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"Obscure" Languages


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I'm ostensibly of Welsh heritage ( as well as Scots and Irish ) , but I don't speak the language ... because I'm a life-long U.S. citizen . With that being said ; I'm very interested in "obscure" or "esoteric" languages , particularly Celtic languages . My family's coat of arms on my father's side is in Cymræg (the Welsh language) , while my mum's side is in Scots-Gælic .

I would like to find out which languages my fellow modellers speak ; regional dialects and all the whatnot . To get the ball rolling , here's a humourous video of Americans Try to Pronounce Welch City Names . Enjoy !

https://youtu.be/GZPhPf-0pYM

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I speak New England- I suppose to other parts of the world, it is its own language.

My mother is Armenian (second-generation- my great-grandparents came in the mid-late 1890s, I haven't quite been able to nail down the year,) and I've been trying to learn Armenian for ages with little success. 

Charlie Larkin

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I am South African born and am fluent in English and Afrikaans. Both my parents are Portuguese and so I also speak Portuguese and have a very basic understanding of Spanish. However I have come to realize that Spanish is quite varied depending on what part of the world you are in. I find Mexican variations of Spanish easier to understand as they are closer to Portuguese than South American and European dialects.

I have also found that even certain dialects of Portuguese are more difficult to understand than others due to variations in the grammar. 

Interesting topic, thanks for starting it.

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South Western U.S. , "Cowboy". Learned I had an accent  when I was in the navy. Never thought I had an accent, but was told " You sound like a 'cowboy'". ;) Grew up as a service brat,( My dad was in the Air Force), all around the world.

Edited by Greg Myers
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My parents are both from Europe. Mom was German, dad from a part of the former Yugoslavia that bordered on Austria. Both of them grew up speaking German, and I was actually born in Austria. We came to the US when I was one month old, so I have absolutely no knowledge or memories of living anywhere but here.

But here's the funny part: Neither of my parents knew a word of English when we came here, so you can imagine how tough it was for them to assimilate into American society and culture. It was easier for my dad, as he was exposed to English and Americans every day at his work. Mom was a stay-at-home mom; it took her a lot longer to "fit in" here.

But the point is, when I learned to speak, it was German that I spoke, not English. I learned English by playing with my friends and being exposed to the language. Little kids can pick up a language much easier than adults can; I was fluent in English before I started grade school. And because I learned English so early in my life, I have absolutely no "foreign" accent whatsoever. Hearing me speak, you would never guess that I was a "foreigner." In fact, when I say something in German, I have a very noticeable American accent!

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An interesting topic.

I was born in Florida and lived there until Uncle Sam thought it was time to go to Europe.  I have no noticeable accent whatsoever, although I can still lay down some southern country talk.

Living in Europe for a long time now, this has helped me understand better others who speak English, but with different accents.  Like British and South African folks, even foreigners who speak English with strong accents.  I can understand these people much better than years ago.  i really like listening to the Irish, and the Scots too.  I haven't any experience with Welsh though.  I'll have an ear out for the links posted above.

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Esperanto, introduced in the late 19th Century, was an amalgamation of many languages and dialects, intended to replace English as the default international language. Surprisingly, there are still about 2,000,000 speakers. But I doubt that it will ever catch on, like Klingon and Dothraki.

Around here at the University of Tennessee, student diversity activists have attempted to recommend "gender-neutral pronouns" to erase gender-specific ones, such as he/she with words like "xe." The state legislature removed the Diversity Department's funding as a result.

Edited by sjordan2
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Thanks for sharing , one and all .

English , in which ever iteration , has got to be one of thee most difficult languages to learn , speak , and "master" . The speaking and written structure is so unique ; every-thing is possessive !

I really wish that the fledgling education system in the U.S. would teach our youth to speak more than one language in addition to the standard American English . Introduce Spanish , French , and German to start ;  Japanese , Chinese , and Korean could be introduced by late Elementery grades . Of course there are regional dialects (e.g. , "High German" , Castilian Spanish , etc. , etc.) , but the base "proper" languages should be taught .

I think that it would be fun to learn one of the Celtic languages , but at 46 years of age ...

Edited by 1972coronet
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Thanks for sharing , one and all .

English , in which ever iteration , has got to be one of thee most difficult languages to learn , speak , and "master" . The speaking and written structure is so unique ; every-thing is possessive !

I really wish that the fledgling education system in the U.S. would teach our youth to speak more than one language in addition to the standard American English . Introduce Spanish , French , and German to start ;  Japanese , Chinese , and Korean could be introduced by late Elementery grades . Of course there are regional dialects (e.g. , "High German" , Castilian Spanish , etc. , etc.) , but the base "proper" languages should be taught .

I think that it would be fun to learn one of the Celtic languages , but at 46 years of age ...

I read, speak and understand Polish; read, understand and to a lesser degree speak German and read, speak and understand Spanish at the same level as my German. I'm also working on Engrish and checking out an online study program for Assyrian. I'm weird like that. :) 

When I was in elementary school, we had Polish classes. I attended a Polish parochial school; so, everybody learned Polish, even the Puerto Rican kids. Most of my Puerto Rican friends I went to school with still can understand and speak some Polish to this day. :) 

When I was in high school, we had a choice of Spanish, German, French or Italian. My friend, who attended Regis High School in Manhattan, had to study ancient Greek and Latin. Today, my kid has one option when he starts high school in September............SPANISH. That's it. I guess it's our duty to make all those "undocumented" immigrants feel at home in our country. 

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When I was in high school, we had a choice of Spanish, German, French or Italian.

We had the same choices, plus Latin. Naturally I took German (easy A!)... :P

I took two semesters... one taught by a man, the other taught by a very stout Cherman Voman... I forgot her real name, but we all called her Frau Cow! :lol:

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But the point is, when I learned to speak, it was German that I spoke, not English. I learned English by playing with my friends and being exposed to the language. Little kids can pick up a language much easier than adults can; I was fluent in English before I started grade school. And because I learned English so early in my life, I have absolutely no "foreign" accent whatsoever. Hearing me speak, you would never guess that I was a "foreigner." In fact, when I say something in German, I have a very noticeable American accent!

True stories. 

Northern Worcester County and the very northwestern corner of Middlesex County (Ashby and Townsend), specifically, the Fitchburg-Lunenburg-Westminster-Ashburnham-Gardner-Templeton-Winchendon circuit, has what was the largest population of Finns outside of Finland. It's now in Michigan.

In the 1920s, my friend Eino described his first grade classroom at Elm Street School in Fitchburg.

"Imagine 1927 at Elm Street School in the first grade. The first row of kids was a bunch of Finns from Elm Street. The second row was a bunch of Italians from The Patch. The third Row was bunch of Canuck kids from Cleghorn, the fourth row was a bunch of Greeks from Greektown, and the fifth row was a bunch of kids that spoke English and were expected to teach us!"

The second story also centers around another Finn, my late friend Wilho. 

Wilho grew up in Westminster on a little farm his parents owned, and he went to school in Westminster at the Center School. 

Wilho didn't speak a word of English in Kindergarten, and his parents barely spoke any English, but their teacher made sure they understood he needed to be able to speak English for first grade, or he was going to have a very hard year.

So, his parents had his aunt send Wilho's cousin up to the farm for the summer. She was a year older than him and spoke English fluently. The fact his folks needed a little extra help was another reason, so up from Worcester she came for the summer. Wilho learns English, we get things tended to, perfect, they thought.

Not quite. 

As Wilho said, "at the end of the summer, I still couldn't speak ten words of English, but her Finnish was perfect."

Charlie Larkin

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My mum ( and her brothers and sisters) learned Latin in Catholic elementary school in New Castle (Pa.) . Apparently , all of the masses were given in Latin until _____ (?) . I've long been intrigued by the *simplicity* of Latin ; allegedly it's the "perfect language" due to its structure , which make sense . Heck , I even employ Latin 'legal' phrases ( including medical and legal phrases) in daily conversation ( typically , "et al." , "ad seq." , and my favourite , "persona non grata" in reference to retail customers whom I'd like to see banned from the store ! ). 

There was a Pub I used to frequent in the mid-90's , whose owner spoke in a very thick "Tinker" Gælic accent ( he was from the country ) . The guy was a hoot ! One time these two neophytes opened the pub's doors and asked , "Do you have Budweiser on tap ?" , to which the barkeep shouted back in a that thick --but understandable at that volume-- accent , " Yeah indee' ; go nex' door and ged id ther' ; we don' serve tha' gahrbadj' 'eer !" . Every-one in the pub started laughing and hooting for what seemed like 10 minutes .

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I'm also [ ... ] checking out an online study program for Assyrian. I'm weird like that. :) 

When I was in elementary school, we had Polish classes. I attended a Polish parochial school; so, everybody learned Polish, even the Puerto Rican kids. Most of my Puerto Rican friends I went to school with still can understand and speak some Polish to this day. :) 

Assyrian sounds like fun ! Certain dialects of Iranian , Lebanese , etc. , sound like the speaker is singing ( similar cadance to Cymræg ! ) . How does Assyrian differ from the other Middle Eastern languages (if at all) ?

Polish is interesting on its own . Sounds Germanic , but also Russian at the same time .

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Assyrian and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic are dialects of the Syriac language. They are spoken in northern Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. It was the lingua franca of Mesopotamia. It's also the liturgical language of the Assyrian Church of the East and The Ancient Church of the East.

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You have a friend who was in first grade in 1927? He would be nearly a hundred years old now!

I know Eino in lodge. Unfortunately, due to schedule I haven't been to Hope Lodge in Gardner for a while, last I knew, he was still kickin' along. Born in Fitchburg in 1921, so he'll be 95 this year. 

Charlie Larkin

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Assyrian and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic are dialects of the Syriac language. They are spoken in northern Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. It was the lingua franca of Mesopotamia. It's also the liturgical language of the Assyrian Church of the East and The Ancient Church of the East.

Actually, the Assyrians don't have a church of their own, unlike other people in the Middle East, because since Christianity existed, they've never had their own clearly-defined national territory, always living with other groups, mostly the Turks and Iraqis. Due to that lack of territory, the Assyrians have never established a culturally/ethnically-distinct church.

As a result, most Assyrians are either Melkite or Maronite Catholics; a substantial number of them are also any of the several Orthodox churches doting the region. Generally, the local Assyrians attended whatever denomination of church was convenient to them. 

The Assyrians were almost completely wiped out during the Ottoman/Young Turk Genocide of 1915-22 that reduced the Armenian population globally by over half and made the Pontic Greeks all but extinct. 

Charlie Larkin

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Actually, the Assyrians don't have a church of their own, unlike other people in the Middle East, because since Christianity existed, they've never had their own clearly-defined national territory, always living with other groups, mostly the Turks and Iraqis. Due to that lack of territory, the Assyrians have never established a culturally/ethnically-distinct church.

As a result, most Assyrians are either Melkite or Maronite Catholics; a substantial number of them are also any of the several Orthodox churches doting the region. Generally, the local Assyrians attended whatever denomination of church was convenient to them. 

The Assyrians were almost completely wiped out during the Ottoman/Young Turk Genocide of 1915-22 that reduced the Armenian population globally by over half and made the Pontic Greeks all but extinct. 

Charlie Larkin

Glad to see you're following the "No politics or religion" rule! :lol:

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Hmm... lessee...

Actually, the Assyrians don't have a church of their own...since Christianity existed...Due to that lack of territory, the Assyrians have never established a culturally/ethnically-distinct church.

As a result, most Assyrians are either Melkite or Maronite Catholics; a substantial number of them are also any of the several Orthodox churches doting the region. Generally, the local Assyrians attended whatever denomination of church was convenient to them.

Yep, I guess you're right. No mention of religion that I can see... :P

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Hmm... lessee...

Actually, the Assyrians don't have a church of their own...since Christianity existed...Due to that lack of territory, the Assyrians have never established a culturally/ethnically-distinct church.

As a result, most Assyrians are either Melkite or Maronite Catholics; a substantial number of them are also any of the several Orthodox churches doting the region. Generally, the local Assyrians attended whatever denomination of church was convenient to them.

Yep, I guess you're right. No mention of religion that I can see... :P

You read between the lines. If you squint while facing away from the screen, you won't see mention of either. Really! :)

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