• ryan@the.coolest.zone
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    182
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    5 months ago

    Real answer: these are actually real languages! They’re just conlangs, or constructed languages, instead of natural languages. The major problem with conlangs generally ends up being the limited vocabulary, but the grammar foundations are usually solid.

    I actually really like Klingon as a language because it was intentionally designed to be alien, and specifically to be very Klingon. Most languages are Subject-Verb-Object (like English and other Western languages) or Subject-Object-Verb (like Japanese or Hindi). Klingon, however, is Object-Verb-Subject - it’s very direct with the emphasis placed on the target of the sentence, which makes sense with the Star Trek world and Klingon culture.

    Fun fact, Klingon has at least one native speaker - some guy raised his daughter to speak Klingon as well as English. (I’m not a fan of this - on one hand, learning multiple languages from an early age is a huge leg up in being able to learn more languages in the future, but on the other hand Klingon is entirely useless as a primary language given its structure and the few other people who speak it.)

    • brbposting@sh.itjust.works
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      37
      ·
      5 months ago

      Speers was also the only person who would speak Klingon to Alec and the boy never saw Star Trek during this experiment, so didn’t ever see anyone but his father speaking it. As everyone else spoke English, Speers stated when Alec was about three years old, “He stopped listening to me when I spoke in Klingon. It was clear that he didn’t enjoy it, and I didn’t want to make it into a problem, so I switched to English…”

      Today the teenage Alec no longer is fluent in Klingon and reportedly can’t even pick out the meaning of individual words of the language.

      Wow

    • nikita@sh.itjust.works
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      15
      ·
      5 months ago

      Even cooler, in my opinion, are languages that are even further outside of common indo european language paradigms, such as Navajo which uses degrees of animacy instead of grammatical gender and Basque which uses ‘focus’ and ‘topic’ to determine word order rather than subjects and objects.

      • Zagorath@aussie.zone
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        8
        ·
        5 months ago

        such as Navajo which uses degrees of animacy instead of grammatical gender

        What makes their use of degrees of animacy not a use of grammatical gender? Keep in mind that even though it’s called “gender” because in European languages it usually maps in some way onto human sexual identity, linguistically speaking grammatical gender has nothing to do with human gender identity.

        • nikita@sh.itjust.works
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          4
          ·
          5 months ago

          Good point. What I meant is that it’s different from grammatical gender typical of European languages as you defined it.

          Grammatical gender is a bad name for such a general concept that goes beyond the social definition of gender. In fact, that term is a bit eurocentric.

          • Zagorath@aussie.zone
            link
            fedilink
            English
            arrow-up
            3
            ·
            5 months ago

            In fact, that term is a bit eurocentric

            Yeah without a doubt it is. There are a few non-European languages that use a masculine/feminine grammatical split, including Arabic and Hebrew, but both masc/fem and masc/fem/neuter are hugely prevalent in European languages, and I doubt the term got its name from Arabic linguists.

            I’ve just done some Googling and learnt that some people prefer the term “noun classes” rather than grammatical gender, especially when the classes are not based on human cultural genders. Other people make a distinction between what “noun classes” means and what “grammatical gender” is, using them for two different concepts. So apparently the term “grammatical gender” is not quite as uncontroversial within linguistics as I thought.

    • MystikIncarnate@lemmy.ca
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      8
      ·
      5 months ago

      That can’t be right. I’ve never heard of a language called Dutch. That’s just something they print on some food labels to make them seem better.

      /s for the dense.

      • pankuleczkapl@lemmy.dbzer0.com
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        7
        ·
        5 months ago

        The main verb is most often in the second position, the second verb you are referring to is a placeholder for an auxiliary verb that usually is a different form of a previously main verb

  • RizzRustbolt@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    75
    ·
    5 months ago

    It’s funnier with French because no one hates the Dutch language more than the Dutch, but France thinks everything it does is the best.

        • Lord Wiggle@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          11
          arrow-down
          1
          ·
          edit-2
          5 months ago

          It’s a stupid language making no sense at all. Weird grammer. Plus, it has weird sounds. Like the R and G, and flattened vowels. Whenever our prime-minister speaks English, it’s a massive shame factor for any Dutch person. Oh and not just the current bozo, the past several as well. Like if it’s mandatory to speak horrible English to become prime-minister or something.

          French accent? Super sexy. Irish? Scottish? Oeh yeah. German? So sophisticated, or a female with soft German: rrrrrrrr, melting. Italian? Spanish? Greek? Hell yeah. Norwegian, Danish? So bad ass viking. Swedish? Sure. Even Sud Afrikaans English accent is sexy AF. That language even originates from Dutch!

          But Dutch itself? Boner gone, give me a paper bag with 2 holes in it and fast!

          It’s not without reason English officially isn’t considered a foreign language in the Netherlands anymore. There are even talks about adapting it as a second national language, as the general knowledge of English is of a certain level, it’s getting close to Dutch. The only people in the Netherlands who are unable to speak English are a few boomers and some who haven’t read any book besides the Bible.

        • Rolivers@discuss.tchncs.de
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          7
          ·
          5 months ago

          The grammar rules make no sense and sometimes have more exceptions than cases it applies to.

          I’m married to a foreigner and regularly get stuck trying to explain why a sentence is the way it is.

          • force@lemmy.world
            link
            fedilink
            arrow-up
            3
            arrow-down
            2
            ·
            edit-2
            5 months ago

            The grammar rules make no sense and sometimes have more exceptions than cases it applies to.

            said the native speakers of like half the languages on this planet

            Dutch grammar is about as regular as most West Germanic languages (Germanic grammar tends to be relatively irregular compared to the norm though) but something that may make it less complex in many respects than languages like Icelandic or German is the total lack of cases (in the modern standard) and only 2 grammatical genders. of course, when looking at that part of the language, languages like English and especially Afrikaans are much more straightforward, with a complete lack of grammatical gender, as well as Afrikaans being very regular.

            Althoughhh Dutch, and English, do have extremely opaque orthographies in terms of reading, trying to figure out the pronunciation of a word based on the spelling is pretty much useless most of the time, which isn’t super common among writing systems. But that doesn’t mean anything about the languages themselves.

            But pretty much every language has a lot of speakers who think it’s super hard and a lot of speakers who think it’s super easy, when in reality no language is inherently hard or easy to learn – 99% of what makes a language easy or hard to learn for someone (other than motivation/passion/necessity/exposure of course) is how familiar it is to their native language(s) and other languages they speak. English speakers will go around saying “English is the hardest language to learn” or “English is the easiest language to learn”, same with Dutch, Hungarian, Hindi, Armenian, Tamil, etc. But English will generally be one of the easier languages to learn for people who speak e.g. German, Dutch, Norwegian, French (although the spelling is a completely different matter). Hungarian and Estonian will be relatively easy to learn if you speak, say, Turkish or Finnish. Ukrainian is pretty easy to learn for Belarusian & Polish speakers, Arabic will be easy to learn for Hebrew speakers. Japanese speakers usually find Korean extremely easy, and vice versa, while both may find English extremely hard, and vice versa.

            I mean learning a language well enough to use regularly at all isn’t easy by the slightest measure, and it takes thousands of hours of frequent study & usage, so when I say “easy” I’m speaking relatively. I find Russian knowledge far easier to get/retain than my German skills for various reasons even though German is more similar to the languages I know the best (learning material and liking the language obviously plays a huge part in this).