Meanderings of an Amateur Linguist

Just me and my languages – a dangerous combonation

Archive for March, 2009

Heritage Languages

Posted by ILuvEire on March 13, 2009

As an American, I have roots from all over the world. I’m sure you do too (maybe not if you aren’t an American.) But have you ever thought of learning the language of your “people”?

Now I’m going to go on about myself, so if you don’t care then you can leave. It’s okay, I won’t say anything.

My biggest origins are Italian, German and Lakota. Much of my mom’s family is Italian(WHO REFUSED TO PASS DOWN THE LANGUAGE), but my greatgrandpa was Lakota (AND HE REFUSED TO TEACH ANY OF HIS KIDS THE LANGUAGE). Then my Dad is second generation immigrant, and…you guessed it HIS GRANDPARENTS DIDN’T PASS DOWN GERMAN OR YIDDISH. Of course, there’s also the Japanese grandpa on my mom’s side who didn’t want to pass down Japanese to his daughter. Thanks, by the way.

That’s right my whole family is filled with immigrants and NONE of them passed down the languages. They never even told me about being able to speak any of these languages! I just recently found out about my grandpa’s speaking Lakota (after his death no less).

So my life plan is to learn to speak all of these languages. I’ve studied every one of these languages to some extent (although I’m doing Cherokee right now, but Lakota will have its time).

What about you? Have you ever thought of doing something like this?

Posted in general, Languages | 7 Comments »

Currently Reading

Posted by ILuvEire on March 12, 2009

Hey there! I decided, why the hell don’t I make like three posts in a row!

Currently Reading

The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language by John McWhorter
John McWhorter is officially my FAVORITE author, ever. Ever. Period. I love his writing style, I can learn about linguistics, but still stayed interested. So, I’m reading every one of his books I can get a hold of. 🙂

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book isn’t bad, it’s just not my first choice. We’re reading it in my English class.

Recently Finished

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English by John McWhorter
This is the first McWhorter book I’ve read. I loved it, plus is was really interesting and gave tons of interesting info.

The Search for the Perfect Language by Umberto Eco
Sadly, this book put me to sleep. I’m quite sad to read something so bad from Umberto Eco. The info was really interesting, but it’s obscured by the dreary language. I think it might have been bad on the part of the translator though.

The Odyssey by Homer (?)
We read it in my English class. It would have been much more interesting if I didn’t have to do tests and annotation and notes and crap, or if I could have read it in the original Greek.

Anyway, these two linguistic books warrant a book review, coming up.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Language Awards!

Posted by ILuvEire on March 12, 2009

Thanks Diogenes!

Okay, so since I believe in Internet plagiarism, I’m stealing Diogenes’ idea (click the link above and check her post out. I’ll wait…)

Best Pronunciation: Arabic, baby!
Most interesting script, non-Latin: Hebrew
Most interesting use of the Latin script: Vietnamese
Script best suited to the language: Hebrew/Arabic (even tie).
Script worst suited to the language: Japanese’s kanji
Prettiest non-Latin script: Georgian
Prettiest use of the Latin script: Finnish

Most interesting phonology: Klingon
Least interesting phonology: Hawaiian
Most interesting use of loans: Vietnamese
Least interesting use of loans: English

Happiest language: Toki Pona
Angriest language: Russian
Hardest language: Georgian
Easiest language: Somish

Coolest IAL: Volapük
Dumbest IAL: Interlingua
Coolest conlang: Láadan
Dumbest conlang: I can’t award this one! Even the most boring Romlang takes work on the part of the creator.
Coolest conscript: Blissymbol
Dumbest conscript: Tengwar (it sukz!)

Posted in general, Languages, Linguistics | 3 Comments »