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Old 2018-09-22, 14:31   #12
pinhodecarlos
 
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Everything is originates from Portugal, when you open the world map where is Portugal, in the centre!!!
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Old 2018-09-22, 14:40   #13
Nick
 
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Everything is originates from Portugal, when you open the world map where is Portugal, in the centre!!!
Yes, Lisbon is older than London, Paris, Rome, ...
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Old 2018-09-22, 14:45   #14
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My Dutch vocabulary is limited, so I have little basis for comparison with German vocabulary, which I know a bit better since I took some undergrad courses in German. From what I've seen, a number of words in the two languages seem similar, and the sentence structure appears similar.

One word that threw me for a loop was the name of an African snake -- "boomslang." When I heard that name, I thought it sounded exotic, and wondered what it actually meant. Then, one fine day, I learned it was an Afrikaans, or Dutch word, meaning "tree snake." D'oh! The "boom" part is so similar to the German Baum for "tree" I felt like a dolt for not seeing it. The German word for snake (which I didn't know) is Schlange.

I have occasionally heard people complain about the complexities of English grammar. I would say that, if you think English grammar is complicated, I know a sure cure -- German grammar!

Modern English appears to be the result of (to use an anachronistic metaphor) a linguistic train wreck. Old English was essentially a form of German. After the Norman conquest and the Vikings, a lot of complicating features of the various languages were in conflict, and simply had to go. No more grammatical gender. No more modifying article or noun endings according to grammatical gender and case. We still have, however, words from different languages describing the same, or related things. Cow and beef. Sheep and mutton. And on and on.

English has a huge vocabulary, due in no small part to its spongelike capacity for absorbing words from other languages. Occasionally this results in words having disparate meanings, due to having been borrowed from different languages. For example, shrub, as from Old English and other European languages, means a small woody plant. But, because of similar-sounding Arabic words, it also means a type of beverage.

Of course, as everyone knows, the origin of the various languages is divinely revealed in Genesis 11:1-9. Creation Linguistics should be offered as an alternative to the atheistic versions currently being taught
;-)
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Old 2018-09-22, 15:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Of course, as everyone knows, the origin of the various languages is divinely revealed in Genesis 11:1-9. Creation Linguistics should be offered as an alternative to the atheistic versions currently being taught
;-)
If you ask me, the account in Genesis 11:1-9 is an attempt by people who didn't know any better to explain why there were (and still are) so many different languages. Of course, the Darwinian theory of evolution applies to languages; for an example look at the way Latin has changed over the past two millenia into the Romance languages.
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Old 2018-09-22, 16:00   #16
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Whatever the origin of it all is, it is only a matter of time before our descents all speak a single language thorough out the world. It would have happened by now if it wasn't for linguistic prejudices which will eventually wear out. There is no point in teaching children means of communication which are exclusively different and defeat the purpose of them all which is communication.

I wonder if they will be able to read this thread without hitting/asking-for a transition.
It is difficult to imagine the common language of the future of humanity not being English, but I think there is a good chance it will not be, despite its current dominance as a secondary/common language.

The most likely candidate will be a new language designed to be easy to learn and yet versatile and complete in expressing ideas, concepts, intents, emotions and the likes.

Spranto has been an early attempt in this direction.
I believe Tolstoy learned it in 3 days.
Chances are much better can be done nowadays.

Last fiddled with by a1call on 2018-09-22 at 16:34
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Old 2018-09-22, 16:33   #17
Brian-E
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1call View Post
Whatever the origin of it all is, it is only a matter of time before our descents all speak a single language thorough out the world. It would have happened by now if it wasn't for linguistic prejudices which will eventually wear out. There is no point in teaching children means of communication which are exclusively different and defeat the purpose of them all which is communication.

I wonder if they will be able to read this thread without hitting/asking-for a transition.
It is difficult to imagine the common language of the future of humanity not being English. But I think there is a good chance it will not be English, despite its current dominance as a secondary/common language.

The most likely candidate will be a new language designed to be easy to learn and yet versatile and complete in expressing ideas, conduits, intents, emotions and the likes.
This is an interesting idea.
I don't disagree that eventually there will be a common world language which everyone speaks, but I think that (1) it will not occur for many centuries, and (2) the sole reason for it taking place will be physical migration of people.

I don't think the reason it hasn't happened yet has anything to do with "linguistic prejudice". It is entirely practical in my opinion. Nearly everyone has a single dominant language which they learned first (genuinely bilingual people exist, but they are unusual). If there is no reason to do otherwise (such as living in a country where their language is not routinely used), these people will speak their first language to their children who will grow up with the same first language, because that is the language in which they most easily express themselves. For business-like communication with people, speaking a second or third language is no problem for many. But for communication with your family, where more subtle communication will be required, nothing beats your first language.
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Old 2018-09-22, 18:04   #18
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The "boom" part is so similar to the German Baum for "tree" I felt like a dolt for not seeing it.
Compare English "beam". It still means "tree" in a few compound words such as hornbeam and whitebeam.
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Old 2018-09-22, 18:59   #19
kladner
 
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Quote:
And darkness covered all the hall
Where they sat at their meat.
The grey dogs, yowling, left their food
And crept to Henry's feet.

And louder howled the rising wind
And burst the fastened door,
And in there came a grisly ghost
Stamping on the floor.

Her head hit the roof-tree of the house,
Her middle you could not span,
Each frightened huntsman fled the hall
And left the king alone,

Her teeth were like the tether stakes,
Her nose like club or mell,
And nothing less she seemed to be
Than a fiend that comes from hell.
-King Henry, Child ballad 32
I am quoting from a latter day version recorded by Steeleye Span. The Child version uses far more archaic language.
Here is something on the former:
https://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye....kinghenry.html
In the context of describing the nose, I am guessing that "mell" corresponds to "maul."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maul
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Old 2018-09-24, 15:44   #20
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If you like this sort of thing, I've been enjoying The History of English Podcast.
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Old 2018-09-24, 16:31   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
If you like this sort of thing, I've been enjoying The History of English Podcast.
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Old 2018-09-25, 02:34   #22
kladner
 
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Thanks for the link, and the lead. I happened onto #116: The Celtic Fringe, which is a language area of great interest to me. The description of the development of Scots-English fits in with my love of Scots ballads.
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