a lottery ticket on that day.

Permit me to doubt that this luck might happen twice in a lifetime...

Mandarin vocabulary is full of possible pun ingredients because there are many monosyllabic words and the syllable coda is restricted to very few sounds. If I recall correctly, you can have the vowel (what is it called, empty coda?), n, ng or r to end your syllables. That means there are many words that rhyme; then you also have many homophones and minimal pairs that differ just by tone. Plenty to work with.
By the way, why did you ignore my statement about phraseology and the way it can be used to play with the listener's expectations and jumped instead at my rather outreageous claim? There is obviously no possibility for you to find out if what I stated was true. Why, do you believe, did I add such a claim which doesn't help to increase my credibility?
I wanted to get an emotional reaction from you and make you feel annoyed, so that you think about my entire posting, primarily about my reference to the expectation a listener or reader holds. In your case, that expectation stems from the belief that making puns or jokes is a sign of mastery. My own expectation is very different, because I use making puns as one of my favoured acquisition strategies.
It seems that my intention backfired. The story is true, by the way, for a given value of truth.
(I think I had a point, but I forgot it.)

Edited by Bao on 17 November 2011 at 6:53pm

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DesEsseintes
Triglot
Newbie
Ireland
Joined 3545 days ago

33 posts - 68 votes 
Speaks: English, French*, Spanish
Studies: Croatian

 
 Message 52 of 73
17 November 2011 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
Bao wrote:
I wanted to get an emotional reaction from you and make you feel annoyed


Rock n' roll. You're great, and if I didn't have a life, I mean a good job, good friends, and centers of interest, I'm sure I'd also waste my time doing things like that all day long. Must be fun, and interesting.

Bao wrote:
I think I had a point, but I forgot it.


The very last pages of this thread, and your last message in particular, remind me of the reason why I've been avoiding threads like this for years ("What is meant by mastering a language?" / "Is it possible to get a native-like accent?" / "How many words do you need to become fluent?") : they usually contain more useless debates than a Youtube comment section.

Well do we all know that it's actually impossible to define what "mastering a language" might really mean. It's been tried loads of times, and the answer is that there is no real answer.

- If Ziad Fazah thinks he can master 59 languages, that's fine. Because he's spent years learning languages, and thinks he's entitled to claim something.
- If a colleague of yours thinks he speaks a perfect English, though his accent is lame, that's also fine. Because he may have a lot of vocabulary, he may be able to understand Cockney, or whatever.
- If people here on this forum can express themselves fluently in 5 or 6 languages, but still think that they don't know anything about the languages they've been struggling with for years, that's fine. Because they may have spent too much time posting messages on this forum, and therefore may have been unconsciously led to minimize their own talent because of the general atmosphere one can encounter here.
- If a friend of yours plans on having fun in Italy for a weekend, starts opening a phrase-book a few days before, and pretends he's fluent, that's also fine. Because actually, to order food, chit-chat with a few girls in a pub, lay one, and go to a club, he'll indeed be fluent enough.

Etc...

Actually, and eventhough I'm well aware that it may not look that obvious at first sight, there's absolutely no difference between all these examples. These people just have different goals, and are simply not seeing things the same way.

What I mean is that since there's no real definition of what "mastering a language" might mean, thus we're both right, and we're both wrong. It's all a matter of individual perception. Now, you'll agree that it's just plainly useless -and stupid- to insist on trying to prove that you "had a point", in so far as no one can have any. I gave my opinion (which you don't share and that's very fine), I read other member's, agreed or not with them but didn't voice my opinion then because it wouldn't have led to anything. Face it, since you can't define what "mastering a language" really means, then there was just nothing to prove here.

The rest is silence.

Edited by DesEsseintes on 17 November 2011 at 9:53pm

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Arekkusu
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Canada
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Joined 3744 days ago

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Speaks: English, French*, GermanC1, Spanish, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Estonian

 
 Message 53 of 73
17 November 2011 at 9:24pm | IP Logged 
Oh come on now, boys. We were having fun here.

It's possible that for the average learner, puns would only become possible after near mastery of a language, but that for a small proportion of learners, arguably the more successful, gifted or skillful ones, the ones who seek out forums like this one, the way they acquire and store L2s is different, and that this difference allows them to access the information in a better organized way so as to allow them to actively play with the language despite not have reached mastery of the language yet.

In this light, your stance could be defendable... in most cases.
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Bao
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
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Joined 4129 days ago

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Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin

 
 Message 54 of 73
17 November 2011 at 10:49pm | IP Logged 
DesEsseintes wrote:
Bao wrote:
I wanted to get an emotional reaction from you and make you feel annoyed


Rock n' roll. You're great, and if I didn't have a life, I mean a good job, good friends, and centers of interest, I'm sure I'd also waste my time doing things like that all day long. Must be fun, and interesting.

I'd rather not hear any more assumptions about my life style, thank you very much. In case you didn't notice, I tried to explain our mis-communication to myself, not make you feel manipulated. (I know that shouldn't have been written down, please excuse me as for life style reasons I am kind of tired. htlal is my telly.)

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I still prefer understatement over exaggeration, and I wanted to express that when somebody has a knack for one aspect of a field that needs many different skills it can be surprising and fascinating, but may distort the idea one has of that person's overall skills.

Edited by Bao on 18 November 2011 at 5:58pm

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Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3697 days ago

4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 55 of 73
18 November 2011 at 5:36am | IP Logged 
It was a deliberate choice of mine to mention only what DOES impress me when I opened the post, and to
avoid naming what does NOT impress me. I have no objections to some of you doing that, because some
of the beauty of this forum lies in the unexpected turn of events, and the vast knowledge and insight and
the different point of view of it's members. But since we are down that road I will add my point of view.

What does not impress me are people who cannot handle differences of opinion, and who use their
language knowledge and argumentative powers to belittle other people who present different ideas and
opinions. Like Arekkusu said, we were having fun here, so let us get on topic or at least off the snide
remarks.

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5066 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
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 Message 56 of 73
18 November 2011 at 9:50am | IP Logged 
"What impresses you?" This was the question posed at the onset of this discussion, and methinks we have diverged slightly from that question. Or not. I have not yet written here because virtually anything concerning language learning can be admirable if there is enough of it, if it is done under difficult circumstances or if the result is marvellous. But now we have ended up in a discussion about puns I would like to add a few comments.

In my opinion pun makers do not have to know every conceivable idiomatic expression and 70.000 words in a language in order to make up puns - what you need is a pun making mentality, an attitude to language where things aren't sacrosant and where you are willing to take the risk of making a pun which didn't impress anybody. A bit of lateral thinking will also be necessary.

And when you succeed in using puns consistently, but in a non-intrusive way then please ring the bell somebody and I'll be there to admire you.   

Edited by Iversen on 18 November 2011 at 11:57am



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