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  #61  
Old 18 Nov 14, 20:41
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From The Economist - Counting Words: The Biggest Vocabulary?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/johns...counting_words

excerpt
Moreover, many languages habitually build long words from short ones. German is obvious; it is a trifle to coin a new compound word for a new situation, as mentioned here. Are compounds new words? Is the German Unabhängigkeitserklärung, "declaration of independence", one word? It's certainly written that way in German. Given the possibilities for compounds, German would quickly outstrip English, with new legitimate German "words", which Germans would accept without blinking, coined every day. Just one quick glance at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's home-page finds Abschiedsvorstellung ("leave-taking performance", about South Africa putting on a display for the departing French in the World Cup), Weltmarktführer ("world market leader"), Stromtarifrechner ("electricity bill calculator") and so on. There's no reason to say "it's incredible how the Germans have a word for 'leave-taking performance'," because to create such words ad hoc is banal in German. This is even truer for Turkish, mentioned in that posting above. It not only crams words together but does so in ways that make whole, meaningful sentences. "Were you one of those people whom we could not make into a Czechoslovak?" translates as one word in Turkish. We write it without spaces, pronounce it in one breath in speaking, it can't be interrupted with digressions, and so forth.

So Turkish and German and a host of others like them have "more words" than English. And no fair disallowing Turkish and German's flexible word-coinage. If we do that, we have to throw out English compounds, too; no "shoelace", "windowsill", "phrasebook", "boatswain" and so on. We'd also have to throw out foreign-derived compounds like "television" and "geography". A mess.
What about a claim like "English has more basic words" or "word roots" or some such? Now we're in the territory of what linguists call "morphemes", usable roots or pieces of words. But in the domain of morphemes we also have to include "un-" as a morpheme, and "methyl-" and many other things that traditionalists wouldn't include under "words", and it's not at all clear English has the largest number of them either. Meanwhile, this disadvantages the Semitic languages like Arabic and Hebrew. They use a smallish number of three-letter roots to coin huge numbers of words. ktb has the basic "to write", but it generates at least 30 words (many of them, like verbs, inflecting into many more forms still). These take up two full pages in my dictionary, from katib, "writer", to istiktab, "dictation". So counting only "roots" or "basic words" gets us nowhere either, since counting ktb just once would be senseless.
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  #62  
Old 19 Nov 14, 06:46
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From matadornetwork.com: 20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world

http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-...und-the-world/
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  #63  
Old 06 Jan 15, 17:44
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From Deutsche Welle: German Protestants to revise landmark Luther Bible.

http://www.dw.de/german-protestants-...ble/a-18171554

excerpt
Evolution of a translation
That colloquial language has, of course, evolved over the years. So that the Luther translation would remain understandable, it has undergone multiple revisions. Luther himself made the first edits in 1545. In 1892, the first revision officially ordained by the Church was completed, only to be redone just two decades later.
In 1956, Germany's state-organized Protestant Church reviewed the New Testament again, following up with the Old Testament in 1964. Yet another revision took place in 1975, this time drawing heaps of criticism: Theologians, pastors and parishioners felt the new edition deviated too much from Luther's original wording.
The most recent revision from 1984, currently in use, rescinded thousands of changes made in the previous edition. Nevertheless, it still uses modern 20th-century German, according to Leipzig theology professor Christoph Kähler.
Now, 30 years after the last update, Germany's Protestant Church has commissioned the next revision of the Luther Bible for two reasons. Firstly, new linguistic discoveries have been made regarding the ancient versions of the languages used in the original biblical texts. This means, for example, that certain words in the Old Testament can now be interpreted in a different way. Secondly, according to Kähler, the Church would like to prepare a new edition of the Luther Bible to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
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  #64  
Old 22 Nov 15, 08:06
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Interesting you tube video I found, was on about.com German: How to Read in German


Last edited by lakechampainer; 22 Nov 15 at 08:15..
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  #65  
Old 31 Dec 16, 09:41
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lakechampainer is simply cracking [600]
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Very Interesting web site I found, has the most detailed information I have ever seen about how dialects moved across the country, including how they "backfilled" and how movements of small specific populations can be be seen decades and decades later.

I found the section on Northwest New England very interesting. My mother was born there, in North Hero, VT near the Canadian border, but moved to Boston when she was three, but she spent summers there. Her grandmother spoke mostly French. She didn't show much of an accent at all, except the Boston dropped r's. What I found interesting also was a section on the US/Canadian border, which described a second vowel sound being added by those on the Canadian side of the border - I can remember my great-uncle Clarence speaking with a feature like this - he lived on the farm until I think 1942.

Link to website - Aschmann.net

http://aschmann.net/AmEng/

Link to dialect map


http://aschmann.net/AmEng/#SmallMapUnitedStates

Article on the US-Canada border and "The Badge of Identity"

http://aschmann.net/AmEng/#CanadaBorder
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  #66  
Old 15 Mar 17, 21:49
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  #67  
Old 15 Mar 17, 22:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
For anyone interested in linguistics, I found a great Web site, which is run by the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. It is called the World Atlas of Language Structures Online:

http://wals.info/index
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  #68  
Old 17 Mar 17, 19:35
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  #69  
Old 18 Mar 17, 18:11
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  #70  
Old 22 Apr 17, 15:43
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From The Boston Herald/Associated Press - Icelandic Language at Risk: Robots and Computers Can't Grasp It

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/int..._cant_grasp_it

excerpt

But the revered Icelandic language, seen by many as a source of identity and pride, is being undermined by the widespread use of English, both for mass tourism and in the voice-controlled artificial intelligence devices coming into vogue.

Linguistics experts, studying the future of a language spoken by fewer than 400,000 people in an increasingly globalized world, wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the Icelandic tongue.

Former President Vigdis Finnbogadottir told The Associated Press that Iceland must take steps to protect its language. She is particularly concerned that programs be developed so the language can be easily used in digital technology.

"Otherwise, Icelandic will end in the Latin bin," she warned.
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