Jump to content


Photo

Learning French - Aspergers


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#41 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 19 November 2014 - 06:16 AM

Aeolienne:

 

So sorry to hear about your experiences in Sweden.  I wouldn't call Swedish a particularly easy language, although of all the main European languages the Scandinavian ones, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian and Albanian are those I know least about.  I also get the impression that the Scandinavians are less likely to embrace English in the way they do in certain other European countries.  It often seems that the poorer the people the more hospitable they are.  The Nordic-Anglo-Germanic societies are not generally known for this, unlike the Irish-Romance-Slavic types. 

I threw temper tantrums in public places...

I did this when suffering from C-PTSD.  My mother in her 80s, had to calm me and lead me like a little child - very sad and painful memories. :(  - so I know what it's like. 

My family's reaction to this was effectively to push me away and tell me to go and see a counsellor to sort myself out (yeah, right!)

I suppose I had a very devoted mother.  I was lucky.

 

I hadn't been diagnosed with Asperger's then (even the counsellors I saw in the aftermath were ignorant of it); I often wonder what difference it would have made if my condition had been recognised...

 

I also saw counsellors and I often wonder this too.  There must be so very many 'if onlys' in the lives of late-diagnosed Aspies.

 

Looking back, I wonder if it was a sensory impairment that was the issue here.

It could well be.  I've found that I've only discovered my sensory impairments gradually, after all if we've lived with something our lives we tend to take it for granted and barely notice it.

 

Swedes tend to be fairly introverted, which makes it that much harder for an ex-pat trying to reach out to people and communicate.

Very true.  You might get on best in the Romance/Latin countries where people are more expressive, less reserved and easier to understand emotionally - especially for Aspies.  Their music and poetry reflect this.

Canopus:



I don't fully agree with this. If the United States was factored out then English today would largely be a language confined to the Commonwealth similar to how French and Portuguese are confined to former colonies of France and Portugal.

What I meant was precisely this - the initial spread of English was far more pervasive than that of the other big colonial languages - Spanish, Portuguese, French or Dutch.  The British Empire had outposts all over the world. 

English would almost certainly be in the top 10 economically important languages but it wouldn't be a global language. Outside of the Commonwealth, far fewer people today would know or be learning English.

I'd say even then it would have been the top economically important language.  It was used in virtually all the world's ports, due to Britain's world dominance in trade.  By the way, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) recognise four languages: English, French, Russian and Spanish.

I agree with you about urbanisation and the urban accents, but accents differ from dialects (which also have their own distinctive accents). 

Germany and Japan industrialised but still maintain their own distinct culture, identity, and language. It's also notable that these countries have not endured the wrath of a politically correct liberal elite since the 1960s that England has which has exacerbated the demise of several aspects English culture and identity. The City bankers are equally to blame because they see England as nothing more than a machine to make money from and making money as the only activity of any worth in England.

I think this is because neither Germany nor Japan experienced the catastrophic social effects that England suffered during the industrial revolution.  At that time the nation state of Germany was yet to be born,  Japan's obsessive isolationism helped it maintain its unique culture.  I agree with you about the PC-brigade and City bankers.  The City of London is a unique entity - a state with a state and virtually a law unto itself - an archaism which should be consigned to the past.

The BBC (once dominated by public school toffs with Home Counties accents) was quite brutal towards local English dialects. They once wouldn't allow a person from Tipton to be a radio presenter because they had too much of a black country accent!

A national broadcasting service always tends to have a homogenising effect upon local cultures.  I can't really blame it for being brutal towards dialects (for they can be unintelligible to outsiders) but banning accents is a very different thing and smacks of snobbery.  Ironically, the so-called Queen's English, as spoken by the Queen herself, is probably the least common indigenous English accent of 21st century England,

Some concerns circulated that indigenous British students (and other students who don't know the languages) might struggle more than with a European language as a result of the different alphabet. What do you think of this?

I agree.  I have no problem with Cyrillic or Greek alphabets (and the pronunciation of Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, etc. is highly phonetic unlike English, French, etc.- a great help).  Nearly all European languages have their own slightly different alphabets - even.  Icelandic retains the Old English 'ash', 'thorn' and 'eth'.   Most European alphabets include accented letters, etc. Welsh has it's ch, dd, ff, ll, ng and th counted as single 'letters' - confusing when using a dictionary - not to mention having to be alert to their fiendish first-letter mutation rules. http://www.siaradcymraeg.com/mutations.html However, when faced with something as alien as Chinese - no alphabet and 1000s of incomprehensible squiggles -  Aaargh!  Help! :banman1:  I think Armenian and Georgian have the most aesthetically appealing alphabets, Arabic perhaps the least, for me anyway!  :)

I think it's a combination of Enoch Powell potentially having AS himself and people with AS having a more questioning mind that doesn't go with the flow of popular opinion and the mainstream media like a high proportion of NT minds do.

Yes!  I've always been a black sheep. I'm just far too logical for the flock - and I wander into tangled thickets and think round corners too. 

I have suspected that sections of the radical right have appealed to people with AS whereas liberalism and modern western socialism are difficult for people with AS to comprehend.

I suppose I'm a radical traditionalist spiritual atheist :unsure: This may sound paradoxical but it's only so on a superficial level. I could show that it's entirely logical.  I've never aligned myself with either left- or right-wing politics (or any kind of ideology) - and have never voted.  I was only seen as an 'enigma' because the professional who called me this was looking in the wrong places, from the wrong direction - and using the wrong language!  :lol:

An admiration of Enoch Powell by people with AS has caused many frictions between them and NT parents of kids with AS who overwhelmingly despise Enoch Powell but rarely make the time and effort to study him in depth.

This didn't apply with my mother, but then I suspect she too had AS.  My dad never really discussed politics.


Edited by Mihaela, 19 November 2014 - 06:20 AM.


#42 Aeolienne

Aeolienne

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1122 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Leamington Spa, Warks
  • Interests:Baroque music, green issues (esp. renewable energy), hillwalking, Quakerism, reading (astronomy, fiction, popular science), practical conservation, art exhibitions, royal-watching

Posted 19 November 2014 - 09:36 AM

 

Aeolienne:

 

So sorry to hear about your experiences in Sweden.  I wouldn't call Swedish a particularly easy language, although of all the main European languages the Scandinavian ones, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian and Albanian are those I know least about.  I also get the impression that the Scandinavians are less likely to embrace English in the way they do in certain other European countries.  It often seems that the poorer the people the more hospitable they are.  The Nordic-Anglo-Germanic societies are not generally known for this, unlike the Irish-Romance-Slavic types.

 

Swedes tend to be fairly introverted, which makes it that much harder for an ex-pat trying to reach out to people and communicate.

Very true.  You might get on best in the Romance/Latin countries where people are more expressive, less reserved and easier to understand emotionally - especially for Aspies.  Their music and poetry reflect this.

Not sure what you mean by Scandinavians not embracing English - the language is widely spoken and British cultural exports such as pop music and TV series (from Emmerdale to Pride & Prejudice) have a wide following. In true Aspie pedantic style I have to point out that it is not true that all Swedes speak English; I certainly met some who didn't. Admittedly most of these were naturalised immigrants from the former Yugoslavian countries (English has no official status in Sweden so there is no obligation for immigrants to learn it after high school) but I did meet someone who was to all intents and purposes Swedish born and bred but couldn't/wouldn't speak English.

 

FWIW, there'd previously been students from my department who did an Erasmus year at Bologna and it was a great success. Interestingly, this wasn't because of Bologna having better formal support services - in fact it didn't even have a student union. What made a difference was that these students had a supervisor who really went out of his way to help these students with all matters of settling in, including non-academic issues such as finding somewhere to live. Presumably this was precisely because this tutor knew damn well that he couldn't pass the buck and expect someone else or some institution to pick up the pieces, unlike my Stockholm supervisor who apparently saw nothing untoward in disappearing off to Helsinki during the critical induction period. I can't help wondering whether this says something about the Italian mindset, perhaps northern Italian in particular. They have this kind of can-do mentality which stems from realising that since you cannot rely on institutions or Rome-based politicians, you have to look out for yourself and help the people you know. Not that I'm anti the welfare state, however...



#43 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 November 2014 - 08:39 PM

The O Level French exam papers from 1960

http://www.rgs.saund...0o-french1.html

http://www.rgs.saund...0o-french2.html

Notice how they only involve reading and writing French. There are no speaking or listening exams.

Do you think these exams are easier or harder than the modern French GCSE for kids with AS?

#44 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 20 November 2014 - 07:36 AM

Not sure what you mean by Scandinavians not embracing English.

'In true Aspie pedantic style', that's only part of what I said.  I said they were less likely to do so, in the way they do in certain other European countries

By the way I've known an Aspie Swede living near Stockholm for the past six years - who happens to speak very good English.

 

I can't help wondering whether this says something about the Italian mindset, perhaps northern Italian in particular. They have this kind of can-do mentality which stems from realising that since you cannot rely on institutions or Rome-based politicians, you have to look out for yourself and help the people you know.

 

This is probably the main cause of what I was saying earlier.  Sweden has become a virtual slave to its highly-organised welfare state, even more so than Britain.  The idea of a welfare state is ambivalent; it can be a double-edged sword.  In places where the state has less control over the day-to-day lives of the people, the sense of community spirit (the big loser in any any welfare state) is much stronger.  A society's over-dependence on the welfare state can become unconsciously pathological (a virtual addiction), and a well-meaning welfare state's control over it's people can take on a totalitarian fascistic quality - if we're not careful.  This is happening in both Sweden and Britain. 

 

Not that I'm anti the welfare state

For many reasons, I'm opposed to the notion of the state itself and the flawed ideologies that underpin them.  I support the spirit behind the idea of the welfare state.



#45 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 November 2014 - 06:20 PM

Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian and Albanian are those I know least about.


These are very unusual languages unrelated to other European languages. Does anybody apart from natives of the countries where they are used learn them?

#46 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 22 November 2014 - 05:03 AM

Very true, but at least Albanian is a distant member of our own Indo-European group. 

There are Swedes and Russians who learn Finnish (although it's a totally unrelated language), and there's a cluster of related Uralic languages in Northern Russia - Votic, Veps, Livonian and Karelian which are still widely spoken and many of these people also know Finnish or Estonian.  The Saami probably use Finnish too. 

 

Hungarian is an outlier of this same Uralic group, and there are about 40 other Uralic languages spread across Russia and Siberia.  Some have long been the officially recognised languages of their respective autonomous regions, such as Mari, Komi and Udmurt (where there are more red-haired people than anywhere else on earth!).  They all have their own distinctive thriving cultures, their own flags, anthems, costumes, folk and pop music, etc. and use slight variants of the Cyrillic alphabet. 


Edited by Mihaela, 22 November 2014 - 05:06 AM.


#47 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 November 2014 - 11:51 AM

Very true, but at least Albanian is a distant member of our own Indo-European group.


Is Albanian related in any way to Greek, Turkish, or Armenian? If it isn't then are there any extinct languages related to Albanian? I'm intrigued to know if it was around when Albania was part of the Roman Empire.

#48 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 22 November 2014 - 05:19 PM

Albanian, Armenian and Greek are the only Indo-European languages currently spoken in Europe with no existing relatives. They occur as independent branches.  Albanian seems to derive from an extinct non-Greek branch of the extinct Paleo-Balkan group which included Dacian, Thracian, Phrygian, Mesapian, Illyrian languages. etc.  It had already acquired some Greek and Latin elements as early as 2000 years ago, and later, during the Ottoman period, Turkish elements too, although Turkish isn't at all related to Albanian, being in the Turkic group.



#49 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 November 2014 - 06:34 PM

What was the original language of Romania before it was conquered by the Romans and replaced by Latin? Romanian is the closest national language to Latin and didn't become a distinctly separate language until the 16th century. Was Albanian related to any extinct Romanian languages?

#50 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 23 November 2014 - 04:56 AM

An interesting question.  The simple answer is nobody really knows.  Most likely extinct Daco-Thracian languages were spoken in that area, and Albanian may well have derived from them. 

Proto-Romanian split into four languages - Aromanian (or Vlachs, still spoken in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria & Albania), Megleno-Romanian (or Vlăhește still spoken in a few villages near the Macedonian border), Istro-Romanian (the smallest ethnic group in Europe - spoken in a few villages in Istria and Croatia).  What was left became Daco-Romanian which is also an official language of Moldova (with Russian and Gagauzian), the de facto independent PMR (with Russian & Ukrainian), the autonomous Serbian province of Vojvodina (one of 6), the Hertsa & Tiachiv regions of Ukraine (along with Ukrainian) and the autonomous island of Mount Athos (one of 5).

Although part of the EU, women are still banned from Mount Athos - a policy that violates EU equality laws.  A few years ago four Moldovan women landed there without realising this, but were 'forgiven'. 



#51 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 November 2014 - 07:08 AM

My own theory is that there was once a closely related group of south eastern European languages before the territory was conquered by the Romans then later by the Slavs / Orthodox Church. Albanian is the last surviving remnant of these languages mainly as a result of geographic isolation.

How did Romanian survive the onslaught of the Orthodox Church with its Slavic languages?

#52 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 23 November 2014 - 08:26 AM

The Dacio-Thracian languages were part of the Paleo-Balkan group I referred to in an earlier post.  So we're both saying the same thing really, in that Albanian derived from that group and is the last surviving descendant.

The reason for the survival of Romanian under the Orthodox Church may be similar to that for the survival of say, French under the Roman Church.  Old Church Slavonic was the language of the Orthodox Church throughout the Slavophone world and was the earliest written Slavic language.  Latin was the language of the Roman Church and the common written language of all areas under its control.  Until the 16th century Church Slavonic was used in the liturgy in Romania.  The indigenous languages continued to be spoken by the people (and eventually written) regardless of what languages were being used in the liturgies. 

The same would presumably apply to the survival of Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, etc.  Even a few minority Slavic languages such as Upper and Lower Sorbian (Wendish), Carpathian and Pannonian Rusyn, are still widely spoken in certain places. 



#53 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 November 2014 - 05:17 PM

The indigenous languages continued to be spoken by the people (and eventually written) regardless of what languages were being used in the liturgies. 

The same would presumably apply to the survival of Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, etc.  Even a few minority Slavic languages such as Upper and Lower Sorbian (Wendish), Carpathian and Pannonian Rusyn, are still widely spoken in certain places.


Am I correct in saying that the Slavic languages in south eastern Europe are derived from Old Church Slavonic, which was propagated by the Orthodox Church, but are not otherwise native to this area?

#54 Mihaela

Mihaela

    Mt Blanc

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cheshire
  • Interests:Too many!

Posted 23 November 2014 - 07:42 PM

No!  They're indigenous.  Old Church Slavonic was the first written Slavic language and was based on the Byzantine Slavic dialect spoken in Thessalonika. It developed in the Bulgarian Empire and from there it spread throughout the Orthodox Church. Church Slavonic appeared later and contains elements of all the Slavic languages.



#55 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 December 2015 - 12:02 PM

Should schools teach Arabic?

 

https://welovearabic...ry-key-stage-2/

 

https://www.britishc...ught-uk-schools



#56 Canopus

Canopus

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2093 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 July 2016 - 04:58 PM

I find it intriguing that British schools have never taught Dutch despite Holland and Belgium being two of our nearest neighbours. Even the Dutch GCSE is being discontinued due to very few students taking it. There is an argument that a high proportion of native Dutch speakers already know English so there is little point in learning Dutch if you already know English, but was this argument true in the past? Despite Holland being one of the great European maritime nations it has not left its mark linguistically in the rest of the world like the British, French, and Spanish have.

 

I am thinking now that Britain has left the EU whether the choice of foreign languages taught in schools should be re-assessed. If Britain moves its economic ties away from European countries towards non-European countries then could the nation's linguists end up being people of foreign origin who learn languages from their families and communities whilst indigenous British people slide further into being monoglots?



#57 Aeolienne

Aeolienne

    Kilimanjaro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1122 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Leamington Spa, Warks
  • Interests:Baroque music, green issues (esp. renewable energy), hillwalking, Quakerism, reading (astronomy, fiction, popular science), practical conservation, art exhibitions, royal-watching

Posted 01 August 2016 - 05:15 PM

I wonder how much difference it might have made if there'd been a concerted effort from 1973 onwards to invest in foreign language training so that all citizens could have had a fair crack at the European-wide job market. What use is labour mobility if your language skills don't amount to more than ordering drinks? Why is it that foreign languages are considered a rarefied intellectual ability in the UK but a basic life skill in the Netherlands?


Edited by Aeolienne, 01 August 2016 - 05:16 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users