Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

General discussion about learning languages
lichtrausch
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby lichtrausch » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:44 pm

galaxyrocker wrote:Japanese isn't an isolate, but part of the Japonic family along with the Ryukyuan languages of which Okinawan is the most famous. Still, a relatively small family. Korean is an isolate, however, though there are some attested languages on the Korean Peninsula that could have been related to it.

For practical purposes Japanese is an isolate. All of the Ryukyuan varieties are endangered and being subsumed into standard Japanese due to their considerable similarities with standard Japanese, among other reasons. If you're going to be a splitter, then Korean isn't an isolate either. The Jeju variety is apparently not mutually intelligible with standard Korean.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby galaxyrocker » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:02 pm

lichtrausch wrote:For practical purposes Japanese is an isolate. All of the Ryukyuan varieties are endangered and being subsumed into standard Japanese due to their considerable similarities with standard Japanese, among other reasons. If you're going to be a splitter, then Korean isn't an isolate either. The Jeju variety is apparently not mutually intelligible with standard Korean.



I was actually unaware of Jeju, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. As to considering Japanese an isolate, I think it does a huge disservice to the Ryukyuan languages. It completely forces them out of the picture, which doesn't help given their already endangered status. It'd be a rough equivalent to saying Welsh is a language isolate because all the other Celtic languages are endangered and their situation gets worse each year; it's a disservice to those languages. And, currently, there aren't 'considerable similarities' among the Ryukyuan languages and standard Japanese, at least as far as I understand them; the similarities are between the Japanese dialects spoken on the area (e.g. Okinawan Japanese) and standard Japanese. Besides, it really makes no difference when learning if Japanese is an isolate or not, so why shouldn't we be accurate when discussing it?
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby IronMike » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:23 pm

- Ancient Egyptian and all the extinct languages that don't have any related modern language.


Um, Coptic.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby lichtrausch » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:54 pm

galaxyrocker wrote:I was actually unaware of Jeju, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. As to considering Japanese an isolate, I think it does a huge disservice to the Ryukyuan languages. It completely forces them out of the picture, which doesn't help given their already endangered status. It'd be a rough equivalent to saying Welsh is a language isolate because all the other Celtic languages are endangered and their situation gets worse each year; it's a disservice to those languages. And, currently, there aren't 'considerable similarities' among the Ryukyuan languages and standard Japanese, at least as far as I understand them; the similarities are between the Japanese dialects spoken on the area (e.g. Okinawan Japanese) and standard Japanese. Besides, it really makes no difference when learning if Japanese is an isolate or not, so why shouldn't we be accurate when discussing it?

There are a few issues here. First, assuming you are making the language/dialect distinction based on mutual intelligibility, there is no universally accepted test of mutual intelligibility. Depending on how the test is designed, your results will vary (cf. standard English vs Scots). Second, there is a sort of continuum in Okinawa with the most divergent varieties of Ryukyuan (mostly confined to the elderly) on one end and the Okinawan dialect of standard Japanese on the other end. I don't see any reason why we should discount those varieties of speech that are less divergent from standard Japanese. Third, I think the lived experience of speakers themselves should be taken into consideration. Many (most?) perceive the varieties they speak as a dialect (a topolect (方言) to be exact) of Japanese, which should count for something. Finally, considering that language can be such a politically divisive issue that can play right into the hands of imperialistic powers (I won't name any names) which like their adversaries divided and weak (see modern history of Central Asia and its languages), I think we should be very careful with how much splitting we do.

I do see your point though, I'm just arguing that it's not a cut and dry issue.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby Elenia » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:35 pm

Henkkles wrote:I refuse to respond to your argument for it conflates things that arise naturally with things that are artificial; the difference is too fundamental for me to think of an answer.


Perfectly fair, no offence taken and no spite or negativity inferred. I used books as an example as they're the only thing that I like as much as languages - but I was aware even as I wrote that it wasn't a perfect example for this precise reason.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby Tristano » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:52 am

I'm definitely not going to study Ryukyuan languages or Coptic, so Japanese and ancient Egyptian are not in my list in any case.

* I have no clue where Copticland is situated in a geographic map. My best guess is in an area where a lot of other languages of major political importance are spoken or maybe Copticland is used just for religious purposes. edit: just checked, I had a good guess.

Coptic is today spoken liturgically in the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic Church (along with Modern Standard Arabic). The language is spoken only in Egypt and historically has had little influence outside of the territory, except for monasteries located in Nubia.


From Wikipedia.

My favorite languages are in families where a lot of other very important languages are spoken, so that I can learn the whole family and actually have an opportunity in life to use it.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby Tristano » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:10 pm

Tristano wrote:I can make a list now and discover in few years that I changed my mind :ugeek: but I try:
before I get assaulted: all the languages are beautiful and no language is less than others.
- Japanese, it's true that I contemplated learning it because of a travel in Japan, but please, nope. It has all the characteristics of a language that I hate: language isolate, 3 alphabets, one of which is not even an alphabet but a set of ideograms, so weird and alien and strictly culture dependent that if you don't live in the country you basically have no chance whatsoever.
- native american languages. I'm not American and I will never meet a Navajo person or read Navajo books (do they even exist)? Plus they're difficult as fuck.
- languages that are extremly endangered and extremely isolated.
- Basque. How was the thing? The devil created Basque and then tried to get fluent in it, failing big times? Or was it Japanese?
- Most of the conlangs, especially the ones that have too less in common with natural languages, because they're not useful as a bridge. Esperanto and perhaps Slovio can be interesting for me (but I don't have to speak them or learn how to write them). Yes, I had some fun with Toki Pona.
- Judeo Español and Yiddish, unless I studied Hebrew first.
- Faroese, unless I studied Icelandic first.
- Urdu, unless I studied Hindi first.
- Thai and Vietnamese don't score particularly high in my language wishlist, but I reserve myself the right to change idea.
- Turkic languages written with the Arabic alphabet, although I can always learn all the others first and those only by listening.
- Dialects. A waste of time unless I live in the area where the dialect is spoken - and often it is a big waste of time anyway.
- Neapolitan dialect. If I have to decide which languages sounds more lovely between Klingon and Neapolitan, I would certainly vouch for Klingon.
- Frisian. Friesland doesn't exist: it's an invention of the communists. Unless they send me in Frisia to work :P
- Limburgish: a big who cares. Same for Luxembourgish.
- Swiss German: bleah.
- Romansh: a huge who cares.
- Ancient Egyptian and all the extinct languages that don't have any related modern language.

I'm sure there are many more to add, but this is a short representative list.


Funny to reread this message of mine of 4 years ago.
I didn't change my mind, though I notice how much softer of a person I have become.
Disclaimer "all languages are beautiful" and then a long list of "this language sucks". :D I don't recognize myself anymore.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby Cèid Donn » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:03 pm

Tristano wrote:Funny to reread this message of mine of 4 years ago.
I didn't change my mind, though I notice how much softer of a person I have become.
Disclaimer "all languages are beautiful" and then a long list of "this language sucks". :D I don't recognize myself anymore.


I learned a while back to avoid threads like this one because they tempt you to say things that end up enduring on the internet longer than you ever would have wanted them to. That doesn't mean I've been 100% faithful to that but I do try. :lol:

That said:

English. Oh great cosmos, why?

:mrgreen:
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby Ug_Caveman » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:04 pm

Languages I've never had any interest in learning? Many.

Languages I would happily accept a magical ability to know if a genie offered it to me after rubbing a lamp I found lost in an Arabian cave? All.
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Re: Languages you have never had any interest in learning ??

Postby IronMike » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:44 am

I used to paraphrase Will Rogers and say "I never met a language I didn't want to learn." Then I heard Somali and Afar. No thanks.
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