Do you know how to use your language ?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Youkai, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    Well strange topic title but i think it fits.

    Today I started reading a book about my native language, and I really believed i knew how to use it, but thats not how it is actually i know nothing -.-V
    (for German speakers here; book name's "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod" by Bastion Sick who writes the "Zwiebelfisch" Column at Spiegel Online)

    I don't know if you ever thaught about things people around you say, or better how they say it.

    Here in Germany as example in the train at the final station they do not they that the ride ends but they say the train actually ends, but i never noticed a train that was so big that its end was at the station. (hope like this the explanation makes sense ... my english isn't that good as well)

    or other example would be "Artikel: Der, Die, Das" hardly anyone knows exactly when to use which "Artikel" (in english "Der, Die, Das" is "the").
    I for one mostly use the correct "Artikel" but still not allways and that book writer says that its normal that mostly everyone uses the correct one without knowing why but still often people use the wrong one.

    ...


    Might be interesting to think a little bit more about each ones nativ language.



    ///

    for those able to understand German you might be interested in this :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05iyRfnmGxU
     


  2. GreatZimkogway

    GreatZimkogway Still a Touhou Fanatic

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    Yes, I only speak English, so I know how to use it quite well.
     
  3. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    Well ok that was a very ... short ... and direkt answer without much discussion potential, still I don't really believe what you are talking about [​IMG]

    I found a rather interesting page about mistakes often done in english which is hardly noticed by ppl because its common
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html

    I would really recommend you to look into it, in my opinion its a very interesting topic to talk/write about and even the write of the book I mentioned sayed that even if he would really deeply think about what to say it would still be hard to speak without a mistake at all because todays common language used by everyone is mostly bullshit.
     
  4. Linkiboy

    Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

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  5. Magoo222

    Magoo222 GBAtemp Regular

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    Based on your flag, I'm not so sure about that [​IMG]

    This is something that's cropped up a bit recently in Britain, with supermarkets offering 10 items or less lanes, when the correct term should be 10 items or fewer (or vice versa, I'm never sure). In my mind, if someone is capable of making themselves easy to understand, then small grammatical mistakes should be overlooked. Especially in the cases where the commonly used and generally accepted phrases make more sense than the Oxford English phrases.
     
  6. GreatZimkogway

    GreatZimkogway Still a Touhou Fanatic

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    Excuse me? What's that supposed to mean?
     
  7. Youkai
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    Youkai Demon

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    well dunno but if I look at things like this one


    “If” is used frequently in casual speech and writing where some others would prefer “whether”: “I wonder if you would be willing to dress up as a giant turnip for the parade?” Revise to “I wonder whether. . . .” “If" can’t really be called an error, but when you are discussing two alternative possibilities, “whether” sounds more polished. (The two possibilities in this example are: 1) you would be willing or 2) you wouldn’t. In sentences using “whether” “or not” is often understood.) Don’t substitute the very different word “whither,” which means “where.”


    I have to admint i never use whether, I only ever use if because I never cared to learn it like this and even thaught i believe every nativ english speaking human knows that there is the word whether to use I still think its rather rare.
    I can't really remember when i read that word the last time oO



    ///

    oh and well about that american flag ... yeah in english lessons in school some of the teachers i had years ago allways made jokes about how bad american english is and that its more like some bad mix of many languages with english as a base ...

    P.S. when i watch series like purepwnage i really don't know if i should believe in american english, but i love it [​IMG]
     
  8. Uncle FEFL

    Uncle FEFL OBJECTION!

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    You know, the American English, and British English differences?

    Armor = Amour. Color = Colour. That sorta stuff (there's more than just spelling differences). He was joking though (I think. [​IMG]). Who cares? American English pwns. [​IMG]
     
  9. nasune

    nasune GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Armor = Amour.
    So you protect yourself with love? I would not put too much faith in your protection if I were you [​IMG] .
    Back on topic, probably not, my old teacher used to drone on and on that I used the same language his grandmother used (archaic and oddly formal) so I probably am using it wrong in the modern version of our language(I'm already outdated [​IMG] ) .
     
  10. geoflcl

    geoflcl Permanent GBAtemp Newbie

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    Don't listen to him, [​IMG]

    ANYWAY, I do feel sorry for anyone who's had the misfortune of having to learn English as a secondary language. It's one of the most self-contradictory and terribly-nonsensical languages there is, in my opinion.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I am going to spin it the other way; wandering around I often meet people who can probably describe what a verb, noun, pronoun, adjective and all the rest of the things they bore you with in language classes are (perhaps even better than I) yet are completely unable to put across a simple point.

    On the other hand it seems my primary language (if I can even have a primary language- I think in pictures/concepts it seems) is English in which case I reference just about the entire English speaking internet for those that are unable to use it. Myself I guess there is a difference between being unable to use it yet to be able to "get a point across"; there are many ways to skin a cat and there is an equally large number of ways to say something.
    Sidebar- what winds me up is misappropriation of scientific and technical terms like theory with the evolution debate, if it can so be called, being a great example.

    A more interesting subject might be how grammar varies across languages: English has no gender (see most European languages or better yet Russian), no rank specifics (see Japanese), it has things like "it" (see those with Asian language background use he or she instead of "it"), it has irregular verbs (or indeed a fair few of them).
     
  12. nasune

    nasune GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well I too lament the fact that I had to learn the English language as a secondary language, thought my reasons differ from yours. For me the problem is that I tend to slip into other languages unconsciously and there are times where I'm suddenly talking to others in another language mid-conversation, which leads to much confusion among others.
     
  13. Danny Tanner

    Danny Tanner GBAtemp Fan

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    The thing is though, what constitutes 'correct' language? If the large majority of people speaking a given language say things a certain way, that's really what's right. No matter what your native language is, it's doubtful you speak it the way it was even fifty years ago.

    So, yeah, "ain't" is a word (acknowledged by the fact that Firefox isn't picking up an error there) because of its widespread use and common knowledge of what it means. And so on, and so on.
     
  14. MegaAce™

    MegaAce™ Steal back your future.

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    I can't build sentences properly anymore in russian (yes, russian is my native language) but it's works out somehow lol.
     
  15. Domination

    Domination GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'm effectively bilingual, literate in both English and Chinese. That's how our Singapore education system works anyways, it's mandatory to take English and Mother Tongue.

    Or maybe I should say I know how to use "Singlish" effectively? [​IMG]
     
  16. ProtoKun7

    ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    I understand some Russian and can read it fairly well, though I've never been able to construct relatively complex sentences, only some simple stuff [​IMG]
     
  17. zeromac

    zeromac Finally reached 1000 posts EXACTLY

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    xD im learning german at school and my teacher kept nagging us about remembering which Der, Die,Das to use [​IMG]

    Im pretty sure it was Der was male, Das was Female and Die was like a plural form
     
  18. elixirdream

    elixirdream GBAtemp Legend

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    Its not always the case ....
    just look at iPikachu? is she a SG chinese or?

    anyway, back to topic!
    i am a chinese and i do know what is chinese (mandarin, cantonese)
    not to say very bombastic
    but at least i could converse, read and write more towards the upper intermediate level [​IMG]

    i reserve advance level for literature [​IMG]
     
  19. mrfatso

    mrfatso That guy!!

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    ^ what elixir has said, but still, my grandparents are cantonese and hokkein and me? i barely can speak any of those, other the the rudimentary.

    Same goes for japanese after taking a crash course in that.

    Anyway, singlish is different, it is more like a mixture of whatever language there ever is, probably that why everytime someone sees another person type singlish, they will start flaming that person [​IMG]

    this is pretty much what i feel. English has changed a lot ever since the discovery of the internet, back then we need 1 guy to say a different word and for that word to be spread among enough people to make it into dictionary. Now with internet, all it take is a entry and bam after a while, that word has became a standard phrase.

    Just look at the word LOL used in newspaper articles ..
     
  20. Shinryuji

    Shinryuji GBAtemp Regular

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    The thing about "ain't" is it's a mixture of slang and a contraction, which is odd to say the least.
    The person who is to blame for the majority of the phrases we speak, and apparently the myth that all black men have large penises, was William Shakespeare. However the majority of 'new words' that have come about in the last 10/15 years are either abbreviations or spoken acronyms, but these are expanding at an incredible rate. I mean, the majority of people between the ages of twelve and twenty-five know how to use 'lol' properly, and a good amount of the people who do use it should know it's an acronym for 'laugh out loud', but the more widespread it becomes, the less people remember that it is an acronym and think that it, in the case of 'lol', is just an epression that is used to express when you think that something is funny, or in my case, an expression that you say when you can't really be bothered to talk to someone. It's pretty interesting stuff.