standard language

to every norwegian learner slash SKAM fan out there - Karin, a norwegian teacher on youtube, is doing a very interesting “SKAM’s norwegian explained” series in which she dissects some of the concepts / expressions / slang words used in the show. these videos give quite a bit more insight not only into norwegian language, but also culture.

each new video corresponds to an episode & she’s doing this chronologically, starting with S1. 3 episodes are already out - S1E1, S1E2 & S1E3.

her other videos are also very much worth watching, by the way, especially for pronunciation (she speaks standard østnorsk).

When you call a woman a “girl”, you reinforce the infantilization of women as helpless, irrational, weak beings in need of protection. A diminutive term, “girl” denies a woman her adulthood, her maturity and her power. Notice the frequency in which we call men “men” or “guys” but call women “girls”. This is no coincidence. This use of language is rooted in sexism and it is disrespectful, patronizing and disempowering. A woman is not a female child. Stop calling women “girls”.

Mixed Black African Girl (Cameroonian/French)

I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.

  • Culture and food

Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.

I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?

Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.

Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).

  • Language

There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.

  • Beauty Standards

Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.

Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.

  • Clothing

Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).

Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.

  • Dating and Relationships

I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.

Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.

  • Home/Family life

My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.

In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.

  • Identity issues

Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).

  • Daily struggles

So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.

  • Misconceptions

Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.

  • Things I’d like to see less of

Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.

  • Things I’d like to see more of

Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.

  • Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

The Promised No-study SAT Tips

I saw that a lot of you wanted these~ Disclaimer: You still have to know English and the basics of math for these. This goes especially if you’re not a native speaker - your English needs to be at a pretty good level.

General:

  1. Read. A lot. Whenever you see a text that’s at least a paragraph or two long, take time to practice skimming. If you’re bored and have a little time, take something, for example a food wrapper, and try to find occurrences of a word (for example “Acid” for food) as quickly as possible. Hard mode: look for synonyms.
  2. Practice filling out the answer sheet. This is a massive time-sink for a lot of people, so you should practice to eliminate it. Print out an example answer sheet and try filling out the circles quickly and accurately without distracting yourself a lot. Hard mode:Try doing it while not focusing only on the circles - look away or start thinking about the next question.
  3. Check. A lot. The main goal of this strategy is to leave yourself enough time when you’ve filled out an answer for each question when you’re calm, know the questions and can focus on checking. Try and go through the questions, thinking, “This question tests this and that.” If you have the time, look at each answer and identify the error in it (harder for the math questions, but loads of fun if you can do it).
  4. Think in patterns: Whenever you’re stuck on an example question, don’t just check the answer. Try and understand how the person found it, if this question is similar to others you have seen. The SAT only uses a few different types of questions, there will rarely be something to surprise you if you know the common patterns.
  5. Rest: The SAT is a very demanding exam. Give your brain time to relax - my advice would be not to do anything mentally strenuous the day before the test. Also, something I found out from competitions - bring chocolate. The sugar in it helps your brain work better and shrug off tiredness and eating it will draw blood away from your brain, effectively hibernating it for the break to conserve energy. Also, it’s just a really tasty snack!

Writing:

  1. Use the right format for the essay. There are a lot of easy points for using the four/five paragraph system. Introduction, Reason 1, Reason 2, Conclusion. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and follow up with a story from your life or a book/movie to illustrate it. This way, even without using fancy vocab or grammar, you can get the points for structure and critical thought. Now just try not to make any obvious spelling mistakes and call it a day!
  2. Try to quickly find an argument for the essay. They don’t actually rate how intelligent your argument is. So, take a minute or two, breathe deeply, and no matter how stupid your idea is, write it out. (You might still want to take caution with sensitive topics, especially if you’re an international. A dumb mistake I made in my first sitting was bashing on American charity - that definitely did not endear me to the proctors.)
  3. Paragraphs: You have to have experience reading - look at how the topic never changes abruptly. Insert sentences that link what’s written before and after the gap. Final sentences of paragraphs shouldn’t raise more questions.
  4. Sentence questions: Skim through the questions. Try to answer most of them, the first thing that comes to mind, and fill out the answer sheet immediately. Chances are, if it sounds good to you, it’s the correct choice. Do this quickly, then try and do the paragraphs. After you’ve done this, go back to the questions and start checking.
  5. They usually test for a few broad topics. Identify if each sentence fits one of the patterns and answer accordingly. For the others, try and think what error they might want you to make. If you know you have the time, look at each answer in turn and identify the mistake in it. The most common ways for you to change a sentence would be:
  • Fragments: Try and see if each clause has a subject and a verb. Example: “In the dim light, making his way through the cave.” -> “In the dim light, he makes his way through the cave.”
  • Subject-verb agreement: Make sure that the subject is the one actually doing the action and singular/plural match. Example: “Gathering stones, the river was blocked by the men.” Did the river gather stones? No.
  • Consistency: Make sure that something introduced one way is always referred to like that (don’t switch out ‘one’ for ‘you’ or ‘they’). Make sure there are no extra linkers (”Since I was there, but he went too.”). Check if any verbs change tense when they shouldn’t. Don’t compare apples to oranges (”His homework was as good as John.” -> “As good as John’s”).
  • Adverb or adjective? If it describes a verb, it has a ‘ly’. Example: “She winked playful.” -> “She winked playfully.”
  • Singular or plural? Make sure not to refer to a plural object in singular. “Pandas, numbering in the hundreds now, is an endangered species.”
  • Prepositions, linkers, all the small words Sadly, you’ll have to know how they’re used.

Reading

  1. Word fill: Note the answers that obviously don’t make sense. Mark the one of the others that sounds best to you (in the answer sheet, too!). If you don’t know one or more of the words, aim for simplicity. After you’ve quickly answered all of the reading questions, come back to these. Look at the relationships between the gap and the sentence - are you looking for a positive or negative word? Antonyms or synonyms to something before? Try and guess what unknown words mean. This way, you will probably be able to eliminate all the wrong answers.
  2. Reading comprehension: You are not tested for understanding the text. Keep this in mind. What you are actually trying to do here is quickly find synonyms. If the question asks for “Was Anna’s family a) warm b) cold c) the spawn of Cthulhu?”, chances are that the text contains “Anna’s relatives acted chilly.” or something like that. Read the first question. Skim the text until it comes to that topic, then look for synonyms of the answers. Don’t make deductions! If you come across a ‘general message’ or ‘tone of the author’ question, skip it and answer it at the end of the text. The other questions will be in the same order as the answers are mentioned in the text. Checking: If you have time, look at each answer and try to see what in the text could mislead somebody to make that mistake.

Mathematics

  1. Calculator use: My advice would be to not bring a complex graphing calculator. They just slow you down. Try and do most operations by hand, then use the calculator only for, well, calculations.
  2. Basic topics to know: You are expected to be familiar with how to rearrange equations (ab=1 is the same as a=1/b) and solve linear and quadratics; cosine and Pythagorean theorems; number representations of lines and their intersections; median, mean and mode.
  3. Solve like a crab! One of the best things I learnt in “Fun Math” classes was that problems are solved more easily if you work from the answer back. Try and see what you would need (in terms of information) to find the answer. Then look back to the text of the problem - is what you need there? In most SAT problems, it is, or you can easily find it.
  4. Visualise: Especially for distance or geometry problems, make a small chart of what’s happening. Make lines for the distances the cars traveled or draw that pesky cylinder. Try and see in your mind how different elements move and which stay the same.

I guess this is all that I can say for now. Of course, this is my strategy so it might not work for everyone or it might not work without practice, so don’t think it’s a miracle solve-all. I’m always open for questions about ideas or specific problems, just write an ask~ And good luck to all future test-takers!

My male colleague was criticising this woman on tv for being too scrawny.

Another woman he called fat. Another lady was “flat-chested”. Another had “saggy tits”.

I asked him whether he thought he was being misogynistic. There were men of all shapes and sizes on tv, but he was focused on the women. Did he think he was being too critical of the women’s bodies? His reply was “well, there’s a nice in-between”…

Women have to conform, starve themselves, work out relentlessly, feel like they need cosmetic surgery, constantly paint their faces, shave their bodies, color their hair, paint their nails etc, just to fit the male-sculpted mould of somewhat acceptable. But you know what? We never will be, because there’s nothing in it for men if women are happy with ourselves. As long as we’re insecure, spending our money on ways to make us “prettier”, we’re not in control.

The Okinawan Language

Anybody who has studied Japanese and Linguistics will know that Japanese is a part of the Japonic language family. For many years it was thought that Japanese was a language isolate, unrelated to any other language (Although there is some debate as to whether or not Japanese and Korean are related).

Today, most linguists are in agreement that Japanese is not an isolate. The Japonic languages are split into two groups:

Japanese (日本語) and its dialects, which range from standard Eastern Japanese (東日本方言) to the various dialects found on Kyūshū (九州日本方言), which are, different, to say the least.

The Ryukyuan Languages (琉球語派). Which are further subdivided into Northern and Southern Ryukyuan languages. Okinawan is classified as a Northern Ryukyuan Languages. There are a total of 6 Ryukyuan languages, each with its own dialects. The Ryukyuan languages exist on a continuum, somebody who speaks Okinawan will have a more difficult time understanding the Yonaguni Language, which is spoken on Japan’s southernmost populated island.

Japanese and Okinawan (I am using the Naha dialect of Okinawan because it was the standard language of the Ryukyu Kingdom), are not intelligible. Calling Okinawan a dialect of Japanese is akin to calling Dutch a dialect of English. It is demonstrably false. Furthermore, there is an actual Okinawan dialect of Japanese, which borrows elements from the Okinawan language and infuses it with Japanese.

So, where did the Ryukyuan languages come from? This is a question that goes hand in hand with theories about where Ryukyuan people come from. George Kerr, author of Okinawan: The History of an Island People (An old book, but necessary read if you’re interested in Okinawa), theorised that Ryukyuans and Japanese split from the same population, with one group going east to Japan from Korea, whilst the other traveled south to the Ryukyu Islands.

“In the language of the Okinawan country people today the north is referred to as nishi, which Iha Fuyu (An Okinawn scholar) derives from inishi (’the past’ or ‘behind’), whereas the Japanese speak of the west as nishi. Iha suggests that in both instances there is preserved an immemorial sense of the direction from which migration took place into the sea islands.”
(For those curious, the Okinawan word for ‘west’ is いり [iri]).
But, it must be stated that there are multiple theories as to where Ryukyuan and Japanese people came from, some say South-East Asia, some say North Asia, via Korea, some say that it is a mixture of the two. However, this post is solely about language, and whilst the relation between nishi in both languages is intriguing, it is hardly conclusive.

With that said, the notion that Proto-Japonic was spoken by migrants from southern Korea is somewhat supported by a number of toponyms that may be of Gaya origin (Or of earlier, unattested origins). However, it also must be said, that such links were used to justify Japanese imperialism in Korea.

Yeah, when it comes to Japan and Korea, and their origins, it’s a minefield.

What we do know is that a Proto-Japonic language was spoken around Kyūshū, and that it gradually spread throughout Japan and the Ryukyu Islands. The question of when this happened is debatable. Some scholars say between the 2nd and 6th century, others say between the 8th and 9th centuries. The crucial issue here, is the period in which proto-Ryukyuan separated from mainland Japanese.

“The crucial issue here is that the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan separated(in terms of historical linguistics) from other Japonic languages do not necessarily coincide with the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan speakers actually settled on the Ryūkyū Islands.That is, it is possible that the proto-Ryukyuan was spoken on south Kyūshū for some time and the proto-Ryukyuan speakers then moved southward to arrive eventually in the Ryūkyū Islands.”

This is a theory supported by Iha Fuyu who claimed that the first settlers on Amami were fishermen from Kyūshū.

This opens up two possibilities, the first is that ‘Proto-Ryukyuan’ split from ‘Proto-Japonic’, the other is that it split from ‘Old-Japanese’. As we’ll see further, Okinawan actually shares many features with Old Japanese, although these features may have existed before Old-Japanese was spoken.

So, what does Okinawan look like?

Well, to speakers of Japanese it is recognisable in a few ways. The sentence structure is essentially the same, with a focus on particles, pitch accent, and a subject-object-verb word order. Like Old Japanese, there is a distinction between the terminal form ( 終止形 ) and the attributive form ( 連体形 ). Okinawan also maintains the nominative function of nu ぬ (Japanese: no の). It also retains the sounds ‘wi’ ‘we’ and ‘wo’, which don’t exist in Japanese anymore. Other sounds that don’t exist in Japanese include ‘fa’ ‘fe’ ‘fi’ ‘tu’ and ‘ti’.

Some very basic words include:

はいさい (Hello, still used in Okinawan Japanese)
にふぇーでーびる (Thank you)
うちなー (Okinawa) 沖縄口 (Uchinaa-guchi is the word for Okinawan)
めんそーれー (Welcome)
やまとぅ (Japan, a cognate of やまと, the poetic name for ‘Japan’)

Lots of Okinawan can be translated into Japanese word for word. For example, a simple sentence, “Let’s go by bus”
バス行こう (I know, I’m being a little informal haha!)
バスっし行ちゃびら (Basu sshi ichabira).
As you can see, both sentences are structured the same way. Both have the same loanword for ‘bus’, and both have a particle used to indicate the means by which something is achieved, ‘で’ in Japanese, is ‘っし’ in Okinawan.

Another example sentence, “My Japanese isn’t as good as his”
彼より日本語が上手ではない (Kare yori nihon-go ga jouzu dewanai).
彼やか大和口ぬ上手やあらん (Ari yaka yamatu-guchi nu jooji yaaran).
Again, they are structured the same way (One important thing to remember about Okinawan romanisation is that long vowels are represented with ‘oo’ ‘aa’ etc. ‘oo’ is pronounced the same as ‘ou’).

Of course, this doesn’t work all of the time, if you want to say, “I wrote the letter in Okinawan”
沖縄語手紙を書いた (Okinawa-go de tegami wo kaita).
沖縄口さーに手紙書ちゃん (Uchinaa-guchi saani tigami kachan).
For one, さーに is an alternate version of っし, but, that isn’t the only thing. Okinawan doesn’t have a direct object particle (を in Japanese). In older literary works it was ゆ, but it no longer used in casual speech.

Introducing yourself in Okinawan is interesting for a few reasons as well. Let’s say you were introducing yourself to a group.
In Japanese you’d say
みんなさこんにちは私はフィリクスです (Minna-san konnichiwa watashi ha Felixdesu)
ぐすよー我んねーフィリクスでぃいちょいびーん (Gusuyoo wan’nee Felix di ichoibiin).
Okinawan has a single word for saying ‘hello’ to a group. It also showcases the topic marker for names and other proper nouns. In Japanese there is only 1, は but Okinawan has 5! や, あー, えー, おー, のー! So, how do you know which to use? Well, there is a rule, typically the particle fuses with short vowels, a → aa, i → ee, u → oo, e → ee, o → oo, n → noo. Of course, the Okinawan pronoun 我ん, is a terrible example, because it is irregular, becoming 我んねー instead of  我んのー or 我んや. Yes. Like Japanese, there are numerous irregularities to pull your hair out over!

I hope that this has been interesting for those who have bothered to go through the entire thing. It is important to discuss these languages because most Ryukyuan languages are either ‘definitely’ or ‘critically’ endangered. Mostly due to Japanese assimilation policies from the Meiji period onward, and World War 2.
The people of Okinawa are a separate ethnic group, with their own culture, history, poems, songs, dances and languages. It would be a shame to lose something that helps to define a group of people like language does.

I may or may not look in the Kyūshū dialects of Japanese next time. I’unno, I just find them interesting.

why is it that people see Arabic tattoos on Instagram and are like “omg goals!! Want it!!” because aesthetic but GOD FORBID u hear an Arab person speaking Arabic in a supermarket because then it’s no longer artsy and they are terrorists and Debra is shaking in her boots and fearing for her safety while a Middle Eastern male is just telling his friend to grab some Bear Paws

I one day wanna see a One Piece AU where everyone actually speaks different languages. Like, perhaps there’s a language that’s spoken in 95% of the world and everyone is bilingual. Luffy, Usopp, Zoro, and Nami all speak an East Blue dialect but even then they have slightly different words because every island is just slightly different, like every English speaking nation. Luffy occasionally throws in words from a noble language that they all think is really odd until they meet Sabo.

Sanji speaks three languages, having picked up the East dialect after running away from North Blue. Franky, Brook, and Chopper don’t speak any Eastern dialects at all and only speak the standard language. Brook used to speak a Western dialect but has since forgotten. Robin knows a bit of everything and is always learning more languages; the national language of Ohara is something she treasures.

The Celestial Dragons have their own language which is “holy” and no one but them is allowed to speak it. Law can only say two things in their language: “shit” and “fuck”. Also, imagine Flevance having its own language and Law is the only one who speaks it now. And Luffy calls him Torao because Law’s accent is difficult for Luffy to understand.

And accents! Everyone on the Grand Line has an accent. You can tell what sea they’re from just because of their accent. South Blue is different to North Blue to West Blue and so on.

Just…One Piece languages and accents!!!

The High German languages or High German dialects (Hochdeutsche Dialekte) comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdingen isoglosses in central and southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Luxembourg as well as in neighboring portions of Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy) and the Netherlands (Southeast Limburg), France (Alsace and northern Lorraine), Italy (South Tyrol), and Poland (Upper Silesia). They are also spoken in diaspora in RomaniaRussia, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Namibia. The High German languages are marked by the High German consonant shift, separating them from Low German and Low Franconian (Dutch) within the continental West Germanic dialect continuum.

As a technical term, the “high” in High German is a geographical reference to the group of dialects that forms “High German” (i.e. “Highland” German), out of which developed Standard German, Yiddish, and Luxembourgish. It refers to the Central Uplands (Mittelgebirge) and Alpine areas of central and southern Germany, it also includes Luxembourg, Austria, Liechtenstein, and most of Switzerland. This is opposed to Low German, which is spoken on the lowlands and along the flat sea coasts of the North German Plain. High German in this broader sense can be subdivided into Upper German (Oberdeutsch, this includes Austrian and Swiss German dialects), Central German (Mitteldeutsch, this includes Luxembourgish, which itself is now a standard language), and High Franconian which is a transitional dialect between the two. High German (in the broader sense) is distinguished from other West Germanic varieties in that it took part in the High German consonant shift (c. AD 500). To see this, compare English/Low German (Low Saxon) pan/Pann with Standard German Pfanne ([p] to [p͡f]), English/Low German two/twee with Standard German zwei ([t] to [t͡s]), English/Low German make/maken with Standard German machen ([k] to [x]). In the southernmost High Alemannic dialects, there is a further shift; Sack (like English/Low German “sack/Sack”) is pronounced [z̥ak͡x] ([k] to [k͡x]).

Old High German evolved from about 500 AD, around 1200 the Swabian and East Franconian varieties of Middle High German became dominant as a court and poetry language (Minnesang) under the rule of the House of Hohenstaufen. The term “High German” as spoken in central and southern Germany (Upper Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Bavaria) and Austria was first documented in the 15th century. Gradually driving back Low German variants since the Early modern period, the Early New High German varieties, especially the East Central German of the Luther Bible, formed an important basis for the development of Standard German.

Family tree

Divisions between subfamilies within Germanic are rarely precisely defined, because most form continuous clines, with adjacent dialects being mutually intelligible and more separated ones not. In particular, there has never been an original “Proto-High German”. For this and other reasons, the idea of representing the relationships between West Germanic language forms in a tree diagram at all is controversial among linguists. What follows should be used with care in the light of this caveat.

Female Korean-American Teenager

Hi, I’m Caroline, and as the title states, I’m a female Korean-American teen currently living in a town that’s 80% white. The majority of East Asians living here are Japanese, and over the years, there have been a few sprinklings of new Korean or Chinese families moving in. For the most part, however, my family was the only Korean family in town when we first came here. This heavily impacted my childhood - made me ashamed of my culture and ethnicity - and of course, the racism that I constantly faced from classmates, parents, teachers, and sometimes even friends, was exhausting. 

It means so much to me to see Korean-American characters - or any person of color, really - be represented in today’s books, TV shows, movies, etc. For once, I’d like to see fully-fleshed out, complex characters who are people of color - not just the 2D stereotypes that too many forms of media put them out to be. So if a few more writers out there become less ignorant due to this post, I’ll be forever grateful. 

So. Let’s do this thing!

Beauty Standards 

Most East Asians represented in today’s media have extremely straight, practically black hair. And while it’s true that straight, black hair is the most common trait regarding hair amongst Koreans, there are (*gasp*) a few of us with curly hair, too. (Moi.) To the Koreans I knew, anyways, my hair was always an object of envy. I’d frequently be asked if I got the perm, and whenever I said I had naturally curly hair, there’d be a lot of “oh, how lucky"s going around. That made me feel pretty special, only it’d last for a short while before the reality of living in a mostly-white neighborhood kicked in, where my curly hair was usually made fun of. (Usually saying that Asians don’t have curly hair. Whatever. On the whole scale of racist comments I’ve been sent, the one about my hair is the least bothersome. When I was a kid, it bothered me a lot, though, and I think to some extent, it still bothers me at least a teeny bit - I actually started to straighten my hair when I went into eighth grade. Yup, give me the Hypocrite of the Year Award. I still need some adjustments.) 

Amongst Koreans, there’s also a lot of emphasis on having a small face, long and skinny legs, a fairly short torso…essentially, Koreans thrive for the typical European figure. Koreans, however, have pretty round faces, short and stalky legs, and long torsos for the most part. (With the exception of a few - and of course, the option for plastic surgery is always out there. I shit you not, almost every Korean woman I know have at least either (a) known someone who went through plastic surgery or (b) have been in plastic surgery myself. It’s a big deal in South Korea. My grandma had surgery done to her eyes twice, my mom’s friend had surgery done to her nose and her eyes, and my aunt’s brother is actually a plastic surgeon who does operations a number of times a day.) 

Clothing 

Growing up, I wore the typical American clothing - except for on special occasions, like my first birthday or New Year’s. On those days, I’d wear a hanbok, which is a traditional Korean gown with lots of colors and embroidery. The men would wear traditional clothing as well, and it’s customary for Koreans to wear these especially on New Year’s. Now, since my brothers and I have outgrown our hanboks, we just stick to American clothes on New Year’s. 

Daily Struggles 

Though I tell all my white friends and classmates that my first language is English, my first language was actually Korean. I don’t say that my first language is Korean anymore because firstly, I don’t want people to think of me as someone who only speaks Korean and secondly, I don’t know how to speak Korean anymore. It’s sad, really, because I can understand Korean much better than my siblings and my cousins, and there are moments when I can almost remember a phrase, but as of now, speaking the language is an extreme difficulty and embarrassment to me, especially when I’m surrounded by elders. (And usually, the only things I can say to them are ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’.) It’s frustrating to speak to older Koreans and know exactly what they’re saying but only being able to respond in English. 

That being said, growing up, I often had to translate - more specifically, re-translate - for my mother, who didn’t know English at all when I was a child. She used to feel incredibly lonely for it, and often times, she’d feel frustrated and cry about how all of the white mothers acted like she was an idiot for not knowing English. As an extreme social butterfly, this really hurt my mother, and it hurt her even more when her own children were starting to distance themselves because of the language barrier. I remember having to sit with my mother on the couch and help her learn English - and it was, to be honest, one of the saddest experiences I’ve ever had to go through. She’d grow frustrated with herself, and she’d hate every bit of it, I could tell, but she kept going because she wanted to be there for her kids. (She eventually got her American citizenship, too, but by doing so, she had to give up her Korean citizenship. Most East Asian countries don’t allow dual citizenships.) And though I don’t speak Korean anymore, I actually continue to re-translate things for my mother - in other words, I just have to simplify the English a little bit to get her to understand what someone else is saying. (This method works for anyone else who is struggling with English. Simplify the words, that’s all - but don’t treat the person with disrespect.) 

And, of course, there’s the very exhausting series of questions that come with being Korean. The most annoying and frustrating are (but not limited to) - 

  • “Oh, so are you South Korean or North Korean?” (Bruh. If I was North Korean, there’s a VERY slim chance I’d be in America right now. I’d still be stuck in North Korea, wouldn’t I?) 
  • “But what’s your nationality?” (American.) “No, I mean your REAL nationality.“ 
  • “What are you? Japanese? Chinese? Vietnamese?” (For some reason, NO ONE GUESSES KOREAN.) 
  • “Wow, your English is great!” (???) 
  • “English is your best subject? Wait, then what about math?” (…) 
  • “I bet you’re super smart!” (…I study hard, yeah, but that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m Korean.) 
  • “Oh, my God, Koreans are SO hot.” (Ew. Times a thousand.) 

Dating and Relationships 

My parents are pretty strict about my nonexistent love life. If my dad had it his way, I wouldn’t be allowed to date until I’m out of college. But for real talk, my mom’s actually the one who’s much pickier on who I date. She told me since I was a kid that it’d be best for me to date (and marry) another Korean-American. She means this out of the goodness of her heart - mostly that she wants me to marry someone who I can connect with culturally. (“Regular Koreans will be too grounded into Korea. You need someone with similar experiences.”) My dad just doesn’t want me to date anyone Japanese - and while I find this wrong, it’s mostly due to the bad blood between Korea and Japan. (World War II, the Korean War, comfort women, etc.) 

And because of this prejudice against Japanese people, my dad always found it difficult to accept that I had a few Japanese friends. He often wanted me to stray away from other Eastern-Asians in general, American or not. (Unless, of course, it was for dating/marrying.) This was because he didn’t want me to become a part of “THAT Asian group”, which, let me just say, is pretty sad, because when there’s a group of white kids hanging around, no one finds it strange. When there’s a big group of x friends of x race, it’s suddenly SUCH an odd sight. 

Food 

This is where I try to restrain myself for real. 

The most common foods you’ll find at a Korean dinner table are rice, kimchi (which is basically spicy pickled cabbage - lots of Koreans eat it, but I personally never did. And I still don’t. Oops), kim (pronounced keem - basically roasted and dried, slightly salted seaweed strips. Which are really good), along with a number of side-dishes and maybe one big, main dish. (Mostly meat.) 

Favorite Korean dishes include

  • seolleongtang, a lightly salted broth with oxtail meat, or sometimes some other kind of meat. There’s usually a sprinkling of scallions, and rice or noodles can be served inside. 
  • kalbi, the famous Korean BBQ. Just imagine meat being prepared directly in front of you served with veggies. Delicious, but be warned - your burps will stink - and I mean stink - afterwards. Its variant, kalbi jim, are slow-cooked short ribs served often with Korean-style steamed potatoes and carrots. Just as good. 
  • tangsuyuk, sweet and sour (mostly sweet, I think, anyways,) pork. The pork is covered with a batter that is fried and then typically dunked in sweet sauce. Some people like to have the sauce on the side so they can dip it in - and still save the crunch. It’s a personal preference. 
  • buchimgae, otherwise known as Kimchi Pancakes. Korean pancakes are not your typical breakfast pancakes. They’re made in a pan, like regular breakfast pancakes, but inside, there’s an assortment of seafood, veggies, and in this version, kimchi. (There are spicy and non-spicy versions). 
  • tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes. Very chewy and again, pretty spicy. 

Favorite Korean sweets/desserts/snacks include 

  • tteok, sweet rice cakes. There are many different kinds of rice cake, usually with flavors of classical red bean or green tea. The favorite of many children is the classical rainbow tteok, where the rice cakes are dyed with strips of green, pink, and yellow. The flavor of plain tteok is actually not too sweet, but it’s still a very classic, very traditional and cultural Korean dessert that cannot be skipped over. 
  • yakbap, a very special type of sweet rice cake all on its own. This is a favorite amongst many, and the rice is prepared in a way that it’s sticky and brown. Pine nuts, chestnuts, and jujubes as well as raisins are mixed in. 
  • patbingsu, a frozen dessert. Think of an evolved form of shave ice with toppings like red bean paste, nuts, and fruit. Extremely popular in South Korea, not to mention one of its most iconic desserts. 
  • saeoosnek, shrimp-flavored crackers. Again, a very popular snack that’s exactly what it sounds like. Crackers. With. Shrimp. Flavoring. 
  • choco pie, a popular chocolate-marshmallow cake that looks similar to America’s moon pie. Extremely popular amongst children. 

Holidays 

In my family, we never celebrated the direct Korean celebrations, but we always celebrated the Korean New Year the traditional way. Again, usually dressed in hanbok, children (and parents) would bow down to the oldest members of the family and pay their respects with a traditional phrase. They also have to perform a special bow three times while saying this phrase. (There are two different bows - one for men, one for women.) Once doing so, the elder usually gives a blessing to the family members and presents them with an envelope of money, very similar to the traditional Chinese red envelope they receive on their New Year’s celebration. 

Another traditional Korean celebration my family - and many other Korean families, I’m sure - celebrate is the 100 Days birthday. 

A brief history lesson - back when Korea was suffering due to the economy failing, it was a rare occurrence to ever see a child live past one hundred days. Once one hundred days had passed, then the family would rejoice and throw a large celebration, inviting friends, extended family members. There’d be lots of food and laughter and different rituals all dedicated to the child. Now, of course, Korea’s economic situation is not the same as it was back then, but we still hold these celebrations for tradition and cultural reasons. 

One of the most important rituals in the 100 Days birthday is sitting the baby down in front of a variety of items - usually a coin, a pen, a length of twine, a book, food, and sometimes other variants of those items. If the child picks up a coin, then it is to be predicted that this child will live a wealthy life. If the child picks up a pen or a book, then it is to be predicted that this child will grow to become a scholar. If the child picks up food, then it is to be predicted that this child will never go hungry. If the child picks up the length of twine (or sometimes string or a spool of thread), then it is to be predicted that this child will live a long life. Some families believe in this, others don’t, but either way, this ritual is performed because hey, tradition! (And besides, it makes for pretty cute pictures.) 

Home/Family Life 

Korean families and Korean home-life, I feel, will always have a different atmosphere from white families. Most Korean parents are very reserved when it comes to public displays of affection for their children, though like all families, this can vary. Independence and learning how to grow an outer shell is very important to the Korean lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that Korean parents don’t love their children - of course they do, and again, all Korean families work differently. However, this pattern and discipline is a common thing to find in most Korean families. 

There’s a certain emphasis on studying - and no, not all Korean parents are super strict about grades and threaten to beat their children if they get a B on a report card. (At least, my parents didn’t.) However, education is still considered a top priority. Studying is encouraged, and most Korean parents want to see their children secure a good job (ie doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc). Most of the time, Korean parents just want to see their children live a secured life. That’s it. At least, with my parents, everything they ever taught me or told me had something to do with me learning to survive when I become older. I used to resent this when I was a kid, but now that I’ve grown more mature, I actually find myself appreciating everything my parents have ever taught me. 

Another note - when a Korean woman marries, she is cut off from her birth family and is considered to only be a part of her husband’s family. This limits her visits to her own birth family - and though this was a common thing before, I believe many Korean families don’t operate the same way anymore. (Some traditions last longer than others.) 

Elders are respected. Period. Even if s/he’s getting on your nerves, you ALWAYS RESPECT THE ELDERS. 

Shoes are taken off before entering a house. No exceptions to this rule. If you wanna impress your Korean friend, take off your damn shoes. This will be appreciated. 

Things I’d like to see less of. 

  • people thinking that “all Koreans get hot when they’re older”. (FETISHIZATION IS A BIG NO-NO.)
  • Koreans being seen as submissive and docile creatures. (Note how I said creatures and not humans. Because that’s how some people treat Koreans and other East Asians. Like we’re creatures, rather than actual human beings.) 
  • Koreans being seen as kickass ninjas. (It’s either docile creatures or kickass ninjas. There’s never a line between the two, and it’s exhausting.) 
  • “Koreans are so romantic!” (Sorry, that’s the K-drama binge talking. If anything, Koreans are pretty reserved when it comes to PDA and again, affection in general. Of course, I can’t speak for all Koreans, but at least with my family, PDA was always kept to a minimum. Usually a quick peck on the lips, kisses on the cheek, hand-holding, etc. Never an actual full kiss in public. Forget about make-out sessions.) 
  • Stone-cold Koreans. (Again, there’s either the romantic Korean or the Terminator Korean. Never an in-between. Yes, keep in mind that due to cultural reasons, Koreans don’t typically display affection. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE DON’T DISPLAY EMOTIONS.) 
  • Straight-A Koreans. Typically good at math and science. (While yes, many East Asian countries and families put emphasis on these subjects, not all Koreans happen to be extreme nerds who cry at a B on a report card. Example A - I happen to stink at math. And I know many other Asian-Americans who also stink at math. So.) 
  • Assuming Korean parents are abusive. (While there are many abusive Korean parents out there, people need to stop assuming that right off the bat. Stop. It’s extremely disrespectful, not to mention just wrong?!) 

Things i’d like to see more of. 

  • complex, well-rounded Korean characters. (Give me a Korean character who hates math but still tries to do well in class. Give me a Korean character who’s bisexual and surrounded by loving family members. Give me a Korean character who likes roller-skating and getting high in the bathroom stalls and sings Jackson 5 all day. Give me a Korean character who goes out to be homecoming queen and buffs her nails while fighting demons. Give me a Korean character who cries, laughs, talks, breathes, LIVES like an actual human being, and you’ll get the respect of hundreds - maybe thousands - of readers and viewers who’ve been waiting for so long to be properly represented.) 
Humans are weird 4

Language
On most alien planets there is one constant language with some variations on slang. So when humans come around and see that Aliens have translators that translate everything to your language well they sold out with in hours on Earth, the Aliens took it a sign as them wanting to connect with everyone in space.

That is until Hsiang was on ship with a pair of humans talking and he noticed his translator glitching when he tried to listen to there conversation almost like if they were switching languages but every planet had their one standard language right? At the moment he thought nothing of it until again he was visiting earth and was with a group of humans from all different parts of the planet and his translator was acting as if they were switching languages, it was getting annoying. Maybe his translator wasn’t used to the human language.

Hsiang was officially over it when hearing two of his crew mates talking back and forth his translator was glitching constantly, he decided to ask

“why is it that when I’m around you my translator glitches? Do humans have some sort of connection to electricity or what?“

“What do you mean?” They asked looking at him weirdly

“Well every time I’m around humans my Translator Glitches like if you were switching languages or something and it was Going hay wire around you two”

"We are”

Hsiang just stared "What.”

They proceeded to explain that there are many different languages that the people of earth speak. That there was of 100 languages and dialects and that some languages die out. Then everything kinda clicked why humans always had they’re translators on even when speaking to each other, why they looked at each other weirdly when one said an odd saying, why on earth there was always a big market of translators on earth even though most of the inhabitants didn’t venture out yet. One thing didn’t make sense yet

“Why is it when you speak in mid sentence my translator glitches ?”

“Oh that’s because we switch language mid sentence”

“Yeah it’s common on earth most people speak 2 or more languages since we didn’t have these nifty translators, although now people might not have a reason to learn another language, it’s actually kinda sad”

Modern Standard Arabic Vocabulary for Food and Kitchen items by lass-uns-studieren!

I don’t see vocabulary posts regarding Arabic and so I decided to make this today for learners of Arabic as a native speaker of Egyptian Arabic!

Kitchen Furniture and Utensils

Table - طاوِلة
Cupboard خِزانة
Chair - كُرْسي
Bin - سَلَّة المُهْمَلات
Cooker/ Stove - بوتاجاز
Oven - فُرْن
Microwave - مايكروويف
Fridge - ثَلاّجة
Freezer - ثَلاجة
Dishwasher - غَسّالة أطْباق
Sink - حَوْض المَغْسَلة
Frying pan - مِقلاة
Kettle - غَلاّية
Cup - فِنْجان
Knife - سِكّين
Fork - شَوْكة
Spoon - مِلْعَقة
Plate - صَحْن
Container - حاوِية

Food Groups

  • Meat/Poultry

Lamb - لَحْم الضَّأن
Beef - لَحْم البَقَر
Chicken - لَحْم الدَّجاج
Duck - بَط
Pork - لَحْم الخِنْزير

  • Fish

Salmon - سَلَمون
Herring - رِنجة
Crab - سَرَطان البَحْر
Lobster - كَرْكَنْد / إستاكوزا
Shellfish - مَحار
Shrimp - روبيان / جَمبري

  • Dairy/Eggs

Milk - حَليب
Cheese - جُبْن
Yogurt - زَبادي
Cream - قِشْدة
Eggs - بَيْض 

  • Vegetables

Courgettes/Zucchini - كوسا
Cauliflower - رْنَبيط
Broccoli - بروكلي
Garlic - ثوم
Ginger - زَنْجَبيل
Beetroot - شَمَنْدَر
Turnip - لِفت
Artichoke - خرشوف
Asparagus - الهِلْيَوْن
Cabbage - كُرُنْب / مَلْفوف
Potato - بَطاطس
Peas - بازِلاء
Carrots - جَزَر
Corn - ذُرة
Pumpkin - قَرع
Aubergine/Eggplant - بَاذِنْجان

  • Fruits

Bananas - مَوز
Apples - تُفّاح
Oranges - بُرْتُقال
Grapes - عِنَب
Apricots - مِشْمِش
Watermelon - بَطّيخ
Mangoes - مانجو
Lemons - لَيْمون
Peaches - خَوْخ
Tangerines - يوسْفي
Dates - بَلَح
Pears - إجاص
Avocado - أفوكادو
Kiwi - كيوي
Figs - تين
Plums - بَرْقوق
Raisins - زَبيب

  • Staples

Bread - خُبْز
Rice - أُرْز
Pasta - باستا / مَعْكَرونة

  • Desserts/Junk Food

Pie - فَطيرة
Cake - كَعْكة
Chocolate - شوكولاتة
Sweets - حَلْوى
Pizza - بيتزا

Verbs

To eat - يَتناوَل الطعام
To cook - يَطبُخ
To wash your hands -  يَغْسِل يَدَيْه
To wash up (utensils) -  يَغْسِل شَيئاً ما
To clean - يُنَظِّف
To feed - يُطْعِم
To put away - يَحْتَفِظ بـِ / يُبْقي عَلى
To set the table - إعداد المائدة 

Tagging: @langsandlit and @supermedstudent!

Mexican woman (born and raised)

I’ve noticed a lack of full-on Mexican perspective in the profiles and I hope this helps, before going starting remember that my experiences do not reflect a global view of the life as a mexican, nor does invalidate the Mexican immigrants or mixed-race people who identify themselves with their Mexican heritage around the world.

Language

Spanish is the main official language, but there over 50 indigenous languages all over the country, among the most commons are: Nahuatl, Maya, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Tzozil etc. (really there an entire Wikipedia article on it look it up)

Home/Family life

Family is really important in México, quality time with your family is stressed over since early life, and chances are that at least half of your best childhood friends will be your cousins, someone straying away from the family permanently is severely looked down and criticized, only if it’s by choice mind you, family will be understanding if it’s for causes beyond your control (job transfers and opportunities) and Christmas and New Year is usually the time of the year where every relative from every corner of the country (and even from other countries) will come visiting you.

Family roles are still seen in a very traditional way, with the mother being in charge of the home, and the father working, however given that family abandonment is sadly very common; in all places and economic backgrounds not just poor families; this tends to place an even greater responsibility for the mother, and is not uncommon that a grandparent, uncle or even older cousin steps in as a paternal figure.

Families where the siblings never move from the parents’ house and all live in with their own families are still around, such families usually have the grandmother as the center of everything and be the one calling the shots on important decision, this is however a dying tendency (at least in the Bajío)

Dating and Friendships

Despite its conservative ideologies, parents are surprisingly permissive when it comes to the dating life of their children, sure there are some really strict parents around but they’re usually mocked even by other parents for being so prudish. An interesting contrast with American parents that I’ve seen, is that while the americans want to know who their kids are going out with, their parents, their school, etc. etc. Mexican parent rarely concern themselves with these details, as long as you get to the house at the promised hour and not smelling like alcohol or cigarettes, you’re good, it’s a given that if you’re taking someone into the house and to meet the family it’s because is a serious relationship or an incredibly good friend, and a way of telling your parents that you (and by extension them) are gonna keep seeing them.

Food

Two key things about food in Mexico: tortillas and chile, sweet bread is also a must, but only for breakfast. Even the the most posh, stuck-up (or fresas as we call them) people will occasionally indulge into the nearest taco (or larguitas) stand for lunch, or dinner. A usual meal around here consists of soup, some steak or guisado accompanied by juice or water, dessert is not really accustomed either, unless you’re eating out.

 Another thing is that fast food (pizza, burgers, fries, etc.) is not really popular around here, unless you’re from one of the big cities (DF, Querétaro, and Guadalajara) is usually seen as either something you only do for your kid’s birthday, or when you just don’t have the time for cooking because of a tight schedule.

Education

In Mexico compulsory education is divided by 6 years of elementary school (primaria), 3 of middle school (secundaria), and three of high school (preparatora or bachillerato). Afterwards college lasts usually 4-5 years. If you graduated on medical career (nurses, doctors, dentists, psychologists and psychiatrist) are required to have in between 6 months or a year of social services before getting matriculated.

I should say that Mexicans value education A LOT, over here claiming that “college is for losers” will get you a smack in the head (by your parents) and rolled eyes from everyone else; even from people who were born before such requirement for a job were a thing, that doesn’t mean that everyone goes to college, but is usually seen as the ideal path for your children, if you don’t want to go, that’s fine but then you’re gonna have to work, and you will be expected to settle down with a family as soon as you can financially support yourself instead.

Religion

As with the majority of Mexicans, even though I’m no longer practicing (I’m atheist) I was raised as Catholic, with moderated requirements, so I had to go to mass on Sunday (which always last the same 45 min. or 1 hr. tops) with formal wear, I prayed the “Padre Nuestro” and “Ave Maria” before going to bed (this usually only last ‘til puberty hits, they stop forcing you by then) thank God for the food after each meal, but the whole thing about not eating meat on Fridays is usually only on the Cuaresma, and it only applies to red meats, so most people eat fish and chicken during those days anyway. I had to do my confirmation, my first communion, and do confessions with the local church.

Holidays

These are 5 important Holidays in Mexico (in order of importance):

  • Independence Day (September 16th) – National off the school (and the job) day, there are parades all over the country and on the midnight of the 15th the President will give the Bell Ring to commemorate the Father Miguel Hidalgo and lots, lots of fireworks, usually the decorations and festive moods last all September month.
  • Day of the Dead (November 2nd) – Depending on the region, some places celebrate the 1st too as the “All Saints Day”, it’s also depending on the region the level to which is celebrated, in the Bajío we get an off-day, there are altars contests and Catrina parades, and we go the Cemetery to clean and adorn the graves of our families, but I know there are other places where they treat it like a regular day, leaving the visit for the most close weekend, and then there are some other places, where it’s such an important day, that everything is closed, stores, hotels, restaurants, to give off the ‘mourning’ more weight than the celebrating part, even the parades are done in silence.
  • Christmas’s Eve (December 24th) – No Santa here (kids know about it, but most don’t ask presents to him), it’s exclusively a religious and family day, it’s tradition to put a manger of the baby Jesus. Family dinner at midnight, ALL the family is gonna travel to their childhood homes with their kids and spouses, a longer Mass is also attended too at night, some more religious families also perform several prayers before said dinner, and attend to the morning mass of the 25th day in which usually everything is closed down (except in bigger cities)
  • The Wise Kings Day (January 6th ) – This is the day kids get their presents, the 5th is usually used for kids to hang their letters in the tree or in some places to a balloon into the air with the things they want, and wake super early and everything, that same night we get the “Rosca of Reyes”, which has several figurines of the baby Jesus in it, and anyone who gets one, has to make a meal (traditionally tamales but it can be anything) on the February 2nd for all the assistants, in schools is also done, and the expenses of are shared by the people who got the figurines as well.
  • The Mexican Revolution (November 20th) – Similar to the Independence day, except that is less prominent, and depending on which weekday falls is less likely to get it as an off-day from school (usually never for jobs, unless you work in a school) the parade for this day is different from the Independence day one, because this one is less militaristic and more sporty with schools having an athletic or dancing routine for it.
  • Mother’s Day (May 10th) – Usually not an off-day, but people tend to leave both school and jobs early that day to spend the day with their mother (or at least give them a call in case they can’t), it’s more…about the publicity and gifts than any other holiday

Beauty Standards

Mexican beauty standards vary according to the region, I grew up in the “Bajío” the mid-land of the country, where most of the population range from brown to white-passing of skin-color, and my family like many others in the area has sprinkled this range in the whole family, case in point, me and my siblings: my little sister is pale as they come and definitely white-passing (she has been told as much by our mexican-american cousins), my older brother is dark-skinned and really really hairy, I’m in the middle of them being light-browned:

  • Skin tone: Colorism is definitely a thing here, since birth you’ll hear how pretty and cute pale babies are, and how ‘funny’ darker babies are, this is something that never really goes away as one gets older people will just stop being polite about it seeing as negroandprieto (black) are common derogative words to describe a particularly dark brown person, sometimes even calling them chango (monkey) whereas the neutral term would be “moreno (a)“ 
  • Hair: You’re gonna have a hard time finding anyone who is doesn’t have brown or dark-hair, personally I can count with one hand the number of naturally blond people I’ve met in my 20-something years of life, I’ve met more red-heads than blonds honestly, I mentioned natural blond, because what you’re gonna get a lot are dyed blondies here, (and yes it does have to do with American-european beauty standards and prominence in the media) still, this is starting to change and it’s far more common with older women (over 35-40)
  • Body Types: Despite the stereotype of the voluptuous latina, Mexican women have a wide array of body types, from petite to XXL (bigger than this is rare though) The curvy but still not-really-overweight is preferred over skinny, especially if said skinny girl doesn’t have full bottom, hips and legs (which are seen as waay more appealing than big breasts), she will often be called out for having “patas de pollo” (chicken legs) or “huesuda” (boney) in case she’s not pale.
  • Make Up: There’s something you should know, 90% of Mexican women will always grab their make-up (especially the lipstick) when going out even for a mere errand, I was thought how to use make-up before learning about periods. The only schools that will not let you wear it are usually the religious ones and of course the elementary level.
  • Clothing: As of late, Mexico is a place where casual clothing is the norm, even for most jobs and schools dress-codes are really lax and even then rarely enforced (unless you really push your luck of course, no one is gonna go to work wearing yoga pants and sneakers), but there are still subtle hints and differences, you can often tell people’s family background, income and even occupation by the way they dress: people from poorer families tend to favor sports clothing and sneakers (they’re easy to move in, cheap and comfy), middle-class people will have jeans and dress shirts of all types, colors and styles, formal shoes, sandals, and boots, only wearing full formal attire if the job requires it, or on formal occasions, even then richer people favor  casual fashion styles, but they can be spotted because they are the ones wearing super tall high heels, jewelry brand clothing and purses etc.

Things I’d like to see less of

The spicy Latina, the illegal immigrant or the stereotypical poor Mexican family with little to no education, also the jornalero too.

Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

Also I’m tired of seeing the Latinx community as a monolith, where the Mexicans, the Colombians, the Chileans, the Argentines, the Brazilians etc. etc. 

Things I’d like to see more of

Educated mexicans, hard-working mexicans, legal and born into America Mexicans, indigenous Mexicans.

Following the above, I’m not saying that we should erase the presence of the undocumented Mexicans, I want to see the follow up to that story, do people even understand the reason why Immigration is so common in Mexico? Do they know that more often than not, it’s only the father of the family that goes away and send money to their family in Mexico? So they can have a better life, a better education? Where is the following to that?

I’ve seen tons of depictions for the immigrants and their struggle for that better life, which feel more often than not, as a way for americans to have sob story about how “bad” our lives are and how we seek the better, richer ‘American dream’ in order to what? Feel sorry for us? But why don’t we see them having that result which is often reflected on their children? Did you know that Education is the most valued asset in Mexico? Did you know that most jornaleros won’t even risk bringing their kids with them, because they tell them to stay in school, to be better? (I always found that ridiculous, children labor exist and is a problem, but virtually no parent in gonna do that unless they are irresponsible or non-caring about them), where are the doctors? The lawyers, the engineers, the writers, the teachers. Why are we always singers or dancers, narcos or cops? We are not ‘entertainers’ at heart for you to have fun, nor dumb muscle for your gang problems.

Book Recommendations

I know this isn’t part of the POC Profile but if you want to have a better view of the Mexican way of thinking and our culture I highly suggest these titles:

  • The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz
  • The Broken Spears by Miguel León-Portilla
  • Psychology of the Mexican by Rogelio Diaz-Guerrero
  • The Book of Lamentations by Rosario Castellanos
  • Mañana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans by Jorge Castañeda

anonymous asked:

Would you be able to make references of some alien languages? Like galran or altean?

All the info about Altean on this blog is in this tag here

Here are examples of what written Altean looks like:

(remember that the glowing letters mean scultrite)

This creature is called Klanmüirl.

And this creature is called Xznly Squiwl.

I don’t believe anyone has figured out if written Altean can be translated directly to English from the info we’re given or not. It seems to me that Altean is written similarly to Korean, thus each symbol may be one syllable like in Korean (although maybe not, since scultrite is two syllables and is written in three symbols (two of which are identical???)).


And here are examples of written Galran:

lol I assume that reads Emperor Zarkon.


And here are examples of the languages used in the Space Mall

The sign appears to read Terra, which of course means Earth.

Interestingly, the signs in the space mall seem to be in various alien languages instead of a standard one. Since “the whole universe runs on GAC these days” (GAC standing for Galra Authorized Currency), one might think that maybe the Galra would enforce Galran as the standard language along with having a standard currency.

Look who’s back with another list! This is a list of all the countries in the world and it’s pretty long! It doesn’t contain territories as they are seen as belonging to that country, if you get what I mean. Tagging @iwillbeapolyglot, @wonderful-language-sounds and @howtopolyglot!

  • A recap of some words:

Land بَلَد
Country إقْليم / مُقاطَعة
Continent قارّة
Territory أرض / إقليم
Island جَزيْرة
North الشَّمال
South الجَنوب
East الشَّرْق
West الغَرْب

Africa إفْريقِيا

Algeria الجزائر
Angola أنغولا
Benin بنين
Botswana بوتسوانا
Burkina Faso بوركينا فاسو
Burundi بوروندي
Cameroon الكاميرون
Cape Verde الرأس الأخضر
Central African Republic جمهورية افريقيا الوسطى
Chad تشاد
Comoros جزر القمر
Democratic Republic of Congo جمهورية الكونغو الديمقراطية
Republic of Congo جمهورية الكونغو
Côte d’Ivoire كوت ديفوار
Djibouti جيبوتي
Egypt مصر
Equatorial Guinea غينيا الإستوائية
Eritrea إريتريا
Ethiopia أثيوبيا
Gabon الغابون
Gambia غامبيا
Ghana غانا
Guinea غينيا
Guinea-Bissau غينيا بيساو
Kenya كينيا
Lesotho ليسوتو
Liberia ليبيريا
Libya ليبيا
Madagascar مدغشقر
Malawi ملاوي
Mali مالي
Mauritania موريتانيا
Morocco المغرب
Mozambique موزمبيق
Namibia ناميبيا
Niger النيجر
Nigeria نيجيريا
Rwanda رواندا
Sao Tome and Principe ساو تومي وبرينسيب
Senegal السنغال
Seychelles سيشيل
Sierra Leone سيرا ليون
Somalia الصومال
South Africa جمهورية جنوب أفريقيا
Sudan سودان
Swaziland سوازيلاند
Tanzania تنزانيا
Togo توغو
Tunisia تونس
Uganda أوغندا
Western Sahara الصحراء الغربية
Zambia زامبيا
Zimbabwe زيمبابوي

  • Asia آسيا

Afghanistan أفغانستان
Armenia أرمينيا
Azerbaijan أذربيجان
Bahrain البحرين
Bangladesh بنغلاديش
Bhutan بوتان
Brunei بروناي
Cambodia كمبوديا
China الصين
Georgia جورجيا
Hong Kong هونغ كونغ
India الهند
Indonesia أندونيسيا
Iran إيران
Iraq العراق
Israel إسرائيل
Japan اليابان
Jordan الأردن
Kazakhstan كازاخستان
North Korea كوريا الشمالية
South Korea كوريا الجنوبية
Kuwait الكويت
Kyrgyzstan قيرغيزستان
Laos لاوس
Lebanon لبنان
Malaysia ماليزيا
Maldives جزر المالديف
Mongolia منغوليا
Myanmar ميانمار
Oman عمان
Nepal نيبال
Pakistan باكستان
Palestine فلسطين
Philippines الفلبين
Qatar قطر
Saudi Arabia المملكة العربية السعودية
Singapore سنغافورة
Sri Lanka سيريلانكا
Syria سوريا
Taiwan تايوان
Tajikistan طاجيكستان
Thailand تايلند
Timor تيمور
Turkey تركيا
Turkmenistan تركمانستان
UAE الإمارات العربية المتحدة
Uzbekistan أوزبكستان
Vietnam فيتنام
Yemen اليمن

  • Europe أوروبا

Albania ألبانيا
Andorra أندورا
Austria النمسا
Belarus روسيا البيضاء
Belgium بلجيكا
Bosnia and Herzegovina البوسنة والهرسك
Bulgaria بلغاريا
Croatia كرواتيا
Czech Republic جمهورية التشيك
Denmark الدنمارك
Estonia استونيا
Faroe Islands جزر فارو
Finland فنلندا
France فرنسا
Germany ألمانيا
Greece اليونان
Hungary المجر
Iceland أيسلندا
Ireland أيرلندا
Italy إيطاليا
Kosovo كوسوفو
Latvia لاتفيا
Liechtenstein ليختنشتاين
Lithuania ليتوانيا
Luxembourg لوكسمبورغ
Macedonia مقدونيا
Malta مالطا
Moldova مولدوفا
Monaco موناكو
Montenegro الجبل الأسود
Netherlands هولندا
Norway النرويج
Poland بولندا
Portugal البرتغال
Romania رومانيا
Russia روسيا
San Marino سان مارينو
Serbia صربيا
Slovakia سلوفاكيا
Slovenia سلوفينيا
Spain إسبانيا
Sweden السويد
Switzerland سويسرا
Ukraine أوكرانيا
UK المملكة المتحدة
Vatican City مدينة الفاتيكان

  • North America أمريكا الشمالية

Antigua and Barbuda أنتيغوا وباربودا
Bahamas جزر البهاما
Barbados بربادوس
Belize بليز
Canada كندا
Costa Rica كوستا ريكا
Cuba كوبا
Dominica دومينيكا
Dominican Republic جمهورية الدومنيكان
El Salvador السلفادور
Greenland جرينلاند
Grenada غرينادا
Guatemala غواتيمالا
Haiti هايتي
Honduras هندوراس
Jamaica جامايكا
Mexico المكسيك
Nicaragua نيكاراغوا
Panama بناما
Trinidad and Tobago ترينداد وتوباغو
United States الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية

  • South America امريكا الجنوبية

Argentina الأرجنتين
Bolivia بوليفيا
Brazil البرازيل
Chile تشيلي
Colombia كولومبيا
Ecuador الاكوادور
Guyana غيانا
Paraguay باراغواي
Peru بيرو
Suriname سورينام
Uruguay أوروغواي
Venezuela فنزويلا

  • Oceania أوقيانوسيا

Australia أستراليا
Fiji فيجي
Kiribati كيريباس
Marshall Islands جزر مارشال
Micronesia ميكرونيزيا
Nauru ناورو
New Zealand نيوزيلاندا
Palau بالاو
Papua New Guinea بابوا غينيا الجديدة
Samoa ساموا
Solomon Islands جزر سليمان
Tonga تونغا
Tuvalu توفالو
Vanuatu فانواتو

  • Antarctica القطب الجنوبي
  • Arctic قطبي شمالي