If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

General discussion about learning languages
Hashimi
Green Belt
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:45 pm
x 401

If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Hashimi » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:17 am

Imagine there is a country where all children's shows were in Latin. Do you think that the children who watch these shows would be fluent in Latin?

The weird thing is that in the Arab world, the vast majority of children shows are in Standard Arabic. Even the foreign cartoons and anime are dubbed in MSA:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L74_yItwV14

Yet, no one in the Arab world speak MSA in daily life on streets or in their homes. So what is the reason for it? Since all children story books, TV shows, cartoons, and anime are in MSA, why don't these kids be at least bilingual in MSA and their local dialects?
0 x

User avatar
Ani
Brown Belt
Posts: 1423
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:58 am
Location: Alaska
Languages: English (N), speaks French, Russian & Icelandic (beginner)
x 3700
Contact:

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Ani » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:22 am

My kids watch mostly French tv and at times it's been all French tv. At best you get passive skills. Mostly, without actual lessons, they get really good at interpreting the plot from visual clues & intonation.

So no.. feeding tv with no backing is not a way to get kids fluent in a language.

It's possible MSA is close enough to what the kids speak that they can learn from it? It's also possible that parents and older children support their learning. At best though it's passive skills.
6 x
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

User avatar
devilyoudont
Green Belt
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:34 am
Location: Philadelphia
Languages: English (native), Esperanto (fluent), Japanese (intermediate)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8485
x 797

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby devilyoudont » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:22 am

Children in the arabic speaking world may also have exposure to MSA in school, because in some countries it is the language of education.

I see it happen very often where I live that second generation immigrants have very high passive language skills but no production skills. So with only television, I imagine something like that would happen.
1 x

User avatar
Saim
Green Belt
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Poznań
Languages: N: English (AU)
C2: Catalan, Serbian, Spanish
C1: Polish
B2: Urdu, Hungarian
~B1-A2 (some rusty): Hebrew, Punjabi, Galician, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Asturian, Occitan, Dutch, French
~A2/1: Slovene, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Turkish, Basque, Arabic
x 891

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Saim » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:42 am

Hashimi wrote:Yet, no one in the Arab world speak MSA in daily life on streets or in their homes. So what is the reason for it? Since all children story books, TV shows, cartoons, and anime are in MSA, why don't these kids be at least bilingual in MSA and their local dialects?


Fluency means automaticity in spoken production. No amount of listening on its own will teach you to speak well if you never speak.

That said, most educated (unless they did their entire education in English or French, which is not unheard of) Arabs can be considered bilingual in MSA and an Arabic vernacular. They may not speak it often (or at all) but they leverage their knowledge of it to speak in a more "neutral" way when communicating with speakers of other dialects.
Last edited by Saim on Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
4 x

Hashimi
Green Belt
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:45 pm
x 401

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Hashimi » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:45 pm

Saim wrote:Fluency means automaticity in spoken production. No amount of listening on its own will teach you to speak well if you never speak.


What prohibits them from speaking MSA?

In Italy, there were more than 30 regional languages, but most people today can speak Standard Italian on a daily basis. They made education, publications, books, radio, and TV in Standard Italian, so after some exposure to the language, people started to speak it.

The same thing happened with Modern Hebrew and Urdu. There were very few to no native speakers of these languages, yet all people speak them today on daily life.
1 x

Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2211
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 5815

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:34 pm

Hashimi wrote:Imagine there is a country where all children's shows were in Latin. Do you think that the children who watch these shows would be fluent in Latin? ...
For the purposes of this discussion, let us agree that the imaginary country of which you speak is Tibet. I do not believe that passive exposure alone via children's television shows to a dead language such as Latin, one of which no one else in the country would have any knowledge and one which is very remote from the local languages would be would lead to anything even closely resembling fluency.

Passive exposure to Latin might have a measure of success, short of fluency, in a country where one of the Romance/Latin languages predominate as this would afford the children with the opportunity of making associations with their Latin-derived native tongues. It is possible that they would develop their own version(s) of "pig Latin" provided they had opportunities to converse with other children (output). However, I doubt that exposure to even ten years of such televised programming alone (input only), in the absence of any other form of reinforcement or linguistic development, would provide the children with the ability to read Classical Latin literature anymore than they would be able to give a dissertation, in Latin, of Ovid's works. At best, they would develop an appreciation for the sounds of this dead language which they would not encounter elsewhere and, depending on what they decide to do with this narrow ability, the possibility exists that the would develop a certain facility with the pronunciation of Latin.

Perhaps this proposition should be compared to the oft-reported dismal "real world results" following years of second-language instruction in Western elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities even in cases where the L2 is one of the FIGS. In other words, if attempts at second-language acquisition (fluency) seem to fail frequently despite the employment of the latest communicative methods and the use of native materials and technologies, I do not see how reducing the students' contact with the L2, be it for Latin or any other language, would produce better results.

EDITED:
Subsequent comment on the results of second-language instruction in Western educational institutions.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2 x

User avatar
reineke
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3434
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:34 pm
Languages: Fox (C4)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6979
x 6092
Contact:

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby reineke » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:58 pm

The kids also learn about MSA from their teachers who often do their explanation in the local dialect. If you want to look at a failure here it's that of standard direct instruction.
2 x

User avatar
tastyonions
Blue Belt
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:39 pm
Location: Dallas, TX
Languages: EN (N), FR, ES, IT, PT, DE, NL, CA
x 1640

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby tastyonions » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:02 pm

(RE: MSA) They might well be bilingual in terms of comprehension but the distinctions that your brain has to care about in order to receptively grasp meaning are a subset of the ones that it needs to process in order to produce correct speech. Language has a lot of redundancies, so you can understand something (and even "get your meaning across") without paying attention to all of them. Which is why non-native speakers can be perfectly comprehensible while making an average of a couple of errors per sentence.
2 x

User avatar
reineke
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3434
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:34 pm
Languages: Fox (C4)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6979
x 6092
Contact:

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby reineke » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:09 pm

Hashimi wrote:
Saim wrote:Fluency means automaticity in spoken production. No amount of listening on its own will teach you to speak well if you never speak.


What prohibits them from speaking MSA?

In Italy, there were more than 30 regional languages, but most people today can speak Standard Italian on a daily basis. They made education, publications, books, radio, and TV in Standard Italian, so after some exposure to the language, people started to speak it.

The same thing happened with Modern Hebrew and Urdu. There were very few to no native speakers of these languages, yet all people speak them today on daily life.


Italy has been a unified country since 1861. It's also smaller than Morocco. Israel and Pakistan are single countries. The "Arab world" stretches over 13 million square kilometers and includes around 22 independent countries.
4 x

User avatar
Saim
Green Belt
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Poznań
Languages: N: English (AU)
C2: Catalan, Serbian, Spanish
C1: Polish
B2: Urdu, Hungarian
~B1-A2 (some rusty): Hebrew, Punjabi, Galician, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Asturian, Occitan, Dutch, French
~A2/1: Slovene, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Turkish, Basque, Arabic
x 891

Re: If all children's shows were in Latin, would the kids be fluent in it?

Postby Saim » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:54 pm

Hashimi wrote:What prohibits them from speaking MSA?


Why would/should they want to?

I'm perfectly fluent in English academic prose. Why don't I use that register to speak to my childhood friends?

In Italy, there were more than 30 regional languages, but most people today can speak Standard Italian on a daily basis. They made education, publications, books, radio, and TV in Standard Italian, so after some exposure to the language, people started to speak it.


Do you think they would've had the same level of "success" had they tried to impose Classical Latin rather than Tuscan?

In the Arab World radio and TV are not exclusively in MSA (and as reineke said there is lots of code-switching even in educational contexts). It depends on the register of the material.

The same thing happened with Modern Hebrew and Urdu. There were very few to no native speakers of these languages, yet all people speak them today on daily life.


That's not at all true of Urdu. It has always had native speakers in Delhi and northwestern Uttar Pradesh.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "all people" speaking Urdu in their daily life. Do you mean all Pakistanis? All Indians? Either way, it's not true.
Last edited by Saim on Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
2 x


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest