Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Native alphabets

From:Sarah Marie Parker-Allen <lloannna@...>
Date:Thursday, January 16, 2003, 7:34
This is just personal experience talking, but I found Russian three times
easier when I truly learned the Cyrillic (which, BTW, took less than a
week).  There were some times during my first quarter when I'd randomly wish
something were romanized, but it was so much easier to really understand and
remember when I used the proper alphabet.  That's one reason why I'm annoyed
with myself for not coming up with a good script for my languages right from
the start; the only reason I *don't* is because I'm sure it would change
over time and keeping the most current version in mind while I'm still
formulating the grammar and vocabulary would be... a bit overwhelming.  At
least for a first or second conlang.

Anyway, there are any number of words in Russian which only differ by adding
the soft sign (rendered in English with " ' ", as in "brat'" vs. "brat") or
in the difference between sh and chsh, AND there are at least two ways of
rendering a half dozen different sounds (try "tsar" vs. "czar").  Plus,
there's always the issue of differing pronunciation -- I've been told my
Russian sounds like I'm from St. Petersburg, which isn't surprising
considering that almost all my teachers were either from St. Petersburg or
had done their overseas work there -- except for one very nice girl from
Siberia.  Anyway, the differences are significant, and getting people to
agree is maddening.

Not to mention, trying to translate back to Cyrillic in order to look
something up in a dictionary is MURDER.  All in all, the only time I try
using transliteration is when I have no choice (deciding how to translate
"Disney" took so long, and so many versions didn't work, that I gave up and
searched Yandex with the English version).  Certainly I never transliterate
when I write, unless it's to demonstrate something to a non-speaker (I'm
known in my circle of friends for trying to show people how much Russian
they already know ^_^)

Sarah Marie Parker-Allen

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even
though the end may be dark."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien

> -----Original Message----- > Behalf Of Roger Mills > >I also think Greek and especially Sanskrit would > >be _much_ more accessible if we could dispense > >with the native alphabets. > > Happy to say, the Sanskrit course I took was taught in roman letters. Of > course it was a quickie Summer session deal, but we managed to > advance a lot > further than if we'd had to struggle with Devanagari for weeks... > > An old Berlitz Russian book I struggled with used both Cyrillic and roman; > unfortunately the only thing that has stuck with me is: vot > borshch! "Here > is the borscht!" and I don't even like the stuff.
--- [This E-mail scanned for viruses by SURFSIDE INTERNET]