Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

General discussion about learning languages
User avatar
tarvos
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2114
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Dark paradise
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian, Shanghainese
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 3733
Contact:

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:08 am

2.Facebook and similar applications. People these days are exposed to sentences like "Jak se máte, Petr?" "Co se vám honí hlavou, Anna?" every day. It may seem unimportant, but this bit of exposure is in the daily routine of most of us several times a day. And it is not just the vocative. The whole tagging thing means wrong declinations. "Byli jsme v Brně s Radek Novák." instead of s Radkem Novákem (nominative instead of instrumental). Everyone knows it is wrong, but everyone wanting to use the tagging function of facebook has to use it this way. It is not impossible people will gradually stop feeling this as a mistake.


Perhaps Facebook will fix this one day... I noticed it recently and got really annoyed I couldn't use the dative properly :(

(Not that my Czech is fabulous, but ok.)
1 x
Niemand, keiner kennt mich wie Du
Unbedingt, ich geb alles zu
Keine Enttäuschung, kein einziges Mal
Aber Dir ist eh alles egal

Preferred pronouns: feminine.

Cavesa
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 7475

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby Cavesa » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 am

tarvos wrote:
2.Facebook and similar applications. People these days are exposed to sentences like "Jak se máte, Petr?" "Co se vám honí hlavou, Anna?" every day. It may seem unimportant, but this bit of exposure is in the daily routine of most of us several times a day. And it is not just the vocative. The whole tagging thing means wrong declinations. "Byli jsme v Brně s Radek Novák." instead of s Radkem Novákem (nominative instead of instrumental). Everyone knows it is wrong, but everyone wanting to use the tagging function of facebook has to use it this way. It is not impossible people will gradually stop feeling this as a mistake.


Perhaps Facebook will fix this one day... I noticed it recently and got really annoyed I couldn't use the dative properly :(

(Not that my Czech is fabulous, but ok.)


I think the whole generation changing their conjugation habits is a much more likely option than Facebook fixing this.

It may seem like a tiny unimportant thing (and it is even less from the point of view of Facebook, as people still use the functions with wrong conjugations). But the repeated exposure is the problem. And it is certainly a point against the idea of turning our computers into the target language for more immersion.

Read books to counter it.
0 x

User avatar
tarvos
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2114
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: Dark paradise
Languages: Native: Dutch, English
Expert: French, Russian, Swedish, German, Romanian, Esperanto, Spanish
Advanced: Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Greek, Czech, Norwegian
Intermediate: Hebrew, Icelandic, Hungarian
Beginner: Breton, Korean, Finnish, Polish, Japanese, Bulgarian, Shanghainese
Read-only: Danish, Latin, Afrikaans
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 3733
Contact:

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:59 am

I dunno. I would see this as natural language change, I don't have a problem with it.
1 x
Niemand, keiner kennt mich wie Du
Unbedingt, ich geb alles zu
Keine Enttäuschung, kein einziges Mal
Aber Dir ist eh alles egal

Preferred pronouns: feminine.

Cavesa
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 7475

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby Cavesa » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:28 pm

I wouldn't see it as natural, as it is induced by one digital product, whose makers just didn't invest in fixing the grammar.
Really, the fact something gets simplified doesn't mean it is a natural change in a good direction. We are just getting dumber and dumber, that is the other explanation.
Czech doesn't have the tools making up for lack of cases and is highly unlikely to develop them fast enough to cover for such a facebook induced change. And I would really hate to see Czech just becoming an English structured hybrid with Czech words.
0 x

Cainntear
Brown Belt
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 2563
Contact:

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:13 am

tarvos wrote:I dunno. I would see this as natural language change, I don't have a problem with it.

I have no problem with internal change, but I do think it's a problem when the change is driven from outside the speaker base.
5 x
A year of Tatoeba recordings: 40 / 365 One donated recording every day in 2017.

Cavesa
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 7475

Re: Grammatical Cases: Why are they considered so hard?

Postby Cavesa » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:45 pm

Cainntear wrote:
tarvos wrote:I dunno. I would see this as natural language change, I don't have a problem with it.

I have no problem with internal change, but I do think it's a problem when the change is driven from outside the speaker base.


Exactly. As a native, I have a problem with this. It is driven just by a very powerful foreign company who doesn't care (why should they). And the influence of English on Czech natives is in some cases horrible already.

Don't get me wrong, the language is likely to evolve and lose some parts, such as some of the cases, and the influence of other languages will be very noticeable in the process. It is gonna take time. But right now, such influences combined with lower popularity of reading books and lower regard for the importance of speaking and writing well have a horrible consequence. People are getting worse at spoken and writen communication in Czech. And since most of them are monolingual, just with intermediate English skills (and many not even that), it is a problem. We are not seeing a language evolve or get replaced. We are seeing people getting functionally dumber and dumber, just because we don't care enough. It is sometimes problem even with people with a university degree. Precise and nuanced communication is highly important, and very hard (sometimes impossible) with tons of grammar mistakes.

The first things people mess up tend to be the interpunctions (which are based on sentence analysis and very logical in Czech). The second is the agreement of the subject and the verb (and that is already making reading harder. And no, I am not talking about the regional differences in endings). Then the ortograph "challenges" like s/z, mě/mně, ě/je, which are really not hard to pay attention to and annoying to encounter while reading. If wrong use of cases gets added to this mix, it's gonna be a disaster for the language.

In such a case, I'm all for finally officially getting rid of Czech. No alternative will serve worse than this mutilated thing :-D
0 x


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest