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Learning a language

Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
I'm learning Korean and my level is pretty low, however when I make even the slightest error some Koreans jump on it like I've just insulted their grandmother! Its gets me quite riled. I want to shout out "give me a break here!".
Of course I'm sure they appreciate the effort, but has anyone else had this experience while in a foreign country? I've heard English spoken in so many accents and at so different levels I've gotten quite adept at understand bad English. I'll correct the odd horrendous error but never in a condescending or stern manner. Maybe my Korean is just so bad...
Manav Mitra
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Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 44
I did have this experience when I was learning Kannada with some of my friends in college. I make one mistake and they'll all laugh hysterically.
It's strange how one perfectlly innocuous word in one language could get so offensive in another!
- Manav
Devesh H Rao
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Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

U must see my Module Leader goin ballastic when i mess up in java..
heee manav by the way "ninge kannada chanag bartadya "
-Devesh
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Manav Mitra:
I make one mistake and they'll all laugh hysterically.
I don't mind being laughed at, fair game. Its when they act like I'm a complete idiot for even trying! Sometimes its worse than trying to speak French to a Parisian.
Manav Mitra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 44
Hmmmm...
I understand! Fortunately, my friends were more friendly, though I never manged to learn that language.
Chris Baron
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Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Posts: 1049
Sometimes its worse than trying to speak French to a Parisian LOL
So it's the ABSOLUTE opposite to trying to speak italian in Italy !
Poor guy...hard learning conditions
basha khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2002
Posts: 516
why u r learning korean instead of hindi,urdu,spanish..etc.the reason?
basha
Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
yes that's my experience, too. They are very different.
French can be very humilating. I don't know french, but I've seen, when my father tried too talk with them.
English-speaking are very nice. Spanish-speaking too.
Maybe you are the first who is learning their corean language.
Chris Baron
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Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Posts: 1049
@Axel Parisians...OK? The ones with this "You illiterate worm"-Look
My experience is: the more southern you go, the more interested, patient and talkative the French get with ones pidgîn french.
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Christian Baron:
the more southern you go, the more interested, patient and talkative the French get with ones pidgîn french.
Definitely. I like France really, just stay away from Paris! Italy and Spain are the best places to hang out though IMO.
Most the Coreans are fine, just the odd few that really get under my skin. I suppose I could get angry and correct every minor mistake they made but that would just be childish...
Chris Baron
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Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Posts: 1049
Maybe you indirectly insult them with their grade of knowledge in English somehow.
[ June 04, 2003: Message edited by: Christian Baron ]
Joel McNary
Bartender

Joined: Aug 20, 2001
Posts: 1824

Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
I'm learning Korean and my level is pretty low, however when I make even the slightest error some Koreans jump on it like I've just insulted their grandmother.

Is Korean a tonal language? I know that Chinese is; the same word can mean different things based on how it is said tonally (high, low, middle, rising, falling, etc.) So, if you used the right word but said it wrongly, maybe you did just insult their grandmother!


Piscis Babelis est parvus, flavus, et hiridicus, et est probabiliter insolitissima raritas in toto mundo.
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
I did have this experience when I was learning Kannada
Do you mean Canadian? All you have to do there is add "eh" to the end of every sentence.


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
basha khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2002
Posts: 516
Do you mean Canadian?

kannada is an indian language.which is spoken in karnataka state in india.
english is truely expressive.but urdu is very poetric(urdu is an indian language)
basha
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Why is Urdu poetic? What makes it poetic?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
basha khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2002
Posts: 516
Why is Urdu poetic? What makes it poetic?
it's words and tone.i feel it's really poetric.every language has it's own charm.i said english is really expressive,because it got precise words for expressing emotions truely.like that,urdu got some charm in it's tone.for expression of romentic emotions/poetry urdu having it's own class.but it's not popular.
basha
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Do you mean Canadian? All you have to do there is add "eh" to the end of every sentence.
Sorry Basha, but it was a joke. It's my redneck sense of humor coming out. Most Canadians speak English and are sterotyped for ending every sentence with "eh" . Like "How ya doin', eh?" If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the movie "Strange Brew" and pick up a six-pack of Moose Head to enjoy while you're at it. Oh and don't forget the back bacon, eh.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Sometimes its worse than trying to speak French to a Parisian.

I must have been lucky. My impression was that they appreciated that I was trying to speak French to them first, instead of expecting them to speak English. Now there was generally little else the native French Parisians seemed to appreciate about their tourists, but I'll leave that for another discussion.
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
I must have been lucky.
My own limited experience was similar - people were fairly patient with me. I wasn't in Paris but rather Cote d'Azur, and it was just a few days, and my attempts at French were really Italian with an attempted French accent. Any time a word is nearly the same in English and Italian, it's probably also close in French, so that helped guide my choice of words to things I could get away with. Other travelers told me plenty of negative stories about French attitudes towards improper pronunciation, but my own experience was positive. Maybe it's just a Parisian thing?


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
French attitudes towards improper pronunciation
Proper French pronunciation, what's that, flip a coin and guess? You sure as hell can't tell from the spelling. :roll:
John Dunn
slicker
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Joined: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1108
I'm learning Korean and my level is pretty low, however when I make even the slightest error some Koreans jump on it like I've just insulted their grandmother! Its gets me quite riled. I want to shout out "give me a break here!".
I totally understand your situation. I married a Brit and she is endlessly correcting my American-English mistakes. She keeps reminding me that I can't really speak the 'Queen's English' and I remind her that we don't pay homage to Queens anymore, so its a moot point!!


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by John Dunn:
I'm learning Korean and my level is pretty low, however when I make even the slightest error some Koreans jump on it like I've just insulted their grandmother! Its gets me quite riled. I want to shout out "give me a break here!".
I totally understand your situation. I married a Brit and she is endlessly correcting my American-English mistakes. She keeps reminding me that I can't really speak the 'Queen's English' and I remind her that we don't pay homage to Queens anymore, so its a moot point!!

Thats right.
Youre wife is entirely correct. Youre a dirty colonial and you should know your place.
Now be a good chap and brew some tea what what? Tally ho!


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
John Dunn
slicker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1108
Youre a dirty colonial
Bloody 'ell!!! - Did you mean "You're"
--------------
I got the wife the 'The American Revolution for Dummies' so she can UNDERSTAND the sacrifices that MY forefathers made when HER forefathers tossed 'em out the country.
(Actually, Tony Blair has done a lot to keep my wise-ass remarks in check.)
Mark Howard
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Joined: Feb 14, 2001
Posts: 285
Worst translation experience I had was trying to buy a train ticket out of Gdansk in Poland. The words I'd picked from my pocket Berlitz dictionary were clearly so badly assembled that the lady behind the counter couldn't refrain from standing up and hurling what I gather were obscenities at me for about ten minutes.
I was rescued by a young Polish guy standing behind me in the queue, who I learned had been studying at a university in Paris. His empathy for me was probably influenced by his own battle to be understood in France.
All I wanted was a %$#% train ticket
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Why is Urdu poetic? What makes it poetic?

Urdu is poetic, because it has word for all moods, you think of your mood, you have different word.
What else you need to write a poetry... 1000s of word for same thing with a twist
And second pronunciation is very important.
Jazbaat OR Jajbaat [means sentiments] cant be pronounced same.
Even Hindi language has some alphabets just because of Urdu. Though these words are not found in elementry alphabet books[books for children] but are very much in use in Hindi litreature
And now its too much mingled with Hindi, that lot of people dont know that its Urdu word.
If I am not wrong then there are some Urdu words are also in Russia like Dost [friend], Darwaza [door]......
Really it piss me off when some people pronounce Urdu wrong, its better they speak Hindi or English.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Chris Baron
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Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Posts: 1049
My funniest translation experience - in France - :
I tried to get another pillow. Using Jim's tactic i thought the english cushion, pronounced french, will fit. So i asked for something that sounded like cochon...wich means pig
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Joel McNary:
Is Korean a tonal language? I know that Chinese is; the same word can mean different things based on how it is said tonally (high, low, middle, rising, falling, etc.)
No, but all the words sound the same (well to my ears!) and the verb endings change depending on who you're speaking to so two sentences can sound completely different and have exactly the same meaning. I'll get there in a few years...
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
One embarrasing translation experience occurred with a New Zealander while I was working in a supermarket during my student days.
She asked me for some pigs. I looked confused thinking she meant bacon and started to lead towards the meat.
She said, "No, pigs, pigs, you know, for the lion?". Oh right for the lion! You must mean pork - thinking where does she keep a lion? This is Cambridge!.
"No, no, pigs, pigs!! Pigs for the lion, you know for wet clothes! My washing lion!".
Hmmmmm, was my face red.
San Su
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Joined: Jul 06, 2001
Posts: 313
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
"No, no, pigs, pigs!! Pigs for the lion, you know for wet clothes! My washing lion!".

I still don't get it.. What is "washing lion"? and "Pigs for lion" related to wet clothes. I never heard of'em
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006

Shankar.. its actually meant to be "pegs" for the "Washing line"


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
San Su
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 06, 2001
Posts: 313
Originally posted by Sriraj Rajaram:

Shankar.. its actually meant to be "pegs" for the "Washing line"

ahh.. I got it now..
Mark Howard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 14, 2001
Posts: 285
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
One embarrasing translation experience occurred with a New Zealander while I was working in a supermarket during my student days.

I know, I know. My wife is a Kiwi
And then there was the bloke in the States who looked at me very strangely when I asked if he needed a 'lift'.
How did the English language get into such a mess?
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
You guys think accents are bad?? Wait until you hear some Black English..
Michael Morris would probably be able to provide better example but here are a few:
1. Wassup Dawg!
2. Its a Black Thang (Meaning he's thinking with his penis)
3. You're bad. (Meaning you're a good person)
Francis Siu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 867
Is Korean a tonal language? I know that Chinese is; the same word can mean different things based on how it is said tonally (high, low, middle, rising, falling, etc.) So, if you used the right word but said it wrongly, maybe you did just insult their grandmother!
I think the statement contains little bit bug . If someone wants to insult the others, they must say the "profanity word"(exact the pronunciation) adding some strong feeling of angry.
It means that it is very difficult to insult others.
I can give some hits if all the ranchers whose want to travel Hong Kong.
Do not try to speak Chinese if you do not know the exactly pronunciation, because it is very easy to involve the insulting pronunciation.
If you want to produce a good environment,try to speak more chinese,you will produce more funny harmless joke.
But in the case of Richard, I think Korean who without sense of humor.


Francis Siu
SCJP, MCDBA
Manav Mitra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 01, 2003
Posts: 44
Yeah, Urdu is probably the most beautiful and poetic language ... ever!
It's sort of rhetoric at times and borrows many words from parsian, but as for it's riches and beauty, unmatched.
Talking of funny translations, here in Maharashtra where I stay, the word "Kundi" means (in marathi) a pot for plants ... however it means something else in Kannada (Ask Devesh!)... and my friends would tease me - What do u want to put in your "Kundi"?
Devesh H Rao
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Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

ya u could probably plant a "cacti" in a "kundi" but pls not in mine..
 
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subject: Learning a language