dialect

Abodja, Adinda, Adnyamathanha, Adyinuri, Aghu-Tharngala, Agwamin, Aji, Alawa, Algan(Wig-), Alngith, Alura, Alyawarre, Amangu, Ami, Amurrag, Anaiwan, Andajin, Andigiribinha, Angkamuthi, Anguthimri, Anindilyakwa, Anjingid, Antikirinya, Arabana, Aragawal, Arawari, Aridinngidhigh, Arngam, Arrernte, Awabakala, Ayabadhu, Ayerrerenge, Ba rangu, Ba:na, Ba:nggala, Baanbay-Ahnbi, Badimaya, Badjalang, Badjiri, Bagandji, Baganu, Balardung, Balgalu, Balmawi, Banambila, Bandjagali, Bandjin, Banjgaranj, Banyjimad, Baraban, Baradaybahrad, Baramangga, Baranbinja, Baraparapa, Bardi, Bardrdala, Barunggama, Batjala, Bayali, Bedaruwidj, Bemba, Berrkali, Biangil, Bibbulmann, Bidawal, Bidia, Bididji(Gugu-), Bidjara, Bigambul, Bilamandji, BilinBilin, Bin-gonginad, Binbinga, Bindal, Binggu, Binjarub, Birbai, Birdingal, Biri, Birladapa, Birniridjara, Bolali, Bouliboul, Brabirawilung, Brabralung, Braiakaulung, Bratauolung, Buan, Bugongidja, Bugula, Bujibada, Bujundji(Gugu-), Buluguda, Buluwandji, Bun wurrung, Bunara, Bundhamara Punthamara, Buneidja, Bungandidjk (=Buandig ), Bunggura, Bunuba, Bural-bural, Buranadjinid, Burarra, Cabbee, Coastal Lamalama, Da:rdiwuy, Da:wa(Gugu-), Dadi-dadi, Dagoman, Daguda, Dainiguid, Dajoror, Damala, Dambu-gawumirr, Danganegald, Dangbon, Darambal, Dargudi, Daribelum, Darkinyung, Darmarmiri, Daungwurrung, Debidigh, Dhaapuyngu, Dhalla, Dhalwangu, Dhanggagali, Dhanggatti, Dharug, Dharumba, Dhawa, Dhayyi, Dhiyakuy, Dhuduroa, Dhurga, Ding-Ding, Diraila, Dirari, Diyari, Djabadja, Djabwurrung, Djadja wurrung, Djadjala, Djagaraga, Djagunda, Djalarguru, Djalgandi, Djamandja, Djambarrpuyngu, Djambarrpuyngu, Djandjandji, Djangun, Djapu, Djarawala, Djargudi, Djarn, Djarrwark, Djerag, Djeraridjal, Djerimanga, Djial, Djidjijamba, Djinang, Djinba, Djirin, Djiru, Djuban, Djulngai, Djungurdja, Do:dj, Dolpuyngu, Dudu, Dulua, Dungidjau, Dyeraid, Dyirbal, Dyirringany, Dyowei, Eastern Torres Strait, Eora, Gabalbaral, Gabin, Gadang, Gadyarawang, Gagadju, Galali, Galawlwan, Galibamu, Galpu, Galwa, Galwangug, Gamberra, Gambuwal, Gamilaraay, Ganalpuynguh, Ganganda, Ganggalida, Gangulul, Garama, Garandi, Garanggaba, Garanguru, Garanya, Garawa, Garendala, Garingba, Garmalanggad, Garuwali, Gawambaray, Gay-Gay, Gayiri, Geawegal, Geinyan, Giabal, Gidabal, Gidjingali, Gigi, Gilibal, Gingana, Giraiwurung, Girramay, Giya, Go:la, Gobadeindamirr, Goinbal, Going, Golpa, Gonani:n, Gonggandji, Gonin, Gonjmal, Gooniyandi, Goreng, Goreng goreng, Grawadungalung, Gudabal, Gudjala, Gudjalavia, Gudjandju, Gugada, Gugu Warra, Gugu Yalanji, Gugu-Badhun, Gugu-Dhayban, Gujambal, Gujangal, Gulin, Gulngay, Gulumali, Gulunggor-Gulungo, Guluwarin, Gumatj, Gumbainggirr, Gun-djeihmi, Gunardba, Gunavidji, Gundara, Gundidy, Gundudj, Gundungura, Gungabula, Gungadidji, Gungaragan, Gunggalenjad, Gunggarbara, Gunggari, Gunggariganhgg, Gunindiri, Gunjbarai, Gunya, Gupapuyngu, Guragone, Gurdu(-wanga), Gureendyi, Gurindji, Gurnuornu, Gurung, Gurungada, Guugu Yimithirr, Guurindyi, Guwa, Guwamu, Guwij, Guyangal, Gwandera, Gwijamil, Ia:d, Ibarga, Indjilinji, Inggarda, Iningai, Jaabugay, Jabirr jabirr, Jagalangu, Jalugal, Jalung (Gugu-), Jalunju(Gugu-), Jambina, Jaminjung, Jan(Gugu-), Janari, Janggondju, Janjango, Janju(Gugu-), Jardwadjali, Jaru, Jawa(Gugu-), Jawaraworgad, Jawi, Jawoyn, Ji:randali, Jiduwa, Jingilu, Jirgandji, Jiwarli, Jugaiwadha, Jukun, Jurruru, Juwula, Kala, Kalaku, Kalamaya, Kalkatungu, Kamu, Kanai, Kaniyang, Karajarri, Kariyarra, Kaurna, Kayardild, Kaytetye, Kija, Kiyajarra, Kokatha, Koko bera, Kolakngat, Ku-ring-gai, Kugu-Muminh, Kukatj, Kukatja, Kulin, Kunbarlang, Kune, Kunjen, Kunwinjku, Kurrama, Kurtantji, Kurtjar, Kuthant, Kuuku-Ya u, Kuwarra, Kuyani, Kwini, Ladamngid, Ladji-Ladji, Lama-Lamai, Lamami, Laragiya, Lardil, Lewurung, Linngithigh, Liyagalawumirr, Luritja, Luthigh, Mabuyag, Madarrpa, Madhi-madhi, Madngele, Madoidja, Magalranalmiri, Maia, Maidjara, Majuli, Malak Malak, Malara, Malarbardjuradj, Malardordo, Malkana, Malngin-Maialnga, Malyangapa, Mamangidigh, Mamu, Mamwura, Manatja, Mandandanji, Mandelpi, Mandjigai, Mangarayi, Mangarla, Mangeri, Manggalili, Mangu, Mangula, Manjiljarra, Manu, Manunguy, Mara, Maradanggimiri, Maramanindji, Marangu, Maranunggu, Mararba, Marawara, Maraway, Mardidjali, Margany, Margu, Marrakulu, Marrithiyel, Martuthunira, Martuwangka, Marulda, Marungun, Maung, Mawula, Mayali, Mayi-Kulan, Mayi-Kutuna, Mayi-Thakurti, Mayi-Yapi, Mbabaram, Mbambylmu, Mbara, Mbiywonn, Mbo aru, Meindangg, Meriam, Mian, Midhaga, Midjamba, Milamada, Miliwuru, Min-kin, Minang, Mini(Gugu-), Minjangbal, Miriwoong, Mirning, Miwa, Moil, Mpalityanh, Mudalga, Mudumui, Muluridji(Gugu-), Mulyara, Mun-narngo, Munumburru, Muralag, Murngin, Murrinh, Murumidja, Muruwari, Mutpurra, Nabarlgu, Nada (-jara) (-wanga), Nakkara, Nalawgiynhahlhaw, Nambuguja, Nangadadjara, Nanggumiri, Nangiblerbid, Nangorg, Narangga, Nargala, Nargalundju, Nari-nari, Narrinyari, Natanya, Nawo, Ndorndorin, Ndra ngidh, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngaatjatjara, Ngadhugudi, Ngadjuri, Ngagu, Ngajan, Ngaladu, Ngalakan, Ngalgbon, Ngalia, Ngaliwuru, Ngambaa, Ngamini, Ngandangarad, Ngandi, Ngandjar (Wig-), Ngangurugu, Ngarduk, Ngarigu, Ngarinyin, Ngarinyman, Ngarkat, Ngarla, Ngarluma, Ngaro, Ngatjumaya, Ngawait, Ngawun, Ngayawung, Ngayimil, Ngengenwurung, Ngewin, Nggerigudi, Ngindadj, Ngiyampaa, Ngkoth, Ngoera, Ngorbur, Ngu rand, Nguburindi, Ngugi, Ngumbarl, Ngunawal, Nguramola, Nguri, Ngurlu, Ngurlu, Nhanta, Nhuwala, Nimanburru, Njegudi, Njirma, Njunggal(Gugu-), Njuwadhai, Nordanimin, NorweilimilLemil, Ntrangith, Nuguna, Nundjulbi, Nungali, Nungara, Nunggubuyu, Nungulrulbuy, Nunugal, Nyagi-Nyagi, Nyamal, Nyangga, Nyangumarta, Nyawaygi, Nyikina, Nyininy, Nyiyaparli, Nyulnyul, Ogerliga, Oidbi, Olgol, Palyku, Payungu, Pinikura, Pintupi, Pitjantjatjara, Pitta-pitta, Portawulun, Pulinara, Purduna, Putijarra, Raggaja, Raijang, Ralwia, Ramindjari, Rarmul(Gugu-), Rembarrnga, Rereri, Ribh, Ringu-ringu, Rirratjingu, Ritharrngu, Takalak, Thaayorre, Thalanyji, Tharrkari, Thiin, Tiwi, Tjungundji, Ulaolinja, Ulwawadjana, Umbindhamu, Umbuigamu, Umpila, Ungawangadi, Unggumi, Unjadi, Urningangg, Waanyi, Wad:a, Wada wurrung, Wadi-Wadi, Wadi-wadi, Wadi(-wanga), Wadigali, Wadja, Wadjabangaid, Wadjingi:n, Wadyalang, Wagaman, Wagara (Gugu-), Wagelag, Wageman, Waiangara, Waidjinga, Wailywan, Wajarri, Wajuk, Wakaya, Wakirti, Wakka-wakka, Walajangarri, Walamangu-Walamangu, Walandja(Gugu-), Walangama, Walbanga, Walboram, Waldja(Gugu-), Walgal, Walgi, Walmajarri, Walmbaria, Walu, Walyan, Wampaya, Wandandian, Wangaypuwan, Wanggamala, Wanggamanha, Wangganguru, Wanggadyara, Wanggara, Wanggatha/Wangkatja, WanggumaraWangkumara, Wangurri, Wankan, Wanudjara, Wanyiwarlku, Wanyjirra, Wanyurr, Wardal, Wardaman, Wardandi, Wardibara, Wareidbug, Wargi, Warlmanpa, Warlpiri, Warndarang, Warnman, Warramiri, Warray, Warrgamay, Warriyangka, Warrumungu, Warrungu, Warrwa, Watjanti, Wawula, Waygur, Wemba, Wembria, Wengej, Widi, Widjabal, Widjandja, Widjilg, Wiilmana, Wik-Epa, Wik-Me anha, Wik-Mungkan, Wik-Ngathana, Wik-Ngathara, Wik-ompona, Wilawila, Wilingura, Wilyagali, Wilyali, Wilyara, Wimarangga, Wiradjuri, Wirangu, Wirdinya, Wiri, Wiriyaraay, Witukari, Wogait, Woljamidi, Wonganja, Wonggadjara, Wonnarua, Woralul-Uronlurl, Worgabunga, Worla(ja), Worrorra, Wotjobaluk, Wubulkarra, Wudhadhi, Wudjaari, Wulagi, Wulbudyibur, Wulguru, Wulwulam, Wunambal, Wunumarad, Wurangu, Wurangung, Wurungugu, Wuy wurrung, Yabula-Yabula, Yadymadhang, Yakara, Yalanga, Yanda, Yandruwantha, Yanga, Yangga, Yangkaal, Yangman, Yanhangu, Yankunytjatjara, Yanyuwa, Yaraldi, Yaraytyana, Yardliyawara, Yari-Yarit, Yarluyandi, Yawuru, Yaygirr, Yidiny, Yiiji, Yilba, Yilngali, Yiman, Yindjibarndi, Yinhawangka, Yinwan, Yir Yoron, Yirawirung, Yitha Yitha, Yiwayja, Yorta yorta, Yu-yu, Yu:ngai, Yuat, Yubumbee, Yugambal, Yugul, Yuin, Yukulta, Yulparija, Yumu, Yunggor, Yuru, Yuwaalaraay, Yuwibara
—  These are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that existed prior to British invasion. There were around 250 languages and around 600 dialects. Now, only 145 Indigenous Australian languages exist with 110 of them being “critically endangered”.
Japanese Dialects Masterpost

Dialects can be fun and offer cultural insight. They may be useful to learn, though usually only if you have geographical links to a specific area of Japan- perhaps you have family there, personal heritage there, you live there, or are going to do a language exchange in a specific area. Linguists may also be interested just because they are really interesting.


In almost all instances for non-Japanese people learning to understand a dialect when it’s spoken/written (rather than produce it in your own speech) would suffice for communication. As far as I can see the best reason to learn to actually speak a dialect is because you want to communicate with elderly people from that region specifically; most young people have had far more media exposure so they can easily use ‘standard Japanese’/ Tokyo dialect.


If a non-native Japanese speaker learns a dialect and can’t speak standard Japanese, they may find they are seriously limited in conversations and people will inevitably find it weird. They might just find they are incomprehensible:

I spent three years living in Nemuro, the easternmost town in Hokkaido. […]  Hokkaido-ben is often misunderstood outside Hokkaido, Nemuro-ben can’t be understood even in the next town over. So it’s basically useless unless you’re planning a trip to Nemuro (which I would recommend.) However, it does show how many variations there are in dialect, even within one island.’ [Tofugu, my emphasis]


Someone with a low communicative ability in English who could only speak using Cockney rhyming slang, but didn’t know standard English unfortunately would sound ridiculous to natives of that area. It would seem crazy to know 'You’re 'aving a bubble mate!’, but not ’You must be joking!’. They’d sound odd and in many instances their language would sound antiquated. Be aware that you may well get a similar reaction if you pepper your speech with regional dialect as a non-Japanese person without being conversationally fluent in standard Japanese. I’m not saying don’t learn dialects, please do if they interest you, learning to understand them when you hear them, rather than necessarily use them in your own speech, is a great idea. If you want to speak in them, please try to do it all in good time and in a respectful way that is not accessorizing the language and culture.

For beginners:

Many of the resources here will be only in Japanese, as this post is aimed at higher intermediate and advanced learners. The section below is in mostly English and will give you a general overview if you’re interested:


For intermediate and Advanced learners:

I’ve organised this by prefecture, but it’s worth noting that some prefectures contain several dialects and I’m by no means an expert, I hope the Tumblr Japanese learning community can contribute to and help improve this post.

General:

Wikipedia has a lot of basic introductory information on dialects, there are almost certainly dialects I’ve missed from this list, if you search for the prefecture or geographical location and the word 弁 or 方言 then you’re likely to find a dialect, even if it isn’t simply called [place name]弁.


Hokkaidō |  Hokkaidō ben dictionary |  Hougen.u-biq |  Tofugu introducation to Hokkaido ben

Aomori |  Goo Aomori ben dictionary |  Japanesepod101 1 2 3 4 5 |  animation about Aomori ben  |  Kindle book written in Aomori ben

Iwate |  Phrase guide  |  dialect dictionary

Miyagi |  Hougen.u-biq | Vocabulary | Introduction to Miyagi ben | Sendai ben

Akita |  Akita ben course  |  How to use in Akita ben  |  How to use in Akita ben

Yamagata |  A few introductory phrases  | Yamagata ben phrases  |  Yamagata ben dajare  |  Yamagata ben grammar

Fukushima |  Fukushima ben Dictionary  |  Usage guide

Ibaraki |  Ibaraki ben dictionary |  Learn Ibaraki ben phrases

Tochigi | Tochigi ben guide to pronunciation and expressions | Tochigi ben dictionary |

Gunma | Five page vocabulary guide | 7 lesson course in speaking Gunma ben

Saitama | North Saitama dialect vocabulary | Phrases | More vocabulary | Saitama ben dictionary on Goo

Chiba | East Chiba dialect | Learn Bōsō dialect | Another Bōsō website | Bōsō dialect quiz | Sotobō dialect guide

Tokyo | dictionary |  Tokyo dialect on Jlect | Tokyo ben on Chaku wiki | About Tokyo ben | vocabulary

Kanagawa | 10 phrases | Yokohama and Kanagawa dialect dictionary | Kanagawa ben on chaku wiki

Niigata |  Niigata ben dictionary  |  Japanesepod101 1 2 3

Toyama | Vocabulary | Toyama ben on Wikibooks | Simple phrases | About Toyama ben | Basic introduction to Toyama ben | Toyama dialect competition

Ishikawa |  Ishikawa ben Dictionary on Goo | Wikibooks Ishikawa dialect guide | Kanazawa ben guide | English book on Kanazawa ben

Fukui | Fukuiben.com | Hokuriku dialect (spoken in several prefectures)

Yamanashi |  Koshu Dialect Laboratory | Koshu ben dictionary | Yamanashi ben on Goo | There are a couple of posts here in English

Nagano |  Goo Nagano ben dictionary  |  Nagano prefecture guide to Nagano dialect  |  Matsumoto dialect page

Gifu |  Large vocabulary list  |  Mino ben guide |  PDF guide with accent information etc  |  another vocabulary list  |  Short video in Mino Ben

Shizuoka |  Page with links to several local dialects found in Shizuoka  | Shizuoka ben version of a commerical  | 10 funny phrases

Aichi |  Hougen.u-biq |  Nagoya ben website

Mie |  phrase guide |  features of Mie ben

Shiga |  large word and phrase list  |  vocabulary list

Kyoto |  Hougen.u-biq |  vocabulary list  |  More vocabulary

Osaka |  Hougen.u-biq |  video tutorial |  Kansai ben/Osaka ben word list

Hyōgo |  vocabulary list |  Hyogo ben on chaku Wiki |  

Nara |  Nara dialect on Chaku Wiki  |  Video discussing the subtelties of Nara dialect within Kansai ben  | vocabulary list

Wakayama |  Word list |  Some honorific expressions in Wakayama dialect PDF | Wakayama ben article |   Wakayama Kansai ben vocabulary |  Apparently there’ll be a radio show about Wakayama dialect soon so maybe they’ll have a podcast

Tottori |  dictionary |  large word and phrase list |  another vocabulary and phrase list

Shimane |  Izumo-ben 出雲弁 | Izumo ben in detail

Okayama |  large word and phrase list | Okayama ben corner | Interesting Okayama ben

Hiroshima |  Hougen.u-biq |  Hiroshima dialect

Yamaguchi |  Yamaguchi benVocabulary | quiz

Tokushima |  Awa ben video tutorial  |  vocabulary list  |  large phrase and vocabulary list

Kagawa |  vocabulary and phrase list  |  phrase list

Ehime |  Some Iyo vocabulary  |  Iyo dialect guide

Kochi |  Origins of Tosa ben and Hata ben PDF (bilingual)  |  Tosa ben introduction  |  Hata dialect introduction  |  The Lexicon of Kochi Japanese PDF (academic paper)  |  Kochi funpage on Youtube

Fukuoka |  series of videos on how to use Hakata ben |  video tutoiral |  verb conjugations

Saga |  Saga ben dictionary | Goo Saga ben dictionary

Nagasaki |  Nagasaki ben resource with recordings of sample dialogues |  Goo Nagasaki ben dictionary |  A story book written in Nagasaki ben (available on Kindle)

Kumamoto |  How to use Kumamoto ben  | Kumamoto ken vocabulary, a lot of these seem rough/rude

Ōita |  video |  Goo Ōita ben dictionary

Miyazaki |  Miyazaki ben explanation |  vocabulary and explanation

Kagoshima |  Vocabulary |  big word list  |  More vocabulary and phrases 

Okinawa |  Traveller’s guide to Okinawan dialects  | Huge list of Ryukyuan vocabulary  |  Uchinaguchi dictionary

There are books on dialects, typically designed for native speakers, such as this dialect dictionary, or this Tosa ben guide available in Japan, but you’d need some very advanced Japanese to be able to access them, in which case I doubt you’d be following my blog.


Beyond regional dialects there are also many languages that are native to Japan that are not Japanese. If you’re interested in learning Ainu, one of the Ryukyuan languages, Japanese sign language, or another language from Japan that is not standard spoken Japanese then this Tofugu article may interest you. Many of these languages are endangered.

Thanks to these bloggers who helped contribute to this post:

@suzustarlight @tomatograffiti  @grapefruitcake

Disclaimer: There are a massive number of regional dialects in Japan, I am neither Japanese, nor an expert, so inevitably I will miss some off this list. If you want to share information about a dialect from a part of Japan you’ve visited or lived in please reblog and add some information or resources, so that we can get this post to a point where it’s as comprehensive as possible. Many thanks!

Wolf species have ‘howling dialects’

February 9th, 2016 - Computer algorithms organized the howls by pitch and fluctuation, grouping the 2,000 vocalizations into 21 types

Genetically or taxonomically speaking, wolves aren’t all that closely related to humans, but they organize and behave like people, and researchers believe the evolutionary origins of language may be hiding in their howls.

“Ecologically their behavior in a social structure is remarkably close to that of humans,” Arik Kershenbaum, a scientist from the University of Cambridge, explained in a news release. “That’s why we domesticated dogs – they are very similar to us.”

Kershenbaum served as the lead researcher on a project to analyze the howls of wolves. Using machine learning, a team of Cambridge scientists analyzed 2,000 individual howls. Computer algorithms organized the howls by pitch and fluctuation, grouping the 2,000 vocalizations into 21 types.

The analysis linked the varying frequencies of the 21 howl types – from flat to highly modulated – to different species, subspecies and populations, suggesting the howls of wolves resemble human dialects.

Researchers published their findings in the journal Behavioural Processes.

Most of the identified dialects are distinct, but several share similarities. Researchers believe the likeness of red wolf and coyote howls may explain their propensity for interbreeding.

“The survival of red wolves in the wild is threatened by interbreeding with coyotes, and we found that the howling behavior of the two species is very similar,” Kershenbaum said. “This may be one reason why they are so likely to mate with each other, and perhaps we can take advantage of the subtle differences in howling behavior we have now discovered to keep the populations apart.”

The new research is limited by its strictly mathematical approach. Researchers acknowledge that they don’t know exactly what the dialects mean or how they’re employed in the wild. Wolves are very difficult to monitor in their natural habitat.

“We are currently working on research in Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. using multiple recording devices and triangulation technology to try and pick up howl sounds and location,” Kershenbaum explained. “In this way we might be able to tell whether certain calls relate to distance communication or pack warnings, for example.”

Kershenbaum is confident the secrets to the development of human language lies in the calls of social species like wolves in dolphins. He points out that when a dolphin whistle is slowed by a factor of 30, it sounds almost identical to the howl of a wolf.

Source, source, source

Austrian-German words which aren’t used in Germany.

You see we talk differently than the Germans and here are a few examples. This also includes slang words!!

English translation: Austrian version - German version


Hello (formal): Grüß Gott - Guten Tag

bag: Sackl - Tüte

police man: Kiwara (slang!) - Polizist

January: Jänner - Januar

February: Feber - Februar

apricots: Marillen - Aprikosen

pancakes: Palatschinken - Pfannkuchen

dude: Hawara (slang,obvi.) - Kerl 

to annoy: anzipfen - nerven

Bye (informal): pfiati/baba  - tschüss

pretty: fesch - hübsch

mud: Gatsch - Schlamm

to muddle: hudeln - pfuschen

apple spritzer: Apfelsaft gspritzt - Apfelschorle

only: lei (dialect) - nur

croissant: Kipfel - Hörnchen

t-shirt: Leibl - T-shirt

chestnut: Maroni - Esskastanie

A-levels/SAT: Matura - Abitur

to shag: pudern - bumsen 

bread bun: Semmel - Brötchen

hospital: Spital - Krankenhaus


[feel free to add more]

5 Things Everybody Should Know About Language

1 Language is a dialect with an army and a navy
2 Standard English is just one of the many dialects of English
3 We are all multilingual in many different ways
4 A dictionary is just another text written in the language, not a law of the language
5 Language is more than words and rules

bostonglobe.com
The long war over the Ukrainian language

Don’t call it Little Russian. Why the Ukraine’s lingua franca is a hot point.

In the West, it’s generally agreed that Ukrainian and Russian are separate languages, with 38 percent of their lexicon differing. (That’s slightly more than Spanish and Italian, which differ by 33 percent.) It’s also generally agreed that the three Eastern Slavic languages—Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian—split off from Old East Slavic about a thousand years ago.

Ukrainian and Russian are today closer than they were a hundred years ago due to Soviet Russification, and somewhat mutually intelligible—speakers in Ukraine often switch back and forth from one to the other. Flier told me that many Russians claim they understand Ukrainian, partly as a way of demoting it to dialect status. But, he pointed out, when Victor Yuschenko was prime minister and insisted on speaking Ukrainian to Vladimir Putin, Putin needed a translator to understand.

What makes a language, as opposed to a dialect, is a complicated a political issue. History alone does not determine distance. Case in point: Ukrainian and Russian have diverged and reconverged to some degree due to political actions taken to Russify the Ukrainian language. So, if the Ukrainian language continues to be suppressed and Russified, at what point would (objective) linguists argue that Ukrainian had become a dialect of Russian? Would they ever argue such a thing, given its fraught history? (I don’t know.)

Over the past day and a bit, I have been building a name generator in Java. It takes syllables from a certain dialect/language/language group, and randomly builds names using these syllables.

Below is an example of one of the dictionaries of syllables I have written, and one of my favourites by far just from the names it produces.

Below is an example of how to use the generator.

I am very happy with a lot of the languages, and the names they produce. Here are some examples of the names that are produced:

Anglic

Stan Vertieve
Omethe Sthatne
Neit Onte
Heris Erwas
Rene Ereesto

Chinese

Ou Cen
Diao Kan
Huangfa Fa
Kong Bingcui
Chuke Zhen

Cyrillic

Yetov Laon
Ordyestv Olchtotyego
Orlun Vyetatorlun
Leeat Orola
Vyervo Lunyest

Greek

Tetoap Toytik
Iatikas Katoyte
Asti Apostena
Tiaenaena Tementna
Mentik Etchse

Japanese

Senyo Shapopya
Mi Gupegisoshu
Nishuhyuda Byobimyasa
Ajokyosa Roumyo
Bachopyanmpi Ka

Latin

Atniui Rupe
Arcocum Niantet
Ueruqua Oriamiss
Runeta Amproqu
Uspro Arqua

Persian

Che'aleftoy Hezad
Hamzakaf ‘alefkhe
Bezadze Seche
Singeynzad 'eynsin
Zoy'alefse Kafpe

Swahili

Aliweili Eyeatali
Wech Alimb
Ataing Ilikwa
Alikw Weaniya
Weitaha Kuwat

I am well aware a lot of these names mean nothing in their native languages, but I do find them all very pretty.

Feel free to suggest any other languages/dialects/language groups you wish. I am quite shattered after the Chinese dictionary, so I may take a while to respond. But I hope you enjoy all this!

:)

So I’m in Brussels

And let me tell you what, they speak a different French than I do!!!

Well, not exactly. I knew there were differences, and that they have a recognisable accent, but now that I discover it, it becomes interesting.

First, the accent: apparently it’s close to a Flemish (Belgian Dutch dialect) accent, and I can notice some of the recurring features

  • they have some long vowels (standard French doesn’t)
  • /ʀ/ and sometimes even /χ/ (instead of /ʁ/)
  • they don’t use /ɥ/, they use /w/ instead: pluie is pronounced /plwi/ instead of /plɥi/
  • they pronounce the -t in vingt all the time, when it’s only pronounced for the liaison and in numbers from 21 to 29 in standard French (NB: a friend of mine from Strasbourg does the same, so maybe it’s a northern feature)

Now to the vocab and phrases I’ve noticed (non exhaustive list):

  • use of fort instead of très and beaucoup (’very’ and ‘lots/many/much’)
  • use of septante and nonante instead of soixante-dix and quatre-vingt-dix
  • un kot /kot/ is a little student accomodation - un cokoteur is a room/flatmate (colocataire in standard French)
  • un GSM is obviously a cell phone (un portable, un mobile in standard French)
  • use of tantôt instead of tout à l’heure
  • use of aller alone instead of y aller - “je vais aller” for “je vais y aller” (I’m about to go/leave)
  • use of postposer instead of reporter (to postpone)
  • use of s’il vous/te plaît instead of 1) tenez/tiens/voici (’here, take this’) or 2) de rien/je vous/t’en prie… or 3) pardon/comment ? (’what? can you repeat?’)
  • …and last but not least…
  • use of ça va instead of d’accord/ok/ça marche/ça roule/etc. - which is highly disturbing at first when someone ends their sentence witha little “ça va ?” and you’re like “euh oui ça va, et vous ?” … and you look dumb

So here for my first week of French from Brussels/Belgium experience :D

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How Do Accents Work?

Have you ever wondered how accents work? Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to find out about the ever-evolving accent.