Autor Wątek: getting past the censors  (Przeczytany 11404 razy)

Terminus

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #15 dnia: Wrzesień 15, 2005, 11:54:13 pm »
Cytuj
Of course considered by Poles themselves. It is so nice to be exceptional even in a negative sense of the world.


Hm... on the other hand, You seem too modest. Or maybe it's just You're an quasi-anarchist, aren't ya? Polish is difficult, at least many people think it is. Not the most difficult maybe, but still.

A piece of proof here:

http://www.antimoon.com/forum/2003/2765.htm

innate

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #16 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 05:05:16 am »
Hmm...I thought for sure that my comments would draw at least one person into commenting on the difficulties of English. I'll have to try harder in the future!

Terminus

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #17 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 01:52:13 pm »
English? Difficult? Naaah... not the modern English, it's too simple to qualify in the difficulty rankings ::)


nqd

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #18 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 02:11:54 pm »
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Deckard wrote:
Of course considered by Poles themselves.

Right.
We (czechs) are also proud to have one of the most complicated language. Probably all slavonic languages are difficult.

Deckert

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #19 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 04:25:10 pm »
Of course, I agree. All Slavonic languages are difficult for people using Germanic langauges. I didn't want to point at Polish as the most difficult form of communication. Think about Chineese? Is it easy? I don't think so...

I think you get now my point of view.

CU
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innate

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #20 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 10:00:00 pm »
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it's too simple to qualify in the difficulty rankings


I just did some reading on grammar and spelling in Polish, and...now I understand what you mean. Uh, wow. How could any language possibly need so many rules and arbitrary exceptions to decide how to choose the letters to put on the ends of their words? (I had been ignoring the endings of nouns and adjectives in my reading.)

It's no wonder that somebody who spoke Slavic languages would be the one who felt compelled to develop Esperanto...

Zlatan

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heRe: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #21 dnia: Wrzesień 16, 2005, 10:43:22 pm »
Terminus wrote

Cytuj
You seem too modest. Or maybe it's just You're an quasi-anarchist, aren't ya?


Argumentum ad personam huh? ;-)

Anarchists can be right too (sometimes anyway).

But to be serious - I agree 100% with anonymus replier (the one with the long essay) on your link-page.
It all depends on what kind of difficulty we are talking about - grammar, pronounciation, pragmatic rules of use (like Japanese politeness forms).
But notice please, that both parts in the discussion (Bryan and Anonymous) tend to call their mother tongues for most difficult. At least this is true of Bryan whose mother tongue is Polish while the Anonymous is more cautious. He writes that "one time German was considered to be the most difficult". I am almost sure that "one time" refers to the fervently nationalistic period in Germany's history from XIX century to 1945.

Now let us look at some of the examples  which were "one time" intended to support the extraordinary difficulty of German:

complex tense system, a difficult orthography and punctuation, a hard case system and three genders which you simply cannot guess : das Mädchen (the girl) should be feminine but is neutrum

Polish and Japanese have tense systems which are at least as difficult as in German. Some African languages has much more difficult one.
Case system in caucasian, Inuit and ugro-finnish languages is much more complicated which the anonymous says himself. Polish and other slavonic languages have three genders as well as does Italian. And there is exactly the same problem with the noun "dziewczę" (little girl) in Polish as with "maedchen" in German. Like in German there is no rule to explain genders of nouns referring to things and states, but also animals - why is a squirrel "wiewiórka" she but a cat (kot) - he? By the way - in Russian cat (koshka) is she.

Bryan cites free word order in Polish as a proof of higher level of difficulty. He writes:  You can make sentences as you preffer

But is it really so free? Is there really no difference between:

a) W  klasie        dzieci     uczy   nauczyciel
   (in calssroom children teaches teacher

and

b) Nauczyciel  uczy       dzieci    w  klasie ?
   (teacher     teaches children in classroom)

Each of them has different focus, which can be seen if you try to make questions to which they can be answers:

a) Who teaches the children in the classroom?

b) Where does the teaches teaches children?

Of course the focus can change if you place stress differently while pronouncing sentences. I have just chosed the most probable interpretations.

But this apparently free sentence order is not something peculiar to Polish. It is quite normal in languages with developed case system.

To end this "speach" I can present a simple statistical proof showing how untrustworthy is any declaration which states that "this and this language is the most difficult in the world".

There are several hundreds languages on this Earth not counting 3-4 thousands dialects. A language genius can learn up to 20 languages (vide Schliemann).
So even being able to speak 20 languages you can not make this statement in a reliable way.

Therefore my strong suspicion, that all such believes are (mis)guided by person's patriotic or other emotional inclinations.

QED

As for English language: I think personally, that it has difficult pronounciation, but much easier than Chinese and Danish (I am speaking only the last one). The grammar is much easier than Polish which is my mother tongue. What I think is difficult is the tremendously rich vocabulary (which can only be compared with Chinese, Turkish and Arabic), and plentiness of idioms, but it is exactly what I like most in this language.

Why do many foreigners find Polish so much more difficult than English? My suspicion is, that they simply lack motivation to learn it. Each time I meet people from other countries who have had really important reasons to learn Polish, I am impressed with their high level of language command.

As for English - it is not difficult to find good motivation - f.ex. to be able to surf the Internet and play computer games ;-) which makes this language specially appealing to children and young people.

And for children there is no such thing like difficult language.
Just think, that in ancient Rom even two years old could speak Latin! ;-)

Greetings









Terminus

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #22 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 01:53:38 am »
Rightie now, You got the point with this motivation business. It's unthinkable nowadays that a person could go 'international ' (by any means) without the knowledge of English (or, maybe, French), whereas Polish knowledge is not that necessary.

On the other hand, I sometimes feel for the English speaking people - no hard feelings, of course - but this language is undergoing powerful simplification due to its growing popularity, which is, in my opinion, a little degradation. And there is no way of telling certain things in English. Take vulgar words, for example. English is just so poor when it comes to vulgarity, just the lonely f-word, and practically nothing else, that would be equally vulgar. Whereas in Polish? About 7 extremely vulgar verbs, and a few hundred nouns (including the most famous Polish word... the k-word ::)  ). Add a few hundred nouns... I own a vocabulary of Polish vulgar words (published by PWN). In this astonishing book, You can find about 3000 of words and phrases  that are to obscenic to use in the Polish section ::)

And You also want to take a look at this. I apologize for the lack of quality, but You know...
(I warn the Poles, You'll laugh Your heads off).  

Why am I writing all this? Well, it's not quite polite to use vulgar words, but I guess it shows the richness of the language::)

Ok, have fun.

innate

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #23 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 08:14:20 am »
Ah, motivation. I think I'd have to go 1500 km before I reach a point where English isn't the primary language. Scientific literature? English. And, with a single exception, the writers who I like write in English. I know I'm fortunate overall, but I like languages, and it's a shame that I've never had a reason/opportunity/excuse to become proficient at any of them.

As for expressiveness, what else do we lack? I knew somebody from Mexico who had also told me that English wasn't very rich when it comes to emotional expression, but her example was of there not being enough ways to indicate degree of affection...

Zlatan

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #24 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 11:32:04 am »
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it's a shame that I've never had a reason/opportunity/excuse to become proficient at any of them.


Innate, do not worry. There is one more kind of motivation much more powerful than video games, web-surfing, being up to date with development in science or the keenest interest in foreign languages for their own sake.

It's being in love with a native speaker of the language.
Try it! ;-)


Cytuj
this language is undergoing powerful simplification


Let us compare these two excerpts from a hypothetical oration by an upset wife to her husband.
First - the text in modern Polish (I beg the moderator to show forbearance):

Ja tu cały dzień zapierdalam jak dziki osioł a ty wpierdalasz do chałupy jak by nigdy nic, pierdolniesz się w fotel, wyciągniesz swoją pierdoloną gazetkę i pierdolisz wszystko!
A potem sobie wpierdolisz obiadek i jeszcze mi pierdolisz, że się do ciebie nie wiadomo o co przypierdalam!

Now the same text in "old Polish":

Ja tu przez cały dzień haruję jak dziki osioł a ty przyjdziesz sobie jak by nigdy nic, rozsiądziesz się w fotelu, rozłożysz swoją głupawą gazetkę i nic cię nie obchodzi. A potem sobie zjesz obiadek i jeszcze masz do mnie pretensje, że nie wiadomo czego od ciebie chcę!

(I am toiling and moiling the whole day like a nigger and you just come in, make you comfortable in the chair, spread your stupid newspaper out and do not care a straw. And than you just eat your dinner, and start complaining that I am after you for no reason!)

Of course I do not count multiple occurences of the same word. According to my (not very thorough) counting there are 35 different words in the "modern Polish version" and 44 in the "old Polish" one.
Which one represents the poorer language then?

On the other hand - may be you are right, that English becomes impoverished while it becomes a lingua franca of the world. But I am not sure it is because so many nationalities speak it. Just try to read a book of Salman Rushdie to see that his English is richer than that of many Englishmen.
The problem is rather that English is now used by increasing number of poorly educated people whose native language is much like "modern Polish".

Call me anarchist if you like Termi ;-)


Terminus

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #25 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 12:45:02 pm »
What? Modern Polish? What are You talking about, man?  Is it some lousy joke? If You expect people in Poland to talk like that, You maybe think about some pathological family.

I don't take this as any argument.
« Ostatnia zmiana: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 12:52:56 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Zlatan

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #26 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 05:46:30 pm »
Take it easy Term. You have surely noticed, that "modern Polish" is surrounded by quotation marks.
Of course I do not mean that typical contemporary Polish looks like that (unless you are a member of a football fan group).
My point is, that what I am ironically calling "modern Polish" is nothing to be proud of.
And more generally - that people like members of this forum who are used to speak rich, many-shaded language (rather than "modern Polish") in their everyday life, will tend to learn to speak richer, many-shaded foreign languages. That's all.



Deckert

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #27 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 07:03:30 pm »
Zlatan!

With all respect you missed the right term for your example! The sentences you gave us above is a typical low-place slang, man. It has never occured to me to call it "a modern Polish". Vulgar words are present in every language. They were, they are and they will be.

As for the specific English gettin' simpler and simpler it's called a BASIC English. It's been introduced and used widely in computer science. And what is used in certain communities happens to penetrate other groups of people.

CU
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Zlatan

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #28 dnia: Wrzesień 17, 2005, 10:58:53 pm »
Hello Deck,

I think you have not understood why I invented this vulgar example (sorry).
I am therefore quoting below what Terminus had written:

Cytuj
On the other hand, I sometimes feel for the English speaking people - no hard feelings, of course - but this language is undergoing powerful simplification due to its growing popularity, which is, in my opinion, a little degradation. And there is no way of telling certain things in English. Take vulgar words, for example. English is just so poor when it comes to vulgarity, just the lonely f-word, and practically nothing else, that would be equally vulgar.


It was my intention to demonstrate, that vulgar language means deterioration not enriching of speaker's linguistic competence.
First - your vocabulary gets more limited, because of replacing many words with just one. I demonstrated it by comparing number of words in both versions of my example.
Secondly - (which I forgot to write) with such limited vocabulary your ability to express many differentiated feelings and emotions gets reduced as well. Your language becomes poor.

And last but not least - I wholly agree with you that
Cytuj
what is used in certain communities happens to penetrate other groups of people.


Greetings.


Deckert

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Re: getting past the censors
« Odpowiedź #29 dnia: Wrzesień 18, 2005, 12:39:33 am »
Zlatan,

First of all, I understood well what you had wanted to achieve with your example. I just don't like the idea of calling it, even ironically - A Modern Language.


Right, vulgar words are being used in a typical day-to-day talk more then before - which I find a very bad practice. The below sentence:

Cytuj
what is used in certain communities happens to penetrate other groups of people.


was written to point attention to grammar and special or sophisticated words excluding vulgarity (although you might have thought it was including vulgar words). Basic English was invented to simplify grammatical forms of so called Queens English (actually this term determines the way you pronounce the words than the grammar rules - but let's stick to it for a while).
Simplifications are easily acceptable by people - vulgarity IS NOT. That's why I think the text sample filled with vulgar words should be called a gibberish street talk, slang or something like that but not a "Modern Language". So this is all what my previous post was about -  the terms. You can disagree with it but this is just my point of view.

CU
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