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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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Warp3
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Studies: Spanish, Korean, Japanese

 
 Message 1049 of 1511
09 January 2014 at 1:41am | IP Logged 
Several animals have names ending in 이 so it gets confusing when you don't realize it
isn't a subject marker:
호랑이 = tiger
고양이 = cat
원숭이 = monkey
멍멍이 = slang for a dog/puppy (based on the fact that 멍멍 is the Korean "bow-wow")

Also young animal names have a big tendency to end in the 이 sound, even if not using
the full 이 syllable block:
강아지 = puppy
송아지 = calf
망아지 = foal, colt (baby horse)
병아리 = chick (baby chicken)
꼴뚜기 = baby octopus
새끼 = baby animal (or an insult when used to refer to a person)

Some young human words follow this pattern as well:
아기/애기 = baby (야기 is the "correct" term, but 애기 is quite common despite that
fact, especially as a pronunciation)
아이 = son, child


Edited by Warp3 on 09 January 2014 at 1:45am

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tarvos
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1050 of 1511
09 January 2014 at 11:40am | IP Logged 
This morning I wrote some Afrikaans, which is basically Dutch to me anyways - really -
but I adapt the spelling and some grammar rules to make it read like Afrikaans. (I would
still pronounce it as Dutch, though). It's quite easy to adapt to, but you have to know a
bunch of false friends and terms people use in Afrikaans. It's fun to try.
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tarvos
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Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1051 of 1511
12 January 2014 at 11:11am | IP Logged 
Considering the past few days have been annoying as hell for my mental state of mind,
I've not made much progress on my languages. However, I've managed to add some Korean
words to Anki, I've completed a bit of Hebrew Assimil, and I've finished a French novel
by Nothomb (whenever I study French, I revert to Nothomb apparently).

I've also written in various languages, including Russian, Romanian, English, Swedish,
Spanish, Breton and Afrikaans, although I never got a reply to my Spanish.
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tarvos
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1052 of 1511
12 January 2014 at 5:38pm | IP Logged 
Lately, I've been very interested in my Russian again, and today I spoke with Via Diva
for about two hours in a mixture of English and Russian. Since Russian is my third
language in terms of my social circle (after Dutch and English), it's a really good
feeling I get so much use and satisfaction out of my Russian. I'm trying to improve my
stress and pronunciation in Russian, and looking up the stresses for every word that I
don't know the stress for.
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tarvos
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Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1053 of 1511
13 January 2014 at 12:22pm | IP Logged 
About diminutives - and how sometimes, an unexpected phenomenon can help understand
linguistic concepts in distant languages


If you are a native English speaker, the concept of a diminutive might seem strange to
you. And that is as it should be - diminutives are rarely or never used in English, and
people do not tend to shorten or lower the formality of many words by adding a suffix.
However, plenty languages contain the idea of diminutive suffixes, and some make
extensive use of them - one of which is Russian, which absolutely adores diminutives.

Now there are ways of saying "I don't know how to cope with a system so radically
different" - some would go as far as to not use these suffixes, only understand them.
But to speak naturally, in Russian, diminutives are necessary - you need to use them to
sound proper when you are speaking Russian. And so, you need a way of conceptualizing
how these things work - which is hard if that concept does not exist in your native
language.

However, this is how I overcame this problem - by looking at other languages which do
know the concept of a diminutive, but don't necessarily use it in the same way -
NOWADAYS. Fortunately, my native language, Dutch, is familiar with the use of
diminutives, and uses them quite a bit, though not to the same extent as Russian - and
ESPECIALLY not in the sense of diminutives of personal names.

In Russia, it is common that a name like Анна becomes Аня, Анюта, Нюта, Нюся, Аннушка,
Анюра, and so on. In Dutch, a name like Anna stays Anna, or it can become Anneke (-ke
is a diminutive suffix especially common in the south of the Netherlands and in
Belgium), in the same way that Maria can become Marieke in Dutch. Or in some cases, the
universal -tje is used - Jan becomes Jantje, and so on. Some of these in Dutch have
become fixed forms that are now used as first names - Anneke is a common first name,
and so is Marieke. Jantje, however is only a character in jokes, and sometimes used to
refer to someone called Jan in jest if he is a child (cf. Pietje, Klaasje which have
the same sense).

But, the idea of having a name which is not used when addressing that person *is* a
tradition rooted socio-culturally in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, it used to be
so, that under the influence of the church (more so the Catholic church, but it exists
among protestants as well), that children were given many first names upon birth, and
that these were drawn from the names of saints or other historical figures. (In
Protestant circles, usually people would receive less names, and the names might be
more traditionally Dutch and Calvinist, as opposed to Catholics, where children can
have up to five first names; and many Dutch people have more than one name, with the
second functioning a bit like the American middle name, but Dutch people can have more
of these than one - it is not uncommon to see something like FHM Verhoeven on letters,
where FHM is something like Frederik Hendrik Maria)

However, these names, long Catholic names usually, are never used for address. Someone
who is given the absurdly common first name Johannes will never be called Johannes - he
will be called any of: Jan, Johan, Jo, Jos, Han (and maybe some other variants like
John, which is also popular but pronounced like "Shon" in Dutch). Usually the family
designates a "roepnaam", a calling name, which is the name by which we call that person
in public, despite all formal and official letters never mentioning that name (some
forms, however, require you to fill out your roepnaam instead of the first name and
initials). Similarly for someone with the first name Antoinetta - this is usually
Antoinette or Annet(te), but can become An or even other variations. Traditionally the
names descend from Latin, although some don't, such as in the case of Willebrordus,
Albertus and so on (Willy, Albert, and so on). Sometimes the calling name is also taken
from the second, third, or fourth name - someone called Maria Christina Adriana van
Zanten may be called Christel in informal speech, because the roepnaam is descended
from Christina, not Maria, and this is a normal procedure.

However, that practice is becoming outdated in Dutch society (there are still people in
my generation that adhere to such a tradition, mostly in more religious or traditional
families). However, in the younger generations, the giving of middle names is still
common (though some people give only one - I myself have two, however), and the
popularity of short names, non-religious names, and foreign names has risen under the
influence of foreign immigration, secularization, and the ease of pronunciation. My
personal first name contains only one syllable, is not an abbreviation, and is of
Germanic/Scandinavian origin, and my calling name is thus identical to my formal name.
Sometimes, a roepnaam may be elected as the formal name: "Martin" as a name, not the
full "Martinus". Despite its descendance from Martinus, if the name given to the
authorities is Martin then that is the formal name. The roepnaam does not have to be
identical but can be.

How does this tie into Russian? Well, the old simplification of names, or the use of a
diminutive, is used in Russian to a great extent. Someone called Anna will rarely be
addressed as Anna, as described before. But if you are Dutch, and you hear of this
practice, you will be a bit surprised to learn the mechanics, but almost all Dutch
people familiar with a bit of Dutch tradition should not be surprised at the fact that
address does not match formality, nor that a diminutive suffix is used - it used to be
almost equally common in Dutch. The only difference is that a "roepnaam" in Dutch tends
to be fixed for that person - i.e. someone called Johannes with the roepnaam "Johan"
will always be addressed as Johan, not as Jan.

If you know how the process works in a similar language, if you know what a diminutive
is, even though you don't use it the same way (using diminutives in standard Dutch is
common, though not as common as in Russian), due to a fortunate coincidence, use it in
your foreign learning. It gives you more insight into the foreign process and the
foreign culture - and you'll soon be addressing Мария as Маша!








Edited by tarvos on 13 January 2014 at 2:13pm

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vermillon
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
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Studies: Japanese, German

 
 Message 1054 of 1511
13 January 2014 at 1:39pm | IP Logged 
Amazing post, tarvos! Being myself in the process of learning Polish, raising this kind of issue is very important (something I wasn't really paying attention to, to be honest..): Polish apparently uses diminutives everywhere, for given names of course, but also for countless items. Will require some getting used to it, I guess.
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tarvos
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1055 of 1511
13 January 2014 at 1:44pm | IP Logged 
vermillon wrote:
Amazing post, tarvos! Being myself in the process of learning
Polish,
raising this kind of issue is very important (something I wasn't really paying
attention
to, to be honest..): Polish apparently uses diminutives everywhere, for given names of
course, but also for countless items. Will require some getting used to it, I guess.


In Dutch you also use diminutives for items pretty commonly. C'est de rigueur. ;) But
you
don't use them so much for personal names, although the concept is not alien.

And think about it - in Breton, the -ig suffix is also commonly used "Komz a ran un
tammig brezhoneg"

Edited by tarvos on 13 January 2014 at 1:47pm

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Josquin
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Germany
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 Message 1056 of 1511
13 January 2014 at 3:08pm | IP Logged 
What about English nicknames like Johnny, Betty, Freddy etc. and words like horsey, doggy, etc.? It's not like the concept were totally alien to English.


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