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    None really, I plan to study French or German
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  1. I have noticed something interesting to me. Over the past 10 or so years, I have been exposed to German in 2 main contexts, studying German vocabulary and seeing German words in music. This exposure has been relatively low(after all, it isn't like I live in a German speaking community). And yet, I can still understand German words that I haven't even heard or seen before. For example, this word: I can translate into this: And yet, I have never seen or heard this German word being used. I have a hypothesis as to why I am able to understand and even translate a German word without having been previously exposed to that particular word. Hypothesis My hypothesis is that because German is very closely related to English, I have been exposed to some German(though not as much as I would be if I immersed myself in German), and German is a relatively consistent language, that even when I don't know what a word or component of a word means, I can often deduce the meaning based on the context of the entire German sentence. Here are a couple of sentences in German as an example to illustrate what I mean: And, with the help of context, I can translate it to this in English: It's like, I don't even need to get into the weeds of studying German grammar and writing in German in order to understand and translate German words that I have never seen or heard before. With other languages like French, I probably would have to do that, but not with German. Why though? Why is it so easy for me to understand German, even with relatively low exposure to it? Does it have to do with the combination of it being closely related to English, me having some exposure to German, and German being a relatively consistent language? Does the fact that I am a musician who studies classical music and thus come across German titles for pieces make it easier for me to understand German than if I didn't come across German titles like Fünfte Symphonie or Eine Kleine Nachtmusic?
  2. It has been suggested to me that since I am starting with the proto-lang as far as making my conlang is concerned, that likewise, when I get to the writing system, I should start with the most complicated to learn of them all, the logography. It is so intimidating to me though. I mean, at minimum, you would still have hundreds of characters, all of which look unique. At maximum you would have tens of thousands of characters like in Chinese. Speaking of which, I think making a logography that is completely unique from any existing logography from ancient civilizations is hard. On the one hand, you have those logographies which are made from just strokes and don't look like anything in particular except for maybe a few characters for person, moon, tree, etc. such as Chinese. Then you have the slightly more detailed looking logographies that actually look like objects and/or concepts, like the logography of ancient Egypt. Egyptian is a bit more complicated because, a symbol can either mean a specific word or words, or it can be phonetic, in which case this is the rough correspondence between Egyptian and the Latin Alphabet. So you could say that Egyptian is the earliest existence of an alphabet because it can be phonetic. Anyway, then you have the very detailed looking logographies of languages like Ancient Mayan. And again with Mayan, a symbol can represent a specific word or it can represent a sound. In fact, in a sense, Mayan has 2 scripts, a true logographic script, and a completely phonetic script. Here is an example. As you can see, on the left is the logographic way to represent the word, and on the right is the completely phonetic way of writing down that same exact word. And unlike Egyptian, which gives you little to no clue as to whether the symbol is logographic or phonetic, you can decipher instantly whether a Mayan glyph is logographic or phonetic, because the phonetic script looks completely different from the logographic script. Anyway, you see the problem I run into trying to make a logography of my own? No matter how detailed I get with the symbols, or how realistic the symbols look, there is always an existing logography, modern or ancient, from languages in human history that matches that detail and realism level. If I go the stroke route, my logography is going to look like a slightly different version of the Chinese script. If I go the more realistic and slightly more detailed route, my logography is going to look similar in concept to that of the Egyptians. If I go both very detailed and very realistic, my logography is going to look similar to the Mayan script. Not to mention that I would need at minimum a few hundred characters just to be able to write normal speech in my logography, each of which looks unique from any other character in the script. It is so intimidating to make a logography. How can I get past this and actually start writing my logography? How would I get across words that aren't easy to represent with a single symbol such as the word in my conlang representing baby or the word representing pregnancy? Sure, modifying the person symbol just a little bit would get across the word for baby fine. But the word for pregnancy or pregnant? That doesn't seem so easy to get across, even with modifications to an existing character in the script.
  3. There have been 2 languages that always interested me. Those are French and German. I'm wondering which one to do deeper study on. Each one has their pros and cons French Pros -Often considered to be easier than German for English speakers -I love the beauty of the language -I already know some basic words -Rolled R is easy peasy for me Cons -Uvular R is very tricky for me -Knowing when to spell with an accent marking might be hard -No structure to the grammatical gender, so I simply have to memorize which words are masculine and which ones are feminine German Pros -English is a Germanic language -I know a little bit of German -The word for hundred is a cognate in German and English -More structure to grammatical gender than French's literally random grammatical gender Cons -Pronunciation might not be obvious(for example W actually sounds like V) -Compound words can get super long -Often described as being harder to learn than the Romance languages for English speakers -Unusual letters(like for example, the one that looks like a big B? Yeah that actually is pronounced like an S) Which language do you think I should pursue further studies on?
  4. I don't know which one to study first. I know they are both Romance languages(latin based) so they will be relatively easy. I am in college and I don't need to know a foreign language for the degree I plan to get so that isn't a problem. I like French better personally(maybe it is because of the accent but nevertheless I like French better). But French is much less common in the USA and while I have wanted to travel to France ever since I was 9 years old(so that is for me, about 9 years of wanting to travel to France), I have never gotten to go for these reasons: 1) My parents keep saying they should get me a passport but then forget and so I haven't gotten a passport 2) My momma keeps wanting to go to further north in Europe(specifically Ireland and Scotland) 3) My dad keeps wanting to go to Alaska(he doesn't mind the arctic) 4) Expenses, Even if I could go without a passport, it is still very expensive for just the flight itself not to mention that I would have to convert my dollars to Euros in order to buy anything in France(or a lot of Europe really). So I figured that if I do learn French, than maybe I can find at some point, a French speaker who lives in Ohio that I truly love. But the third most common language in Ohio is German so that may be hard. So anyway, if it comes down to these 2(I am not so sure about studying German, I mean "Nine" for "No", "Die" for "The", etc. plus the fact that in German you can keep compounding words until you get a very complex word in German for which you would need a whole sentence to say the same thing in English just deters me from German), which one do you think I should study first, French or Spanish?
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