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Laaca(R)

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Czech republic,
30.08.2018, 23:25
 

Interresting DOS forum in german (Announce)

Just accidentaly I found an interresting and quite active DOS forum. http://dosforum.de
But a disadvantage for many people is the fact that this forum is in german language. I speak german only on the very basic level so it is difficult for me to read more deeply the posts for I believe that among us are many people who speak german fluently.
(But probably these people already know this forum :-| )

---
DOS-u-akbar!

rr(R)

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Berlin, Germany,
03.09.2018, 20:01

@ Laaca
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

> Just accidentaly I found an interresting and quite active DOS forum.
> http://dosforum.de
> But a disadvantage for many people is the fact that this forum is in german
> language. I speak german only on the very basic level so it is difficult
> for me to read more deeply the posts for I believe that among us are many
> people who speak german fluently.
> (But probably these people already know this forum :-| )

I was a member once, but the admins/moderators didn't agree to my posting style, so the banned me.

There's also a spin-off: https://dosreloaded.de/forum/

Rugxulo(R)

Homepage

Usono,
11.09.2018, 01:08

@ Laaca
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

Sorry for this off-topic rant, but I find it vaguely interesting!

The German language is supposedly harder (for a native [American] English speaker like me) to learn than others (see Language Difficulty Ranking here). So it's like an entire level above the more obvious choices. This is despite English being Germanic itself (but a lot has changed since Beowulf, the whole Norman French invasion and all). Supposedly J.R.R. Tolkien (a German name) was an expert in Old English. Of course let's not forget the Battenbergs/Mountbattens! The Swedes and Dutch are apparently fairly close, too (among others).

Apparently there was at least one very famous Czech (Austria/Bohemia?) immigrant to the U.S. who spoke German natively (among other languages). But that was a fairly long time ago, and I don't live near that part, so it's a bit obscure for me. Still intriguing!

Sorry, I just try to pretend to understand and connect the dots. It's a big world, it's a small world, whatever. I was never well-traveled, so my curiosity is a bit worthless.

marcov(R)

11.09.2018, 16:48

@ Rugxulo
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

> Sorry for this off-topic rant, but I find it vaguely interesting!
>
> The German language is supposedly harder (for a native [American] English
> speaker like me) to learn than others (see Language Difficulty Ranking
> here).

True, but that is mostly based on speaking/writing, not understanding.

> So it's like an entire level above the more obvious choices. This is
> despite English being Germanic itself (but a lot has changed since
> Beowulf, the whole Norman French
> invasion and all). Supposedly J.R.R. Tolkien (a German name) was an expert
> in Old English. Of course let's not forget the Battenbergs/Mountbattens!
> The Swedes and Dutch are apparently fairly close, too (among others).

Frisian is closest. Dutch and German should be closer than Swedish, since both West Germanic languages, while Swedish is North-Germanic.

(fun fact: name 6 West Germanic languages with some form of official state recognition)

The roots you quote are often quoted for this difference (e.g. Wikipedia), but somehow totally bypasses the fact that Shakespearian Era English is far more Germanic than current. I think a mostly bilingual nobility in the 18th and 19th century is as much to "blame" as the influences you name.

The Battenberg bit is just one side of the interconnection of nobility and royalty. The strange bit is always that the major royalty in WW-I were closely related (Russian Tsar and the German Emperor were both first cousins of the English King), which makes WW I the biggest family row ever!

> Apparently there was at least one very famous Czech (Austria/Bohemia?)
> immigrant to the U.S. who spoke German natively (among other languages).
> But that was a fairly long time ago, and I don't live near that part, so
> it's a bit obscure for me. Still intriguing!

German was the major language of science before WWII, and central Europe indeed spoke a lot of German due to the Austrian Empire. Still, there are more first language German speakers in Europe than English speakers.

Note that it I've had to decrypt 1900-1910 chemical articles, and while my German is somewhat decent, that is a whole different ballpark. The (Gothic-like) fonts alone are a horror.

> Sorry, I just try to pretend to understand and connect the dots. It's a big
> world, it's a small world, whatever. I was never well-traveled, so my
> curiosity is a bit worthless.

Language comparison is fun, but it works best if you have at least a working knowledge of a few. Sometimes that goes faster than you would expect. One of the more flabbergasting things I found out was when a Frenchman from the northern parts (Lille) learned to understand and speak Dutch in about 6 weeks.

Very impressive, specially because the languages are in different families. I never got to ask however if he had Dutch speaking relatives though.

Rugxulo(R)

Homepage

Usono,
12.09.2018, 02:06

@ marcov
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

> > The German language is supposedly harder (for a native [American]
> > English speaker like me) to learn than others
>
> True, but that is mostly based on speaking/writing, not understanding.

To be honest, 600 hours isn't much less than 750 (apparently 20%).

But the U.S. is overwhelmingly monolingual (although I heard once
that only 24% of the world is similarly limited). I mean, I get it,
there's less urgency or need over here, but it's still a bit
short-sighted. So I'm sympathetic but mostly for philosophical reasons.

> > So it's like an entire level above the more obvious choices. This is
> > despite English being Germanic itself (but a lot has changed since
> > Beowulf, the whole Norman French
> > invasion and all). Supposedly J.R.R. Tolkien (a German name) was an
> > expert in Old English. Of course let's not forget the
> > Battenbergs/Mountbattens! The Swedes and Dutch are apparently
> > fairly close, too (among others).
>
> Frisian is closest. Dutch and German should be closer than Swedish, since
> both West Germanic languages, while Swedish is North-Germanic.

Frisian is very obscure to me. But so is Yiddish.

I heard Dutch is closer and thus easier, certainly easier than German.
One teenager on one of the FreeDOS mailing lists (Maarten) said they
learn English, German, and Dutch in school. (Not sure if that's a fairly
recent development or not. The Van Halen brothers immigrated as pre-teens
and didn't speak English at all, AFAIK.)

Some famous Swedes (e.g. Pewdiepie, Linus Torvalds) are fluent too, so
I think they also learn in school. Similarly the Danes, from what little
I can tell. Not sure about others (or maybe even this much, barely).

Of course, Linus works and lives here and is (dual?) citizen nowadays.
Two of his daughters were born here. Not saying it was guaranteed, but
even I predicted he'd gain (dual) citizenship due to that, years ago.
(Yes, I know he's from Finland, but he's still Swedish, apparently
the minority. Finnish is not Germanic, supposedly related to Estonian
and Hungarian.)

> (fun fact: name 6 West Germanic languages with some form of official state
> recognition)
>
> The roots you quote are often quoted for this difference (e.g. Wikipedia),
> but somehow totally bypasses the fact that Shakespearian Era English is far
> more Germanic than current. I think a mostly bilingual nobility in the
> 18th and 19th century is as much to "blame" as the influences you name.

Old English is 100% indecipherable to modern English. I challenge anyone
to pretend otherwise. At least Shakespeare is mostly comprehensible.
BTW, British slang is extremely bizarre, and I'll never get used to it.

> The Battenberg bit is just one side of the interconnection of nobility and
> royalty. The strange bit is always that the major royalty in WW-I were
> closely related (Russian Tsar and the German Emperor were both first
> cousins of the English King), which makes WW I the biggest family row
> ever!

Yes, they were cousins with Tsar Nicholas II or whatever. As you probably
know, they're also related to Willem-Alexander, Felipe VI, and "half of
Europe". Probably due to intermarriage between monarchs. The whole name
change was political circa WW1 anyways. (Prince Philip is from Greece,
with Danish and even English heritage, so he's Elizabeth's fourth cousin,
I believe. His sisters all married Germans, and his Greek cousin Sophia
is the mother of Felipe. Wasn't the grandfather of the Swedish king a Brit?
Hey, even Charles and Camilla are like ninth cousins once removed!)

I don't really care about politics or history or genealogy at all, but
I do like trivia and trying to connect the dots. (Princess Diana's
grandfather was an American, so was Churchill's mother, among others.)

> > Apparently there was at least one very famous Czech (Austria/Bohemia?)
> > immigrant to the U.S. who spoke German natively (among other languages).
> > But that was a fairly long time ago, and I don't live near that part, so
> > it's a bit obscure for me. Still intriguing!
>
> German was the major language of science before WWII, and central Europe
> indeed spoke a lot of German due to the Austrian Empire. Still, there are
> more first language German speakers in Europe than English speakers.

Yes, German is a very popular language. One singer (Danish) married a
Hungarian/American lady but asked her father's permission in German.

BTW, I've heard that Germans can't understand Swiss German without
subtitles! But luckily the Swiss focus more on "standard" German
most of the time.

> Note that it I've had to decrypt 1900-1910 chemical articles, and while my
> German is somewhat decent, that is a whole different ballpark. The
> (Gothic-like) fonts alone are a horror.

I dare you to pretend to read Old English (Beowulf) natively.

> Language comparison is fun, but it works best if you have at least a
> working knowledge of a few. Sometimes that goes faster than you would
> expect.

I took Latin in school, which is of course both dead and complicated grammatically. I learned Esperanto for fun, read many interesting translations (Shakespeare, parts of the Bible) and periodicals. I know that's not quite as good as learning a Slavic language (Czech, Polish, Russian, Croatian) or similar, but it's better than nothing. Dr. Zamenhof was a Polish Jew of Lithuanian descent who spoke Russian (and Yiddish??) natively.

> One of the more flabbergasting things I found out was when a
> Frenchman from the northern parts (Lille) learned to understand
> and speak Dutch in about 6 weeks.

I wonder if he already knew English (or maybe Latin). Modern English
is roughly 60% Latin-based.

> Very impressive, specially because the languages are in different families.
> I never got to ask however if he had Dutch speaking relatives though.

Well, you know, conversational fluency doesn't mean literary or especially
writing. Even in E-o, where there is "official" vocabulary and strict
grammar rules, many many people overuse neologisms and "borrow"
quasi-universal foreign words when they shouldn't or don't need to.
It's still a burden trying to memorize vocabulary, so I suspect that
most just "make up" a word (esperantize?) when they don't have a
dictionary readily available. So even there it's messy, but it's
not really a well-taught language, most are users self-taught.
Also, being auxiliary (second language only, by design) makes things
less urgent.

P.S. I've been listening to a lot of Sleeze Beez on internet radio
recently. They're a Dutch band (disbanded in 1996 but had a one-off
reunion in 2010 or such). Well, their first album had one singer
(Belgian) but the rest had another guy (English). Maybe you've heard
of them?? I mean, we're roughly the same age, but I'd never heard
any of their stuff (outside of one song several times on House of Hair,
so I never even remembered the band's name).

marcov(R)

12.09.2018, 12:17

@ Rugxulo
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

> > > The German language is supposedly harder (for a native [American]
> > > English speaker like me) to learn than others
> >
> > True, but that is mostly based on speaking/writing, not understanding.
>
> To be honest, 600 hours isn't much less than 750 (apparently 20%).

I meant that the universal perception of "difficult" is more the active part. But since you had Latin, cases and declensions are not new to you, and they are (together with gender) the hardest part.

Word order and concatenating words is also considered a problem, but that is shared with Dutch, so not something that makes German harder than Dutch.

> But the U.S. is overwhelmingly monolingual (although I heard once
> that only 24% of the world is similarly limited).

Rule of thumb, the bigger the country the lesser the language skills. And China and India, while not entirely mono-lingual are mainly so, and that is 2.5/7 of the population.

Note that American as an ex colony is a grade worse, since it doesn't have dialects of the same magnitude like e.g. UK English has. Dialects also help with language skills.

> I mean, I get it,
> there's less urgency or need over here, but it's still a bit
> short-sighted. So I'm sympathetic but mostly for philosophical reasons.

The needs are also different. Spanish is much more important in the Americas than in Europe (where it is still a big economy with the second largest tourist sector (after France)).

> > Frisian is closest. Dutch and German should be closer than Swedish,
> since
> > both West Germanic languages, while Swedish is North-Germanic.
>
> Frisian is very obscure to me. But so is Yiddish.

Frisian is Ingvaeonic, like English. Some however also include old Saxon in this subgroup (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_Germanic)

Dutch and, roughly, the German Rhineland are Istvaenonic, rest of Germany is Irmvionic. The standard-Germanification of the Rhineland however reduced this a bit.

Keep in mind btw that the Saxons are from roughly Northern Germany. There is a direct link between Northern Germany dialects (Saxon platt) and English too.

> I heard Dutch is closer and thus easier, certainly easier than German.

If it is closer, I'd say it is not that much. English barely distinguished Dutch and German before the 1500s. (hence "Dutch" which is based on the same root as the German autonym "Deutsch"). Only the founding of the Dutch Republic
and language centralization due to bible translations made the difference pronounced.

I'd say the difference is not distance but practical details, like Dutch shedding many of its declensions, case and most of the word gender in the early 20th century (after they were already disused for a while) and the German sound shifts that make the words somewhat unfamiliar, both in writing and pronunciation, even if they have the same root. Those are somewhat predictable though, so that is more an initial problem.

Dutch and German are closer to each other, indeed due to the Latin/French vocabulary in English. Which can be confusing for English people learning Dutch, since many French derived words in Dutch remain pretty French in pronunciation too. At least much more than in English.

> One teenager on one of the FreeDOS mailing lists (Maarten) said they
> learn English, German, and Dutch in school. (Not sure if that's a fairly
> recent development or not. The Van Halen brothers immigrated as pre-teens
> and didn't speak English at all, AFAIK.)

In the NL that is standard. English starting from primary school even. German usually from the second class secondary school.
The upper 60% of the students also gets French starting with the first year of primary school. But the minimum (depending on group 2 or 4 years) is not enough to really be fluent.

In Belgium they start much younger with French, with way, way better results. Most university students (iow that had the highest and usually longest form of secondary education) seem fluent to at least being able to manage every day events.

The share of the Dutch population that can speak some English is pretty high. German is less and still declining. I blame cable television (before the cable era, people in border areas watched German television, just to get more choice, myself included)

Afaik van Halen were of Indo heritage (former Dutch colonial citizens in Indonesia)? Maybe they speak some Malay. Or maybe that is a generation to late already.

(Linus T and Scandinavian English level)

Smaller countries, better skills. And while further away (core simple words are a little more different), the distance of English to North Germanic is still much, much closer that other languages. (

> (Yes, I know he's from Finland, but he's still Swedish, apparently
> the minority. Finnish is not Germanic, supposedly related to Estonian
> and Hungarian.)

Yup. Quite different.


> Old English is 100% indecipherable to modern English. I challenge anyone
> to pretend otherwise. At least Shakespeare is mostly comprehensible.

Really old texts (like 1000 A.D.) often are. 1500-1600 era usually is better, specially if you are educated a bit about the differences.

> BTW, British slang is extremely bizarre, and I'll never get used to it.

Slang and dialects are hard because there often is no formal education for them. The only way to learn is exposure.

> Wasn't the grandfather of the Swedish king a
> Brit?
> Hey, even Charles and Camilla are like ninth cousins once removed!)

Yeah, our king decidedly went in a different direction (Argentinian :-)

All former Dutch monarchal spouses were German afaik (Claus,Bernard,Hendrik,Emma,Sophia). We need to go back to 1840 for Anna Pavlovna of Russia to break that trend.

> I don't really care about politics or history or genealogy at all, but
> I do like trivia and trying to connect the dots. (Princess Diana's
> grandfather was an American, so was Churchill's mother, among others.)

Same, though with a bit more continental focus, for obvious reasons. But the area of interest is more the local tribal past (and languages relate somewhat to that).

> BTW, I've heard that Germans can't understand Swiss German without
> subtitles! But luckily the Swiss focus more on "standard" German
> most of the time.

Schwizerdütsch is something else indeed. Though the trouble already starts in Bavaria, and even Nuernberg dialects are complex.

I can understand dialects from both Ruhr and Rur areas (which are somewhat related to my own Limburgish dialect), and can understand Cologne dialects (which are a different branch) after some time to get used to it.

> I dare you to pretend to read Old English (Beowulf) natively.

I know. I had to in English class. With the translation, you recognize some worths, but that's it. Pronunciation is alien.

Old Frankish is even worse, since even earlier, you often don't even recognize anything as familar:

"Maltho thi afrio lito"
(I say, I free you, half-free.)

With the translation, thi might guessed as "you/du/jij/thou", and that is about it. Some common simple French words come from it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankish_language#Influence_on_Old_French_and_Middle_Latin )

> I took Latin in school, which is of course both dead and complicated
> grammatically.

I tried Latin and old Greek for about two months, then decided that was enough, and I was more technically inclined :_)

> was a Polish Jew of Lithuanian descent who spoke Russian (and Yiddish??)
> natively.

Dutch(native),German(4y),English(6y). A bit of French(4y), usually enough to manage receptions of hotels, restaurants etc, if they are willing to listen.

I wouldn't classify my German as entirely fluent, but I have done German tradeshows and spoke German on the floor. I'll probably would need to spend some months in Germany to really get a level further.

(French guy learning Dutch)
> I wonder if he already knew English (or maybe Latin). Modern English
> is roughly 60% Latin-based.

There are pockets of Dutch dialects in Northern France, but they haved waned in the 20th century. Lille even has a native Dutch name, Rijssel.

I learned English and French at the same time, and while there is some shared vocabulary, it is not the same. English is still much and much faster, and you use your Germanic language skills much more.

I sometimes wish I could revisit that first year of English lessons, since I have much, much more context to connect it with.

> It's still a burden trying to memorize vocabulary, so I suspect that
> most just "make up" a word (esperantize?) when they don't have a
> dictionary readily available. So even there it's messy, but it's
> not really a well-taught language, most are users self-taught.
> Also, being auxiliary (second language only, by design) makes things
> less urgent.

(I'm really glad there are no recordings of the above tradeshows in Germany for exactly those reasons).

> P.S. I've been listening to a lot of Sleeze Beez on internet radio

No, but it seems there heyday were the eighties. Slightly too old for me, I was a young teenager then, and didn't really go to popconcerts yet, and they seem to have only one song that touched the Dutch TOP 40 rankings.

Rugxulo(R)

Homepage

Usono,
13.09.2018, 06:00

@ marcov
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

> I meant that the universal perception of "difficult" is more the active
> part. But since you had Latin, cases and declensions are not new to you,
> and they are (together with gender) the hardest part.
>
> Word order and concatenating words is also considered a problem, but that
> is shared with Dutch, so not something that makes German harder than Dutch.

I have no direct urge to learn any further languages (yet), no huge need. It might be fun, though.

What was it I was reading about months ago? Some spaghetti western dudes (long ago) whom somebody made a video game about. (quick Googling) Bud Spencer and Terence Hill: Slaps and Beans. I haven't played it, only saw YouTubers playing it, but apparently they were huge in Europe for their movies. One has passed away by now, but the other is still active on tv (and his mother was German, so he's also fluent in that). IIRC, they were also famous for the ("hilarious" German ??) dubs of their movies. Of course, they weren't nearly as famous over here, which apparently shocks a lot of Europeans when an American says they've never heard of them.

(Sorry for the off-tangent, but it's little trivia like that which piques my interest.)

> Rule of thumb, the bigger the country the lesser the language skills. And
> China and India, while not entirely mono-lingual are mainly so

India is supposedly very multilingual, at least in some major parts (Tamil Nadu?). But I guess you can always find exceptions.

There are of course "English only" advocates here, which I don't necessarily agree with. I agree that we don't really need more fragmentation, for its own sake, but a little courtesy (interoperability?) sometimes helps.

> Note that American as an ex colony is a grade worse, since it doesn't have
> dialects of the same magnitude like e.g. UK English has. Dialects also help
> with language skills.

We have slang, but I swear it gets worse over the Internet, which amplifies (or even reinvents) everything. What you read online or see in movies is an exaggerated (or faux/new/trendy) version.

> The needs are also different. Spanish is much more important in the
> Americas than in Europe

There are certainly many native Spanish speakers, but most of them are in Texas, California, etc. Other parts certainly have many immigrants from various places, but it doesn't make enough of a dent to inspire any direct behavior change or acknowledgement.

> Frisian is Ingvaeonic,

Ah yes, Malmsteen, famous Swedish (now American?) guitarist. :-P j/k

(All of that kind of classification is over my head, sadly.)

> > I heard Dutch is closer and thus easier, certainly easier than German.
>
> If it is closer, I'd say it is not that much. English barely distinguished
> Dutch and German before the 1500s. Only the founding of the Dutch
> Republic and language centralization due to bible translations made the
> difference pronounced.

You mean Luther's translation or others? Apparently he also had a big influence on Sweden (et al).

> > One teenager on one of the FreeDOS mailing lists (Maarten) said they
> > learn English, German, and Dutch in school. (The Van Halen brothers
> > immigrated as pre-teens and didn't speak English at all.)
>
> In the NL that is standard. English starting from primary school even.
> German usually from the second class secondary school.
>
> The share of the Dutch population that can speak some English is pretty
> high. German is less and still declining. I blame cable television (before
> the cable era, people in border areas watched German television

But has the widespread Internet helped or hurt? It probably helped more with English (which many prefer). I'm not denying that the U.S. is fairly populous (big audience) and also influential (movies, music, etc). I guess I have to be a bit cautious not to overhype it (since it's not exactly an absolute authority on anything, even if they think they are, but even they often can't agree amongst themselves).

> Afaik van Halen were of Indo heritage (former Dutch colonial citizens in
> Indonesia)? Maybe they speak some Malay. Or maybe that is a generation to
> late already.

AFAIK, only their mother (Eugenia) was from Indonesia, and she died in 2005. I've never seen much acknowledgement about her (or even the father, Jan, who died in 1986). I'm almost surprised I even know that much, but I'm a nerd, heheh, I like trivia. (I'd be good on Jeopardy.)

> (Linus T and Scandinavian English level)
>
> Smaller countries, better skills. And while further away (core simple words
> are a little more different), the distance of English to North Germanic is
> still much, much closer that other languages.

Given enough years, anybody can become "native" to any place. Of course that's fairly obvious since it happens all the time. Linus is hardly the first Swede to emigrate here.

> > BTW, British slang is extremely bizarre, and I'll never get used to it.
>
> Slang and dialects are hard because there often is no formal education for
> them. The only way to learn is exposure.

We'd have to ignore all the useless insults (which are too common), of course, and only focus on practical words. I'm sure there's phrasebooks or videos on it, if looking hard enough.

It just boggles my mind, even after having watched a ton of Britcoms and whatnot, it's still noticeably different in many many ways. It's a true culture shock, and it certainly wouldn't be easy for me to adjust to such a place. (Not impossible but certainly confusing.) There is little in common due to such a vast distance and divergence of history. The pattern of thinking is entirely different.

> Yeah, our king decidedly went in a different direction (Argentinian :-)

Not to get too controversial (let's not), but due to his (rare, potential) Anglican succession, they had to change a few laws because of her. Somewhat strange, but it shouldn't be all that surprising.

> All former Dutch monarchal spouses were German afaik
> (Claus,Bernard,Hendrik,Emma,Sophia). We need to go back to 1840 for Anna
> Pavlovna of Russia to break that trend.

Wasn't the Danish queen half Swedish? Well, who cares, it's all the same (furious uproar ensues!). It's hardly shocking. I'd be more shocked if there wasn't a lot of cross-pollination (or whatever) in Europe.

(BTW, I was somewhat disappointed to hear that Australia has gone a bit crazy with citizenship requirements for its politicians, even contra those with dual British citizenship. It's already impractical that U.S. demands birther rights, but are others really so petty to demand such fake righteousness too?? Bah, politics, always complaining but never truly helping anybody.)

(Xenophobia is dumb, but the only thing worse is when such a buzzword becomes so common as to label most people that unfairly, for fake political purposes, which then defeats the point and waters it all down. The modern outrage culture sucks, always looking for someone to harass.)

> Old Frankish is even worse, since even earlier, you often don't even
> recognize anything as familar:
> Some common simple French words come from it

Does "France" come from "Franks"? Or only loosely? I know it was (part of?) Gaul (Gallic?). Well, after thousands of years, everything is half this and half that anyways, so the answer is probably "yes and no".

BTW, a while back I read a biography of one famous 19th century Frenchwoman from Normandy. The guy said people there look different, which I thought was a bit crass. But wasn't "Norman" similar to "Norseman"? IIRC, William the Conqueror was of so-called "viking" descent. Of course, what little was left 900 years later, if any?? (For instance, Iceland is Germanic, but they are loosely related to Norwegians and Scottish, according to Wikipedia.)

> Dutch(native),German(4y),English(6y). A bit of French(4y), usually enough
> to manage receptions of hotels, restaurants etc, if they are willing to
> listen.

So you've been to France and/or Belgium a lot? (I had a teacher who often vacationed in Belgium in the summers, for no obvious reason. BTW, my first Latin teacher was from France.)

> I wouldn't classify my German as entirely fluent, but I have done German
> tradeshows and spoke German on the floor. I'll probably would need to
> spend some months in Germany to really get a level further.

Immersion would probably help, yes, but nowadays you could probably learn online (or Rosetta Stone, Berlitz, or whatever, maybe even YouTube videos).

> > P.S. I've been listening to a lot of Sleeze Beez on internet radio
>
> No, but it seems there heyday were the eighties. Slightly too old for me, I
> was a young teenager then, and didn't really go to popconcerts yet, and
> they seem to have only one song that touched the Dutch TOP 40 rankings.

"Too old"? I mean, you're only six years older than I am (according to ancient FPC authors page, I already remembered but double-checked anyways).

I got my first VH CD in '93, and Sammy "left" in '96. So I was very young then too. If I had to learn from the radio, I'd have never become a fan. '90s radio never ever played anything from the '80s. That whole era was basically discarded entirely, for no good reason (maybe they burned out on it from overplaying it?). So certainly I understand if you never heard it on the radio. There are bands that are exceptions to that rule that were still played a lot (e.g. Led Zeppelin), but they were very few.

My point is that, even if uncommon, it's possible to become a fan of a band that isn't (mostly) active anymore. Certainly '87 (for a '73-born dude) is extremely young, but '96 (disbanded) ain't too far-fetched. But hey, even a "small" country like .nl can be "too big" to know every "local" band. I just stumbled upon them by accident on internet radio (which is nowhere near as shallow as local radio, you can halfway pick your own stuff).

Rugxulo(R)

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Usono,
18.09.2018, 20:20

@ Rugxulo
 

random trivia (sorry for off-topic)

> > The needs are also different. Spanish is much more important in the
> > Americas than in Europe
>
> There are certainly many native Spanish speakers, but most of them are in
> Texas, California, etc.

I forgot about the territories (Puerto Rico, Guam). Not exactly sure, but I suspect our friend Guti here is from the latter (notice that his blog post about Mr. Colligan is in Spanish). I'm mostly closer geographically to the former but have never visited. I guess those are similar in nature to Aruba, Saint Eustatius, etc? (Doesn't even the Netherlands have some ancient history with the kingdom of Spain?)

> > > BTW, British slang is extremely bizarre, and I'll never get used to it.
> >
> > Slang and dialects are hard because there often is no formal education
> > for them. The only way to learn is exposure.
>
> We'd have to ignore all the useless insults (which are too common), of
> course, and only focus on practical words. I'm sure there's phrasebooks or
> videos on it, if looking hard enough.

I meant that dirty/curse words are overused and somewhat useless. How many different ways can you call someone a "wasteman"? "Jammy bloke", "barmy git", "bloody tosspot, you know, the usual nonsense. Very bizarre.

> > > P.S. I've been listening to a lot of Sleeze Beez on internet radio
> >
> > No, but it seems there heyday were the eighties. Slightly too old for me,
> I was a young teenager then, and didn't really go to popconcerts yet, and
> > they seem to have only one song that touched the Dutch TOP 40 rankings.
>
> "Too old"? I mean, you're only six years older than I am (according to
> ancient FPC authors page, I already remembered but double-checked
> anyways).

Like I said, they had one singer for their first album (Tigo Fawsi/Belgian) but another for the rest (Andrew Elt/British). One of the guitarists has a YouTube page with some videos, but mostly I'm only listening via Slacker Radio online.

Top 40? I assume you're referring to "Stranger than Paradise". But the big one I was barely familiar with was "Screwed, Blued, and Tattooed." However, they had a lot of other good songs. "Heroes Die Young", "Rock in the Western World", "Scream" are also good. The big one with the original singer, IMO, is "Dyin' to Live" (now that's a perfect song!).

But maybe you don't even like that style of music, who knows.

marcov(R)

19.09.2018, 17:26

@ Rugxulo
 

random trivia (sorry for off-topic)

> I guess those are similar in nature to
> Aruba, Saint Eustatius, etc?

I've never been there. But afaik on most Dutch island, the "other" language is more likely to be English, not Spanish. Papiamento (a creole language with afaik a lot of Portuguese influences) is afaik spoken a lot on the larger islands, Aruba and Curacao.

On some of the Dutch islands (like Dutch part of Saint Martin) hardly any Dutch is spoken at all.

> (Doesn't even the Netherlands have some
> ancient history with the kingdom of Spain?)

Didn't have the colonies have some spat with the British over tea? :-D

Strictly speaking only the problem was Phillips II, so the King, not Spain itself. Who had a bunch of fiefs besides being the King of Spain including most of what is now Belgium and the NL(some of which was still submerged in that period)

But he ruled from Spain with much less feeling for local sensitivities than his father Charles V(who grew up in Ghent). So it happened that the Habsburg treasury was empty, and he raised extra taxes in the richest part of his realm (Flanders). At the same time he also stepped up Protestant prosecutions and one thing led to another. Some things were said, some people were executed, and you have a revolt on your hands.

> I meant that dirty/curse words are overused and somewhat useless. How many
> different ways can you call someone a "wasteman"? "Jammy bloke", "barmy
> git", "bloody tosspot, you know, the usual nonsense. Very bizarre.

Yup.

> But maybe you don't even like that style of music, who knows.

Hard rock was more in decline in 1990 here, though with a few exceptions (like GnR). Alternative was moving up, and the rave movement ran full tilt.

More so than in the US(at least, judging by MTV US VMA that I watched in that time).

Maybe they simply only got specialist venues, and since i didn't live in a major city at the time....

marcov(R)

19.09.2018, 16:37

@ Rugxulo
 

Interresting DOS forum in german

(sorry, I replied twice, but the post got lost due to problems with inlogging)

> Bud Spencer and Terence Hill:

They are indeed staple. Just like Louis de Funès movies and Don Camillo. (the original B/W with Fernandel, not the reimaging with Terence Hill)

These are like movie series that were rerun annually before cable, probably because the contracts between state broadcasters made it cheap.

The German dubbing is indeed sometimes funny. NL doesn't dub but subtitle except maybe a few things aimed at the very youngest (like Disney films).

The joke is always that dubbing countries are illiterate, but in reality it is just the size of the language area. Dubbing is simply more expensive.

> India is supposedly very multilingual, at least in some major parts (Tamil
> Nadu?). But I guess you can always find exceptions.

Afaik in India there is a very large monoligual Hindi segment of the populace, and likewise in China with Mandarin.

> There are of course "English only" advocates here, which I don't
> necessarily agree with. I agree that we don't really need more
> fragmentation, for its own sake, but a little courtesy (interoperability?)
> sometimes helps.

It depends. Specially it is hard on shared institutions (schools, healthcare, social workers and -security), which often can't reject people (but have to provide treatment etc)

> We have slang, but I swear it gets worse over the Internet, which amplifies
> (or even reinvents) everything. What you read online or see in movies is an
> exaggerated (or faux/new/trendy) version.

Slang is maybe a bit bigger in English, but happens in other languages too.

But a dialect (like mine, in the Limburg region) is nearly (wholly?) a separate language. There is a wikipedia division for it even.

> There are certainly many native Spanish speakers, but most of them are in
> Texas, California, etc.

Maybe a few in Miami too.:-D But point taken, it is no uniform distribution.

> > Frisian is Ingvaeonic,
>
> Ah yes, Malmsteen, famous Swedish (now American?) guitarist. :-P j/k


Ah, I assumed that known, since it includes English. Basically it is a subgroup of Western European that had similar soundshifts as English.

Similarly Southern German (and Swiss) dialects that are Allemanisch in nature are called Irminonic, and the less affected dialects, usually Franconian in origin are Istvaeonic,

Standard German is a mix of various dialects, Dutch developed from the Old Frankish language, but there are variants of that language in Germany too, that underwent the soundshifts and thus sound very differently.

Linked to that group is the other Franconian derived language recognized by a country, Luxembourgish

Note that these are all West Germanic languages, iow English' group. Norse (Daenish/Norwegian/Swedish) is a tad further away

> You mean Luther's translation or others? Apparently he also had a big
> influence on Sweden (et al).

Luther on German, Staten Bible on Dutch, King James on English. Before there were hardly books in the vernacular, mostly just Latin and/or French.

Which is why as first written (and widely read+distributed) work, they had enormous influence on the formation of standard languages.

> But has the widespread Internet helped or hurt?

TV and Internet makes it easier to keep skills current. I don't think it really helps much learning languages. Maybe a bit of pronunciation.

You still need education (or immersion) to really learn the language.

> I guess
> I have to be a bit cautious not to overhype it (since it's not exactly an
> absolute authority on anything, even if they think they are, but even they
> often can't agree amongst themselves).

It is less of a problem. International sites are only a fraction of the sites a person visits, and usually from big firms that translate the site anyway.

DVD/BD Movies sold here universally come with subtitling and or dub tracks for most major West European countries. TV stations are dubbed or subtitled.

It is different if you are in IT, but otherwise IMHO it shouldn't be overrated.

> AFAIK, only their mother (Eugenia) was from Indonesia, and she died in
> 2005. I've never seen much acknowledgement about her (or even the father,
> Jan, who died in 1986). I'm almost surprised I even know that much, but I'm
> a nerd, heheh, I like trivia. (I'd be good on Jeopardy.)

Yeah, but I assumed the parents met, married and lived there for a while. Seems to have been only quite short.

> It just boggles my mind, even after having watched a ton of Britcoms and
> whatnot, it's still noticeably different in many many ways. It's a true
> culture shock, and it certainly wouldn't be easy for me to adjust to such a
> place. (Not impossible but certainly confusing.) There is little in common
> due to such a vast distance and divergence of history. The pattern of
> thinking is entirely different.

Well, then brace for every Cockney, if you ever make it to London. Cabbies can seem to be unintelligible.

> (BTW, I was somewhat disappointed to hear that Australia has gone a bit
> crazy with citizenship requirements for its politicians, even contra those
> with dual British citizenship. It's already impractical that U.S. demands
> birther rights, but are others really so petty to demand such fake
> righteousness too?? Bah, politics, always complaining but never truly
> helping anybody.)

There are some constraints here too, and in the same period there was a bit of noise.

The bigger noise here was about Turks and Moroccans with dual passport returning to the other country but keeping social security based on their Dutch passport, often relating to those countries (and then specially Turkey) trying to influence their diaspora.

> (Xenophobia is dumb, but the only thing worse is when such a buzzword
> becomes so common as to label most people that unfairly, for fake political
> purposes, which then defeats the point and waters it all down. The modern
> outrage culture sucks, always looking for someone to harass.)

Yes. Definitely. Even the problems that there are (of which are dual passports are one per definition specially if such rights are inheritable since that promotes fundamental inequality) are usually totally glossed over with 18th century nationalistic sentiments.

> > Old Frankish is even worse, since even earlier, you often don't even
> > recognize anything as familar:
> > Some common simple French words come from it
>
> Does "France" come from "Franks"? Or only loosely?

Afaik from Francia, as in country ("realm") of the Franks after 800-900.
In that period the Frankish empire split, and in the end the south-western part kept the name and later became the core of France.

But it was much smaller than France now. (missing eastern third( Burgundy, Alsace-Lorraine, Provence ), as well as Narbonne. The English Plantagets also had claimes on Aquitaine.

France got only (roughly) its current borders under Louis XIV, 800 years later.

> I know it was (part of?) Gaul (Gallic?).

Gaul is basically Celtic France minus Provence plus large parts of Belgium as the Romans (JayCee!) saw it. Say around the time of Christ. (Gallic wars in the 50ties BC)

That was already pretty Romanized (as in Vulgar Latin speaking, proto-French) by the end of the Roman empire and the move of Franks south in 450 and seized control. But demographics prohibited their language getting dominance, so that's why France speeks French, which is not a Frankish language.

That's in a nutshell. Franks are divided in Ripuarian and Sallian too. The Sallian ones conquered France and were based in Metz and Bavay and later Paris. The Ripuarians had Cologne as main city.

> Well, after thousands of years, everything is half this and
> half that anyways, so the answer is probably "yes and no".

Roughly same territory, different period.

> a while back I read a biography of one famous 19th century Frenchwoman
> from Normandy. But wasn't "Norman" similar to "Norseman"? IIRC, William
> the Conqueror was of so-called "viking" descent.

Yes. Normandy was ceded as tribute to Viking/Daenish incursions in the 800 and 900 hundreds.

> Of course, what little was left 900 years later, if any??

Well, William the Conqueror was more 1066 so that is more like 200 years later, but afaik then they were already mostly frenchified.

>(For instance, Iceland is Germanic, but they
> are loosely related to Norwegians and Scottish, according to Wikipedia.)

Iceland afaik is 16th century Danish.

> So you've been to France and/or Belgium a lot?

My birth hometown (lookup city of "Roermond") is 5km from the German border, and say 15 from the Belgian border. We mostly made one day trips into Belgium, though I also stayed in Leuven, Brussels(Fosdem!) and Ghent a bit longer.

If you ever go there, I always like the Grand Place in Brussels. Very impressive.

In my teens we mostly went to France by car for our annual holiday. First handful years to the west coast, later years to Nice and surroundings, with Dordogne and ten days in Paris inbetween.

> (I had a teacher who often
> vacationed in Belgium in the summers, for no obvious reason.

I'm still planning a tour to Trappist Monasteries. Very educational.

> Immersion would probably help, yes, but nowadays you could probably learn
> online (or Rosetta Stone, Berlitz, or whatever, maybe even YouTube
> videos).

I'm beyond that level. I can understand and read anything.

(I'll move the Sleeze Bees bits to the reply of the other msg)

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