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Re: [Slovak-World] Spoken Like a Native

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  • Matchett
    Neat article, Ron. Not quite the same, but I sometimes am taken for a German when in small shops in Bratislava. When I say in Slovak that my mother was from
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 2, 2012
      Neat article, Ron. Not quite the same, but I sometimes am taken for a German when in small shops in Bratislava. When I say in Slovak that my mother was from Zahorska Bystrica and father from Vel'ke' Levare, attitudes change and the clerks are friendlier and start conversing with me. Julia M.


      On Jan 2, 2012, at 3:02 AM, Ron wrote:

      > a fun article about what the author calls "minority language", from Smithsonian Magazine, March 2011. It would certainly seem to apply to Slovak, and I appreciate his comment about a "... grammatically correct question (no small feat in a highly inflected tongue").
      >
      > More from Smithsonian.com
      >
      > Spoken Like a Native
      > by Thomas Swick
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • votrubam
      Thanks, Ron, it ll come in useful when promoting Slovak. ... Yes, something of an American perspective. Quite a bit of a stretch when he mentions Romansh and
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 2, 2012
        Thanks, Ron, it'll come in useful when promoting Slovak.

        > what the author calls "minority language"

        Yes, something of an American perspective. Quite a bit of a stretch when he mentions Romansh and Sioux (the speakers of each of which count in tens of thousands), in the same breath as he pats himself on the back for his "minority" Polish (38 mil.) by comparison to what he sees as non-minority French (62 mil.). Poland is the 6th most populous nation of the European Union's 27 members.


        Martin
      • Julie Michutka
        ... Undoubtedly, his choice of word ( minority ) wasn t the best. If you add in people for whom French or Polish is a second language to some degree, the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 6, 2012
          On Jan 2, 2012, at 2:54 PM, votrubam wrote:

          > Yes, something of an American perspective. Quite a bit of a stretch when he mentions Romansh and Sioux (the speakers of each of which count in tens of thousands), in the same breath as he pats himself on the back for his "minority" Polish (38 mil.) by comparison to what he sees as non-minority French (62 mil.). Poland is the 6th most populous nation of the European Union's 27 members.

          Undoubtedly, his choice of word ("minority") wasn't the best. If you add in people for whom French or Polish is a second language to some degree, the disparity in numbers is probably much greater, don't you think?

          Not that I disagree with you at all about the American perspective.

          Julie Michutka
          jmm@...
        • votrubam
          ... He spoke of cuddling with the natives and their culture, not with second-language speakers wherever. The particularly ridiculous part and disparity,
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 6, 2012
            > If you add in people for whom French or Polish is a second
            > language to some degree, the disparity in numbers is probably much
            > greater

            He spoke of "cuddling" with the natives and their culture, not with second-language speakers wherever.

            The particularly ridiculous part and disparity, though, was speaking about being appreciated in minority communities like Romansh and Sioux (meaningful examples; even hardly-ever-taught Basque, Latvian, Finnish, Slovak... might fit) and then bringing in his Polish as if it belonged. As if running into a Polish-speaking person (his encounter in Venice) in Europe were something worth writing about and publishing.

            That is the sticky transatlantic perspective -- he speaks a foreign language or two, both spoken by tens of millions, and feels so special about something so mundane in the world. You don't normally address a stranger in Europe merely because s/he happens to speak your massively spoken language or a massively spoken language you can speak too. Even Slovaks often don't address strangers outside of Slovakia in Europe just because they hear them speak Slovak.


            Martin
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