Slow News Day

It is a slow news day. There's not much happening here. I finished with all my reviews in queue, but I am not sure if there is anything else to do. I told my boss, he'll figure out something for sure. Otherwise, I can hang about the house and shoot the breeze. That usually does not last long, I am sure that something will come down one hour before ending the day.

Learning Lingua Franca Nova

Ok, I am taking this one a bit more serious, which is insane being that I am a native Spanish speaker. Why do I want to bother with "broken Spanish"? I think I am doing it for the fun of it and to annoy people :D.

So how similar it is to Spanish ? Well, a lot and a little. See below:

English
The brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
Spanish
La zorra marrón saltó sobre el perro vago
LFN
La volpe brun ia salta supra la can pigra.

The past, the present and the future

The part that I really like about LFN is the way it handles verbs compared to other Latin based languages. It uses three distinct modifiers.

ia
for past
va
for future
ta
for conditional

That applies for all verbs. This is as simple as Esperanto while still minimizing unnatural sounding constructs. How does this map in real life? Let's use "I went to my house" as an example.

LFN
Me ia vade a me casa.
Spanish
Yo ya fuí a mi casa.

I am forcing the use of the word "ya" being that you do not need it, but you can see where the idea came from. The same would apply for future tense: I will go to my house.

LFN
Me va vade a me casa.
Spanish
Yo voy a ir a mi casa.

In this case "voy a" takes the job for the future tense, but this changes the meaning slightly to "I am going to my house", being that in Spanish, perfect future tense is: "Yo iré a mi casa". However the mechanics used by LFN are fairly reasonable, for sure, a lot simpler than Kotava.

A single verb to rule them all

Verbs do not change for gender or number which is the bane of all Latin based languages. This peculiarity happens to come from the mother of all of them, Latin, that contains inflections or changes based on those on verbs or adjectives. For example:

Third person singular feminine

en
She goes to her house.
es
Ella va a su casa.
lfn
La fem vade a se casa.

Second personal plural feminine

en
They go to their houses.
es
Ellas van a sus casas.
lfn
La femas vade a se casas.

The verb "to go", vade, does not change like in English or Spanish. It is understood by the subject.

Isn't that cool?

koteŝa lovetko

We got the first critter of the week, a female tuxedo cat that we nicknamed Blanchie. It seems to be doing ok, but this also means that I have to be up tomorrow at 5:00AM (0500h) to drop it at the hospital for feral neuterinġ. We will leave another trap overnight and see if we get another critter.

We might get turned away, worst case, we just get a nice trip to... Newark, NJ.

Zone Based Common Languages

In my quest of weird and uncommon languages, I am paying more attention in Slavonic based constructed languages. Even though I would like to spend more time with Pandunia, it seems that it is in constant state of flux. I will put it on hold until August when the new release goes out. Besideş I need to spend more time improving my Esperanto.

One of these that have gotten my eye on is with the Neoslavonic Constructed Language or Interslavic. Its goal is to normalize slavonic based languages with a single set of grammar.

One language to speak to a lot of people

I think that this is a cool idea which got me thinking: perhaps the intention is to have a common languages by zone which cover vasts territories might be more achievable goal than having a single language for everybody. Although I believe that Esperanto or Ido have measurable success, it is certainly a far cry from being a global language.

Therefore, by having a simplified language that resembles what the local speak may allow foreigners to communicate in a way that does not impose the native speaker to learn a second language.

I think that this is doable for the most part, with the exception of certain parts of the world in which languages from different origins are clustered within a region.

Which ones should rule the roost

Well, this is my take from a non expert point of view:

US, Canada, English Oceania, and English Caribbean
Basic English There are plenty different types of simplified English that may fit the purpose, I just choose this one being that it was developed as an IAL. YMMV.
Mexico, Central, Spanish Caribbean, and South America
Lingua Franca Nova LFN was developed to sound like Spanish or Italian but without the burden of all the verb tenses (believe me, they are a burden).
Slavic Speaking Europe
Interslavic This is a serious effort to get a common language based on slavonic roots. There are others which try to create a simplified language with slavonic origins (slovio and slovko come to mind) but the criticism is that they sound too artificial to native speakers.
Non Slavic Speaking Europe
Esperanto Even though this may raise an eyebrow, the reason is that there is a petition to the EU parlament to declare it an official language. If it happenş it seems like a no brainer.

The Gaps

There are plenty gaps in these being that these cover only the industrialized world. There might be other languages that should be easier for these part of the world but I just do not know about them.

For now, I just list them:

Middle East
Probably a simplified Farsi or Arab based language may do the trick. With the exception of Israel, of course.
Africa
It would be either a version of Swahili for this being that I doubt that an Afrikan based one would be seen as a good choice. However, there are plenty countries in Africa that speak French or English which makes one of the already mentioned ones as a possibility.
Asia and Non English Oceania
This region has the same challenges as Africa in which there are many languages within a region that come from different origins.

For these regions it seems that a neutral language may be better choice than one based on an established one. This should keep everybody equally unhappy. :) Lingwa De Planeta seems like a good candidate being that it takes words and ideas from major language groups, including Arab, Spanish, English, and Chinese.

However, considering that none of this will come into fruition within in my lifetime, it is just wishful thinking.

Así es.

Jan. 26th, 2013 08:00 am


Posted via DwBeetle

When we travel, we want to talk to people from other places. But as we know, it is not always easy, which can be frustrating. Although everybody assumes English. In reality, it is spoken only where the tourists go. This means that you have to pay a premium for the privilege to be understood.

I am native Spanish and fluent English speaker (otherwise, you would have been lost already) which allows me to travel pretty much through the whole American continent without communications issues. I know a bit of French, which is spoken in the Caribbean, which pretty much covers the Americas.

Now, if I go to Asia or the Eastern Europe, I can honestly say that I am up the creek without a paddle. Probably forced to pantomime to get myself sort of understood.

In my fools errand of learning quirky languages that few people speak, I discovered a movement to create a Pan-Slavic language. That came with a slew of languages of different complexities and philosophies, all claiming the same thing.

Learn this one once and be understood throughout the Slavic speaking world!

Really?

Let's see... I am having a hard time to come to grasp with that claim. If experience serves me well, the only way I was able to be understood in Brazil was talking like Tarzan.

Me hungry, me eat, like chicken...

Portuguese and Spanish are the two most closely related of the Latin languages, and I had a hard time getting by with the locals. I can only read French because spoken will get me lost due to its enunciation. I can get Italian sort of ok, but differences will throw me off for good chunks of the conversation.

Romanian? Well, when I was there the kid was asking what type of service I needed and took me a good 15 minutes to realize that cabina meant the toilet enclosure.

This, comes back to a single language to rule them all. What I can do is spent time learning one of the simplified ones and try it with my coworkers that are native speakers of Slavic based languages and see if the message goes through.

... or not.

Oh my, what a lot of code!

Well, vacation is over. I got two tickets assigned this week to make sure that the code being delivered is up to standards. Meh... I would have expected some time off before the start of the year's projects.

The 9:00 AM meeting did not help much, being that my waking and sleeping hours are still out of whack.

Neo Patwa

I have been learning Toki Pona which is a Pidgin Language being a pidgin language one that is based on a subset of phonemes and a constrained vocabulary. I also discovered another one called Neo Patwa, in which the name is based on Patua, a French Creole spoken in northern Brazil. Neo Patwa is phonologically similar to Patua, but it is based on different languages like Spanish, French, English, Swahili, etc...

I'm not sure if I'm incline to learn another constructed language, but it seems to be an interesting exercise.

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