Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Esperanto? Interlingua? No! Esce Tu Parla Lingua Franca Nova?

I was looking up info on a recently-passed and fascinating I.U. professor -- a woman who showed "the tragedy of the commons" doesn't require a government to prevent (shock!), about whom I'll have more in the morning -- and stumbled over an "auxiliary language" with the fastest learning curve I have ever seen. It looks to me as long as you can speak English or one of the major Continental languages, you could be up to basic competence in an afternoon; which means you could get a group of people with no common language on the same page in a screamin' hurry.

Might be a handy thing to bookmark. Thank you, Dr. Boeree. (Yeah, yeah, we talk English here in the 'States -- but every once in awhile, you need to buy some donuts or stove bolts [etc.] from someone who doesn't and who may not live here, either. Pointing works pretty well -- works a treat at the Mexican bakery, in fact -- and pictures and numbers will take you a long way but a pidgin like this is a quick next step.)


kishnevi said...

Sounds a lot like a pidgin Spanish. on that whole Wiki page I caught about three words that would not be instantly recognizable as Spanish when read aloud. (Deutz, parla, and du-des, which I suppose is a mash up of French and Spanish (deux and diez). I'd probably have harder time with it because I'd always be using the Spanish equivalents (Aleman, habla, vente).

And my Spanish is very basic and limited, too.

Able said...

You speak English?

One may beg to differ (with a supercilious raised eyebrow [I've been practicing that for days for just this type of occasion]).

Oh, OK I know all you colonial types THINK you do but really! (Yeh, I know y'all Hillbilly types pronounce it more originally too but what's an Englishman got left except to pretend to be superior?)

And all these 'new languages' are entirely unnecessary, as any true born native English speaker knows - all you have to do is shout instructions very loudly and slowly adding either -i or -y to every other word. Johny foreigner soon catches on, What.

Roberta X said...


I do indeed speak English -- the "General American" dialect, with a faint Indianapolis accent. (We're right on some dialect dividing lines, and do things like split the difference between "z" and "s" sounds in "greasy.")

It's a far cry from "BBC English" or "Received Pronunciation," as I think it is known. (Not even the BBC seems to use it all the time! What's the world coming to?) There are plenty of flavors -- worked with a guy from one of the Anglophone African nations who spoke what he called "the King's English." Had to listen close to follow him but it was delightful to hear.

Jerry said...

I was REALLY proud of a female relative. Being a college grad is much better than me,IMHO. A degree, in another language. That should be a good thing. Am I wrong?

Roberta X said...

Who suggested otherwise?

John A said...

New Lingua - I only read a couple of pages, nut without much difficulty. Easier than Esperamto.

"English" vs "American" - I'll see the difference with a Highland Scots burr, and take the pot with Welsh!

Dougoas2 said...

"It is often thought that a language of emigres will change and become different from “what it used to be in the home country”, but more often than not the opposite is true: the emigres hold on to their language more conservatively than the speakers who stay in their homeland. This is true, for example, of the Russian emigres who speak more of a 19th century Russian than their counterparts in Russia. Also, Quebecois French is more similar today to 16th century French than the French spoken in France.

Similarly, Standard American English is in many respects closer to Elizabethan English than RP is."


Kristopher said...

We already have a LFN.

It is simplified English.


You hear it all the time in a lab full of H1b visa holders ... the yspeak it without any instruction, as they natuarally throw all the irregular stuff in the waste bin.

It is amusing to watch someone from England try to participate in such a conversation and get blank looks when his vocabulary goes to places beyond that bus's last stop.

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

One other good thing about LFN is the friendliness of the community: it was not created under the assumption that a lot of other IALs are, that all other IALs are failures and only this new project can hope to succeed. One of the most prominent users (the one who translated Alice in Wonderland, among other works) is also an Esperantist and there is a good relationship between LFN, Esperanto and every other IAL.

Marko Traviko said...

I've been learning it for a week now with my roommate. It's really is quite easy to learn and I've found it to be quite lovely sounding. I am surprised at how sophisticated the grammar is turning out to be. Not what I expected from a language based on creoles.

Raven Lee said...

LFN is indeed a very simple, but elegant language. A great resource for learners is their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2557990156/10155186295190157/?comment_id=10155188118840157&notif_t=group_comment

Feel free to join, as the community is very friendly.

Sarah Morrigan said...

I don't know whether LFN is like a "pidgin Spanish". Compared with other Iberian-Romance languages, French and Italian, many words in Castellano happen to be very different from the others. LFN feels more like a "pidgin Portuguese" or "pidgin Catalan" or perhaps "pidgin Galician." But certain grammatical elements of LFN are not at all European - perhaps unintentionally or maybe intentionally, it borrows aspects of Chinese grammar, in particular, formation of verb tenses not by conjugation but rather by adding a verb marker, as well as the blurry distinction between verb, adverb, and sometimes even noun (i.e. same word could function as any or all of these depending on how the word is placed within the sentence structure).

A mash-up language emerges wherever two cultures and two languages intersect. Macau has (now endangered) Macanese language which is a mix-up between old Portuguese and Cantonese. Southwestern U.S. has a dialect known as "Spanglish". In Uruguay some people speak something called Portenhol Riverence (Portuguese + Espanol). In working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, there is a distinct dialect called Lunfardo, which is a cross-between the Castellano Rioplatense and Italian. In the early 20th century, Japanese settlers in Manchuria developed a kind of trade-jargon called Xieheyu/Kyowago, based on Mandarin Chinese words and highly simplified Japanese grammar. In the 18th century, the British and American explorers to the Pacific Northwest developed the Chinook Jargon, which in turn was in part based on earlier intertribal lingua franca called Chinuk-Wawa (earlier Chinuk-Wawa differs from the later Chinook Jargon as the latter incorporated many French and English words; today "Chinuk-Wawa" usually refers to the latter, however.).