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You are not a real polyglot if...

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299 messages over 38 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 24 ... 37 38 Next >>
Serpent
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 Message 185 of 299
2013 27 October at 4:56pm | IP Logged 
Well, I definitely agree that it's a pluricentric language, but I'm not as neutral as Chung. I have a stronger interest and connection to the Croatian part of the spectrum, so when it's time to activate my BCSM, I'll probably stick to the Croatian variety, and I don't want to hurt natives' feelings so I wouldn't contradict it when they say it's a separate language. Also, I'm currently reading a Serbian book, and I have one by a Montenegro author; I see no reason to pretend I've been using Croatian sources exclusively. If asked how I'm learning the language, I would probably say I read "Balkan" literature. Sapienti sat.

A relatively minor concern is that Russian is more similar to the Serbian standard, so if I accidentally use a Russian word it may be "heard" as Serbian. I would definitely prefer it to be the opposite and with no hard feelings...

My main objection is the idea of Bosnian and Montenegrin as separate languages, though. AFAIU, there's been a significant amount of immigration from Bosnia to the USA, and some members of TAC Team Divan are learning the language because they have Bosnian friends (most notably Kerrie but I think she's not the only one). Yet there aren't even any Bosnian textbooks, people just use BCSM and specifically "Croatian" books. And they do just fine. There might be a handful of words that natives "correct" them on, but this is a familiar experience to anyone learning from a coursebook.

As for polyglots, I think that it's fine if someone counts Serbian and Croatian as their two native languages, presuming they are actually fluent in both due to spending a significant amount of time in both countries. A real example is the member winters whom I badly miss.
I apply the same standards to learners. Iversen once said his Spanish, French etc are a mixture of different variants, and when he visits a specific country he adjusts to the local pronunciation, vocab etc. To speak Serbian and Croatian as two languages, you have to be the opposite of that and be able to produce consistent Serbian or Croatian respectively. And to know the Cyrillics, for example.

But someone who claims fluency in Croatian AND Bosnian is just laughable. If Serbian and Croatian can maybe be compared to Czech and Slovak (can Chung confirm?), then saying you speak Croatian and Bosnian is similar to calling all Czechs bilingual due to the diglossia. You can say you speak Serbian and Bosnian if this is where you learned the language(s), but then don't try to add Croatian to the mix.

BTW, with Slovenian and Macedonian it's completely different. Like, if Catalunya and Galicia become independent, it doesn't mean Andalusian or Madrileño should be claimed as separate languages too.

Edited by Serpent on 2013 27 October at 5:13pm

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Serpent
Octoglot
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serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 186 of 299
2013 27 October at 5:04pm | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
Similarly, Assimil and other producers of methods are publishing stuff labelled Brazilian Portuguese.
The differences in the pronunciation are *very* significant. Without prior exposure it's easier to understand Spanish or Italian than the other variety. Read the posts by iguanamon and Medulin for more info.
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tarvos
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 Message 187 of 299
2013 27 October at 5:14pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Well, I definitely agree that it's a pluricentric language, but I'm
not as neutral as Chung. I have a stronger interest and connection to the Croatian part
of the spectrum, so when it's time to activate my BCSM, I'll probably stick to the
Croatian variety, and I don't want to hurt natives' feelings so I wouldn't contradict
it when they say it's a separate language. Also, I'm currently reading a Serbian book,
and I have one by a Montenegro author; I see no reason to pretend I've been using
Croatian sources exclusively. If asked how I'm learning the language, I would probably
say I read "Balkan" literature. Sapienti sat.


I prefer Croatian and Bosnian too (I have a Bosnian friend), but I will use a Serbian
textbook if I can't find a Croatian one (f. ex. I have a самоучитель for Serbian that I
bought in Irkutsk, because I couldn't find a Croatian one). If it is a matter of
vocabulary, then I consider it a tap/faucet difference. And that is not anything that
would bother me in English or French either, because I will say "kot" for "logement
d'étudiant" or "septante" for "soixante-dix".


Quote:
BTW, with Slovenian and Macedonian it's completely different. Like, if Catalunya
and Galicia become independent, it doesn't mean Andalusian or Madrileño should be
claimed as separate languages too.


Absolutely.

Edited by tarvos on 2013 27 October at 5:14pm

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Serpent
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serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 188 of 299
2013 27 October at 5:28pm | IP Logged 
Sixty-ten? Haha.

Well, it's a bit of grammar too, and the pronunciation (reka vs rijeka), but again that's between Serbian and Croatian, or basically Serbian and the rest.
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Chung
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 Message 189 of 299
2013 27 October at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
Likening Croatian and Serbian with Czech and Slovak is a common analogy, but as someone who's had to learn all of the above, it doesn't hold water.

In short the difference that I've observed is that when I use prescribed textbook Slovak to a new Czech acquaintance, that Czech knows right away that it's Slovak and will ask (albeit in Czech, because of the high mutual intelligibility) Ale jak ses naučil slovensky? ("But how did you learn Slovak?"). When it comes to BCMS/SC, more often than not, when I use prescribed textbook Croatian (i.e. what I learned from TY Croatian and the Croatian sections of "Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language") on a new non-Croatian acquaintance, that non-Croat can't tell that I'm supposed to be speaking a different "language", and will ask (in BCMS/SC): Ali kako si naučio pričati bosanski/crnogorski/srpski? ("But how did you learn to speak Bosnian/Montenegrin/Serbian?" - the name used depends on the native speaker who often aligns my utterance with his/her nationality). In short the difference is that with Czech and Slovak, Czechs and Slovaks know almost immediately that what I'm using is Slovak (I'm much more comfortable with using Slovak anyway). With BCMS/SC, the natives can't always tell because 95% -/+ 5% of what I use is grammatical and/or codified in their national standard.

If anyone's interested, I've already put up a link to a translation study from 2008 answering the question of how much are Croatian and Serbian one language. I've also done my own analysis comparing the transcripts of audio material used in "Beginner's Croatian" and "Beginner's Serbian", as well as a critique of the differences cited by some Croatian linguists as background material for designing electronic linguistic applications (i.e. online dictionaries, electronic proofreaders and machine translators) for BCMS/SC (scroll down to "Links and Sources" to see the breakdown of my analyses by chapter or section).

You know what? To show what I find is a misconception thrown about as arising from the analogy of Czech vis-à-vis Slovak when it comes to talking about BCMS/SC, I'll try to put together a summary comparing transcripts of dialogues from "Colloquial Czech" and "Colloquial Slovak". Like "Beginner's Croatian" and "Beginner's Serbian", that pair of books in the "Colloquial..." series was written by the same author with a lot of recycling of the dialogues (i.e. many of the Czech dialogues exist as translations in Slovak in the Slovak textbook, or vice-versa). These are suitable to a comparison of material since they tie back to a common translation to English, just like the transcripts in "Beginner's Croatian" and "Beginner's Serbian"

Edited by Chung on 2013 27 October at 5:49pm

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tarvos
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 Message 190 of 299
2013 27 October at 5:48pm | IP Logged 
Yeah the French count very weirdly, but the Belgians and the Swiss don't use that
numbering system. Or well, the Belgians do say "quatre-vingts" for eighty, but they
don't say "soixante-quinze" for 75, but septante-cinq. So it's still in decimals, even
if the name comes from four times twenty (Swiss say huitante). Because I prefer this
counting system (it's simpler than having to think sixty-fifteen every time), and
because I can get away with saying "but I learned it in Belgium" I will use the other
variant instead anyway. But I do learn to understand "soixante-quinze" or "quatre-
vingt-dix-neuf". Similarly to "kot", which is only used in Belgium.

Pronunciation differences don't bother me at all, I speak Dutch which is an unholy mess
of pronunciation differences. UK and US English don't have the same pronunciation
either.

But I do think eventually Serbian and Croatian will develop in different directions,
but more through political implications than for any linguistic reasons. And if I can
speak one to the other and be understood 99% of the time and don't have to consciously
adapt all the time (I don't consciously adapt my Dutch when speaking to Belgians
either, except that I standardize my pronunciation and avoid strong local slang), then
to me it's the same language and I won't count them as different, though I will point
out that I am aware of the dialectal variation and differences in that language and
that my speech is based on xyz different standard and not the codified standard of that
country if that is relevant.

It's like saying I speak Dutch, but my standard speech is based on Hollandic Dutch, not
Flemish, even though someone who speaks Standard Dutch which is more Flemish-based will
sound quite differently.


Edited by tarvos on 2013 27 October at 5:50pm

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Serpent
Octoglot
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serpent-849.livejour
Joined 5104 days ago

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 Message 191 of 299
2013 27 October at 6:08pm | IP Logged 
Scandinavians also don't adapt consciously, though? And I wouldn't say it happens between Russians and Ukrainians either.
Also, adapting can be about comprehension or about respect.
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tarvos
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likeapolyglot.wordpr
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 Message 192 of 299
2013 27 October at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Scandinavians also don't adapt consciously, though? And I wouldn't say
it happens between Russians and Ukrainians either.
Also, adapting can be about comprehension or about respect.


Scandinavians do adapt consciously. Whenever I speak to Cristina for example, I speak
Swedish, and she definitely does not speak pure Norwegian. This has also happened with
other Norwegians I have come across.

I don't know enough about Ukrainian to make a comparison.

I am aware of the latter, but someone who really speaks pure Norwegian is not
comprehensible to me. Someone who speaks pure West Flemish dialect isn't either. I
adapt only in the sense that I will avoid some Dutch slang constructions which are not
known or understood in Belgium. That's good enough to be understood, even if that
person is capable of speaking X dialect of Dutch (or even a dialect that's considered a
regional language such as the dialect of Limbourg).


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