Anyone doing the Language Jam?

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RachelMeier
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This Week: Participating in Language Jam Challenge with Tamil!

Interested in: Mongolian, Finnish, Russian.

Previously Studied: Latin, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby RachelMeier » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:33 am

IronMike wrote:I got Dutch, but I clicked on the white card thing and got Hungarian. What's that mean? Can I do either?



Yes you can do either. I first got Macedonian and got Tamil on my whitecard.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:08 am

I got Romanian.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Ketutar » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:54 pm

Registration is open for the "Indigenous Language Jam" challenge
http://languagejam.net/sites/register.php

"The first challenge includes: Ainu, Bininj Kunwok, Cherokee, Cree, Faroese, Fijian, Guaraní, Inuktitut, Kurmanji, Latvian, Lezgi, Low German, Manx, Maori, Mari, Navajo, Nepali, Northern Sami, Ojibwe, Quileute, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Sundanese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zarma."
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby lavengro » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:38 pm

Ketutar wrote:Registration is open for the "Indigenous Language Jam" challenge
http://languagejam.net/sites/register.php

"The first challenge includes: Ainu, Bininj Kunwok, Cherokee, Cree, Faroese, Fijian, Guaraní, Inuktitut, Kurmanji, Latvian, Lezgi, Low German, Manx, Maori, Mari, Navajo, Nepali, Northern Sami, Ojibwe, Quileute, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Sundanese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zarma."


Thanks Ketutar, interesting!

I am surprised to see some of these languages in a list of indigenous languages.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:28 pm

lavengro wrote:
Ketutar wrote:Registration is open for the "Indigenous Language Jam" challenge
http://languagejam.net/sites/register.php

"The first challenge includes: Ainu, Bininj Kunwok, Cherokee, Cree, Faroese, Fijian, Guaraní, Inuktitut, Kurmanji, Latvian, Lezgi, Low German, Manx, Maori, Mari, Navajo, Nepali, Northern Sami, Ojibwe, Quileute, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Sundanese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zarma."


Thanks Ketutar, interesting!

I am surprised to see some of these languages in a list of indigenous languages.

indigenous
/ɪnˈdɪdʒɪnəs/
adjective: indigenous

originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

Why? They all originated somewhere.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:25 pm

rdearman wrote:Why? They all originated somewhere.

Edit: I will leave the following post unaltered but I would like to preface it by saying that it is extremely misguided, as Cèid Donn very rightly points out.

Well, to me calling a language indiginous implies that it's a minority language that's unrelated to a colonial language that has become the majority language in the recent past.

This definition would exclude (or might exclude):

  • Ainu (Japanese is unrelated but is not new to Japan)
  • Faroese (Not a minority language in the Faroe Islands, and the historical colonial languages are closely related)
  • Fijian (Borderline - Fijian is spoken by just over 50% of the population of Fiji; I'm not sure of its dynamic with English)
  • Guaraní (Borderline - most Paraguayans are bilingual in Guaraní and Spanish, although it is marginalized and is a minority language in neighboring countries).
  • Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish) - Is closely related to Persian. Unrelated to Turkish and Arabic but they are not new to the area (unless
  • Latvian - Majority language in Latvia
  • Lezgian - Kind of borderline? It's a Northern Caucasian language spoken in Russia, Azerbaijan, and a bit in Georgia. About half of speakers live in the Northern Dagestan region of Russia, and Russian rule seems to be quite recent (within the last couple of centuries).
  • Low German - Closely related to the majority language of Standard German.
  • Manx - Kind of borderline? It and English are both Indo-European, but not that close. And English has been in the UK for quite a while, long before the age of modern worldwide colonialism.
  • Nepali - While it is not the majority language in Nepal, it is the most widely spoken and although English is an official language it has not taken over Nepal the way European languages took over the Americas.
  • Northern Sami - Norwegian and Swedish are not new to the area. Neither is Finnish which is also related.
  • Samoan - Might be a similar case to Guaraní. It is the majority language in Samoa and American Samoa but there is a high level of bilingualism with English and I'm not sure if Samoan suffers from low prestige.
  • Scottish Gaelic - Somewhat borderline, same as Manx.
  • Sundanese - Related to Indonesian, which serves as more of a lingua franca than a true colonial language.
  • Yiddish - It is not autochthonous to the US or Israel, where most of its speakers live. The majority languages in Central and Eastern Europe where Yiddish originated were not new to the area.
  • Yoruba - Borderline. English is more of a lingua franca than a true majority language in Nigeria and is not much danger to the native languages, especially not one as big as Yoruba.
  • Zarma - Borderline. Zarma and its close relatives are spoken by around 20% of Niger; it is the second most spoken language after Hausa. As with English in Nigeria, French is more of a Lingua Franca than a true majority language.

So if you go by what I think is a reasonable definition based on the connotations of the term "indiginous", fewer than half of these languages unambiguously meet the criteria.
Last edited by Deinonysus on Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Cèid Donn » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:20 pm

I'm planning on doing this LangJam. :D

Well, to me calling a language indiginous implies that it's a minority language that's unrelated to a colonial language that has become the majority language in the recent past.


What?

I've been studying minority languages for over a decade and the terms "minority" and "indigenous" get swapped around, because so many indigenous languages are threatened or unprotected in their land of origin, but bottom line, indigenous means a language that is still spoken in the place where it originated. That's all. It has nothing to do with colonialism, although that is factor regarding the state of many indigenous languages worldwide, nor whether it's a minority/threatened language or not, although virtually all the world's most threaten languages are all both indigenous and minority languages, nor about cultural prestige in or outside of the place where it is spoken.

It seems pretty clear that the person(s) behind this theme wanted to encourage people to expand their experience with lesser studied or less popular indigenous languages. Curiosity about the world's almost 7000 still living languages is good! Not sure why this needs to be controversial.

A couple of fun tangential points since we're here:

1. Keep in mind that hardly any contemporary national borders today reflect of the cultural, ethnic or linguistic history of the people who are indigenous within those borders, and those borders can include many colonial conquests of the past that a lot people don't realize were colonized one way or another. As a student of Celtic languages, I get that a lot. But in addition to the more obvious colonized cultures and languages around the world, the Ainu, the Sami, all Celtic nations, the Basque, numerous ethnic groups in modern-day Russia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other modern-day countries--all colonized, and virtually all, with the notable exception of the Republic of Ireland (not counting Northern Ireland), are still colonized to this day, regardless of whatever political and cultural distinctions are made to explain away and gloss over this history of colonization.

2. Just because a language has a relatively large speaking population doesn't mean it's not threatened. Language decline can happen at a shocking fast pace. In the past, this typically involved tactics which today we recognize as genocide. But today, many languages face threats from the whims of the global economy, as well as English-centric technology and the internet. In Africa, native speakers of indigenous languages, including ones with large speaker populations like Yoruba, are struggling to get their books published in their own languages. In order to get published, many African writers have to adopt English. And in the case of a language like Faroese, there is so little technology that supports their language that many speakers must regularly rely on English in their day-to-day lives. These are recognized threats to our world's linguistic diversity, even for indigenous languages that seem to be doing OK right now.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:24 pm

Cèid Donn wrote:I'm planning on doing this LangJam. :D

Well, to me calling a language indiginous implies that it's a minority language that's unrelated to a colonial language that has become the majority language in the recent past.


What?

I've been studying minority languages for over a decade and the terms "minority" and "indigenous" get swapped around, because so many indigenous languages are threatened or unprotected in their land of origin, but bottom line, indigenous means a language that is still spoken in the place where it originated. That's all. It has nothing to do with colonialism, although that is factor regarding the state of many indigenous languages worldwide, nor whether it's a minority/threatened language or not, although virtually all the world's most threaten languages are all both indigenous and minority languages, nor about cultural prestige in or outside of the place where it is spoken.

It seems pretty clear that the person(s) behind this theme wanted to encourage people to expand their experience with lesser studied or less popular indigenous languages. Curiosity about the world's almost 7000 still living languages is good! Not sure why this needs to be controversial.

A couple of fun tangential points since we're here:

1. Keep in mind that hardly any contemporary national borders today reflect of the cultural, ethnic or linguistic history of the people who are indigenous within those borders, and those borders can include many colonial conquests of the past that a lot people don't realize were colonized one way or another. As a student of Celtic languages, I get that a lot. But in addition to the more obvious colonized cultures and languages around the world, the Ainu, the Sami, all Celtic nations, the Basque, numerous ethnic groups in modern-day Russia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other modern-day countries--all colonized, and virtually all, with the notable exception of the Republic of Ireland (not counting Northern Ireland), are still colonized to this day, regardless of whatever political and cultural distinctions are made to explain away and gloss over this history of colonization.

2. Just because a language has a relatively large speaking population doesn't mean it's not threatened. Language decline can happen at a shocking fast pace. In the past, this typically involved tactics which today we recognize as genocide. But today, many languages face threats from the whims of the global economy, as well as English-centric technology and the internet. In Africa, native speakers of indigenous languages, including ones with large speaker populations like Yoruba, are struggling to get their books published in their own languages. In order to get published, many African writers have to adopt English. And in the case of a language like Faroese, there is so little technology that supports their language that many speakers must regularly rely on English in their day-to-day lives. These are recognized threats to our world's linguistic diversity, even for indigenous languages that seem to be doing OK right now.

Well, I'll have to defer to your greater experience in this matter. Excellent points all around.

The word "indiginous" does have certain connotations to me as a layperson, but I guess I was applying a blunt hammer to a nuanced issue that I only have cursory knowledge of.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby Mista » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:18 pm

I think the reason this discussion started in the first place, is that the usage of "indigenous" in the context of the language jam is a bit weird, and invites alternative interpretations. To use the definition quoted by rdearman:
indigenous
/ɪnˈdɪdʒɪnəs/
adjective: indigenous

originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

you need the "particular place" for the word to communicate anything meaningful. I.e. you can say that "English is indigenous to England but not to North America", and it makes some kind of sense, but if you say that "English is an indigenuous language" you'll just leave people wondering what exactly you are trying to communicate. Of course, all this is a bit pedantic, but I think a bit of pedantery can be useful now and then, or I wouldn't have bothered.

Although the word "indigenous" may have been ill chosen, I think the selection of languages was very well chosen, and I'd love to take part in the Jam. Unfortunately the date is the worst imaginable, as I will be trekking in the Alps and hopefully be busy speaking French on that day.
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Re: Anyone doing the Language Jam?

Postby IronMike » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:38 pm

I plan on doing the Language Jam this iteration. And this time, I MEAN IT!
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