« first day (2721 days earlier)   

2:27 AM
@ChristopheStrobbe I just noticed that you speak mostly Western European languages. Dutch, English (C2), German (C2), French (C1/C2), Spanish (A1), Chinese (HSK3), Latin (now very rusty). Dutch, English, and German are part of the Germanic branch. French, Spanish, and Latin are part of the Romance branch. Chinese - this appears so random.
I personally know English, Spanish, and Chinese.
I once found a YouTube video about a person who spoke Swiss-German as a native language. Do you speak Swiss-German?
 
2:43 AM
From a Europe-centric POV, French and Spanish are the modern vernacular descendants of Latin. For a native Chinese person, that's like knowing Classical Chinese fluently and Standard Vernacular Chinese natively, as well as a couple of regiolects and other varieties of Chinese.
If the said Chinese person learns Tibetan, then that might be the equivalent of an English speaker learning Russian.
How Chinese people think about their language is quite unique in the world. Nowhere in the world are there hundreds of millions of people who think they speak mere variations of the same language!
 
@DoubleU That's quite interesting
 
3:01 AM
128 pages I'll try :D
 
This is a video depicting a speaker of Standard Mandarin Chinese with a Southern accent and a speaker of Mandarin dialect. Mandarin dialects are quite varied.
For many Chinese people, they place a high value on the written language, especially Literary Chinese, and it binds everyone together regardless of region and regional speech.
There are also specific cultural aspects that define the Han Chinese as one people.
 
 
4 hours later…
7:05 AM
@Riker Now you got one too :-) Zyerah beat you to the punch by just 2 days.
So far all of our Taxonomist badgers are people who've been around since day 1 of the site.
 
7:20 AM
@Randal'Thor Taxonomy of badgers:
 
@Alex I hoped somebody would do that.
Preferably as a family tree, but OK.
 
in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Nov 7 '18 at 16:01, by Alex
yesterday, by Rand al'Thor
@Alex Weird internet pedants think alike? :-)
 
 
2 hours later…
9:30 AM
@DoubleU I have also played around with other languages, e.g. with Finnish, Czech, Modern Greek, Norwegian and Slovak, but never longer than a few weeks. Chinese is on my list because at some point I wanted to learn a non-Indo-European language.
 
 
3 hours later…
12:31 PM
Inspired by this Q&A? :-) — Rand al'Thor 19 hours ago
^ Nah, when he asks it specifically this way, I always think of the Song of Ice and Fire. Obviously you get the same problem with only films (Star Wars), or only books, when authors make up entirely new stuff a decade or two later.
@ChristopheStrobbe "because at some point I want to learn a non-Indo-European language" => that reminds me of the language genie madore.org/~david/weblog/…
A blog question that asks what languages you'd want to know if a genie would offer you the possibility to magically learn a number of languages to perfect native speaker level without effort on your part.
@ChristopheStrobbe If you've already learned multiple different indo-european languages, then learning Finnish would probably be easier than learning Chinese though.
@DoubleU Technically, the United States together with Canada has about three hundred million people who think they speak the same English language.
 
1:03 PM
0
Q: What do the lines mean from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’?

Scarlett Evans ‘Reason I can’t pass the first grade,Mr Finch,is I’ve had to stay over ever’ spring an’ help Papa with the choppin’,but there’s another’n at the house now that’s field size’ ‘Did you pay a bushel of potatoes for him?’I asked,but Atticus shook his head at me. (Chapter 2)

 
1:17 PM
@b_jonas Yes, Finnish would be easier, but I had other reasons for choosing Chinese, such as the different writing system, Chinese culture (which is much older than European culture) and the expectation of attending a conference one year after making that decision.
@b_jonas Canada and the US don't use the same spelling.
 
2:01 PM
@ChristopheStrobbe Sure, it can be worth to learn it.
 
 
1 hour later…
3:09 PM
@ChristopheStrobbe I played around with Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and French, but that didn't last long.
 
@DoubleU Well, I won't go near Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese after my experiences with Chinese. There simply aren't any good courses for these languages where I live.
 
@b_jonas I was referring to the varieties of Chinese. Every place (省,市,区,乡,镇,村) has a local 方言 (regiolect). These regiolects are shaped by geography. So, some regiolects are mutually intelligible to some degree, but others are not, even within a few kilometers of each other.
Many Min dialects are neither mutually intelligible with other varieties of Chinese nor mutually intelligible among themselves.
 
3:33 PM
FANG, J. Y. (2015). “To Cultivate Our Children to Be of East and West”: Contesting Ethnic Heritage Language in Suburban Chinese Schools. Journal of American Ethnic History, 34(2), 54.
In the above paper, I think it mentions and details the history of Chinese schools in the United States.
A long time ago, the American education system was racially segregated. White people went to white schools; black people went to black schools; and Chinese people went to Chinese schools.
 
@DoubleU Based on statements I heard elsewhere, that seems to be an exaggeration. At least if yu mean, wherever you move a few kilometres, dialects/regiolects won't be mutually intelligible.
 
@ChristopheStrobbe There is a difference between spoken language and written language.
 
@DoubleU Indeed, and I was referring to spoken language.
 
As I was saying, the Chinese schools at that time were like day schools, teaching children to be literate so that they would one day find jobs back in the homeland.
The texts were probably Literary/Classical Chinese and Vernacular Chinese. But the instruction was taught in the regional variety. At that time, the Chinese immigrants spoke Taishanese and Cantonese. They weren't teaching Cantonese intentionally. They were teaching Chinese, but they used spoken Cantonese in class.
 
3:50 PM
@b_jonas Check the comments on the post I linked to :-)
 
@Randal'Thor yep, I saw that :p
 
@ChristopheStrobbe I think you live in Europe. One great thing of being in the US is the extensive public library system.
The public library literally provides our education.
Also, Chinese people love to immigrate to the US over minor European countries, because the job opportunities seem to be greater in the US.
The US has the world's largest economy.
My mother's former classmate emigrated out of China and settled in Denmark. The kids probably learn Chinese at home, Danish in school, and English as a foreign language.
Because English is a global language, English-speaking countries really don't need to learn other languages. Other countries would just implement English classes in the school curriculum.
However, many Americans are (1) native Spanish speakers, (2) fluent heritage Spanish speakers, or (3) fluent second-language Spanish speakers. Plus, America has a lot of immigrants of all stripes.
Private companies would have labels in English and Spanish... and maybe French.
Children of Spanish-speaking immigrants may have a range of fluency in the mother tongue, and birth order and time of immigration are related. A child that immigrated to the US at the age of 10 and naturalized as a citizen would probably retain Spanish as a mother tongue.
A child might be born in the US, and because of US laws, that child would be automatically a US citizen to foreign-born parents. Some Taiwanese parents give birth to American children and then raise the child in Taiwan. So, these Americans are culturally Taiwanese.
 
4:18 PM
@DoubleU Would you like your native language to be wiped out by English??
 
@ChristopheStrobbe I doubt it.
 
It's ironic that I had to write the above in English...
 
Some children of immigrants in the US are first-born children or only children. So, the parents may use the children as interpreters and translators. There are online articles about this. One advantage is that these children gain very high fluency in their mother tongue. One disadvantage is that these children have to deal with adult matters at such a young age.
Who is starring these posts? I see Mithrandir and Catija in the chatroom.
 
I'm hesitant whether or not to vote to reopen this question. On the one hand, the edited version seems more on-topic and answerable. On the other hand, it was not the OP but someone else (the answerer, indeed) who made those edits, so it's not clear that's actually what the OP wanted to ask.
 
@ChristopheStrobbe No, this is actually true in the most mountainous part of China.
 
4:26 PM
@DoubleU Starrers aren't necessarily in the chatroom; it's possible to star from the transcript.
 
@Randal'Thor People have access to the transcript from outside the chatroom?
 
@Randal'Thor I can't star anything.
 
^^ you can view that page without appearing as present in the room
@DoubleU Too many of your own posts?
You can't star your own stuff, from inside or outside the room.
 
@Randal'Thor I can't star other people's posts either.
 
4:29 PM
@DoubleU You have to click on the message options, with the dropdown on the left of a message.
 
@Mithrandir Ah, yeah, I forgot the UI is less intuitive in this case.
 
How do you access the transcript without entering the chatroom?
 
@DoubleU Here, experiment on this room.
The Sandbox is for experimenting with chat features. And since you're not currently in it, you can test viewing the transcript without joining the room.
... oh, well, now you're in it.
 
@Randal'Thor How do you know?
 
4:33 PM
@Randal'Thor No, I meant to say I could access the transcript without entering the chatroom. A long time ago, I wanted to access the transcript but the only way to do that was to enter the chatroom and type in the search box.
 
@DoubleU Yes, you can. But in order to do that for this room you'd have to, well, leave the room.
Hence why I suggested using the Sandbox, as a room you're not currently in.
 
@Randal'Thor Eh?
 
You can't "view the transcript while not being in the room" if you're in the room.
By definition.
 
@DoubleU The "mountainous parts of China": that doesn't sound like most of China, though.
 
@Randal'Thor But if the only alternative to revising what the OP wanted to ask is a...closed question, then an edited and possibly less intended question is to be preferred over a question that will ultimately just get deleted.
 
4:39 PM
@NapoleonWilson Yes, that's one argument. But if the OP is just going to come back and say "no, that's not what I meant" and edit it back to something closeworthy, then it'd be a waste of a reopen vote.
 
No, then you rollback to the reopened version and lock the whole thing for edits (well, not you, the moderators). ;-)
 
I'm not sure how I'd feel about forcing an OP to ask a question they didn't want to ask.
 
The alternative is asking no question.
 
If what they want to ask is off-topic, we can close that and EJoshuaS or whoever can post the on-topic version as their own question.
 
Depends on the severity of the edit. Seeing the specific question, the edits seem to just be fleshing out what the first paragraph already is about, though.
 
4:44 PM
If I was sure that the edit is reasonably within the scope of the original question, I'd VTRO.
But it could as well be the answerer editing to make their own answer fit better.
 
That'd seem a bit of an odd way around.
 
@ChristopheStrobbe I never said "most of China".
@Randal'Thor So... how do I access the transcript?
 
@NapoleonWilson I ... may be biased from some of the crap I've seen on SFF ;-)
@DoubleU Using the link I gave you.
22 mins ago, by Rand al'Thor
19 mins ago, by Rand al'Thor
@DoubleU Here, experiment on this room.
 
Oh, I see! People can search in the search box!
 
Yep.
You can search (as well as star) without entering the room.
 
4:51 PM
I tried that before.
It's weird how people are reading the transcript without entering the chatroom.
 

« first day (2721 days earlier)