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The GIMT Challenge

  Tags: Reading | Multilingual | Book
 Language Learning Forum : Books, Literature & Reading Post Reply
9 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2428 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1 of 9
16 February 2015 at 4:47pm | IP Logged 
Years ago I picked up a 1937 copy of the Gospel in Many Tongues for 10 cents in a junk store. If you have never seen it it is a fantastic resource. It shows example texts from all the languages the Bible had been translated into as of the date of publication - 710 languages in the 1937 edition.

I have been meaning to scan the book in so share here once I get a printer, but it turns out that a fully-interactive, searchable version of the 1921 edition, with examples of 543 languages, is already online here: Gospel in Many Tongues (1921).

So the challenge is to see how many of texts you can actually read. For me it's pretty boring: I can only manage #123 English and #161 German (interestingly despite all these languages there are still lots missing - my 1937 version has Low German, which is absent from the 1921 edition).

Which of you polyglots can read the most?

I propose the following scores in line with the Brazilian jiu-jitsu:

1 language: White Belt
2-3 languages: Blue Belt
4-7 languages: Brown Belt
8-15 languages: Black Belt
16+ languages: Red Belt

Any votes for the most beautiful script?

You can download pdfs etc of the book here.










Edited by patrickwilken on 16 February 2015 at 5:01pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5100 days ago

3138 posts - 4355 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 2 of 9
16 February 2015 at 5:07pm | IP Logged 
I'm certainly not a polyglot, nor can I read the most, but I can read the passage in English, French, Spanish, and Esperanto.
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2428 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 3 of 9
16 February 2015 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
I'm certainly not a polyglot, nor can I read the most, but I can read the passage in English, French, Spanish, and Esperanto.


That's cool. I wasn't expecting Esperanto to be there for some reason.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4477 days ago

2314 posts - 5688 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 4 of 9
16 February 2015 at 5:43pm | IP Logged 
I know this language and understand it without problems
79 Chinese Mandarin Colloquial: Nanking Dial.
80 Chinese Mandarin Colloquial: Peking Dial. (though there's one unknown character)
80 Chinese Union Mandarin
82: Chinese Canton Colloquial (contains one character I didn't know since it's not used in modern HK Cantonese)
123 English
145 French
161 German
405 Portuguese
462 Spanish
471 Swedish

I don't really know this language, but I can understand what it says because I know related languages
69 Catalan
77 Chinese High Wenli
78 Chinese Easy Wenli
78 Chinese Union Wenli (contains a character I don't know)
83 Chinese: Foochow Colloquial (I can largely understand, but a word here and there are unknown)
85 Chinese: Hakka Colloquial (same as above)
109 Danish
117 Dutch (not sure here)
118 Afrikaans (easier than the Dutch)
201 Indo-Portuguese
204 Italian
368 Norwegian

I don't know this language, but recognize enough to be able to guess what text is written, since I know the text in question
90 Chinese Shanghai Colloquial
133 Esperanto
144 Flemish
193 Icelandic
246 Korean (only the mixed script version, and even then it's doubtful)
269 Latin
400 Piedmontese
406 Provençal (Langue D'Oc)
414 Romansch Upper Engadine Dial.
415 Romansch Lower Engadine Dial.
416 Romansch Oberland Dial.
425 Rumanian

Not sure what belt that gives me. :)
3 persons have voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2583 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 5 of 9
16 February 2015 at 8:35pm | IP Logged 
I love a massively parallel text. Given so much context, I can pretty much puzzle out any Germanic, Romance, or
Slavic language, more or less, as well as Hebrew. Notably, Romanian and Sardinian were still pretty mysterious, to
the point that I left them off my list. The number of languages I could comfortably read without massive context is
far, far smaller, naturally.

53: Czech
61: Bulgarian
69: Catalan
109: Danish
117: Dutch
118: Afrikaans
123: English
133: Esperanto
144: Flemish
145: French
146: Frisian
161: German
182: Hebrew
193: Icelandic
204: Italian
269: Latin
368: Norwegian
400: Piedmontese
402: Polish
405: Portuguese
406: Provençal (Not the same text as most)
414: Romansch (Upper)
415: Romansch (Lower)
416: Romansch (Oberland)
427: "Russian" (uses letters only in Ukrainian now)
428: Ruthenian/Ukrainian
441: Serbian/Croatian
455: Slavonic
456: Slovak
457: Slovenian
458: Slovenian
462: Spanish
463: Judeo-Spanish
471: Swedish
520: Vaudois (Never heard of it before)
531: Sorbian (Lower)
532: Sorbian (Upper)
538: Yiddish
2 persons have voted this message useful



robarb
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United States
languagenpluson
Joined 2954 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 6 of 9
17 February 2015 at 12:28am | IP Logged 
That was fun! A little hard to judge, since by the middle I knew the main text by heart.

I know this language, and read it without problems
Danish
Dutch
English
Esperanto
French
German
Italian
Latin
Norwegian
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish

I was able to completely understand the passage because I know related languages
Afrikaans
Romansch-Lower Engadine
Ruthenian

I study this language, and understood most of the passage, but not all
Polish

Because I know related languages, I was able to understand most of the passage, but not all
Bohemian(Czech)
Catalan
Flemish
Frisian
Romansch-Upper Engadine
Romansch-Oberland
Serbian
Slavonic
Slovak
Slovenian
Slovenian-Hungaro-Slovenian dialect

I study this language, but I'm sorry to say I could not understand the text

Chinese Mandarin
Cantonese
Hebrew
Greek
Japanese
Korean

Like geoffw, I couldn't figure out Sardinian or Romanian despite having several Romance languages. Unlike him, I
also couldn't figure out Yiddish or Icelandic despite having many Germanic languages.

Looks like my non-European languages need some work, although I am much, much better with everyday
conversation topics than this stuff about God's firstborn son.




Edited by robarb on 17 February 2015 at 12:30am

2 persons have voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2583 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 7 of 9
17 February 2015 at 1:14am | IP Logged 
robarb wrote:

Like geoffw, I couldn't figure out Sardinian or Romanian despite having several Romance languages. Unlike him, I
also couldn't figure out Yiddish or Icelandic despite having many Germanic languages.


The script must have gotten in your way for Yiddish--it's 100% Germanic vocabulary. Try this:

"Worin Gott hot di velt azoy gelibt, az er hot gegeben zayn eyn-geboyrenen zuhn, az itlikher [ethliche seems more
normal here] vos gloybt on ihm zol nit ferloyren vern, nayert [I didn't actually know this word--don't know if it's
Germanic or not] er zol hoben das ebige leben."

I'm surprised you'd have trouble with the Icelandic when your Nordic languages are more a strong point than for
me. I didn't think it was all that different. I only got maybe 85%, though--some small words were unclear. <shrug>
2 persons have voted this message useful



robarb
Nonaglot
Senior Member
United States
languagenpluson
Joined 2954 days ago

361 posts - 921 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, French
Studies: Mandarin, Danish, Russian, Norwegian, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Greek, Latin, Nepali, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 8 of 9
17 February 2015 at 4:22am | IP Logged 
Yeah, I do know how to read the Hebrew letters, so I probably could've deciphered that given enough time.
Transliterated Yiddish is at least as comprehensible to me as something like Frisian.

With Icelandic I was also close. I didn't count languages that I understood only half or two thirds, as I hardly
consider that "reading." From the perspective of the Scandinavian languages, Icelandic's grammar is totally
different, and, while many of the words are recognizable, a lot of them are not. It's definitely way harder for me
to figure out than Faroese. So this:

Thvi adh svo elskadhi Gudh heiminn, adh hann gaf son sinn eingetinn, til thess adh hver, sem á hann trúir, glatist
ekki, heldur hafi eilíft líf.

is about 2/3 interpretable in my Internal Mental Generic Nordic:
Ty ??? ??? älskade Gud ???, ??? gav son sin ??? till dess att var en som troede honom, ??? ikke, heller ha evigt liv.

Which is a little closer than I was to Sardinian:

Aici, nau a bosu, inci hat essiri gosu ananti de is angelus de Deus po unu peccadori chi s'est convertiu.

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?? di ?? angelo di Dio per un' peccatore chi si è convertito



Edited by robarb on 17 February 2015 at 4:26am



2 persons have voted this message useful



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