Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deconstructing languages

 Ok, Tim :-)

How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour
(I would say "how to learn the basics of any language in less than an hour")

* Deconstructing a language is one fo the distinguishing habits of the fastest language learners

* to learn a language quickly:
- deconstruct it
- choose wisely
- focus

* picking a language:
- phonemes - choose a language with few phonemes
- writing system - choose one with the same or similar writing system
- grammatical structure - choose a language with the same structure as your native language
- language families - choose a language related to your native language

* how to deconstruct a langugage:
find out:
- word order
- verb conjugation
- pronouns
- cases
- negation
from sample sentences, for example the following:

The apple is red.
It is John’s apple.
I give John the apple.
We give him the apple.
He gives it to John.
She gives it to him.

Ask the teacher to write down the translations in their proper writing system, transcribe it yourself using IPA

In Korean it is as follows:

The apple is red.
그 사과는 빨간색입니다.
It is John's apple.
그것은 존의 사과입니다.
I give John the apple.
나는 존에게 그 사과는 줍니다.
We give him the apple.
우리는 그에게 그 사과를 줍니다.
He gives it to John.
그는 그것을 그에게 줍니다.
She gives it to him.
그녀는 그것을 그에게 줍니다.

Is the apple red?
그 사과가 빨간색입니까?
The apples are red.
그 사과들은 빨간색입니다.
I must give it to him.
나는 그것을 그에게 주어야 합니다.
I want to give it to her.
나는 그것을 그녀에게 주기를 원합니다.
I'm going to know tomorrow.
나는 내일 알게 됩니다.
I have eaten the apple.
나는 그 사과를 (먹어 버렸습니다/먹어본 적이 있습니다)
I can't eat the apple.
나는 그 사과를 먹을 수 없습니다.

So... what do we learn from this? :-D

Note the 니다 It's the polite, formal way of expressing things.
나는 is I
사과 is the apple. Or an apple, apples, the apples...)
를 is the object suffix.
In the first sentence, "red" is the last word - which is the verb... so red is a verb in Korean? Could be... "being red" is a verb. I mean... how do you get that from the sentence? You don't! A person could understand it to mean that you don't need to use the verb at all, and that would be totally wrong, because in Korean the verb is the queen and you can say thing by using the verb alone, but never without it.

빨간 입니다
red - color - is

Uh. Now I have been playing with Korean a little too long, I'm getting tired. :-) 

What do we learn about Korean language from the Wikipedia article?

It's a language isolate, but could be part of the Altaic language family... which consists (or not) of several Asian languages, from Turkey to Japan... But the relationships are not as clear as with Indo-European languages. I suppose we Europeans are really, really, really interested in classifying things, huh? :-D
There MIGHT be some relation between Japanese and Korean, but not even that is in any way certain. There's about 25% similarities between the languages, but that could just as easily be cultural connection and not language connection.

Korean is a SOV language.

Korean is an agglutinative language

There is no gender in Korean, BUT the women's language differ from the men's language in some points

There is formal and informal language

Verbs are the most complex part of speech, and a properly conjugated verb may stand on its own as a complete sentence.
A Korean verb root is bound, meaning that it never occurs without at least one suffix. These suffixes are numerous but regular and ordered. There are over 40 basic endings, but over 400 when the combinations of these endings are counted.
Grammatical categories of verb suffixes include voice (passive or causative), tense (past, present, or future), aspect (of an action - complete, experienced, repeated, or continuing), honorification (appropriate choice of suffix following language protocol), and clause-final conjunctives or sentence enders chosen from various speech styles and types of sentences such as interrogative, declarative, imperative, and suggestive.

Korean postpositions are also known as case markers. Postpositions come after substantives and are used to indicate the role (subject, object, complement, or topic) of a noun in a sentence or clause.

There are pronouns :-D Pronouns may be subclassified into personal, reflexive, reciprocal, interrogative- indefinite, and demonstrative pronouns. And then you need to know if it's plain, humble, polite, intimate, blunt, familiar, neutral, deferential, adult or child, about a person or a thing... 

Negation is pretty simple.

Asking questions is pretty simple.

so... English kind of doesn't cut it.

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