Friday, August 19, 2016

International Auxiliary Languages

An international auxiliary language (sometimes abbreviated as IAL or auxlang) or interlanguage is a language meant for communication between people from different nations who do not share a common first language. An auxiliary language is primarily a second language.

Languages of dominant societies over the centuries have served as auxiliary languages, sometimes approaching the international level. Latin, Greek and the Mediterranean Lingua Franca were used in the past, and Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Standard Chinese have been used as such in recent times in many parts of the world. However, as these languages are associated with the very dominance—cultural, political, and economic—that made them popular, they are often also met with resistance. For this reason, some have turned to the idea of promoting an artificial or constructed language as a possible solution.

The term "auxiliary" implies that it is intended to be an additional language for the people of the world, rather than to replace their native languages. Often, the term is used to refer to planned or constructed languages proposed specifically to ease international communication, such as Esperanto, Ido and Interlingua. However, it can also refer to the concept of such a language being determined by international consensus, including even a standardized natural language (e.g., International English), and has also been connected to the project of constructing a universal language.


Pater noster, qui es in cælis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,
sed libera nos a malo.


Up to 2,000,000 people worldwide, to varying degrees, speak Esperanto, including about 1,000 to 2,000 native speakers who learned Esperanto from birth.

Patro Nia, kiu estas en la ĉielo,
via nomo estu sanktigita.
Venu via regno,
plenumiĝu via volo,
kiel en la ĉielo, tiel ankaŭ sur la tero.
Nian panon ĉiutagan donu al ni hodiaŭ.
Kaj pardonu al ni niajn ŝuldojn,
kiel ankaŭ ni pardonas al niaj ŝuldantoj.
Kaj ne konduku nin en tenton,
sed liberigu nin de la malbono.


estimated 20 Volapük speakers in the world

So, Volapük is on this list for purely sentimental and nostalgic reasons. It was mentioned in the first book from which I learned about languages, Pikkujättiläinen. I think it even had some lessons, too.

O Fat obas, kel binol in süls,
paisaludomöz nem ola!
Kömomöd monargän ola!
Jenomöz vil olik,
äs in sül, i su tal!
Bodi obsik vädeliki givolös obes adelo!
E pardolös obes debis obsik,
äs id obs aipardobs debeles obas.
E no obis nindukolös in tentadi;
sod aidalivolös obis de bad.


Estimated: 500-3000? speakers

Patro nia, qua esas en la cielo,
tua nomo santigesez;
tua regno advenez;
tua volo facesez
quale en la cielo, tale anke sur la tero.
Donez a ni cadie l'omnadiala pano,
e pardonez a ni nia ofensi,
quale anke ni pardonas a nia ofensanti,
e ne duktez ni aden la tento,
ma liberigez ni del malajo.


Estimated: 150-1500? speakers

Patre nostre, qui es in le celos,
que tu nomine sia sanctificate;   
que tu regno veni;
que tu voluntate sia facite
como in le celo, etiam super le terra.   
Da nos hodie nostre pan quotidian,   
e pardona a nos nostre debitas   
como etiam nos los pardona a nostre debitores.
E non induce nos in tentation,
sed libera nos del mal.   


I won't learn any of these, because they are all so stupidly Eurocentered. One could just as well learn Spanish and English and be done with it.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

52 in 52: Conlangs

Of course I want to learn these. All of those mentioned. :-D

A planned or constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language whose phonology, grammar, and vocabulary have been consciously devised for human or human-like communication, instead of having developed naturally. It is also referred to as an artificial or invented language. There are many possible reasons to create a constructed language, such as: to ease human communication (see international auxiliary language and code), to give fiction or an associated constructed setting an added layer of realism, for experimentation in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and machine learning, for artistic creation, and for language games.

The expression planned language is sometimes used to mean international auxiliary languages and other languages designed for actual use in human communication. Some prefer it to the adjective artificial, for the latter may be perceived as pejorative. Outside Esperanto culture, the term language planning means the prescriptions given to a natural language to standardize it; in this regard, even "natural languages" may be artificial in some respects. Prescriptive grammars, which date to ancient times for classical languages such as Latin and Sanskrit, are rule-based codifications of natural languages, such codifications being a middle ground between naive natural selection and development of language and its explicit construction. The term glossopoeia is also used to mean language construction, particularly construction of artistic languages.

Artistic languages, constructed for literary enjoyment or aesthetic reasons without any claim of usefulness, begin to appear in Early Modern literature (in Pantagruel, and in Utopian contexts), but they only seem to gain notability as serious projects beginning in the 20th century.
A Princess of Mars (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs was possibly the first fiction of that century to feature a constructed language.
J. R. R. Tolkien developed a family of related fictional languages and discussed artistic languages publicly, giving a lecture entitled "A Secret Vice" in 1931 at a congress. (Orwell's Newspeak is considered a satire of an IAL rather than an artistic language proper.)
By the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century, it had become common for science-fiction and fantasy works set in other worlds to feature constructed languages, or more commonly, an extremely limited but defined vocabulary which suggests the existence of a complete language, and constructed languages are a regular part of the genre, appearing in Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings (Elvish), Stargate SG-1, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Game of Thrones, Avatar, Dune and the Myst series of computer adventure games.

The languages of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

I would like to say that there are plenty of invented languages around, most of them are not... hmm... viable. Like J.R.Ward's "Old Language". This is supposed to be the language the vampires spoke in Europe for thousands of years ago.

“The Old Language really was beautiful, Blay thought. 
Staring at the symbols, 
for one brief, ridiculous moment 
he imagined his own name across Qhuinn's shoulders, 
carved into that smooth skin in the manner of the mating ritual."
- J.R.Ward: Lover Mine
(Yes, there are people who have gotten a tattoo like this...)

Some words in this "Old Language"

ahvenge (v.) Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.
cohntehst (n.) Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female’s mate.
doggen (n.) Member of the servant class within the vampire world.
ehros (n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts.
exhile dhoble (n.) The evil or cursed twin, the one born second.
ghardian (n.) Custodian of an individual. There are varying degrees of ghardians, with the most powerful being that of a sehcluded female.
leahdyre (n.) A person of power and influence.
lheage (n.) A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to his or her dominant.
mahmen (n.) Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection.
newling (n.) A virgin.
phearsom (adj.) Term referring to the potency of a male’s sexual organs.
rythe (n.) Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another.
sehclusion (n.) Places the female under the sole direction of her ghardian.
wahlker (n.) An individual who has died and returned to the living from the Fade.
whard (n.) Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an individual.

Project 52 in 52: Japanese

 AJATT method - overview
(the old method. It has been improved a couple of times.)
I disagree about the flashcards. There is magic in handwriting. You will learn as you write with pen on paper... it doesn't work if you type it in some computer program. SRS isn't difficult or complicated to create with actual physical cards.

Hanzi, Kanji, Hanja

What's the difference of Hanzi and Kanji?

1) all these are the "Chinese letters"
2) there are differences. Especially in the pronunciation. Above are the romanized names of these signs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. In some signs the difference is bigger, in others smaller.
3) the meaning can also vary. Chinese signs have only one meaning, the Japanese have several. Nevertheless, most signs are either the same or close enough to say they are the same signs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A week of not being well

Long story short... ish. I have fibromyalgia. I'm pretty OK most of the time, but when something bad happens, I'm really ill. And it usually lasts really long.
Like for now, it's been a week.
I am really tired, I sleep at least 12 hours every day, and my body aches.
The worst is that I swell up, and that feels especially bad in my hands...
which means it's painful to write, both with a pen and with a keyboard.
Which means that for a week I haven't been able to write much.
And that is pretty important when studying languages.
For me that is, at least.

But... there's

They take really nice photos of language learning :-D

Anyway, my August goals were:

6 Weeks Challenge - study 8 hours every day
Super Challenge
Learn the 5000 most common French words, 100 words a day
Memrise French A1 - 15 minutes a day

I have managed to study 8 hours a day for 10 days. On 11th the FM bomb exploded, and I have managed to put in about 5 hours a day after that... and that was surprising to me. I thought it was less than that.

Super Challenge is "5000 pages read and 9000 minutes movies watched in 20 months"
That is 250 pages and 450 minutes every month.
I started 2 months late, so I have about 300 pages (278 to be exact :-D) and 500 minutes every month
I read 194 pages in July and so far in August I have read 244 pages.
Movie minutes are easily gathered, reading pages is not that easy.
It has been much of this lately, because that's about all I can do right now.

100 words a day stopped on 12th, because I can't type >:->
So so far I have learned 1900 most common words. I should be on 2200 today. I know I can catch up by learning 200 words a day, but I think I'll go easy on me and have a break, and start anew when I'm more OK.

That's also why my Memrise French A1 stopped. I'll pick it up when I am feeling better.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wolof: day 4

Next 100 words

Next short text

and day's extra: food, cooking, eating, hungry, thirsty, ordering food in restaurant, café talk, buying food at market, food vocabulary, cooking vocabulary

Uh. Lettuce is salaat in Wolof. Ceebu Jën is rice in fish. And banana is banaana. :-D

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wolof day 3

Ok... this is where it gets difficult... you see, it's day 3, so I should be writing in next 100 words on flashcards. But do I have next 100 words? That will be getting more and more difficult every day...

But, today's "job" is to find a short text. Here's Wikipedia in Wolof

Translate it. Find every word in the text, make flashcards of the words, learn them. Understand the constructions, idioms etc. Understand the text.

Copy the text on a piece of paper. Leave plenty of space between sentences and wide margins. Use black permanent pen

Parse the text. Use different colored pens to mark the subject and predikate (verb), draw arrows to show the dependence and relations, circle the pre- and postpositions (case endings) and other such things.

Look at the similarities, like
work-ER, teach-ER, driv-ER
- physic-AL, ment-AL
- close-LY, simp-LY, quiet-LY.

Learn to recognize a verb and plural form of nouns.

write your thoughts and ideas and suggestions on the margins.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wolof day 1

First things first: the alphabet

and the numbers

0    barra
1    been
2    ňaar
3    nat, net
4    neent, neneent
5    juroom
6    juroom been
7    juroom ňaar
8    juroom nat
9    juroom neent
10    fukk
11    fukk ak been
12    fukk ak ňaar
20    naar fukk, nitt
21    naar fukk ak been
22    naar fukk ak ňaar
30    ñettfukk, fanweer *)
40    neent fukk, ñent fukk, neneent fukk
50    juroom fukk
60    juroombeen fukk
70    juroomňaar fukk
80    juroomnat fukk
90    juroomneent fukk
100    temeer
101    temeer ak been
105    temeer ak juroom
110    temeer ak fukk
111    junni ak téeméer ak fukk ak benn
200    ňaari temeer
300    nati temeer
400    neenti temeer
500    juroomi temeer
600    juroombeeni temeer
700    juroomňaari temeer
800    juroomnati temeer
900    juroomneenti temeer
1,000    junne, junni, njunni
1,001    junni ak been
junneek been
2,000    naari junne

There is a memrise course about 100 most frequent Wolof words, but it's not complete...

About the language

I think I'll ask Ebrima to translate the gold mine sentences to Wolof.

Project 52 in 52: Wolof

I have a friend who speaks Wolof as his native language. :-D YAY! I get to learn something about a new language!

"Wolof is a language of Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania, and the native language of the Wolof people. Like the neighbouring languages Serer and Fula, it belongs to the Senegambian branch of the Niger–Congo language family. Unlike most other languages of Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolof is not a tonal language.

"Wolof" is the standard spelling and may refer to the Wolof people or to Wolof culture. Variants include the older French Ouolof and the principally Gambian "Wollof". "Jolof", "jollof", etc., now typically refers either to the Jolof Empire or to jollof rice, a common West African rice dish. Now-archaic forms include "Volof" and "Olof".

Wolof words in English are believed to include yum/yummy, from Wolof nyam "to taste"; nyam in Barbadian English meaning "to eat" (also compare Seychellois Creole nyanmnyanm, also meaning "to eat"); and banana, via Spanish or Portuguese."
- Wikipedia

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Project 52 in 52: Xhosa

Oh, yeah... I want to learn all of those! Sound interesting!

When it comes to languages, I want to collect all of them :-D Now, it is probably impossible for humans to master more than some 10-20 languages effectively and actively... but Miriam Makeba's language is an interesting candidate to know :-D

The other languages mentioned were Pawnee, Yupik, Silbo Gomero and  Pirahâ.