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Germanic language family videos

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
38 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4 5  Next >>
United States
Joined 6899 days ago

609 posts - 2102 votes 

 Message 1 of 38
16 March 2008 at 7:39pm | IP Logged 
I am embarking upon a series of videos to provide introductory overviews of the languages of the world that will answer questions such as: what does language X look like? What does it sound like? How does it work?

The whole point of making these videos is to show you the pages of the texts, and in filming, I have focused upon them with triple magnification so they should be clear and legible on a full screen. If the “higher resolution” option is not available on YouTube, you can try adding “&fmt=18” directly to the end of the URL to get it.

If you find the information that I provide on these videos helpful, I recommend that you pause often to look at the text, availing yourself of the "zoom" feature to examine the pages.

In order to explain the texts, I must perforce read them aloud, thus offering my own imperfect accent as a rough sample of what the language sounds like. Readers of my many articles already know that I always assiduously avoid claiming to know or to speak any certain number of languages, and I want to stress most emphatically that I am not offering the current series as any kind of claim to have mastered any of these languages in any way. I have not. I have studied them for many years, nothing more. Now, for the benefit of those who have never seen or heard them before, and in the general hope of stimulating interest in Polyglottery, I am simply seeking to share information about them and their interconnections.

I have begun the series with:

Indo-European: Germanic: West-Germanic:

Indo-European: Germanic: North-Germanic:
Norwegian Nynorsk
Norwegian Bokmål

Indo-European: Germanic: Historic (Old- and Middle-):
Old English
Old High German
Old Norse
Middle English
Middle High German
Middle Dutch
Old Swedish

Indo-European: Germanic Language Family Tree
Germanic Family 1/5
Germanic Family 2/5
Germanic Family 3/5
Germanic Family 4/5
Germanic Family 5/5

Edited by ProfArguelles on 30 September 2008 at 8:02pm

7 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 6562 days ago

848 posts - 1862 votes 
Speaks: English*

 Message 2 of 38
19 March 2008 at 6:11pm | IP Logged 
Good video.

I hope you will do one to teach us how to recognize the difference between written (and spoken) Danish, Swedish, Norwegian (and possibly Icelandic).
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 6418 days ago

358 posts - 422 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, Ukrainian
Studies: Spanish

 Message 3 of 38
21 March 2008 at 11:10am | IP Logged 
The thing is, German is relatively well known among the language lovers, so much so that even people who don't speak the language can identify written and spoken German. But it was nevertheless an interesting video and would probably be the most interesting for a beginner language enthusiast. I am looking forward to seeing more of these videos in the future.
1 person has voted this message useful

Bilingual Diglot
Joined 5879 days ago

89 posts - 98 votes 
Speaks: EnglishC2*, Malay*
Studies: French, Japanese

 Message 4 of 38
25 March 2008 at 12:10am | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles,

I have perused the German introductory video you made, and thought it to be a fantastic introduction to the language! (For that matter, I have had no prior exposure to the German language, save for the occasional Hitler speeches in documentaries (haha!) so your video was really a bit of an eye/ear-opener for me.)

I would be extremely interested in, and look forward to, perusing other language videos you would similarly be willing to produce. I truly appreciate your efforts to share your knowledge with us.
1 person has voted this message useful

Joined 6374 days ago

22 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: English*, Indonesian
Studies: Arabic (classical), Urdu

 Message 5 of 38
26 March 2008 at 7:15am | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles,

A humble request that your next language introduction (after the Germanic series) be Persian. I am at present enjoying reading a Persian grammar written in 1884 by a Professor of Eastern Languages from Oxford. There is a lot to be said still for the old methods of grammar translation.

Abdullah Ibrahim
1 person has voted this message useful

United States
Joined 6027 days ago

41 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Sign Language, Spanish, Polish
Studies: Greek, Georgian, Indonesian

 Message 6 of 38
29 March 2008 at 12:55am | IP Logged 
These videos are great. I am really looking forward to seeing more of them. Thanks for the time you spend providing us with this great source of information. I've never been all that interested in German or Dutch, but after seeing your videos, it makes me want to learn them both!
1 person has voted this message useful

United States
Joined 5727 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes
Speaks: English*

 Message 7 of 38
29 March 2008 at 5:38am | IP Logged 
newyorkeric wrote:
The text is a blur on my computer. Any suggestions?

You can get higher resolution videos from Youtube by adding &fmt=18 to the end of the URL. The text is now just

These links for the two languages posted so far are like this...
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United States
Joined 6038 days ago

38 posts - 40 votes
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Spanish, French
Studies: Modern Hebrew, Arabic (Written), Mandarin, Basque

 Message 8 of 38
30 March 2008 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
These videos are great. I know there are a lot of Indo-European languages, but eventually it'd be great to see videos on some of the Southeast Asian and Indian languages whose scripts look so similar. I can never tell them apart.

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