Re: OT: What is your qualia of consciousness / thought? (WAS: does conlanging change your sense of reality?)
|From:||Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 9:52|
2009/4/7 Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
> That could be one reason I have such trouble with verb-final languages like
> Japanese. My thoughts come more naturally in English word order, but with
> some flexibility -- not always in the order I end up speaking or writing
> them, but more or less. With some practice, the Japanese word order becomes
> more natural for Japanese words, so I could probably get used to it if I
> spent enough time exposing myself to Japanese (but speech often comes at you
> too quickly to understand, and reading is a difficult skill to learn. I've
> found the most effective way to learn the writing system for me is to learn
> the pronunciation of whole words, not individual kanji characters).
Dutch is verb-final in subclauses (like German), and although my fellow
students in Dutch class (coming from all kinds of backgrounds and native
languages) all had difficulties with it, I personally never found it a
problem. I never found word order to be a big problem (except in extended
sentences with lots of subclauses, but then even the Dutch themselves have
problems with them), it's the thing I adapt best to.
> To some extent, learning non-English words for me is a bit like learning
> unfamiliar English words: eventually given enough context it becomes part of
> my vocabulary. Most of the time I'm not very aware of this, since I don't
> read enough non-English text to become fluent in any language, but in one
> case, the Dutch word "over" tends to get translated mentally as German
> "über", rather than the English equivalent. On the other hand, any mental
> associations between German "wissen" vs. "kennen" and Spanish "saber" vs.
> "conocer" are weak at best.
To me, being immersed in the language is indeed vital to build up a
vocabulary. Without immersion, I still can learn grammatical rules very
easily, and apply them relatively simply to my sentences, but I can't grow a
usable vocabulary. That's why it took me only one month to get to a
conversational level in Dutch: I was immersed in the language already. With
Greek, it's more difficult since I only speak it a few weeks per year, so my
vocabulary tends to stagnate or regress easily.