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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Just Jargon

When you learn a language in a particular industry, you have a limited vocabulary


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13 comments:

  1. I haven't seen language based Itchy Feet in a long time...

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    1. There was the confidence / ability one just a couple weeks back...

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  2. Yup, that used to be me. Having only really learned English from books at university, I used to be able to talk about brains, but not about simple stuff.
    Fortunately, this improved when I got some foreign friends :)

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    1. Ah! That's my mistake. Just need friends.... *tear rolls down cheek*

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  3. I had the same experience. I learned Russian in the US Army. I could talk about the 54th Motorized Rifle Battalion coming to destroy your village, but I couldn't ask for directions to the restroom.

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    1. Interesting thing about situations one uses language for is that even for native speaker language perceiption changes when it is used in limited part of life. I moved out of Russian speaking region and now I only hear Russian from my friends or I read someting in Internet (including books), or I watch some TV shows translated to Russian. Its only two years, but I feel that Russian shifter to the more romantic and mysterious area in my mind. I heard few Russian operas in recording, I read more or less intellectual stuff, and apart of everyday jokes with some Russian speakers I don't meet the casual speech. Never thought that would happen to me.

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    2. Same thing is happening to my wife before my eyes. She's losing her own language! And actually it happened with my dad, too - he left Germany when he was 22 and only rarely speaks German now. Imagine someone leaving your home country in the 70s and coming back in 2017 - it's like his vocabulary has been hibernating since 1973.

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    3. I'm still in the area where Russian is lingua franca, so I still use it. But though I use it in my daily life, the areas of usage shifted: I ofthen find myself speaking Russian when everyone else speaks Ukrainian (the commoon case in friend's company to speak each one in their native language) - so I only hear it from myself. I watch Youtube in English only, but I read mostly in Russian, slowly being introduced to Russian Postmodern literature, and to translations of some authors to Russian. So at the end I'm mostly getting Russian in high or sophisticated style, the style of grotesque authors that I read. It shifts to images of mysterious and weird megaplises and mad and weird history of 19th and 20th century... Sorry for writing too much. tl;dr I never thought my native language would start being romanticized for me.

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    4. What is related to Italian is that it has wonderful literature. Maybe she'd want to take effort to preserve language through reading? "Il nome della Rosa" could be a good thing to start ;-)

      And Italian opera... you can find wonderful recordings on Youtube OR even visit local opera house! Italian opera is available in any opera house, if only you don't live in North Korea :-)

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  4. I live in Singapore and in my school, a large amount of non Chinese people choose to lean Chinese. I've found that even the ones in Advanced Chinese struggle to hold a basic conversation with someone like me, who learned Chinese as a second language via my family and community rather then in a classroom. I even went on a trip with them to China, and the most advanced ones struggled with any situation that they weren't specifically trained for. It's intersting as they know exactly what to say when there is a sale in a shop, or when there talking to someone about the layout of their home, but many things such as daily gossip and communication they are unable to do.

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    1. Yeah that's definitely a common problem. Sometimes the reverse is also an issue - I have a friend who learned German here on construction sites. He can shoot the breeze like a pro, but put him in any kind of professional environment and he sounds crass.

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  5. What does make do mean?

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    1. "Make do" is an expression that kind of means "deal with it" or "suck it up" or "go with it," all of which I know are also expressions :-/

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