1. This is by far the most balanced presentation of the arguments for Esperanto I’ve seen, placing them within the context of social justice and language equality.

     

  2. fun linguistic fact: the reason this appears in more than one anime is not because of bad writing, but because the verb ‘to kill’ in japanese (殺す korosu) is non-telic, meaning it doesn’t necessarily imply a complete action. so what’s translated as “he doesn’t die even if you kill him!” is more like “he doesn’t die even if you try to kill him!”

    (Source: mar-kuu, via hattmanstumbler)

     


  3. when your lecturer says some uninformed transphobic shit in your lecture >:(

     

  4. Reppin’ Linguistics

     


  5. superlinguo:

    Oh dear, Sufjan. Your open letter to Miley Cyrus pointing out the lack of grammatical correctness in her song lyrics, repeatedly shared on our social media feeds today, is making us frown.

    We’re frowning because it’s not cool to exert superiority over others by pointing out their use of…

    I’m so happy somebody did this.

     


  6. nietzscheisdead:

    did u know people have been proposing gender neutral pronouns literally since the 19th century. the word thon was invented in 1884 and was in funk and wagnell’s standard dictionary til the late 60s…please do not pretend that gender neutral pronouns are a wacky and grammatically unfounded recent phenomenon

    Also they totally emerge naturally in some instances.

    (Source: gorebitch666, via sophisgone)

     


  7. This article, like pretty much every one written about Esperanto, is poorly researched. If the author had actually read the entirety of Okrent’s book, they would’ve understood her point that Esperanto has it’s own subculture. This comes up pretty quickly if you actually research the topic properly.

    So the whole argument of the second half of the article is just wrong. Obviously it doesn’t have the same swathes of legend and literature as national cultures, but there are lots of great musicians and some really good literary works (cf. La Infana Raso by William Auld, translated from Esperanto into several languages, including English).

    Finally, the use of ‘doomed’ in the title, apart from being clickbait, is completely subjective. The vast majority of Esperantists today don’t think Esperanto will become completely universal anytime soon (English still isn’t), and don’t think that’s even necessarily a worthwhile or realistic goal. They enjoy using Esperanto to meet people from lots of different places and participate in a subculture.

     


  8. there’s nothing sexier than a vocalised nasal

     


  9. lesserjoke:

    didyoudrinkmygingerale:

    I think it’s safe to say that when people are talking about “untranslatable words” what they conceptualize/mean is “formal (lexical) units that cannot be translated without periphrasis, usu. taking additional morphemes,” which is a perfectly fine linguistic observation.

    The problem, I think, is the semantics and usage of “untranslatable,” which carries different implications and meaning for somebody outside of linguistics.

    Agreed. I think the popular implication of the word “untranslatable” is that the culture of that language’s speakers has placed such an importance on the particular concept being expressed that it’s become lexicalized for them in a way that it hasn’t in other languages and cultures. Which, like Sean says, is not at all a situation that a linguist would ordinarily use the word “untranslatable” to describe… probably because we’re all fairly used to seeing translations between languages that don’t use the same amount of words to express the same concepts. But it’s still a valid observation, and may well be getting at some truth of cultural diversity.

    On the other hand, I think part of the frustration linguists have with those lists of “untranslatable words” is that they often have at least one entry from a polysynthetic language, for which it’s pretty unlikely that the word is actually stored in any speaker’s lexicon. If your language builds complicated words (roughly) like English builds complicated syntactic structures, the argument/implication that any one of those words is expressing some cultural truth becomes a heck of a lot weaker without some further evidence that people are actually using this word regularly.

    Also a lot of the time they say “this word in English means” and then give a perfectly serviceable translation. It’s overemphasis on orthographic word boundaries at best and lazy Whorfism at worst.

     

  10. I went to the woods yesterday and made a video. My boyfriend recorded it with his lovely DSLR and microphone. It’s about linguistic discrimination and dialects, so if you’re into social justice then give it a look.